Sun, 9 December 2007
On this anniversary episode of Master Plan, Ryan puts out an interview with Luke Crane he did at GenCon earlier in the year. They talk about the scene framing and pacing mechanics (or Disposition mechanics) in Burning Empires, partly sparked because Ryan didn't completely understand them when he and his group played it. Luke goes into detail about how he came up with various design goals and elements in that part of Burning Empires and also gives some insight in how to play the game.
Warning: There's a lot of profanity in this episode, and due to technical problems the interview has some severe audio degradations from 21:16 to 28:48.
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Thu, 29 November 2007
As the first episode in a series about busting assumptions in game design, Ryan talks with Ben Lehman about assumptions regarding game masters (or GMs). Ben has written three games that each deal with GM distribution differently: Polaris, which has no GM; Bliss Stage, which has a typical GM; and The Drifter's Escape, which has many GMs and one PC. Bringing these various experiences to the table, they unpack various assumptions and various design pitfalls. Afterwards, Ryan shares some random bits of advice he's found himself telling people lately.
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Sat, 10 November 2007
Ryan returns from nearly a month off to talk about a topic he's very passionate about: Emergent Play (or Emergent Behavior in Play). That is play that emerges from the people engaging and interactive with the text, but isn't a direct result of the instructions of the text. He goes into some examples to illustrate the idea from different vantage points: the board game Diplomacy, Call of Cthulhu, Paul Tevis' A Penny For My Thoughts, his own Know Thyself, and Beast Hunters. While he only scratched the surface, he looks forward to returning to this topic again.
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Wed, 10 October 2007
Ryan talks with Joshua BishopRoby of Kallisti Press about beta playtesting -- getting the game your working on playtested by people outside of your table. They talk about his current project that's in beta playtest, Sons of Liberty. Speaking both generally and using Sons of Liberty as an example, Joshua discusses what a "beta playtest" is, the issues in getting people to playtest, what he's looking for in feedback, and other playtesting topics. Ryan then talks about what he sees as the benefits, as a game designer, of playtesting someone else's game.
Sons of Liberty -- Beta Playtest until October 31st, 2007
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Thu, 27 September 2007
Ryan talks about doing the physical card production for his recent ashcan game, Know Thyself. As he ended up doing most of the production himself, he has a lot to say about the various steps in the process. He talks about the process after designing the cards: physically printing the cards, having the cards cut, collating the decks, etc., sharing with everyone the little problems and little successes he had in the process. After discussing that, Joshua BishopRoby pops on briefly to call upon all good patriots to playtest Sons of Liberty.
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Fri, 14 September 2007
Ryan sits down with Leonard Balsera of Evil Hat Productions and talks about a design concept central to the FATE -- the system used by Spirit of the Century and the upcoming Dresden Files RPG -- called the Fractal. They talk about this concept that treats elements larger and smaller than characters, like planets & possessions, the same way as characters are treated mechanically. Leonard also gives us a bit of an update on the Dresden Files RPG.
FATE & The Fractal:
Running time: 27:48 / File size: 19.7 MB
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Tue, 4 September 2007
While editing another episode, Ryan gets an audio comment from Paul Tevis about the last episode, The Siren Song of Cool, along with some questions. He takes a stab at addressing those comments and answering those questions, after thanking some of the folks he got to meet at GenCon.
Running time: 23:27 / File size: 16.5 MB
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Tue, 14 August 2007
Ryan tries his new format out with an episode talking about the Siren Call of Cool. He talks about how he's had to deal with problems around cool ideas he's had and thought he had with Know Thyself, and how the sort of problems you might have to deal with when it comes the confidence in your design and dealing with playtesters and people you talk with about your game. He apologizes for the roughness in the editing, but he had to push this out before leaving for GenCon.
Running time: 27:48 / File size: 20.3 MB
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Tue, 31 July 2007
Ryan talks with Jason Morningstar & Steve Segedy of Bully Pulpit Games, about The Shab-al-Hiri Roach and the design & production issues with making a role-playing game that involves a custom deck of cards. Ryan also talks about changes he's planning on making with the format of Master Plan, brings back his Design Watch segment for a brief moment and talks about how to find two things: him at GenCon and other podcasts on the Internet.
Bully Pulpit Games Interview
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Fri, 13 July 2007
Mike Sugarbaker & Paul Tevis sit down with Ryan at Go Play Northwest on Saturday evening and talk about the design collective they've put together. Paul & Ryan talk about playtesting at the convention, and all three talk about how they've set up the collective and what they've been getting out of it.
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