Tabletop Game Design Podcasts and Books

If you’re thinking about getting into card or board game design, here are a few resources I’ve found to be very helpful. I’ve also started a master list of game design tips I’ve gleaned from them.

Podcasts

Ludology – Hosts Geoff Engelstein and Ryan Sturm pick a specific game design topic to discuss in each episode. Excellent food for thought.

The Game Design Round Table – Dirk Knemeyer, John Schaefer, and many guests get into discussions about both digital and tabletop game design. Good balance of perspectives and design philosophies.

PhantomCast – Beau Severson records a “brain dump” of game design ideas during his commute. Interesting to see inside the mind of another game designer.

Games with Garfield – Somewhat dry but informative show featuring Magic the Gathering creator Richard Garfield. I haven’t listened to many episodes yet, but it’s interesting to see his and others’ perspectives on the game industry.

Books

I’m sure there are many more excellent game design books available; these were just the ones at my public library.

The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses – Most useful book I found, which helps you think of game design from all different angles, including the psychology of players.

Characteristics of Games – Not a light read, but it’s an impressive and though-provoking breakdown of all game types.

Game Architecture and Design – Aimed more at digital developers, but it has some design philosophies applicable to tabletop games, too.

Video Game Storytelling – An excellent read for anyone making narrative games (or films or novels for that matter!).

The Game Inventor’s Guidebook – A good introductory book about the game design industry.

Game Design Tips

Here’s my master list of tips I’ve learned from these resources.