OGP Podcast

OttawaGamePublishersPodcast_logo_July2016_340x340In 2016 at the Diefenbunker Museum outside of Ottawa, a thumb drive was discovered behind a men’s room toilet. On it were recording from a group of Ottawa area game designers: Fraser Ronald, Jason Pitre, Mark Richardson, Joshua Kitz, and Todd Crapper. These recordings have never been heard… until now. 

This is the Ottawa Game Publishers Podcast.

Yep, I do a podcast too with them guys mentioned above. It’s a great opportunity for us to get together and talk shop in a format that can help other designers/publishers entering the field, but it’s also an excuse to have a few drinks. And talk shop. Have a listen and let us know what you think on your podcast downloaders-do of choice.


Here goes, the first crack at a new podcast. After talking about it for a few weeks, myself, Fraser Ronald, Jason Pitre and Mark Richardson sit down and knock out eight topics covering a wide range of discussions regarding the tabletop RPG design and publishing industry from a Canadian perspective.

Episode 1: What The #@*% Are You Trying To Do?

Release Date: July 20, 2016
Our inaugural episode introduces the show and dives right into the biggest issue facing anyone getting a new project up and going: what is your goal?

Episode 2: Networking Pros and Cons

Release Date: August 3, 2016
Rubbing elbows with industry professional and other hopefuls is key to making larger strides in the industry, but what is the smart way of doing it? Do you have to go to GenCon and what are the actual benefits of networking?

Episode 3: The Necessary Evils of Playtesting

Release Date: August 17, 2016
It’s our best friend and worst enemy, the abusive relationship of game design. Getting the crucial feedback to test your game is tricky when you’re small potatoes and each of us has our own take and experience for getting eyeballs on your latest creation.

Episode 4: Buy My Game!

Release Date: August 31, 2016
Where is that magic line between any product and the one that will catapult you to the stars? Needless to say, it’s not a topic that can be answered in half-an-hour but we sure can throw out our theories on what makes a good game a great product.

Episode 5: The Consequence of Success

Release Date: September 14, 2016
Are our games stumbling over their own feet by building foundations on success and failure when we’re trying to emulate heroes and genres where failure is tightly controlled by the story?

Episode 6: Show Me the Money!

Release Date: September 28, 2016
Tired Cuba Gooding Jr. references aside, acquiring the right amount of money, spending it wisely, paying your people on time and so many other financial responsibilities have destroyed so many aspiring publishers in the past so we do our best to lay down some warning signs and suggestions for making the most of your funds.

Episode 7: GM Mechanics and Flying Hockey Players

Release Date: October 12 2016
The Gamemaster is either an all-powerful creator of worlds with the heroes’ fate in her hands or part of a team of storytellers charged with the NPCs of the world. In true Canadian fashion, we take a crack at defining the role of GM mechanics driving gameplay and compare its effects and the role of the Gamemaster to refs in hockey.

Episode 8: Expectations

Release Date: October 27, 2016
What is your expectation when you create a new game and publish it? Fame and fortune? Recognition? Confirmation that you’re not insane? There’s no right or wrong answer and that’s a good thing because each of us has our own reason for doing what we do in the finale episode of our first season.


Holy crap, we decided to do another round of topics and this season will get heavier than the first one. Except now we’re joined by Joshua Kitz from Composed Dream Games to bring the host count to five.

Episode 9: Balancing Both Worlds

Release Date: November 9, 2016
How do you juggle the fine details of game design, publishing, a day job, family, friends, conventions, playing games and everything else possibly on our plates? Everyone has their own way of tackling them all and that’s exactly what this episode is about.

Episode 10: The Con Is On

Release Date: November 24, 2016
There’s attending a convention and then there’s working a convention. The temptation to run non-stop games, network, conduct deals, run a booth, and everything else in between suddenly crashes to a halt when you factor in sleep, food, even just time to go to the bathroom for crying out loud. So here’s some tips to working the cons.

Episode 11: Playing With Our Emotions

Release Date: December 7, 2016
RPGs have really branched out into a few sub-genres recently and one of those involves heavy social/political/emotional content, such as slavery and gender roles. Yet there’s an audience for them and it was a topic Jason couldn’t wait to discuss as a group.

Episode 12: But We Had A Social Contract!

Release Date: January 4, 2017
You can’t talk about playing heavy topics in your RPGs without bringing up the role of the social contract, the previously unspoken agreement of “don’t be a dick” at the table. That agreement is now an active part of gameplay (take the X-card, for example) but what role does it play in game design and publishing?

Special Episode #1: Sig and High Plains Samurai

Release Date: January 18, 2017
Let’s face it, part of publishing is promoting and we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t plug our own games from time to time. And since Jason and myself were knee deep in plugging our own upcoming RPGs – Sig: The Manual of the Primes and High Plains Samurai – we thought it best to take some time to discuss said games and how the crowdfunding process shapes their creation.

Episode 13: Stay Healthy, My Friends

Release Date: February 8, 2017
Addiction, mental health, and other diagnosis affect a large percentage of the tabletop gaming community and it’s an issue that’s becoming more and more apparent within our own immediate circle. On this special episode of OGP, Mark talks about his own discovery and treatment as an alcoholic and this leads us to talk about how we as members of the community need to look at these issues and how we can make ourselves available to help.

Episode 14: Look It Up!

Release Date: February 22, 2017
Holy crap, we got a listener request! Eric writes in asking for our take on research in RPG design and we all look at it from a number of different directions. How much research do you need to conduct and in which direction? Do you even need to? From real world history to studying genres, we should note absolutely no research was done to prepare for this episode.


After an extended break between seasons due to Kickstarter’s, product launches, vacations and more, we’re back to tackle the soft and heavy issues of indie design and publishing.

Episode 15: Being Social

Release Date: August 15, 2017
Using social media to promote your work is not as easy as it seems. With so many “tried and true” best practises out there, we talk about the more organic approaches to using social media in an age where the market is flooded with ads.

Episode 16: Diversity

Release Date: September 20, 2017
There’s a growing demand in the RPG community for more diversity and inclusion in new games. So what can you do as CIS white men? Because that’s the exact issue we face and we want to be part of this important growth for the community. It’s not about “solving the diversity issue” as it is discussion how we can help it grow from within.

Episode 17: Tools of Play

Release Date: October 26, 2017
Sure, you can use dice to resolve situations and determine success but every RPG seems to do this. Are there any other devices out there that allow you to create the RPG experience and fit the style of randomization you need to pull off your vision? Turns out… yeah, there’s a lot of ways.

Episode 18: Get That Sucker Out There!

Release Date: November 22, 2017
So you’ve got a game ready to launch and now it’s time to get it on some shelves to make money. Where do you sell your games? How can you get it into stores? What should the price point be? And do you know how to handle taxes when it comes to inventory? We dive into the deep end of the pool to get into all the ways you can get your game into the hands of potential players.


Phew, organizing a podcast is harder than I originally thought. While this season will only consist of three episodes and Fraser wasn’t able to join us at the last minute, each episode provides a much deeper dive into the topics and runs for more than an hour each.

Episode 19: A System For Every Occassion

Release Date: December 27, 2017
When someone says a game is universal, what exactly does that mean? And is the game actually providing a universal system? We dive into this topic in what ends up becoming far more complex than originally expected and attempt to define what makes something a universal system.

Episode 20: Heading In The Right Art Direction

Release Date: February 7, 2018
You have text, rules, and everything else you need to make a game. Now it has to look great and that’s where art direction comes into play. As indie publishers, art direction is typically something you take on by yourself and so we provide our own recommendations for this deep dive into providing the right vision for your game.

Episode 21: Killing Your Darlings

Release Date: March 6, 2018
Not everything that starts as the next great thing in games pans out. It’s called “killing your darlings” and can range from a specific dice mechanic to the whole damn game. We bring up repressed memories of our darlings and end up resurrecting an old game in the process.