Derek Paxton comes back to the show to talk with Tom, Rob, Bruce, and Troy about Fallen Enchantress, his massive revision of 2010's Elemental: War of Magic. He explains how he started reshaping Elemental, and how the project grew along the way. Tom is already a big fan, and even suggests that Fallen Enchantress may be close to Master of Magic-levels of greatness. Rob and Troy are a bit more reserved, and some arguments break out over diplomacy, the early game, and the tactical combat. Derek details his thinking on each of those points, and goes a long way to explaining why Fallen Enchantress works the way it does.

Direct download: Three_Moves_Ahead_192.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:18pm EST

In a perhaps dangerously detailed discussion of League of Legends, Rob and Julian talk to Rhea "Ashelia" Monique and Julian Williams about the recent League of Legends championship. They talk about the new ways pro teams are playing the game, and the connection between the pro game and the regular ranked play. They also talk about the importance of casual play and bringing in new players, and discuss the different ways StarCraft 2 and League of Legends approach that issue.

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead191.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:06pm EST

Dave Heron and Jon Shafer return to the show to talk about XCom: Enemy Unknown with Julian and Troy. They talk about the streamlining Firaxis has done to the franchise and how it has paid off. How do the strategic and tactical levels meld? Is the voice acting any good? How replayable is it? And listen to their inevitable list of nitpicks. Apologies for the sound quality - internet kicked out making the master recording a bit of a jumble.

Troy's thoughts on XCom, Rob and Joe Robinson talk XCom and Rob argues in favour of its simpler design

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead190.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:28am EST

Klei's Nels Anderson and Firaxis' Scott Lewis join Rob and Troy to talk about fog of war and hidden information in game design. They talk about Mark of the Ninja and how information-gathering becomes a key game phase, and how games like Civilization use fog of war as a way to keep the player focused on a small, manageable area at the start of the game. The group discuss other ways to represent information-gathering, touching on games like Wargame, XCOM, Panzer Corps, and even 2006's Chromehounds.

Apologies for any audio issues. We lost Scott Lewis' audio track to a glitch.

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead189.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:20am EST

Bruce and Rob welcome Jake Solomon, lead designer of Firaxis' new XCOM, and interrogate him mercilessly. Jake explains his design choices and the trade-offs he faced in adapting and updating X-COM.

Direct download: ThreeMovesAhead188.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:50pm EST