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The Game Design Round Table

Architecture & Design

Covering the full breadth of digital, tabletop, and role playing games, The Game Design Round Table inspires and educates aspiring and experienced game designers.


United States


Covering the full breadth of digital, tabletop, and role playing games, The Game Design Round Table inspires and educates aspiring and experienced game designers.






#304 Listener Questions November 2023

It’s time for another round of listener questions! In this episode, Dirk and David field questions from the community, discussing a variety of subjects. Topics include the validity and usefulness of player taxonomies, the pros and cons of game jams, and the considerations that go into creating an expansion for physical and digital products.


#303 Darkest Dungeon 2 with Chris Bourassa and Tyler Sigman

This week, David is joined by Chris Bourassa, creative director and cofounder of Red Hook Studios, as well as Tyler Sigman, designer and fellow co-founder. Together, they discuss Red Hook’s latest venture, Darkest Dungeon 2, the road trip sequel to Darkest Dungeon. Topics include the risks involved in making a sequel, the use and pitfalls of early access, the danger in releasing a roadmap, and where Red Hook is going from here.


#302 Wildermyth with Nate Austin

Dirk and David are joined by Nate Austin, co-creator of myth-making tactical RPG Wildermyth. In this entry in the series on worldbuilding, Nate describes the origins of Wildermyth, and how he and his partners grew the game into a true success. The trio also discuss how Wildermyth’s mechanics lead to a character focused over plot focused story, as well as how the game approach death and character progression. Other topics include using different styles of game writing, how systems change, and the perceived conflict between market appeal to story players and more complex mechanics.


#301 Design and Controls with Richard Lemarchand

Dirk is joined by returning guest host Soren Johnson in today's episode in the Design Talk series. Dirk and Soren speak with Richard Lemarchand, distinguished game designer and now-professor most well-known for his work on the Uncharted series. Richard details his journey through his game design career, and the skills and processes he learned along the way. Special consideration is given to control design, and the importance of them on game feel and playability.


#300 Tricentennial Celebration

Welcome to episode 300 of The Game Design Round Table! Dirk and David take the opportunity to celebrate this momentous milestone. They reflect on the role the show has played in their lives, their own journeys as designers, and hear from friends new and old. Thank you all for listening, whether this is your first episode or you’ve been listening from the beginning.


#299 Worldbuilding with Ryan Laukat

Dirk is joined by Ryan Laukat, designer, illustrator, and co-founder of Red Raven Games, for the second installation in this series on worldbuilding. Ryan discusses his introduction and path into game design, the creation of Red Raven Games, and different methods that can be used to worldbuild. Topics include the importance of maps, how storybooks are utilized, the benefits and drawbacks of mixed medium board games, and branching narratives.


#298 Tchia with Phil Crifo

Today on the show, Dirk and David are joined by Phil Crifo, game director at Awaceb, most prominently known for his work on Fossil Echo and Tchia. He discusses growing up in New Caledonia, and how it serves as an influence on the creation of Tchia. Topics include the history of New Caledonia and colonization, creating a world based on difficult histories, making an engaging open world, and what soul jumping actually is.


#297 Gerson Da Silva Talks Kingdom Rush

Dirk and David are joined by Gerson Da Silva, Director at Ironhide Game Studio and co-founder of Totem Games. Gerson is best known for his work on the Kingdom Rush series, as well as Water 2050. This episode delves into alternative paths into game design, as well as how to adapt a game to audiences of different investment levels. Topics include the benefit of reaching out to subject experts, innovating on a genre, choosing a market, and how to leave design space for variety and maximizing mass appeal.


#296 Listener Questions

Dirk and David gather for another round of listener questions! They answer how to balance mechanical options and variety in a game, trends in how genres are under- or over-utilized, and the impact of live streaming on designing and marketing a game. Topics include the evolution of Legend of the Five Rings, the gameplay loops of extraction shooters and battle royales, and polarizing opinions on the idle/clicker genre.


#295 Kingdoms and Castles with Lion Shield Studios

Dirk is joined by Pete Angstadt and Michael Peddicard, co-founders of Lion Shield Studios, to talk about the design and success of Kingdoms and Castles. They discuss designing in the city builder genre, as well as how they structure their studio. Topics include how they decided on an art style, ethical employment and business growth, the power of their game systems, and the history of ancient Rome.


#294 Worldbuilding with Kaitlin Tremblay

Dirk and David join Kaitlin Tremblay, fiction and collaborative game design author and co-founder of Soft Rains Games. In this inaugural episode in the new series of Worldbuilding, the table discusses what role worldbuilding plays in creating a game world, and how a project changes when forced into a group environment. Topics include AAA vs Indie worldbuilding, finding curiosity, how the real world influences fictional worlds, and learning to let go.


#293 Interview with Mark Rosewater

Dirk and David interview Mark Rosewater, the long-time lead designer of the legendary card game Magic: the Gathering. Mark shares his wisdom on how to make a game that can continue to be designed over time, as well as how games can excite different kinds of players. Topics include how Mark got his start in game design, the usage of player psychographics, how to design tools not solutions, and different design techniques to improve the longevity of a game.


#292 TGDRT Roundtable With Dirk and David

Dirk and David take a stroll down memory lane and discuss their personal journeys, as well as the evolution the show has taken. They discuss the process of taking on a leadership role, the influence of the market on the enjoyment of game design, how game design as a practice and industry has changed over the last decade and more, and the future of The Game Design Round Table.


#291 Tana Tanoi Talks Mini Motorways

Tana Tanoi, technical designer at Dinosaur Polo Club, joins Dirk to discuss designing Mini Motorways and Mini Metro, as well as what goes into designing games that simulate the real world. Topics include the power of simulation, the difficulties in making a realistic yet entertaining city builder, differences in scale between mobile and desktop games, and knowing when a prototype has hit the mark.


#290 Sustainability in Games with Carlos Flores and jess Metheringham

Carlos Flores, director of NABERS, and Jess Metherigham, chair of Unlock Democracy, join Dirk in discussing the Green Games Guide, a resource geared towards sustainability in games, and the reality of what it takes to make a game truly sustainable. Topics include real-world concerns of environmental policy, what options are available to companies both large and small, the expenses involved with making a sustainable game, and transitioning consumers into new materials and product quality.


#289 AI and Generative Content with Matt Kim

Matt, Creative Director for Inworld AI, joins Dirk and David to talk about the potential of generative AI to push the boundaries of what games can do. The three discuss how AI has developed, and what possibilities the technology may hold. Topics include the history of AI, how Inworld serves game developers, current practical uses for AI tools, and how player-driven experiences can be created to draw people together.


#288 Augmented Reality in Games with Graham Moore

AR game designer Graham Moore joins Dirk and David to talk about his work merging tabletop wargaming with augmented reality technology. Topics discussed include how AR can benefit wargaming, the balance of information clarity and tactical decision making, and how things like variable setup options and additional data can help gamers feel better about victory and defeat. Graham also talks about the experience of working with his son on their game project and offers some advice for game designers.


#287 Diving Into Cards With Rob Daviau

Former cohost Rob Daviau joins Dirk and David to discuss card games in the context of his upcoming game Unmatched Adventures. After catching up on the state of Rob’s company Restoration Games, the trio start their deep dive into the card game Unmatched, including its origins with Star Wars: Epic Duels and what makes the system deep enough for tournament play but simple enough for casual or family play. Rob also talks about adding co-op to the system with Unmatched Adventures, and the challenges that came with making it backwards compatible with previous Unmatched sets. The group ends the show talking about cards as components. Link for crowdfunding campaign:


#286 Listener Questions February 2023

Kathryn rejoins Dirk and David to answer several questions from listeners in our Discord channel. Former cohost Rob Daviau also records a bonus answer to a question about legacy games.


#285 Round Table on Knowing “When”

In another round table episode, Kathryn joins Dirk and David to discuss three previous episodes on the podcast. The first topic is a discussion on information presentation, specifically how much info to include on cards. The middle topic covers unique types of games that the hosts have always enjoyed and wished they could see more of. Finally, the trio talks at length about the tricky art of knowing when to ship a game and how to set a deadline.