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Pretentious Game Ideas

The monthly game design podcast that you haven't been waiting for! Join us as we discuss, explore, and get out of our depths in a new game design topic every episode.
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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 17, 2016

Everyone knows that feeling — you die in a game, you respawn, you try again, you die again. You attempting the same section, stuck in a loop of repetition and mounting frustration until you shut the game off in disgust.

Are there better ways to handle failure in games? (Yes.) Can improving your fail states make players engage more with your game? (Absolutely.) Will we manage to explain how in an hour-long podcast? (Doubtful.)

Correction: The Just Cause series is developed by Avalanche Studios, not Frictional Games.

Nov 11, 2016

It's well known that co-op makes just about every game more fun. But how do you design a game that takes good advantage of its co-op, and how do you avoid some of its common pitfalls?

Oct 10, 2016

We're joined by designer extraordinaire Matthew Moore as we discuss the delights and dilemmas of designing a game for an existing book, movie, comic, or other piece of intellectual property. Plus, we try our hands at some creating some bad adaptations of our own!

Sep 20, 2016

We're trying something different this month, as we each share one game that we think is valuable for every designer to play and learn from. Call it a reading list. Except you play things instead of reading them. Playing list sounds real weird, though.

Aug 15, 2016

What is Donkey Space, how can designing with it in mind help you create richer competitive games, and will we work out how to coherently explain it before the end of the episode? You'll have to listen to find out!

Jul 15, 2016

We delve into the ways that social dynamics can help or hinder your game and how you can use your mechanics to enable and incentivize good social experiences.

Jun 14, 2016

We're joined by Magic's own Gavin Verhey as we discuss analyzing your game's mechanics and building content to make the best use of your entire design space.

May 8, 2016

The gang discusses randomization in games, what makes it compelling, and how you can utilize it in ways that don't feel arbitrary to your players.

Apr 20, 2016

The gang is joined by special guest Katie Chironis to discuss player-driven narrative in games. Branching, opt-in, emergent, procedural... we've got 'em all! Plus, is the entire canon of video game narratives inherently misguided?

Mar 4, 2016

The gang digs into how to make a good tutorial, the problem with rulebooks, and how learning can be the most fun part of your game.

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