Larpwright and theorist Katherine Castiello Jones talks sexuality, intimacy, feminism and other hot topics in game design. Can a game about painting your nails make a point about intersecting axes of oppression? We certainly think so.
BACKSTORY is an ongoing series of interviews with game designers and other notable members of the role-playing community, hosted by Alex Roberts. This show is all about the person behind the work: how did they get into gaming? Why did they start designing? What are they most excited about for the future? Alex loves getting to know people, and you'll love coming along for the ride.
Experience designer, broadcaster and author Johnna Koljonen joins us to talk about the difference between role-play and character play, between feeling safe and being safe, and between design and tradition.
What do game design and education design have to say to each other? How about larp and VR? Larpwright and academic Evan Torner joins us to talk uncertainty, ideology, transparency, and other fun things hiding in your games.
Can games unite the mystical and the digital? Writer, game designer, and cyberwitch Kira Magrann is here to talk magic, technology, and her new digital zine, RESISTOR.
Kira on Twitter
Kira on Tumblr
A Cyborg Manifesto
Eliza Gauger’s Problem Glyphs
The Witch (2016)
Meg Baker on Rituals in Play
Mad About the Boy
Origins Game Fair
Vampire: The Masquerade
Strict Machine, in the Indie Mixtape Megamix
Just a Little Lovin’
I Say a Little Prayer
Coming Out Under Fire
Daughters of Bilitis
The War Birds Anthology
Freeform designer Sara Williamson chills and chats with Alex about co-designing, designing for bleed, designing adaptations, and the potential of touch as a game mechanic. Also: a few very exciting announcements.
Podcaster and Big Bad Con organizer Sean Nittner shares his love of Actual Play reporting, staying positive, and making gaming events safer and more inclusive. Key quote: “If you feel awkward or like you’re going outside your comfort zone… you’re probably on the right track.”
Game designer and computational linguist Kathryn Hymes shares her love of locksmithing, larpspotting, and the incredible power of play. Is this the golden age of gaming? We certainly think so.
Game designer Glenn Given joins Alex to talk about the theater, philosophy, taxonomy, loving analog games in a digital world, and the curious gratification found in following the rules. Want to hear Alex call Wittgenstein a dirty word? You should hear what she says about Hegel. This episode comes with a content warning for brief discussion of self-harm. Take care, heroes.
Shanna Germain, co-founder and Creative Director of Monte Cook games, joins Alex for a deep dive into her creative process and bevy of current projects. We chat about everything from the challenges and rewards of designing games for kids to the interesting parallels between the role-playing and kink communities. What could be more intriguing than that?
This episode we’re joined by game designer, graphic designer, illustrator, and Director of Marketing at Magpie Games: Sarah Richardson! She chats with Alex about designing, GMing, and what is really at the heart of the OSR movement. Plus: two very special announcements about two very special events!