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Who, What, Why? A Game Design Podcast *More posts! Roar! Super blood moon!*

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mikenvp
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Dear designers and future designers,

My name is Mike, and I am one of the hosts of a game design podcast called Who, What, Why. Our podcast interviews game designers about the games that they have designed. Each episode focuses on one game (or one group of games). We strive to help designers tell gamers and other designers about the processes that went into these games.

A little history of the podcast: in 2009 the podcast was titled the Ninja vs. Pirates Podcast (our libsyn feed is still hosted there). Myself and my friend (Mitch) needed a new angle for our podcast. We had previously recorded 25 episodes where we discussed game design and analyzed some games using the MDA theory and 13 aesthetics of game design. Mitch suggested interviewing game designers. We sent out some emails expecting a lot of rejections, but to our surprise, many game designers were willing to talk. The Ninja vs. Pirates Podcast ran until 2012 when Mitch could no longer remain as co-host due to his wife expecting a baby. The podcast lay dormant for a couple of years when in May of 2014, I decided to revive the show. After adding a new co-host (Alex) into the fold, we changed our name and embarked on an interviewing spree. The format has largely remained the same.

My goal with this thread is to use this as a place to post when new episodes are released. I think some of our discussions would be of interest to current and future game designers. I enjoy learning about the backstory of a game's design. We strive to have all different designers on the show regardless of theme or play style.

If anyone is interested to learn more about the show, please visit our website (Who, What, Why?). I can be reached via email at whowhatwhycast (at) gmail (dot) com and found on social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) @whowhatwhycast.

Finally, our audio can be found on iTunes and Stitcher.
Who, What, Why? iTunes page: iTunes
Who, What, Why? Stitcher page: Stitcher
Show feed: RSS feed

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Currently, we are recording for Season 10 (sometimes we take random podcasting breaks--recently, I traveled to California for work and got married right after I returned home), and our next episode will be released on May 16th.

Our most recent episode (posted March 26th) was about a game that has yet to be published: Hocus Poker by Josh Bruegel and Grant Rodiek.

The Professor
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Good stuff

mikenvp,

Thanks for posting, as I've never heard of the podcast, but it's great to hear of a forum for game designers to chat about their creations. I'm currently the game developer/play-tetser on four separate games, including a WW II Pacific Theater "Monster" game with all of the 'bells and whistles' associated with the genre; a deck-building starship game, pitting rival corporations against one another; a fast-paced kids' game centered around a food fight in an ogre's castle; and a 4X space game which has the depth of TI without taking you prisoner for a weekend.

If you're looking for material, I'll chat with the designers to find out if they want to engage with you or if I can 'carry the water' on the game. There's a lot of activity here, at BGG, and especially at Kickstarter these past few years in the board gaming realm, and there's apparently no end in sight given the creativity and passion of many designers.

Cheers,
Joe

richdurham
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yeah Ninja vs Pirates!

I remember that show! It was one my favourite podcasts back when it was on. Glad you're back on the internet-waves!

Now that it's 2015, there are a number of podcasts with the (much appreciated) format of designer interviews and it takes so much to stand out! Is there a spin to your interviews (like still discussing the MDA approach?)

MattPlays
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cool

ill check it out. Need something else to listen to for workouts!

mikenvp
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richdurham wrote:I remember

richdurham wrote:
I remember that show! It was one my favourite podcasts back when it was on. Glad you're back on the internet-waves!

Now that it's 2015, there are a number of podcasts with the (much appreciated) format of designer interviews and it takes so much to stand out! Is there a spin to your interviews (like still discussing the MDA approach?)

I'm glad someone remembers Ninja vs. Pirates!

We've kept the format largely the same. We generally focus on discussing the game in-depth. I try to vary the types of games that we discuss, and we don't aim for only new games. We'll discuss games that are older, not yet printed, still in development (sometimes). I haven't thought about returning to the MDA approach yet, but that could be something to help breathe some more life into the podcast. The interviews have been fun, but I agree that the field has crowded since I left the airwaves.

I am toying with the idea of finding designers who wish to discuss games whose designers are unable to join us (i.e. discussing Acquire with someone who loves that game). I'm always looking for new angles and new ways to toy with the podcast.

mikenvp
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The Professor wrote:mikenvp,

The Professor wrote:
mikenvp,

Thanks for posting, as I've never heard of the podcast, but it's great to hear of a forum for game designers to chat about their creations. I'm currently the game developer/play-tetser on four separate games, including a WW II Pacific Theater "Monster" game with all of the 'bells and whistles' associated with the genre; a deck-building starship game, pitting rival corporations against one another; a fast-paced kids' game centered around a food fight in an ogre's castle; and a 4X space game which has the depth of TI without taking you prisoner for a weekend.

If you're looking for material, I'll chat with the designers to find out if they want to engage with you or if I can 'carry the water' on the game. There's a lot of activity here, at BGG, and especially at Kickstarter these past few years in the board gaming realm, and there's apparently no end in sight given the creativity and passion of many designers.

Cheers,
Joe

Feel free to send me an email (or pass my email on to the designers). I'm always looking for new guests.

The Professor
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Will do!

mikenvp,

I'll certainly pass along your e-mail along to them.

Cheers,
Joe

The Professor
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Possible Interviewee

Mike,

I've reached out Randy Rathert, who is currently running a fabulously successful KS campaign at the moment, entitled "The Kings's Abbey." What makes his story great is two fold...

First, his initial KS failed, which meant he had to learn many lessons quickly and immediately re-launch within a reasonable amount of time to capitalize on the hype generated by the initial Backers. In short, the material product is better; the artwork, phenomenal; and the component count, significantly increased. Second, he's a pastor...writing a game about an abbey! That's awesome.

Anyway, I'm currently serving as one of his proof-readers, recommending changes also in format and design. He's interested in telling his story so he should reach out to you soon. The KS ends tomorrow.

Cheers,
Joe

mikenvp
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The Professor wrote:Mike,

The Professor wrote:
Mike,

I've reached out Randy Rathert, who is currently running a fabulously successful KS campaign at the moment, entitled "The Kings's Abbey." What makes his story great is two fold...

First, his initial KS failed, which meant he had to learn many lessons quickly and immediately re-launch within a reasonable amount of time to capitalize on the hype generated by the initial Backers. In short, the material product is better; the artwork, phenomenal; and the component count, significantly increased. Second, he's a pastor...writing a game about an abbey! That's awesome.

Anyway, I'm currently serving as one of his proof-readers, recommending changes also in format and design. He's interested in telling his story so he should reach out to you soon. The KS ends tomorrow.

Cheers,
Joe

Excellent to hear. I look forward to his email.

Also, wanted to post a link to my geeklist, which has every interview I've recorded on it for easy searching. My website has links to previous seasons of NvP in the sidebar, but I haven't been diligent in finishing all of those pages yet.

Thanks for letting me post this thread, BGDF users.

mikenvp
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New Episode Posted Saturday May 16th!

Posted a new episode of Who, What, Why on Saturday May 16th. The latest episode featured Gil Hova and his game Bad Medicine.

Give it a listen if you are inclined or share it with someone who may be.

Bad Medicine blog post
direct download

You may also find this episode on iTunes and Stitcher if you search for Who, What, Why? (I am working on trimming the name to make searching easier).

Finally, you can put our RSS feed into whatever you use to find podcasts: link

mikenvp
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Specter Ops with Emerson Matsuuchi

The latest episode of Who, What, Why? is right in time for the street date of Specter Ops. This is an exciting one-vs-all hidden movement and deduction game.

Give it a listen if you are inclined or share it with someone who may be, inclined that is. Or even reclined.

Specter Ops blog post
direct download

You may also find this episode on iTunes and Stitcher if you search for Who, What, Why?

Finally, you can put our RSS feed into whatever you use to find podcasts: link

mikenvp
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The latest episode of Who,

The latest episode of Who, What, Why? takes a look at the second article in the series by Chip Beauvais for the website Whose Turn Is It Anyway.

Give it a listen if you are inclined or share it with someone who may be, inclined that is. Or even reclined.

Psychographic Profiles blog post
direct download

You may also find this episode on iTunes and Stitcher if you search for Who, What, Why?

Finally, you can put our RSS feed into whatever you use to find podcasts: link

mikenvp
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S10.E06 King's Forge by Nick Sibicky

The latest episode of Who, What, Why? (posted 6-16-15) features a cool dice management game called King's Forge by Nick Sibicky. The game includes a whole crap-ton (official unit of measurement) of dice for those who, like me, are a big fan of dice.

Give it a listen if you are inclined or share it with someone who may be, inclined that is. Or even reclined.

King's Forge blog post
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You may also find this episode on iTunes and Stitcher if you search for Who, What, Why?

Finally, you can put our RSS feed into whatever you use to find podcasts: link

mikenvp
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Lewis and Clark with Cedrick Chaboussit

The latest episode of Who, What, Why? (posted 6-26-15) features a really brainy historical race game called Lewis and Clark by Cedrick Chaboussit. This is one of my favorite games despite being incredibly difficult at times to get good at it. The game follows explorers of the new Louisiana Purchase as they try to be the first to Fort Clatsop.

Give it a listen if you are inclined or share it with someone who may be, inclined that is. Or even reclined. Or perhaps a race in decline (they need something to do now that they are not the active race).

Lewis and Clark blog post
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You may also find this episode on iTunes and Stitcher if you search for Who, What, Why?

Finally, you can put our RSS feed into whatever you use to find podcasts: link

mikenvp
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Euphoria with Jamey Stegmaier

The latest episode of Who, What, Why? (posted 7-6-15) features fantastic worker placement called Euphoria by Stonemaier games. This game is unique in that the value on the dice (your workers) represents their collective intelligence. If your workers grow too smart, some will defect away from your control.

Give it a listen if you are inclined or share it with someone who may be, inclined that is. Or even reclined. Or perhaps a race in decline (they need something to do now that they are not the active race).

Euphoria blog post
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You may also find this episode on iTunes and Stitcher if you search for Who, What, Why?

Finally, you can put our RSS feed into whatever you use to find podcasts: link

Hope you are enjoying the podcast.

TwentyPercent
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Welcome to BGDF

Hey Mike

FYI, I've been listening to your podcast since you earlier posted to BGDF a month or so ago, and it's a great listen during my commute.

As an amateur board game designer myself (been working on a game for a year now), I constantly have questions and like to look to other games and designers for inspiration on game design and mechanics. I have listened to a few of the NvP podcasts, but I prefer the current Who, What, Why angle of interviews.

If there is any topic I would suggest or say I'm most interested in hearing about, it would be a podcast on amateur board game designers and how they take their prototypes/ideas to the next level, be it self-publishing or going to a publisher. Example questions I can think of are:

-At what stage(s) would a game be ready to present to a publisher?
-What are some key differences of self publishing vs going to a publisher? And what are the pros and cons of each?
-What key questions should an amateur designer ask themselves and ask about their hopeful games to help push the development and ready it for publishing?

Thank you for the posts and best of luck!
David Smith

mikenvp
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TwentyPercent wrote:Hey

TwentyPercent wrote:
Hey Mike

FYI, I've been listening to your podcast since you earlier posted to BGDF a month or so ago, and it's a great listen during my commute.

As an amateur board game designer myself (been working on a game for a year now), I constantly have questions and like to look to other games and designers for inspiration on game design and mechanics. I have listened to a few of the NvP podcasts, but I prefer the current Who, What, Why angle of interviews.

If there is any topic I would suggest or say I'm most interested in hearing about, it would be a podcast on amateur board game designers and how they take their prototypes/ideas to the next level, be it self-publishing or going to a publisher. Example questions I can think of are:

-At what stage(s) would a game be ready to present to a publisher?
-What are some key differences of self publishing vs going to a publisher? And what are the pros and cons of each?
-What key questions should an amateur designer ask themselves and ask about their hopeful games to help push the development and ready it for publishing?

Thank you for the posts and best of luck!
David Smith

I can think of some guests who would be perfect to speak on that topic. I'll try to put together a show with a few different voices (either in one show or segments from separate recordings). Thanks for the suggestion and thanks for the questions.

Thanks for listening, and I'm glad you are enjoying the show. If I could recommend some NvP episodes: Betrayal, Hoopla, Forbidden Island, and Founding Fathers.

It's been a pleasure chatting with you.

TwentyPercent
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Thanks

Thanks Mike. I'll check those NvP episodes out, and will keep an eye out for new WWW episodes.

mikenvp
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Mice and Mystics with Jerry Hawthorne

The latest episode of Who, What, Why? (posted 7-16-15) features Mice and Mystics, the awesome story driven dungeon crawler from Jerry Hawthorne. In this story driven game, players are a band of good guys trying to save a kingdom from an evil sorceress. The catch is that they players have been turned into mice.

Give it a listen if you are inclined or share it with someone who may be, inclined that is. Or even reclined. Or perhaps a race in decline (they need something to do now that they are not the active race).

Mice and Mystics blog post
direct download

You may also find this episode on iTunes and Stitcher if you search for Who, What, Why?

Finally, you can put our RSS feed into whatever you use to find podcasts: link

Thank you for listening.

mikenvp
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Board Game Art with John Ariosa

The latest episode of Who, What, Why? (posted 7-26-15) features a discussion of board game art with John Ariosa, the artist for Floating Market, Mice and Mystics, and others. This was a fun interview where we learned a lot about what goes into creating art for board games from one of the artists who has been featured in many games. This posting is late because I attended GenCon. If any of you came to Nazca Games booth to demo either Spector Ops, Volt, or Tricks n' Treats, I was the booth monkey wearing the trilby hat (looks like a short-brimmed fedora).

Give it a listen if you are inclined or share it with someone who may be, inclined that is. Or even reclined. Or perhaps a race in decline (they need something to do now that they are not the active race).

Board game art blog post
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You may also find this episode on iTunes and Stitcher if you search for Who, What, Why?

Finally, you can put our RSS feed into whatever you use to find podcasts: link

Thank you for listening.

mikenvp
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Channel A with Ewen Cluney

The latest episode of Who, What, Why? (posted 8-6-15) features Channel A, an anime themed party game by Ewen Cluney. Channel A is a party game about pitching anime television shows to a single producer.

Give it a listen if you are inclined or share it with someone who may be, inclined that is. Or even reclined. Or perhaps a race in decline (they need something to do now that they are not the active race).

Channel A blog post
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You may also find this episode on iTunes and Stitcher if you search for Who, What, Why?

Finally, you can put our RSS feed into whatever you use to find podcasts: link

Thank you for listening.

mikenvp
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Designing Games with Jamey Stegmaier

Who, What, Why? presents a new segment called Designing Games with Game Designers (posted 8-11-15) about brainstorming board games with well-known designers. Our first episode features Jamey Stegmaier. The rules of the segment are that we present 4 premises to the guest and have to design a game's main mechanic, theme, and victory condition.

Jamey's premises were time travel, psychic powers, cafe, street culture.

I hope you enjoy the new segment.

Jamey Stegmaier blog post
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You may also find this episode on iTunes and Stitcher if you search for Who, What, Why?

Finally, you can put our RSS feed into whatever you use to find podcasts: link

Thank you for listening.

mikenvp
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Smoke & MIrrors with Chip Beauvais and Jason Tagmire

The latest episode of Who, What, Why? (posted 8-16-15) features Smoke & Mirrors, an excellent micro-game about bluffing, brinksmanship, and magicians. This game is part of Button Shy's wallet games lines on Kickstarter until August 29th.

Give it a listen if you are inclined or share it with someone who may be, inclined that is. Or even reclined. Or perhaps a race in decline (they need something to do now that they are not the active race).

Smoke & Mirrors blog post
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You may also find this episode on iTunes and Stitcher if you search for Who, What, Why?

Finally, you can put our RSS feed into whatever you use to find podcasts: link

Thank you for listening.

mikenvp
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Designing Games with John Ariosa

Who, What, Why? presents a new segment called Designing Games with Game Designers (posted 8-22-15) about brainstorming board games with well-known designers and even arists. Our second episode features John Ariosa. The rules of the segment are that we present 4 premises to the guest and have to design a game's main mechanic, theme, and victory condition.

Jamey's premises were cute school girls, dolls, blood sport, and heartwarming.

I hope you enjoy the new segment.

John Ariosa blog post
direct download

You may also find this episode on iTunes and Stitcher if you search for Who, What, Why?

Finally, you can put our RSS feed into whatever you use to find podcasts: link

Thank you for listening.

mikenvp
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Apologies

Sorry for the massive dump of posts. I have been in Europe for the last 2 and 1/2 weeks and couldn't post until now.

Enjoy!

mikenvp
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Pay Dirt with Tory Niemann

The latest episode of Who, What, Why? (posted 8-26-15) features Pay Dirt, the second big game from designer Tory Niemann. Players own competing mining companies and must process their claims into profitable gold nuggets.

Give it a listen if you are inclined or share it with someone who may be, inclined that is. Or even reclined. Or perhaps a race in decline (they need something to do now that they are not the active race).

Pay Dirt blog post
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You may also find this episode on iTunes and Stitcher if you search for Who, What, Why?

Finally, you can put our RSS feed into whatever you use to find podcasts: link

Thank you for listening.

mikenvp
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GemPacked Cards with Eduardo Baraf

The latest episode of Who, What, Why? (posted 9-8-15) features GemPacked Cards, a third game from designer Eduardo Baraf (of Lift Off! fame). GemPacked is a light game about color mixing to score points with these cute little gem characters who fly around in space. If you like Splendor, you will love GemPacked Cards.

Give it a listen if you are inclined or share it with someone who may be, inclined that is. Or even reclined. Or perhaps a race in decline (they need something to do now that they are not the active race). Or lastly, if you ski alpine.

GemPacked Cards blog post
direct download

You may also find this episode on iTunes and Stitcher if you search for Who, What, Why?

Finally, you can put our RSS feed into whatever you use to find podcasts: link

Thank you for listening.

mikenvp
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Colt Express by Christophe Raimbault

The latest episode of Who, What, Why? (posted 9-16-15) features Colt Express, the latest winner of the Spiel des Jahres winner from Christophe Raimbault. In this action packed game about robbing trains and shooting outlaws, players must program their movement through a 3-dimensional train that sits in the middle of the table.

Give it a listen if you are inclined or share it with someone who may be, inclined that is. Or even reclined. Or perhaps a race in decline (they need something to do now that they are not the active race).

Colt Express blog post
direct download

You may also find this episode on iTunes and Stitcher if you search for Who, What, Why?

Finally, you can put our RSS feed into whatever you use to find podcasts: link

Thank you for listening.

mikenvp
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The Networks with Gil Hova

The latest episode of Who, What, Why? (posted 9-26-15) features the Networks designed by Gil Hova. If you have ever wished to take on the role of prime time television producer, this is the game for you.

Give it a listen if you are inclined or share it with someone who may be, inclined that is. Or even reclined. Or perhaps a race in decline (they need something to do now that they are not the active race).

The Networks blog post
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You may also find this episode on iTunes and Stitcher if you search for Who, What, Why?

Finally, you can put our RSS feed into whatever you use to find podcasts: link

mikenvp
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Big info dump.

So, I haven't posted anything here about the show in a long time because my semester was very packed with recording and teaching.

Here are the interviews you may have missed since last I posted.

S11.E07: The Mint Tin games series with David Miller
S11.E08: Brewcrafters with Ben Rosset
S11.E09: Kill Shakespeare the comic (there is a board game, too) with co-creator Anthony Del Col
S11.E10: Mage Company (publisher) with GM Alexander Argyropoulus
S12.E01: Space Cadets with Geoff Engelstein
S12.E02: You're Fired with Doug Levandowski
S12.E03: Dead of Winter with Jon Gilmour
S12.E04: Game design with Bruno Cathala

If you've been enjoying our Designing Games segmets, here are those that I have been slacking on posting here.

W3.E05: Christophe Raimbault
W3.E06: David Miller
W3.E07: Geoff Engelstein
W3.E08: Ben Rosset
W3.E09: Jon Gilmour

Enjoy and have a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah (I realize that Hanukah is over).

mikenvp
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Howdy again!

In my effort not to spam this thread but still offer some game design episodes that may interest members of this board, here is another info dump of my latest episodes of Who, What, Why. I'm going to do this periodically because it means I'm devoting less individual posts to something people can click to read more about if they are interested. As always, thank you for your interest and for your listener-ship (for those who listen).

From the main episodes:

S12.E05: Discoveries and Game Publishing with Cedrick Chaboussit and Ludonaute
S12.E06: Board Game of the Month Club with Jason Tagmire
S12.E07: Game Design with Ignacy Trzewiczek
S12.E08: Board Game Art with Vincent Dutrait
S12.E09: Ophir with Jason Kingsley and Charles Wright

From the Designing Games with Game Designer segments:

W3.E10: Alexander Argyropoulus
W3.E11: Jason Kingsley and Charles Wright
W3.E12: Cedrick Chaboussit and Ludonaute

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