Going Analog

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

Podcast #91: Playing "bad guys," shorter games, returning to cons (guest: Brotherwise Games)

What's the perfect length for a game? Why is it fun to play the bad guy? Plus, thoughts about returning to in-person conventions. With guest Brotherwise Games!

Johnny O'Neal, one of the brother cofounders of Brotherwise Games (publisher of Unearth, Call to Adventure, and the recently successfully funded Castles by the Sea), drops by Going Analog to discuss his design philosophy and asserts that every game needs to be shorter. We're pretty sure that's the takeaway.

We also figured the co-designer of Boss Monster (in which you play as, well, the end-of-dungeon boss monster) would have thoughts about why it's so fun to to be so bad (ahem, play the "bad guy") in games. And with Gen Con and BGG.CON coming up, what's our take on the continuing return to in-person conventions?

Topics from this episode:

  • Johnny (guest): How games end (11:18)
  • Christina (host): Playing as the "bad guy" (26:57)
  • Shoe (producer): Return to conventions (41:25)

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Games mentioned this episode:


  • Boss Monster
  • Castles by the Sea
  • Unearth
  • Dead Reckoning
  • Mystic Vale
  • Lost Ruins of Arnak
  • Meeples & Monsters
  • Lords of Waterdeep

Johnny's topic: How games end

  • Unearth
  • Boss Monster
  • Lost Ruins of Arnak
  • Wingspan
  • Ascension
  • Shards of Infinity
  • Redakai
  • Rajas of the Ganges
  • Ark Nova
  • The Game of Life
  • The Pursuit of Happiness
  • Overboss

Christina's topic: Playing as the "bad guy"

  • Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein
  • Dead Reckoning
  • Forgotten Waters
  • Boss Monster
  • Villainous
  • Puerto Rico
  • Cthulhu Wars
  • War of the Ring
  • Axis & Allies
  • Call to Adventure
  • Fury of Dracula
  • Valor & Villainy
  • Star Wars: Imperial Assault
  • West Kingdom series

Shoe's topic: Return to conventions

  • Empire's End