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.
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.
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!
Sarah Lynne-Bowman, PhD, sits down with Alex to chat about educational larps, transformational larps, and what place words like “fun” and “self” can have in role-playing discourse. We also take a moment to defend that Lightning Bolt guy. See you at Living Games, heroes.
Designer and artist Laura Simpson chats with Alex about too many things to list! Highlights include her upcoming game Companion’s Tale, designing in community, and pretending to be a vampire on the internet. If you remember what a MUSH is, you’re in luck.
Tabletop game deigner Hannah Shaffer chats with Alex about collaborative design, collaborative worldbuilding, and finding one’s place in the roleplaying game community. We also briefly attempt to define the word “game,” but thankfully give up quickly.
It’s a very larpy episode with author, journalist, and larpwright Lizzie Stark. She shares her experiences and insights from long-form boffer campaigns, experimental Nordic larps, and much more.
For our inaugural episode, Alex chats with Fiasco creator Jason Morningstar. We discuss his early forays into game design, his philosophy of play, and exciting happenings in the world of larp. Have you gone to Ghost Court? You will.