Thursday, November 5 - Sunday, November 8, 2015
At the Morristown Hyatt & Conference Center in Morristown, New Jersey


PANELS, SEMINARS & SPECIAL EVENTS SCHEDULE for METATOPIA 2015

Updated 11/4/15 at 11:30PM

METATOPIA Event Registration works slightly differently from other Double Exposure events. While there are no advancement rounds, some of the events are red to start with because they are "invitation only". This does NOT mean that you are completely excluded from playing in them, only that you need to be invited. So when you send an eMail to us, you may ask to be included in those events. We will probably call you and discuss your choices with you.

All non-panel events are classified as one of three different levels of Playtest:

[FOCUS GROUP]: The game is still in the concept stage and players should be expecting to discuss ideas and opinions about how the game should be created, but not actually test much.

[ALPHA TEST]: The game is in early development and not quite ready to play from beginning to end. Players should be expecting to play parts of the game, and perhaps replay those parts or focus on one section of the rules at a time.

[BETA TEST]: The game is in late development and is ready to be played all the way through. Players should be expecting to give feedback and criticism about the game while playing it.

If an event is tagged by the phrase "[NDA REQUIRED]", the Designer has asked that details about his/her game design be kept quiet. The Designer may ask players to sign an actual NDA form, or to just verbally promise not to discuss the game after the playtest.

PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR PHONE NUMBER(S) IN YOUR EMAIL SO WE CAN REACH YOU IF NECESSARY!

So send eMail to m2015@dexposure.com with the events you would LIKE to play in, and PLEASE INCLUDE EVENT CODES IN YOUR EMAIL!. We will then do our best to match you up with the events that you are interested in. There WILL be a Big Board at METATOPIA, and any seats which are not filled in advance CAN be filled at the convention.

You are also allowed to submit a second and third choice for events in the same time slot, which will save us time in negotiating what you can get into if your primary choice is filled already. Just make it clear what is an alternate choice so we can enter things quickly.

VERY IMPORTANT: If there are specific times that you DO NOT WANT TO DO ANYTHING, please specify those times. If we see holes in your schedule (that are not lunch or dinner breaks), we MAY try to fill them!

Also, PLEASE note "D" events (panels and seminars) along with others - it is important that we track interest in the various panels, and that we know where you have holes in your schedule.

Send your reservation eMail to us at m2015@dexposure.com

You may ONLY reserve seats in METATOPIA 2015 events if you are pre-registered. Click here to pre-register for METATOPIA 2015 if you have not already done so.

We will reply within 24 hours with a confirmation that your requests were received. If you do NOT get a confirmation, assume that your codes are NOT received and try again. Note that you MUST include a valid eMail reply-to address for us to reach you to confirm!


[FILLED] D001: "Lean Coffee" presented by Rob Donoghue. The lean coffee is a structured but informal method of conversation. I'll be doing this in lieu of my normal breakfast, and anyone is welcome - if we have more people, we'll spawn more tables. Each table proposes and votes on topics to discuss, and discussion continues as long as there's interest. This is great way to get a quick but interesting discussion about a topic that has interested you. Friday, 8:00AM - 9:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D002: "Kickstarter 101" presented by JR Honeycutt, Joshua A.C. Newman & Chris O'Neill. Planning and running a Kickstarter campaign for your game can be like designing and playing another game. Will you hack an existing formula or take a risk on an unusual approach? Will it include lots of fiddly mechanics and rewards or will you take a more artistic direction? When you're running the campaign, how do you play the roles of marketer, designer, publisher, business person, and artist? Join panelists as they talk about the design and management of Kickstarter campaigns themselves. In what ways have they evolved into established systems (stretch goals, etc.) and how are some creators breaking those conventions? Friday, 9:00AM - 10:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D003: "Mobile-Ize Your Role Playing Game" presented by James Holder. Already have a role playing game? Drafting a new one? Have you considered making it available on phones and tablets? In this workshop, we'll brainstorm and troubleshoot various methods and routes by which to produce your game as an app. There's much more we can do beyond converting it to a PDF! James Holder is a hobby game creator, professional software developer, and a contributor to the Fiasco Mobile app. Friday, 9:00AM - 10:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D004: "Working With Artists 101" presented by Brennan Taylor, Fred Hicks & John Carimando. How do you find and contact artists to work with you on a project? How much can you expect to spend? How can you avoid pissing your artist off? Find out from the veterans! Friday, 9:00AM - 10:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D005: "How To Give and Take Critique" presented by Joshua A.C. Newman, Hannah Shaffer & Rachel Walton. We're here at METATOPIA to give or take critique. If we're here to take it, we have to discern the valuable information from opinion, misunderstanding, and meddling. If we're here to give it, we have to learn how to best help those who are asking for it. We'll help you figure out what questions to ask as a creator and what information to offer as a playtesters to help the creators develop their project in the direction they want. Friday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D006: "Helping Stores Sell Your Game" presented by Brian Dalrymple, Jason Walters & Jim Crocker. Whether you're just trying to move the remaining copies of your game after fulfilling your backers, or if selling through stores is a crucial part of your sales strategy, we will be talking about what attracts a retailer's attention when it comes to deciding to carry a game: from ways to make stores aware of your products; packaging, art, and price; marketing and promotional materials; demo programs like Envoy and other organized play programs, plus much more. Friday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D007: "Podcasting 101" presented by James D'Amato. Podcasts are an inexpensive and effective way to connect your ideas to an audience. When you need to focus on things like game design or day jobs podcasting is a great way to get your voice out there by talking or playing with your friends. If you know what you are doing you can foster a following to promote your games and expand the hobby. If you do it wrong you are spending too much money and/or shouting into the void. Podcasting really is easy when you have a base level of information. Learn: which tools to use, how to ensure listenable audio quality, how to make your show distinct, how to put together an effective actual play, and how to integrate yourself into the podcasting community. Friday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D008: "Golden Cobra Announcement" presented by Jason Morningstar, J Li & Evan Torner. The Golden Cobra Challenge is a friendly contest open to anyone interested in writing and playing freeform games that ran through the month of October. Now we're ready to discuss our methodology, submission trends, and what we've learned about freeform in the process. And, of course, announce the winners! Join us for an informal discussion and awards ceremony. The winning games will be offered throughout METATOPIA, so come play with the judges as well. Friday, 11:00AM - 12:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D009: "Help, I'm Making My First Game!" presented by John Adamus, Mark Richardson & Jason Walters. So, you've decided to make your first game. How exciting! Discuss what pitfalls to avoid and what strategies can speed you toward success with designers also making their first game. Friday, 11:00AM - 12:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D010: "The Shame Of Creation: Internalized Sexism Intersections with Gaming and Fanfiction" presented by K.N. Granger, Elsa S. Henry & Laura Simpson. Shame, gaslighting, dismissal, gatekeeping and other ephemeral, negative influences work in concert to discourage hobbyist game designers. This effect disproportionately impacts women designers and mirrors trends in pop culture, from the villianization of the Pumpkin Spice Latte to snide dismissal of fanfic. Friday, 11:00AM - 12:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D011: "Formalizing Your Game Business" presented by Steve Segedy, Fred Hicks, Brennan Taylor & Darren Watts. Is your company ready to take the next step? We'll discuss how to turn a tiny game company into a slightly-larger game company. Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D012: "Ask an Editor!" presented by Cat Tobin, John Adamus & Chris Bell. You have questions, get answers. Ask about how to write, finish, organize, clean, trim, playtest...whatever help you need in the production of your idea, get it. Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D013: "Granddaughters of Ripley: What Comes After Furiosa and Genisys Sarah" presented by Beth Rimmels, Kate Beaman-Martinez & Shoshana Kessock. The late 70s/early 80s left us with an unfulfilled promise of satisfying "Strong Female Character." Marvel movies depict a complex Black Widow yet she doesn't have a solo film. With summer 2015 movie characters picking up where Xena and Buffy left off, what should come next and how can we push the envelope through gaming? Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D014: "Finding the Enthusiastic "YES" in Design: Boundary Settings & Consent" presented by Rowan Cota. Consent isn't just about sex! In this roundtable discussion we'll talk about how design remove the awkwardness around boundary setting and consent. From existing mechanisms you can build in (such as the "X Card") to new ways to support players and facilitators who are dealing with challenging material, we'll discuss how you can help players get to "YES YES YES!" with your game, knowing that it supports them in remaining emotionally safe even when grappling with intense feelings or topics. Friday, 1:00PM - 2:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D015: "Building a Better Prototype" presented by Matthias Bonnici, Matt Regney & Tim Lee. Panelists share their experience building prototypes. They will cover from your first basic prototype to a final design, sharing tips on how to achieve the most presentable version and also how to stay within your budget. This will be a very conversational roundtable, so bring your questions and your own prototypes! Friday, 1:00PM - 2:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D016: "Let Me Math It For You" presented by Matt Weber. Is your game design absolutely perfect except for some pesky probability? Let me math it for you! Annoying arithmetic? Let me math it for you! Complicated combinatorics? Let me math it for you? Panelist Matt Weber is a mathematician, math educator, game master, game designer, and composer. He loves helping other designers bring their projects to fruition through the power of math. Friday, 1:00PM - 2:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D017: "Sanity Points in Horror" presented by Elsa S. Henry, Will Hindmarch, Kelly Osborne & Craig Page. The worst thing that can happen to you in a horror game is either that you die, or that you lose your mind. In games that focus on a world "gone mad", how do we support real people living with mental illness through our game development? This panel will focus on revisiting systems like sanity points, and discuss how to address breaks with reality and surviving the very worst that horror has to throw at the world without treating mental illness as a comedic happenstance, or as something to be dismissed. Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D018: "Both Sides of the Interview Table" presented by Doug Levandowski, JR Honeycutt, Chris Perrin & Mario Dongu. With a few notable exceptions, gamer media is very friendly towards game designers. That means that game designers don't need a PR firm to help coach them into the right image. However, that doesn't mean that there are not things that game interviewees can do to prepare and techniques that can be used to rock an interview. Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D019: "Character and Worksheet Design" presented by Mark Richardson, Chris O'Neill & Brennen Reece. At the core of almost every game are a few character sheets and/or worksheets. This is the visual space most of your players interpret your entire game. This will be a discussion by game designers and graphic designers of the best practices for building effective character and worksheets. Tools, Strategies and Tips! Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D020: "Writing a Rulebook For Your Board Game" presented by Gil Hova & Geoffrey Engelstein. We all know that it's vital to write a good rulebook for your board game. But how? What makes a rulebook "good?" What can you do to make your rulebook as good as possible? And is there any way to make the process a little less painful? Join published designers Gil Hova and Geoff Engelstein as we discuss what makes a good rulebook, and how you can make your board game's rulebook as good as possible, without too much extra discomfort. Friday, 3:00PM - 4:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D021: "Designing For Disability Access" presented by Elsa S. Henry. This roundtable is dedicated to putting disability access first in your game design. Rather than looking at accessibility as an afterthought, we seek to place it in the forefront of your mind as you go through the design process as a whole. Friday, 3:00PM - 4:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D022: "Narrative Simulationism: Accounting For Everything Without Prescription" presented by Shane Harsch. How can we approximate capturing all relevant circumstances for a particular action in an RPG without overwhelming us with math and charts, and how can we do it in a way that balances detail with playability? Shane will demonstrate this approach which is the foundation of Legendsmiths' Nova6 System using data collected from an army firing range and what that means in game terms. This is a data-driven exercise. Friday, 3:00PM - 4:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D023: "Recycle! Using Material From Other Games Ethically and Effectively" presented by Justin Jacobson, Cam Banks, Jeff Tidball & Andre La Roche. At one time or another, every designer gains inspiration from existing works. Whether it's snagging a single mechanic or repurposing an entire game with one crucial tweak. What are some tricks for finding that inspiration and using it in interesting ways? What are the ethical and legal considerations when using material? When does inspiration cross the line into plagiarism or, worse, infringement? What sort of attribution should you use? Friday, 4:00PM - 5:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D024: "Adaptive Devices in Post-Apocalyptic Game Settings" presented by Elsa S. Henry & Jason Walters. Games set in the post-apocalypse often deal with the nitty gritty of surviving - but survival means something different when you have a disability. What adaptive devices will you have, how you keep them working, and what happens when you can't fix them changes the way that a disabled character will navigate the end of the world. Friday, 4:00PM - 5:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D025: "Beauty On A Budget" presented by Brennan Taylor, Julia Ellingboe & John Carimando. How can you make really amazing work on a budget? Not everyone has thousands to drop on commissioned art. There are ways to stretch your dollar and make things that look amazing. Friday, 4:00PM - 5:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D026: "Queer Games: For Ourselves and Our Communities" presented by Alex Roberts, Julia Ellingboe, Kat Jones & K.N. Granger. This will be a moderated roundtable discussion about making and playing queer games. Topics include: moving beyond representation, making games about queer experiences, making games about issues in the queer community, what makes a game queer?, games for allies and games for each other. This will be a collaborative discussion, in which participants will be invited to share and contribute as much or as little as they feel comfortable with. Friday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D027: "How To Work With Artists" presented by Jack Parra, John Carimando, Scott Bowmanchester & Matthias Bonnici. The panelists will touch on the process of how to find and approach artists, negotiate the contract, and then successfully work together. It's important that publishers get an artist's-eye-view of things so they can better understand what we do, the process, and the time involved and plan projects accordingly. Friday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D028: "May I Introduce You?" presented by Will Hindmarch, Darren Watts, Meguey Baker & Jason Walters. This panel looks at what makes introductory roleplaying games, products, and experiences successful introductions to new games and/or the pastime as a whole. What are some successful introductory experiences and how do they work? Friday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D029: "Individual Voice in RPG Design" presented by Kenneth Hite. In this year's installment of Ken Thinks Out Loud About Stuff, Ken looks at the question of the individual designer in a collaborative art (both with her own design or production team, and with the GM and players), and in the age of the mashup and the indie mechanical hack aesthetic. Can the designer find a voice, and if they can, can they be heard creatively as an individual on a career-long basis? Friday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D030: "Game Mechanics as Social Engineering & Social Engineering as Game Design" presented by Jason Morningstar & John Stavropoulos. Can a game's mechanics influence player behavior? Evidence - from XP-grubbing to sophisticated and subtle systems for using player agency to adjust real-world habits - suggests it can. Join Jason Morningstar and John Stavropoulos for a stimulating and perhaps surprising discussion on this topic. Bring your own examples to share! Friday, 7:00PM - 8:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D031: "A #Threeforged Retrospective" presented by Vivian Abraham, Stephanie Bryant, Dev Purkayastha & Jason Cordova. In 2015, an exciting new game design competition, #Threeforged, was created by Paul Czege. It allowed designers to work with each other anonymously on joint projects and created a community that reviewed these games extensively. Come and discuss how the competition went, your experiences if you participated, the lessons learned, and what the future may hold. Friday, 8:00PM - 9:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D032: "Patreon 101" presented by James D'Amato & Meguey Baker. Crowdfunding has proved itself to be an effective way to monetize game design. There is tons of really great advice on how to run a great campaign on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, but what about Patreon? The idea of sustained income from gaming is a dream come true for most of us. Patreon is a way to make that dream a reality. Learn: When it's the right time to launch, how to build a hype machine around your campaign, how to ask for more than you think you can get, how to realistically structure your rewards, and how to space your milestones to encourage more backers. Friday, 8:00PM - 9:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D033: "Successfully Designing With Loved Ones" presented by Jeffrey Norman Bourbeau, Matt Loter & Jasmine Davis. This roundtable will discuss how collaborative design can create unique and wonderful projects as well as what to do and not to do when designing with someone you are in a relationship with. Topics include: Why designing with a partner is great; how to execute working as a team; bringing your partner into the process. Friday, 8:00PM - 9:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D034: "The Nerd Fountain Live Podcast" presented by Jeffrey Norman Bourbeau. Hello and welcome to The Nerd Fountain, live at METATOPIA! This panel will feature a live recording of The Nerd Fountain podcast featuring your host and Executive Producer Jeffrey Norman Bourbeau, along with special guests from the tabletop industry. Topics will include emerging design trends, what we've been playing, what we've been working on, BGG Q&A, and Nerd Love Advice. Friday, 9:00PM - 10:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D035: "Running a KristaCon for Fun and Profit" presented by Krista White, Brennan Taylor & Frank Hablawi. The KristaCon or LongCon format is great fun in the convention setting, but there's even more you can do with it. Running your game at a convention in a long format does more than just demo it, it can create evangelists for your creation. Sometimes multiple sessions are the best way to showcase a game. Friday, 9:00PM - 10:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D036: "Writing Workshop and Publishing Q&A" presented by John Adamus. Let's talk the nuts and bolts of writing, no matter what you're writing. Ask your questions, get some answers, get some motivation, some clarification and some education. And then go make a thing happen. Friday, 9:00PM - 10:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D037: "Fair Pay for Game Creatives" presented by Jeff Tidball. Is it unjust to pay writers by the word when they must do work (e.g., research) other than writing words? Is payment on publication acceptable? How much do game creators deserve to earn, anyway? Friday, 10:00PM - 11:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D038: "Cyber Infiltration Hotsheet: Prepping to GM a Cyberheist" presented by Shane Harsch, Tim Rodriguez & Mark Richardson. What a cyberpunk GM should consider when prepping a cyberheist to keep the drama at least nominally grounded in reality (watch Mr. Robot before attending). Friday, 10:00PM - 11:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D039: "Turn Your Hobby Podcast into a Career" presented by Jeffrey Norman Bourbeau, Matt Loter & JR Honeycutt. Jeffrey Norman Bourbeau of The Nerd Fountain hosts this panel of veteran podcasters, along with Matt Loter of the Fortress Ameritrash and JR Honeycutt of the Nerd Nighters discussing how they all found various industry jobs over the past few years after starting podcasts as a labor of love. Friday, 10:00PM - 11:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D040: "Lovecraft WTF, Part II" presented by Julia Ellingboe, Kenneth Hite, Sarah Richardson, Kat Jones & Evan Torner. Lovecraft's work is fertile ground for horror games, and because it's all public domain, it's ripe for the picking. But he was a racist anti-semite and this comes through in his writing. In last year's panel, the panelists raised more questions than they answered, so they'll take another stab at it! Friday, 11:00PM - 12:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D041: "Making Your Best Pitch" presented by John Adamus. Let's say you have a great idea. Let's say you want to produce that idea for a company. In order to do that though, you're going to need to put together a pitch for that idea. And that can be daunting, if not downright nerve-wracking. But there's hope. This panel will teach you more than a handful of techniques to produce pitches that excite publishers. Friday, 11:00PM - 12:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D042: "Paganism in RPGs" presented by Joseph Bloch. A look at the overlap between contemporary Pagan and Heathen and gaming communities, focusing on representations of non-Christian religions in RPGs. Why are polytheistic religions so over-represented in fantasy RPGs, especially with their mostly medieval European focus? The "Satanic Panic" defined D&D for a decade; what's changed since then and why? Friday, 11:00PM - 12:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D043: "Breakfast with Graham, Mark and Steve" presented by Graham Walmsley, Mark Diaz Truman & Steve Segedy. If you're a new designer, we'd love to have breakfast with you and talk about publishing your game. Graham is a game designer who's both published his own work and written for other roleplaying games, including Trail of Cthulhu and the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game. Mark has worked on various Kickstarters, that have raised over $250,000 in total, and publishes the FATE Codex. Steve is a partner in Bully Pulpit Games, which has published Fiasco, The Warren and many other games. Do join us for an informal talk over coffee and breakfast. Saturday, 8:00AM - 9:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D044: "Lean Coffee" presented by Rob Donoghue. The lean coffee is a structured but informal method of conversation. I'll be doing this in lieu of my normal breakfast, and anyone is welcome - if we have more people, we'll spawn more tables. Each table proposes and votes on topics to discuss, and discussion continues as long as there's interest. This is great way to get a quick but interesting discussion about a topic that has interested you. Saturday, 8:00AM - 9:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D045: "Your Game as a Product" presented by Rob Donoghue, Emily Dresner, Chris O'Neill & Kathryn Hymes. Your game is a product, and as much as there is art to its construction, there is also craft. We're going to talk about things like Software Development and how its tools can help you make the product that is your game. Saturday, 9:00AM - 10:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D046: "Guerilla Game Design: Building With Speed" presented by Doug Levandowski & JR Honeycutt. Design games wherever you are! In this session, panelists will give tips for how to make prototypes very, very quickly - and how to be nearly constantly playing around with new ideas. We'll also talk about the development process so that it isn't just some half-baked game. Saturday, 9:00AM - 10:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D047: "Warmup and Improv Exercises For Your Game" presented by Jay Treat & Kristin Firth. Many LARPs and freeform games have warm-up exercises to break the ice or get people into character. LARPwrights and designers invent their own or use variations on things they've seen before. Improv is fun, quick to start, kickstarts player creativity, and eases players into acting mode. This is a workshop for anyone who wants to try out improv games/exercises, either as a player or as a facilitator. If you've got an exercise you'd like to playtest or refine for a game you're developing, test it with us. If you need help creating one, brainstorm with us. If you're curious about improv, get your feet with us. If you already love improv and are just itching to do more, you know where to do it. Saturday, 9:00AM - 10:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D048: "Patterns, Numbers, and Shapes in LARP Design" presented by J Li & Jason Morningstar. From spatial layout to information management, this workshop lays out some of the architectural and psychological principles behind LARP design as craft. What's the difference between a three person conversation and a four person conversation? What does time pressure do to plot? How do you change the outcome of a game by placing chairs? Join us in exploring the fascinating complexity of building stories out of spontaneous human behavior, and playing with the tools we can use to shape it. Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D049: "Being a Publisher/Being Published" presented by Jason Tagmire, Doug Levandowski & Jason Walters. We'll talk about what it's like to be a publisher and what it's like to be published. The two of us have worked together on a project (that will most likely have run its course on Kickstarter at that point), so we'll be able to talk about that. We'd also probably address the common pitfalls that being published - even in the age of Kickstarter - can help you to avoid. Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D050: "Game To Game: Converting Between Systems" presented by Paul Stefko & John Adamus. If you play more than one RPG, you will eventually want to use material from one system in another. Or maybe your favorite game has been updated to a new awesome edition, but you want to keep using your old books too. What should you keep in mind when converting RPG rules and adventures from one game to another? How much (or how little) work do you need to do? Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D051: "Board Game Design 101" presented by Gil Hova. What are the basic, fundamental concepts a new game designer needs to keep in mind when designing a new board game? You can spend years finding this the hard way, or you can attend this panel and learn about them in an hour! Join designer Gil Hova as he discusses the most fundamental concepts in game design: flow/fiero, core engagement, and heuristics. Saturday, 11:00AM - 12:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D052: "GMing Workshop: Tips, Tricks and Advice" presented by Beth Rimmels, Vivian Abraham & Cheyenne Wall-Grimes. Want to GM but don't know where to start? Are you a new GM who could use some advice? This workshop is geared for you (though established GMs could learn something, too). Build confidence and gain experience. Saturday, 11:00AM - 12:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D053: "Learn From My Mistakes" presented by John Adamus & Brennan Taylor. We've made mistakes. Come hear about ours so you can avoid making them yourself. This panel will discuss topics in RPG and story game writing, editing and designing. Saturday, 11:00AM - 12:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D054: "Project Budgeting For Tabletop Games" presented by Jeff Tidball, Cat Tobin & Justin Jacobson. The process of producing a board game, card game, or role playing game is lousy, with opportunities for financial disaster. Learn what financial factors you should take into account when planning a game production, and walk through a spreadsheet that'll help you plan your own projects by estimating their profitability (or lack thereof). Saturday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D055: "A Designer's Guide to Podcasts" presented by James D'Amato, Alex Roberts & Kat Kuhl. Getting your ideas in front of people can be one of the most difficult and unpleasant parts of game design. So people love design, but hate talking about what they are doing. Thankfully there is a community of people who are dedicated to talking about games in public spaces, they are called podcasters. Topics will include: Proper etiquette for self promotion, how to choose which shows to target, how to communicate effectively about your game, how to ask for what you want, how to purchase an ad, how to write an ad, whether you want to be a guest or a topic, how to make actual play easy and effective flattery. Saturday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D056: "Gaming As Old People: Support Group" presented by Rob Donoghue. You have a kid. You have a job that eats your head. You have Big R - Responsibilities. Someone suggests gaming all night and all you can think about is the precious sleep you would lose. SO HOW THE HECK DO YOU GAME? I do not have the answers. I have some of the answers. Hopefully you have more of them. And between us all, maybe we can help each other out, and find a little bit more time in our lives to do this thing we love. Saturday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D057: "The Cinematic Plays" presented by Will Hindmarch. What are cinematic game mechanics? What makes a game cinematic and what do we call it when a game is not cinematic? In this presentation, writer/designer Will Hindmarch examines the languages of film and what we can borrow from cinema when we make our games, our adventures, and our plays at the table. Saturday, 1:00PM - 2:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D058: "Cultural Mechanics Roundtable" presented by Jason Pitre, Mark Diaz Truman & Julia Ellingboe. Games are part of our cultures, and the rules we create reflect our own backgrounds. In this roundtable, we explore how mechanics can reflect and/or interrogate culture. How can mechanics explore other people's experiences? What assumptions do we bring to the game-design table? Saturday, 1:00PM - 2:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D059: "Two Player Board Games - Peaks and Pitfalls" presented by Tim Rodriguez, Dan Cassar & Gil Hova. Explicitly two-player games are tricky to design, and harder to sell, for a lot of reasons. Much of the easy dynamism that is readily available with more players are simply not present. We'll talk about what makes two-player games great, where and why there are drawbacks to this constraint, and think about how to push forward in this niche field. Saturday, 1:00PM - 2:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D060: "GMing Outside Your Comfort Zone" presented by Cheyenne Wall-Grimes & Sarah Richardson. We all have games that we love to play and GM, but what happens when you break out of your normal type of game and venture into unknown territory? How do you deal with a new group of players who are into something very different than what you normally run? Whether it's in a campaign setting or running con games, we'll go over some of the things to expect, avoid and how to bounce back. Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D061: "Art For Your Game, Without Breaking the Bank" presented by Jack Parra, John Carimando, Scott Bowmanchester & Brennen Reece. Getting high-quality art is key to making a product look professional. How do publishers do it without breaking the bank? Our panel makes with the tips and tricks. Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D062: "Experiences in Crowdfunding" presented by Joshua A.C. Newman. Industry veteran Joshua A.C. Newman shares his experiences with crowdfunding across various platforms and strategies. Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D063: "Matters Of Scale: Running A Small Gaming Business" presented by Steve Segedy, Jason Walters, Fred Hicks & Rob Donoghue. Game publishing is a very different beast depending on how new you are to the industry and how much reach you and your game might have. Small press and independent creators will find that which printers, distributors and fulfillment channels they might use varies wildly depending on their goals and how much risk they're willing to take. Saturday, 3:00PM - 4:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D064: "Shouting Into The Void: How To Make A Better Blog" presented by Sarah Richardson, Beth Rimmels, Shoshana Kessock & Hannah Shaffer. Just about everyone has a blog these days, but our group of experts will take you through the process to make your blog even better. Learn how to manage multiple contributors, build your audience, improve your social media & SEO presence, write compelling blog entries, plus technical tips to make your blog look and act its best! Saturday, 3:00PM - 4:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D065: "Ten (More) Ways To Make Your Rulebook Awesome" presented by Joshua Yearsley. Your rulebook is the heart of your game, so why not give it the love it deserves? In this seminar, you'll learn ten best practices for improving the structure, style, and clarity of your rulebook. Did you come last year? These tips and tricks will be all new! Got any burning questions about rules craft? Get answers from a professional rulebook editor. Saturday, 3:00PM - 4:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D066: "Game Distribution and Retail: How It Works" presented by Brian Dalrymple, Jason Walters & Darren Watts. An overview of the 3-tier system (Publisher to Distributor to Retailer), following the course of a game after production (solicitation to wholesalers, trade shows and open houses, discount structures, buying patterns and reorder cycles, the preorder system, flooring, and more...), and covering how stores discover, order, stock, and merchandise, as they try to put them in customers' hands. Viable alternatives to the 3-tier system will also be discussed. Saturday, 4:00PM - 5:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D067: "LARP Creation 101" presented by Michael Malecki, Shoshana Kessock & Alex Helm. A roundtable about the basics of LARP design. Topics of discussion will be the different types of LARPing, the difference between tabletop design and LARP design, One shots vs. Campaign style gaming, and what makes a good story and good world building. This roundtable will have a few exercises to help stretch the writer's imagination and a question and answer session at the end with moderators who have a history of LARP design. Saturday, 4:00PM - 5:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D068: "Promoting Your Game Through Podcasting and Other Media" presented by Chris Perrin, Tara Clapper, Chris Bell & Mario Dongu. Gaming has a rich, vibrant media that really enjoys advocating for new games and new game designers. However, it can be hard for game designers to find gamer media outlets and even harder to know what to say. This panel will look at ways game designers can find gaming media and promote themselves, presented by the This Just In... crew. Saturday, 4:00PM - 5:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D069: "Creativity In Business: Pixar's Success and Lessons For Tabletop Publishing" presented by Cam Banks & Jeff Tidball. Managing a company of creative people can be challenging. New ideas are always being introduced into structured spaces that resist change and fear innovation and imagination. Tabletop game publishers and managers can learn from the success of Pixar, Inc, who have mastered the art of ushering in and protecting the new, releasing their employees from common limits on creativity, and not being afraid to try things in often radically different ways to create bigger and better projects. Saturday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D070: "Crossing Over: An Exploration of Different Fields of Game Design" presented by Gil Hova, Jason Pitre, John Stavropoulos & Sara Williamson. How is designing RPGs different than designing board games? How different is a video game designer's mindset? What about someone designing for change or artistic expression instead of pure recreation? In this one-of-a-kind panel, Gil Hova, Nik Mikros, Jason Pitre, and Sara Williamson will discuss game design from widely different perspectives, looking for commonalities and differences. John Stavropoulos will moderate. Saturday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D071: "Playing and Designing at the Intersections: Creating Good Allyship" presented by Kat Jones, Krista White, Elsa S. Henry & K.N. Granger. This roundtable will focus on how to design and run games from an intersectional feminist standpoint. We will discuss different ways a game can be intersectional including: mechanics, characters, artwork, and more. Drawing on concrete examples from panelists about their own design process, as well as games that have influenced them, we will offer suggestions for designing intersectional games. We will also give some examples of how to make pre-existing games and systems more intersectional. Topics included in the discussion will be: how to fail forward, how to be a good ally, and how to respectfully write about marginalized groups when coming from a position of privilege. Saturday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D072: "Fictional Cartography" presented by Mark Richardson & Kenneth Hite. A discussion of map making for use in games. From tools to methodology and creative process. Learn what goes in to bringing life to the maps at the center of our gaming tables! Saturday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D073: "The METATOPIA 2015 Game Jam" presented by Rowan Cota. A 2 hour, low-stress analog game design event that will use non-traditional materials to create a welcoming space in which we'll make games together. At the end of the jam we'll have some playable games, some great ideas, and the beginnings of a supportive community. The Game Jam is specifically dedicated to encouraging new designers and diverse voices, but even experienced designers will want to join us for this opportunity to set aside "perfect" in favor of "fun." Saturday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM; Fun, All Ages.

D074: "Transitioning Tabletop to Live Theater" presented by Ian Rubin, Christina Higgins & Jason Morningstar. Ian Rubin has been part of two projects that brought Jason Morningstar's game Fiasco to the stage; first at Rowan University and then in Philadelphia. Join our about what it takes to transition a tabletop game, into a live action performance. Saturday, 7:00PM - 8:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D075: "Talk With Board Game Designer LIVE" presented by Banana Chan & Guests. 'Talk with Board Game Designer' will be filmed before a live studio audience. Jennifer Chan will be talking with top game designers and will be mediating your questions. Expect the same in-depth analysis that you get from a normal episode of 'Talk with Board Game Designer'. Also with Doug Levandowski as Ed McMahon. Saturday, 8:00PM - 9:00PM; Silly, 18 & Over ONLY.

D076: "Agile GMing" presented by Rob Donoghue & Emily Dresner. Join our panelists for a discussion of how nerdy business concepts such as Agile software development to can be applied to your gaming experience. Key concepts of agile software design include rapid and flexible response to change - let's talk about how to apply them to running games. Saturday, 8:00PM - 9:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D077: "Structuring Game Text" presented by Robert Bohl, Jason Pitre, Cat Tobin & Jay Treat. You've designed your game, you've playtested it, and you've decided you want to publish it as a text (either for free download or sale). How do you structure that text so that it will draw readers in and make the game easy to understand the first time, and easy to use as a reference later? Saturday, 8:00PM - 9:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D078: "Designing With Production in Mind" presented by Matt Loter. Learn how to think about basic costs and physical realities early in your design process. Don't waste time working with ideas you'll never be able to afford or produce! Saturday, 9:00PM - 10:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D079: "How to Collaborate and Keep Your Friends" presented by Hannah Shaffer, Evan Rowland, Cheyenne Wall-Grimes & Brian Van Slyke. Working together has a million benefits, but it adds new challenges to any relationship. When you need to negotiate design, timelines, and money, it's time to start thinking about contracts...even with your BFF. Join us for tales of triumph and tears! Saturday, 9:00PM - 10:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D080: "Les JdR au Canada" presented by Jason Pitre, Alex Roberts & Alexandre C.-Trepanier. Role playing games are a product of their cultures, and Canada is a complicated place. On this panel, a number of professionals discuss how language, history, and proximity to the ever-present USA can influence design and publishing. Canada is very sorry. Saturday, 9:00PM - 10:00PM; Fun, All Ages.

D081: "Fiasco Live" presented by Ian Rubin & Christina Higgins. As a community, we chat about borrowing from related disciplines all the time - for example, borrowing from larps when designing tabletop games, from story games when designing board games, theater when designing larps and so on. We invite you to join us for a performance that explores taking the narrative tools and flow of a story game to craft a live theater experience. Ian Rubin, Christina Higgins and UProv Comedy present a performance of Fiasco Live, a stage adaptation of Jason Morningstar's Fiasco. Saturday, 10:00PM - 12:00AM; Fun, All Ages.

D082: "Adding Envoy to Your Marketing Arsenal" presented by Avonelle Wing & Stephanie Bryant. Double Exposure's Envoy program is designed to connect game publishers and designers with new customers. Meet with Avonelle Wing to learn more about the program and how it can help you market your game. http://www.dexposure.com/envoy Saturday, 10:00PM - 11:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D083: "Effective Settings and Scenarios" presented by John Adamus & Meguey Baker. Come learn about the interplay between setting and scenario in this roundtable. Discussions include what makes for a compelling scenario, how to use setting to inform your scenario design and generally how to use the two to engage your players. Saturday, 10:00PM - 11:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D084: "How to Write a Cthulhu Scenario" presented by Graham Walmsley & Brand Robins. Graham is an award-winning game writer, who has written many Trail of Cthulhu scenarios, published the book Stealing Cthulhu and designed the game Cthulhu Dark. In this practical workshop, he takes you through the steps of writing a Lovecraftian horror scenario, starting with your ideas and ending with your fears. Bring a pen and paper, because you'll be writing! This workshop is intended to encourage groups who don't often write Cthulhu scenarios. Saturday, 11:00PM - 12:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

[FILLED] D085: "Lean Coffee" presented by Rob Donoghue. The lean coffee is a structured but informal method of conversation. I'll be doing this in lieu of my normal breakfast, and anyone is welcome - if we have more people, we'll spawn more tables. Each table proposes and votes on topics to discuss, and discussion continues as long as there's interest. This is great way to get a quick but interesting discussion about a topic that has interested you. Sunday, 9:00AM - 10:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D086: "Gaming the Future: Putting the Science Fiction in SFRPGs" presented by Joshua A.C. Newman, Dev Purkayastha, Laura Simpson & Rachel Walton. Science Fiction, as a genre, has always been about social change and the pressures that change exerts on those caught in that change. That vertiginous change in perspective is designed to give us insight into the human condition as we experience it now. Our panel will talk about the techniques we use to focus RPG play on the interplay of ideas that makes Science Fiction such a compelling genre. Sunday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D087: "Creating Space to Bring the Sexy" presented by Julia Ellingboe, Kat Jones & Moyra Turkington. In this two-part workshop, we'll discuss ways to explore sex and sexuality in games, particularly in LARPS. We'll broadly look at balancing safety, community, and player vulnerability, and then delve into techniques such as Ars Amandi, Pink Feather, Act/React/Act. Sunday, 10:00AM - 12:00PM; Serious, 18 & Over ONLY.

D088: "LARP Storytelling Workshop" presented by Michael Malecki. This roundtable will concentrate on the basics of world design and story building for your players. We will also discuss the idea of being fate and not an overarching deity of your game. Challenge modes and New Player arcs will also be highlighted in this workshop. This is for people who are new to LARP storytelling (but can be experienced tabletop gamers). Sunday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D089: "Why Do You Hate Your Readers or Players?" presented by John Adamus. When writing a game or project, it's important that the language be clear and enjoyable, not just showing off how smart the author is. Learn techniques to keep your project readable and enjoyable. Sunday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM; Serious, All Ages.

D090: "Organized Play and Shared-World Role Playing" presented by Eric Wiener, Cat Tobin & Stephanie Bryant. Shared world role playing worlds, and organized play are effective marketing tools. But beware, it can be much more work than you imagine. Panelists discuss the merits and pitfalls of Organized Play. Sunday, 11:00AM - 12:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D091: "Illustrators' Workshop" presented by Lissanne Lake & Brennen Reece. How to be a better illustrator! Participants will be given a sheet of paper and pencil (or bring your preferred supplies) A description of a scene from a gaming module will be read, and everyone will have 30 minutes to draw a rough sketch, with emphasis on layout and composition. This is a rough, not a finished piece, so anything from stick figures to finished figures are fine! The second 30 minutes we will take turns looking at the sketches (during which time the artist may describe their idea) and professionals will use the sketches to give advice to everyone on how to make better and more eye-catching illustrations. This isn't a contest, but an exercise in learning - a sound start to a painting makes for a great final! Sunday, 11:00AM - 12:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D092: "Superhero Games Across the Multiverse" presented by Dave Chalker, Cam Banks, Darren Watts & Christopher Badell. Superheroes are more popular than ever in the movies and on TV, and there are more games about superheroes than there's ever been. What makes a superhero game a superhero game? How do you make your superhero game distinct? What are the most important aspects of a superhero game to make it feel heroic? Sunday, 11:00AM - 12:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D093: "Words Versus Numbers" presented by Will Hindmarch. What role do descriptions play in your RPG? How can fluffy, porous, descriptive terms work in place of crunchy, solid, numerical statistics at the table? In this presentation, writer/designer Will Hindmarch shares some ways that analog words can scale the summits of game designs - and how they sometimes slip and fall. Sunday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D094: "'Con Crash' Zine Workshop" presented by Alex Roberts, Sarah Richardson & Elsa S. Henry. "Con Crash" is a term used to describe the negative physical and psychological effects we sometimes experience after attending a convention. Workshop participants will be invited to share experiences, perspectives, and strategies for identifying and managing con crash. We will all work together to combine our contributions into an actual physical paper zine, which will be produced and distributed at the convention for attendees to take home, as well as a PDF which will be posted online afterwards. Sunday, 12:00PM - 2:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D095: "Game Production Q&A" presented by Matt Loter. Panelist Matt Loter opens the floor for questions regarding manufacturing. From questions about card printing, box construction, designing inserts, planning for your game to fit on game store shelves, sourcing custom components or deciding between manufacturing stateside or overseas, Matt is prepared to field it all. Sunday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D096: "Publishing Workflow" presented by Jason Pitre, John Adamus, Cat Tobin & Chris O'Neill. Publishing a book is a complicated process involving playtesting, writing, editing, layout and art-direction. In this panel, we discuss how all of these components fit together and how various professionals can help each-other in the process. Sunday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D097: "Digital Marketing in the Gaming Industry" presented by Dave Chalker. You've made a great game, but now, how do you get people to find it online? Discussing the basics of establishing a web presence, building with Search Engine Optimization in mind, using Search Engine/Social Media Marketing to get the word out, and good places to spend your advertising dollars in the gaming world. Sunday, 1:00PM - 2:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D098: "The Artist's Process" presented by Jack Parra & Scott Bowmanchester. Our Panelists go over the process they go through when creating a finished illustration, and give a demonstration. Audience members are encouraged to bring drawing supplies, and work along. This Panel is about helping Artists of all levels improve. Sunday, 1:00PM - 2:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D099: "Using Technology in Your Role Playing Game" presented by James Holder. Virtually everyone playing your games has a smart phone these days, but there's much more we can do with these devices than just run dice-rolling apps. Hear about what's currently being done at the table with apps, help us brainstorm new ideas, and maybe even beta-test some new software. Our panelist, James Holder is a hobbyist game creator and full-time software developer. Sunday, 1:00PM - 2:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D100: "Strip Mining History for Fun and Profit" presented by Emily Dresner & Kenneth Hite. The history of military warfare, trade, economics, linguistics and religion holds exciting, interesting and gameable stories about intense lives in crazy, unpredictable times. How did people in Medieval societies work, talk, interact, and buy stuff? What happens when an important trade route is disrupted, or a new, weird innovation appears from far away? Why do pirates attack ships laden with cargo? What happens in a fantasy setting if someone invents working gunpowder? Why do Empires collapse? And how do any of these things lead to Adventure for our merry bands of PCs? We will talk about: appropriating the Whys of history; approaches to shamelessly appropriating threads of history for our own uses in game and setting design; how to gather and apply useful research outside of querying Wikipedia and how to file off the serial numbers from reality to make it playable, gameable and fun. Sunday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM; Serious, All Ages.

D101: "What An Editor Can Do For You" presented by John Adamus. Editors are here to help. It's their job. They're tasked with making your project better. So why not use one? Get answers to what they do and how they can benefit you. Trust us, everyone needs one. Really. Sunday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM; Serious, All Ages.


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