Going Analog

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

Podcast #43: Pirate games, Forgotten Waters, and more (guests: Plaid Hat, Tim Schafer)

We connect a board game designer with a video game designer hero of his.

Plaid Hat CTO and game maker Joe Ellis admits that he's a serious fanboy of Tim Schafer, the video game designer whose work includes Grim Fandango, Brutal Legend, and The Secret of Monkey Island. In fact, it was Monkey Island that inspired Ellis's own work on the pirate-themed Forgotten Waters, one of the best adventure-based board games we've ever played. (Full disclosure: Plaid Hat sent us a copy for coverage purposes.) Since we know both parties, we figured, why not play matchmaker? So we invited both to the Going Analog Podcast to chat board games.

Also joining us is Isaac Vega. Sure, he designed or co-designed some big hits in Dead of Winter, City of Remnants, and BioShock Infinite (the board game), but we really just want to pin him down to talk Forgotten Waters with us.

The four topics everyone brought to this episode:

  1. Christina (host): What are some of our favorite pirate-themed board games? (3:35)
  2. Joe Ellis (guest): The inspirations behind Forgotten Waters (16:26)
  3. Isaac Vega (guest): What are some of the most memorable characters in board gaming? (24:30)
  4. Tim Schafer (guest): Is sheltering at home eroding our love for board games? (43:37)

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


  • Forgotten Waters
  • Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn
  • City of Remnants
  • Dead of Winter
  • Crystal Clans
  • Raxxon

Christina's topic: What are our favorite pirate-y games?

  • Forgotten Waters
  • Sea of Legends
  • Tiny Epic Pirates
  • Sea of Nadia
  • Jamaica
  • Sea of Clouds
  • Libertalia
  • Citadels
  • Merchants and Marauders
  • Pirate's Cove
  • Loot
  • Xia: Legends of a Drift System

Joe's topic: Inspirations behind Forgotten Waters

  • Forgotten Waters

Isaac's topic: What are the most memorable characters you've enjoyed in board games?

  • Scythe
  • Scythe: The Rise of Fenris
  • Magic: The Gathering
  • Twilight Imperium
  • Dead of Winter
  • Mice and Mystics
  • Tales of the Arabian Nights
  • Camp Grizzly
  • T.I.M.E Stories
  • Star Wars: Rebellion
  • Dune
  • Aftermath
  • Abomination
  • Takenoko
  • Forgotten Waters

Tim's topic: How has quarantine affected how we think about board games?

  • Descent: Journeys in the Dark
  • The 7th Continent
  • Sea of Nadia
  • Smartphone Inc.
  • Santa Monica
  • Forgotten Waters

Final thoughts

  • Forgotten Waters