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  • The 40 Tabletop Games you Must Play - PAX East 2018

    21,392 views 1 year ago
    Presented by GeekNights at PAX East 2018!

    These may not be the top 40 board games ever designed, nor is it the top 40 influential or otherwise important games. If you aspire to really understand tabletop, or if you have visions of designing your own games, these are the 40 games that, if you play them, will give you the widest possible perspective on what it means to make a good game (and what "good" even means). Join the GeekNights crew for an exploration of the boundaries of tabletop gaming. There are some gems in there.

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  • Recent GeekNights Panels & Lectures Play all

    A collection of recent GeekNights Game Design talks, and occasionally some non-game-related talks. Mostly from conventions like PAX West, PAX South, PAX East, MAGFest, PAX Australia, PAX Unplugged... (you may notice a pattern).
    • The 40 Games You Must Play - PAX West 2019 - Duration: 1 hour.

      • 1 month ago
      • 1,131 views
      These may not be the top 40 games ever designed, nor are they the top 40 influential or otherwise important games. If you aspire to really understand games, or if you have visions of designing your...
    • The Real Harm of Games - PAX East 2019 - Duration: 58 minutes.

      • 6 months ago
      • 1,923 views
      In the 80s, we were told Dungeons & Dragons would make us all satanists. In the 90s, first person shooters and Mortal Kombat were supposed to make us all murderers. Games have joined the long and s...
    • Rare Game Mechanics - MAGFest 2019 - Duration: 59 minutes.

      • 6 months ago
      • 7,948 views
      Some game mechanics are common. Drafting cards. Rolling dice. Choosing actions. Worker placement. They are used in many games for a variety of reasons. But what about the weird ones? Ever play a ga...
    • Nostalgia vs Game Design - Duration: 59 minutes.

      • 8 months ago
      • 2,803 views
      Everyone has the game that consumed their childhood. You grew up playing Quake 2 mods, Civ II, or Everquest late into the night. You got obsessed with Aerobiz on the SNES or DotA (the original one)...
    • The 40 Games you Must Play - MAGFest 2019 - Duration: 59 minutes.

      • 9 months ago
      • 2,226 views
      These may not be the top 40 games ever designed, nor are they the top 40 influential or otherwise important games. If you aspire to really understand games, or if you have visions of designing your...
    • The 40 Tabletop Games you Must Play - PAX East 2018 - Duration: 1 hour.

      • 1 year ago
      • 21,392 views
      Presented by GeekNights at PAX East 2018!

      These may not be the top 40 board games ever designed, nor is it the top 40 influential or otherwise important games. If you aspire to really understand t...
    • Atari Game Design - Duration: 57 minutes.

      • 3 years ago
      • 9,061 views
      Presented at PAX East 2016!

      Game design is a wide subject. The best approach to mastering it is to focus on the fundamentals, and what better place to do that than with Atari 2600 games? Join us ...
    • Learn & WIN: Puerto Rico - PAX Unplugged 2018 - Duration: 1 hour.

      • 9 months ago
      • 2,669 views
      Learn how to play one of board gaming’s all-time greats: Puerto Rico. Then, go deep with a tips and strategy session from Rym and Scott, hosts of the GeekNights podcast. Stick around to play a full...
    • PAX South 2018 -- Balance in Game Design - Duration: 1 hour.

      • 1 year ago
      • 16,328 views
      Balancing games is deceptively difficult. Even worse, there are subtle reasons why even if a game is perfectly, mathematically, demonstrably balanced, players will likely have even LESS fun. From s...
    • Quitting in Game Design - MAGFest 2017 - Duration: 1 hour, 2 minutes.

      • 2 years ago
      • 12,788 views
      Ragequit isn't the only form of quitting. People stop playing games for a huge range of reasons. They get bored, they get frustrated, they get distracted, they sometimes literally just forget. It s...
    • PAX West 2016 - The Grind - Full Panel - Duration: 1 hour, 5 minutes.

      • 3 years ago
      • 10,342 views
      The Grind. We've all experienced it. We've all complained about it. Some of us secretly love it. But ask 100 people what it actually IS, and you'll get 40 different answers. Join us for a mechanica...
    • Bad Games - PAX South - Duration: 1 hour.

      • 4 years ago
      • 8,448 views
      Presented at the first PAX South in 2015, Rym and Scott lecture on the nature of what it means to be a "bad" game.

      We’ve all played “bad” games, but what truly makes a game “bad?” Is one’s miserab...
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  • GeekNights Presents: Board Games Play all

    Over the last 12 years, we've reviewed a lot of tabletop games on GeekNights. But, these reviews are buried within full hour-long episodes of the podcast. This is a playlist of JUST the reviews!
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  • Game Design Lectures Play all

    Lectures from conventions like the Penny Arcade Expo and MAGFest on game design and game mechanics specifically.
    • Mastering Game Mechanics - Duration: 1 hour, 3 minutes.

      • 6 years ago
      • 60,421 views
      Presented at PAX East 2013 on Saturday on the Tabletop Theatre, our 21st PAX panel/lecture, in "Mastering Game Mechanics" we take you through a variety of "game mechanics" and consider their use an...
      • CC
    • PAX Australia: Losing in Multiplayer Games - Duration: 33 minutes.

      • 4 years ago
      • 8,744 views
      Losing is an interesting topic in single player games and idiogames. But what about multiplayer games? What about orthogames? What about role playing games?

      How do you design a game to make losi...
    • Bad Games - PAX South - Duration: 1 hour.

      • 4 years ago
      • 8,448 views
      Presented at the first PAX South in 2015, Rym and Scott lecture on the nature of what it means to be a "bad" game.

      We’ve all played “bad” games, but what truly makes a game “bad?” Is one’s miserab...
    • Competition and Skill in Games - Duration: 20 minutes.

      • 7 years ago
      • 3,377 views
      At PAX Prime 2012, we presented three mini lectures as part of "Short Subjects in Gaming" on Friday in the Wolfman Theater.

      http://prime.paxsite.com/schedule/panel/short-subjects-in...

      Some d...
    • Why Five Nights at Freddy's is Scary - Duration: 34 minutes.

      • 4 years ago
      • 43,601 views
      Five Nights at Freddy's is undeniably scary. While it relies on jumpscares, notice that it uses them not to scare you along the way, but more to condition you for much greater and sustained fright...
      • CC
    • Practical Game Theory - Duration: 1 hour, 3 minutes.

      • 6 years ago
      • 42,750 views
      Presented at PAX East 2013 on Saturday on the Tabletop Theatre, our 22nd PAX panel/lecture, we discuss a variety of game theory concepts and terms from the perspective of practical use as players o...
    • Monetizing Games and Game Design: PAX East 2012 - Duration: 59 minutes.

      • 7 years ago
      • 6,157 views
      Games can make their money many ways, but how do these models affect, intentionally or not, the design choices of the game makers themselves? What about the players? Do you play a game differentl...
    • eSports are Sports, and also Games - PAX Prime 2015 - Duration: 1 hour.

      • 4 years ago
      • 2,013 views
      Gaming livestreams are some of the most popular television programs in the US. There are entire TV networks covering gaming that have existed for decades. Yet, many self-described gamers will esc...
    • PAX Australia: The History of Losing - Duration: 19 minutes.

      • 4 years ago
      • 4,176 views
      I presented "Losing" at PAX Australia 2014. This is an excerpt from that lecture covering, essentially, single player videogames. From Super Meat Boy to Silver Surfer to The Stanley Parable to Go...
      • CC
    • When the Game Plays the Player - Rhythm Games and DDR - Duration: 21 minutes.

      • 7 years ago
      • 3,540 views
      At PAX Prime 2012, we presented three mini lectures as part of "Short Subjects in Gaming" on Friday in the Wolfman Theater.

      http://prime.paxsite.com/schedule/panel/short-subjects-in...

      Some d...
    • PAX Panel - How to Win Every Game - Duration: 1 hour.

      • 5 years ago
      • 8,789 views
      Panel presented at the Penny Arcade Expo 2014 on Monday at Noon in the Sandworm Theatre!

      It seems obvious that, when playing a game of skill, one attempts to win. Interestingly, this is often not ...
    • PAX Aus Panel - Beyond Dungeons & Dragons - Duration: 1 hour, 4 minutes.

      • 5 years ago
      • 15,685 views
      D&D is a great way to get into tabletop role playing games, and for most of us, it was our first foray into that world. As classic and dear to us as it is, however, it has certain limitations. If...
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  • GeekNights Presents: Utena Play all

    GeekNights has been reviewing anime since 2005, but this is a step deeper. We're taking one of the best anime series ever created - Revolutionary Girl Utena - and analyzing in detail episode by episode. What are you missing? What could you figure out? No spoilers assuming you've seen the episode.
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  • Indie RPG Spotlight Play all

    From PAX Aus 2013! In the course of their Beyond Dungeons & Dragons lecture, Rym and Scott briefly discussed a good variety of specific indie RPGs as examples of mechanics and play radically different from what most people are used to.
    • Indie RPG Spotligtht - Inspectres - Duration: 4 minutes, 28 seconds.

      • 5 years ago
      • 1,467 views
      Inspectres is an indie RPG by Jared Sorensen. Its mechanics focus on who controls the narrative at different points (depending on player success or failure), in order to essentially make Ghostbust...
    • Indie RPG Spotlight - Dread - Duration: 3 minutes, 53 seconds.

      • 5 years ago
      • 3,934 views
      Dread is a special role playing game. It doesn't use dice or cards for conflict resolution. It uses a Jenga tower. The mechanics of this lead players into the careful buildup of tension, the pun...
    • Indie RPG Spotlight - Primetime Adventures - Duration: 3 minutes, 36 seconds.

      • 5 years ago
      • 1,593 views
      Primetime Adventures is an indie RPG that elegantly structures your role playing in the format of a serial television drama. Simple mechanics cause the same interleaving of characters and plots th...
    • Indie RPG Spotlight - A Thousand and One Nights - Duration: 4 minutes, 11 seconds.

      • 5 years ago
      • 1,004 views
      A Thousand and One Nights is an amazing indie role playing game that centers around a sultan's court. But, rather than merely playing the characters in this court, you play these characters who ar...
    • Indie RPG Spotlight - Freemarket - Duration: 3 minutes, 26 seconds.

      • 5 years ago
      • 2,085 views
      In a post-scarcity transhuman future Utopia, there is only one question worth asking.

      What do you do today?

      Freemarket is a role playing game that explores this question and the kind of world tha...
    • Indie RPG Spotlight - Shock: Social Science Fiction - Duration: 2 minutes, 42 seconds.

      • 5 years ago
      • 1,437 views
      Shock: Social Science Fiction is a role playing game about the "shocks" of future and culture. In a distant space opera, how to we interact? What issues matter (or don't)? Is it a world of sex, o...
    • Indie RPG Spotlight - Mouse Guard - Duration: 3 minutes, 25 seconds.

      • 5 years ago
      • 4,308 views
      "Mouse Guard" is a simple, elegant role playing system that easily tells the kinds of stories in the fantastic Mouse Guard comic. If you enjoy that comic, you will enjoy this rpg. If you haven't ...
    • Indie RPG Spotlight - Burning Wheel - Duration: 10 minutes.

      • 5 years ago
      • 5,671 views
      Luke Crane's "Burning Wheel" is the game that got us into tabletop roleplaying games that weren't for all intents and purposes Dungeons & Dragons. It exemplifies role playing games as idiogames. ...
    • Indie RPG Spotlight - Action Castle - Duration: 2 minutes, 30 seconds.

      • 5 years ago
      • 2,078 views
      Jared Sorensen's "Action Castle" is a modern take on old computer adventure games like Zork. Distributed turns, many players controlling one character, multiple endings: one would be hard pressed ...
    • Indie RPG Spotlight - Lady Blackbird - Duration: 93 seconds.

      • 5 years ago
      • 1,067 views
      Lady Blackbird describes itself:

      Lady Blackbird is on the run from an arranged marriage to Count Carlowe. She hired a smuggler skyship, The Owl, to take her from her palace on the Imperial world o...
    • Indie RPG Spotlight - Dogs in the Vineyard - Duration: 64 seconds.

      • 5 years ago
      • 1,685 views
      Vincent Baker's "Dogs in the Vineyard" is an alternate history western role playing game centered around deeply religious frontier communities. Players are "God's Watchdogs" who move from settleme...
    • The Wizard's Grimoire - Duration: 20 minutes.

      • 2 months ago
      • 204 views
      Tonight on GeekNights, we review Vincent Baker's The Wizard's Grimoire. It's an RPG for one player and two volunteers, and it's definitely worth playing.

      Excerpted from the Tuesday July 30, 2019 e...
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  • Convention Highlights Play all

    Overviews, reviews, and montages of epic moments from epic conventions we've attended.
    • PAX Prime 2011 - Highlights - Duration: 6 minutes, 21 seconds.

      • 7 years ago
      • 5,012 views
      Rym and Scott of GeekNights (www.frontrowcrew.com) bring to you a montage of some of their highlights from PAX Prime 2011. Some games, some ponies, some panels: everything that could fit inside of...
    • How you found Burning Wheel - Duration: 7 minutes, 38 seconds.

      • 7 years ago
      • 1,678 views
      Burning Apocalypse con (http://www.burningwheel.org/?page_id=111) showcased the triumphs of tabletop role playing game design from the minds of Luke Crane and Vincent Baker.

      Here, Rym and Scott ...
    • The "Action Castle" Incident at PAX East 2010 - Duration: 3 minutes, 45 seconds.

      • 9 years ago
      • 20,543 views
      Scott form GeekNights ran a "trial version" of Action Castle during the main Gabe and Tycho QA at PAX East 2010.
    • MAGFest X Highlights - Duration: 3 minutes, 33 seconds.

      • 7 years ago
      • 1,077 views
      As you know, GeekNights (www.frontrowcrew.com) was in force at MAGFest X with two panels, a lecture, copious amounts of alcohol, and four days of 24/7 gaming! We present for your consideration som...
    • NYAF 2007-12-08 Anime Match Game Introductions - Duration: 3 minutes, 12 seconds.

      • 11 years ago
      • 7,570 views
      2007 NYAF Anime Match Game panel guest introductions featuring voice actors Veronica Taylor, Rachael Lillis, Lisa Ortiz, Peter "Speed Racer" Fernandez, Corinne "Trixie" Orr, and apparently the firs...
    • PAX East 2011 Highlights - Duration: 5 minutes, 53 seconds.

      • 7 years ago
      • 780 views
      PAX East 2011 was the second PAX East in history, and the first in the BCEC, Boston's cavernous venue. If you don't know what to expect from a Penny Arcade Expo, let alone a PAX East, this highlig...
    • Tycho Reads "I Want My Hat Back" at PAX East 2012 - Duration: 3 minutes, 54 seconds.

      • 7 years ago
      • 25,552 views
      At PAX East 2012, Scott from GeekNights (www.frontrowcrew.com) asked Tycho to read us a story about a bear and his quest to find his missing hat. It was, shall we say, a moment.

      "I Want My Hat Ba...
    • Rym Riding the Demon Horse - Duration: 64 seconds.

      • 10 years ago
      • 3,337 views
      Rym rides the hydraulic demon horse at Penny Arcade Expo 2009
    • Rym's Demise - Duration: 3 minutes, 41 seconds.

      • 11 years ago
      • 1,562 views
      Rym's demise at the Kendo Panel at Otakon 2008.
    • PAX East 2012 Highlights - Duration: 3 minutes, 37 seconds.

      • 7 years ago
      • 784 views
      PAX East 2012 was the third PAX East in history. We (GeekNights) were there lecturing, hanging out, and most importantly: gaming! PAX East (and PAX Prime) are the highlights of our year every yea...
    • PAX Prime 2012 NASA Inspiration - Duration: 4 minutes, 16 seconds.

      • 7 years ago
      • 756 views
      Jeff Norris, Victor Luo, Alex Menzies, Matt Clausen, and Bryan Duran from NASA presented "NASA's Got Game" in the main events hall of PAX Prime 2012. With a mockup of Curiosity as a backdrop, they...
    • PAX Prime 2012 Highlights - Duration: 3 minutes, 1 second.

      • 7 years ago
      • 4,638 views
      PAX Prime 2012. I heard there was a wedding there. GeekNights was also there (http://frontrowcrew.com/news/91/pax-prime-2012/). PAX was expanded. Good times were had.

      The song is a Hornpipe2 O...
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