Archive for January 2021

This week has another game design discussion (monologue, let's be hones) in which I talk about the role that art plays in inspiring, guiding, communicating and supporting a game through development and into the market and the hands of its players.

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Sorry the podcast is a day late, this week!  I totally forgot to upload it here.  Won't forget again!


This week the news looks at:

Ares Games 


Para Bellum Wargames 

The discussion this week is about the game design metagame - the factors that a commercial game designer needs to think about (in my opinion) when they are planning to write a game for today's market.

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I spend an hour mostly talking about dice.  I spend as little time as possible looking at the numbers and probability curves (but have to spend some time talking about them) and then go on to talk about how those apply, how dice can strip agency from players and how to avoid that happening.  I also do a big breakdown of what you can do with playing cards and why, sometimes, you shouldn't.
I touch upon a lot of games, including Under Falling Skies, Warhammer 40,000, Savage Worlds, Dystopian Wars, D&D in its various incarnations, Aristeia!, Infinity Defiance, and Malifaux.
These unscripted episodes get long.  Hope you're all cool with that.

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In this episode, I do a round-up of news from 2020, looking at Asmodee Games's handling of Fantasy Flight, new edition releases of flagship games from GW and Corvus Belli, the end of a flagship game at Steamforged Games, big money still struggling to make an impact at Privateer Press and Para Bellum, and more besides.
This episode is dedicated to the memory of Walt Langhan and all our fellow wargamers who didn't make it to the end of 2020.

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So you get two episodes close together.  There'll be a new episode out on Monday with my round up of news from 2020.
After seeing all the hype about Cyberpunk 2077, and also watching the Tabletop Minions video about wargaming cyberpunk, I thought the subject deserved a deeper analysis of the challenges involved in designing tabletop cyberpunk experiences.
I also take the opportunity to wax just a little bit philosophical about the year we've all had, and why I think there's reason, on this day of all days, to be optimistic about the future.
Wishing all of my patrons a very merry Christmas, wherever you are.  This extends to those who've had to drop off for whatever reason.  I appreciated the support you felt you could give more than words can say.
The fact is that, despite - to some extent, one might say, because of - the chaos that gripped the world this year, Precinct Omega has enjoyed an incredibly successful year and at least some of the credit for that goes to you, my patrons.  Your support has kept up my morale, your feedback has encouraged my productivity and your ideas have stimulated my imagination.
I remain humbled and astonished that so many people are so interested in my work as to pay for the chance to see behind the curtain.
For those for whom 2020 has not been a good time, I wish you a far better year in 2021.  I, for one, am looking forward to the convention season that looks like it might still take place from mid-2021 onwards in the UK.  And if things continue to improve at the rate that they are, I have ambitions to visit the US in 2022 to get to see my American friends and supporters face-to-face.

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