Episodes

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

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

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

New Level Cap Podcast: Episode 8 | Playtesting

New Level Cap Podcast: Episode 8 | Playtesting

Episode 8 (Recorded on Feb 21)

Millennium Blades Kickstarter: https://goo.gl/fk4Vqg
DISCORD LINK (ORGANIZED PLAY): https://discord.gg/XKY2aYj
Follow John at: https://twitter.com/DasBrieger
Pre-order Cartographers here: https://www.thunderworksgames.com/cartographers.html

“Playtesting”

Summary:

Marco and Brad bring on special guest John Brieger to talk about playtesting and certain practices you should consider when doing it!

  1. Invitation - Getting the right testers and considering your target audience is important.

  2. Direction - As the moderator, it is important that you’re testing with a purpose in mind.

  3. Reception - Understand that your players always give you good feedback. Just don’t take it at face value. Learn how to dissect it and get to the core issues.

  4. Iteration - Playtesting is about doing things again and again. However, remember that big sweeping changes aren’t the only way to iterate. Small changes matter, too!

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 7 | Game Difficulty

New Level Cap Podcast: Episode 7 | Game Difficulty

Episode 7 (Recorded on Feb 8)

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

“Game Difficulty”

Summary:

Ore no turn! Marco goes full Yu-Gi-Oh while Brad breaks the embargo on Dark Souls and Kingdom Hearts in order to talk about game difficulty. How do you adjust difficulty in your games? Listen to find out!

  1. All games will have difficulty in them, to varying degrees. Whether we choose to manipulate and consider it in our designs is up to us. Hint: You probably should.

  2. There are 3 “common” kinds of difficulty: Number Difficulty, Skill Difficulty, and Route Difficulty. Implementing them correctly is important as they could easily lead to frustration.

  3. Your game’s difficulty can be looked at in two ways: are players mean to bump against the difficulty or to ride with it? That is to say: is it Dark Souls or Kingdom Hearts?

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 6 | Matrices & Payoffs

New Level Cap Podcast: Episode 6 | Matrices & Payoffs

Episode 6 (Recorded on Feb 5)

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

“Matrices & Payoffs”

Summary:

Brad goes full Donald on this new episode! He and Marco talk about Decision Matrices and how they are informed by the various "benefits" or "payoffs" you get from giving certain inputs!

  1. All games make use of this structure. Player inputs are "fed" into the decision matrix and there are assigned payoffs mapped to those decisions.

  2. Matrices & Payoffs ultimately determine how people choose to interact with the game. Certain huge payoffs may incentivize a certain type of play.

  3. This can be a good tool for adjusting the play experience without inherently changing the mechanical interactions between entities in your game.

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!

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast: Episode 5 | Headwinds & Tailwinds

New Level Cap Podcast: Episode 5 | Headwinds & Tailwinds

Episode 5 (Recorded on January 30)

Millennium Blades Kickstarter Preview: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/level99games/1480130203?ref=645213&token=1c9cc4c7
DISCORD LINK (ORGANIZED PLAY): https://discord.gg/XKY2aYj

“Headwinds & Tailwinds”

Topic List:

  1. What are Headwinds and Tailwinds?

  2. What are some examples?

  3. How can they positively/negatively impact an experience?

Can’t listen right now? Download a copy of the show outline by CLICKING HERE!

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!

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast: Episode 4 | Transmedia Adaptations

New Level Cap Podcast: Episode 4 | Transmedia Adaptations

Episode 4 (Recorded on January 25)

Millennium Blades Kickstarter Preview: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/level99games/1480130203?ref=645213&token=1c9cc4c7
DISCORD LINK (ORGANIZED PLAY): https://discord.gg/XKY2aYj

“Transmedia Adaptations”

Topic List:

  1. What are Transmedia Adaptations?

  2. What are some examples?

  3. Case Study: Batman.

We do not own any of the Batman images used. Batman and all related media belong to their rightful owners.

Can’t listen right now? Download a copy of the show outline by CLICKING HERE!

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!

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast: Episode 3 | Flexibility of Use

New Level Cap Podcast: Episode 3 | Flexibility of Use

Episode 3 (Recorded on January 16)

BCO on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/792570/BattleCON_Online/
DISCORD LINK (ORGANIZED PLAY): https://discord.gg/XKY2aYj

“Flexibility of Use”

Topic List:

  1. What is Flexibility of Use?

  2. What are some examples?

  3. What are their advantages?

  4. What are their pitfalls?

Can’t listen right now? Download a copy of the show outline by CLICKING HERE!

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!

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast: Episode 2 | Branching-Path Mechanics

New Level Cap Podcast: Episode 2 | Branching-Path Mechanics

Episode 2 (Recorded on January 9)

BCO on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/792570/BattleCON_Online/
DISCORD LINK: https://discord.gg/XKY2aYj

“Branching-Path Mechanics”

Topic List:

  1. What are Branching-Path Mechanics?

  2. How are they used?

  3. What are their advantages?

  4. What are their pitfalls?

Can’t listen right now? Download a copy of the show outline by CLICKING HERE!

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!

Music provided by Wesley Slover

New Level Cap Podcast: Episode 1

New Level Cap Podcast: Episode 1

Episode 1 (Recorded on December 29)

BCO on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/792570/BattleCON_Online/
DISCORD LINK: https://discord.gg/XKY2aYj

“Purpose in Design”

Topic List:

  1. What’s a Design Philosophy?

  2. What’s our Design Philosophy?

  3. Who is the typical Level 99 Games fan?

  4. What are we going to make in 2019?

  5. What is this show?

Can’t listen right now? Download a copy of the show outline by CLICKING HERE!

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!

Music provided by Wesley Slover