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Building Better Games
Building Better Games
Benjamin Carcich & Aaron Smith

Building Better Games is about helping leaders create better video games through holistic leadership. If you’re a leader in games and game... more

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E67: The #1 Reason Game Dev Fails with Graham McAllister

In this episode, Ben Carcich and Dr. Graham McAllister explore the concept of vision in game development, highlighting the common... more

16 Jul 2024 · 42 minutes
E66: How to Optimize Game Development with Patric Palm, Founder of Favro

Welcome to another episode of "Building Better Games." In this episode, Ben sits down with Patric Palm, CEO and founder... more

02 Jul 2024 · 36 minutes
E65: How To Do Game Design During Ideation with Greg Street

In this episode of "Building Better Games,"  Benjamin Carcich and Greg Street, also known as Ghostcrawler, delve into the intricacies... more

18 Jun 2024 · 42 minutes
E64: Why Estimation In Game Dev Is So Hard

In this episode of "Building Better Games," hosts Benjamin Carcich and Aaron Smith dive into the complex and often frustrating... more

04 Jun 2024 · 44 minutes
E63: People, Products, And Playtests: Staying Connected To Your Players (Republish of Episode 1)

Episode 63: People, Products, Playtests (Republish of E1 of BBG) Welcome to Building Better Games! Due to Ben's... more

21 May 2024 · 1 hour,
E62: What Leadership Skills Matter Most in Game Development?

Are you leveraging the full potential of your leadership role in game development? Or are you stuck in the traditional... more

07 May 2024 · 47 minutes
EP61: How to Get Promoted in Game Dev

Titles and seniority impact your ability to drive positive change. It’s worth knowing what promotion looks like so you can... more

23 Apr 2024 · 48 minutes
EP60: Breaking Down GDC 2024 - Upcoming Trends, Triumphs, and Tribulations

In this episode of the Building Better Games podcast, join hosts Ben and Aaron as they recap GDC 2024, diving... more

09 Apr 2024 · 44 minutes
EP59: Should You Be a Servant Leader in Game Development?

Is true leadership about wielding power, or is it the art of empowering others? In this episode, Ben and Aaron... more

26 Mar 2024 · 47 minutes
EP58 Why Your Favorite Games Are Getting More Expensive to Make

Why are your favorite games getting more expensive to make? In this episode, Ben and Aaron dive into the... more

12 Mar 2024 · 42 minutes
EP57 Addressing the Real Issues of Today's Games Industry

In this episode, Ben and Aaron navigate the intricate landscape of leadership within the gaming industry. They tackle the dichotomy... more

27 Feb 2024 · 42 minutes
E56 Solving Despair and Burnout in Game Development with Greg Street

Despair and burnout are commonplace in game development. As leaders, what can we do about that, both to prevent it... more

13 Feb 2024 · 46 minutes
E55 How to fix the Friction Between Creative Directors & Producers

In this episode, Ben and Aaron delve into the complex interplay between creative direction and executive production in game development.... more

06 Feb 2024 · 53 minutes
E54 How to Design for Live Service Games w/ Head of League of Legends Andrei Van Roon

In this episode, Andrei Van Roon, the Head of League Studio at Riot Games joined Ben and Aaron to discuss... more

16 Jan 2024 · 44 minutes
E53 How Often Should You Release in Game Dev with Josh Thaler

In this episode, Josh Thaler discusses the mindset and skills required to build successful live service games. He emphasizes the... more

02 Jan 2024 · 44 minutes
E52 How to do User Research in Game Dev with Steve Bromley

Steve Bromley, a games user research consultant, joins Ben and Aaron to discuss the importance of user research in game... more

19 Dec 2023 · 44 minutes
E51 How to Spot a Great Product Manager with Paul Gebel

Paul Gebel, a product leader with over 20 years of experience, joins Aaron and Ben to discuss the importance of... more

05 Dec 2023 · 44 minutes
E50 How to Launch a Live Service Game with Serge Knystautas

Join us in this enlightening episode where Serge Knystautas, a seasoned technologist with extensive experience in the gaming industry, dives... more

21 Nov 2023 · 40 minutes
E49 How to Solve Communication Problems at Your Game Studio

Communication challenges are a common concern in game development studios, but are they the real root issue? In this episode,... more

07 Nov 2023 · 42 minutes
E48 Why Agility in Game Dev Is Failing Your Team

In this episode, Aaron and Ben address the prevailing frustration and cynicism within the game development industry concerning Agile methodologies.... more

24 Oct 2023 · 42 minutes
E47 The 3 Skills You Need to be a World-Class Game Producer

In this episode, Aaron and Ben delve into their winning model for exceptional game production, highlighting the skills that define... more

10 Oct 2023 · 41 minutes
E46 The 3 Ways Game Producers Fail and How YOU can Avoid Them

In this episode, Ben and Aaron delve into the critical role of game production and shed light on common misconceptions... more

26 Sep 2023 · 43 minutes
E45 How to Become an S-Tier Manager in Games

Aaron and Ben discuss the challenges of poor management practices in the gaming industry. They explore the lack of transparency,... more

12 Sep 2023 · 45 minutes
E44 How to Build Your Game Better in a Live Service World

Ben and Aaron discuss the importance of understanding where your game falls on the live service spectrum and how that... more

29 Aug 2023 · 40 minutes
E43 Why You're Struggling with Collaboration with Jim Benson

“Most of the failures in any project that I've ever been on have been due to lack of communication, lack... more

14 Aug 2023 · 43 minutes
E42 Why You Should (And Shouldn't) Use Unreal, Unity, or Something Else for Game Dev with Jean-Eric Khalife

When it comes to saving money, working efficiently or creating value for players, what should take priority in game dev?... more

01 Aug 2023 · 41 minutes
E41 How a Toxic Relationship Between Publishing and Game Dev is Hurting Us All with Joel McGinnis

There was an unusually high number of low-quality games released in 2022, and we think we know why.   The... more

17 Jul 2023 · 40 minutes
E40 How to Make Tough Decisions Fast in Game Dev with Linda Fane

Is your organization struggling with making decisions, from a lack of consensus or clarity on who the key decision makers... more

04 Jul 2023 · 38 minutes
E39 How to Drive Real Change as a Game Producer with Leslee Sullivant

Having opposing views from your team or struggling to communicate with senior leaders and stakeholders are just a couple of... more

20 Jun 2023 · 40 minutes
E38 How AI Can Help You Lead Game Dev with Bill Frischling

AI is on the tip of everyone’s tongue right now. You’ve probably seen headlines in the news, on social media,... more

06 Jun 2023 · 38 minutes
E37 How to Stop Cheaters in Video Games with Paul Chamberlain

What defines cheating in games? Is it exploiting existing bugs, using automation or macro tools? What about installing third-party mods... more

23 May 2023 · 35 minutes
E36 Work Systems: How to Build Process that Leads to Better Results

Things like meetings, reports and team structure are in place to help the game dev process go smoother, and create... more

09 May 2023 · 41 minutes
E35 How to Create a Reliable Game Roadmap: Managing Uncertainty, Risk, and Team Readiness

The truth is, most people underestimate how long a task will take. This is especially true in game dev, where... more

25 Apr 2023 · 40 minutes
E34 Why You Need to Be Aware That Games Are Big Business (and What Can Go Wrong) with Susan Cummings and Ryan Scott

“It's cheap to have opinions. It's hard to have informed opinions. It's really, really hard to be an expert who's... more

11 Apr 2023 · 38 minutes
E33 How to be a Master of Web3 Gaming Debates: Susan Cummings & Ryan Scott Share Key Insights

Web3 is the next generation of the internet, and it’s already having an effect on the gaming industry. There’s a... more

28 Mar 2023 · 34 minutes
E32 How to Convince The Leaders Above You to Support Your Change

What does it mean to really drive change? How do you effectively bring up problems with leadership? How do you... more

14 Mar 2023 · 37 minutes
E31 How to Keep an Open Mind During Difficult Times with Joseph Kim

Choose any issue, and you'll find people with differing perspectives. This is inevitable but yet, in the gaming industry, having... more

28 Feb 2023 · 40 minutes
E30 How to Estimate Accurately Without Burning Trust or Your Team

Game development is defined by creative work, and for leaders, sometimes that means ditching the old framework and coming up... more

14 Feb 2023 · 39 minutes
E29 Ideation, Pre-production, and Production: How to Lead During the Different Phases of Game Development

If you’ve listened to episode 21, How not to Lose Your Game Vision on the Altar of “Getting Shit Done,”... more

31 Jan 2023 · 45 minutes
E28 How to Lead and Collaborate in a Remote World

Remote work has completely transformed the way we work on teams and communicate with each other. Leadership still has many... more

10 Jan 2023 · 40 minutes
E27 Remote Work Exposed: A Deep Dive into the Pros, Cons, and Controversies

If you’re like the hosts of Building Better Games, then you thought the proliferation of remote work was temporary. The... more

03 Jan 2023 · 37 minutes
E26 How to Build Trust as a Leader with Zach Blitz

Does likeability have a lot of value in leadership? How much does setting and enforcing boundaries help you and the... more

13 Dec 2022 · 44 minutes
E25 How to Build a Games Studio That Delivers the Promise of the "Dream Job" with Josiah Kiehl

“I believe that we will make better games by treating game developers better. Game development should be a dream job,... more

06 Dec 2022 · 43 minutes
E24 How to Get a Job in Game Development

Dreaming of a career in game development? In the gaming industry, relevant skills and real experience delivering outcomes matter more... more

22 Nov 2022 · 46 minutes
E23 How to Handle Layoffs as a Leader with Sophie Vo Part 2: The Breakdown

During Part 1 of our conversation, our leader in game dev shared the tough layoff decision she was unexpectedly forced... more

08 Nov 2022 · 43 minutes
E22 How to Handle Layoffs as a Leader with Sophie Vo Part 1: The Story

If you’ve been on LinkedIn lately, you may have noticed a rise in layoffs. The interesting part about this news... more

25 Oct 2022 · 41 minutes
E21 How not to Lose Your Game Vision on the Altar of "Getting Shit Done"

Time and time again, we see game teams struggle with the feeling that they're not moving fast enough. Something isn't... more

11 Oct 2022 · 47 minutes
E20 How to Get People on Board with Your Ideas: with Jeff Hackert

Knowing how to communicate and listen effectively is right up there with knowing how to write code, design characters, or... more

27 Sep 2022 · 44 minutes
E19 BBG Extras: Tabletop RPGs vs Video Games with Tyler Kamstra of RPGBOT.net

Far from losing steam in the digital age, tabletop games are booming thanks to their collaborative and tactile nature. In... more

20 Sep 2022 · 31 minutes
E18 How to be a AAA Art Director in Game Dev with Tomáš Jech

The visuals and feel of a video game are a lot more complex than even most artists think. It is... more

13 Sep 2022 · 46 minutes
E17 Should You Create a Video Game Startup? What Founders Need To Know with Joakim Achren

Every creator of a new video game or founder of a video game startup loves gaming. No one in this... more

30 Aug 2022 · 38 minutes
E16 How to Staff Up For A Successful Game

It seems intuitive that adding additional people will increase your speed in making a great game. However, staffing up is... more

16 Aug 2022 · 47 minutes
E15 How to Save Your Developers Time: Avoiding Death by JIRA

“I want to be maximizing value. These tools can create a side game that actually is only vaguely and tangentially... more

02 Aug 2022 · 47 minutes
E14 How to Make Amazing Content While Avoiding the "Infinite" Quality Bar

Leading any team is a huge responsibility. You have the ability to impact on each individual and the product in... more

19 Jul 2022 · 45 minutes
E13 How to Reduce Risk & Ship Your Game: Battling Organizational Fallacies

Aaron and Ben dive into some common problems they see working with game developers from startups to large scale publishers.... more

06 Jul 2022 · 46 minutes
E12 Building an Adaptable Engineering Org for Your Game with Jonathan McCaffrey

Jonathan McCaffrey (JMac) is a leader and engineer who has worked to help engineering and production understand each other wherever... more

21 Jun 2022 · 1 hour, 8 minutes
E11 Why You Should Embrace HR at Your Game Studio with Dominic Saintfort

Dominic is a master at navigating the complexity of organizations and embodies everything we believe about modern talent development and... more

07 Jun 2022 · 1 hour, 12 minutes
E10 BONUS EPISODE: How to Develop Ownership on Your Team with Randy Tau

Randy Tau wanted to talk about ownership, and we were happy to oblige. Randy's career runs from startups to the... more

30 May 2022 · 55 minutes
E9 Creating Successful Mods: Flavor Universalis with PDXBigBoss

"BigBoss" is the creator of the Flavor Universalis mod, one of the most successful Europa Universalis IV mods out there.... more

23 May 2022 · 1 hour, 34 minutes
E8 How to Lead as an introvert in Games with Grace Liu

Grace Liu is an experienced Art Director and Lead Artist working at Netflix with past experience at Riot Games and... more

10 May 2022 · 1 hour, 4 minutes
Building Better Games
E17 Should You Create a Video Game Startup? What Founders Need To Know with Joakim Achren
Building Better Games

Listen now on

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Podcast Addict
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Player FM
Podcast Republic


Every creator of a new video game or founder of a video game startup loves gaming. No one in this industry is... more