This week I mention:
 
And the topic of our discussion is the range of options manufacturers generally have when it comes to deciding on a material for their products: resin, plastic, white metal and digital.  What the advantages and disadvantages of each to the manufacturer, and what can you learn about a company from the choices they make?

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.

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 

Slave2Gaming 

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.

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.
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.
I TOTALLY FORGOT TO PUBLISH THIS EPISODE ON MONDAY!
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.

Bernard's back!

This week's episode is a longer one, stretching out to just shy of an hour, but I was absolutely stoked to welcome Tomas Rawlings of Auroch Digital (and a patron), who brought me news of emerging devices for hybrid tabletop/digital gaming that I found absolutely fascinating, and it was terrific to get Tomas's insight into how these could transform our tabletop experience.  I start as a skeptic, but really found my enthusiasm growing as Tomas explained what could be done with products like these.

The news items this week covered:

The Square One 

The Gameboard-1 

The Tilt Five 

2D6 Wargaming and 6mm Sengoku Jidai 

GCT Studios, Bushido and The Brotherhood

Additional listening on the topics discussed can be found here:

First of all, my deepest apologies for my recent absence.  If you follow Precinct Omega on Facebook or are a Patron, then you'll be aware that I had some problems getting my hands on a part to effect a straightforward repair on my laptop.  But it arrived this morning, so I'm back, baby!

However, while things weren't working, after radio silence for a few weeks, I finally gave in and recorded an episode on my smartphone.  So, no Bernard.  No music.  No special effects.  Just me, talking.

This week's podcast looks at:

Takkure

Wargames Atlantic

Games Workshop (you don't need a link to them!)

and, later on,

Miniature Wargames magazine

Para Bellum Wargames 

 

This week, I'm thinking about advertising and how and why the world of miniatures wargames is forced to approach the issue differently to conventional manufacturers and retailers.

Having forgotten to upload the script to the last design episode, I decided to embrace it, this week, and just no bother with the script.  The result is more rambling and less structured and possibly less coherent.  But hopefully still interesting.

Let me know in the comments: stick to unscripted (and maybe do a video version as well) or go back to scripting and the hours-long preparation each episode demands... Can you tell my heart's not in it?

Apologies for the late posting.  I had a bit of a burn-out and needed to take a day off.  Back to normal service!
 
Back to the news, we look at
 
and, because why stop when you're on a roll,
 
 
And I take a look at why we are so often fooled into thinking that more "stuff" in a game makes it better, why that's probably not true and how players and designers can think differently about the integration of components with the gaming experience.
 
Incidentally, if you listen carefully, you'll hear my son's piano practice in the background.  I usually record while they're at school but, for some reason, this week my entire first recording was plagued with a mysterious background distortion, so I had to re-record it later.  There's also a door slam at some point.  I'm not sure, but it might have been the same son being told to stop playing the piano while his Dad is recording....

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