Episode 232: New Agenda Publishing on Diversity in Gaming

Hosts: Eloy, Jenn, Jerry, Misha, Todd

Jenn and Todd sit down with Eloy, Misha, and Jerry of New Agenda Publishing, a new gaming company aimed at promoting diversity in gaming and mentoring and publishing designers from underrepresented groups. We have a wide ranging conversation that dives into racism in gaming, the ins and outs of publishing, and oatmeal. Enjoy!

Interview Meg McGinley (aka Meg Gameologist)

So there was no episode last week. We had something all recorded and then audacity went and ate it. Curses! But this week we’re back with an interview with Meg McGinley. You may know her from the Brilliant Gameologists podcast. She’s also a part of Games By Playdate, a new gaming company, and the designer of the soon-to-be-kickstarted game Pack the Pack.

In this interview, we talk about how podcasting shapes your view of games, starting your own game company, Game Chef, Pack the Pack, and Slash. Also, here is Pack the Pack on Tabletop Deathmatch if you want to get a sense of it:

Be sure to look for it’s kickstarter in June!

Interview: Avery Alder

In this episode, Todd sits down with Avery Alder to talk about their games Monsterhearts and The Quiet Year. Our discussion touches on gamer biographies, how mechanics push theme, and how games can be used to talk about power and social issues.

Find Avery at Buried Without Ceremony.

Potentially triggering content: we briefly talk about sexual assault and abusive relationships, mostly indirectly, when we talk about difficult content in Monsterhearts.

Interview with Meg Baker of Night Sky Games

In this episode, Todd and Timo

have a nice little chat with Meg Baker of Night Sky Games about all sorts of stuff including her gaming history, her games Psi*Run and 1001 Nights, how her understanding of education and having kids affects her understanding of games, and designing with certain experiences in mind. Meg has some really cool stuff to say and we’re sure you’ll enjoy hearing her

brain get picked.

Bonus: listen for the car alarm going off early in the interview. Fun!

Interview: Geek Girls Burlesque from Gorilla Tango Theatre!

We were at Forge Midwest this last weekend (more on that next week) so we didn’t record a regular episode, but we’ve got something even better for you: Megan does an interview with the ladies of Geek Girls Burlesque from Gorilla Tango Theatre, including Ms. Pixy, Stella Cheeks, Sadie Hotkins, Marie Curiosity, and Hot Tawdry!

This would also be a good time to mention the Glitter Guild’s benefit show to get them back to perform at

Gencon on May 26. Check it out!

Enjoy the interview!

Bonus Interview: Josh Mannon

This is a bonus interview Todd conducted with Josh Mannon: Father, Husband, and Game Designer!

Josh runs At the Table Games and has been playing, designing, and hacking games for a long time. Todd and Josh discuss discovering new and different games, how to hack

games successfully, what makes fictional worlds worth gaming in, Josh’s sweet idea about getting 12 games into playtesting this year,

and Josh’s upcoming Dungeon World adventures pack, which is in Kickstarter right now. Go help him reach his goal!

And he’s hacking Apocalypse World for little kids. That’s right. Get on board.

Also, you might hear Todd’s cat or Josh’s laundry making noise. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Interview Episode 9: Bully Pulpit

Hosted by Timo

Steve Segedy and Jason Morningstar are the twin uber-brains behind Bully Pulpit Games, the makers of Fiasco, The Shab-Al-Hiri Roach and Grey Ranks. We talk about these games in particular as well as what it’s like to publish your own games and the trials and tribulations of getting it done.

About Bully Pulpit Games: Behold it’s majesty! (0:50)
Drowning and Falling (1:30)
Grey Ranks is definitely a fun game that is definitely not a comedy game (4:50)
Fiasco, Wil Wheaton and Penny Arcade (6:35)
Fiasco as an accessible game (7:45)
Blood Simple as inspiration for a comedy game? (8:45)
What was Fiasco designed for? (11:00)
Playsets are the heart and soul of Fiasco cheap brand cialis (14:00)
Why it was so hard to get Fiasco after Gencon 2010 (17:40)
Janus Design, the Italian version and Lucca comics and games (19:20)
Producing an indie Game: We don’t want to go in to debt (22:00)
The Forge community was key to bringing out the Roach (23:50)
How independent publishing is changing (ex. Kickstarter) (26:00)
Grassroots and mutualism in action (Wil Wheaton and Penny Arcade again) and social marketing (27:45)
Brick and Mortar stores and Bits and Mortar (30:25)
Loving and hating the self-publishing thing (32:35)
Jason takes umbrage: we have no GMless agenda (37:15)
We make games for our friends (38:20)
Roles and facilities are tied up in the “GM” (39:00)
Predefining the story arc in Fiasco: it’s not wrong, it’s just the immediate social contract (42:00)
Short timeframe pushes players to make bold choices (44:50)
What makes these systems good for these games? An example: Cowboys with Big Hearts (45:30)
When games take direct control of pacing/story arc (48:15)
Timo conflates freedom with GM-less (again. Seriously, what’s his problem?) (50:30)
The star trek theorem (53:00)

Rants (55:10)

Jason: Fun is a semantic tarpit.
Steve: There is not enough time.

Interview 8: Robert Bohl and Joshua AC Newman

Hosted by Todd

Through space and time, we bring you an interview about The Distant best price levitra online Future! Todd Speaks with Robert Bohl and Joshua AC Newman about their futuristic games Misspent Youth and Shock: Social Science Fiction. The conversation ranges around the what, why and how of the games, and finally turns to a comparison between the two.

The elevator speech of the games (1:00)
Shock as high science fiction, Misspent youth is cult scifi: influences in the games. (2:50)
Shock: wanted to play science fiction, got cockblocked by existing games. (4:30)
Bruce Sterling, Rudy Rutger, Phillip Dick as influences (08:30)
Future shock (10:30)
Misspent youth influences: other games first, then later in the design art became serious. (11:05)
Todds personal connection (bad touch! BAD TOUCH!!): Sociology and the punk scene (15:00)
The Punk in Misspent Youth (15:50)
Shock is the first science fiction game ever (20:45)
The genius of Minutae (26:15)
Other science fiction games are just D&D in space (27:30)
Paranoia & Metamorphosis Alpha (34:00)
World creation (Some hackles are raised) (36:00)
When everyone’s antagonist is God and Time Travel(38:20)
Harry Potter misspent youth game (41:05)
Conservative mentality comes out weird (42:40)
The French Girl (46:30)
Libertarianism (47:40)
Meta-mechanics in both games (49:00)
Who the fuck wants to be Deckard? (52:20)
The GM in GMless games (54:30)
Talking about things that bother you (57:20)
Conflict resolution mechanics in Misspent Youth (58:20)
Shock resolution system (1:02:00)
The Blade Runner example (01:05:15)
Intertwining stakes and the audience (01:13:30)
The relationship between the games: 1984 example (01:20:00)
More Human than Human (01:23:00)
Human Contact (01:23:40)
Shilling (01:34:00)

Interview Episode 7: Julia Ellingboe

Hosted by Timo

Through the vagaries of the interwebs, Julia Ellingboe found our episode about Race and our mention of her game, Steal Away Jordan.  We invited her to share her intention and opinion about the game in that context, which allowed me to also pick her brain on other topics related to her games and her design.  I mistakenly note that our episode on Race was episode 57, it’s actually episode 59.

Slave Narratives: Book of the Night Women, Octavia Butler, Frederick Douglas, Slave No More, Bullwhip Days: The Slaves Remember (1:20)
Stories of slavery as heroic stories (3:50)
Slavery outside of the default setting (4:30)
Vak: American slavery in particular as a problem (5:00)
Played as a folk tale (6:35)
Mechanic: Goals are secret from the GM, shared between players (07:25)
Graham Walmsley runs a great Steal Away Jordan game (09:45)
Three white dudes and me, Uncle Ruckus and playing the spiteful character (11:40)
Impression as a player rather than the Storyteller (14:20)
Designed for fun, not guilt. Making players uncomfortable as entertainment, comparison to Bachannal (15:00)
Making the owners real (16:20)
The game is not really about race, its more about ownership (18:05)
Scott’s question: Where did you grow up, how did that affect the design? (18:50)
Playing Steal Away Jordan: Being a black woman among (mostly) white men (20:00)
Lines and Veils (22:30)
Fastaval: The Journey and walking away from a game (23:40)
Wanting to understand the experience, versus recoiling from it (26:50)
What a difference a river makes (28:55)
Historical perspective: parrallel to 2nd and 3rd wave feminism (31:00)
Different things that could be gotten from the game, what sort of games do people play (32:25)
Nervous laughter and playing nice (35:00)
The saddest steal away jordan ever, and playing sad games (37:00)
How Julia got in to gaming (38:50)
Having non-gamer kids (39:50)
Malice: the love of frightening dolls (40:45)
Non-slasher horror films: The Omen, Psycho, Fallen, Lost Souls (42:25)
Tales of the Fisherman’s Wife and measuring up to past success (45:35)
Two major themes: Folk Tales and Card Games (47:30)
Cards versus Dice (50:35)
What to do with Tam Lim playtesting at Intercon Massachusetts, Dreamation and Fastaval (51:50)
Dead Inside (53:30)
The Massachusetts Game Collective (54:30)
The joy of game writing (56:30)
Why go independent? (57:30)
The library of Congress as a Resource: American History (59:15)

Announcements: Have fun at Gencon, thanks for playing Steal Away Jordan (01:00:00)

Interview 5: Ryan Macklin on The Dresden Files RPG

Interview 5: Ryan Macklin on The Dresden Files RPG
Hosts: JOHNKELLY, Lexx, Todd

Ryan Macklin is from Evil Hat Productions and is the Main Production Manager for the upcoming Dresden Files RPG (to be fully released on June , 2010). The interview was recorded in early January. However Ryan’s introduction was lost after JOHNKELLY got a new computer. None of the interview questions were lost.

You can now pre-order The Dresden Files RPG from dresdenfilesrpg.com (and maybe your local game store). When you do you get the PDF of the books for free instantly! Go out and pre-order now!

Another note for Dresden Files fans. Changes, the 12th book in the Dresden Files series comes out today, April 5th. You can get it at your local book store or from www.jim-butcher.com

Dresden Files is produced by Evil Hat

Ryan Rants

You have been listening to The Jank Cast, copyright 2010 under the creative commons license. You can find out more about us at jankcast.com. All the music in the show is from the song, “Jank is a Dork Word” written and recorded by Todd and is used with his permission. You can send comments and feedback to feedback@jankcast.com Again, we are sponsored by Chicagoland Games, and this is JOHNKELLY reminding you to support your local gaming store. Now go out and roll some dice.