GWJ Conference Call: D&D 4e Exclusive Interview

Conference Call

Special Edition - August 14, 2008
D&D 4th Edition design, reception, lessons learned, plans for D&D Insider and more!

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Live (sort of) from GenCon, Michael Zenke and Julian Murdoch (me) interview the core design team from Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition.

On this first day of the biggest Role Playing event of the year, Mike Mearls, Lead Designer, Scott Rouse, Senior Brand Manager, and Rob Heinsoo, Lead Mechanical Game Designer from Wizards of the coast, sit down with us to talk about design philosophy, beta testing, the future of D&D Insider and what lies ahead. We dig deep, getting into what's worked, what's been a surprise, and what lessons they've learned along the way.

This isn't going in the regular podcast feed, so get it while you can!

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Comments

No time to listen now, but congrats on getting the interview. You guys rock!

This isn't going in the regular podcast feed, so get it while you can!

OMG! Why not!? This is pretty badass, going to listen to it tonight while I pack.

Why did you guys release another podcast when I haven't even finished the last one?

Man I was so confused... I was thinking "Holy sh*t that week went fast..."

Yay for multiple podcastery!

This is on the regular podcast feed, because rabbit is a technology genius.

I'll be listening to this in the car this afternoon... while I'm driving to GenCon!!!! Wheee!

(My brother and I are doing a madcap dash across America for this one. We leave around 2pm today, cover 740 miles to get into Indy probably around 1am, game all day Saturday, then drive back home Sunday. We made our plans last weekend - nothing like last-minute plans to heighten excitement!)

Great interview - I had a little trouble hearing it on the bus what with traffic, but that's nothing that shoving the headphones into your ear canal can't fix...

That was pretty interesting to hear about how the PDF leak was not intentional. Try picturing middle-adged, avid roleplayers staging an investigation to find a culprit - it keeps making me smile.

The talk about skill checks, and how even the developers stray from the official rules, was very telling. They basically acknowledged that skill-checks are basically a rubbery system where you can feel your way through it.

Thanks a ton, you head Goodjers, for getting this on the site so quickly - and of course to Rabbit and Zenke for asking intelligent questions....

...like when the hell am I getting Dark Sun and Planescape.

Edit - I just edited the whole post, no point in having a hundred edits.

I've listened to it now, and thank you so much for doing this - great interview.

ps. Wish I was at GenCon. I chose PAX instead - sadly most of my East Coast friends who can go to a con chose GenCon. I guess that says something about the kind of friends I have...

1. Argh, you got a piracy discussion in there
I would sub to an online database in addition to the books - actually I might prefer a sub to buying multiple splat books, if I could. Still, I liked the original plan to have ID numbers in the books that unlock online content. I understand tho why it might not have worked.

2. "Maybe we'll ... see some other worlds we... haven't seen for a while?"
Way to hold their feet to the fire over Planescape, and Dark Sun, Zenke
But seriously, thanks for asking this question. Both times - I just got up to the point where you asked it more specifically, and now I really want to know what's coming out 2010.

3. Frightening how Doc and I are on the same wavelength VVVV

4. You know that Paladin's Challenge exploit? I was at D&D Experience and somebody at our table used that to win the unbeatable last encounter. I remember the developers asking how the heck we killed the dragon at the end, and it turned out they hadn't thought of kiting with Divine Challenge. So maybe it was our table that made them fix the rules... good thing, I would hate it if someone tried to do that at my table.

I liked it, but I miss Robs magic, the sound levels on this was all over the place, Rabbits laughter hurt my ears, damn you Rabbit. Cool topic and info though, you guys get some great interviews.

yeah, we did our best on the audio, but the environment was suboptimal. Was a lot of fun though, glad y'all enjoyed it.

MaverickDago wrote:

I liked it, but I miss Robs magic, the sound levels on this was all over the place, Rabbits laughter hurt my ears, damn you Rabbit. Cool topic and info though, you guys get some great interviews.

We actually did touch it up a bit, but the room certainly wasn't the most optimal, and I really didn't feel like spending hours trying to fix it when I could be playing games at Gencon.

Gaald wrote:
MaverickDago wrote:

I liked it, but I miss Robs magic, the sound levels on this was all over the place, Rabbits laughter hurt my ears, damn you Rabbit. Cool topic and info though, you guys get some great interviews.

We actually did touch it up a bit, but the room certainly wasn't the most optimal, and I really didn't feel like spending hours trying to fix it when I could be playing games at Gencon. :)

And the firetrucks. I kept looking out my window to see if my cousin's rig would be flying down the street given how loud it sounded on the podcast.

Gaald wrote:
MaverickDago wrote:

I liked it, but I miss Robs magic, the sound levels on this was all over the place, Rabbits laughter hurt my ears, damn you Rabbit. Cool topic and info though, you guys get some great interviews.

We actually did touch it up a bit, but the room certainly wasn't the most optimal, and I really didn't feel like spending hours trying to fix it when I could be playing games at Gencon. :)

Was this one also recorded in my room? If I had arrived earlier, I could have thrown more filthy underwear around to dampen the sound better.

No it was not, it was recorded in the sweet suite. Not the ideal place to record, but I think it turned out Ok considering it was up soon after we had recorded it.