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From ESL Teaching to Game Designer with For Glory feat. Alex Wolf – 83

Episode Overview

  • Episode Topics and Interviews
    • Update from Board Gaming with Education- events – 1:24
    • Our Sponsor for this Episode is “Facing Off!” – 2:32
    • Who is Alex Wolf? – 3:41
    • Using Magic: The Gathering to Learn Chinese – 5:54
    • Teaching in China – 8:53
    • Adventure in Game Design – 13:25
    • Transition from Teaching to Game Design – 17:36
    • For Glory! On Kickstarter Now! – 21:07
    • Last Words of Advice: Follow Your Passion instead of Netflix – 24:50
    • Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down Rapid Fire Round – 27:46

Dustin sits down with Alex Wolf, a former ESL teacher in China turned tabletop game designer. Alex started Spielcraft games with co-founder Jared Bakewell in his spare time. They are set to release their first game publication, the Gladiator combat deck builder, For Glory. We learn of the similarities Dustin and Alex share as natives of Omaha, Nebraska as well as former overseas educators where Alex reveals the challenges of learning board games in other languages. The two talk about Alex’s game, For Glory, which is now live on Kickstarter and we get a glimpse into his creative process.

For Glory: bitly.com/forglorygame

Website: spielcraftgames.com

Facebook: https://facebook.com/spielcraftgames

Thank you to Purple Planet Music for the wonderful contribution of their song “Retro Gamer” and “Soul Train” for our Interview and Sponsorhsip Segments. These songs can be found in full on this music archive. Also, thank you to Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) for his creative commons 4.0 contribution of “Getting it Done.”

Also, thank you to Dallas Welk for editing this episode!

Our Facebook Group for Educators: Games-based Learning, Gamification, and Games in Education

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Updates from Board Gaming with Education – 1:24

Dustin shares a bit about the episode and some updates about Board Gaming with Education. Be sure to like our Facebook page to join us at our events and programs in Los Angeles! including season 8, board game events and programs, and game-based resources. Also, be sure to sign up for our newsletter below for updates including the review deck builder!

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Thank You to our Sponsor “Facing Off!” – 2:32

“FACING OFF: Can you SKETCH what you CAN’T see?”

The Super Social, “All-Play,” Role-Changing Party Game, where you compete to describe, sketch, and bet your way to Victory in 2-minute, time-pressured rounds!

“Facing Off” is a totally new twist on the old “sketch” & charades” style of Party Games, because it’s NOT a “guessing game” or, like any other “card game” on the market. In fact, its family-rated “All-Play” rounds are so fast-paced and exhilarating, that they’re guaranteed to keep even the toughest crowds laughing! And, while sketching is required, they’ve designed “Facing Off” so that it doesn’t require artistic talent…Because, you can describe, sketch, or bet your way to victory!

Who is Alex Wolf? – 3:41

We meet Alex Wolf, a former ESL teacher in China, and current Game Designer and owner of Spielcraft Games. We learn of the similarities Dustin and Alex share as natives of Omaha Nebraska and about the start of Alex’s company.

Raised in Omaha NE, I went to Grinnell College for my undergraduate education, where I started studying Chinese. After college, I went to Xi’an China for about a year to teach English as a second language at various schools around the city, ranging from preschool to middle school. It was then that I started using games in education. I returned to China in 2015, where I taught high school and college students English. During my free time that year, I started to make prototypes of the games that were bouncing around in my head. Now, five years later, I am launching my first game on Kickstarter!

Using “Magic: The Gathering” to Learn Chinese – 5:54

Alex tells the story of the difficulty he experienced when trying to learn Magic: The Gathering in Chinese.

Teaching in China – 8:53

Alex shares his experience with gamification while teaching elementary school in China. He mentions creating games for his class to try and how not all of them achieved the goals he had in mind.

Adventures in Game Design – 13:25

Alex shares his history of game design and what he learned through the process and how he relates them to students learning through gaming.

Transition from Teaching to Game Design – 17:36

Aditya gets into the process of creating his games Potato Pirates to help educate and inspire an interest in coding, syntax, and computer systems.

For Glory – 21:07

We learn all about Alex’s game For Glory, a Gladiator themed deck-building game. Alex tells of how the idea for the game came about and the goals he wanted to achieve with it. For Glory is live now on Kickstarter!

Last Words of Advice: Follow Your Passion Instead of Netflix! – 24:50

Aditya states that context is the most important to helping children or other students get into coding and understanding computational thinking. He also talks about using Python as a programming language and how his company helps support learning coding.

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down Rapid Fire Round – 27:46

Dustin challenges Alex with some rapid-fire statements to see his unsolicited opinions on them. Be sure to tune in to hear his answers!

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