Going Analog

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

Podcast #33: Our favorite Star Wars, deckbuilding, and engine-building games (guest: John D. Clair)

Plus, designing games with mechanics first.

Our guest for this episode hoped to get some creative inspiration from us, but all we gave him was a bunch of useless feedback that anyone could've offered. (Hey, he's the game designer, not us!) So maybe John D. Clair (the brains behind Mystic Vale, Edge of Darkness, Ecos, and more) didn't come away from his hour on our show with any new ideas for a future project. But we did get some really interesting insight into how he comes up with his creations -- as well as what he loves playing when he's not working on his own games.

Our four topics for this week:

  1. Shoe: Our favorite engine-building games (and why Shoe sucks at them)
  2. John: Designing games with mechanics first in mind
  3. Christina: Our favorite deckbuilding games
  4. Jess: Our favorite Star Wars games

Make sure to catch the Kickstarter for his next game, Dead Reckoning, in early 2020. For more information, sign up for the AEG newsletter on the publisher's website.

Or listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or RSS Feed.

Here's a full list of the games mentioned on the show:


  • Mystic Vale
  • Custom Heroes
  • Space Base
  • Edge of Darkness
  • Ecos: The First Continent
  • Ascension
  • Ascension: Skulls & Sails

Shoe's topic: Engine-building games

  • Rise of Augustus
  • Gizmos
  • Great Western Trail
  • Innovation
  • Dominion
  • Magic: The Gathering

John's topic: From inspiration to game

  • Downfall
  • War Chest
  • Dead Reckoning
  • Black Angel

Christina's topic: Deck-building games

  • Shards of Infinity
  • Tyrants of the Underdark
  • The Big Book of Madness
  • Aeon's End
  • Path of Light and Shadow
  • Thunderstone
  • Thunderstone Quest
  • Concordia
  • Res Arcana
  • Clank!
  • Clank! In! Space!
  • Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated

Jess's topic: Star Wars board games

  • Star Wars: Rebellion
  • Star Wars: The Card Game
  • Star Wars: Destiny
  • Star Wars: Imperial Assault
  • Star Wars: Outer Rim
  • Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures
  • Star Wars: Legion
  • Star Wars: Armada

Final thoughts:

  • Slide Quest
  • Draw Your Own Conclusions