The Panic Mode Podcast

30 EpisodesProduced by Panic ModeWebsite

A podcast about game design and how understanding it can make you a better gamer! New episodes are published every other Sunday.

episodes iconAll Episodes

30 - Character Creators

September 15th, 2019


Who knew character creators could be so complicated?

Shelby did.

Shelby always bloody knows.


Twitter: @panicmodedotnet

Facebook: …

29 - Progression Systems

September 1st, 2019


It’s our podcast’s one year anniversary! In this episode we take a look at progression systems, and talk about the past and future of Panic Mode.


Twitter: @panicmodedotnet

Facebook: …

28 - The History of the First-Person Shooter Genre

August 18th, 2019


First-person shooters have been around in one form or another for over forty years now. This week we discuss its history, its subgenres, and the design philosophies that informed it along the way.


27 - Panic Radio

August 5th, 2019


Hello internet, what's got you in panic mode today?


Twitter: @panicmodedotnet


Music Credits:

AhDah by Kevin MacLeod (

Licensed under Creative Commons: By …

26 - Zero Sum Fun

July 21st, 2019


A grab bag episode this week on the podcast. Everything from the persistent presence of crunch in the gaming industry to how to make losing fun. And not to spoil anything, but the signoff is a little unique this week...

25 - Collectible Card Games

July 8th, 2019


This week we look at collectible card games - what they are, why they're popular, and some heuristics for designing them.


24 - Empathy in Games

June 23rd, 2019


Games can evoke empathy in its players in ways unlike any other medium. But as we discuss this week, that’s not always a good thing.


Twitter: @panicmodedotnet


Show …

23 - Accessibility in Video Games

June 9th, 2019


This week we discuss accessibility in video games, both in terms of what we can do to improve gaming experiences for disabled gamers, and the merit …

22 - The Souls Genre

May 26th, 2019


Shelby and Aidan discuss the Souls games, how they spawned an entire gaming genre, and how they contradict what we think we know about game design.

21 - Historical Accuracy in Video Games

May 12th, 2019


Shelby goes rogue in this episode, explaining her research into the social issues behind historical accuracy in video games, and how accountable we are as game …

20 - Operant Conditioning in Video Games

April 28th, 2019


This week we discuss operant conditioning in video games, AKA the psychology behind why we …

19 - Story in Video Games

April 14th, 2019


Storytelling in video games is as difficult an endeavor as it is in any other medium. This …

18 - Narrative Design in Board Games

March 31st, 2019


After years of research, analysis, and discussion, we have concluded that board games DO in fact have a narrative. We explore this shocking discovery and discuss …

17 - Analysis Paralysis

March 17th, 2019


This week we take a look at analysis paralysis - what it is, what it does, and how we …

16 - Applied Card Game Design Theory

March 3rd, 2019


We're back with more applied game design! This week we're examining classic card games like War, Go Fish, and Poker under the scrutinous lens of modern game …

15 - Implicit Communication in Game Design

February 17th, 2019


Effectively communicating with your player is a key component of any game’s design. This week, we take a look at how to communicate with your players without …

14 - Social Deduction in Game Design

February 3rd, 2019


Social deduction games are great for parties, creating stories, and cold-blooded betrayal. …

13 - Board Game vs. Video Game Design

January 20th, 2019


Board game design is fun, messy, and not talked about very much (even by this show's standards). This week, we give board games some love and talk about how …

12 - Toxicity in Video Game Culture

January 6th, 2019


Toxicity in gaming often feels unsolvable, but that's far from the case. This week, we take …

11 - Violence in Game Design

December 23rd, 2018


We close the year out with a discussion of violence in game design and by extension the …

10 - Games Journalism with Patrick Hickey Jr.

December 9th, 2018


How important are game review scores? What's the future of games journalism? Should you buy …

9 - Monetization in Video Games

November 25th, 2018


"Are loot boxes ethical?" is the million dollar question this week. We explore how video …

8 - Designing Tutorials in Video Games

November 11th, 2018


A bad tutorial can ruin a good game, and a good tutorial will often go entirely unnoticed. This week we break down the underappreciated art of designing …

7 - Complexity & Depth in Game Design

October 28th, 2018


We discuss how designers should employ complexity and depth in game design. Spoiler: Dwarf …

6 - Applied Game Design Theory

October 14th, 2018


We apply modern game design theory to Monopoly, Clue, and Risk! We also tell you how to win …

5 - Positive & Negative Feedback in Game Design

September 30th, 2018


Feedback loops are key to keeping gaming experiences fun from start to finish. Except in Mario Kart where they just ruin everything.


4 - Narrative Design in Video Games

September 16th, 2018


Shelby and Aidan explore narrative design in video games and how it differs from narrative in other mediums.


3 - Difficulty in Game Design

September 2nd, 2018


In this episode, Shelby and Aidan discuss difficulty in games. Should there be a …

2 - Top Down vs. Bottom Up Game Design

September 2nd, 2018


In this episode of Panic Mode, Shelby and Aidan discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of top down vs. bottom up game design.


1 - Luck vs. Skill in Game Design

September 2nd, 2018


Welcome to the first episode of Panic Mode! In this episode, Shelby and Aidan discuss luck versus skill in gaming and game design.


Loading ...

Listen to The Panic Mode Podcast


A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens