Something From Nothing - Game Designer Hangout list by episode
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Starting with the first broadcast on September 8, 2013, Something From Nothing is an hour-long boardgame designer Google Hangout recorded live every other Sunday at 8PM EST.

Created by a group of Twitter friends, the goal of Something From Nothing is to help inspire and improve the game design process through a relaxed conversation with noted Game Designers and our panel of regulars. During the show, we field questions from a live audience on Twitter (through the hashtag #btgsfn), show off some of our recent projects, and focus on collaboration, solving problems we are currently experiencing with our prototypes. And of course, we also fight our spotty internet connections.

Each week, one or two special guest designers are invited on air to jump into the conversation and talk about their unique perspective on gaming.

This is a list with a link to all current episodes on Youtube and the special guests that were featured.

(For those listening in public, please note that there is no filter given to guests or hosts and that while infrequent, there is adult language used.)
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1. Board Game: Scallywags [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:8046]
TC Petty III
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9/8/13: The Pilot episode where we introduce our faces to each other and drink a surprising amount of adult beverages. No special guests, simply four designers talking shop.

Topics: Rules writing, Theme expectations, Skill-check variations, Victory Conditions

Regulars:
Chevee Dodd
Jason Slingerland
Rob Couch
T.C. Petty III

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2. Board Game: Alien Frontiers [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:132]
TC Petty III
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Carlisle
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9/22/13: The second episode, and the first episode to include some special guests to the usual line-up. Also, expect Tory's new Breaking Bad meth-cooking deck-builder to be released in the near future.

Topics: Adding nuance to elegant systems, Chit-pull mechanics, mitigation of luck, game-breaking moments

Special Guests:
Tory Niemann
United States
Maricopa
Arizona
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Daniel Solis
United States
Durham
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Regulars:
Chevee Dodd
Jason Slingerland
Rob Couch
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3. Board Game: Kings of Air and Steam [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1176]
TC Petty III
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10/6/13: Episode 3: The episode that almost never happened. The technical difficulties were mounting and just as we all were about to throw our hands in the air and give up, it all came together with a late-start. Prolific designers throwing ideas around like candy!

Topics: Meeting publishers, Storytelling games, Children's games, Rejection, Boring themes

Special Guests:
Scott Almes
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Corey Young
United States
Dayton
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Regulars:
T.C. Petty III
Rob Couch
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4. Board Game: Scoville [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:503]
TC Petty III
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10/20/13: In the exciting fourth episode of Something From Nothing, Orcas... IN SPACE! Also, you should probably attend Protospiel and Unpub 4.

Topics: Tacked-on mechanics, Moments of Inspiration, Complexity vs. Feel, Feedback from other Designers.

Special Guest:
Ed P Marriott
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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Regulars:
Chevee Dodd
Jason Slingerland
T.C. Petty III
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5. Board Game: Eight-Minute Empire [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:891]
TC Petty III
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Carlisle
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11/3/13: Episode 5 is our first episode with 6 gorgeous game designer faces and the brand-new Google Hangout interface. T.C. explains Boardgamehour incorrectly (use #boardgamehour Mondays at 2PM EST, and tweet about the topic), #Nagademon is explained correctly by Isaac, and hopefully these hashtags persuade more designers to jump onto Twitter.

Topics: Hiding math, Self-indulgent Prototyping, Kickstarter/self-publishing, Math vs. Feel, Creativity

Special Guests:
Isaac Shalev
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
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Ryan Laukat
United States
Sandy
Utah
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Regulars:
Chevee Dodd
Jason Slingerland
Rob Couch
T.C. Petty III
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6. Board Game: Ground Floor [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:867]
TC Petty III
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Carlisle
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11/17/13: This is episode the sixth and we're hitting our stride. New games are published and announced; questions are asked and answers are given. We're like your best friend, only opinionated, glitchy, and on Youtube. Also, make sure you have Neil read your rules. (also, as a side note, this is the first episode where a designer stuck around for a "post-episode hangout" off-air)

Topics: PnP, Playtesters, "unique" or iteration, fad vs. mechanic

Special Guests:
J. Alex Kevern
United States
Mahopac
New York
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David Short
United States
Tucson
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Regulars:
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T.C. Petty III
Jason Slingerland
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7. Board Game: Pixel Lincoln: The Deckbuilding Game [Average Rating:5.93 Overall Rank:6605]
TC Petty III
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12/1/13: This episode, which is the 7th, is game design to the max. Jason broadcasts from his game design fortress in the basement of an auction house, while we talk about card game design. To the x-treme!


Topics: Restrictions in Microgames, Game Design Forts, Gambling in Games, Art/theme affecting feedback, Failure

Special Guests:
Jason Tagmire
United States
Westmont
New Jersey
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Regulars:
Chevee Dodd
Jason Slingerland
T.C. Petty III
Rob Couch
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8. Board Game: Risk Legacy [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:189]
TC Petty III
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Carlisle
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12/15/13: Episode 8. Rob Daviau meets us for a fireside chat for the holiday season, with all the trimmings. Mainly we just repeat the word Legacy over and over, and Jamey Stegmaier, full-time game publisher, reveals more insight and info on winemaking expansions.

Topics: New Publisher Advice (shipping), "Legacy" games, variable turn order, designing FOR Kickstarter

Special Guests:
Jamey Stegmaier
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Rob Daviau
United States
Unspecified
Massachusetts
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Regulars:
Jason Slingerland
T.C. Petty III
Chevee Dodd
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9. Board Game: Eminent Domain [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:382]
TC Petty III
United States
Carlisle
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12/29/13: Episode number nine. To continue our love of design, exploration, and space, we have invited noted game designer and developer Seth Jaffee on to the program. Luckily we talk about designing within a space, exploring new frontiers, and Christopher Chung sells ice to eskimos in the least fun way possible. Also, multiple shameless plugs abound and apparently Dice Hate Me Games will be publishing 3000 54-card games in 2014.

Topics: The Dice Hate Me Games 54-Card Challenge, Gil Hova's 4-P Challenge, "micro legacy games" Tiny Epic Kingdoms, First Impressions, Deck-building, Making Stock Markets "FUN"

Special Guests:
Chris C
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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Regulars:
Chevee Dodd
Jason Slingerland
T.C. Petty III
Rob Couch
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10. Board Game: Fleet [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:618]
TC Petty III
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Carlisle
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1/12/13: Episode the tenth. This is an Unpub spectacular with Unpub 4 attending guests Darrell Louder and Ben Pinchback. We spend a whole lot of time elaborating on the simple concept that game designers are kind of dumb if they don't attend a playtest-specific game design convention. Also, our first major technical difficulty splits the episode into two parts. That only makes it twice as enjoyable!

Topics: Unpub 4, Fear, Motivation, Finding the Right publisher, Getting the most out of Feedback

Special Guests:
Darrell Louder
United States
Dover
Delaware
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Ben Pinchback
United States
Leonard
Michigan
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Regulars:
Jason Slingerland
T.C. Petty III
Rob Couch

Also, here's a link to Jay and Sen's awesome blog Inspiration to Publication with good information on "sell sheets". Guide to Sell Sheets
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11. Board Game: Get Bit! [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:1771]
TC Petty III
United States
Carlisle
Pennsylvania
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1/26/14: Episode Eleven. Sometimes games are brightly colored and cute only to hide their dark, vicious, cut-throat innards. Dave Chalker and Grant Rodiek jump into the party with their design mindset and the lighter, tighter side of gaming. Also, we all learn what Turtle racing is and everyone roots for Lefty.

Topics: Helplessness, shooting the moon, Designing Lighter games, Simultaneous play, playtesting outside your circles

Special Guests:
Grant Rodiek
United States
Redwood City
CA
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Dave Chalker
United States
Silver Spring
Maryland
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Regulars:
Rob Couch
Chevee Dodd
Jason Slingerland
T.C. Petty III
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12. Board Game: Battle For Souls [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:1976]
TC Petty III
United States
Carlisle
Pennsylvania
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2/9/14: The Episode 12. Finally, a group of designers are brave enough to speak about their collective experiences and opinions on Kickstarter! Totally original content that no one has ever done before! But, most importantly, Robert Burke and David Chott give us their perspective on how game design is evolving, and how to use Kickstarter to make your games better. Prepare for an hour of self-deprecation, false promises, and inappropriate game themes.

Topics: Kickstarter! ("it's easy", KS exclusives, stretching the components), game designer promotional responsibilities, integrity & passion

Special Guests:
David Chott
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Robert Burke
United States
Belmont
North Carolina
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Regulars:
Chevee Dodd
T.C. Petty III
Jason Slingerland

Also, we mentioned on the episode The Grand Gaming Academy for having a group that will demo published games for you during major conventions. Contact: Brian Lenz (LaffyTaffy) or Marc Specter (kamus73) for more details and also info on GrandCon.

And, most importantly, please back Lagoon & Draco Magi on Kickstarter RIGHT NOW!
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13. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:61]
TC Petty III
United States
Carlisle
Pennsylvania
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2/23/14: Episode the 13th. The cooperative/solo game episode where we talk about the legitimately difficult task of creating and balancing games where players combat an AI. Matt Leacock talks about how he invented the alpha player problem and A. J. creates games that make people cry.

Topics: Solo/Cooperative Games (good qualities, surprise, alpha player problems, group vs individual goals, allowing choice vs. tying player's hands, player elimination), adult themes, crying, record blind playtests

Special Guests:
A.J. Porfirio
United States
Thompsons Station
Tennessee
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Matt Leacock
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Sunnyvale
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Regulars:
Chevee Dodd
Jason Slingerland
T.C. Petty III
Rob Couch

ALSO: Something From Nothing is now available on iTunes to download and enjoy at your leisure.

PREVIEW LINK TO ITUNES
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14. Board Game: Lawless [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:4326]
TC Petty III
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Carlisle
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Episode 14: Something From Nothing goes international with an esteemed guest from the French Alps and one of Jason's favorite designers, mountain man, Bruno Cathala. Technical issues abound as per usual, but once we get rolling there's some nice and juicy game design hints, reveals, and truth about the game design community. Tres magnifique!

"Gamers, Game Designers, Developers, Publishers; We are all passionate, and we belong to the same family." ~Bruno Cathala

Topics: Collaboration (also Bruno name drops 1000 French designers), designing an AI, Cyclades expansion, free speech and game design community, sharing design, Kickstarter, Designing FOR components

Special Guest:
bruno cathala
France
st pierre en faucigny
Unspecified
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Regulars:
T.C. Petty III
Jason Slingerland
Rob Couch

Also mentioned on the show, Bruno Cathala's Blog which is in French, but Google Translate helps a little bit at least.
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15. Board Game: Castle Dice [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1760]
TC Petty III
United States
Carlisle
Pennsylvania
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3/23/14: Episode fifteen. Where we go negative with our politician friend, Ben Rosset, and Luke Peterschmidt starts a game company just to spite Eric Lang. Strangely, this Hangout had an agenda, which is never really so overtly stated on the show (though T.C. usually has some sort of half-plan) and so Chevee talks a whole bunch, spearheading a conversation about negative critical reception and how designers should deal with feedback, reviews, and playtesters.

Topics: Critical reception (knowing your audience, targeting your audience, taking reviews with a grain of salt, asking the right questions after a playtest) making games for yourself, embracing failure, "fun scientist", working with limitations, craft vs. art.

Special Guests:
Ben Rosset
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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Luke Peterschmidt
United States
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Regulars:
Chevee Dodd
Jason Slingerland

Thanks also to Jason Glover from Grey Gnome Games for answering a few questions and sparking some good questions during the episode.

And check out Ben Rosset's game BrewCrafters Travel Card Game as part of Dice Hate Me Game's 54-Card Rabbit Collection.
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16. Board Game: The Great Heartland Hauling Co. [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:919]
TC Petty III
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Carlisle
Pennsylvania
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4/6/14: Episode 16 enters the fray. With an extra 33% more beard, Jason Kotarski and Andy Lenox, hosts of the excellent 20 Minutes of Filler Podcast, visit the show to surprise and delight us with visions of larger games on the horizon. We talk about the tipping point between filler and meatier games and learn more expert advertising methods from the school of Chevee Dodd. Also, I think we decide that every card game should have a few cards that can be cut and formed into origami-style sculptures.


Topics: "Camp Khaki" (scope creep vs filler), finding the right publisher, themes to fit the game weight, Storyteller Cards Project, alternative ways to keep score (cards as components), thoughts on scheduled prototype areas at conventions, the mindset for small games or large games

Special Guests:
Andy Lenox
United States
Fenton
Michigan
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Jason Kotarski
United States
Flint
Michigan
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Regulars:
Chevee Dodd
Jason Slingerland
T.C. Petty III
Rob Couch

For any game designers interested in exposure for their games and a surprising amount of West Coast publisher eyes on your prototype, check out the Ion Award competition. I picked up the award this year, but most importantly it opened a whole new network of publishers to me. Highly recommended for serious entries, and new info on the 2015 contest will be posted later this year.

Also, Rob was a finalist in the Cards Against Humanity Tabletop Deathmatch and will be featured on an episode airing May 6th. But, make sure to check out the show and see some indie designers pitching their games nervously to a panel of "experts" in an attempt to win a million dollars or something like that. It's also another contest that is planned to be repeated this year, and it is huge exposure for new designers.

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17. Board Game: Outer Earth [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:6429]
TC Petty III
United States
Carlisle
Pennsylvania
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4/20/13: Episode 17: As everyone else spends time with their family to celebrate some sort of important religious bunny holiday, our esteemed panelists come together to talk about game production and game design! Paul Tseng joins the group to talk a little about his experiences with Tabletop Deathmatch as a finalist alongside Rob Couch. Also, some trick-taking game about shooting guns or whatever goes onto Kickstarter, I guess.

Topics: "Pull!" on Kickstarter now, Failure & Launching with pre-exposure, iterating PnPs, UPC issues, card quality (gsm vs core), removing mechanics to increase the fun, the first impression,did I mention "Pull!" on Kickstarter now?

Special Guest:
Paul Tseng
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Regulars:
Chevee Dodd
Rob Couch
Jason Slingerland

Also, don't forget to check out Rob's episode of Tabletop Deathmatch on Youtube!
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18. Board Game: Cinque Terre [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:1208]
TC Petty III
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Carlisle
Pennsylvania
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5/4/14: Episode 18: Jessica Nida, designer of Wrangled, along with Chris Handy, designer of Cinque Terre and Long Shot jump onto the show to share their game design perspectives. Chris's epic shelving threatens to tumble down upon him creating dramatic tension! Jessica wants other people to fix her problems, and Chevee says nice things about himself!

Topics: Large Publishers vs. Indie, Pro-Tips for starting a Kickstarter, end-game scenarios, "Pass The Jam" - Jessica Nida's Game Jam, Researching Your Game Designs, "Procrastination is part of Game Design," Chris Handy's Alan Moon interview, Chris Handy's "Pack O Games" coming to Kickstarter this summer!

Special Guests:
Chris Handy
United States
Turlock
California
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Jessica Nida
United States
Texas
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Jason Slingerland
Chevee Dodd
Rob Couch
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19. Board Game: Aether Captains [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:6402]
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Carlisle
Pennsylvania
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5/18/14: Episode the 19th. This episode is fully printable and playable with only a few minor assembly instructions. Todd Sanders, BGG game design forum designer and Print and Play pro, along with Mike Mullins, professional playtester, soon-to-be designer and the secret drive behind all solo versions of games on BGG, both join us for a spirited discussion about scissors, printer ribbons, and paper. There are so many tips and tricks about PNP creation in this episode that is literally bursting from the seams. Literally. Also, look out for Chevee Dodd's "Horse Magic" coming to Kickstarter soon.

Topics: Print and Play! (benefits of, when to post your PnP, where to post, how many components, what to expect/feedback, INCLUDE INSTRUCTION ON HOW TO PRINT THE GAME, making it easy for testers, Tons of Tips & Tricks) Solo games, bookkeeping defines a good solo vs. a coop game, Zombie in my Pocket

Special Guests:
Mike Mullins
United States
Lincoln University
PA
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It's always my turn.
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todd sanders
United States
pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Regulars:
Jason Slingerland
Chevee Dodd
T.C. Petty III
Rob Couch

Also, as mentioned on the video, The Unpub website has the option to list your game in a large unpublished game database, offer rules or PNP files, and also receive feedback through their electronic feedback forms. BGG Game Design Forums also. Board Game Design Forum too. Get out there and get involved!
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20. Board Game: Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:350] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
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Carlisle
Pennsylvania
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6/1/14: 20th Anniversary Episode! In this star-studded 20th episode special event extravaganza, we invite Eric Lang onto the show to display his vast knowledge of game design and dazzle us with boxes that are blue. Chevee is giddy while Rob and Jason watch on in awe. And it all culminates with possibly the show's most well-thought-out bit of advice for game designers that dare to stare into the game design abyss and become successful.

Topics: working with IPs, origins of quarriors, MDM, managing personal ideas vs business-focused ideas, using deadlines to your creative advantage, creating a prototype UI, how to abuse playtesters, use Twitter (it's easy)

Special Guests:
Eric Lang
Canada
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Unspecified
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Regulars:
Jason Slingerland
Chevee Dodd
Rob Couch
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21. Board Game: Corporate America [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:2490]
TC Petty III
United States
Carlisle
Pennsylvania
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Episode 21:

Special Guests:
Nothing Sacred Games
United States
Oakland
California
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Daniel Devine
United States
Reno
NV
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Regulars:
Rob Couch
T. C. Petty III
Jason Slingerland
Chevee Dodd
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22. Board Game: Her Majesty's Clockwork Tournament [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
TC Petty III
United States
Carlisle
Pennsylvania
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(There's no BGG entry for Legacy of the Slayer!)

6/29/14: Episode 22: Jay Treat visits the show to talk about work within the storytelling realm, straddling the line between the ambiguity of collaborative storytelling games rules and the strictness of the board game realm.

Special Guests:
Jay Treat
United States
King of Prussia
Pennsylvania
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Regulars:
Rob Couch
Chevee Dodd
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23. Board Game: Jump Gate [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:5496]
TC Petty III
United States
Carlisle
Pennsylvania
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7/13/14: Episode 23:

Special Guests:
Levi Mote
United States
Vancouver
WA
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Matt Worden
United States
Minnetrista
Minnesota
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www.mwgames.com/JumpGate ... check it out! ;-D
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Chevee Dodd
Jason Slingerland
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24. Board Game: The Mushroom Eaters [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:4048]
TC Petty III
United States
Carlisle
Pennsylvania
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8/10/14: Episode 24:

Special Guests:
Matt Wolfe
United States
Apex
North Carolina
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nathan hayden
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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Regulars:
Jason Slingerland
Rob Couch
T.C. Petty III
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25. Board Game: Havok & Hijinks [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:6571]
TC Petty III
United States
Carlisle
Pennsylvania
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8/24/14: Episode 25:

Special Guests:
Matt Loomis
United States
Illinois
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Adam Trzonkowski
United States
Whitsett
North Carolina
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Regulars:
Chevee Dodd
Rob Couch
Jason Slingerland
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