Bonus Episode 3: Gencon Interviews Part 3

BTG on iTunes

Join us as we chat with:

Phil Kilkrease of 5th Street Games

Matt Worden

Jason Kotarski

and once again…. Ben Rosset and Brian Brubach

Check out the kickstarter for the Great Heartland Hauling Co.

Episode 13: No Wins and Severed Fingers

BTG on iTunes

Intro and Welcome:

Lessons learned at Gencon.


Whatcha been playing?:

Jason has been playing: Smash Up, Dread, Jungle Ascent, Great Heartland Hauling Co.

Rob has been playing: Castellan, DivinareMars Needs Mechanics

Mechanic of the Week:

No Win Scenarios

Other games we mentioned:

Forbidden Island

Red November

Sentinels of the Multiverse


Heap (Pic of the “busy” card)

 Zombie Dice

Practicing the Pitch:

Rob pitches Shop Class.


Random Shout outs:










The Bead and Bangle 

The Balloon Sculptor


Shop Class

Shop Class is a dice game for 2 to 4 players.  In the game, players compete to build as many projects in their high school wood shop class as they can.  Each project much be assembled from different parts, which are all made with power tools.  But watch out!  If you’re not careful you could lose a finger!
Each player begins with 10 finger cards and a selection of class projects.  Each project must be assembled using 2 to 4 different parts like a spindle, a mortis and tenon, or a dovetail.  Players collect these parts by rolling 6 dice and trying to get matches.
On their turn, the player rolls 6 dice.  They can then choose up to 3 to set aside and re-roll the remaining dice.  Any matched pairs of parts mean the player has successfully created that part.  But if the player matches 3 saw blades, they lose a finger!
Play continues with each player assembling their projects until someone loses all ten fingers.
All ideas presented on this site are the property of the Building the Game Podcast.

Bonus Episode 2: Gencon Interviews Part 2

BTG on iTunes

Intro and Welcome:

In this Bonus Episode we interview game designers Brian Brubach and Benjamin Rosset live from Gencon.

Gencon is making us all tired but we love it!


What games did you bring to Gencon?

Ben: Mars Needs Mechanics

Brian:  Fools Rush

Mechanic of the Week:

Brian: Hidden Information

Ben: Deduction

Other games we mentioned:

City Hall

Catan Dice

Eminent Domain

Liar’s Dice


Sheer Panic






Episode 12: Gencon Interviews Part 1



BTG on iTunes

Intro and Welcome:

We’re at Gencon!

Special guests Michael Keller and Max Michael.

What games did you bring to Gencon?

Max: D-Day Dice, Let’s Take a Hike, Days of Steam, Sheep Dogs of Pendleton Hill

Michael: City Hall, Captains of Industry

Mechanic of the Week:

Michael: Player Valuation

Max: Co-op play in non co-op games

Other games we mentioned:

Age of Empires II

Alien Frontiers


Credit Mobilier



Modern Art






Sentinels of the Multiverse

Settlers of Catan

Star Trek: Fleet Captains

Stone Age

Tammany Hall



Episode 11: Gencon 2012 Pre-Show Special



BTG on iTunes

Intro and Welcome:

The Final Countdown to Gencon!!!!

Our Checkered past with Gencon, Hobocon

We will be playtesting Gunslingin’ Ramblers and Damsels in Distress at Gencon.  If you want to try them, send as an email at or Tweet us @podcastBTG @JASlingerland @poorly_Designed

What are we doing at Gencon?:

Jason is planning to checkout: 

Dread with @d20blonde

Smash Up tournament




The Great Heart Land Hauling Co.

Take the Bait 


Level 7 Escape

Sky Traders

Cthulhu Dark


My Happy Farm


Castle Dash 





Ghost Pirates

Legend of the Lost Dutchman

Mars Needs Mechanics 


Find out more about Time and Temp and Swords without Master

Attending the Gencon Social with Rob

Geek Law Seminar with Law of the Geek Podcast

Homebrewer’s Guide to RPG World Building Seminar

Protect Yourself! Patents and Trademarks for Game Designers

Gamer Church on Sunday Morning

#RPGChat Meetup


Rob is planning to checkout: 

Gencon Prom

Horror Film Fest with Jason

A Few Acres of Snow

Ticket to Ride: Europe




RPPR Meetup and play Kill Splosion


Starship Merchants 

Cthulhu Dice

Giza: The Great Pyramid

Lady Alice

Swinging Jivecat Voodoo Lounge


Kill The Overlord

King of Tokyo 

Witch of Salem


Cargo Noir

The Downfall of Pompei

Road Kill Rally


Lords of Waterdeep 


Random Shout outs in this episode:

Kill Vampire Lincoln Productions

Shivers Media



Daniel Solis


Stay tuned for our next episode where will talk to other game designers at Gencon!

Episode 10: Whiskey Shots and a Tragic Loss



BTG on iTunes

Intro and Welcome:

Rob’s broken computer and Episode 10: Take 2

Don’t forget to check out the playtest of Damsels in Distress.


Whatcha been playing?:

Jason has been playing: Scavengers

Rob has been playing: Hive

Mechanic of the Week:

Interpersonal Communication

Other games we mentioned:

Are you a Werewolf?


Settlers of Catan

Cash ‘n Guns

Practicing the Pitch:

Jason pitches Gunslingin’ Ramblers


The Great Heartland Hauling Company Kickstarter!

Flip the Table Podcast

Dragon Chow Dice bags (Rob was right, Jason did indeed plug this on Episode 9, not the lost episode 10.)


Gunslingin’ Ramblers

A card game for 2-4 players

It’s the Wild West and you’re a whiskey drinkin’, poker playin’, gun fightin’ cowboy.  You’re trying to outwit all your opponents at cards and in gun duels all well knocking back more shots that you can count.  Do you have what it takes to become the king of the cowboys?

Game Play

At the beginning of the game players draw 2 Rambler cards and 5 poker cards.  They must then decide which Rambler to put into play and which poker hand they want to play first.  A poker card (Which contains a full poker hand) is choosen and placed face down in front of them.  Betting then commences poker style around the table until everyone has settled up.  Now it’s time to reveal the hands.  Each player reveals their poker card and the winner is determined.

Here’s where the real strategy comes in… Each Rambler has a score in “Cheatin'” and at this point they can choose to cheat and make their hand better.  After players decide whether or not they will cheat, the actual winner of the hand is determined.

Any Ramblers who didn’t cheat now have the chance to call out those who did.  This results in quick gunfights in the street where one Rambler dies and the other collects their bounty.

At the end of the round all players have a chance to bank their poker winnings so that they don’t lose their money when they die.

Finally, all Ramblers left alive take a celebratory shot of Whiskey.  If any players lost their Rambler, they draw a new one and place it on the table at the beginning of the next turn.

During the game there are three ways that Ramblers can be removed from play, they can be killed in a gunfight, pass out from drinking too many shots of whiskey or they can run out of money.


Card Types

Poker Cards:

These cards each contain a full poker hand and also a special one time use ability that you may use when you reveal this card.


There are 36 rambler cards in the game.  Each one has the following:

Drinkin’: This is how many whiskey shots they can take before they die.

Cheatin’: This is how good they are at cheating at poker.

Shootin’: This is how adept at duels they are.

Bounty: How much another player earns for killing them.

Money: How much money the rambler starts with.

Special Ability: A power the can use that no one else can.



The game ends when either the Whiskey runs out or the Ramblers deck is empty.  The winner of the game is the person who has the highest total score based on:

Amount of money you have in your bank

The sum of all bounties you collected

$50 for ever Whiskey shot you took



36 Rambler Cards

50 Poker Hand Cards

50 Poker Chips

100 Whiskey Shot Counters

4 Wooden Dice

8 Bank Cards

4 Order of play cards

4 Hand Rank Cards


– Jason

All ideas presented on this site are the property of the Building the Game Podcast.


Bonus Episode 1: Playtest: Damsels in Distress

Damsels Playtest

First of all, this has been written with the assumption that you already listened to the actual play recording of our playtest of Damsels in Distress.  If you haven’t listened, I think you’ll appreciate it more if you do.

Second, I apologize for the technical problem that cut the recording off early.  I’m glad we managed to get the whole game in there, and that’s valuable.  But I’m worried that the most helpful piece of the experience for our audience was lost when my laptop died.  That’s what I get for trying to repurpose my Dad’s discarded, beat-up 2002 Toshiba Satellite(tm).  What we lost was the critical analysis of the game, where the three of us talked about what was good, what was bad, and different ways the game could improve.  So let’s break a few of those down.

The Good:

I still think the core concept and mechanics of the game are good.  The concept – strong men saving helpless girls from certain doom – is familiar.  I’d estimate it’s pretty much the core feature of 90% of the fiction that exists in our world.  It’s easy for people to understand, which is a helpful thing since this is my first game.  But that could also be sexist.  And I’m aware of that.  Which is why the game is also trying to make fun of that classic format.  The artwork will go a long way toward making that work.

The main mechanics of the game are, I think, pretty solid.  While the Dangers are randomly put out, the player has complete control over what he does.  At the same time the choices become increasingly limited as the game moves forward.  But there are no surprises.  The player chooses his own fate as he goes.  The real challenge becomes managing the other players as much as the Dangers.  I find that exciting.

The Bad:

Above all else, the game was too short.  In the three player game, it ended before things got really tricky.  A week later I played a four player game, and that was even worse.  The game ended after only 3 rounds.  It hadn’t even begun to get tricky.  The game will only be good when the Heroes have to make difficult choices about who to save and who to let die, and that can’t happen if the game ends too soon.

Whoever goes first seems to have an advantage in points.  So far that has always been the case in every game I’ve played.  Now, I think technically that’s just dumb luck, with high point Damsels being put out in the beginning every time.  But luck or not, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s happened every time.  So I need to stay aware of it.  I have a couple ideas of how to even that out.


More cards.  I’ve already re-vamped the entire deck from the ground up, expanding it from 72 cards to 100.  My worry is whether that’s enough.  If that’s only going to take a 4-player game from 3 rounds to 5, that’s still not good enough.  But I’m going from 25 Damsel cards up to 40, so hopefully that’s a big enough jump to make a difference.

Death Trigger order.  My original thought was that all Damsels who die, do so at the same time.  But that confused everyone else.  The last thing I want is for the game to be confusing.  I think I’ve come up with an answer that not only solves that problem, but also can add some strategy to the game, and partially addresses the issue with Player 1 winning more often.  I won’t know for sure until we do more testing.

These, of course, are just a few highlights of what we learned after the playtest.  But the one thing that I haven’t addressed yet is the most important question of all:  Is it fun?

My answer is this:  Almost, but not yet.  I think it can be and will be.  But I’m not sure yet.  I’ve got a lot more balancing to do.  I’ve got a lot more playtesting to do.  I’ve got a lot more talking to players to do.  I NEED MORE FEEDBACK!!!

So here’s where I’m asking for help.  I’m going to be bringing the newest revision of Damsels in Distress with me to Gencon.  I’ve ordered a complete deck from Superior POD.  I’ll have it on me at all times.  If you’re at Gencon, contact me on Twitter ( @poorly_designed ) and let me know you want to play.  We’ll meet up and give it a shot.  That’s what Building the Game is all about.  Building a game in public, shared with the community.  We don’t want to do this FOR you.  We want to do this WITH you.

Episode 9: Perfect Information and Distressed Damsels

Intro and Welcome:

4th of July and Rob’s Pale Skin

Jason’s improvised fireworks and mean neighbors

Gulden Draak

Robin Scott Fleming – Film Composer

Whatcha been playing?:

Jason has been playing: Mexican Train, Rhumb Line

Rob has been playing: Cards Against HumanityFormula D, Quarriors, Lost Cities, Dominion

Mechanic of the Week:

Perfect Information games.

Other games we mentioned:


Magic: The Gathering


Easter Island

Sentinels of the Multiverse

Practicing the Pitch:

Rob pitches Damsels in Distress


Dragon Chow Dice bags

Giant Bomb