Skip to main content
The Playful Library - A Book Club on Games

The Playful Library - A Book Club on Games

By Off The Beaten Track
A biweekly book club about video game development.

Tag along as we read books on game design and video game production and discuss how the content relates to our daily work. Read along or just listen along to our discussions - it's up to you! If you want to discuss our episodes and the books we read or have some recommendations for future books and episodes, join our Discord server: discord.link/OffTheBeatenTrack
Where to listen
Amazon Music Logo

Amazon Music

Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Castbox Logo

Castbox

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo

RadioPublic

Spotify Logo

Spotify

Stitcher Logo

Stitcher

Episode 8 · Tabletop Game Design for Video Game Designers – Chapter 3&4
It's the eighth episode of our podcast and we're continuing our second book: Tabletop Game Design for Video Game Designers by Ethan Ham. The third and fourth chapters deal with creating and playtesting tabletop games, throwing us right into the action of designing our own games and modifying new ones! More on the book we are reading right now: http://www.ethanham.com/index.html?tabletop   Once again, feel free to read along with us and to join our discussions – or to lean back and listen to us discuss and summarize the book.   If you want to join us live and chat with us while we discuss the books, you can do so over on our Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/offthebeatentrack       Our next episode will air on Wednesday, October 12th at 3 PM CEST on Twitch and a little later on all podcast platforms.     SOCIAL LINKS:   Discord: https://discord.link/OffTheBeatenTrack   Twitter: https://twitter.com/OffTheBtnTrack   Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/search/?developer=Off The Beaten Track
01:10:09
September 26, 2022
Episode 7 · Tabletop Game Design for Video Game Designers – Chapter 1&2
It's the seventh episode of our podcast and we're off to a fresh start with our second book: Tabletop Game Design for Video Game Designers by Ethan Ham. The book starts off with a nice intro, some definitions, and the first Tabletop game for the readers to try themselves – which we did, of course! Also in this episode, we're sharing our top games that we think everyone should have played. We're eager to find out whether you agree with ours, and what your chosen games would be. Let us know on our Discord! Once again, feel free to read along with us and to join our discussions – or to lean back and listen to us discuss and summarize the book. If you want to join us live and chat with us while we discuss the books, you can do so over on our Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/offthebeatentrack     Our next episode will air on Wednesday, September 21st at 5 PM CEST on Twitch and a little later on all podcast platforms.   SOCIAL LINKS:   Discord: https://discord.link/OffTheBeatenTrack   Twitter: https://twitter.com/OffTheBtnTrack   Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/search/?developer=Off The Beaten Track
01:15:24
September 08, 2022
Guest interview: Mary Flanagan · Episode 6 · Values at Play
Our first SPECIAL EPISODE with Mary Flanagan, co-author of Values at Play in Digital Games! A wonderful opportunity to reflect on the book and the changes she'd do to it today. Next up, we will read Tabletop Game Design for Video Game Designers by Ethan Ham! http://www.ethanham.com/index.html?tabletop Once again, feel free to read along with us and to join our discussions –  or to lean back and listen to us discuss and summarize the book. If you want to join us live and chat with us while we discuss the books, you can do so over on our Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/offthebeatentrack   Our next episode will air on Wednesday, August 17th at 3 PM CEST on Twitch and a little later on all podcast platforms. SOCIAL LINKS:   Discord: https://discord.link/OffTheBeatenTrack   Twitter: https://twitter.com/OffTheBtnTrack   Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/search/?developer=Off The Beaten Track
01:04:25
August 18, 2022
Episode 5 · Values at Play – Part 5: Values at Play at Work
It's the fifth episode of our podcast and time for us to finish Values at Play! This episode is all about applicating the Values at Play Heuristics and giving inspiring designers a place to share insights. Next up, we will read Tabletop Game Design for Video Game Designers by Ethan Ham! http://www.ethanham.com/index.html?tabletop Once again, feel free to read along with us and to join our discussions – or to lean back and listen to us discuss and summarize the book. If you want to join us live and chat with us while we discuss the books, you can do so over on our Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/offthebeatentrack   Our next episode will air on Wednesday, August 17th at 3 PM CEST on Twitch and a little later on all podcast platforms. SOCIAL LINKS:   Discord: https://discord.link/OffTheBeatenTrack   Twitter: https://twitter.com/OffTheBtnTrack   Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/search/?developer=Off The Beaten Track
01:02:29
August 03, 2022
Episode 4 · Values at Play – Part 4: Verification
It's the fourth episode and Sascha and Jens discuss chapter 7 of Values  at Play: Verification – after implementing your values into your game, how do you prove that they are actually there? For the next episode, we'll read chapter 8&9 of the book.   Read along with us and discuss its contents during our streams or in our dedicated  Discord channel! If you want to join us live and chat with us while we discuss the books, you can do so over on our Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/offthebeatentrack Our fifth episode will air on Wednesday, August 3rd at 3 PM CEST on Twitch and a little later on all podcast platforms. SOCIAL LINKS:   Discord: https://discord.link/OffTheBeatenTrack   Twitter: https://twitter.com/OffTheBtnTrack   Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/search/?developer=Off The Beaten Track
48:05
July 22, 2022
Episode 3 · Values at Play – Part 3: Implementation
It's the third episode and Sascha and Jens discuss chapter 6 of Values at Play: Implementation – how do you actually implement your values during the development process, and what are the compromises you might have to make? For the next episode, we'll read chapter 7 of the book.   Read along with us and discuss its contents during our streams or in  our dedicated Discord channel! If you want to join us live and chat with us while we discuss the books, you can do so over on our Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/offthebeatentrack SOCIAL LINKS:   Discord: https://discord.link/OffTheBeatenTrack   Twitter: https://twitter.com/OffTheBtnTrack   Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/search/?developer=Off The Beaten Track
56:11
June 24, 2022
Episode 2 · Values at Play – Part 2: The Values At Play Heuristic
In the second episode of our new podcast, the hosts Jens and Sascha dive deep into the practical parts of Values at Play by Mary Flanagan and Helen Nissenbaum. Listen and learn about the Values at Play Heuristics and how to discover values when designing games. For the next episode, we'll read chapter 6 (Implementation & Guest Article: «Values of Game Hardware» by Kyle Rentschler) of the book.  Read along with us and discuss its contents during our streams or in our dedicated Discord channel! If you want to join us live and chat with us while we discuss the books, you can do so over on our Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/offthebeatentrack SOCIAL LINKS:   Discord: https://discord.link/OffTheBeatenTrack   Twitter: https://twitter.com/OffTheBtnTrack   Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/search/?developer=Off The Beaten Track
01:01:27
June 09, 2022
Episode 1 · Values at Play – Part 1: Understanding Values at Play
In our first episode, our hosts Jens and Sascha discuss the first part of Values at Play by Mary Flanagan and Helen Nissenbaum. Listen for an introduction to the book and the concept of "values at play"! For the next episode, we'll read part 2 (chapter 4&5) of the book. Read along with us and discuss its contents during our streams or in our dedicated Discord channel!  If you want to join us live and chat with us while we discuss the books, you can do so over on our Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/offthebeatentrack SOCIAL LINKS:   Discord: https://discord.link/OffTheBeatenTrack   Twitter: https://twitter.com/OffTheBtnTrack   Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/search/?developer=Off The Beaten Track
49:29
May 30, 2022
Episode 0 · Trailer – Into The Playful Library
In this trailer episode, we'll introduce our new podcast: The Playful Library – A Book Club on Games. We're Jens and Sascha - two game developers who love to read and learn. We want to use this podcast to read books on game design and production and discuss them – together with you! Tag along as we read our first book - Values at Play in Digital Games, written by Mary Flanagan and Helen Nissenbaum – part by part.  For the next episode, we'll read part 1 (or chapters 1-3) of the book. If you want to join us live and chat with us while we discuss the books, you can do so over on our Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/offthebeatentrack We'll start with our first episode on Wednesday, May 25th, 3 PM CEST. SOCIAL LINKS:   Discord: https://discord.link/OffTheBeatenTrack   Twitter: https://twitter.com/OffTheBtnTrack   Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/search/?developer=Off The Beaten Track
04:42
May 19, 2022