Going Analog

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

Podcast #74: Co-op faves, crafting mechanisms, and board game "dream teams" (guest: Nikki Valens)

Nikki Valens (designer of Artisans of Splendent Vale, Quirky Circuits, Legacy of Dragonholt, Eldritch Horror, and many others) stops by to talk cooperating, crafting, and putting together board game design dream teams!

After the head-to-head competition from last podcast's Partner Swap, we were ready for some cooperative gaming. So designer Nikki Valens (Eldritch Horror, Legacy of Dragonholt, Quirky Circuits) was kind enough to stop by Going Analog again to share some recent faves. 

Nikki also just kicked off their Kickstarter campaign for the (literally huge) Artisans of Splendent Vale, so we talk crafting mechanisms in games and how each of the four Artisans has their own gameplay styles for making clothing, potions, and magical runes. Plus -- which designers and artists would we pair together for our ultimate board game design dream team?

Our topics this week:

  • Christina (host): What are some recent favorite co-op games? (13:57)
  • Nikki (guest): What are some great examples of crafting mechanisms we've seen in games? (26:45)
  • Shoe (producer): Who would be in our ultimate game design dream teams? (51:45)

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Games mentioned this episode:


  • Eldritch Horror
  • Mansions of Madness
  • Arkham Horror
  • Legacy of Dragonholt
  • Quirky Circuits
  • Artisans of Splendent Vale
  • MicroMacro: Crime City
  • Nemesis
  • Grand Austria Hotel

Christina's topic: Recent co-op faves

  • The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine
  • The Crew: Mission Deep Sea
  • Forgotten Waters
  • Shipwreck Arcana
  • Team3
  • Gloomhaven
  • Artisans of Splendent Vale
  • Sleeping Gods
  • The Night Cage

Nikki's topic: Crafting examples in games

  • Caverna: The Cave Farmers
  • Descent: Legends of the Dark
  • Le Havre
  • Artisans of Splendent Vale
  • Star Wars: Imperal Assault
  • Mottainai

Shoe's topic: Board game design dream teams

  • Caverna: The Cave Farmers
  • Le Havre
  • Feast for Odin
  • Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef
  • Wonderland's War
  • Descent: Legends of the Dark
  • Mansions of Madness
  • Wingspan
  • Mariposas