As a lecturer game design I regularly tip podcast episodes on certain topics. Some students really like them, others roll their eyes when I start talking about podcasts again :-). And I am fine with that, I’ll keep recommending them as they are a great resources to industry news, personal stories concerning designing and publication, practical advice and game design theories.
I started listening to them about 5+ years ago when I got the ambition to make a game and have it published. After trying some prototyping I realised there is a lot to learn when I want to make a good game. Luckily, the tabletop industry is quite cooperative and transparant. A lot of information is shared and podcasts are a great way to soak it all in, in my opinion. You can listen while driving, commuting, doing chores, etc.
Above you see an overview of all the podcasts that I listen(ed) to. It is a salute to all the work the creators put in it. Thank you! I became a better designer because of all of these. I will shortly describe some of them to give you an impression what they offer. That way you can see which ones might be of interest for you. I link to their respective websites, but you can look them up on your mobile with a podcast app, of course.
This podcast started years ago, and the topics discussed are usually timeless in content and usefulness. For tabletop game design this is my number 1 to listen to, the hosts dive into interesting topics. It tackles theoretical topics concerning game design that are interesting as well if you make digital games. Starting at the beginning is worth it with this one and it offers a lot of food for thought.
More interested in digital game design? This one has a broader take on game design, TGDRT dives into multiple types of games, tabletop, mobile, digital, RPG. Two of their hosts work in the digital domain, the others in tabletop. You get insights in the overlap and differences between the analogue & digital scene. They discuss their own experiences, talk to interesting guests and offer a view on innovative new things happening. I like how they support the diversity in game design and designers. They showcase that designers are not only males.
A relatively new one, the 3 hosts have a great vibe together. The podcast has quite a spark to it. Great practical insights and industry perspectives. Each guest they interview plays a game of ‘two truths and a lie’ with. Usually I don’t really like it when a game is played ‘on air’, but with this one it is quite entertaining.
The Who, What and Why? Game Design Podcast
Not as popular and working on a smaller budget, this is an under-appreciated podcast. The host interviews designers and they discuss the tabletop games they designed. That offers interesting insights quite often.
This podcast reinvented itself and currently has a nice mix of hosts. That keeps it even more interesting than before. They review tabletop games, discuss interesting topics and have interviews. It offers a good mix.
This is the biggest tabletop podcast and has expanded to an entire network of podcasts. I listen to this one for the reviews of games and to get a sense for the industry (USA centered). Their website offers a ton of video’s as well. They have top 10 on diverse topics and that helps to learn about good games I did not know yet.
A Dutch podcast that discusses tabletop games and the local industry. All the previous ones are located in the USA, so it is really nice this one offers a perspective on the Netherlands.
This podcast is hosted by 2 tabletop publishers and that tells you the perspective they offer. One publisher is located in Poland, Portal Games, and the other in the USA, Stronghold Games. I like how complementary the gentlemen are to each other and the episodes are snappy.
Another podcast that focusses on designing tabletop games. I am impressed with all the guests the host has interviewed so far. The output is spectacular.
Honourable mentions (tabletop): The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast. This is an very enjoyable podcast with a lot of good banter by the big group of hosts. Due to overload I dropped this one, because it is less focussed on design. But it is a lot of fun to listen to. Games with Garfield (with Richard Garfield) & Board Game University are discontinued. While these are not updated anymore, I enjoyed them enough to keep in my list of podcasts as a reminder. They are certainly worth listening into.
So there is a lot to explore. Which ones do you like? And is there one I should add to my list? Enjoy the listening!