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Economic Principles in Games with Dr. Wictz feat. Aaron Honsowetz and Austin Smokowicz – 84

Episode Overview

  • Episode Topics and Interviews
    • UNPUB- Playtesting for Game Designers – 2:06
    • Who is Dr. Wictz? – 7:11
    • Real-World Inspiration for Game Design – 11:03
    • Making Economics Accessible – 14:52
    • Starting the Design Process – 21:55
    • Hidden Economic Concepts in their Games – 25:42
    • Bringing Games into the Economics Classroom – 32:20
    • Students Learning through Game Design – 37:27
    • Last Words of Advice: Simply – 51:06
    • Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down Rapid Fire Round – 52:48

In today’s episode, Dustin has his first two-person interview with Dr. Wictz. Dr. Wictz is a game design team that consists of Aaron Honsowetz and Austin Smokowicz. The two like to incorporate economic and political based concepts into their games. They like to focus on the accessibility of these concepts with a focus on fun and engagement. We get to learn about the history of the two collaborating with each other and their ideas on game design and what types of games they enjoy making and playing. We also get a glimpse of their creative process and what they look out for when finding potential new game ideas.

Website: dr.wictz.com

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/drwictz

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drwictz

Thank you to Purple Planet Music for the wonderful contribution of their song “Retro Gamer” and “Soul Train” for our Interview and Sponsorship 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!

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

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Who is Dr. Wictz? – 7:11

We learn about the board game designer duo, Dr. Wictz, that consists of Aaron Honsowetz and Austin Smokowicz. They talk of the history of their collaboration and past games that got them to where they are now.

Dr. Wictz is a board game design team inspired by real-world mechanics. Economics Professor Aaron Honsowetz and Media Post Production Specialist Austin Smokowicz take everyday strategic interactions and strive to recreate these experiences within their board games.  Popular sources of inspiration for Dr. Wictz includes Economic and Political Theories.

Real-World Inspiration for Game Design – 11:03

Aaron and Austin tell of their shared interest in using real-world economic concepts and theories as their inspiration for game design.

Making Economics Accessible – 14:52

We learn of the challenges Aaron and Austin have when stumbling upon potential ideas for games and their process for making them fun and satisfying as well as easy to grasp.

Starting the Desing Process – 21:55

Dustin asks the two about their process when starting to design a game. Aaron and Austin explain what they call the “Controlling Idea” and how their games are designed to convey a singular idea or experience.

Hidden Economic Concepts in their Games – 25:42

The three discuss the differences in economic themed games and games that convey economic concepts.

Bringing Games into the Economics Classroom – 32:20

Aaron shares his experience with converting games for the classroom and how you would want to tackle single concepts when introducing board games to an economics class.

Student Learning through Game Design – 37:27

Aaron tells a story of one of his students who designed a biology-based board game centered around an economic concept and the benefits that she received from her creation.

Last Words of Advice: Simplify – 51:06

Aaron and Austin give their advice on converting real-world concepts to games. Simplify.

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down Rapid Fire Round – 52:48

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

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