Tracy Rosenthal-Newsom is an award-winning game producer and product leader who brought you hits like Rock Band and Dance Central. I worked with Tracy in the early days of bringing Rock Band to life – and learned so much from her. In many ways, we’ve traveled parallel paths – moving through the worlds of gaming, digital healthcare and humanistic product design. The common thread is a deep, abiding interest in creating experiences that connect with people in a deep and positive way. And I’ll tell you – Tracy knows how to do that. Join us and discover the key practices that led this innovative creative powerhouse towards success.
Richard Garriott is a pioneering game designer, gifted world-builder, second-generation astronaut, arctic explorer – and ever-inspiring creative force. I first met Richard when I was teaching online community design at Stanford; half my class was in the Beta for Ultima Online, and I jumped in enthusiastically to learn the ropes. I ended up working with Richard, Raph Koster and their amazing crew of developers through the launch & growth of that early graphic MMO. Like many great game designers, Richard is a sophisticated systems thinker who sees the world through a unique lens that’s on full display in this far-ranging & fascinating conversation.
Matt Leacock is a board game designer and UX expert. His first big hit, Pandemic, is a cooperative board game where you team up with others to save the world from virulent diseases. In his latest game, Pandemic Legacy, Matt extends the core Pandemic gameplay with an overarching narrative structure that delivers an episodic experience where every choice you can has irrevocable impact. Matt’s background as a UX designer shines through in his approach to iterative prototyping and “finding the fun” in his games. Matt Leacock is one of my game design heroes, and I’m thrilled to get to talk with him about his creative process. Listen in and learn how a world-class board game designer brings new ideas to life.
Mike Sellers is a pioneering social game designer turned academic. Long before World of Warcraft was a world-wide hit, Mike & his merry crew of innovators – including John Hanke, the driving force behind Pokemon Go – created Meridian 59, the first graphical MMO – or massively multiplayer online game. Since then Mike has worked on many games for companies like Electronic Arts and Kabam – and is now a professor of game design at Indiana University. Like many of our Getting2Alpha guests, Mike has a deep & longstanding fascination with human psychology and social systems – and a LOT of experience wrestling with the challenges of bringing new ideas to life.
Mike is one of my favorite people in gaming – he’s a deeply insightful and innovative thinker, with as astonishing breadth of knowledge. In this interview, you’ll learn what Mike thinks about early MMOs, super-powered mental models, and the pervasive future of Augmented Reality gaming.
Raph Koster is a leading expert in social gaming worlds. He’s best known for his work seminal MMOs like Ultima Online and Star Wars: Galaxies – and his influential book “A Theory of Fun” – a must-read if you want to understand the deep connection between games & learning. Raph is a multi-talented renaissance man – designer, artist, musician, and poet – someone who knows a LOT about bringing ideas to life. Listen in and get a shot of Raph’s relentless, inspiring creative energy.
Jon Radoff is the CEO of Disruptor Beam, an independent studio building social games for beloved brands like Game of Thrones and Star Trek. Jon combines a deep love for strategy games with a knack for innovation. He’s got great stories to tell about bringing iconic properties to life with rapid prototyping and early fan involvement. Tune in to find out what really goes on behind the scenes at a top independent game studio.
Tracy Fullerton is a player and maker of games. Her most recent game, “Walden”, puts you – the player – inside Thoreau’s Walden Pond experiment. Tracy runs the USC Digital Media and Games program – the top game design school in the country, according to the Princeton Review. We co-taught multi-player game design when that program was first getting started – and Tracy has gone on to train innovative designers like Jenova Chen – creator of Journey. She’s an accomplished and insightful designer and educator, and one of my all-time favorite people on the planet.
Blair Ethington is a product manager turned game creator – with a passion for numbers and a knack for innovation. At Crowdstar, she’s VP of Covet Fashion – a innovative mobile game with over 3 million monthly players who like to dress-up in real-world designer fashions – and then purchase those clothes in real life. I worked on Covet Fashion under Blair’s leadership – I learned a lot from her, and admire her greatly. Listen in and discover what Blair has learned about bringing hit products to life.
Today, we’ll be talking with one of my heroes – Dan Cook, pioneering co-op game designer, co-founder of Indie game studio Spry Fox, author of the legendary Lost Garden website, and a truly inspiring and insightful guy. Come along as Dan takes us on a whirlwind tour of indie game design life, remote collaboration, and the magic of small groups for getting things done.
Chelsea Howe wears many hats: indie game designer, community organizer of local game jams & QGCon, a Creative Director of Electronic Arts Mobile, creator of successful mobile games, and champion of underdogs and outsiders everywhere. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and cut to the chase – a woman after my own heart 🙂 She’s fascinated with the role of love in game design, and the submission to ritual that’s embedded in free-to-play gaming. Always stimulating and original, Chelsea is a force of nature – and a rising star in the gaming industry.