Thursday, December 5, 2013

Faculty Lounge: Bruce H. Voge of “The Party Gamecast featuring the Party Game Cast”

Here in the faculty lounge I get together and talk to other board game interested podcasters and bloggers to learn a little bit more about what they do.


I met Bruce at Congress of Gamers in the UNPUB room.  After a game of Post Position we played FireBreak where Bruce valiantly made a last stand protecting the airport.


Bruce H. Voge: It was not bravery, I was told the entire time I would be OK "You're at the airport, if things get squirrely you can always get out".  Well guys I am not sure how much more squirrely it can get than having 360 degrees of your view set on fire, but what I do know is I in fact did not "get out".

Dr. Wictz:   During FireBreak I learned about Bruce’s love for Party Games and about him moderating the  “The Party Gamecast featuring the Party Game Cast” podcast. Bruce, can you give a quick rundown about The Party Gamecast in case some folks are not familiar with your show?
Bruce H. Voge: The Party Gamecast featuring the Party Gamecast is a podcast about party games, and games you take to parties.  We talk about everything from clear party games like “Taboo” and “Apples to Apples” to games you might take to specific parties like horror games like “Last Night on Earth” for a geeky Halloween party a dexterity game like Tumblin Dice or a light filler like Las Vegas.  We also occasionally talk about “gateway/casual” games like Ticket to Ride or Catan, anything you might take to a shindig with your family, or co-workers that are not your primary game group.  So if it involves a party or get together, we talk about it.

Dr. Wictz:     Why did you start The Party Gamecast?

Bruce H. Voge: We were as a group talking (we really are friends) in the living room, and Erika (a regular part of the cast for the early episodes) has a podcast network called Fight Fans Radio that talks about combat sports.   I was talking about how I wanted to do a podcast, and that I had looked over the podcasts currently in the board game genre, and they were all missing out on party games.  No one really seems to want to talk about party games for more than a minute or two, it seemed to me that every genre had its own show, collectible games, specific games (like Netrunner), war games, dice games, but NO ONE really was out here tackling party games. 
All of a sudden Chris said “Sounds like fun.”  and Maureen said “Yeah, I would LOVE to do that.” even my wife Rocki who is not a HUGE fan of games said “Party games…so no 3 hour games about the Cold War full of tiny chits and cards with paragraphs of words, so games like Apples to Apples….really, I’m in.”  The last holdout was Mike, who decided he wanted to do the show to “be negative and point how bad these games really are” which we all felt like we needed.  He has really come around, and has learned to appreciate some of these games, even as a dyed in the wool strategy gamer.  So I guess we started it to try to tell both newcomers to the hobby, and angry geeks alike about what exists over here in the party game world.  It’s not all bad, just listen and we’ll tell you about it.
Dr. Wictz:    You have five regular co-hosts and a few more guest hosts, how and where did you find them all?
Bruce H. Voge: Well Rocki was in her lab trying to make our cat Ripley interesting enough to be an internet sensation.  I convinced her that if we could make the cat a part of our party game fun, he might be willing to be a part of twitter and get closer to internet fame.  After a few tests with the cat in the Danger Room, Rocki was on board, and the cat started tweeting as @partygamecat .
We heard Maureen had a chip on her shoulder after Rich Uncle Pennybags killed her family, she has had a vendetta against the game Monopoly ever since, so we knew she would be in.  Maureen is happy we talk about games that new player will like that are NOT Monopoly.  (She will learn in this article that we WILL at some point do a Monopoly episode.)
Chris was a friend, but we noticed every so often he would disappear at night, and wake up on one of our doorsteps with most of his clothes ripped off, and often quite hungry.  After a lot of research we realized he suffered from Lycanthropy and we convinced him if he played enough Werewolf his body might accept that he was in fact BEING a werewolf, and it might lessen his monthly symptoms.  So he was in.  We hope he will at least become more of a 1980’s style Teen Wolf kind of werewolf.
Erika is a ninja, so it took quite a while to put up a decent enough trap for her to even notice, eventually she did, and learned what we were doing.  She said the high stress lifestyle of ninja-ing was becoming a bit much so she decided to join us, however if you listen to the show recently you will realize, once you are a ninja, it is not a lifestyle you get to “leave”.
Mom, was working as a wizard in another plane, friends of the show could contact her while playing D and D, and told her it might be fun.  She asked if we would drink wine or play Agricola.  By and large I turned down both ideas.  She heard we were going to do an episode all about potato chip flavors (Episode #4A) and was in, not realizing it was going to be an episode later. (Her first episode was #3).  She materializes every so often and joins us, and those are usually our most loved shows. 
Mike heard there was going to be a show about party games, and felt it needed a more negative slant, so he left his grump-cave, got in the grump-mobile, brought his grump-arangs and got ready with hit grump-mic to “level things out a bit”.
Dr. Wictz:     How did you come up with The Party Gamecast as the name for your podcast?
Bruce H. Voge: That was just a random stroke of luck.  We knew quickly it was going to be a big panel show, with a cast of characters and it really started with that idea.  Once I heard the word cast, I joked “We should call it the Party Gamecast featuring the Party Game Cast, that way no matter how anyone spaces it in searches, they will find us.” and the room liked it.  Erika literally purchased the domain from her phone while we were talking about, and the rest is history.
Dr. Wictz:   So What is your favorite type of board game? (For some reason I am waiting to hear you say you hate party games :-) )
Bruce H. Voge: I am a big fan of negotiation games and economic games, to me a good negotiation game is like a party game, a lot of banter, a lot of interaction,  the people that play with me disagree.   I also super love dice games, and dexterity games, which was my in road to party games.
Dr. Wictz:    If you were to introduce someone to your show and you could only play for them one episode, which episode would you play?
Bruce H. Voge: WOW, that is a tough one.  I would be quick to say “the newest one”, I feel we get better every episode, we learn new tricks, or get to keep a joke going.  However to be more serious I would say either #14 (Episode 14)where we talked about Ugg-Tect because that is a Mom episode, or # 19 (Episode 19)where we talk about Snake Oil, which is good, but does not have Mom.
I know Chris would have to say episode # 10 (Episode 10) The Dicefest, and Mike would ask what about the episode with Andy Looney? (it was episode #6A Eposide 6A)
Dr. Wictz:    If I wanted you to review my board game what should I do?
Bruce H. Voge: Send me an email at  Just remember if you send us a game, you are not buying an advertisement, you are requesting a review, which we will gladly do.
Dr. Wictz:    Have you had any guest board game designers?  
Bruce H. Voge: Oh Yea, not only did we do a bunch of interviews with designers and game company folk at the WBCs, but we also did an episode with Andy Looney of Looney Labs, it was #6A (Episode 6A) and we talked about Fluxx:The Board Game, as well as a bunch of the other things he has made over the years.
Dr. Wictz:    Is there anything a board game designer can do to get invited to by a guest  on your show?
Bruce H. Voge: Meet us somewhere, be fun, that’s all we really require.
Dr. Wictz:    Is there a board game designer you have always wanted on your show? 
Bruce H. Voge: Well I worked on a project with Mark Rein-Hagen and for a couple of minutes he said he might do an episode.  So my dream was him, Steve Jackson and John Kovalic playing Munchkin Bites.  I want them all to have to sit through a game of that and just understand it was their fault.  Plus we got to talk to Kovalic (over Twitter) a lot while getting our hands on a copy of ROFL, and he seems like a lot of fun, so I think that would be amusing.
Thank you Bruce for stopping by to talk.  If you want to learn more about The Party Gamecast go to either the website at or look for “The Party Gamecast featuring the Party Game Cast” on iTunes or Stitcher, or go to to see all the shows in the network, including the Party GameCast.



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