So yesterday Tim Rodriguez of Dice+Food+Lodging drops this on me:
"Tonight I'll be part of a short playtest/discussion taping of Utara that's going to be used as a lesson in something my friend Scott is working on called Ludo Dojo. Utara I think hits his hotspots for games that are interesting and very good to analyze for their instructional qualities. It's a really elegant game where you can make small tweaks and instantly see how that affects play. Plus, handfuls of dice."
Ludo Dojo is heavily involved in teaching game design and connecting new creators with more experienced vets. The founder, Scott Price, has a lot of experience in marketing and development of games with broad appeal.
Tim was kind enough to record the audio of that session. That very large file can be found here. Scott Price will be editing together a video as well, which I'll link to as soon as it's available.
I haven't had a chance to listen to the entire recording yet, but I'll offer my observations and notes as soon as I can. Tim's hinted already that there are lots of ideas for variants and tweaks for existing variants.