Category: Between the Episodes

Reinforcing the Three Pillars

In a recent Unearthed Arcana post, Dungeons and Dragons Creative Lead Mike Mearls talked about what he describes as the “three-pillar experience.” The overall design behind D&D is that the game is supported by three major activities: combat, social interaction, and exploration. Unfortunately, combat is the easiest to define in terms of actions and rewards. Since… Read more »

Strategy Games for New Gamers

Over Thanksgiving, we shared Clank! In! Space! with some friends of ours and I had a few moments of absolute terror. What if the game was too hard? What if they hated it? What if they stormed out with all of my favorite leftovers?! It ended up being just fine, but I was very concerned that… Read more »

Obsessed with Joseph Scrimshaw

Earlier this month, I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with the one and only Joseph Scrimshaw and talk about game theory. I know I talk about it a lot from my own academic point of view, but sitting across from a wonderful comedian turned everything into an incredibly interactive conversation. This is the… Read more »

The Showcase Showdown

First, watch this. Ridiculous, right? This is a record-breaking moment in the history of a game show that has been on TV since 1956. It’s also a perfect moment to take a look at some game probability as we determine exactly how ridiculous this moment actually is. Let’s start with Wilbert. Determining the probability of… Read more »

The Power of Failure

As I wrap up final production on the Puzzle Keyring this week, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about why I was inspired to make it in the first place. I enjoy puzzles and codes, of course, but there are different ways to show that passion. I could have made my own puzzles or designed… Read more »

The Splendor Solution

Have you played Splendor? If not, you really should. It’s a great game where you play a gem merchant, collecting gem resources to buy better and better mines and shops to sell your wares. Purchasing these mines and shops give you permanent gem resources, allowing you to buy better mines and shops and so on…. Read more »

Cracking the Emoticode

Last week was the culmination of mountains of research and development as my team and I launched the Emoticode, a three-day livestream on Twitch promoting the release of Activision’s Call of Duty: WWII. Over the course of those three days and eight hundred-thousand views, thousands of players competed to crack a series of forty-five ciphers, with solvers gaining a beta… Read more »