Going Analog

Where video game industry veterans introduce great board games to video gamers

Podcast #54: Inclusivity, themes + innovation, learning stuff (guest: Elizabeth Hargrave)

The designer of Wingspan and Mariposas stops by for a chat, but it ends up being a lot of us asking her a lot of questions....

We realized a few things about Elizabeth Hargrave: All her board games (so far) have strong themes and have educated us about certain subject matters...without being "educational games" per se. Cases in point:

  • We learned about new birds and their behaviors in the award-winning Wingspan.
  • We learned about butterfly migration in the recently released Mariposas.
  • We learned what "tussie mussie" means in...well, Tussie Mussie.

And now that she's revealed in this episode the theme of her next game, we're very curious what we will learn from playing it. It's a very different direction for this game designer....

Here are the topics we all picked:

  1. Christina (host): How theme can lead to innovation and which games have innovative gameplay inspired by their themes? (4:10)
  2. Shoe (producer): What cool educational things have we learned from non-educational games? (20:23)
  3. Elizabeth (guest): How can we make board gaming more inclusive for everyone? (35:00)
  4. Nick (contributor): How do game designers choose which prototypes to move forward with and ultimately finish? (48:03)

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Here are the games covered on the show:

Intro:

  • Wingspan
  • Tussie Mussie
  • Mariposas

Christina’s topic: How theme can lead to innovative gameplay

  • Wingspan
  • Mariposas
  • Photosynthesis
  • Wind the Film
  • Remember Our Trip
  • Here Comes the Dog
  • Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein
  • Castell
  • The Search for Planet X
  • Viticulture
  • Dead of Winter
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31 
  • Scooby-Doo! Escape from the Haunted Mansion

Shoe’s topic: Educational games that aren’t educational games

  • Wingspan
  • Mariposas
  • Tussie Mussie 
  • The Search for Planet X
  • Beez
  • Arraial
  • Tokaido
  • Cytosis: A Cell Biology Board Game
  • Virulence: An Infection Card Game
  • Pandemic
  • Photosynthesis 
  • Castell
  • Ticket to Ride
  • 7 Wonders

Nick’s topic: How do you know which prototypes to move forward with; how do you know when a game design’s finished?

  • Mariposas
  • Wingspan

Final thoughts:

  • Mariposas
  • Wingspan: Oceania
  • Beez
  • The Search for Planet X
  • Morels
  • 7 Wonders
  • 7 Wonders Duel
  • 7 Wonders Duel: Pantheon
  • Tokaido
  • Hanabi