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RPG Design Panelcast

The best panels and seminars about analog game design & publishing.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Episode 24 – How to Learn RPG Design

Everyone can design games, and we are here to help show you the way. We will teach you the basics and give you the resources to learning rpg design on your own. We provided attendants with a DVD full of podcast content and panel recordings. You can find much of that information at the link below: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/eibuw567kj9px3q/ScnQmP5A58 This was presented by Jason Pitre and Mark Diaz Truman. Episode 24: How to Learn RPG Design [ 53:41 ] Play Now | Play in Popup | Download (409)

53mins

29 Sep 2013

Rank #1

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Episode 159 - Anatomy of a Fight

Recorded at Metatopia 2017 Presented by Michael Malecki, Elsa Henry, Shervyn von Hoerl, Monica Speca. Join us for a workshop to create a combat system that could possibly allow for the fluid and chaotic nature of combat but not be overwhelmingly disruptive to play style. The first half of the panel will cover offensive and defensive theories. We will go over the positives and negatives of things such as Narrative play, Slow-Fu, and Physical Combat. After a brief Q&A, those who building a system are welcome to stay and workshop with experts.

59mins

23 Jun 2018

Rank #2

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Episode 242 - On Failure

Recorded at Metatopia 2019 Presented by Jason Morningstar, Jacqueline Bryk and Alastor Guzman.  Failure is baked into any creative discipline, but we rarely discuss it. In this panel we'll discuss our most noteworthy failures and the role failure plays in our process. The goal is to normalize failure and to learn from the occasionally dramatic mistakes of others. It may be funny, it may be sad, but it will definitely be interesting.

50mins

25 Jan 2020

Rank #3

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Episode 48 – The Writer’s Workshop

The Writer’s Workshop Recorded at Metatopia 2013 Presented by John Adamus. Here’s a chance for authors and creators to get answers to their writing questions as they work on developing their first, or tenth project. Questions often include issues of layout, editing costs, the best way to write to the reader, and the best way to take an idea from the abstract idea phase to the down-on-paper phase Episode 48: The Writer's Workshop [ 1:26:30 ] Play Now | Play in Popup | Download (286)

1hr 26mins

28 Feb 2015

Rank #4

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Episode 135 - The Confused State of Rulebooks

Recorded at Metatopia 2016 Presented by Joshua Yearsley, John Adamus, Dr. Jessica Hammer. Writing and editing rulebooks is still a black art, not an empirical science. In this panel, Dr. Jessica Hammer and professional editors John Adamus and Joshua Yearsley hash out the state of the rulebook. What works? What doesn't? Why do so many professionals (including us!) disagree about how to write good rulebooks? Why are so many rulebooks still bad, and what can we do about it? We won't have all the answers - maybe you'll help us find some. It is somewhere between a panel and a roundtable. We'll certainly have things to say and discuss with each other, but we absolutely welcome audience input to figure out what the world's thinking about. Apologies for the poor sound quality.

1hr 3mins

6 Jan 2018

Rank #5

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Episode 249 - Insights Forged in the Dark

Recorded at Metatopia 2019 Presented by Stras Acimovic, John LeBoeuf-Little. Blades in the Dark has led to a new generation of game designs such as Scum and Villainy, Band of Blades, and Mutants in the Night. In this panel, we dig into the toolset and what sets it apart from similar design traditions. What are the core principles behind designing games Forged in the Dark? Where can we grow and diverge from the core?

57mins

14 Mar 2020

Rank #6

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Episode 219 - DrivethruRPG

Recorded at Metatopia 2018 Presented by Christopher Tang "Getting Started With DriveThruRPG". Let's talk about how to interact with DriveThruRPG, some of the nitty gritty process but also the general principles to bear in mind and some of the things many people do not know like the details of the OGL, basic copyright law, the availability of Community Content programs, etc. Also taking audience questions liberally since I expect there will be those. We will also cover some of the ways the site has changed in the last year (mostly GDPR changes).

51mins

17 Aug 2019

Rank #7

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Episode 39 – Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition Analysis

Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition Analysis Presented by Rob Donoghue & Jason Pitre. So, the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons is out. Now it’s time to dig into the design and talk about the rules, procedures and advice that the game brings to the RPG design field. Let’s look at the crunchy bits! The companion reference to this discussion can be found on Rob Donoghue’s blog, where he discusses the Starter Set, the Player’s Handbook and the Monster Manual in detail. Episode 39: Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Analysis [ 55:00 ] Play Now | Play in Popup | Download (336)

54mins

7 Dec 2014

Rank #8

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Episode 185 - Navigating Consent in Gaming

Recorded at Metatopia 2018 Presented by Sam Saltiel, Brand Robins, Camdon Wright, Eli Eaton Good consent practice requires that consent is enthusiastic and informed. Let's talk about how to encourage a higher level of consent. We will discuss tools you can add at the table, but then we'll explore ways to integrate consent into the foundations of your design.

51mins

22 Dec 2018

Rank #9

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Episode 41 – Designing RPGs for Kids

Episode 41 – Designing RPGs for Kids Presented by Amanda Valentine, Tim Rodriguez & Krista White. Designing games intended for younger audiences doesn’t mean dumbing down. What are the additional challenges involved in making products to appeal to the younger set? Episode 41: Designing RPGs for Kids Play Now | Play in Popup | Download (216)

52mins

27 Dec 2014

Rank #10

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Episode 51 – RPG Podcasting and Design

Episode 51 – RPG Podcasting and Design This special episode is a crossover with The Jankcast and the Tabletop Superhighway podcasts. In this episode, I am speaking with Todd (Jankcast), Alex (Tabletop Superhighway) and Larry (Tabletop Superhighway) about how RPG Podcasting interacts with design, and what we see from our particular vantage points. Welcome to the RPG Design Jankcast Superhighway. Episode 51: RPG Podcasting and Design Play Now | Play in Popup | Download (181)

58mins

30 Mar 2015

Rank #11

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Episode 198 - Choice Mechanics

Recorded at Metatopia 2018 Presented by Anne Ratchat, Rob Donoghue In each game, players make choices starting character design/assignment. How does a designer balance creating meaningful decisions while balancing choice paralysis? How does the feel of the game change by increasing and decreasing choices available?

53mins

23 Mar 2019

Rank #12

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Episode 208 - GM Masterclass

Recorded at BreakoutCon 2019 Presented by Chris Spivey, Robin Laws, James Mendez Hodes, with moderation by Corey Reid Bring your thorniest GMing problems to our doughty panel, in a Q & A event focused on practical solutions to dilemmas both classic and new

53mins

1 Jun 2019

Rank #13

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Episode 200 - Publishing on a Tight Budget

Recorded at BreakoutCon 2019 Presented by Todd Crapper, Tim Rodriguez, Cheyenne Grimes with moderation by Bronwyn Friesen Not everyone has access to thousands of dollars or the benefit of a successful Kickstarter under their belt. Many indie publishers start off with financial difficulties, including poverty, but are driven to create new and exciting games. This panel looks to provide some "tips and tricks" for creating games on a tight budget or with no funds at all.

55mins

6 Apr 2019

Rank #14

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Episode 177 - Crowdfunding on a Budget

Recorded at Metatopia 2017 Presented by James D'Amato, Jim McClure, Laura Simpson. It is tempting to pour money into marketing a crowdfunding project. We'll discuss strategies you can use that take your project further without breaking your marketing budget.

1hr 14mins

27 Oct 2018

Rank #15

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Episode 214 - Kickstarter in 2019

Recorded at Metatopia 2018 Presented by Chandler Copenhaver, Steve Segedy and Christopher Batarlis. Kickstarter today is a different animal than it was a year or five years ago. Let's talk about the things you need to know if you're launching a campaign next year.

58mins

13 Jul 2019

Rank #16

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Episode 28 – Ebooks 101

Episode 28 of the RPG Design PanelCast is brought to you thanks to the Metatopia Game Design Festival by Double Exposure. D050: “Electronic Book Publishing 101” presented by Jason Pitre & Joseph Bloch. What are the differences between publishing hard copy books and electronic publishing? This panel will fill you in on everything you need to know, from standards and tools to markets for reaching your audience.  Episode 28: Ebooks 101 [ 52:25 ] Play Now | Play in Popup | Download (146)

52mins

2 Feb 2014

Rank #17

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Episode 188 - Productive Playtesting

Recorded at Metatopia 2018 Presented by Isaac Shalev, Gil Hova, Jennifer Graham-Macht. Join us for a roundtable conversation about how to get the best data from your time at the playtesting table. We'll discuss our experiences running playtests, and talk about common mistakes and how to avoid them

58mins

12 Jan 2019

Rank #18

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Episode 32 – How to be a Good Playtester for Others

How to be a Good Playtester for Others This seminar was originally presented at Metatopia 2013 in Morristown NJ. This panel was led byWill Hindmarch, Tim Rodriguez and John Adamus. Everyone agrees playtesting is crucial. But what kind of feedback is best for publishers? This panel looks at the necessary skills and mindset for being a good playtester from *this* side of the table. Episode 32: How to be a Good Playtester for Others [ 56:59 ] Play Now | Play in Popup | Download (226)

56mins

6 Apr 2014

Rank #19

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Episode 44 – Succeeding at Conventions and Trade Shows

Succeeding at Conventions and Trade Show Recorded at Metatopia 2013 Presented by Avonelle Wing Conventions are overwhelming, and setting yourself up for success involves many components: Branding yourself for visibility, interacting appropriately with the convention, maximizing the impact of your contact with your public, and other ideas. Double Exposure Senior Vice President, Avonelle Wing, will share her experiences, both as a convention organizer and as an attendee representing her own brands. Episode 44: Succeeding at Conventions and Trade Shows Play Now | Play in Popup | Download (153)

51mins

24 Jan 2015

Rank #20