Indie By Design Podcast

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Synopsis

From the writers and creators of Independent By Design: Art & Stories of Indie Game Creation, the Indie By Design Podcast is the show that goes behind the scenes and explores the world of game design and game designers.

Episodes

  • IBD #23 - Games that made us (Monkey Island)

    IBD #23 - Games that made us (Monkey Island)

    12/11/2018 Duration: 53min

    Welcome to 'Games that made us', an ongoing series within the Indie By Design podcast in which hosts Stace Harman and John Robertson explore and discuss the games that have most powerfully inspired and influenced their lives inside and outside of the traditional gaming space. In this episode John Robertson interviews Stace Harman regarding the impact that The Secret of Monkey Island has had on everything from his subsequent tastes in games to his relationship with his brother at the time. Follow us Twitter: @IndieByDesign Web: IndieByDesign.net

  • IBD #22 - What is the role of a game critic?

    IBD #22 - What is the role of a game critic?

    05/11/2018 Duration: 57min

    What is the current state of the videogame critic and what might it be? How do audiences and critics currently relate to one another? What is the purpose of criticism itself? Is a review that acts as a buyer's guide a form of criticism or not? Stace Harman and John Robertson attempt to answer these questions and more in the 22nd episode of the Indie By Design podcast. Follow us on Twitter @IndieByDesign. Visit IndieByDesign.net for more podcasts and information on our published and upcoming books and games.

  • IBD #21 - What makes a multiplayer game?

    IBD #21 - What makes a multiplayer game?

    29/10/2018 Duration: 50min

    In terms of both quality and form, what is it that makes a multiplayer game a game worth playing and/or a multiplayer game at all? Can, for example, a single player game be a multiplayer game if you choose to consume it as a group?  Stace Harman and John Robertson delve into these questions and more in this episode that focuses on the nature of multiplayer gaming. This episode includes discussion on Dungeons & Dragons and tabletop games, as well as videogames. More episodes: IndieByDesign.net Twitter: @indiebydesign

  • IBD #20 - How and why do you play games?

    IBD #20 - How and why do you play games?

    22/10/2018 Duration: 01h06min

    We play games, but why and how do we play them? Compared to other mediums - such as cinema and literature - games have a wide variety of means when it comes to absorbing and consuming them and this can affect the how and why of our playing of them. In this episode Stace Harman and John Robertson discuss how they prefer to play games, why they play them at all and if/how this has changed as they've gotten older and their tastes have changed. Mentioned games include Dishonored, Firewatch, Destiny 2, Darkest Dungeon, Fortnite and more. Be warned that minor spoilers are revealed for some of the discussed games.  

  • IBD #19 - Whats happening in Life is Strange 2: Episode 1?

    IBD #19 - What's happening in Life is Strange 2: Episode 1?

    15/10/2018 Duration: 01h01min

    In this episode Stace Harman and John Robertson of Indie By Design talk about the themes, impact and direction of Dontnod's Life is Strange 2: Episode 1 and whether or not they are so far impressed with the new cast of characters and their world. ***This episode contains spoilers. It is recommended that you finish Life is Strange 2: Episode 1 before listening.*** See IndieByDesign.net for more podcasts, as well as books and other original videogame content. Twitter: @indiebydesign  

  • 	IBD #18 - YoYo Games on GameMaker Studio, creating tools that create games

    IBD #18 - YoYo Games on GameMaker Studio, creating tools that create games

    26/07/2017 Duration: 49min

    This week's IBD podcast features James Cox and Mike Dailly, general manager and head of development respectively at YoYo Games, curators of the GamerMaker Studio toolset. That makes this episode of the podcast a bit different to the norm, because while we usually speak to the people behind the games, this week we're speaking to the people behind the people behind the games. The first iteration of Gamer Maker, called Animo, was released by Mark Overmars in 1999. Since then it's gone through dozens of iterations on its way to Game Maker 8.1, before becoming the multiplatform-supporting GameMaker: Studio in 2012 and now, as of March 2017, GameMaker Studio 2. Many, many games that you'll have heard of and probably played have been created using this software, and so we sat down with James and Mike to talk about helping developers create many a memorable title, the democratisation of tools, learning on the job, combating hackers and piracy and much more.   Brought to you by the writers and creators of Independent

  • IBD #17 - Tim Conkling on Antihero, tabletop games  video game design

    IBD #17 - Tim Conkling on Antihero, tabletop games & video game design

    19/07/2017 Duration: 01h05min

    In this episode of the IBD podcast we talk to Tim Conkling, creator of strategy title and digital board game, Antihero.  We discuss design inspiration, Steam reviews, AI programming and curiously titled locations, such as the Salty Nonce and Windy Bottom. Before all of that, however, we start with talk of games that have made the leap from the physical tabletop to the virtual one. Games such as Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Talisman, Warhammer Quest and many more besides, and to what extent Tim played those games for the purposes of education, motivation and inspiration for his own development journey of Antihero. Brought to you by the writers and creators of Independent By Design: Art & Stories of Indie Game Creation, the Indie By Design Podcast (IBD) is the show that goes behind the scenes to explore the world of game design and game designers. Visit us at indiebydesign.net - Twitter: @indiebydesign - Facebook/independentbydesign Music by Ben Prunty.

  • IBD #16 - Old Mans Journey and the interpretation of games with Broken Rules

    IBD #16 - Old Man's Journey and the interpretation of games with Broken Rules

    12/07/2017 Duration: 53min

    In this episode we’re talking to Felix Bohatsch co-founder of Broken Rules - the studio behind Old Man’s Journey, one of 2017’s most mesmerising and engaging games. It’s also a game that asks us to look within ourselves in order to interpret the events and themes of the game. We’ll be talk about that and more with Felix. Games typically ask us to inject ourselves into them, whether that’s by simply interacting with a button in order to open a door and progress to the next area or if it's by selecting dialogue options or making other kinds of decisions that gives us a seemingly subjective control over the plot. Fewer games ask us to both inject ourselves into them and allow ourselves to be injected by them. Old Man’s Journey demands that kind of open relationship between player and game. If you’re not prepared to try and define a personal interpretation of the happenings on screen then you’re not getting the full experience. Felix Bohatsch elaborates of this idea throughout this episode of the Indie By Design

  • IBD #15 - Stoics Alex Thomas on The Banner Saga, Killers  Thieves and Creative Pressure

    IBD #15 - Stoic's Alex Thomas on The Banner Saga, Killers & Thieves and Creative Pressure

    05/07/2017 Duration: 01h10min

    Alex Thomas is co-founder of development studio Stoic, the team responsible for The Banner Saga series of games. Alex has also released stealthy heist management title, Killers and Thieves, which he developed alone and published though Stoic. Here, he gives a raw account of his time developing Killers and Thieves, offering an honest assessment of his successes and failures throughout the project and highlighting what he believes have been the downsides of a low-key launch. There's also discussion of why Alex avoided Early Access for Killers and Thieves but why he believes it could absolutely be the right way to go for a future release, the pressures of delivering on a successful Kickstarter campaign for The Banner Saga and his time writing the currently in-development Banner Saga 3. We start this week's episode with talk about the formation of Stoic, the company Alex founded alongside John Watson and Arnie Jorgensen, whom he worked with at BioWare on Star Wars: The Old Republic.    Visit us at Patreon.com/Ind

  • IBD #14 - Steve Gaynor on Gone Home, Tacoma  games in culture

    IBD #14 - Steve Gaynor on Gone Home, Tacoma & games in culture

    27/06/2017 Duration: 53min

    Gone Home was one of the first games upon which the term ‘walking simulator’ was bestowed, games in which you move around an environment, seeking out interactive artefacts and/or triggering audio and video logs that, together, tell a story - the interaction and player agency coming from the order and pacing through which you uncover moments of interest. Your resultant depth of understanding is determined by how far you're willing to explore both the world around you and how you decide to interpret what you've seen, heard and ingested. Here Steve Gaynor of The Fullbright Company (Gone Home, Tacoma) talks to Indie By Design's John Robertson about the progress he and his studio has made since Gone Home, what is the core nature of his games and how he goes about constructing and designing them. We also discuss his work on the Bioshock series and where games as a whole sit within wider culture and why they find themselves in their current position.  Find more by Indie By Design at IndieByDesign.net | Twitter: @Ind

  • IBD #13 - Housemarque and Mastering the Twin-Stick Shooter

    IBD #13 - Housemarque and Mastering the Twin-Stick Shooter

    21/06/2017 Duration: 01h03min

    Housemarque is famed for its downloadable console games including Super Stardust, Dead Nation, Alienation and PS4 launch title Resogun. The veteran Finnish developer has made a name for itself crafting, precise, polished, technically accomplished and visually striking titles in publishing partnership with Sony. With its latest title, Nex Machina, launching for both PS4 and PC, Housemarque is taking its first step into self-publishing. Working in collaboration with pioneering developer Eugene Jarvis, who created arcade classics such as Defender, Robotron: 2084 and Smash TV, Nex Machina represents both a refinement and evolution of Housemarque’s design principles, as well as an opportunity for the developer to directly benefit from establishing and retaining its own IP. Here, Housemarque CEO Ilari Kuittinen and head of publishing Mikael Haveri discuss how the decision to self-publish has led to greater autonomy, a collaboration with Eugene Jarvis and how a game titled "Death Machine" could mean a new lease of

  • IBD Special - The Best Indie Games of E3 2017

    IBD Special - The Best Indie Games of E3 2017

    14/06/2017 Duration: 55min

    In this special additional episode of the Indie By Design podcast Stace Harman and John Robertson round-up and discuss those indie games that have stuck out for them from E3 2017 and chat about the nature of E3 as a forum for such games. Games discussed include: A Way Out, Materfall, Griftlands, Nidhogg 2, Donut County, Ruiner, The Swords of Ditto, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Nex Machina, Steamworld Dig 2 and more. A video version of this episode is available via YouTube. IndieByDesign.net Twitter: @indiebydesign - Facebook/indiebydesign - Patreon.com/indiebydesign

  • IBD #12 - Virginia and its creators, Variable State

    IBD #12 - Virginia and its creators, Variable State

    14/06/2017 Duration: 46min

    Is it a game, isn’t it a game – this is a question becoming increasingly popular in discussion about certain games and has certainly, for better or worse, been the central topic around which a lot of criticism of Variable State’s Virginia has revolved. We talk to the studio’s co-founder Jonathan Burroughs about his reaction to that question, whether it’s a meaningful point of enquiry, the design goals of Virginia and much more over the course of the interview coming. If you’ve ever played Virginia, and we recommend you do or at least watch some of the playthrough we have on our YouTube channel, you’ll know that it’s a game that celebrates ambiguity and subjectiveness in storytelling – and it’s these discussion about these aspects that kick off our conversation with Jonathan. Visit us at IndieByDesign.net - Twitter: @indiebydesign - Facebook.com/IndieByDesign - YouTube - Patreon.com/IndieByDesign   Music by Ben Prunty.

  • IBD #11 - Giant Sparrow / What Remains of Edith Finch Interview

    IBD #11 - Giant Sparrow / What Remains of Edith Finch Interview

    07/06/2017 Duration: 01h01min

    Giant Sparrow and the studio's creative director Ian Dallas state that their goal is to make the world a stranger, more interesting place. With both The Unfinished Swan and What Remains of Edith Finch they have certainly realised that ongoing ambition. Both The Unfinished Swan and Edith Finch are games that present striking, stylishly presented visual narratives and that feature poignant tales with ample room for personal interpretation. Their highly subjective stories make for games that will mean very different things to different people but, regardless of your personal take, both offer an interesting space to explore. It's with this notion in mind that we begin this week's hour-long chat with Ian Dallas, discussing how we, as players, determine the boundaries of our virtual playgrounds so as to better understand the freedom of our interactive journeys. A complete, 3-part, no-commentary playthrough of What Remains of Edith Finch can be found on our YouTube channel. Subscribe for games with no nonsense.  Bro

  • IBD Special - Patreon  Podcast Highlights

    IBD Special - Patreon & Podcast Highlights

    30/05/2017 Duration: 29min

    In this special episode of the Indie By Design podcast, hosts Stace Harman and John Robertson talk past and future. Featuring plans for the future of the podcast through the launch of a dedicated Patreon page – patreon.com/indiebydesign – and how support from the community will help bring about new content, in audio, video and written form. They also highlight some of the key themes and ideas discussed over the first ten episodes of the podcast with the likes of Dean Hall, The Chinese Room, Devolver Digital, Tequila Works and others.   Brought to you by the writers and creators of Independent By Design: Art & Stories of Indie Game Creation, the Indie By Design Podcast (IBD) is the show that goes behind the scenes to explore the world of game design and game designers. Visit us at IndieByDesign.net – Twitter: @IndieByDesign – Facebook/IndependentByDesign – patreon.com/indiebydesign  Music By Ben Prunty.

  • IBD #10 - Tequila Works / Rime

    IBD #10 - Tequila Works / Rime

    24/05/2017 Duration: 56min

    Spanish studio Tequila Works is responsible for both Rime and Deadlight. These games are very different in their presentation and forms of interaction, but they share an indelible quality that has resulted in deserved acclaim for their creator. The studio is young, having only formed in 2009 as a coming together of former employees of gaming companies as diverse as Blizzard, Sony and MercurySteam. Impressively, however, it has already found a voice and given us games that are impactful and memorable to a degree that more established studios have yet to achieve. Here Indie By Design host John Robertson talks to Tequila Works’ CEO and creative director Raul Rubio, as well as lead designer Kevin Sarda, about the design similarities and differences between Rime and Deadlight, the internal direction of the studio itself and how that affects its games and why the two are so dedicated to creating games. Brought to you by the writers and creators of Independent By Design: Art & Stories of Indie Game Creation, the

  • IBD #09 - Jason Rohrer Interview

    IBD #09 - Jason Rohrer Interview

    17/05/2017 Duration: 01h01min

    Jason Rohrer is one of the most admired and respected game designers amongst his peers. Whilst his games are typically considered too individual and challenging to garner wider commercial success across a mainstream audience, there’s no denying the influence he has on those interested in the art and design of videogames. In 2016 he became the first videogame creator to have a solo retrospective of work exhibited in a museum – with arguably his most famous release, Passage, positioned alongside the likes of home security MMO The Castle Doctrine and the impacting, experimental storytelling work Sleep is Death. Indie By Design host John Robertson talks to Rohrer about everything from his early life and how that has influenced him, his family and how those around him impacts his games, the drive for originality and his opinion on some of the less thoughtful responses to his work. Brought to you by the writers and creators of Independent By Design: Art & Stories of Indie Game Creation, the Indie By Design Podc

  • IBD #08 - The Chinese Room interview

    IBD #08 - The Chinese Room interview

    10/05/2017 Duration: 56min

    The Chinese Room was founded by husband and wife duo, Dan Pinchbeck and Jessica Curry. As writer and composer, Pinchbeck and Curry have led their studio to BAFTA wins for Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and helped define a genre with Dear Esther, a title that started life as a Source Engine mod. That latter title was in part a response to Pinchbeck’s frustration with games academia of the time, which he felt was too preoccupied with the theory of game design and not enough with the practical application of ideas. He’s kept a foot in the academic world thanks to his position as visiting lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, and ongoing discussions with PhD students. And that’s where we kick off this week’s hour-long chat, with discussion of The Chinese Room’s ties to the world outside of the day-to-day running of a successful indie studio. Later in the episode we talk about the delivery of story through game play, the danger of deskilling over the course of a long project, and Pinchbeck’s frustration with

  • IBD #07 - Ghost Town Games Interview

    IBD #07 - Ghost Town Games Interview

    03/05/2017 Duration: 57min

    Ghost Town Games has catapulted to fame following the success of its maiden release, Overcooked - winner of 2 BAFTAS. The game, which tasks players to work together to prepare, cook and serve food, has stolen the hearts of many thanks to its focus on co-ordination, co-operation and its ability to entice those that don’t usually even play games. It does all of this without muting its potential for complexity. Here we to talk Ghost Town’s co-founders and sole permanent members, Phil Duncan and Oli De-Vine, about move away from Frontier Developments, where they worked prior to starting their studio, the origins of Overcooked’s local multiplayer design philosophy, the art of building games to be played in a communal setting and more. Brought to you by the writers and creators of Independent By Design: Art & Stories of Indie Game Creation, the Indie By Design Podcast (IBD) is the show that goes behind the scenes to explore the world of game design and game designers. Visit us at indiebydesign.net - Twitter: @i

  • IBD #06 - Dean Hall

    IBD #06 - Dean Hall

    26/04/2017 Duration: 57min

    For many people, Dean Hall is synonymous with 2012’s free zombie mod, DayZ, which he created for Bohemia Interactive’s ARMA 2 while serving in the armed forces. The startling popularity of that mod led to it being officially acquired by Bohemia and to Hall himself working at the Czech Republic-based development studio on the standalone version of DayZ for two years, before leaving to found his own company in his native New Zealand.   RocketWerkz has since released Out of Ammo, co-developed abandoned title, Ion, and is now working on numerous other projects, including space-station simulation, Stationeers. Known for his outspoken and candid approach to discussing his work, his history and his experiences in the games industry, Dean Hall is also a keen mountaineer who has climbed Mount Cook and Mount Everest. Here, he talks about drawing on his life experiences to help inform his design philosophy, his undiminished desire to tinker with other people’s games and how forums and bulletin boards can sometimes offe

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