The monthly game design podcast you haven't been waiting for

Quickplay - Fire Emblem: Three Houses

The gang discusses Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the latest entry in the long-running tactics RPG series. We dig into how Three Houses uses its character development mechanics to encourage the player to invest in their characters both mechanically and emotionally. We then contrast this approach with those taken in XCOM 2 and Darkest Dungeon to see how each game uses its systems to reinforce its unique themes and tone.

Questions? Comments? Need to share some sweet fanart of your favorite FE student? Contact us on Twitter or email mailbox@pgipodcast.com. And if you liked the show, please review us on Apple Podcasts or share this episode with a friend!

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Header image from Fire Emblem: Three Houses by Intelligent Systems and Koei Tecmo Games

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Quickplay - Keyforge

We discuss Fantasy Flight Games' recent 'unique deck game', Keyforge, in which every deck you buy is a randomly generated, unique, and unchangeable combination of cards. We look at how this system makes the game more approachable than traditional trading card games, how it affects high level and competitive play, and what other developers can learn from this approach, even if they don't have access to FFG's custom printing processes.

Questions? Comments? Want to suggest a game for us to play? Contact us on Twitter or email mailbox@pgipodcast.com. And if you liked the show, please review us on Apple Podcasts or share this episode with a friend!

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Header image from Keyforge by Fantasy Flight Games

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Quickplay - Steamworld Quest

The gang compare the card combat systems in Steamworld Quest and Slay the Spire and analyze how one simple difference massively changes the focus of each game.

Questions? Comments? Want to suggest a game for us to play? Contact us on Twitter or email mailbox@pgipodcast.com. And if you liked the show, please review us on Apple Podcasts or share this episode with a friend!

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Header image from Steamworld Quest by Image & Form Games

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Designing the Mysteries of Outer Wilds (Alex Beachum)

We're super excited to be joined by Alex Beachum, creative director of Outer Wilds, the time-looping space exploration game that won the Independent Game Festival's grand prize back when it was still a student project.

Together we explore the story of the game's seven year development cycle before diving deep into how Alex and the team at Mobius Digital created a mystery game that spans an entire solar system. How did they make sure that players would be motivated to investigate each separate plot thread? How did they prevent players from ever feeling lost or directionless? How did they do all of this without ever placing a map marker or opening a quest log? You'll have to listen to found out

Questions? Comments? Suggestions of developers for us to interview? Contact us on Twitter or email mailbox@pgipodcast.com. And if you liked the show, please review us on Apple Podcasts or share this episode with a friend!

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Header image from Outer Wilds by Mobius Digital Games

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Quickplay - DOOM (2016)

Jon and Rob discuss how the developers of 2016's DOOM reboot pursued a philosophy of 'push-forward combat', utilizing smartly-design systems and AI to give the player a sense of agency and empowerment.

(We also referred to DOOM 2016 as Doom 5, thinking that there had been a previous, underwhelming Doom 4. No such game was ever release -- we were probably thinking of Quake 4 instead. Our bad!)

Additional reading

There's a ton of great information out there about DOOM's development. Here are some of our favorites:

Questions? Comments? Got another favorite combat system you want us to discuss? Contact us on Twitter or email mailbox@pgipodcast.com. And if you liked the show, please review us on Apple Podcasts or share this episode with a friend!

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Header image from DOOM (2016) by id Software

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