The Independent Insurgency
Interviews from the indie game design world.








March 2008
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Episode 007: Rob Donoghue and Fred Hicks on Spirit of the Century (plus a little Dresden Files)

On this show I interviewed Rob Donoghue and Fred Hicks of Evil Hat

Productions about Spirit of the Century. We also touch on some
previewey stuff for the Dresden Files RPG as well.

This episode is 93 MB big and 1:07:40 long. 

00:01:47: What Spirit of the Century is

00:02:22: A public beta for The Dresden Files RPG

00:02:54: FUDGE > FATE > Spirit of the Century > The Dresden Files RPG

00:04:49: Grey Ghost Games

00:05:15: A quick rundown of FATE, FUDGE dice

00:05:53: The Shadow of Yesterday

00:07:19: The skill pyramid, and the reasons for it

00:07:58: Skills in The Dresden Files RPG

00:08:23: Harry Dresden's player min-maxed him

00:08:51: Musashi

00:09:47: Aspects

00:10:00: Amber and Amber Diceless RPG

00:13:01: Seventh Sea

00:13:25: Trollbabe

00:16:01: The compel mechanic

00:16:25: Leonard Balsera

00:17:02: The Dresden Files RPG: Supernaturals driven by their nature by low refresh

00:19:38: Gateway between hippy and trad

00:20:07: Declarations

00:21:00: "The really hippy stuff is the GM advice"

00:24:00: The traditional stuff in the game

00:24:48: Marvel Superheroes RPG

00:25:22: Don't Rest Your Head

00:26:04: Reign and True20

00:27:11: Stunts in The Dresden Files RPG

00:29:26: Stuff in Spirit of the Century as published that does not work

00:31:13: Companions Reloaded in Spirit of the Season

00:31:44: "We suck at playtesting!"

00:32:20: Stress tracks, problems with them

00:34:42: How The Dresden Files RPG fixes stress track problems

00:36:38: Stuff that didn't make it in to Spirit of the Century

00:36:59: The lost dogfighting rules

00:39:19: Clinton R. Nixon on parallel and perpendicular actions

00:41:03: Editioning through new products

00:42:27: Wherein Rob tries to find something Fred hasn't said already elsewhere about the publishing process

00:43:56: Clinton's game, Paladin

00:45:03: iStockphoto and Dover Publications clip art

00:46:56: Why this form factor?

00:47:21: Skill trappings in The Dresden Files RPG

00:47:56: Aberrant and Trinity

00:49:08: Form factor of The Dresden Files RPG

00:49:00: Jennifer Rodgers is doing art in The Dresden Files RPG

00:49:48: Robot from the future, Chad Underkoffler, writing setting in The Dresden Files RPG

00:50:10: My Newark in the Dresdenverse thingie

00:50:51: How do you do marketing? (HAHAHAHAH)

00:54:20: FATAL, an example of a game with its marketing built right in

00:55:11: Dealing with the problematic elements of the pulp genre

00:56:10: Harry Chapin

00:57:15: The point of Spirit of the Century

00:59:26: Bruce Baugh's New Horizons, a socially-conscious Spirit of the Century supplement

00:59:45: Is Spirit of the Century a success?

01:04:09: The secret origins of The Grey Ghost, Jet Black, Max Silver, and Sally Slick

Closing music is Skins Don't Cry by The Hub City Stompers. 

Logo courtesy of Daniel Solis:

Direct download: independent-insurgency-007.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:48pm EDT

Episode 006: Joshua AC Newman on Shock:

In this episode, I interview Joshua AC Newman on his game, Shock: Social Science Fiction. Joshua's a great graphic designer, so in addition to the interesting things he has to say about his game and the design process, he's particularly instructive with regard to the production phase of putting your game out there.


This episode is 91.4 MB big and 01:06:34 long.


02:00: What Shock: is and does

02:45: Alvin Toffler's concept of the future shock (the inspiration for the game's title)

04:12: Issues (as they connect to shocks)

05:09: Resources for shocks and issues

06:26: Beaming ads into your skull bones

07:25: "The world ends a lot."

08:38: GMless

11:55: The ideal number of people to play

12:10: Minutiae

13:21: Ending soliloquy

14:52: Protagonist and antagonist

15:18: Praxes

15:47: How conflicts work and orthogonal stakes

16:18: Story goals

17:54: The way minutiae affect things

19:08: Playing audience

21:04: "This is the first science fiction game!"

23:55: Why did you design this game?

25:02: Philip K. Dick (in case you didn't know)

26:00: Criticisms of Shock: 1.0, Ron Edwards

27:06: Stuff that had to get edited out

27:28: Ubiquitous Primetime Adventures shout-out

28:50: Most useful feedback from playtesters, Thor Olavsrud

29:35: Vincent Baker

30:53: The hardest thing to fix (writing)

34:50: Deciding what printer to use, Fidlar Doubleday Digital Printing and Publishers' Graphics

38:42: Give yourself a month to get something published

39:38: Ben Lehman

40:00: The Forge

44:29: Costs of production

46:35: IPR

47:31: Graphic design/layout challenges

48:34: Emily Care Boss

50:49: Order of operations for layout vs. editing

52:08: Form factor considerations

52:57: Golden rectangle

54:29: Contact by Carl Sagan

57:10: Success


Closing music is Chatterbox by The Hub City Stompers.


Logo courtesy of Daniel Solis:

Direct download: independent-insurgency-006.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:19pm EDT