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Producing Fun #9: Sophie Williams and James Hewitt - Game Studio

Producing Fun is a podcast about making tabletop games from a product perspective. Sophie and James run Needy Cat Games – a tabletop game studio based in Nottingham, UK. As a studio they have a nearly unique model – designing games on demand for clients with IPs, miniatures and other assets rather than pitching their work to publishers. In this conversation we talk about how the studio model works, the so-called Kickstarter treadmill, how creativity arises from well constructed project briefs and the future of the game market. Listen on podcasting platforms:–James-Hewitt—Game-Studio-e13kq4l Listen on Youtube: Needy Cat Games website: Indian-made games YouTube playlist:     Transcription I'm James, and this is producing fun, a podcast about making...

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What do developers do?

The Magnate Kickstarter is still in full swing and is very close to raising $50,000 with about 5 days to go. In this post, Jaya Baldwin takes over the reins and writes about what Developers do – one of the most poorly understood roles in the game world. Wherever you see the game Magnate, you inevitably see the name James Naylor. He’s the game’s designer (and an all round great guy) so it makes sense. The name you’re less likely to see is mine, Jaya Baldwin, the game’s lead developer. There are obvious reasons for that, that’s the case with most media really, you can probably name the main actor in your favourite films; maybe even the director. But try...

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Magnate news round-up: January 2019

Has it really been two months already? Unsurprisingly, there’s lots to catch-up on with progress on playtesting, design and ever increasing public awareness of the game! Building the coverage Over the last few months the amount of coverage Magnate has received in the press has started to swell. Some swift googling revealed a mini post Essen flurry of articles like this, this and this. We even got a mention on the Polyhedron Collider’s most anticipated games of 2019 podcast! Rory Somers, one of the “colliders”(?) had already given us a great little write-up in his review of Dragonmeet, but it was awesome to see Magnate specifically called out as anticipated alongside much more famous names like Wingspan and Munchkin. At...

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Why Boggle is better than Scrabble

In today’s article Jaya Baldwin compares two different classic word games and, when looked through the lens of modern design, finds one more dated than the other It’s easy to ignore mainstream games when you’re down the rabbit hole of the hobby space tying to find out what makes games great. But the truth is that their aren’t many famous hobby word games. Those word games that are part of our modern crop – perhaps Codenames come to mind – are often built on the associations of words, not vocabulary or spelling as the classic games are. If you want to test your word skills, the classics are still where you normally need to go to get your fix. But...

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A happy ending for the integration of narrative into tabletop games

Can narrative and strategy ever blend well? Jaya Baldwin explores different ways games have tried to integrate narrative and traditional gameplay elements. “Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin. Once upon a time in a land not so far away at all, a family sat at a table. ‘Now I convert 3 cubes into 2 cubes of net higher output’ said Mummy. ‘Wow, I adjust the resource monetizer on my personal board to rotate the value wheel to its next multiplier increment’ said Daddy. What a good time they were having playing Resource Cube Management Simulator. Little James and Sarah meanwhile had gone upstairs. They were sat under the big blanket with torches. ‘And then the princess took off her...

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