Design Doc

Join Hannah and Evan on a journey in analog game design as they set out to redesign their first roleplaying game, Questlandia. Are you a junk poet or a world weaver? Can you Kickstart a roleplaying game in a three-ring binder?  It’s as close to live game design as it gets, and we’re inviting you along for the ride!

Hannah grew up on point-and-click adventures games and purple-aquamarine ‘90s tracksuits, and never really grew out of it. She designs games around themes of queerness, empathy, and optimistic nihilism. You can find more of her work at makebigthings.com, where she creates board and roleplaying games as part of the Make Big Things co-op.

Evan is an avid player and creator of both tabletop and coimputer games. He’s worked previously on Questlandia, 14 Days, Noirlandia, and is developing the upcoming video game Goblin Diplomat. His favorite game is Go. If you ask, he will definitely play Go with you.

24. We Still Don’t Know Who the Junk Poets Are

Who are the Junk Poets and what do they add to Questlandia? We go over what we know, what’s still missing, and how they could make a GMless game easier to play!

Full Show Notes

23. Finding the Game’s Emotional Core

We’ve finished the first two playtests of Questlandia and something is still missing. In this episode we talk about how to hone in on the emotional core of the game. What stories does this game want to tell and how do we make sure it tells them?

Full Show Notes

22. Playtesting Progress Part 2: The Spinning Mountain

After playtesting Questlandia’s new kingdom and character creation, it’s time to test some scenes! Bartholomew the anxious city planner and Quincy the cast out justice-bringer will have to make some hard choices. Choices that begin with a cat and end with a geological anomaly. Intro/Outro theme music – by Pat King

Full Show Notes

21. Playtesting Progress Part 1: Knotty Business

Welcome to Kingdom Knot, where our people keep vigil over the void at the edge of the world. Something has emerged from that void—a creature for which we have no words, of which we have no memory. For now, we will call it…a “cat.” Music credits: Design Doc Intro/Outro theme written by Pat King Also...

Full Show Notes

20. Make-Believe History

Alanna Shaffer joins us to talk about how, even when telling made-up stories, we can be aware of biases in the way we think about history.

Full Show Notes

19. Whoops, It’s a Dystopia

Why are our worlds turning out so horrible? We talk about how the framing for worldbuilding can exaggerate a society to cartoonish levels.

Full Show Notes

18. It’s Trans Awareness Week

It’s Trans Awareness Week. A short bonus episode about trans allyship, education, and creating better gaming spaces. Trans Awareness Week: https://www.glaad.org/transweek The Trans Language Primer: https://www.translanguageprimer.org/

Full Show Notes

17. Games Are Political

We talk about acknowledging—and embracing—the inherent politics of game design. Voting: https://votesaveamerica.com/ Intro music credits: New Ages 1 from Little Big Dog Ears. http://opsound.org/artist/littledogbigears/ http://opsound.org/info/license/ Design Doc Theme by Pat King.

Full Show Notes
Hannah S andogyn 2 (1)

Hannah Shaffer

Evan Rowland

Follow Design Doc on Twitter