Thursday, November 3 - Sunday, November 6, 2016
At the Hyatt Regency Morristown & Conference Center in Morristown, New Jersey
PANELS, SEMINARS & SPECIAL EVENTS SCHEDULE for METATOPIA 2016Updated 11/3/16 at 10:00AM EDT
METATOPIA Event Registration works slightly differently from other Double Exposure events. You may have already gotten an email with events that we've entered for you based on your survey responses, or our general knowledge of you as a player. If we assigned you to something, please note that we'd really appreciate if you could give that game a try (it may be a niche game that we will have trouble getting players for), but IF you feel very strongly that you do not want to playtest it for some reason, please do let us know and suggest an alternative for the slot.
We may end up having several back and forth emails with you to complete your schedule! We are going to work hard to keep the page up to date with events that are filled, but remember that all incoming emails are dealt with in the order in which they are received.
While there are no advancement rounds, some of the events are red and have LOCK symbols because they are HI-TESTs. If you have a Designer or Helper Membership, you can request these events normally. If you have a Player Membership, you can request these events, but note that we MAY reject 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!
Send eMail to email@example.com with the events you would LIKE to play in, and PLEASE USE ONLY 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.
PLEASE SEND ONLY ONE PERSON'S CODES PER EMAIL. DO NOT COMBINE REQUESTS.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
You may ONLY reserve seats in METATOPIA 2016 events if you are pre-registered. Click here to pre-register for METATOPIA 2016 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!
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: "How to Playtest 101" presented by Darren Watts, Jeff Tidball, John Adamus. Our panelists talk about how to be good testers. Learn how to hear the questions being asked and answer with useful feedback. We all want to give helpful criticism; learn more about how to do that. Friday, 9:00AM - 10:00AM; Serious, All Ages.
D003: "Working With Artists 101" presented by Scott Bowmanchester, Lissanne Lake, Jack Parra. 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, 9:00AM - 10:00AM; Serious, All Ages.
D004: "Intro To Game Design and Development" presented by Jeffrey Bourbeau, Matt Fantastic, Nicole Kline, Anthony Amato. This panel will focus on the various philosophies and perspectives modern tabletop designers employ when taking their first steps towards understanding the basic principles of the games they design and develop. Topics include the philosophies of past famous designers, their modern influences on tabletop design, trending mechanics in the industry, designing with manufacturing in mind, and the various ways people begin the basic process. Friday, 9:00AM - 10:00AM; Serious, All Ages.
D005: "Understanding Identity Through Play" presented by Kiel Chenier, Vivian Paul, Krissy Bullock, Jeremy Alva. HOSTED BY 2016 IGDN SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS! Join us for a conversation about the ways that role playing can help players understand their own identities, connecting to each other and to themselves through imaginative play. Friday, 9:00AM - 10:00AM; Serious, All Ages.
D006: "Kickstarting and Crowdfunding 101" presented by Christopher Badell, Jason Walters, Marie Poole. Planning and running a Kickstarter campaign 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, 10:00AM - 11:00AM; Serious, All Ages.
D007: "So You Want To Be An Editor?" presented by John Adamus, Michelle Lyons-McFarland. If you wanted to be an editor of games, where would you start? How do you "break in"? What are the first few steps and best practices? Friday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM; Serious, All Ages.
D008: "UI in Tabletop Games" presented by Laura Simpson, Chris O'Neill, Anthony Amato. The cards, boards, charts, and components of your game are the User Interface that enable players to play and learn your game. Game Design didn't end when you built the rules, but extends through the entire process of graphic design. Our panelists are graphic design and user experience professionals, and they will drill into the process of designing the UI (User Interface) of your game products. Friday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM; Serious, All Ages.
D009: "Designing With Production In Mind" presented by Matt Fantastic. How many cards are on a typical printing sheet? Can half an inch really save you that much money? Is it possible to license a mold? These sorts of questions shouldn't be the first thing you think about when making your next amazing game, but they can play a huge part in how realistic it is to actually get into print. Join Matt Fantastic as he talks through a bunch of common mistakes, easy fixes, and ways to look at your design/project that will save a bunch of money when it comes time to actually make it. Friday, 11:00AM - 12:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D010: "Retail and Distribution 101" presented by Jason Walters, Jim Crocker, Brian Dalrymple. How do games move from publisher to consumer? The "3-tier" distribution system explained - it's strengths and weaknesses, strategies for entering and utilizing it to your company's benefit, and different approaches to bringing your game to market. Friday, 11:00AM - 12:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D011: "Indie+ Presents... Gaming on Hangouts" presented by Brendan Conway, Jennifer Martin, Sarah Richardson. Want to learn to game on Hangouts? Join the Indie+ crew as they share the secrets to gaming online based on their years of experience rolling digital dice. We'll share best practices, war stories, and more with anyone who wants to make online gaming a bigger part of their gaming schedule. Friday, 11:00AM - 12:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D012: "First Time METATOPIA Attendees" presented by Avonelle Wing. Join Avonelle Wing and others for a METATOPIA orientation. All types of attendee welcome. We'll talk about the philosophy behind this unique convention, answer questions and introduce you to each other. Friday, 11:00AM - 12:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D013: "Printers and Manufacturers 101" presented by Christopher Badell, Zev Shlasinger. Once you've designed the game, it's time to produce it. Our panelists have dozens of finished products between them and offer their expertise to make your process smoother. Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D014: "Cultivating Responsible Masculinity" presented by Tayler Stokes, Jay Sylvano, Avonelle Wing, Jason Pitre. The purpose of this panel is to examine and address how issues of masculinity - such as masculine privilege and entitlement, patriarchy, and hegemonic masculinity - impact both the individual members of our communities and the communities as a whole. What to men need to develop a healthier and more accountable relationship with their masculinity? How can we facilitate this through thoughtful community and activity design? What challenges can communities expect to face as changes in expectations are implemented? The panel hopes to be a starting point in an ongoing conversation on a complex topic. Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D015: "Life After Kickstarter" presented by Gil Hova, Nick Sauer, Diane Sauer. Your Kickstarter funded; hooray! You shipped all your product, hooray! Now what? If you're like a lot of board game self-publishers, you've got some stock left over. What channels can you use to sell it off? How can you market it? How do you get a distributor's attention? If you can't get ahold of any distributors, what are the alternatives? And when should you press that reprint button? Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D016: "Golden Cobra Announcement" presented by Jason Morningstar, Sara Williamson, J Li. 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, 1:00PM - 2:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D017: "Defining Success - Establishing Personal Metrics" presented by Tim Rodriguez. What makes a game successful? Sales? Personal satisfaction or achievement? Some magical combination of these things? We'll talk about what success in games means to you, and suggest some ways to define, measure, refine, and increase your success. Friday, 1:00PM - 2:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D018: "Is Your RPG a Language?" presented by Will Hindmarch. RPG/story game systems help to determine what happens in play by helping us find out who acts first or best. They also help us determine how things happen by refining the language we have for play. How one thing happens can often determine what occurs as a result—so that descriptions can be part of the resolution. Let's talk about how your RPG helps inspire and shape what and how you describe things in play. Friday, 1:00PM - 2:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D019: "Finding the Fit" presented by Kenneth Hite, Rob Donoghue, Bill White, Darren Watts. How do you adapt a pre-existing rules set - Fate, PbtA, HERO, BRP, OSR, etc. - to your game? When do you decide to do it, and how do you know which to use? What are the guidelines you can apply, and should you mix and match mechanics? Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D020: "Crowdfunding Accounting" presented by Brad Hausman. Understand the accounting and tax issues with using Kickstarter or other crowdfunding services for your gaming company. Brad Hausman is a professional accountant. Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D021: "Creating Your Prototype" presented by Matthias Bonnici, Tam Myaing. Come see prototypes in various stages of development and talk about what got them to each stage. Also, we'll talk about the factors we consider moving into the next stages, such as the cost or complications to production. Arrive expecting to participate. Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D022: "Social Combat in RPGs" presented by Chris Klug, Julia Ellingboe, Rob Donoghue, Shoshana Kessock. Historically physical combat systems have dominated tabletop RPG design (swinging swords, shooting lasers). That space has been explored quite a bit, almost done to death. The conflict system much more interesting, and with room for growth is Social Combat (persuasion, seduction, influence, oratory, etc.) What is the proper balance between social and physical combat? How can social combat systems be best utilized to advance the narrative? Why do you need these systems at all with actual humans sitting around a table? Can't you just RP it all? Friday, 3:00PM - 4:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D023: "Packing Games for Market" presented by Mark Richardson, Christopher Badell, Jason Walters, Melissa Lewis-Gentry. This panel is literally all about packing. How to ship lots of product, how to ship one. What can go wrong, and how to prevent it. Strategies for soft covers, hard covers board games and accessories. Learn from a newbie with some seriously bad luck and an industry veteran with tons of experience. Friday, 3:00PM - 4:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D024: "How to Learn From Mistakes and Delays: Don't Let Your Failed Kickstarter End Your Career" presented by Jeffrey Bourbeau, Mark Sierens, Matt Fantastic. This panel will focus on how to learn from failures and delays in the board game industry. We will highlight how one should not let a failed Kickstarter be the end of your career, and discuss some of the many other issues that arise from delays in both production and shipping that should be accounted for when producing a game, which can lead to customer and client disappointment. Friday, 3:00PM - 4:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D025: "Designing for Retail" presented by Melissa Lewis-Gentry, Cat Tobin, Matt Fantastic, Zev Shlasinger. Have you ever played (or made!) a fantastic game, and then wonder why no one has it? Ever wonder why no one other than the Kickstarter backers bought a certain game? Ever make a game, then try to go through distribution and realize you'll lose money selling that way? Not all games are designed for retail sale! This panel will discuss the design choices that see success in a retail setting, and if retail is right for your game. Topics discuss will be graphic design choices and packaging, pricing and 3 tiered distribution, Organized Play and Demoing, and using retail sales as marketing. Friday, 4:00PM - 5:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D026: "Why Make a Game?" presented by Timothy Mattes, Doug Levandowski, Chris O'Neill. Why designers feel compelled to design board games and the thought process that goes into it. A panel of designers will discuss their creative process and field questions from the audience. Friday, 4:00PM - 5:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D027: "Become A Better Mentor" presented by Amanda Valentine, Mark Diaz Truman, Avonelle Wing, Fred Hicks. A roundtable discussion about how to more effectively mentor people who would like to get involved in the games industry - designers, writers, editors, etc. What are their needs? How can we structure an entry that's less sink or swim? Friday, 4:00PM - 5:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D028: "The CMU Playtest Study" presented by Judeth Oden Choi, Jessica Hammer. Presentation of our findings from a two-year long study of playtesting practices and education. As we build and refine our games, sometimes it's hard to hold onto those brilliant ideas and goals that first inspired us. Playtesting with a purpose is about articulating design and experience goals for your game and using playtests to help refine those goals and express them more fully in game play. We will invite participants to try out some of our methods and open up for discussion of playtesting practices. Friday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D029: "From Idea to Manuscript" presented by John Adamus. Starting from the "I think I can make a game about X" point and walking you all the way up to "Okay, I'm ready to crowdfund this game"; a look at the stages of production. Friday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D030: "Podcasting 101" presented by Mark Richardson, Jim McClure, Alex Roberts, James D'Amato. Join us for a conversation between panelists about how to work with Podcasters as a game designer. How do you get on a show? How do you use Podcasters to market your game? We look at a lot of do's and do not's of interviews. Friday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D031: "The Iceberg Method" presented by Kenneth Hite. In this year's iteration of "Ken Rambles About Stuff", Ken argues for the 'Iceberg Method' of game research. He is also likely to touch on how (and how much) to do research for setting design purposes, and may even divagate into the how and why of researching other game mechanics. Friday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D032: "Ground Truth" presented by Jason Morningstar, Jay Sylvano, Benjamin Morrow. Games can obviously be political and create empathy, but can they be journalism? Can they create change, spur activism, prompt meaningful dialog? What does it take to make a game with a contemporary theme or focused on an important issue - and what can go wrong? Friday, 7:00PM - 8:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D033: "Historical LARP Design" presented by Moyra Turkington, Kimberley Lam, Shoshana Kessock, Elsa Henry, Rachel E.S. Walton. Re-evaluating the real diversity in historical settings, the difficulties of researching for historical non-western, non-white events and eras, especially those that feature women. Moderated by Alex Roberts. Friday, 8:00PM - 9:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D034: "How to License to Publishers" presented by Andy Geremia. Game designer Andy Geremia explains the process he used to license his first game, and describes his experiences with the following four games. Friday, 8:00PM - 9:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D035: "Making Your First Game" presented by Mark Richardson, John Adamus, Shane Harsch, Jim McClure, Whitney Marie Delaglio, Krissy Bullock. The wondrous journey from beginning to end of working on your first game. It's a highlight reel of the big process parts and what to keep track of to make your first game as successful as possible. Friday, 8:00PM - 9:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D036: "Internet Safety Workshop, Part One" presented by Rowan Cota. Sadly, a conversation about how to protect yourself and your data online is important, especially for women and non-binary folks who verb games. We'll chat about things you can do to protect yourself and your identity. Friday, 8:00PM - 10:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D037: "It Takes a Village" presented by Jason Pitre, Jeff Tidball, Stephen Tasker, Darren Watts. As a game master, you use NPCs to describe the setting, and to interact with the PCs. As a designer, you help shape the kinds of NPCs that fill those roles. This panel is all about different ways that designers can establish NPCs and relationships in their designs. Who do the PC's love, hate, defend, or overthrow? Friday, 9:00PM - 10:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D038: "Doing Big Things with Small Games" presented by James D'Amato, Jeff Stormer, Tam Myaing. Microgames - RPGs that range from 6 pages to just a few hundred words - are growing in popularity with players and designers. This panel will take a close look at this design phenomenon, examining what makes them work, and how designers can benefit from creating micro works. Friday, 9:00PM - 10:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D039: "Imposter Syndrome and the Geek Woman" presented by Tara Clapper, Elsa Henry, Beth Rimmels. Imposter syndrome is an oft-discussed issue for women in geek culture. Our panelists discuss what it is, why we experience it, and how we've supported each other to face this challenge. Friday, 9:00PM - 10:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D040: "Confused State of Rulebooks" presented by Joshua Yearsley, John Adamus, Jessica Hammer. Writing and editing rulebooks is still a black art, not an empirical science. In this panel, professional editors John Adamus and Joshua Yearsley hash out the state of the rulebook. What works? What doesn't? Why do so many professionals (including us!) disagree about how to write good rulebooks? Why are so many rulebooks still bad, and what can we do about it? We won't have all the answers - maybe you'll help us find some. It is somewhere between a panel and a roundtable. We'll certainly have things to say and discuss with each other, but we absolutely welcome audience input to figure out what the world's thinking about. Friday, 10:00PM - 11:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D041: "LARP Made Me a Better Leader" presented by Tara Clapper, Shoshana Kessock. Through live action role play (LARP), these creative women have developed and furthered their leadership skills. Learn about how fantasy and fiction empowered them in a way that the real world could not. Friday, 10:00PM - 11:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D042: "Community Stewardship: Tending Your Mad Mystics" presented by Avonelle Wing, Jay Sylvano. Anecdotally, game communities are bad at supporting their most emotional, vulnerable, intense members. Join us for a roundtable conversation about tactics for channeling these personalities towards productive involvement. Friday, 10:00PM - 11:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D043: "'Con Crash' 2: Crash Harder! - Zine Workshop" presented by Alex Roberts, Sarah Richardson. "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. Friday, 10:00PM - 12:00AM; 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: "The Economics of Adventuring 101" presented by Emily Dresner, Rob Donoghue. Where does the reward money at the end of an adventure come from? What happens when adventures spend a giant treasure horde? Why did the "pirate code" exist and how does it apply to adventuring groups? How does one pay for that giant space doom device, anyway? We'll look at a normally dry subject, economics, and see how its principles apply to setting and adventure design and how it helps explains the motivations of PCs and NPCs alike! Saturday, 9:00AM - 10:00AM; Serious, All Ages.
D046: "Being A Publisher/Being Published" presented by Jason Tagmire, Doug Levandowski. Jason and Doug have worked together on three games: You're Fired, Throwing Star, and You're Tearing Me Apart. Each fit a different niche in Jason's Button Shy Games, and the duo would like to talk about the benefits and pitfalls of working with a publisher to get your games out there. In addition, Doug has self-published a game and will speak to how different the experience has been working with a publisher. Jason, on the other hand, has also had his games published, so he'll be able to speak to the other side, too. Saturday, 9:00AM - 10:00AM; Serious, All Ages.
D047: "Why DO We Game?" presented by Kelly Osborne, Craig Page, Jason Tocci, Marie Poole. What makes gaming so fun? Why do we continue to do it? Does it truly change the way we function in society? Psychological factors, influences and motivators of gaming will be explored. Saturday, 9:00AM - 10:00AM; Serious, All Ages.
D048: "LARP Storytelling 101" presented by Michael Malecki, Warren Morrison. In this workshop, we will go over the basics of LARP Storytelling. We will look at the basics of setting up a story, how to handle your players, common story issues and basic organization. For the first half, we will do a basic lecture followed by a question and answer session. In the second half, participants are encouraged to prepare ideas they have for LARPs and will be asked to share with groups. These groups will discuss issues their LARPs may have or get feedback about what is working well. Saturday, 9:00AM - 11:00AM; Serious, All Ages.
D049: "Powered by the Apocalypse: Using Apocalypse World to Outline and Draft Your Own RPG" presented by Vincent Baker, Marissa Kelly. Apocalypse World offers a powerful, flexible framework you can use to outline, draft, and potentially finish your own role playing games. Dozens of creators, both experienced designers and first-timers, have used it with great success, and you can too. It's not a game system, it's an easy approach to game system design, a reliable way to get your creative vision quickly into a playable form. I'll lay out Apocalypse World's philosophy and foundation, describe the fit and purpose of each of its systems, and point out fruitful ways to build on them, contradict them, repurpose them, subvert them, and go far beyond them. The other panelists will share their experiences of using Apocalypse World to create their games: what to do, what to watch out for, what to avoid. Bring your game ideas and designs in progress for live examples. Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM; Serious, All Ages.
D050: "Hacking Games For Fun and Profit" presented by Meghan Dornbrock, James Malloy, Brandon Leon-Gambetta. Do you want to make games but aren't sure how to get started? Unsure if hacking games really "counts" as design? What's the difference between a game hack, a mod, and just house rules? What even are homebrews? How do you get your hacked game out there, and what are the legal implications once you do?? There are a LOT of questions when it comes to hacking games, so let some pretty cool podcasters who love this stuff help you get started. Meghan Dornbrock (Modifier, One Shot Podcast Network), Brandon Leon-Gambetta (Stop, Hack & Roll), and James Malloy (Stop, Hack & Roll) are three of the biggest fans of game hacks and modified games that you're likely to meet, and they're here to help you get started burning everything you love to the ground so you can build it better. Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM; Serious, All Ages.
D051: "What You Don't Know About Publishing a Game" presented by Avonelle Wing, Curt Covert, Marie Poole. Publishing and marketing a game is a seemingly never-ending learning curve. Join Avonelle Wing, Senior Vice President of Double Exposure, as she leads a roundtable discussion of all stages of game publication, from conception to distribution. Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM; Serious, All Ages.
D052: "Straight Outta the Recycling Bin" presented by Jason Morningstar, Tim Hutchings. Using documents and paper artifacts to heighten immersion, drive plot and keep Larp weird. Straightforward digital tools and resources make it easy to achieve great outcomes. We'll discuss document-heavy design as well as showcasing interesting bits generated before and during play, combining the practical with the theoretical. Saturday, 11:00AM - 12:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D053: "Developmental Editing" presented by John Adamus, Vivian Abraham. Sometimes you're designing a game from the bottom up. Developmental Editing is exactly the opposite. A game exists in an imperfect or dated form. Now, let's update or refine it until it really sings. There are different constraints in this type of editing. Learn about them in this panel. Saturday, 11:00AM - 12:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D054: "Setting The Table For Two: 2-Player RPGs" presented by Jeff Stormer, Jim McClure, Alex Roberts, Russell Collins. A freeform discussion on RPG duets, games that specifically designed for two players, both from a designer's and player's perspective. What are the unique challenges and opportunities that arise when you challenge the traditional notion of "four to six players?" What's it like to play a game with only one other person? What types of games are uniquely suited to the 2-player format? Saturday, 11:00AM - 12:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D055: "Two Great Games Revisited" presented by Samuel Findley, Damon De Paolis, Henry Baust, Mikayla Loudenslager, Patrick Bette. When college students in a comparative literature course tackle the classic games of chess and go, the results include a weird twister/go hybrid and a sparkly chess variant called "solar escape." This panel gives the audience a chance to sample these and other games produced by the class, and explores the context of their creation - including convincing a skeptical university administration that games were a meritorious topic for classroom exploration in the college classroom - in both practical and philosophical terms. What do the world's "two great games" still have to offer game designers? Come find out! Saturday, 11:00AM - 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D056: "Cartography for Games" presented by Mark Richardson, Will Hindmarch, Kenneth Hite. Learn from a panel of veteran cartographers and game designers the techniques they use to make maps of fictional worlds. Saturday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D057: "Writing Scenarios and Campaigns" presented by John Adamus. We all know that narrative writing is about the beginning, the middle and the end. But how do you fill the in-between with toothsome, engaging opportunities? Let's chat about how you succeed in both short-form and long-form story crafting for your players. Saturday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D058: "Safety and Calibration In LARP" presented by Maury Brown, Ben Morrow, John Stavropoulos. LARPs have players with varying physical, psychological, and emotional needs in addition to the differing reasons they come to play. We advocate taking the actual player into account and designing systems that allow players to opt-in to play at their comfort level, and to opt-out of play without debilitating in- or off-game consequences. We will explore techniques for creating safer spaces in LARPs for players of all identities and abilities. Saturday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D059: "Theme: What is it Good For?" presented by Gil Hova, Tim Rodriguez, Geoffrey Engelstein, Sarah Judd. Most board games have a theme, but we've all played those games whose theme didn't work for the game. Maybe the theme was really boring. Or it was really exciting, but the mechanisms didn't match up. Or it left everyone confused and angry. It's a subject worth studying. Why is theme so important to some board games? Why is it so unimportant to others? What can we as board game designers do to make sure our themes are working as well as possible? This panel will dive into the subject, exploring it from as many perspectives as possible. Saturday, 1:00PM - 2:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D060: "Getting The Job As A Gamer" presented by John Adamus, Tara Clapper, Isabel de la Riva. Do you have serious gaming skills that might help you snag your dream job? We'll discuss how we did it and how you might make it happen. Saturday, 1:00PM - 2:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D061: "Resource Management" presented by Cat Tobin, Rob Donoghue, Avonelle Wing. Let's talk resource management - make the best use of your very limited time, money, social media, and helper hours! Saturday, 1:00PM - 2:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D062: "Making Games in Many Ways" presented by K. Derrick Kapchinsky, Kiel Chenier, Roe Nix, Allysha Tulk. HOSTED BY 2016 IGDN SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS! Looking for a new way to make games? Our panelists will cover a wide variety of ways to make games, including one-page nano games, freelancing, and traditional distribution and fulfillment. Saturday, 1:00PM - 2:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D063: "Con Booth Survival Guide" presented by Gil Hova, Stephen Buonocore, Curt Covert. Getting a booth at a large convention is intimidating for a new publisher. It's expensive, and requires many hours of labor from many volunteers. There's also cash to handle, signage to bring, and inventory to sell. Join publishers Stephen Buonocore (Stronghold Games), Curt Covert (Smirk & Dagger Games), and Gil Hova (Formal Ferret Games) as they discuss best practices for keeping your convention customers and volunteers happy. Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D064: "Developing Legacy Games" presented by JR Honeycutt. Designing, developing, and playtesting legacy board games are long, difficult processes. Hear some tips and examples from JR Honeycutt, developer of SeaFall and other upcoming legacy games. Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D065: "Where I Stole My Best Idea" presented by Russell Collins, Tim Rodriguez, Jeff Tidball. We put too much emphasis on innovation when iteration is what makes our hobby go. Let's pull back the curtain and show how our game and mechanical ideas develop as variations on someone else's theme. If you can, bring an example of a rule or subject from one of your games that was inspired by (or lifted from) someone else. Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D066: "Spotlight on Sharknado: How to License Intellectual Property" presented by Jason Tagmire, Anthony Rando, Eric Cesare. A lot of people have asked us how we acquired the license to make Sharknado: The Board Game! We're used to sharing the lessons we've learned with individuals, and we'd like to share them in a group setting. We can certainly discuss what we've gone through personally, and along the way we've heard tales from other designers and companies that either licensed, or attempted to license, an IP... successes and horror stories alike. Saturday, 3:00PM - 4:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D067: "Building a Personal Brand While Maintaining Healthy and Sane Boundaries" presented by James D'Amato, Kat Kuhl. Building and maintaining a personal brand is a necessary skill for almost anyone who wants to be in the games industry. It is difficult to strike a balance between self promotion and your personal life. Often there is no clear line between fans and friends, and it is hard to keep boundaries that are necessary for you health. We'll discuss how to make a successful brand and keep you personal space. Saturday, 3:00PM - 4:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D068: "Nerd Fountain Interviews" presented by Jeffrey Bourbeau, Matt Fantastic. 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 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. Saturday, 3:00PM - 4:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D069: "Campaign Play: Mechanics for Long-Term Play" presented by Darren Watts, Jason Pitre, Will Hindmarch. Many modern tabletop RPGs are based on short-term play. There are, however, a few glorious exceptions to this trend; games that are meant to last months or years. In this panel, the speakers will discuss campaign-level mechanics from games such as Pendragon, Blood Red Sands, Blades in the Dark, and more. Saturday, 4:00PM - 5:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D070: "Game Design is Like..." presented by Jay Treat, Dave Chalker. Game Design is all about expressing real world ideas in compact, meaningful, and fun ways. Analogies do this too, and games are full of analogies. Join the designers of Get Bit, Merchants of Araby, The Firefly RPG, and Legacy of the Slayer as we take your suggestions and improvise analogies to game design, then explore them for useful lessons. Saturday, 4:00PM - 5:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D071: "Designing Emotion" presented by Stephen Dewey. The most powerful and memorable experiences that a person can have often tend to be those that are paired with a genuine emotional reaction. However, eliciting emotions around the gaming table can be tricky. While many of us may have experienced tears at the loss of a beloved character, excitement after a desperately needed roll of the dice, or anxiety while cautiously exploring a dungeon, actually trying to create these moments can be insurmountable if your gaming group can't go five minutes without cracking a joke or checking their phones. Thankfully, with the continuing innovation of story games and the blending of live action gaming mechanics into tabletop gaming, designers have begun to build intentional emotion into their game design - introducing mechanics and procedures created to purposefully elicit emotional reactions from players. Saturday, 4:00PM - 5:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D072: "Ten Mistakes New Board Game Designers Make" presented by Gil Hova. Do you have a new board game? Or even just an idea for a new board game? Board game designer Gil Hova has played a lot of board game prototypes, and knows the kinds of traps new designers are likely to fall into (and has fallen into most of them himself). Join him as he discusses ways around the most common pitfalls in board game design! Saturday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D073: "Art for Your Game Without Breaking the Bank" presented by Jack Parra, John Carimando, Scott Bowmanchester. 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, 5:00PM - 6:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D074: "Your Game World is a Bunch of Stories" presented by Will Hindmarch. Everything that defines your game world can be conveyed with stories - the shorter, the better. Some of these are canonical legends, some of these are anecdotes worn-down to nubs in the telling, but they can all benefit from the lessons of flash fiction, found stories, and local yarns. Let's see how. Saturday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D075: "Pattern Language LARP Design" presented by J Li. As designers, we can guide a lot of our players' subconscious behavior using subtle tweaks to the physical environment and game structure. A Pattern Language is a set of architectural tools for doing this. How can we dial social intensity up or down? How can room layout and temperature affect intimacy? What do we do to make politics more collaborative or more cutthroat? How do we use differing player energy levels as an asset to drives the game? Join us for this hands-on half-seminar/half-workshop that will dive into designing to shape social interactions. (See larppatterns.org for more information on Pattern Language in LARP Design. No prior familiarity necessary. This workshop is accretive to last year's Pattern Language panel.) Saturday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D076: "Hidden Kitchens of Gaming" presented by Julia Ellingboe, Kate Freedman, Avonelle Wing. What is a collab? Can fan fic be considered a solitary RPG? What are the rp games people play on Tumblr? What cool game things do people do with Twine? How many stories shuffle back and forth on social media, much like the old play-by-post games? The panelists will discuss their experiences with these hidden games and will open the floor to participants to discuss the creative opportunities these games offer. Saturday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D077: "Baking Accessibility Into Your Design" presented by Erin Hawley, Elsa Henry, Meghan Dornbrock. How can designers make games more accessible for disabled people? How can the design process itself be more accessible? Saturday, 7:00PM - 8:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D078: "It Won't Fit" presented by Kenneth Hite, Jason Pitre, Marissa Kelly, Fred Hicks. When designing a game, the temptation is to use another tested rules set: Fate, PbtA, HERO, BRP, OSR, or what have you. When shouldn't you do that? What demands special treatment, and when should you make it yourself? Saturday, 8:00PM - 9:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D079: "Being A Supportive Editor" presented by Amanda Valentine, Joshua Yearsley, Shoshana Kessock. There are many styles of editing and some writers respond better to a supportive editor. This panel will discuss how to edit without tearing down a writer or condescending, while still providing the pushback required for an effective edit. Saturday, 8:00PM - 9:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D080: "Worldbuilding Without Bias" presented by Elsa Henry, Maury Brown, Ben Morrow. Writing a game means creating a world, and most often, those worlds have conflict (players like conflict). But when we write a world we also have to be cognizant of the world we live in - a world with real consequences for how we model behavior. How do we write gameworlds without perpetuating racism, sexism, or ableism? Saturday, 8:00PM - 9:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D081: "Character Sheet Graphic Design" presented by Mark Richardson, Matthias Bonnici. A discussion of graphic design/layout with particular focus on effective Character and Worksheets which are the essential interface to every game. Saturday, 9:00PM - 10:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D082: "Public Speaking" presented by Shane Harsch. What public speaking best practices can improve your gaming session? Going beyond the typical "Don't say um" advice, we will talk about the key elements of delivery and content to improve engagement, pacing, and impact. Saturday, 9:00PM - 10:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D083: "7th Sea Kickstarter Breakdown" presented by Mark Diaz Truman. We've tried asking John Wick what spell he cast to raise over a million dollars in a single Kickstarter. Since his answers were incomplete, we've invited Mark to come talk to us about the 7th Sea Kickstarter in person. Saturday, 9:00PM - 10:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D084: "Managing RPG Development Teams" presented by Emily Dresner, Fred Hicks, Rob Donoghue. You're a successful indie publisher! You did a great job wearing all the hats - game designer, writer, editor, artist, and graphic designer. Now, you want to create something bigger and more grand! You discover that, without years of time, you cannot carry out your vision yourself. You need other people... and that leads to new headaches. We'll talk about tools, techniques, schedules, planning, effective communication, using freelancers, and even a little Agile on how to turn yourself from a one man band into product making machine. Saturday, 10:00PM - 11:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D085: "Trickle-Down Plot" presented by Craig Page, Jacqueline Bryk. Trickle-Down Plot: The notion in LARP or RPG campaigns that by giving plot to veteran players, it will trickle down to newer players. Unfortunately, this economy of plot doesn't work nearly as well in practice as it does in theory, often to the detriment of new players. In this panel, we'll discuss ways to make plot more accessible to new players. Saturday, 10:00PM - 11:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D086: "Challenges In Playtesting: Roundtable with the CMU Games Studies Experts" presented by Judeth Oden Choi. We'll discuss some of the challenges we have when designing and running playtests and applying playtest findings to game design. Together we'll share methods and discuss strategies for tackling these challenges. Saturday, 10:00PM - 11:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D087: "Internet Safety Workshop, Part Two" presented by Rowan Cota. Sadly, a conversation about how to protect yourself and your data online is important, especially for women and non-binary folks who verb games. We'll chat about things you can do to protect yourself and your identity. Saturday, 10:00PM - 12:00AM; Serious, All Ages.
D088: "Queer Games Done Well" presented by Melissa Lewis-Gentry, Julia Ellingboe, Gavin White. Join us for a roundtable discussion about queerness in games - be prepared to learn about and to share favorite queer content and to talk about how mechanics can be used to support and celebrate queerness in game design. Saturday, 11:00PM - 12:00AM; Serious, All Ages.
D089: "Worldbuilding Towards Story" presented by Kenneth Hite, Bill White. The principles of worldbuilding for games are not the principles of worldbuilding for novels (depth of field) and certainly not the principles of worldbuilding for physics (plate tectonics). What are they? How can you apply them to a pre-existing world, real or fictional? Sunday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM; Serious, All Ages.
D090: "Both Sides of Podcast" presented by Doug Levandowski, JR Honeycutt. In this audience-participation-heavy panel, JR & Doug will talk about being on both sides of the podcast: interviewer and interviewee. They'll talk about tips, tricks, and the best attitudes to have when you're creating, asking, or answering questions so that you can have the best interview you can, regardless of what your role is in the interview. Sunday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM; Serious, All Ages.
D091: "Diversity is More Than Representation: Changing Entrenched Power Structures" presented by Mark Diaz Truman, Stephen Hood, Cat Tobin. The indie games industry has made huge strides in showcasing diverse stories; it's no longer typical to see only white people in art or for the narratives of women to be completely excluded. But how can we move beyond representation to diversity in the actual power structures of our industry? What frameworks exist to make co-ownership and structured equity deals a diversity tool? How can we change our industry from the inside out? Sunday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM; Serious, All Ages.
D092: "New World Magischola: The Recap" presented by Tara Clapper, Elsa Henry, Shoshana Kessock. What did we do on our summer vacation? It involved empathy, inclusion, and exchanging LARP play styles at New World Magischola. We discuss the profound, life-changing, and validating experience of NWM. Sunday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM; Serious, All Ages.
D093: "Driving Narratives in RPGs and Story Games" presented by Doug Levandowski, Heather Wilson. Heather and Doug will discuss how designers can help players drive the story in mechanically-light role playing games. If you're spinning a bottle, how can that be a powerful storytelling tool? How can you use letters to get players to craft a narrative? They'll discuss their work on a few games, talk about what makes for a good narrative mechanic, and how you can keep the focus on storytelling rather than tables and charts. Sunday, 11:00AM - 12:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D094: "Raising Capital for Production" presented by Brad Hausman. What does it really mean to raise capital to produce your game? What are the benefits to crowdsourcing as opposed to a taking out a loan? Brad Hausman is a professional accountant. Sunday, 11:00AM - 12:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D095: "Social Media and SEO Basics" presented by Beth Rimmels, Mike Roberts. A great game means nothing if no one knows about it. Beth and Mike will use their combined 11 years of experience to give you easy, actionable steps for getting started with search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing. Don't have a web site yet? With these tips, you can still start promoting your game. Sunday, 11:00AM - 12:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D096: "Game Master Mechanics" presented by Jason Pitre, Vincent Baker, Cam Banks. Role playing games have a long history of providing detailed rules on how players may act in the fiction. Very few games provide explicit direction and purposefully designed tools to constrain GMs. Let's talk about the various approaches, from Fronts, to Countdown Clocks, Doom Pools, and more. Where can GM mechanics change design? Sunday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D097: "Playtesting and Kickstarters: A Survival Guide" presented by Beth Rimmels, Matthias Bonnici. When designing, playtesting and Kickstarting a project, your mental game is just as important as the rules you're creating. Talented designers have been worn out by the process and gave up. Learn how to build a support system, keep your attitude and energy up, what to do when it lags and how to persevere from creators who have been there. Sunday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D098: "Marketing For The Disinclined" presented by Avonelle Wing, John Adamus. Marketing can be tricky, especially if it doesn't come comfortably or naturally for you. Join us to commiserate, brainstorm and compare notes. Sunday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D099: "Developing "Trad" RPGs in New Ways" presented by Shane Harsch. In developing NOVA6's core mechanic, we learned a lot about making "trad" RPGs faster and sleeker to play. Come hear us chat about the core design tenets that we're using to design new-player-friendly systems and modules. Our goals included using post-resolution narration to reduce action analysis-paralysis and applying discrete-tiered success to simplify outcome resolution. Sunday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D100: "Credit Where Credit is Due" presented by Cam Banks, Fred Hicks, Rachel E.S. Walton. Innovation and new ideas are fantastic in game design, but designers have borrowed, stolen, and adapted other people's ideas for as long as we've been making games. Let's talk about whose works have influenced us, how we can best credit and pay homage to that work, and what we might not understand about ourselves as designers based on the works we ourselves have created. Sunday, 1:00PM - 2:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D101: "Creating and GMing Shared World Campaigns" presented by Beth Rimmels, Kate Beaman-Martinez, Lissanne Lake, Melissa Lewis-Gentry. Creating and running a campaign with others adds variety and splits the workload, but can also have complications, personality conflicts, etc. Learn how to create and run a shared world campaign, how to navigate different opinions, and more. Sunday, 1:00PM - 2:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D102: "Talk To Us About Character Gender" presented by Chris O'Neill, Heather O'Neill, Heather Wilson. Would you rather the game pieces be gender neutral or gendered but balanced? Like Witch and Wizard vs. Mage; or King and Queen vs. Monarchs? How does this model address non-binary or genderqueer/genderfluid folks? We'd like to chat about the nuance here. Join us for a roundtable on the subject. Sunday, 1:00PM - 2:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D103: "Accessibility In Greater Numbers" presented by Elsa Henry, Maury Brown, Jessica Banks, Kate Beaman-Martinez. Gaming accessibility is often thought of on the small scale: What can I do at my game table? What I can do with my parlor LARP? But the accessibility of a game or a conference is much larger than that. What about blockbuster larps, gaming conferences? This panel will discuss accessibility techniques on a larger scale. Sunday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D104: "Starting a Company: The Numbers Game" presented by Brad Hausman. Should you start a company before producing your game? LLCs, S-Corps, what are the pros and cons? What are the legal pitfalls? Brad Hausman is a professional accountant. Sunday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D105: "Digital Marketing and Your LARP: Live Website Analysis" presented by Tara Clapper, Chris Bell. We'll provide a real-time analysis of a live action role playing game's website and social media channels. Let's evaluate it for best marketing practices and provide constructive tips for improvement. Sunday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D106: "Community Design Ethos in LARPs, RPGs and Story Games" presented by Maury Brown, Ben Morrow. A lot of times when we think about game design, we only think about how the game itself will operate, from the time the game starts until it is over or won. We suggest that in LARPs in particular (although we would suggest this is important for any group of players who get together regularly to game, or participate in a campaign), that as much attention to Community Design is needed as on game design. Rather, that Community Design is an integral part of Game Design. We have to set up norms, encouraged and prohibited behaviors, ways to obtain consent and what to do when boundaries are violated. In short, we want to design how players treat each other when they gather to play, and to make that an important part of game design. Sunday, 3:00PM - 4:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D107: "Narrative and Mechanics" presented by John Adamus, Jacqueline Bryk. How does one influence the other, how do they cooperate, where do they clash? What are the limits on each? Sunday, 3:00PM - 4:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D108: "All Carrot, No Stick" presented by Avonelle Wing. Come and talk about the products, companies and people who are doing work to make our hobby welcoming, inclusive and representative. Be prepared to participate. Sunday, 3:00PM - 4:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
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