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Troy Goodfellow

Episode 209: Desktop to Tabletop

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Bruce and Troy welcome Paul Rohrbaugh from High Flying Dice Games to the show to talk about what it means to be a desktop wargame publisher? Why do desktop games support greater variety in conflicts? Is there a limit on what can and cannot be done? What does a desktop consumer look like? And stay tuned to the end for a pretty cool wargame story.

 

Listen over here

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One of my favorite parts of this episode was when Bruce just started naming all the different games that Paul had done. It seemed like if Paul hadn't interjected Bruce would have kept on going until he had described the entire catalog!

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A good episode.  I've spoken to Paul briefly at the last couple of Origins conventions, and I've got a couple of his postcard games around the house here somewhere.  I've got the High Flying Dice Games web site open in a separate window even as I type this.

 

If I may suggest a similar topic for a future episode, consider talking with the folks behind Amarillo Design Bureau about their long-lived success as a small publisher of strategy games set in the Star Fleet Universe, and their involvement with the Starfleet Command series of PC games.  There are very few game publishers that have been in business as long as they have.

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I really enjoyed this episode; very interesting, thanks guys!

 

One of my favorite parts of this episode was when Bruce just started naming all the different games that Paul had done. It seemed like if Paul hadn't interjected Bruce would have kept on going until he had described the entire catalog!

 

Haha, I did wonder how long that was going to go on for :D

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It was a good episode.  I was kind of amused at the deflection of the "people are worried small games can be mathematically solved" criticism; I'd have thought that one could be outright answered, but it seemed to me like he dodged it.  I would have thought a game that put significant weight on a deck of cards wouldn't be any more mathematically solvable than euchre; there are better and worse strategies, perhaps, but unless the designer completely missed the mark there shouldn't be a guaranteed win for either side.

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Oh man. I was actually born in Niles, Ohio and all of my family hails from there. I can't tell you how much of a kick I got out of this episode. I use to hang out a lot at the same library he's talking about.

 

Anyway, I look forward to buying a lot of these games. They're totally up my ally and something that I think my fiance would dig.

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I loved talking to Paul - one of the many insights he gave me was the idea that the critical mass of Bulge/Overlord games actually encourages more Bulge/Overlord games because people devote themselves to collecting everything in this subset of the hobby, comparing different games, seeing how different designers approach the topics, etc.  So having a lot of games on a topic doesn't necessarily discourage more entries.

 

It also got me to drag out my copy of La vallee de la mort now that I know it isn't going to be reprinted any time soon.

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We need to get Bruce mod status and a less shadowy avatar.

 

I didn't have a lot to contribute, but I love talking to small creators as much as I do the big devs - one reason Vic Davis is always welcome. You learn a lot about business and design on both sides.

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Do any of the small publishers ever make any of their games available as PDF's? (to print & play yourself) because some of the stuff HFDG does looks really interesting & I think "hmm, maybe I could pick a game & try it out with the more war-gaming inclined members of my board game group, the cost is pretty much nothing" but then iI stop & think about it & realise that the time and cost of cross Atlantic postage and I get second thoughts.

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We need to get Bruce mod status and a less shadowy avatar.

 

I didn't have a lot to contribute, but I love talking to small creators as much as I do the big devs - one reason Vic Davis is always welcome. You learn a lot about business and design on both sides.

There's no way you're going to make Space Rumsfeld any less of a shadowy character! ;-)

I love all the 3MA episodes with small developers, and I think they are especially insightful because they have the capacity to be more open than some of the developers from big studios. Like when Paul started citing like how many copies of a game he might sell in a day... I don't think you would hear that sort of candor from a bigger company. I'm not trying to knock big studios either, I'm sure they have valid reasons to keep their cards to their chest, but as a listener its definitely nice to get a chance to peak behind the curtains.

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I didn't have a lot to contribute, but I love talking to small creators as much as I do the big devs - one reason Vic Davis is always welcome. You learn a lot about business and design on both sides.

 

As an indie developer myself, part of the fascination of 3MA is getting to hear from other developers.  Our industry can be quite insular.

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This was easily one of my favorite episodes! And I don't even play war games! Great work Bruce and Troy! Thanky you very much. I will have to check out their site and learn more.

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