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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > April 2018 (#17) > How We Made

How We Made

Don Eskridge’s devious social deduction debut was a rich mix of manipulation, deception and accusation. Nearly a decade on, the designer discusses the influence of improvised comedy, the controversy of teaching people how to lie and his playful approach to what comes next


The Resistance saw one or more spies infiltrating a group of rebels to sabotage missions while avoiding getting caught

Outside of the realm of politics, it’s hard to think of anyone who’s done as well out of rampant dishonesty as Don Eskridge. The creator of hit deception and bluffing games The Resistance and The Resistance: Avalon, he’s built his career on the back of sneaky and sociable releases.

While his early games are considered classics of the hobby, he’s more recently founded his own publishing company, Orange Machine Games, to produce Abandon Planet and Black Hole Council – both of which also lean heavily on subterfuge and manipulation.

We spoke to him to hear the story behind The Resistance’s enduring success, and to find out why shamelessly lying to your closest friends can be so much fun.


Where most game designers trace their path into the tabletop industry to teenage games of Dungeons & Dragons or Magic: The Gathering, Eskridge’s formative years took a decidedly different route.

“When I was in high school I got into an improv comedy group,” he says. “I was kind of socially awkward, but we were doing this thing that I thought was fun and cool, and it helped me open up a lot. We had such a dumb name, the Comedy Commandos, but it was fun. And then I did some more in college, and when I lived in Korea.

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About Tabletop Gaming

Tabletop Gaming April is the best place to find out about Godtear, the seriously ambitious legacy miniatures game from the creators of Guild Ball and Dark Souls: The Board Game. In our exclusive interview, lead developer Alex Hall tells us what he has planned for the massive project and why it promises to be the studio’s best game yet. Speaking of massive, roleplaying phenomenon Critical Role is back with a second season, with millions tuning in online to follow the hilarious and dramatic exploits of its all-star cast of characters as they run a Dungeons & Dragons campaign like no other. Matthew Mercer and Liam O’Brien tell us how the most popular show in roleplaying started with a friendly one-shot at a birthday party and what they have in store for the brand new season. Superheroes are everywhere today, but few can match up to Hellboy, the demonic investigator of the paranormal. As the hero for our times heads to the tabletop in a new co-op game, designer James M. Hewitt chats about his unique take on a legendary comic-book idol. How many games are in your collection? We’re willing to bet even the greatest shelf pales in comparison to the avid board game collectors in our latest issue, who reveal their hoards of thousands of games and discuss why amassing games can be just as rewarding as playing them. That’s not to mention our chat with the true Monopoly Man, who holds the record for owning the most copies of the classic board game, from One Direction to McDonald's! Our reviews section is as fully-stocked as ever with the latest and greatest verdicts on this month’s releases. Leading the way are our thoughts on the unmissable Star Wars: Legion and Rising Sun, followed closely by Stuffed Fables, GKR: Heavy Hitters, Palace of Mad King Ludwig, Civilisation, Meeple Circus, DreadBall: Second Edition, A Handful of Stars and many, many more. There’s no better place to find out what should be on your tabletop next. That’s just the start – dive in!