Control Panel - a Play-by-Email Megagame Podcast

Interested in the Play-by-Email games that OMEGA put on? Join Steph, Stu and Kyle as they discuss Play-by-Email games in depth, from how to play them, to how to create them to the stories they've picked up along the way!

  • Bonus Episode 3: PBEMRPGs


    Steph and Stu are back for a bonus episode of Control Panel! Joined by guest Maggie, we discuss an exciting new format- the PBEMRPG. Stu has recently run one of these combination PBEM and RPG games with Steph, Maggie, Mickey, and Kyle as players. Join us as we discuss how it went and how you can make one!

  • Bonus Episode 2: Pitching PBEM Games


    Steph and Stu are back for another bonus episode of Control Panel! In this episode, we review the PBEM submission rubric for submitting PBEM games to OMEGA. We'll go through each of the categories on the rubric and talk about our rationale for including them, what we're looking for in terms of top scores in each category, and what made the accepted games for the first half of 2023 successful. Pitches are due by February 19th and you should find out within a few weeks if yours has been accepted! PbEm Pitching Rubric: Successful PbEm Pitch Examples: A special thank you to Guest Editor Will who did all of the lovely editing for this episode!

  • Bonus Episode 1: Tempest


    Steph and Stu are back for a bonus episode of Control Panel! Tempest is OMEGA's most recently completed play by email game, run by Stu, and assisted by Steph (as well as Kyle, Mickey, Maggie, Shona, and Ben D.) In this episode, ee review the pros and cons of the game's mechanics, vision, and themes. It is an in depth look at creating a PbEm game, which focuses more on building a game than the stories and fun contained within (though there was plenty of this that was had!) A special thank you to Guest Editor Will who did all of the lovely editing for this episode as well as Guest Musician Justin who played the accordion music featured on the episode.

  • Episode 17: How to Create PbEm games Q&A


    On the final episode of Control Panel, Steph and Stu answer your questions about how to create PbEm games! If you have more questions or want to chat about any of these topics in more detail, feel free to contact us on discord and/or the OMEGA server. Thanks to everyone for listening! :)

  • Episode 16: Non Traditional Formats of PbEm's


    Steph and Stu interview Kyle and John K about the non-traditional PbEm games they have run. What does it mean for these games to be non-traditional? What were their inspirations for writing these games? What are the biggest differences between their games and the traditional format? These questions and more will be answered on this week's Control Panel!

  • Episode 15: Safety and Inclusivity in PbEm's


    Steph and Stu are joined this week by Maggie and Will to discuss safety and inclusivity in Play by Email games. If you are thinking of running a megagame, you will definitely want to consider how to keep your players safe and make your game an environment inclusive for all. All four people on this week's episode share a variety of tips and advice for how to make sure you do!

  • Episode 14: Delicious CANDI with Scott


    PbEm's would not be the same without the CANDI app, which nearly all of them have used. Steph and Stu interview Scott, CANDI's creator, on this week's episode. He tells us about his inspirations, challenges he's faced, and more!

  • Episode 13: How to Create- Plot


    In this episode, Steph, Stu, and Kyle talk plot in PbEm games! Why do you need plots? What are the differences between minor and major plots? How do you create good plots? All of these questions and more will be answered on this week's Control Panel!

  • Episode 12: How to Create - NPCs


    Join Steph, Stu, and Kyle on this week's episode of Control Panel to discuss NPCs! This time, they focus on designing NPCs. Specifically, what is their function in PbEm's, how they relate to plot, how to give them distinct voices, and generally how to make them fun for both control and players!

  • Episode 11: How to Create - PCs


    On this week's episode, Steph, Stu, and Kyle tackle PCs! We discuss design choices around PC concepts, like archetypes, play styles, open versus closed character creation, and more!

  • Episode 10: Mechanics of Creating PbEm Games


    This week, Steph, Stu, and Kyle discuss the mechanics of the “traditional” Play by Email format. We cover actions, dice, traits and assets, and special game-specific mechanics. We’ll discuss not only what these are and how they’ve been used in the prior games, but also the logic and reasoning behind our design choices and how to choose what mechanics to use in creating your game.

  • Episode 9: How to Create PbEm Games- Inspirations


    This week will begin our How to Create PbEm series of episodes! Join Steph, Stu, and Kyle as they discuss inspirations, themes, and goals for the PbEm games they have formerly designed and ran (Gods’ Wars, Afterlife, and Dusk City respectively).

  • Episode 8: Bringing your Characters to Life with Ben K


    Ben K joins Steph, Stu, and Kyle on this week’s episode to talk about character voice! How do you personalize your Play by Email character and design them in a way that really brings them to life? Ben K will share his secrets in making his characters feel real and unique.

  • Episode 7: Villains, Antagonists, and Monsters with Ben D


    Special guest Ben D joins Steph, Stu, and Kyle this week! Ben D is fantastic at making villainous characters in PbEm's that control love and appreciate. He'll chat with us about his experience playing those characters and the differences between villains, antagonists, and monsters.

  • Episode 6: Character Bleed


    In Play by Email games, players often report experiencing emotional overlap between themselves and their characters, also known as character bleed. On this episode, Steph, Stu, and Kyle will talk about Steph's psychology research on the effects of character bleed and all three hosts' personal experiences with it!

  • Episode 5: The Golden Rule and NPCs with Simo


    Special guest Simo joins this week's episode of Control Panel! One of Simo's greatest strengths in PbEm games is the way he treats NPCs and some of the beautiful relationships that have developed as a result. In this week's episode, Simo shares his advice on how to create compelling and meaningful positive relationships with NPCs and shares some anecdotes about doing so from his own experiences.

  • Episode 4: How to Win Friends and Influence People with Mickey


    Special guest Mickey joins Steph, Stu, and Kyle on this week’s episode! Mickey has, arguably, “won” nearly every Play-by-Email game he has played- or controlled- in. What’s his secret? He’ll chat with your hosts about the most successful ways to interact with PCs and NPCs in PbEm games.

  • Episode 3: NPCs


    In this episode, Steph, Stu, and Kyle talk NPCs! They’ll cover topics like how they’re different from NPCs in video games and TTRPGs, designing NPCs, and some generally useful tips on interacting with NPCs in Play-by-Email games.

  • Episode 2: Action Submissions


    Join Stu, Steph, and Kyle as they discuss actions and action resolutions in Play-by-Email games. They'll cover topics like what is the scope of an action as well as strategies for getting the most out of writing action submissions.

  • Episode 1.5: PbEm Stories


    Play-by-email games are not just about mechanics, but the memories you make along the way. In this episode, Steph, Stu, and Kyle talk about some of their favorite stories from Play-by-Email games that they’ve played in and ran.

  • Episode 1: How to Play PbEm Games


    Steph, Stu and Kyle discuss the basics of how to play a Play-by-Email game. Not sure what one is or how to get involved? This episode will give you a step-by-step introduction to Play by Email games! If you’re a veteran, you can skip this one.