By Idle Thumbs
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Why do we make games? Every designer has a different and very personal answer to that question. Soren Johnson, founder of Mohawk Games, sits down with noted designers to find out by examining their careers as a whole.
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 25: Sid Meier - Part 3||In this episode, Soren Johnson interviews legendary game designer Sid Meier, best known for designing Pirates!, Railroad Tycoon, and Civilization. They discuss why dinosaurs need to have ranged attacks, how deals go down on the SimGolf course, and if Civ||2/23/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 24: Sid Meier - Part 2||In this episode, Soren Johnson interviews legendary game designer Sid Meier, best known for designing Pirates!, Railroad Tycoon, and Civilization. They discuss how Sid’s stealth fighter was more interesting than the real one, whether XCOM violates the C||11/23/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 23: Sid Meier - Part 1||In this episode, Soren Johnson interviews legendary game designer Sid Meier, best known for designing Pirates!, Railroad Tycoon, and Civilization. They discuss using the Ayatollah Khomeini as an enemy, how Strike Eagle differentiated itself from Flight Si||10/25/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 22: Amy Hennig - Part 2||In this episode, Soren Johnson interviews veteran game designer Amy Hennig, best known for her work on the Legacy of Kain and Uncharted series. They discuss what elements from film can’t work in games, how many hours she averaged per week working on the||10/4/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 21: Amy Hennig - Part 1||In this episode, Soren Johnson interviews veteran game designer Amy Hennig, best known for her work on the Legacy of Kain and Uncharted series. They discuss what happened in 1977, how to make a platformer about Michael Jordan, and whether women are now be||9/20/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 20: Liz Ryerson||In this episode, Adam Saltsman interviews independent game developer Liz Ryerson, known for experimental games like Problem Attic. They discuss whether we should ever make players uncomfortable, why horror games have more freedom to try unconventional des||8/4/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 19: Louis Castle||In this episode, Soren interviews Westwood Studio co-founder Louis Castle. They discuss why early video game artists were also great at Etch-a-Sketch, why Dune 2 was not Dune 1, how Boom Blox was almost Angry Birds, and why narrative games can’t end on||6/15/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 18: Offworld Trading Company||In this episode, Bruce Geryk interviews Soren Johnson about his new economic RTS, Offworld Trading Company. They discuss how exploring a black map is one of gaming’s greatest hits, why the hardest part of designing Offworld was ending the game, and why||5/6/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 17: Ananda Gupta||In this episode, Soren interviews game designer Ananda Gupta, best known as the co-designer of Twilight Struggle and the lead designer of XCOM: Enemy Within. They discuss why DC has no fort in For the People, whether Labyrinth's neocon design is intention||4/1/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 16: Tyriq Plummer||In this episode, Adam Saltsman interviews Tyriq Plummer, who is the artist, designer, and programmer behind the roguelike platformer Catacomb Kids. They discuss why a game should let you eat your severed arm, how items can be adjectives instead of verbs,||2/15/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 15: Nels Anderson||In this episode, Soren interviews Nels Anderson, who was the lead designer of the critically acclaimed Mark of the Ninja and is currently a designer/programmer at Campo Santo working on the upcoming game Firewatch. They discuss how he almost went into law||1/19/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 14: Mark Herman||In this episode, Bruce Geryk interviews veteran wargame designer Mark Herman, former CEO of Victory Games and best known for pioneering card-driven wargames with We The People. They discuss designing games for less than $100 per week, why he couldn't rele||12/21/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 13: Jamie Cheng||In this episode, Soren interviews Jamie Cheng, founder of Klei Entertainment which is known for the Shank series, Mark of the Ninja, Don't Starve, and Invisible, Inc. They discuss paying back the Canadian government, why Mark of the Ninja's AI needs to be||11/13/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 12: Davey Wreden||In this episode, Adam Saltsman interviews indie game developer Davey Wreden, who is best known for his work on The Stanley Parable and The Beginner's Guide. They discuss why he worked as a bartender while making The Stanley Parable, how they fit the "gnaw||10/15/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 11: Chris Avellone||In this episode, Soren interviews game designer Chris Avellone, who is best known for his work on Fallout 2, Planescape: Torment, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2, Fallout: New Vegas, and Wasteland 2. He is currently working at inXile Entertainmen||9/9/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 10: Nina Freeman||In this episode, Adam Saltsman interviews indie game developer Nina Freeman, who is best known for her personal vignette games How Do You Do It?, Freshman Year, and the upcoming Cibele. She is currently working at Fullbright as a level designer on the upc||8/5/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 9: Bruce Shelley||In this episode, Soren interviews veteran game designer Bruce Shelley, who is best known for his work on Railroad Tycoon, Civilization, and the Age of Empires series. He is currently working at Bonus XP on Servo, a new RTS. They discuss what the two Sids||6/26/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 8: Daniel Benmergui||In this episode, Adam Saltsman interviews independent game developer Daniel Benmergui, who is best known for experimental story games like Today I Die, I Wish I Were The Moon, and the IGF-winning Storyteller. He is currently working on the Indie Fund-back||6/8/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 7: Brad Muir||In this episode, Soren interviews Brad Muir, who is a designer/programmer at Double Fine. He was a programmer on Psychonauts, the lead designer of Brutal Legend, and the project leader on Iron Brigade. Brad is currently leading the development of Massive||5/4/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 6: Chelsea Howe||In this episode, Adam Saltsman interviews Chelsea Howe, who is a Creative Director at EA Mobile. She is best known for her work at TinyCo, where she led the design of Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, and for her community efforts organizing the Queerness||4/20/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 5: Daniel Cook||In this episode, Soren interviews Daniel Cook, who is the Chief Creative Officer at Spry Fox. He is best known for his design work on games such as Triple Town, Realm of the Mad God, and Steambirds as well as for his writing on game design at lostgarden.c||3/9/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 4: Henrik Fahraeus||In this episode, Soren interviews Henrik Fahraeus, who is a Game Director at Paradox Interactive, where he has worked on the Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis, and Hearts of Iron series. Also sitting in on the interview is Jon Shafer, lead designer of Ci||2/10/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 3: Frank Lantz||In this episode, Soren interviews Frank Lantz, currently Director of the NYU Game Center. Frantz was also the co-founder of Area/Code where he led the design of Drop7. We discuss how to make sure your game gets written up in Boing Boing, why most people w||1/12/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 2: Rob Pardo - Part 2||Soren is not done with Rob yet! In the second half of the interview, they discuss the MMO that shocked everyone (including Blizzard), how to hire game designers, why they didn't make DOTA2, removing the auction house from Diablo 3, and what might come nex||12/11/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDesigner Notes 1: Rob Pardo - Part 1||Welcome to Designer Notes, a podcast about why we make games, hosted by Soren Johnson of Mohawk Games. In our first episode, Soren sits down with Rob Pardo, formerly the Chief Creative Officer at Blizzard Entertainment, to discuss his game design career,||10/30/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
More interesting game design discussions!
I’ve been a long time listener of Three Moves Ahead on which Soren often speaks, I’ve also been following his blog. And now I’m pleasantly surprised with the podcast. Great first episode.
Good content but poor audio quality
I enjoyed the first episode, but the audio quality is poor. I'm not an expert but the participants sound far away from the mic, and I have to keep the volume high because I listen in the car. The podcast would benefit from having the quality is 'm used to on other podcasts, especially given the length.
I have been a longtime fan of Pardo's and I found that Soren asked many of the things I was wondering, which is great.
A great show about the motivations behind game design
This is a great show with awesome guests and a lot of good stories about how or why a particular game is made the way it is. There is some excess ambient noise and bumping around that probably can't be helped in an online interview setting but the content is worth it. Can't wait to hear who the next guest will be.