Categories

015: Usable Games with Michael Fienen and Aaron Hill

Just as our heroes walk down the street of a newly found village, suddenly a pair of drunken adventurers (Michael Fienen and Aaron Hill) stumble out of the Drunken UX tavern, knocking them all down.

Games talked about in this episode:

  • 6:12 Monopoly
  • 10:40 Chinatown
  • 17:12 Diablo 2
  • 20:28 Sonic the Hedgehog
  • 22:18 For Honor
  • 26:14 Betrayal at House on the Hill
  • 30:38 Dominant Species
  • 31:29 Roll for the Galaxy
  • 32:46 Zombicide
  • 34:29 Call of Cthulu
  • 37:07 Gloomhaven
  • 39:22 Psychokiller
  • 41:49 AD&D 2nd Edition
  • 44:08 Camel Up
  • 46:25 Condottiere
  • 48:34 Kill Doctor Lucky
  • 50:41 Lords of Waterdeep
  • 52:06 Firefly
  • 55:29 Fury of Dracula
  • 57:01 Valiant Hearts
  • 1:02:50 Munchkin
  • 1:03:25 King of Tokyo
  • 1:06:42 Smash Up

Introductory Guy

Hello. Welcome to Design Thinking Games, a fantasy and user experience podcast. Each episode, your podcast hosts, Tim Broadwater and Michael Schofield, will examine the player experience of board games, pen and paper role-playing games, live-action games, mobile games, and video games. You can find every episode, including this one on your podcatcher of choice and on the web at designthinkinggames.com.

Tim Broadwater

This episode is brought to you by listeners like you patreon.com/designthinkinggames.

So I’ve actually wanted you all to meet for a while now because Mike Schofield had me on his podcast when I was doing UX in higher education. His podcast is the Metric UX podcast. And then last year. Oh my god was, I think it was last year,

Michael Fienan

I think was the end of season three.

Tim Broadwater

Yeah, so I was on the Drunken UX podcast, so and then that is something to where being a guest on those two.

Michael Schofield

Oh, nice. He’s holding up your book. That’s UXFMK at your local Amazon.

Tim Broadwater

Yeah, so really, all the three people here actually inspired me to want to do a UX podcast, so Michael Schofield, Michael Fienen, Aaron Hill.

Michael Schofield

Yeah, I like that this is some sort of like, meet and greet, even though we asked you to come on.

Michael Fienan

Gotta start somewhere.

Michael Schofield

Yeah, you guys are our first interview. We haven’t done one before. And we thought it was cool that we could get some folks on who likely have like a ton of overlap, right? Where we all do UX work to some degree professionally. We write or publish or talk a lot about UX and guarantee that we’re all gamers.

Michael Fienan

So it doesn’t hurt that I’ve got like 100 board games over in my closet. So…

Aaron Hill

Mine ae on the other side of that wall right there.

Michael Fienan

All the books back here on the bookshelf in the video that’s all role-playing games.

Tim Broadwater

Oh, nice. Yeah, right here. My top shelf is all the board games from my A list. I actually went through a thing this spring to where if it wasn’t a definite keeper game, I gave it to the game to Goodwill.

Michael Schofield

Those are best the games Goodwill has had in a long time.

Aaron Hill

Probably every once in a while, you get some choice titles there. I picked up a couple of good ones from my childhood at Goodwill.

Tim Broadwater

Yes, so the design thinking games podcast, kind of to what Michael said, is really kind of still finding its footing. But it’s kind of under this experiment or idea that people who are UXers actually really like games, and we thought there’s potentially something here. And then I would say over the course of season one, we kind of had that confirmed on social media to where a lot of UXers love, like gaming and, so there’s this also intersect between player experience and user experience.

Michael Fienan

UX folks like journeys, right? Like crafting journeys, and customer journeys, user journeys are a big part of the work. And the journey of a player through a game is kind of like a, you know, not to go ahead and jump the shark early, but it’s a gamified version of that, you know, and that process, starting out somewhere, going through transactional things, trying to complete certain goals and come out the other end with your thing done, so to speak.

Aaron Hill

I’ve done some amateur game design. And what I find is that the parts of my brain that I use when thinking about UX in web or in app design are very similar to the parts of my brain I’m using when I’m trying to determine how to model a concept in game interaction. So it just feels like a very similar experience from a creative perspective.

Michael Schofield

Earlier this year, we were taught, or Tim introduced me to this idea. I don’t know if he named it. I feel like we stumbled on a name for it, but this idea of like operator agnosticism where when you’re designing, let’s say like a dashboard in a web app, the tendency is to say like oh, let’s take WordPress or whatever. These are bloggers who are going to do X, and they’re going to need this variety of toggles, and they want to see this information on their list of blogs in their dashboard. Whereas the reality is the job to be done doesn’t really care about your role whether you’re a blogger or you’re an SEO marketer, or you have some other title that you’re all still using the same writing experience in WordPress, and so the idea of operator agnosticism is to build a table that gives the, in this case, the user choice about what they see in it like if they don’t want this column let them hide it. And you see that a lot in games as well that really allows players to choose and set the parameters of how they experienced that game.

Michael Fienan

Can I throw a really bad example of that at you?

Michael Schofield

Do it.

Michael Fienan

I hope that when I say this, your instinct is to cringe, but bear with me – Monopoly.

Tim Broadwater

I literally was just at a mall, or whether there’s an entire shelving section of, like, Monopoly knock-offs.

Michael Fienan

But here’s why I bring that up because while most people who are gamers will say no, Monopoly is actually a terrible game (and it is), one of the reasons I think it has really held on and lasted is because of the amount of customization that is possible within that rule-set, and that Home Rule instinct. Do you pay all your tax money to free parking? Or does it go to the bank? You know, do you collect $200? Or do you get to go to an unclaimed property? People home-rule, all kinds of things around that, to make it not just more fun to them, but more palatable, more accessible, and it makes it feel like their own. None of that feels like it breaks the game at any point.

Aaron Hill

There’s a whole, like, cultural expression around that, right? You meet a family, play Monopoly, and they’re like, Well, how do you play it? What are your rules?

Michael Schofield

No, exactly. You can tell a lot about a person about, like, how much of a jerk they are. Especially if you get into …, I don’t know if Monopoly actually specifies rules about how you haggle. Right? And how do you like to trade?

Aaron Hill

I’ve had to look at the rules not long ago.

Michael Fienan

I’m gonna say something, and then not expand on it: but let’s just say, depending on how many clothes are lost during the course of a Monopoly game, that can also tell you a great deal about –

Tim Broadwater

I will say I have played that version of Monopoly more than once.

Aaron Hill

You literally lose your shirt, playing.

Michael Fienan

Yes, that’s what that means. Yes.

Aaron Hill

In Monopoly, the rules that I find people frequently don’t know, and some of these, you probably know all these, but maybe not for the listeners. Like Michael mentioned, do you put your money on free parking when you pay taxes or whatever? And like free parking is just free parking. But another one that I think many people don’t know is that when you land on a property, if you choose not to buy it, it’s supposed to immediately go to auction. And that’s one way that the game gets sped up a lot because you can land on a property and then choose not to purchase it at list price, hoping that you can get it for a cheaper price. And that someone else won’t steal it from you. And then the other one is just that, like, there’s no bonus money. The only money that gets added into the game’s economy is passing go. So there’s a regular addition of $200 per player each time you go around the board, adding into the game’s economy, but that’s it. And so the game should actually be very fast. You can do a game monopoly if you play by the book in 30 minutes or less. (Yeah, it never has happened.) And playing it by the book, it’s not a bad game. It’s cutthroat, and like what it says about how we live in a society, you know, like that is obviously terrible, but I mean, Game Design-wise, t’s not bad, it’s very tight. It’s very controlled. It has all the hallmarks of a general, interactive type game, but people don’t play by the rules. They like to make up their own because nobody likes to lose, and the game is built to be like the crushing loss of capitalism.

Michael Schofield

That’s interesting. Yeah, cuz I was just gonna say something like semi profound, “What an interesting case study that that game transcended its own rules.”

Tim Broadwater

I don’t think I’ve ever actually played it the right way. You start with double money to go around the board wives. And, you know, if you can’t buy it, then oh, someone never can buy it unless another person lands on it. Or just like all of these home rolls that I don’t even know where they came from.

Michael Fienan

You want to go down a rabbit hole here with, like the UX thing: let’s talk Monopoly. Let’s talk good Monopoly. There is a game, I believe Z Man produced it that, in my opinion, is every bit as good as Monopoly. It’s all the good stuff about Monopoly with none of the bad, and it’s Chinatown. Chinatown brings in the aspect of property ownership, the concept of a monopoly without it being exactly that. But this idea of, you’re trying to collect sets of things, because they’re worth more money. And it has all of the haggling. Now, you know how in Monopoly, one of the hardest things is trying to get the properties you need from the people who have them because it’s such an inequitable choice, you know when you’re trying to trade with people in Monopoly because usually, it means you want both people to get something useful. But one guy is obviously trying to bend somebody backward a little bit, or you’re, you’re literally on their hotel and have no money. And so you’re like handing over properties. Chinatown takes that and makes it fun and equitable. Because you can haggle over something that you’re like, this is gonna make you a lot of money. But because of the way the game plays out, it’s not necessarily gonna make you a lot of money now, and it may not make you a lot of money later. It could. And so there’s this exchange of businesses that can happen and where they’re located in all of this. To me, it’s like they sat down and talked about what would make monopoly fun. People love haggling. They love that action. They just don’t like the way it works in Monopoly. They like ownership. They like trying to complete things. And so they got rid of pieces moving around the board, and all of that you get money every turn, still, you make money from your businesses, I really have found a lot of fun in that. And it also doesn’t feel like it draws it out a lot of games where it’s user interaction, and like trying to like argue with people or things, those games feel like they can really draw out on overtime. Chinatown resists that.

Tim Broadwater

Yeah, I have to check it out. It’s rated really well on board game geek. Which, of course, is my KPI for purchasing a game in the value of the real power value of BoardGameGeek. But that’s actually one of the things that I think like when you play Here To Slay, or Munchkin or things like that, to where it’s like, let’s haggle to see if we can take someone down or if we can buff the monster. The haggling in Monopoly to me always felt just kind of like, are you gonna let me slide this month? Or are you gonna rake me and take me to the bank and I have to, I have to, like, you know, exchange all of my property and that to pay you off, and then it’s just…

Michael Fienan

There’s no depth to it like, and there’s no way to add depth to it. It’s a very superficial kind of haggling that happens in Monopoly. And that’s why I guess it works better in Chinatown because it plays out over I think six rounds – six or nine, I can’t remember now – and it’s like, the way you haggle in the next to last round is vastly different from how you haggle in the first round. Because you only have so much time to make any money. The other way this works, I think, is, you know, in Monopoly, the game is pre-determined well before it finishes. You know who’s gonna win before they win. Chinatown does a really good job of obfuscating the horse race a little bit, so you don’t necessarily feel like, “oh, god, they’re so far ahead. I can’t catch them.” You have stacks of money, but that money changes every turn, it consolidates, and you don’t have to show it to anybody. And so that makes the game a lot more fun. You do feel like even up to that end, you have a chance, whereas, in Monopoly, it’s like, I’m gonna go one more round, and if I land on one of your properties, I’m done for – I need you to land on 14 of my properties. This is over.

Aaron Hill

Here’s some monopoly trivia for you. Well, first, another obscure rule is that, if you know, in Monopoly, rent is doubled even without houses. A lot of people don’t know that. It’s written on the title deeds, but not everybody reads those.

Tim Broadwater

So you said you’ve played Monopoly recently, then? (yeah, well, I have kids) Is it good for kids? I don’t even know what the age rating is.

Aaron Hill

Oh, with house rules. Sure.

Michael Fienan

I played pretty young, actually. I remember playing it in our first house. And I think we were out of there by the time I was eight.

Tim Broadwater

I remember I’m also playing it very young like that. My grandparents it’s Yeah, the only board game my grandparents had.

Aaron Hill

We would play that with you with like the seashore and stuff. I go to the Jersey Shore or something and pay Monopoly. See, here’s the trivia. One of the properties the colored properties on the board is not a street. Do you know which one it is?

Tim Broadwater

One of the properties on the board, but it’s not a street?

Aaron Hill

Not the railroads, not the free parking or whatever. One of the colors? The color properties that you can buy one of them is not a street.

Michael Fienan

The one that jumps with me is like Marvin gardens. (Yes, that’s it!)

Tim Broadwater

I can’t believe you remember that? That was a

Aaron Hill

It’s a housing development. I think it’s gone it, but it was in the early 1900s. It existed in Atlantic City. Um, every other one of the places were actual streets in Atlantic City.

Michael Fienan

Huh. Marvin gardens.

Aaron Hill

So there’s a book by – I think I read this when I was a kid. I’m pretty sure it’s this one – by Philip Urbaines. It’s called Monopoly, the world’s most famous game and how it got that way. And it’s fascinating. There are all kinds of great trivia there. Marvin gardens thing though I found from John McPhee, he wrote it was called in search of Marvin gardens in his book Pieces of the Frame, and it was about the history of Monopoly but also like him literally looking for Marvin gardens Atlantic City.

Tim Broadwater

Oh, nice. I kind of want to know what’s on everyone’s hot plate right now, like what game are you obsessed with or what have you giving some time to?

Michael Fienan

Easy. Diablo 2.

Aaron Hill

Really. That just came out, the remaster?

Tim Broadwater

It’s a remaster of the computer game. Or was Diablo 2 on the computer?

Michael Fienan

In 2000 so it is 21 years old, and if you want to feel like you’ve lost track of time, Diablo 3 is nine years old. (Oh geez. Oh my god.) That hurts, doesn’t it? (So, is it good?) It’s Diablo 2. That means yes, it’s good.

Aaron Hill

Did they change anything about it? Did they fix anything?

Michael Fienan

So I mean, this, I think, is actually a kind of a great topic for you guys as much as anything because of what they changed. They came out and said we’re not making the next iteration of Diablo; that’s what Diablo 3 was. Diablo 3 was good. My only complaint about it really was that it was a very short feeling by comparison to the other games. I don’t know if that was just objective or subjective rather, but it felt very short. Diablo 2 always felt long, it felt big, it had a lot to it, you could do a lot. So they’re like this is the original game: a.) if you haven’t played it, or I mean if you are playing it but haven’t switched it back and forth between legacy mode and new mode – man. Command and Conquer did that too – also a game from my childhood, so of course I bought it – but the difference between those is very worth just looking at. One big thing they did, though as we have a lot more power with regard to accessibility in games now. And so they did a lot more with transcription of all of the voice audio that is in the game. They’ve given you a lot of options for color palette, color blindness stuff. You do things like auto pickup gold now. You’re not trying to click every single little piece of gold to try to get it, so they’ve tried to help with motor control. They have an article on their website, like how they sat down and said, “how would we do this now knowing what we know about game design for people with disabilities?”

Tim Broadwater

That’s cool Yeah, I love the grind in that game. It was fun to go into dungeons and grind and get experience and gold. What about Aaron?

Aaron Hill

I’m just currently being wowed by the Diablo 2 preview you just shared. It’s awesome. I’m gonna have to check this out. Um, let’s see, board-game-wise? I’ve been rotating through a few different ones. I’ve been going to a weekly board game night and had It’s been fun, so I get to try out a lot of games I haven’t tried ever before. I think the one that’s probably been in hot rotation just because it’s fun and easy to play with new people is Splendor, the gem trading game. I got the expansion for that. So we’ve been playing some of the expansions. Video Game-wise. Most recently, I replayed – I was showing someone Sonic the Hedgehog 1. And I was replaying it, and I was like, Oh yeah, like, if you get all the chaos emeralds, then you could turn it to supersonic. But I mistakenly got Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 mixed up, and so in Sonic 1, it’s just a different ending. But I did do it, though.

Michael Schofield

I never saw the ending to any of those Genesis-era Sega games (they’re pretty brutal). I never got past like the third level of either of the Sonics – Sonic 1 and Sonic 2, the only canonical Sonics – but yeah, I mean, I never saw any ending at all on the Sega.

Tim Broadwater

Mike Schofield. What are you playing currently?

Michael Schofield

Yeah, it’s almost not worth mentioning, but my almost two-years strong weekly d&d night continues. So I play a lot of Dungeons and Dragons. Board games… I don’t think I’ve done a ton other than board games with my kids. We played Dungeons and Dragons. And I introduced them to like Pandemic over the summer, which was a ton of fun, especially because they were devastated by the Pandemic winning.

Aaron Hill

We named the red disease COVID-19.

Michael Schofield

Yeah, I think we did too. And yeah, the black disease was like the zombie virus. It was an awful pandemic. But then, like video games-wise. Well, first, I should be playing the latest Life is Strange. I downloaded it. I’m waiting to play. I love that series. But I keep going back to For Honor because it feels good to swing a sword in that game. Have you guys ever played for honor? For Honor is a fighting game that has “realistic” weapons fighting. But you have to have your guard in the right spot to block, and it’s about timing, and it feels like you have to practice to get good. And I like those games. And this is a great fighting game. And so I’ve been playing t.

Tim Broadwater

It sounds kind of like Bushido blade or like Vagrant Story. (Yeah, that’s what I was thinking). Really focus, block, and parry.

Michael Schofield

It’s really similar, or even something like Chivalry 2 where you have to raise your shield, or you’re going to get an arrow in the face. But it’s one of those things that I like the material. I like knights fighting samurai. I think it’s cool. (Oh, right!) I like that you have to practice to be good. And it feels like something that’s merit-based, right, you know, like you kind of earn your wings, and it feels excellent, frankly, in a multiplayer.

Aaron Hill

Oh, there is a board game. I haven’t played it in a while. But it’s I think one of my favorites is I forget the publisher. It’s like a red bird on it. But The game is Above and Below. And then they also did Near and Far, Islebound, and there’s another one, it’s a smaller game. But Above and Below and Near and Far are both like worker placement games, but they have a whole thing of like there’s a storybook that goes along with it. And when you like, in Above and Below, when you venture into the underground, you draw a random card, and you roll a die, and then it tells you which encounter you get, and then someone reads it. And then there’s usually like some narrative, and you have to make a choice, you have to roll a test using the workers that you brought with you. And then stuff happens, but also you’re purchasing buildings and doing other things. It’s a neat mixture of storytelling but also worker placement. And then Near and Far is similar to that, but on a larger scale: there’s a countryside you’re exploring that’s got more of an RPG kind of thing. There’s even a legacy mode where you have the character, and they level up and get abilities and stuff. The art is cool. I love the art of these games.

Michael Fienan

You mentioned Pandemic, and it just made me think we’ve got a Pandemic Legacy on the shelf like waiting. I want to touch it. I want to play with it, but we have forgotten. (What are you waiting for, man? Like we really just lived through the lockdown.)

Tim Broadwater

I actually played Pandemic one week before lockdown. We had friends over, a couple, and we had dinner. I made crock-pot lasagna. And we’re like, what are we gonna play? And we played Pandemic. And it was just when they started to say, like, “Oh, I think there’s COVID-19.” And then literally, two days later, is when the lockdown and everything happened, and so we now have this memory between two of our friends and me and my partner. And remember, when the Pandemic kicked off with us playing Pandemic. (They’re gonna blame you, Tim.)

Michael Fienan

We’ve gotten on a big legacy game kick in our group because we went through around Christmas time and destroyed Betrayal Legacy over the course of literally two straight days.

Aaron Hill

Is that Betrayal on the House on Haunted Hill?.

Michael Fienan

Yeah.

Michael Schofield

That’s such a good one.

Michael Fienan

Oh, it’s so good.

Aaron Hill

It’s the legacy mode.

Tim Broadwater

So is that the expansion or –?

Michael Fienan

The full legacy version of the game. If you like the Betrayal on the House on the Hill, get it. If you like legacy games, get it. If you like both of those things, definitely get it. The start of that game, and the middle of that game, have two of my favorite points in gaming I’ve ever run into. The people they had to do the game design on that and think about like = a story game, like Betrayal, literally has a story. And it feels very much like an American Horror Story kind of theme that kind of runs through each round of the game because it’s the same people but in different kinds of situations and stuff like that. And they really thought about how that would go. The setup is so good. I was caught off guard. I was surprised. Do you know how hard it is to get into a game like that and genuinely be like delighted?

Tim Broadwater

So for someone who knows – I was about to say Betrayal at Baldur’s Lake. But Betrayal at House on the Hill, when you’re saying “the legacy,” what is that exactly?

Michael Fienan

It is basically a game where it’s meant to be played over time. And as you play it over time, the game changes. You put stickers on the board, you scratch off stuff on certain cards, or put things on certain cards, you’ll throw stuff away.

Michael Schofield

The legacy aspect is that it’s mutable, and it changes, right? You actually changed the game as you played.

Michael Fienan

Unlike some legacy games, once you’re done with it, it’s still a playable game. You can then continue to replay it over and over. It’s just now your version of Betrayal, and it just plays like a normal Betrayal on House on the Hill type of game. It was so good. Like it got everything right. I’m trying to think of a moment where we were playing in a mechanic that just didn’t work right or something, and it just didn’t hit those notes wrong anywhere. (That’s good.) My legacy game experience right now is limited to Betrayal and Gloomhaven. Pandemic’s waiting. It’s there. I’m gonna get to it.

Aaron Hill

When are you gonna play it? When’s that gonna happen?

Michael Fienan

Soon-ish. I don’t know.

Aaron Hill

I haven’t played it, but I have friends who have, and they really enjoyed it.

Tim Broadwater

Is Twilight Imperium considered legacy then? Cuz I know it takes a long, long time to play it, but I don’t know if it’s technically legacy.

Aaron Hill

I think Legacy is when we change the game itself, right? (Yeah).

Tim Broadwater

Oh, then no, I think it just takes a really crazy long time to play Twilight Imperium.

Michael Fienan

Android, or Axis and Allies.

Aaron Hill

I remember when I was growing up, my dad told me about this game it was I think it was made by Avalon Hill, but it was like a Pacific Theatre Air Combat battle simulation game, and the mat for it was like 15 feet by 15 feet. They would start at the beginning of the summer, and it would take all summer literally long, and they wouldn’t finish because there was so much intricacy with the turn.

Tim Broadwater

It’s on my bucket list to play Twilight Imperium. And I’ve seen one, two, and the third version now. And it is notorious in the world as being one of the most complicated. It makes me think of like Parks and Recreation is just like there are so many rules and so many pieces and so much going on that it just takes you three months to play the game.

Michael Fienan

Complex doesn’t have to mean the long though, right, or hard. I think of a game like Dominant Species, which ranked real high there on Board Game Geeks for a while, and it’s a game that when you spread it out, and you look at it, and you read that rulebook, it feels like there is so much going on here. And when I played it, that’s a game that I think, and I don’t know what their playtesting regimen was like, but I feel like whatever they did in that cycle, they got right. Because the mechanics flow well, it’s easy to understand, transitioning between different scales and things and growing your species or changing something about the environment. That game is very dense, very complex, but plays like a nice instrument. And then you get into something like Race for the Galaxy, which people love, and I get it, I love Roll for the Galaxy myself. But Race for the Galaxy is good, too. But that iconography can be such a dense, hard hurdle to get over as a new player and trying to explain to people. If you’ve got three people who know Race for the Galaxy, and one person who’s new, the amount of time you have to spend explaining all the iconography to them and everything and what does what and how you play it. That’s a stumbling block that is not new user-friendly at all. It’s a hard thing.

Aaron Hill

I remember when my friend taught me Race for the Galaxy, it was so confusing to me. You would take a card from the deck and put it facedown on one of your planets, and that was like the resource that you get from it. Because I’m like, “Well, wait, does the underside of the card matter at all?” Like, it’s just the idea that they were using the cards for two different purposes was really hard for me to grasp at the time.

Tim Broadwater

Yeah, I actually was at Origins. It was canceled last year, and I picked up Zombicide.

Aaron Hill

I don’t think I remember that one.

Tim Broadwater

It looks great. The artwork, the miniatures are phenomenal, it’s great, and that’s what I wanted about the game. And like everyone looked like they were having fun playing it. And then, when I got home and opened up the rulebook, it was so intense. And I’m just like, “Okay, well, I will just put this at the bottom of the pile. And I’ll eventually get to this because this is going to take some time.” It’s not one of those games that you can find a YouTube video that teaches you how to play it in five to 10 minutes. It is not that casual or easy of a game, and so there’s some nuance layer with like, well, what is the thing that we can put in front of a player, maybe a card that we know exactly what they can do in their turn, or like okay, here’s a sheet that goes in front of the player that explains what all the icons are, versus how do we simplify through video, or through, you know, kind of the game manual, onboarding someone to the game so they can get in and playing and enjoy it, like sooner rather than later.

Michael Fienan

I like Zombicide, I know Zombicide.

Aaron Hill

More games need to include those kinds of handouts. I know they all have like the little quick poker card reference things. But like there needs to be just a general quick one-sheet summary of, like, what happens on a turn, and I don’t think enough games do that. Thankfully, the player community usually makes them for at least popular games. Those always are really handy to have.

Michael Schofield

There’s a cool concept that I encountered, I think, in some Call of Cthulhu forum for the first time that in web design, we talked about usability in part in terms of its learnability – how easy is an interface to learn? Well, the flip side is like your teachability index. And there is this concept which is how roughly easy is it for an experienced player to explain the rules and get you started? But if you could have one person who has it all in their head, how quickly can they teach it? It’s a different measure than learning it from scratch. And there are some games that are really good at like that.

Michael Fienan

Teach it in a way where somebody doesn’t 10 minutes say, “Well, you didn’t tell me that. If I had known that, I would have done this entirely differently.”

Michael Schofield

I like how d&d gets around that it’s like, the DM’s rules or the highway.

Tim Broadwater

Yeah, I’m not a homebrew person. And we can have a whole different episode about that. I am an organized play person. But I feel like we run into the same problem in software development, that we always punt the documentation, training, and instructional designer to the very end, and then we bring them in, and they’re like, okay, it launches in two weeks, and they’re like, “I don’t even know what the app does, I, someone’s gonna have to walk me through it. So I can translate it.” One of the things I’m trying to be more cognizant about at the very beginning is we need to get people on board who are documentation and training people that can literally understand it, as we understand it, as it changes, and then they can help with contextual help or tooltips, or things of that nature, as opposed to just like, constantly kicking that can down the road.

Michael Fienan

I think it’s a constant problem that we see a lot in game design in documentation, you know, the same way where it comes back to this notion of who’s writing the documentation for who? And how much time are they spending, like, going over that with people? I mentioned Gloomhaven earlier, and it’s a fine game, you know, I know, it’s really popular with certain folks. And I understand why. The rulebook is also garbage. That rulebook is not good. And they made a lot of decisions about the gameplay that is designed for thematic reasons, which again, I understand, but then they do a poor job articulating in the rulebook, they’ll name things like you’re strengthened, or you’re muddled. And they’ll have effects like this, that really what they mean is you are advantaged or disadvantaged, they all have the same effect. You either draw two cards and keep the best one or draw two cards and keep the worst one. But they called it a bunch of different things because, well, it makes sense that you’re going to have this effect or that effect, and I get that, but when I have to spend time in the rulebook as we’re playing, it hurts you know, it really slows down the fun to have when you have to go through these rules and figure out what does this word mean? You’re using this as a keyword. So I’m looking for that keyword in the rule book, and you’re not using that word anywhere in the rulebook. That stuff is really gnarly.

Tim Broadwater

One of my metrics for tabletop board games that I like is that onboarding is easy. There are other ones I like, but it’s just like how quick can we start to play and how you know understandable it is. Circling back to like one of the games that I’m obsessed with right now is Starfinder and Pathfinder and Pathfinder second edition, and I just went to a con and played five games for five hours each, so like 25 hours of gaming over the weekend. And Mike Schofield got me to play through Mass Effect Legendary Edition.

Michael Schofield

One of the greatest games of all time.

Tim Broadwater

I’m on three right now. And so we’re just about to start three, but a tabletop board game, I don’t know if you know it. It’s ranked really well. I bought it. I’ve played it, and I’m obsessed with it, is Psycho Killer. (Qu’est-ce que c’est?).

I’m doing it injustice by calling it Uno, but it’s essentially that Exploding Kittens kind of game. You’re just controlling the flow of the cards. Is it reversing or skipping or backing up? It’s got a really a lot of cool mechanics, and the theme that’s wrapped around it is like 80’s slasher horror. You are collecting wounds and weapons, and then you’re trying to survive and be the person who’s not killed or wounded the most, and I cannot recommend this game enough. Its video that they created for onboarding to teach you how to play it, and its instruction guide, is the best example of instructional design for a game I’ve seen recently.

Aaron Hill

Michael’s talking about the keyword thing, “is this a keyword I’m gonna look for in other places?” And that’s something when I’m writing, either a procedural or like, if I’m writing rules, text or something, I try to be very careful about what words I use to describe things because if a mechanic is the same, you should call it the same thing each time. So that you can reduce the cognitive load of the person trying to learn the game. In-game that have explicit names for different concepts, and those concepts are unique to those things. I’m trying to think of one that does this poorly, and I’m having trouble thinking of one, but I definitely noticed that a lot like in rules text though, when they just get too verbose, and it’s clear they didn’t have an editor or at least not an editor who was familiar with the game.

Michael Fienan

Tannhauser. The rulebook is a crime.

Aaron Hill

Actually, did any of you play second edition d&d?

Tim Broadwater

Oh yes.

Aaron Hill

Okay. Remember THAC0 armor class?

Tim Broadwater

Yeah, armor class zero.

Aaron Hill

Yeah, and like you know, carrying weight and like encumbrance and on like all of that the saving throws were weird. Like everything about that felt so overly specific and like the third edition fixed a lot of that by making everything positive bonuses. I think that was a big improvement.

Tim Broadwater

I feel so triggered right now. (Oh, sorry.) I’m so triggered. I spent the majority of my youth probably in the second edition. And I know the final like, screw this game moment where everyone flipped the table is like when they literally added Psionics.

Aaron Hill

I have the brown handbook for that upstairs for the second edition.

Tim Broadwater

Players Guide to Psionics or Player’s Handbook to Psionics. Another question I wanted to ask everyone here is, is generally, it sounds like we all have a lot of experience with UX and a lot of experience with games. But I think the question that I kind of want to know is, it doesn’t matter if it’s a board game, video game, tabletop game, live-action, whatever. I just want to know kind of what is the first thing that pops into your frontal cortex or your brain about what is a really usable game one that you were just impressed with? Like everything like artwork instructions, gameplay enjoyment is just like at that top of the list for you.

Aaron Hill

In terms of like quality of UX?

Tim Broadwater

Enjoyable, usable. What is the honeycomb? All of the metrics, checkboxes.

Michael Schofield

High desirability, low accessibility.

Aaron Hill

There are two games that come to mind. When I think about if I’m meeting up with a group of people who maybe have varying levels of experience with games, right? So maybe they played a bunch. Maybe they haven’t. You’re not really sure it’s gonna be a mixed bag. The two games that I think I always have with me are Splendor, which I mentioned before, and Camel Up. Also, Camel Cup, either one. Even in German, either one is okay. The board game designer that made it says Camel Up / Camel Cup. The reason why is because, in both games, the actions that you can take on each turn are limited to four, maybe five, different possibilities. It’s really easy to grasp just those four or five things. And you can basically take any of those actions at any turn with minimal risk. You’re not going to screw yourself later in the game, majorly. You can just do stuff to advance the game forward so that you can interact with the game without having to make a whole lot of mental calculations or anything. Also, the artwork on both of them is great. Splendor’s artwork is beautiful, and Camel Ups’ artwork is very thematic and kind of fun. It does a really great job of reinforcing the theme of betting on camel races. The thing I really love about Camel Up is that the game is so absurdly swingy. Have you played it before?

Tim Broadwater

I have not. I’ve not played either of those two.

Aaron Hill

Okay, so I’ll give you the 20-second synopsis. It’s a race with five different colored camels that go one lap around a track, and while they’re going, and they’re moving, everyone’s making bets on the progress of the race until it finally ends, and then that ends the game. So there are mechanics in the game that affect like catch up and like how the camels like progress on the track. And I’ve seen games where the Camel that was in dead last ended up winning because the dice just came out in a certain order. And man, like I’m not exaggerating when I say that when I played this with my family, and that happened, there were literally hoots and hollers and screams, it was really exciting, and it was like holy shit, this happened! It’s a really great game. It won [award] in 2015 or thereabouts. I think one other honorable mention. [Condultiary?] is a beautiful game with beautiful artwork, the original release of it had real tall columnar cards. It’s like a bidding game for territory control of Reconstruction Era Italy. Unfortunately, it’s not an easy one to explain, and that makes it harder to introduce the people, but when you play with people who know the game though it’s so much fun, there’s a whole layer of, “oh well, they played that card which means they probably do or don’t have this,” and you have to like get behind the hand and read their minds, and it’s a lot of fun, it’s just not easy to teach someone in five.

Tim Broadwater

So then it goes to you, Michael F.

Michael Fienan

This is the kind of thing I should have prepared for a little better.

Tim Broadwater

What pops into the front of your mind?

Michael Fienan

So here’s the thing right, there are a lot of games I really enjoy, and there are games I play a lot of that I also would not consider necessarily good games. It’s like movies I’ve watched their movies that I watched that are total trash that I would never recommend to somebody, but they give me some kind of visceral enjoyment. How about this: so I’ve already given you a love letter to Chinatown. I do think Chinatown is a game that anybody who likes Monopoly and wants more. There’s a lot of love for Catan as sort of the gateway game. If you’ve if you feel like you’ve outgrown Monopoly and you want to go a different direction but not get something hard that people can still kind of get into, Catan served as that for a long time. I would go ahead and throw Chinatown as a gateway game. Another gateway game that I think pretty much gets almost everything about itself right. It knows what it is, it’s easy to get new people in, it’s fun with people who really know how to play it, is Kill Doctor Lucky. So you know Clue? Kill Doctor Lucky is the first half of Clue. Clue is all about figuring out who killed the guy, where, and with what? Kill Doctor Lucky is all about getting in the room with the guy and kill him with something and not be seen. It’s not complex. It has a very simple mechanic. The old guy is walking around his house. However many people are in there trying to get in rooms you’ve got a line of sight to consider, and you get cards, and everybody else has spoiler cards, so you’re like I’m gonna kill them with the hammer, and somebody throws a card like a dog goes running through the house and so your attempt to spoiled. You build up points for every spoiled attempt. So over time, you will eventually have enough points that somebody is going to outweigh the number of spoiler cards that everybody plays on you.

Tim Broadwater

I’ve seen this before. I said that I misspoke when I said I had not played it. I haven’t played it, but I’ve seen it been played before.

Aaron Hill

Is the one that is print and play. They have a pretty play version.

Michael Fienan

I don’t know if they do or not. I’ve got the full version of it. But it’s a relatively cheap game, and I want to say Walmart carries it now. It’s that mainstream as far as things go, but it’s a well-thought-out game, and I like that they did this idea of the first half of Clue because that makes it feel very grounded in something that people do know. A lot of people know Clue. Even if they haven’t played Clue, they’re familiar with it. It reduces the amount of anxiety they may have about getting into this game and. “oh, I’m gonna suck at it because I don’t know the rules. It’s my first time.” A hard game that I’m trying to think of if I really consider this to be a game that gets things mostly right and given the amount that we play it and the amount of fun we have with it. I’m gonna say yes, that’s Lords of Waterdeep.

Tim Broadwater

(Oh, I love that game.) That is literally the one I was going to say.

Michael Fienan

Okay, well then, I’m right. I get another gold star. Thank you.

Tim Broadwater

I love totaling games. I don’t even know what they’re called that. But it’s that mechanic like Ticket to Ride and other games to where you don’t know until the end until everyone reveals all their cards, and so it’s always kind of exciting. At that last five minutes, because you’re kind of seeing what everyone did, and you weren’t even aware of the whole game that they were working on.

Michael Fienan

You have that opportunity at the end like even if you’re in last, it’s like it’s not out of reach, because I still have this stuff in the bank, and I know I’m gonna jump 20 points, but there’s also a lot to it, there’s a lot of gameplay to it thematically, it’s very rich because it’s got a lot of the D&D stuff to draw on. So there’s a lot of grit to it for people who enjoy that kind of world. I had another easy game, and now I just simply don’t remember what I was gonna throw out there. But those two, I think, are definitely high. They’re easy to pull out. They always get good marks from folks whenever they get into them. I like other games like Firefly. Firefly is great. It takes 18 hours to play.

Aaron Hill

I was just gonna say I love the Firefly game, and my son and I play it sometimes. It drips with flavor. If you’ve seen the show and you love the show, you’ll love the game, but holy shit, there’s nothing in the game that drives itself to completion, so you can literally just fly around the verse and run missions and stuff and have fun and then just decide when you’re done playing, and that’s actually a totally legit way to play that game.

Michael Fienan

I have every expansion you need a dining room table and two leaves and extra table space if you have all the expansions. To me, that’s what makes it not really that great as a result. I like Mansions of Madness. I think the second version is better. The second edition is definitely an improvement on the first edition because it’s another game that these games there’s a lot of these games that they’re really fun thematically, but Arkham Horror kind of falls into this a little bit like, man, it’s fun, but I’m 39 years old now I don’t want to stay up till 4am playing it. So that kind of hurts in ways. So I’ll leave it with those two then: we got Lords of Waterdeep, and we’ve got Kill Doctor Lucky.

Tim Broadwater

I have to choose another one because you took Lords of Waterdeep away from me.

Aaron Hill

I love how you explain Kill Doctor Lucky as the first half of Clue, like Clue before Clue happens. And I feel like that explains so much of the mechanics behind the game that you have an instant understanding of what the game is before you even.

Michael Schofield

It’s a great elevator pitch.

Michael Fienan

I don’t know if this is even possible, but I want to see one group play Kill Doctor Lucky. And then, the second group plays Clue based on the outcome of Kill Doctor Lucky.

Michael Schofield

That’d be awesome.

Aaron Hill

But my friends that I once played a game of Risk where every time you attempt to attack or take a territory, instead of rolling dice, it turns into a game of Stratego. We did not make it through a whole game of Risk this way, but —

Michael Schofield

I love it! I love it so much. That’s appeals to my Wargaming instinct. I love it. Oh my god.

Aaron Hill

Well, the Stratego pieces you get are based on how many armies you’re attacking with. Or proportionally, so you have to kind of like you draft them, etc.

Michael Schofield

Oh no, I don’t have a Marshall. Yeah. I gotta play this.

Tim Broadwater

What about you, Michael Schofield. I may know this already, so I’m not gonna say

Michael Schofield

There are a few. The games that I love that I think have, like, what I’d call a net positive UX, necessarily imply that there are things about it that really suck and are hard to get into. I’ve actually got three: and I just have to name-drop these in terms of like board games. The one that I love, I think maybe out of nostalgia, because it’s a super goth game. It’s one of those that are highly themed and is the first game I really played that had, like in the second edition that had like miniatures with it was like a high production value board game. And I love it. And it’s the Fury of Dracula. Where you, for the most part, are probably a vampire hunter chasing Dracula himself across the old world. And one of the players is Dracula, and there’s like a day and night cycle. So during the day, you and three other compatriots work collaboratively to locate Dracula kill his undead minions, basically drive a stake through his heart. But then night happens, and Dracula can flee to the next city, create a whole bunch of like vampire spawn and just otherwise escape but also spread the dark seed across Victorian Europe. And it’s wonderful, and it’s timed, and there’s only like, eight, eight nights, you got like a week to do it. And then it’s over. And then Dracula wins. It’s the same thing with Pandemic: I like the idea that the bad guy wins. It’s really cool. It’s just a cool theme. I was really racking my brain because like what’s like the most usable game, which suggests something to me other than like, most fun? And I was just going through my like my library. And this one’s a video game, but I want to give a shout out – I don’t know if this ranks anywhere, really if I really had to make a hardcore list, but this one stood out to me, and I said, this is a great UX – have you guys have played Valiant Hearts? It’s a side-scrolling World War One Love Story game.

Aaron Hill

Those are three different things that I never would imagine being mushed together.

Michael Schofield

So the idea at the heart of it is like a story that’s a love story between an elderly French farmer, his daughter, and his daughter is in love with an Austrian farmhand. And then the Great War starts, and the Austrian farmhand gets drafted. And the French elderly father also gets drafted. And you play a cartoonish campaign on both sides through the Great War until they either reunite or they don’t – no spoilers – but that’s the kind of story can you survive the war long enough to get reunited with your love or to get back to your daughter or whatever, and sometimes you play as a dog, there’s a lot in there. But in terms of usability, great, super cartoony, like a friendly comic book thing that you might find in the children’s part of the library, right? It has great hints and has great mechanics like that. And there’s just a side scroller. The controls are really easy, but it’s treacherous because you have to, like, evade bombs. Watch out for mines. Watch out for mustard gas. It’s really pretty gruesome, and sprinkled throughout this kind of comic booky World War One Game are little postcards of real history. That show like, Hey, man, this was a bad time, and stuff like that. I totally recommend it for the folks who like to play games on their screen. It’s one of those things where my son played it at age seven. (Oh, wow.) He was really interested in it. And he walked away knowing something about the Great War, and he cried at the end, it was a good experience, that a kid can just pick up and play, but the really heavy concept and this is one of those things that like, I can’t really think of a whole lot else that does that. Anyway, like I said, I just found this like scrolling through my library, and I was like, “Oh my god, I totally forgot about this game.” You think about like the UX honeycomb or any of those models like fleshes out the entire circle. It’s really good. Put it on your radar.

Tim Broadwater

Nice. I’ve actually had a fury of Dracula on my Amazon wishlist. I know you’ve talked about it a lot, and it’s rated pretty decently on Board Game Geek. As you know, I love asynchronous horror, and it’s like asynchronous horror in the form of a board game. So it’s kind of like, hey, we’re all friends, and then oh, I touched a voodoo artifact, and now I’m a witch or zombie or mummy or whatever.

Michael Fienan

I do think I had Fury of Dracula on my wish list at one point. And it went out of print, and I took it off, but I’m looking at the map now. Yeah, I think I know this game. I think it was. I think it was on an episode of Tabletop.

Michael Schofield

Yes. That’s where I learned about it, too. Yeah.

Aaron Hill

Can I give a quick shout-out to a game that is a board game version was terrible UX, but the app game version was awesome. Have any of you played Elder Signs? (Yes.)

Michael Fienan

Oh, yes. Yeah, also known as –

Aaron Hill

Cthulhu Yahtzee.

Michael Schofield

That’s exactly what it is.

Aaron Hill

In the tabletop version, I have it, and I’ve played it a bunch. I even have like a little Field Notes book that has like, every time I play it, we write down like, which was the elder God, and did we win or lose, who was playing, etc. But man, so much table maintenance. And the app version, which actually played before I played the tabletop version, the app version fixes so much of the game, making it so much more fun. And you could focus a lot more on like the, you know, the dice rolling aspect, which is a lot more interesting than maintaining the table state. So, kudos to the development team.

Michael Fienan

Did you advance the clock? Did you remember to move the clock up three hours? Right, forget that. I don’t remember. Yeah. That’s happened a lot.

Tim Broadwater

I’m pretty sure that was one of the games, like Sheriff of Nottingham, this is too — I don’t care.

Michael Fienan

If you like Cthulhu games, you have to be a little bit of a masochist. Many of them are very good, but they all hurt. All of them take a toll on you in one way or another.

Tim Broadwater

They do. They do. I have strong feelings about Cthulhu games.

Michael Schofield

I like the idea that they’re intentionally obtuse games.

Tim Broadwater

I will have to say, for mine, from that from the tabletop perspective. Even though I think if I got a group of people together, I would want to play in a collaborative board game, so everyone’s always thinking like Forbidden Desert or, or something to where we’re all working together, and it’s fun. But I’m competitive, and if it is the right group of people, I love me some Munchkin, and I love me some King of Tokyo or King of New York. Munchkin is great because it’s like a simplified Dungeons and Dragons to where your base character and you add your sex, your class, your race, your armor and everything to it, and you kind of bump it up, and there are so many flavors of Munchkin now that it’s just like Monopoly to where it’s just like made every single version of it. But I’m sure you’ve played Munchkin. But if you’ve not played, I’m not sure if you’ve played King of New York or King of Tokyo. It is one of those games where it’s like I just want a bunch of big dice, and I want to slam them down and attack everyone else at the table. And I want to give the monster I have a third head and eye lasers and wings and mutate them to dominate and destroy all the other players, and it’s just so gratifying that you roll these dice that have claws on them for attacks, and it’s just physical. And that’s I guess what I really like about that game, and I don’t know anyone who’s played the game and not had a blast. It’s so user experience or player experience-wise. I think a lot of people just want to be a giant monster that destroys cities and fights other giant monsters to the death.

Michael Fienan

You name two games there between the King of New York and Forbidden Desert that also interestingly, the sort of bigger version quote-unquote, is definitely the better version like that one like if you buy the base version, then buy the advanced version you discover you never played the base version. King of Tokyo, though, did a good job of saying, but you have all these monsters, and you can use all these monsters and everything in the bigger version. So they brought it along. And Forbidden Desert did not do that with Forbidden Island. So it’s like if you want to play Forbidden Desert or something like that. You almost never go back to Forbidden Island once you have it.

Aaron Hill

Yeah. The thing I like about the King of Tokyo is that the mechanic around who gets pulled into the city, like you know, you go into the city, okay, now everyone’s hitting you, and you’re hitting everyone. Until you choose to leave but then when you choose to leave, whoever hit you is the person that has to go in. So the game is always pushing, always pushing forwards.

Tim Broadwater

Has to be someone in the ring. Can’t leave the ring unoccupied. What I guess I think I liked about Munchkin and the thing that I like that’s similar between Munchkin and King of Tokyo is I love the add ons you can add like you can buy, you can play Cthulhu, you can play King Kong, you can add like all this stuff, but then with Munchkin, apart from the different games, which I have played a bunch of the different flavors of Munchkin, but Munchkin zombie is by far the best. So instead of the normal Munchkin where you’re kicking in the door, fighting the monster, and getting the treasure, you’re kicking in the door eating the person, and it’s so gratifying to eat accountants and teenagers and cops and kids. You know, and you have instead of the classes or races that you have in traditional like, Dungeons and Dragons, or high fantasy that’s in the core Munchkin. In Zombies Munchkin, are you a toxic-energy zombie? Are you a voodoo zombie? Are you a radiation zombie, and so it kind of goes. But I love the fact that you can, if you do like the game, you can add supplemental, you know, kind of monsters and cards and stuff to it. And I feel like those games don’t have a huge learning curve. And they are always quick. They’re always done within an hour.

Michael Fienan

Smashup’s like that too. It’s got that like, hey, which you know which expansion sets you to want to add to your set and everything and change the way things feel. And it’s kind of got a fun little —

Tim Broadwater

Unicorns and Transformers. Are those the two you want to put together because? That’s like the ultimate speed attack of unicorns and transformers.

You all are coming up on your 100th episode. And I just listened to your WordPress episode on the Drunken UX podcast. The WordPress episode was great, actually. Because as someone who’s been kind of working with it for years, and like, this is what I always do versus like, what you can do or what other people’s setups are was kind of neat, and I guess I want to plug, you know, kind of, as we’re wrapping up, I know how I would describe the Drunken UX podcast. If there are people out there who haven’t heard of you, I mean, how would you describe your podcast?

Michael Fienan

Everybody has not heard of us. That’s kind of the way that goes. What I tell folks to Drunken UX is the show is not about UX. The Drunken UX is about the listeners’ experience with us. We’re sitting there because we’re two middle-aged men from the elder millennial generation. So obviously, we have to have a podcast where we sit and drink. But we do talk UX, we talk accessibility, we talk design development, from the technical to the non-technical. And it’s all about you know, if you are somebody who is interested in web development, interested in web design, how people get into those positions, you know what, what those journeys look like, and what you need to be thinking about to get further that’s, that’s what we like leaning into a lot. We try to keep things light. If you’re high tech, if you’re deep in the field, and you love syntax, and you love web developer tea and those shows, fantastic. They’re all great. We aren’t them. They are different. They are fantastic. And they have you know their niche, they know their stuff. We take a lower brow approach a little bit, I guess.

Aaron Hill

I wouldn’t say lower brow. We’re not prurient!

Michael Fienan

Definitely casual. But we have fun with it. And that’s, you know, we do bring in guests as frequently as possible to talk about, you know, what they’re building, what they’re excited about. We just had Kellen Mason from WP engine to talk with about the headless WordPress stuff. That was a fantastic talk. Yeah, really, you know, it just helps expand the understanding of what you can do with all of these tools that are out there. Is it WordPress? Is it, you know, the way you go about user research? Is it how you think about, you know, making your site available to people that you know have different abilities. That stuff’s important to us, and so we enjoy sharing it. If anybody wants to check it, we have new episodes every other Monday. We’re at DrunkenUX.com. Search for Drunken UX in your podcast thing. We’re on all the things, and yeah, we have this sort of convergence. Episode 100 is going to come out, and we’ve got some stuff we’re going to be announcing there. And then in like two more months, three more months, the season four finale has to come out, so I’ve got to like, I need to figure out what’s what we’re announcing for the 100 and what we’re doing for the finale, so I don’t know to stay tuned it’s gonna be a surprise to me too.

Aaron Hill

The finale will just be like the amazing stuff that’s happened since the 100th episode announcements, right?

Michael Fienan

Obviously, what we got picked up by Spotify, you know, we signed a major label.

Michael Schofield

Joe Rogan of UX.

Aaron Hill

Actually, you know, like, other than I guess if you replace all of the cannabis with alcohol, that’s probably not far off.

Michael Schofield

To tell me about the UX of aliens.

Aaron Hill

Yeah, basically. Yeah. Yeah. The one thing I really like about our show is like, is the casual tone. But I think that a lot of the newer podcasts with like, the younger, the young people, people showing up in it, yeah, like younger people, they have fantastic ideas, and they are so innovative and moving forwards. And I think that Michael and I have a lot of experience. And I think that from that experience it, it helps inform us to talk about like, more nuanced things like accessibility and usability because those are sort of like you really have to have a keen understanding of like HTML and of like, how websites function and things to kind of really grok that. And that’s something that I think is a perspective that we both bring to it.

Michael Fienan

Nice way of saying we’ve earned the gray in our beards.

Aaron Hill

I don’t have much of a beard, but I do have gray hairs in it.

Tim Broadwater

We definitely appreciate you both gracing us on this episode. I totally love talking about the intersection of user experience and games. And thank you both for being on. You have an open invitation going for it. If you ever want to sit and talk about games and user experience. You’re always welcome.

We put a lot of work into design thinking games, so if you like what we do and want to help us cover some costs, consider supporting us patreon.com/designthinkinggames. We also design thinking games on TikTok, twitch, and Twitter.

Introductory Guy

Thank you for listening to the design thinking games podcast. To connect with your hosts, Michael or Tim, please go to design thinking games.com where you can request topics, ask questions, or see what else is going on. Until next time, game on.

Liked it? Take a second to support Design Thinking Games on Patreon!