DiscoverYes Indie'd Pod
Yes Indie'd Pod
Claim Ownership

Yes Indie'd Pod

Author: Thomas M

Subscribed: 29Played: 883


Do I like game design? Yes, indie'd! A podcast of bitesize interviews with indie tabletop roleplaying game creators about their work and game design theory & practice. Releases every two weeks.
143 Episodes
Support the show! Today, we're talking to Quintin Smith aka Quinns, who has been reviewing boardgames for more than a decade with the iconic show, Shut Up and Sit Down. Then about 3 years ago, Quintin joined People Make Games to cover everything from Roblox's relationship to child labour to the battle for ownership and control of Disco Elysium, from the revival of kabaddi in India to phenomenon that is jubensha in china. Now, he's gone and started Quinns Quest, a new youtube channel to review tabletop roleplaying games that feels like a lot like that one weird show where William Riker from Star Trek looked at the camera and asked us if we believed in ghosts. Don't worry, listeners, we're going to ask the question on everyone's mind: why? Show Notes: [00:02:00] What makes a good review? [00:08:02] Horror versus Tension: one of the challenges of reviewing RPGs [00:16:12] Would you ever do a bad review? [00:23:22] Why playing games are vital for reviews [00:40:44] Infectious Enthusiasm: World Wide Wrestling by Nathan Paoletta [00:43:26] Tyranny of Numbers: Youtube drop-off [00:45:12] Replay [00:50:31] All Advice is Advice For Myself: Use your hands? Other references: I mentioned an article by Quinn Murphy which talks about promises, consistency and economy, you can find that here If you liked this podcast, you'll probably love the Indie RPG Newsletter
Support the show! On this episode, we have Hannah Schaffer and Evan Rowland, the two creators behind indie game design outfit, turtlebun. They've published games like Questlandia, Noirlandia, Damn the man save the music, Mud: a golem memoir, and many more. You can find more about those games at Evan and Hannah also co-host a podcast called Design Doc , which is in their own words, about "trying to make a living as people putting things out in the world". If you read any reviews of that show, you'll hear it being described with words like honest, vulnerable, caring, friendly. It's one of my favourite podcasts in the world and you should listen to it. Then, you can too get vulnerable insights into the daily practice of being a game designer and you can also learn that Carrie Fisher once overtweezed Hannah's mom eyebrows at a workshop. Follow them on Instagram Show Notes: 02:46 Getting started (Evan reinvents microtransactions) 09:07 Going from making big things to making medium-small things 11:30 Getting deep with Design Doc 25:00 What is collaboration and how do you even do it? 36:25 Infections Enthusiasm: The Beast and Usagi Yojimbo 39:40 Tyranny of Numbers 43:46 RePlay 45:33 All Advice Is Advice For Myself Some of my personal greatest hits from Design Doc : Burnout A Cat in the Lap and Other Good Things The Work of Games is Not Just Making Games The Games You Want To Make The Life You Want To Live
Support the show! Today, we're talking to Graham Walmsley, the celebrated game designer behind tabletop RPGs like Cthulhu Dark and A Taste for Murder, larps like Will That Be All, and lovecraftian scenarios for games like Trail of Cthulhu. He's also the author of two non-fiction books called Stealing Cthulhu about telling lovecraftian stories and Play Unsafe about techniques for being a better player of tabletop games. This year, he's got two new games out, Cosmic Dark, a sequel to Cthulhu Dark about corporate employees in space, and Darkenwood, a GM-less game about a nightmarish forest. Show Notes: 01:41 Introducing Graham 03:07 Starting with Lovecraft 12:08 What is weird fiction? 16:55 All the cool stuff in Cosmic Dark 26:24 Rules, advice, setting 39:22 Infectious Enthusiasm: Lumberjills by Moira Turkington 41:50 Tyranny of Numbers 43:44 RePlay 46:25 All Advice is Advice for Myself The Indie RPG Newsletter
⁠Support this show! This week, we're talking to Nico MacDougall and returning guest Tan Shao Han about The Awards, an alternative tabletop RPG awards project. Show Notes: 03:56 Introductions 13:31 Being a judge 16:09 The process of picking a winner 21:30 Who should be a judge? 25:36 Infectious Enthusiasm 27:59 Tyranny of Numbers: Breaking down submissions to the Awards 31:02 All Advice is Advice for Myself
Support this show! Today we're talking to Max and Aaron from RTFM. Maxwell Lander is a game designer, photographer, visual artist, and also musician with an album of dungeon synth. Aaron King is a game designer whose works including Patchwork World Sixth Edition. They are both the co-hosts of RTFM, an RPG book club podcast. Show Notes: [00:02:49] Why start an RPG bookclub podcast? [00:14:43] What each person brings to the table [00:28:47] Critiquing RPGs as an artform [00:41:24] Infectious Enthusiasm: Sagas of the Icelanders, Bloodfeud [00:45:03] Tyranny of Numbers [00:50:08] RePlay [00:53:13] All Advice is Advice For Myself: Prep more, be less? Other Links: It's up to you really, an all vtuber actual play of Patchwork World
A guest episode on the feed today as I share with you something from the folks over at Playing at the Hearth, the podcast from the Open Hearth gaming community. It's a nice, welcoming online place where people from all over the place get together and play games. It's like having access to a convention all year round. If you'd like to join, head over to their website. This episode has members of the community sharing their favourite games played in 2023. Lot of cool games mentioned and I add my 2 cents at the very end but I also got to play in two campaigns mentioned by other people which was Capitalites and Nahual.
Support the show on PatreonIn this round-up episode for 2023, every single one of my guests sounds off about one game that they want to recommend to you![00:02:05] Judd Karlmann recommends Into the Odd, The Between, and As The Sun Forever Sets [00:05:55] Lowell Francis recommends Eclipse Phase 2nd Edition [00:08:27] Jahmal Brown recommends Legacy: Life Among The Ruins 2nd Edition[00:12:05] Indrani Ganguly recommends Alice is Missing, Blase Monotony, and Bubble Bubble [00:13:55] Tan Shao Han recommends The Nightmares Underneath [00:17:07] Fiona Hopkins and Stephanie Burt recommend Wool of Bat and Monsterhearts [00:20:20]  Paul Beakley recommends a|state and Fellowship [00:24:08] Becky Annison recommends Escape from Tentacle City [00:27:38] Emily Friedman recommends The Quiet Year [00:29:46] Chris Chinn recomends Errant [00:31:58] Josh Fox recommends Microscope and Microscope Union [00:35:23] Evan Torner recommends PrismListen to the other round-up episodes of 2023 on the Yes Indie'd patreon!Support the showThe Yes Indie'd Website // The Indie RPG Newsletter
Support the show on PatreonEvan Torner is the Associate Professor of German Studies and Film / Media Studies at University of Cincinnati. He's the Director, UC Game Lab and has a co-edited volume (with William J. White) entitled Immersive Gameplay: Essays on Role-Playing and Participatory Media. He's also co-founder and one of the editors at Analog Game Studies, which has been publishing research into RPGs and larps for more than ten years, and the Golden Cobra Challenge, which is a larp competition. He's a lifelong game master and a game designer and larpwright including his freeform scenario “Metropolis” was nominated for an award at Fastaval.Show Notes:[00:02:38] Starting out as a GM[00:10:02] Railroading Is Good Actually[00:22:20] Actor stance is "commercially default, not culturally default"[00:29:43] Where do tabletop RPGs stand in game studies?[00:39:55] Game design as media analysis[00:45:19] Infectious Enthusiasm: Prism by Whitney Delaglio[00:46:54] Tyranny of Numbers[00:49:17] RePlay[00:51:21] All Advice Is Advice For Myself Transcript of the entire episode can be found here.Support the showThe Yes Indie'd Website // The Indie RPG Newsletter
Support the show on PatreonThe is the second in a series of special episodes meant to teach some of my favourite indie RPGs. Tune in to hear Andrew Gillis, designer of the stunning Girl by Moonlight. In Girl by Moonlight, you play a group of magical girls resisting an oppressive society. It explores the heartbreak of denying who you really are, and the transcendent power of relationships and community. It's one of the best games to come out of the lineage of Blades in the Dark and will undoubtedly inspire a slew of games in its own right. You can learn more on the Evil Hat website or on the Backerkit page. Transcript of the entire episode can be found here.Chapter Markers:[00:05:32] Introduction to Girl by Moonlight, Series Creation,  [00:11:12] Character Creation: Playbook, Roles, Backgrounds [00:18:24] Character Creation: Obligation, Actions, Attributes, Promises [00:35:29]  Cycle of Plays, Obligation Phase   [00:46:46]  Downtime Phase [00:49:49]  Mission Phase, Engagement Roll, Action Roll, Position/Effect, Resistance Roll [01:16:57] Fallout, Campaign TracksSupport the showThe Yes Indie'd Website // The Indie RPG Newsletter
Support the show on PatreonJosh Fox is the award-winning designer of Flotsam: Adrift Amongst The Stars and Last Fleet. He's the co-designer of the highly influential GMless mystery game, Lovecraftesque alongside Becky Annison. And the two of them together run Black Armada Publishing, a UK-based publisher which has been putting out inventive roleplaying games for more than a decade. Josh is also the editor and cast member of Black Armada Tales, an actual play podcast that features a bunch of different indie games.Lovecraftesque 2e is crowdfunding on BackerKit right now.Show Notes:04:18 - How Black Armada Began (2012)08:17 - Lovecraftesque (2015)25:34 - Lovecraftesque in Italian + Blacklight/UV Artwork30:10 - Gaps in releases (2015-2017) 33:16 - Flotsam (2018)41: 41 - Collaborations + Bite Marks (2019)45:01 -  Last Fleet (2020)1:00:44 - Financial Side of Publishing1:05:44 - Lovecraftesque 2e (2023)1:14:15 - Infectious Enthusiasm: Microscope Union1:16:39 - Tyranny of Numbers: Backerkit Advertising1:22:33 - All Advice is Advice For Myself: Speaking Out LoudSupport the showThe Yes Indie'd Website // The Indie RPG Newsletter
Hello! A cross-post in the feed today. This in an episode I did with Sam Dunnewold for his podcast, Dice Exploder, where every episode is a deep dive into a single RPG mechanic (usually) from a specific game. I talk about the Secondary Mission roll from Band of Blades which is a very cool mechanic that I love to think about. It basically inspired me to make a whole game at one point. This is an early release of the episode. It'll only be on Dice Exloder's feed by the end of the month. It's a great podcast and I totally recommend subscribing on your podcatcher of choice. Sam is also crowdfunding a third season of Dice Exploder, so check that out as well. Support the showThe Yes Indie'd Website // The Indie RPG Newsletter
Support the show on PatreonThe first episode in a series of special episodes meant to teach some of my favourite indie RPGs. Listen in to hear Rae Nedjadi, designer of Apocalypse Keys, teach you how to play his game. In Apocalypse Keys, you play OMEN-class monsters working for an organisation named DIVISION tasked with holding back the apocalypse. Inspired by Hellboy and BPRD, the players struggle to find Keys before the villainous Harbingers unlock the Doors of Power and bring doom on the world. You can learn more on the Evil Hat website or on the itch page. Transcript of the entire episode can be found here.Timestamps:[00:05:36] Part One - Introduction[00:12:46] Part Two - Character Creation: Name, Origins, Prophecy[00:24:19] Part Three - Darkness Tokens, Powers of Darkness, What the Darkness Demands[00:35:28] Part Four - Basic Moves, Conditions[01:00:00] Part Five - Ruin, Ruin Moves, Bonds, End of Session[01:13:53] Part Six - Building out DIVISION, Running A MysterySupport the showThe Yes Indie'd Website // The Indie RPG Newsletter
Support the show on PatreonLayla Adelman, who goes by the handle pandatheist in RPG spaces, is a rpg designer, writer, and serial twitter thread writer. She's one of the co-designers of the Illuminated Worlds system for Critical Role's Darrington Press. This is the system which powers Candela Obscura and potentially other unannounced games. She was an Ennies judge two years. She blogs over at Bone Box Chant at, including a major series collating and analysing statistics around Kickstarter's ZineQuest and a series of interviews with TTRPG editors. You can follow her on BlueSky and Mastodon.Show Notes:01:04 - Layla's Introduction08:18 - Masks of Nyarlathotep and GMing like an editor15:53 - Layla's approach to reviewing29:26 - Tips for writing a good rulebook35:48 - Games Layla is excited about39:54 - Tyranny of Numbers41:11 - All Advice Is Advice For MyselfSupport the showThe Yes Indie'd Website // The Indie RPG Newsletter
Support the show on Patreon Dave is a youtuber, reviewer and game designer. His Youtube channel, Dave Thaumavore RPG Reviews, currently has about 180 videos and more than 25,000 subscribers. He's also got a great newsletter where he publishes written interviews game design luminaries. Links to all of this stuff will be in the show notes. He's designed supplements for the Index Card RPG but his most recent standalone game is Fluxfall Horizon, a zany, scifi PbtA game of dimension hopping do-gooders (and some potential do-badders). Show Notes:00:52 - Introducing Dave01:56 - Youtube journey and the challenge of constant comparison with other creators09:29 - Dave's process15:34 - Making sponsored content16:55 - Favorite games to review21:43 - Do reviewers have to play games?35:52 - Advice for reviewers38:12 - Infectious Enthusiasm: Wanderhome39:22 - Tyranny of Numbers41:45 - All Advice is Advice for MyselfSupport the showThe Yes Indie'd Website // The Indie RPG Newsletter
Support the show on PatreonChristopher Chinn is the blogger behind the long-running and well-loved Deeper in the Game blog. He's probably best-known for the Same Page Tool. But started in 2007, the blog has 15 years of thoughtful and insightful writing and advice on RPG design and play. Show Notes:01:17 - Introducing Chris02:54 - The origin of the blog (also "rules are for preventing bitterness between friends")9:56 - How Chris learned to ditch the railroad and embrace improvisation23:34 - On playing with and writing for geeks of color26:35 - Why the Same Page Tool  shouldn't exist37:38 - Advice for new bloggers41:29 - Infectious Enthusiasm: Errant43:37 - Tyranny of Numbers46:20 - Replay: Tenra Bansho Zero48:49 - All Advice Is Advice For MyselfSupport the showThe Yes Indie'd Website // The Indie RPG Newsletter
Support the show on PatreonEmily C. Friedman is an associate professor of English at Auburn University and director of 18thconnect, a website dedicated to scholarship of the 18th century. Though an 18th-century literature scholar and critic by training, Emily is now one of the foremost chroniclers of the phenomenon we call actual play. She teaches games and actual play in the classroom and regularly writes about actual play on gaming website, Polygon. In fact, as of recording this, we're close to the one year anniversary of her first piece on Polygon, about New York by Night, a Vampire the Masquerade AP. She's also working on a book titled Improvised Worlds: Digital Storytelling Through Play. Also, here's her youtube channel, CriticalProf.Show Notes:00:46 - Emily's bio02:28 - How did you start working on actual play?09:22 - What is actual play anyway?15:39 - The state of actual play today23:07 - Examples of actual play that break the form36:52 - Infectious Enthusiasm: The Quiet Year38:42 - Tyranny of Numbers40:07 - All Advice Is Advice For Myself If you'd like a written transcript for this episode, you can find it here. Support the showThe Yes Indie'd Website // The Indie RPG Newsletter
Support the show on PatreonOn this episode, I'm talking to Becky Annison, the co-founder of UK-based design company, Black Armada Games. She's the award-winning designer of When the Dark Is Gone, part of the Seven Wonders anthology from Pelgrane Press. And is probably best known for the high drama werewolf game, Bite Marks, and GM-less mystery game, Lovecraftesque, on which she's the co-designer. When she's not working on games, she's a lawyer who works on high level climate change issues. Check out Wreck This Deck on Backerkit.Show notes:00:41 - Becky's Introduction05:25 - Being the UK's Queen of the Werewolves10:18 - Wreck This Deck20:18 - Favourite Demon27:43 - Infectious Enthusiasm: Escape From Tentacle City30:47 - RePlay35:30 - All Advice Is Advice For MyselfIf you'd like a written transcript for this episode, you can find it here.Support the showThe Yes Indie'd Website // The Indie RPG Newsletter
Support the show on PatreonThis week, we're talking to Paul Beakley has been involved with the games industry since at least the mid 1990s. He's a Game Chef finalist, a Golden Cobra honourable mention, and an official designer/adventure module writer for games like Deadlands, Earthdawn, Mutant Chronicles and more. He's also been writing about games for a long time, across various websites, forums, and magazines like Pyramid and Inphobia. But we're here today to talk about the Indie Game Reading Club, which began on the long lost shores of GooglePlus in 2015. It's now a standalone website and slack community where there's a lot of great writing and discussion of small-press storygames. I love reading it and you will too!Show notes:1:38 - Starting the Indie Game Reading Club16:32 - Why do we write about games?21:31 - Roleplaying as faith practice26:03 - How to be critical without being mean38:02 - Who is your audience?43:54 - Infectious Enthusiasm: a|state, Fellowship49:58 - Tyranny of Numbers: the economics of criticism51:53 - RePlay59:30 - All Advice Is Advice For MyselfThis episode was edited by Gabriel Caetano.Support the showThe Yes Indie'd Website // The Indie RPG Newsletter
Support the show on PatreonOn this episode, I'm chatting with Fiona Hopkins and Stephanie Burt, who are the co-hosts of Team Up Moves, a podcast about playing and discussing superhero tabletop RPGs. I'm a big fan of the podcast and so I reached out to the two of them. Apart from RPGs, Fiona is a front-end software engineer by trade who worked at Google, Twitter, the City of Boston and now the Democratic party. Stephanie is a poet and a professor of English at Harvard University. She's also a critic, who has published a number of books, which you can read about on her Wikipedia page, which she has. Show Notes:00:43 - Introducing Fiona and Stephanie01:51 - Why supeheroes?13:28 - Analyzing superhero RPGs34:01 - Picking games for the podcast44:02 - Infections Enthusiasm: Wool of Bat, Monsterhearts 250:21 - Tyranny of Numbers52:13 - All Advice Is Advice For Myself You can find a written transcript of the episode here.Support the showThe Yes Indie'd Website // The Indie RPG Newsletter
Support the show on PatreonOn this episode, we're talking to Tan Shao Han, a TTRPG designer, writer, and cultural consultant from Singapore. He's contributed words to various Paizo Pathfinder books, including Lost Omens: Impossible Lands, new Dagger Isles supplement for Blades in the Dark, and other games like Monster Care Squad and ARC.He's the co-founder of Curious Chimeras, a company that makes games and games-adjacent interactive experiences. Shao Han interestingly did his Master’s Thesis on tabletop role-playing games and their ability to engage, empower and educate.Show notes:00:27 - Shao Han's bio01:41 - Learning D&D from videogame manuals08:01 - Merging gaming and history and mythology23:08 - Da Xia, a WIP game of folk heroes in WW2 Singapore24:04 - Showcasing indie RPGs in the community33:42 - Infectious Enthusiasm: The Nightmares Underneath36:28 - Tyranny of Numbers37:48 -  RePlay38:46 - All Advice Is Advice For MyselfYou can find a written transcript of the episode here.Support the showThe Yes Indie'd Website // The Indie RPG Newsletter
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store