Episodes
Published 08/05/22
Hot on the heels of SolForge Fusion's release and our subsequent podcast (Ep 194) about the Future of Unique Deck Games, Christian Petersen's Ghost Galaxy Games announces their acquisition of KeyForge and a full release of two PvE scenarios - Keyracken and Abyssal Conspiracy. Does the future look different for either of the unique deck games now that there's more competition in the space? Join us as we entertain that exact question!
Published 07/22/22
Published 07/22/22
Confused or overwhelmed by all the seemingly insane things that players say in this hobby? Join us as we define terms like "aggro", "limited", "bounce", and even TC classics like "bugatti". You'll be up to speed in no time!
Published 07/15/22
For the final episode of the series, Steven and Zach tackle the issue of "free" effects in games with an approach now influenced by all of the previous Power Seven conversations. Notably, can anything really be "free"?
Published 07/01/22
Concepts like "mana screw" and "non-games" have existed in card gaming from the start, stemming from the reality that sometimes you do not draw the resource cards you need to play out your deck. With more recent designs doing away with resource cards entirely, we call up Isaac Vega (Dead of Winter, Ashes, Rose Gauntlet) to ask if this approach to game systems still has value, or if it is simply an outdated mechanic with more downside than upside.
Published 06/18/22
Designers often employ powerful effects that target specific cards or archetypes when a meta becomes unbalanced. But is this ever the right answer? Our dear friend Alex Davy (Star Wars: X-Wing, Star Wars: Legion) joins us for an enticing conversation about silver bullets, with clear examples from Star Wars: X-Wing and Lord of the Rings TCG!
Published 06/09/22
Huge board states, compounding static effects, unlimited stacked triggers - some games can get to a point where simply operating the rules is difficult and making meaningful decisions feels impossible. We've brought in Justin Gary (Ascension, SolForge, Magic PT) to unpack the benefits and drawbacks of certain mechanics as they relate to the memory tax, and whether or not modern game design should include them.
Published 06/03/22
How many metagames have been ruined by a deck that just simply says "no" to whatever you want to do? And yet how many of your friends absolutely love playing said decks? Denial mechanics might be the most difficult game design needle to thread. That's why we've brought in Nick Conley (Ashes Reborn) to unpack the ins and outs of denial - and where it can go wrong.
Published 05/20/22
A simple act - replaying a card or two from your discard pile - has been the bane of countless metagames. Does such a seemingly innocent mechanic really cause problems? Should designers stay away from the idea of recursion entirely? Join us as we catch up with the King of Recursion, Lukas Litzsinger (Netrunner, Star Wars: Destiny), now working for Wizards of the Coast and keen to discuss the past, and future, of recursion.
Published 05/11/22
Should cards ever be limited to "1 per deck", especially as a balancing mechanic? Can strong cards exist if they are drawn less often? Can the variance of rare cards be fun for all players? Join us for a phenomenal conversation with MJ Newman (Arkham Horror LCG, Marvel Champions) about the merits of "limit 1" in card games.
Published 05/06/22
Get ready for our most ambitious podcast series to date! Expanding on the principles of our "How to Ruin a Game" series, we've identified seven common design mechanics that are particularly troublesome to game balance, and are interviewing an esteemed designer about each! You'll hear from MJ Newman, Lukas Litzsinger, Justin Gary, Isaac Vega, Nick Conley, and Alex Davy as they each take a Power Seven mechanic and discuss their approach to implementing it (or not) in their own games and...
Published 04/29/22
Recorded the evening before FAB 2.0 was officially announced, Legend Story Studios' founder James White shares a number of perspectives that provide context to that announcement, as well as the long-term future of the Flesh and Blood TCG - including set construction, release plans, bans, metagames, Blitz, Living Legend, competitive play, Classic Battles, and lore.
Published 04/15/22
We're testing a new type of episode, where we look back at the past three months "inside" Covenant and share how things are going  - including developments that typically stay behind the scenes.
Published 04/11/22
We dive into the pursuit of card games as sport - with training, rewards, and perfection as the goal - and what publishers and players gain (or lose) by promoting this approach. *Disclaimer - this episode was recorded before the Magic Pro Tour announcement, the lack of which we reference.
Published 04/01/22
Erik Oloffson, known best for his role as a founding member of Grinding Gear Games (Path of Exile), joins us to discuss his newest creation - the Sorcery TCG, now the largest TCG Kickstarter to date (over $1m).
Published 03/18/22
We've asked a lot of questions about various release models over the years, and one common wedge was the trading or collectible card game - especially as the LCG model removed rarity, investment, and trading from the equation. With the TCG boom currently upon us, and games like Star Wars: Destiny and Flesh and Blood getting us back in the saddle, we've dedicated this episode to a fresh discussion about how our views on TCGs have evolved: from childhood to now.
Published 03/11/22
With SolForge Fusion as the next entry into the genre, the unique game model is top of mind yet again. We discuss the pros and cons realized by KeyForge, new developments brought by SolForge Fusion, and how much potential is yet to be discovered.
Published 02/25/22
We're so happy to be able to share this interview with Justin Gary, CEO of Stone Blade Entertainment, about the recently announced and funded "hybrid deck game" - SolForge Fusion. We're adding it to our curated selection of titles, and this kind of conversation with Justin is a big reason for that. Join us as we dig into Justin's vision for SolForge Fusion, how it evolved from the SolForge digital game, and why it's worth playing.
Published 02/16/22
Product life cycles are almost perfectly represented in the rise and fall of the many expandable games we've seen over the past three decades. How an expandable game overcomes the standard "expandable" life cycle is a critical question for any publisher, and we use the Flesh and Blood TCG as a real world example of how Legend Story is attempting to answer the question.
Published 02/04/22
We take wild guesses at what 2022 might bring, both for Covenant (the store build begins!) and the tabletop industry. What will happen with trading card games, living card games, unique deck games, and even in our ignorance, miniatures and board games?
Published 01/28/22
Join us for the last episode of the year, wherein we take a look back at 2021 and trace the big moments through notable podcast episodes. A little too perfect that this year began with "What is the point of collectibility" and ended with " Blockchains and NFTs". It's been a weird one.
Published 12/21/21
We share our research about blockchain technology, explain how these systems work (hopefully), scope the NFT trends in tabletop (as well as more generally), and do our best to remain objective and open in the face of a movement that has historically had difficulty convincing others that it creates real value.
Published 12/09/21
It feels familiar doesn't it? An influx of new TCGs hitting the market after a collectible boom, with significant financial success and often without the previously expected focus on rules, organized play, long-term distribution, and market position. This time, nostalgia for that first TCG boom - and the Big Three (Magic, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh) that arose from it - seems to be a driving factor. Join us as we begin to unearth exactly what is happening in this new era of collectible games.
Published 11/22/21