Episode 33: Game Theory
The next generation of RPG tabletop games are redefining how we think about fun
Despite the persistent threat of video game domination, board games are still here and gaining popularity. And people aren’t just dusting off their boxes of Monopoly and Life. New games are pushing the boundaries of how fun, engagement, and empathy intersect.
Host Chris Robichaud talks to Co-Founders of Magpie Games Mark Diaz Truman HKS MPP ‘13 and Marissa Kelly about how the game industry is changing and what we can expect out of the next-generation of tabletop games. Questions around how social justice and gaming can intersect are answered, and of course, D&D is mentioned.
This Week in Dystopia | Game Theory | Episode 33
Despite the persistent threat of video game domination, board games are still here and gaining popularity. New games…
This Week’s Guests
Mark Diaz Truman
Mark Diaz-Truman designs RPGs by day, and community organizes by night. He’s the co-founder of Magpie Games, which produces amazing role-playing games like the ENnie Award-winning Urban Shadows and the revolutionary Bluebeard’s Bride. He’s worked on million dollar Kickstarters like 7th Sea: Second Edition. Mark helped found the Indie Game Developers Network in 2011, which is “an international volunteer trade organization that supports indie game developers making, publishing, and promoting fantastic games.” He’s also a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School. Read more at Geek and Sundry…
Marissa Kelly is co-owner of Magpie Games and senior art director at John Wick Presents. She is also a founding member of a number of other gaming organizations including the Indie Game Developer Network and New MexiCon. In addition to her volunteer work in the industry, Marissa has helped manage and oversee more than 10 successful Kickstarters raising over 2 million dollars overall. Furthermore, Marissa indulges her love of science by spending her summers as a research assistant for both archaeological and paleontological sites. Learn more on an episode of Creative Morning…
Magpie Games is a game development and production company devoted to creating interesting, innovative, boundary-pushing, and most of all high-quality games across a wide variety of genres and styles. The majority of Magpie’s productions are tabletop roleplaying games, ranging from games designed to recreate disaster movies, to games designed to tell the stories of baby dragons on adventures, to gritty games about supernatural criminals and power brokers.
Our company was founded in early 2011 by Mark Truman and Marissa Kelly, and since then has brought on Brendan Conway as a co-owner, and Derrick Kapchinsky and Sarah Richardson as critical team members. They have worked with countless other professionals, freelancers, and creators in the games industry, and look forward to working with still more, especially aspiring game designers looking to get into the industry for the first time.
Since its inception, Magpie Games has released almost all of our games on Kickstarter, including Urban Shadows, Epyllion: A Dragon Epic, Masks: A New Generation, and Bluebeard’s Bride. We have produced bimonthly content for the digital Fate Codex; a series of supplements for Dungeon World; multiple ashcans of brand new and exciting games; and more. We are continually looking to expand our repertoire and extend into new spaces with bold new designs.