The Independent Insurgency
Interviews from the indie game design world.








May 2008
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Episode 012: Anna Kreider on Thou Art But A Warrior

In this episode, I speak with Anna Kreider about her supplement for
Ben Lehman's
game Polaris, Thou Art But A Warrior. Thou Art But a
Warrior is a game where your Muslim knights seek (ultimately, in good

Polaris style, in vain) to fend off Christian crusaders. We recorded this on
the first night of Camp Nerdly 2 in the woods of Triangle, VA. Hope you
enjoy it.

This episode is 77.9 MB big and 56:45 long. 

01:11: Began as an entry in a setting design contest
01:40: The game is about the Reconquista
03:04: The doomsday clock
05:14: How the game works
05:45: In A Wicked Age
09:46: Ways TABAW is different from Polaris
11:28: Structure of interlocking stories, like Crash
14:14: One-shot game rules
15:51: Why did you design the game?
17:58: Wrestling with the label of "game designer"
20:07: Any games arise from the design process?
20:59: Game Chef
: The way the Discord mechanic works
24:38: Troubleshooting the Discord mechanic
26:52: Anything you had to get rid of that you wish you didn't?
29:29: Steal Away Jordan by Julia Ellingboe (of Stone Baby Games)
30:59: How many times has the game been played?
31:14: "Knife-fight"
34:00: The most helpful feedback you got from playtesters
36:55: Picking a printer (Pandora Press)
37:56: Lulu
38:25: IPR
39:16: How is art used in the book?
40:56: Joshua AC Newman
41:23: What form factor, and why?
42:41: Marketing the game
44:02: Emily Care Boss
44:50: Gen Con and The Forge booth
45:16: Defining success for the game
46:35: Personal religious beliefs and how they intersect with the game
50:13: Anything else to say?
52:17: Master Mines


Closing song is Latina Rose by the Hub City Stompers
Logo courtesy of Daniel Solis:

Direct download: independent-insurgency-012.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:04pm EDT

Episode 011: Kat & Michael Miller on Serial In this episode I talk with Kat and Michael Miller about their upcoming
game, Serial. Serial, which will be published by Incarnadine Press, is a 
game based on true crime investigations of serial killers. The game is 
careful to focus most of the interest on the victims of these crimes rather 
than the cops or the killer. In fact, no one plays the killer. It's an exciting 
and interesting game that I enjoyed playing. 

This episode is 80.9 MB big and 58:55 long.

01:14: "A game about the horrors of serial murder."
02:30: The Forensic Files and City Confidential TV shows
03:50: Dreamation (A convention from Double Exposure)
06:03: An overview of how Serial works
09:42: The chains of evidence system
13:10: Rules, re-summarized
16:20: "Not really" a GM in the game
17:07: Design goals replicating fiction?
18:04: The Boston Strangler
18:47: The BTK Killer
19:43: Killers in Serial aren't "cool, sexy outsiders" (from Vincent Baker on Episode 10)
21:49: What happens if you run out of victims?
22:34: Serial attempts to make an experience that is unique to roleplaying rather than emulative of another genre
23:22: Serial is a one-shot game
23:45: Compassion fatigue
25:02: Serial will be presented as a CD with included reference material
25:46: Russell Collins is doing the music for Serial
27:48: With Great Power
28:34: Serial is "done in one" gaming (from Michael O'Sullivan on Episode 9)
29:25: Unofficial estimated cost of Serial
30:06: Sons of Kryos thread including discussion of audio delivery of RPG rules
32:15: Why design this game?
33:25: Any other designs arise out of Serial?
35:20: The Czege Principle (named after Paul Czege)
37:18: Who did you steal from the most?
38:02: Acts of Evil by Paul Czege
38:38: My Life with Master
38:53: InSpectres
39:15: Michael's game, Discernment, in the No Press Anthology
39:22: Division of labor in the design process
40:56: Lessons learned from playtesting
43:17: Anything you had to drop that you wish you didn't?
45:59: The hardest thing to fix
46:34: Don Corchran
48:34: How to press CDs, the new frontier
51:48: "This is Not a Pipe"
51:52: Two definitions of success for Serial
53:52: Spirit of the Century
55:20: Illusionism
55:44: Planned (hoped-for) release date


Closing song is Skinhead Boi by the Hub City Stompers
Logo courtesy of Daniel Solis:

Direct download: independent-insurgency-011.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:38pm EDT

Episode 010: Vincent Baker on kill puppies for satan In this episode, I interview Vincent Baker of Lumpley Games about his
first published roleplaying game, kill puppies for satan. This was kind of a
silly one, as many of the questions I'd ordinarily ask a little weird in this
context. You'll see.

This episode is 01:01:48 long and 84.8 MB big.

01:36: What is kill puppies for satan?
02:39: "It is extremely mean to Vampire: The Masquerade."
03:33: Obligatory Forge reference
04:57: Conpulsion in Edinburgh and the kpfs resurgence
05:31: Malcolm Craig (of Contested Ground Studios)
05:45: kpfs 2nd edition?
05:35: Ralph Steadman
06:36: How does the game work mechanically?
10:03: A bunch of different kinds of NPCs
11:25: Meguey Baker (of Night Sky Games)
12:11: A parody of gamers or a certain kind of game?
12:44: Alas, now the 23rd hit on Google
12:57: kpfs hate mail site
16:27: Trying to get back to mechanics, conflict or tasky?
18:17: How indie is kpfs?
20:45: Why did you design the game?
22:59: The Lumpley Principle
27:58: kpfs is also self-parody
28:17: Comparing Vampire and Ars Magica
30:13: A reading from kpfs: A character sheet for a vampire
34:30: Playtesting? Fuck no!
34:51: The evil hamster wheel, a mechanic which coincidentally worked fine
38:52: kpfs saves lives
42:17: kpfs and the Columbine Massacre
42:40: The kpfs gun rules
43:32: Why Vincent doesn't run the game anymore
45:54: The DNA that kpfs shares with Poison'd
47:11: Angry threads sell games
48:33: Ron Edwards: "You make games about the morality of people you don't think are moral."
50:33: Is kpfs a success?

Closing song is Bridge Over Troubled Squatter by the Hub City Stompers

Logo courtesy of Daniel Solis:

Direct download: independent-insurgency-010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:14pm EDT