Level Cap Podcast

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 28 | Reads VS Logic

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 28 | Reads VS Logic

Episode 28 (Recorded on July 17)

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“Reads VS Logic”

Summary:

Brad and Marco discuss the concepts of reading and logic in the context of fighting games, especially our games: EXCEED and BattleCON. Is one better than the other? Listen to this episode and find out!

  1. Reads-based players are often characterized by playing moves after guessing what the opponent’s move is. The point is that they play on mix-ups and capitalize on opponents being predictable.

  2. Logic-based players don’t have time for those things. They play the best card in the correct situation. They tend to like overly safe moves and “punish” people for not playing “optimally.”

  3. It’s an understanding of your player and your game. Reads VS Logic might not be the paradigms your game revolves around, but the mere identification of the paradigms in your game is important.

This blog supports an RSS Feed which you can add to your podcast app of choice to automatically get each episode as it releases! Here's a link to the feed!

You can also just visit our page on some popular podcasting apps: Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify.

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 27 | Empyreal Discussion

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 27 | Empyreal Discussion

Episode 27 (Recorded on July 10)

Pre-order Empyreal: https://tinyurl.com/BuyEmpyreal
Empyreal Video: https://youtu.be/giFNjBpqiGw

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“Empyreal Discussion

Summary:

Marco and Brad bring on Trey, designer of Empyreal, to talk about the game's current status and when it's shipping. Listen to this episode for fun, weird board game pitches, and Marco constantly calling people the wrong name!

  1. Empyreal's factory proof came in and it looks great. You can watch Brad and Trey unpack it here: https://youtu.be/x5PzHnl0vdo

  2. Empyreal should be hitting your doorstep by October, based on our estimates.

  3. There were some decently major gameplay changes made to Empyreal in the last update (such as preventing you from building your 3rd row until the 2nd row is finished). These were done to facilitate a better and more fun game experience.

This blog supports an RSS Feed which you can add to your podcast app of choice to automatically get each episode as it releases! Here's a link to the feed!

You can also just visit our page on some popular podcasting apps: Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify.

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 26 | Lore Mailbag

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 26 | Lore Mailbag

Episode 26 (Recorded on July 2)

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“Lore Mailbag”

Summary:

Marco brings in lore master Julian to answer some of your hot-baked lore questions! We discuss the "core principles" of the World of Indines and get to the hard-hitting questions such as "Who would win in a fight between Greyheart, Malephaise, or Batman with infinite prep time?"

  1. As a world, Indines tends to bring focus on a character's individuality. Each character is unique and has their own stories to tell.

  2. In line with this, Indines also highlights that one's alignment or virtue is a choice one makes. There's no such thing as an "evil" race. Individuals are good or bad based on their actions. Everyone can be redeemed, but everyone can fall, too!

  3. This brings us to the last point. Characters aren't static. They evolve and change, much like real people do. The annoying snot-nosed bratty character in one game could easily be the "wise sage" a few games down the line.

This blog supports an RSS Feed which you can add to your podcast app of choice to automatically get each episode as it releases! Here's a link to the feed!

You can also just visit our page on some popular podcasting apps: Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify.

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 25 | Development Burnout

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 25 | Development Burnout

Episode 25 (Recorded on June 25)

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“Development Burnout”

Summary:

Marco and Brad answer a listener question about burnout. What is burnout and how is it "plaguing" our modern world today? How does it apply to the work of game development? What are the things we can do to help deal with and avoid it? All these and more on this episode!

  1. Burnout is something that anyone who has worked will understand. Frustrations and stress build up to the point where you no longer feel like continuing.

  2. In our work, this often comes during the development phase, where a lot of work is put into constant iteration and the testing of said iterations.

  3. Ultimately, it's important to remember that work, even game-related, isn't all there is to life. A balanced, healthy lifestyle can help avoid burnout. However, should you actually need help dealing with it, there is absolutely no shame in seeking help from a medical professional.

This blog supports an RSS Feed which you can add to your podcast app of choice to automatically get each episode as it releases! Here's a link to the feed!

You can also just visit our page on some popular podcasting apps: Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify.

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 24 | Design & Development

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 24 | Design & Development

Episode 24 (Recorded on June 17)

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“Design & Development”

Summary:

Marco and Brad try out something new. In this episode, we answer a fan-submitted question about design & development. How does the development process affect a game's design/concept? Does a design get shaped by the development process? Find out by listening!

  1. In short, one of the main reasons behind development is to help iron-out the game's design.

  2. Many of our playtesters will be able to tell you that some things in our games exist primarily because they found/pioneered an emergent strategy that was kept by the development team.

  3. While this can be good, a lack of clarity can lead to a lot of confusion and lost direction.

This blog supports an RSS Feed which you can add to your podcast app of choice to automatically get each episode as it releases! Here's a link to the feed!

You can also just visit our page on some popular podcasting apps: Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify.

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 23 | Licensing Expo

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 23 | Licensing Expo

Episode 23 (Recorded on June 12)

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“Licensing Expo”

Summary:

Brad’s back from Licensing Expo! Marco’s here to ask all the hot-baked questions about what happened. Who did they talk to? What’s a Licensing Expo? What happens there? Will we make Trolls EXCEED? Find out by listening!

  1. Licensing Expo is an event where brand-owners talk to manufacturers.

  2. Given that we’re in the board gaming space, things can be quite tough, considering that most brand-owners expect you to produce a large number of units.

  3. We talked to a lot of brands, including Konami, the Rubik’s Cube people, Dark Horse, and more!

This blog supports an RSS Feed which you can add to your podcast app of choice to automatically get each episode as it releases! Here's a link to the feed!

You can also just visit our page on some popular podcasting apps: Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify.

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 22 | Future Development

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 22 | Future Development

Episode 22 (Recorded on April 16)

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“Future Development”

Summary:

Brad and Marco go to a simpler time, where our podcast was more about updates and us rambling about Level 99 Games for a bit. In this episode, we discuss EXCEED licenses, future game development, as well as our hopes for some Level 99 Games products.

  1. EXCEED is going to be receiving yearly releases with each release being around 12-14 characters.

  2. To help with this, we've also begun creating dev tools to help in creating and balancing our games, including an EXCEED card interaction simulator.

  3. We're excited for the future of Level 99 Games, including Pixel Tactics Adventure, our new EXCEED Seasons, and much more!

This blog supports an RSS Feed which you can add to your podcast app of choice to automatically get each episode as it releases! Here's a link to the feed!

You can also just visit our page on some popular podcasting apps: Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify.

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 21 | BattleCON Rules Talk

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 21 | BattleCON Rules Talk

Episode 21 (Recorded on May 28)

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“BattleCON Rules Talk”

Summary:

Brad and Marco give you a sneak peek into the things we're doing for BattleCON Unleashed. This includes exciting fixes and clarifications to the rules and graphic design of the game. Plus, listen to find out how trying to create the "final" version of a game can be challenging, but rewarding!

  1. Given that this is a good chance for us to do so, we're doing a wording and templating pass across most, if not all, BattleCON's cards.

  2. The goal of these changes are mostly to improve the game's clarity and consistency. We want you to not have to wonder about how an effect resolves, so that you can get back to playing ASAP.

  3. We're standardized a lot of the wording and have included new Keywords that are just more intuitive. For example, "move directly" is now called "Teleport", easily conveying the type of movement it actually is!

This blog supports an RSS Feed which you can add to your podcast app of choice to automatically get each episode as it releases! Here's a link to the feed!

You can also just visit our page on some popular podcasting apps: Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify.

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 20 | BattleCON Lore Development

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 20 | BattleCON Lore Development

Episode 20 (Recorded on May 22)

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“BattleCON Lore Development”

Summary:

Marco brings in lore extraordinaire, Julian, to talk about the importance of stories in games as well as the challenges behind bringing the lore of BattleCON together. Ever wondered who'd make a great buddy cop duo? How about the nature of jeans in Indines? Listen to find out!

  1. Story can provide context, reward, and investment in a game. Making sure you have an interesting and engaging story is key to getting players into your game.

  2. BattleCON Unleashed and the grand chronicle have led to the need for the scattered Indines lore to finally be collected. There's a lot of things, and not everything will "make the cut" so to speak.

  3. There's a lot of things we never expected or even realized, including small tidbits like a large number of our characters being actually fan-made!

This blog supports an RSS Feed which you can add to your podcast app of choice to automatically get each episode as it releases! Here's a link to the feed!

You can also just visit our page on some popular podcasting apps: Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify.

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 19 | Pixel Tactics Development

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 19 | Pixel Tactics Development

Episode 19 (Recorded on May 13)

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“Pixel Tactics Development”

Summary:

Marco and Brad talk about a game we don't talk about often enough: Pixel Tactics! Find out about its history, how it developed from a "one-off" mini-game to one of our longest-running series. We discuss the challenges of this transition and some of the development thoughts that go into the game's balance.

  1. Pixel Tactics was originally a stand-alone game in our mini-game library. It has since become a long-running series with at least 5 games and more to come in the future!

  2. This led to a few "growing pains" that have colored the game's development. The first game introduced a variety of powerful effects that were hard to build-on. This is compounded by the lack of an internal balancing mechanism (like Mana in typical card games).

  3. In the end, the way Pixel Tactics developed meant that we had to get creative with how we solved problems, resulting in a game system filled to the brim with fun combos and an emphasis on card advantage and tempo.

This blog supports an RSS Feed which you can add to your podcast app of choice to automatically get each episode as it releases! Here's a link to the feed!

You can also just visit our page on some popular podcasting apps: Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify.

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 18 | BattleCON Balance

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 18 | BattleCON Balance

Episode 18 (Recorded on May 8)

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“BattleCON Balance”

Summary:

Marco enlists the help of lead balancer Daniel to talk about balancing BattleCON. What is our goal when adjusting a character? Is it important that they're all S tier tournament viable? What do we usually look at when balancing? Find out the answers in this episode!

  1. The goal of balance is to make everyone viable; not exactly tournament viable. Some match-ups may be 40-60's or 30-70's, but your player skill can still influence the final outcome.

  2. Generally, BattleCON balance falls in the middle of "have a kit that can deal with anything" and "have a kit that emphasizes your strong gimmick."

  3. Characters like Kaitlyn, Arec, and Ottavia have been fixed and are looking balanced, while certain characters like Sagas continue to present a problem in terms of balance and clarity.

This blog supports an RSS Feed which you can add to your podcast app of choice to automatically get each episode as it releases! Here's a link to the feed!

You can also just visit our page on some popular podcasting apps: Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify.

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 17 | Delivering Experiences

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 17 | Delivering Experiences

Episode 17 (Recorded on April 30)

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Branching Paths (Seventh Cross Narrative Episode): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdgaXNXZZ0U

“Delivering Experiences”

Summary:

Your good good design boys, Brad and Marco, talk about crafting and delivering a good gaming experience. How important is it to a successful game? Is trying to provide the widest experience the best way to go? Find out by listening to this episode!

  1. The experience IS the game. If you do not nail it down just right, it will be hard to say that you've made a good game.

  2. Be focused. Understand the experience you want to provide and trim anything that doesn't contribute to it.

  3. In the end, remember the following: it's about providing the experience; not an emulation. You create a game that gives people the joy of playing Dark Souls. You don't make a game that tries to exactly replicate every piece of minutia that Dark Souls has.

This blog supports an RSS Feed which you can add to your podcast app of choice to automatically get each episode as it releases! Here's a link to the feed!

You can also just visit our page on some popular podcasting apps: Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify.

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 16 | Branding & Licensing

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 16 | Branding & Licensing

Episode 16 (Recorded on April 23)

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“Branding & Licensing”

Summary:

Brad and Marco talk about creating a good Brand that you can feel good about Licensing to others. Learn all about how a good, consistent set of guidelines can ensure that your IP remains faithful to its source material. All this and MORE in this episode!

  1. A good IP starts with something cool that "explodes" into something that fans love and want to make part of their lives.

  2. A solid and consistent set of guidelines means that you don't lose sight of the image you want to be associate with your brand. It also means that merchandisers and the people you license to will keep your image intact.

  3. Licensing your IP means that you're extending your reach. Needless to say, make sure you license to partners that make sense. Mortal Kombat featuring Elsa from Frozen wouldn't make anyone particularly happy outside of the laugh you'll have from the sheer absurdity.

This blog supports an RSS Feed which you can add to your podcast app of choice to automatically get each episode as it releases! Here's a link to the feed!

You can also just visit our page on some popular podcasting apps: Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify.

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 15 | Games as a Platform

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 15 | Games as a Platform

Episode 15 (Recorded on April 15)

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“Games as a Platform”

Summary:

Brad is back! He and Marco talk about games as a platform. If you're a fan of a "game series" like Pokemon or Dark Souls, then you'll definitely know what we're talking about. What makes a game a good platform? What are the advantages and pitfalls? All that and more on this episode!

  1. A game is a platform when it continuously builds content on top of a pre-laid-out system (think of Pokemon or BattleCON).

  2. A game must first be a platform before it can become a service. A game that is not mutable, updateable, or extendable is usually hard to turn into a service.

  3. One must remember that there is a certain expectation to be met, but this must be balanced with a healthy dose of innovation to keep a platform fresh.

This blog supports an RSS Feed which you can add to your podcast app of choice to automatically get each episode as it releases! Here's a link to the feed!

You can also just visit our page on some popular podcasting apps: Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify.

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 14 | Community in Games

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 14 | Community in Games

Episode 14 (Recorded on April 2)

EXCEED Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Exceed/
DISCORD LINK (ORGANIZED PLAY): https://discord.gg/XKY2aYj

“Community in Games”

Summary:

In this episode, Marco has Jackie guest for an episode all about Community! How can a community enhance the game experience you provide? How can you build and design your game to help it form a Community? All this and more on this episode!

  1. A Community is a group of individuals who share a common interest. For this podcast, let's say that it's games or gaming!

  2. A great Community can extend the life and "content" of your game through a variety of means: guides, discussions, fan art, and more!

  3. Designing your games to have a "low barrier of entry" is crucial to forming larger Communities. Be inclusive with your design.

This blog supports an RSS Feed which you can add to your podcast app of choice to automatically get each episode as it releases! Here's a link to the feed!

You can also just visit our page on some popular podcasting apps: Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify.

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 13 | Sekiro Design Talk

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 13 | Sekiro Design Talk

Episode 13 (Recorded on March 27)

EXCEED Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Exceed/
DISCORD LINK (ORGANIZED PLAY): https://discord.gg/XKY2aYj

“Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice”

Summary:

In this episode, we’ll talk about a recent game that came out and how we’re enjoying it. This week, the topic is “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” by From Software, the developer of some of the games we hate to love (AKA Dark Souls)

  1. Sekiro is a character action game that blends the "stealth creative takedown" system of the Arkham games with Bloodborne-esque samurai sword combat.

  2. It is most definitely not Dark Souls 4, Bloodborne 2, or Tenchu 2 Electric Boogaloo. It is its own game and should be taken as such.

  3. Sekiro's use of a predetermined protagonist, as opposed to a custom character, give it a few advantages in its story, presentation, and game design.

This blog supports an RSS Feed which you can add to your podcast app of choice to automatically get each episode as it releases! Here's a link to the feed!

You can also just visit our page on some popular podcasting apps: Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify.

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 12 | Games as a Service

New Level Cap Podcast - Episode 12 | Games as a Service

Episode 12 (Recorded on March 20)

DISCORD LINK (ORGANIZED PLAY): https://discord.gg/XKY2aYj

“Games as a Service”

Summary:

Brad and Marco talk about games as a service. If you've ever subscribed to an MMO or bought into a Season Pass, you'll know what we're talking about. Are these as bad as people say they are? Listen to find out!

  1. Games as a Service may be looked at as a modern way of developer-customer relationship where players pay for the "service" of being able to play the game.

  2. Ideally, this set-up is ideal for everyone. Players keep getting more content for their favorite games and developers have a continuous revenue stream.

  3. However, things aren't always like this. When developers use this tool to exploit their players, it can result in a lot of the bad things that many modern gamers dislike about games.

This blog supports an RSS Feed which you can add to your podcast app of choice to automatically get each episode as it releases! Here's a link to the feed!

You can also just visit our page on some popular podcasting apps: Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify.

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast: Episode 11 | Replayability

New Level Cap Podcast: Episode 11 | Replayability

Episode 10 (Recorded on March 7)

Millennium Blades Kickstarter: https://goo.gl/fk4Vqg
DISCORD LINK (ORGANIZED PLAY): https://discord.gg/XKY2aYj

“News @ 99”

Summary:

Marco and Brad give you the Level 99 Games news and all things otherwise! Learn about our current project status and our plans for future games!

  1. Millennium Blades was a smashing success and we want to involve our fans in more design-related aspects during our projects.

  2. Empyreal and BattleCON Unleashed face some delays due to art.

  3. Future projects are coming, including more Pixel Tactics and Seventh Cross!

This blog supports an RSS Feed which you can add to your podcast app of choice to automatically get each episode as it releases! Here's a link to the feed!

You can also just visit our page on some popular podcasting apps: Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify.

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast: Episode 10 | News @ 99

New Level Cap Podcast: Episode 10 | News @ 99

Episode 10 (Recorded on March 7)

Millennium Blades Kickstarter: https://goo.gl/fk4Vqg
DISCORD LINK (ORGANIZED PLAY): https://discord.gg/XKY2aYj

“News @ 99”

Summary:

Marco and Brad give you the Level 99 Games news and all things otherwise! Learn about our current project status and our plans for future games!

  1. Millennium Blades was a smashing success and we want to involve our fans in more design-related aspects during our projects.

  2. Empyreal and BattleCON Unleashed face some delays due to art.

  3. Future projects are coming, including more Pixel Tactics and Seventh Cross!

This blog supports an RSS Feed which you can add to your podcast app of choice to automatically get each episode as it releases! Here's a link to the feed!

You can also just visit our page on some popular podcasting apps: Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify.

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast: Episode 9 | Co-Op In games

New Level Cap Podcast: Episode 9 | Co-Op In games

Episode 9 (Recorded on Feb 28)

Millennium Blades Kickstarter: https://goo.gl/fk4Vqg
DISCORD LINK (ORGANIZED PLAY): https://discord.gg/XKY2aYj

“Co-Op In Games”

Summary:

Marco and Brad talk about cooperative games and how coordination becomes very important in delivering a good experience! Listen to learn more!

  1. Co-op games are usually fully-cooperative or semi-cooperative.

  2. Some cooperative games simply take a single player game and “chop it up” to increase the number of players.

  3. This can be problematic as the full information means that an “alpha player” can step-up and essentially play the whole game for everyone.

  4. Truly great cooperative games require players to coordinate in order to achieve their goals, making “alpha players” less of an issue.

This blog supports an RSS Feed which you can add to your podcast app of choice to automatically get each episode as it releases! Here's a link to the feed!

You can also just visit our page on some popular podcasting apps: Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify.

Music provided by Wesley Slover