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Featured Guests for 2017
Daryl Andrews: Game Designer
Daryl is a full-time freelance game designer and developer. Currently, he is also on contract as the half-time Game Design Manager for IDW Games. Some of the games Daryl has helped design include: Sagrada (Floodgate), TMNT: Showdown (IDW), Monsters Ink (Albino Dragon), Tower of London (Wizkids), Space Invaders Dice (Turn1), Shop N Time (Mercury), and more. Daryl is also co-host of the Meeple Syrup Show. A web show about designers discussing game design.
Travis Chance: Game Designer | Publisher
Travis R. Chance is the Director of Marketing and Product Development at Indie Boards and Cards, designer of Infamy, and co-designer of Heroes Wanted, Scoundrel Society, Path of Light and Shadow and Legendary: Buffy The Vampire Slayer. You can find Travis playing games at his favorite haunts around Indianapolis. HIs insight and passion for this hobby are conveyed through his designs and development work.
Isaac Childres: game Designer | Publisher
Isaac Childres is the one-man army behind Cephalofair Games, which published Forge War in 2015 and Gloomhaven earlier this year. Isaac does everything from designing to developing to marketing and customer support for the company. He lives in Lafayette, IN, with his wife, Kristyn, and dog, Millie.
Isaac grew up in Bakersfield, California before moving out to Oklahoma for college, where he majored in Physics and Journalism. He then moved to Indiana to work on a Physics PhD at Purdue. He graduated in 2015 and has been working full-time building up Cephalofair Games ever since.
Paul Dennen: Publisher | Game Designer
Paul Dennen is the Creative Director for Dire Wolf Digital, and is a long-time developer and designer of digital CCGs. He has led or helped with the design for such games as Star Chamber, Legends of Norrath, Star Wars Galaxies CCG, Free Realms CCG, and most recently the strategy card game Eternal, and The Elder Scrolls: Legends.
A lifelong tabletop gamer, Paul was thrilled to see his first board game design – Clank! – published in 2016. Paul lives in Denver, CO.
Matt Forbeck: Author | Game Designer
Matt Forbeck is an award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author and game designer with over thirty novels and countless games published to date. His latest work includes the Star Wars: Rogue One junior novel, Dungeonology, Captain America: The Ultimate Guide to the First Avenger, Halo: New Blood, the Magic: The Gathering comics, The Marvel Encyclopedia, and the upcoming Shotguns & Sorcery tabletop roleplaying game based on his novels. He lives in Beloit, WI, with his wife and five children, including a set of quadruplets. For more about him and his work, visit Forbeck.com.
Zee Garcia: Dice Tower Game Reviewer
Zee Garcia is one of the main contributors to The Dice Tower. He produces game reviews, Top Ten lists, Board Game Blender, and a myriad other tasks. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts/Theatre and has been involved with several South Florida and New York theaters and theatrical companies, including Murder Mystery, Inc. and The Broward Center for the Performing Arts.
Zee Garcia lives in Homestead, FL.
Jon Gilmour: Game Designer | Publisher
Jonathan Gilmour is a Board Game Designer from NW Ohio. His credits include: Co-designer of Dead of Winter: A Crosssroads Game, and Vault Wars. His greatest weaknesses are writing Bios, and the color green. He loves long walks on the beach and playtesting games. Sometimes at the same time. His favorite color is Orange, so please let him have that as a player color. His favorite games are Cosmic Encounter, Nations, and Hanabi. His least favorite game is "The What Game Should We Play" game. He and his wife have four children, with the goal of having a built in game group any time they want it.
Shane Harsch: Author | Game Designer
Shane Harsch lives in Dexter, MI with his wonderful wife for life, two adventurous daughters, and a cat named Chubbles. By day he is a mild-mannered cyber defense consultant, but by night he is the kind of GM that takes players to the edge, let's them dangle, and then enables them to save themselves. He's still paying for all those 50-cent words he was suckered into buying at college, so by hook or by crook he's gonna use 'em on things like Narosia: Sea of Tears, the NOVA6 RPG system, and the upcoming Village of Gillkas adventure co-authored with Brendan LaSalle
Albin Johnson: Founder of the 501st Legion
In 1997 Albin Johnson created the 501st Legion, an internet-based group for Star Wars costumers describing itself as Darth Vader’s elite Imperial unit “Vader’s Fist”. In twenty years Albin helped grow the group to over 12,000 members worldwide in over 60 countries. The 501st has appeared in Star Wars novels, games, comics, toys, cartoons, and even Episode III. Following the loss of his daughter, Katie, to cancer in 2005, Albin and the R2 Builders club created the character R2-KT the pink droid to spread awareness of pediatric illnesses. R2-KT has since appeared in the Clone Wars feature length movie and t.v. series as well as Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Together, the 501st and R2-KT have raised millions for charity and worked with the Star Wars community to make a difference in the world.
Chris Kirkman: Game Designer | Publisher
Chris Kirkman is the founder of Dice Hate Me Games, and is currently co-owner of Greater Than Games where he serves as Game Development Director. He considers himself lucky to have been a part of the creation and production of many awesome games over the years including VivaJava, Brew Crafters, Compounded, Bottom of the 9th, New Bedford, the upcoming Fate of the Elder Gods, and The Great Heartland Hauling Co. designed by Grand Rapids local Jason Kotarski. When he’s not working on games he also co-hosts on two podcasts, The State of Games and The Geek All-Stars, evangelizes games on his original blog dicehateme.com, and teaches graphic design at UNC-Chapel Hill. He currently lives in Chapel Hill, NC where he loves kayaking, archery, and great bbq. You can always give him a hard time on Twitter and Instagram @dicehateme.
Brendan J. LaSalle: Author | Game Designer
Brendan J. LaSalle has been writing and publishing in the game industry since 2002. He has written for Goodman Games, Fat Dragon Games, Troll Lord’s Games, Savage Mojo, Pandahead Publishing, and Hand Made Games. He has written many adventures and source books, including the award winning Age of Cthulhu: A Dream of Japan. His most recent adventure is Mutant Crawl Classics: The Apocalypse Ark. He is the creator of Xcrawl, which recently returned in the new Maximum Xcrawl edition. He lives in Salem, MA, with his wife, dog, and cat.
Richard Launius: Game Designer
Richard Launius is the tabletop legend behind Arkham Horror, Elder Sign, Run, FIght or Die and Delve. Richard spent the majority of his professional career in various executive positions within AT&T Advertising & Publishing business. Since his retirement, he has been able to dedicate his time to publishing adventure and story games for fans of the Science Fiction genre. Richard enjoys the opportunities to play his game designs with fans at conventions.
Chris Leder: Game Designer | Publisher
Chris Leder is the designer of Roll For It! (Calliope Games) as well as Trainmaker (Grey Gnome Games). Since 2013, he has worked for Calliope Games, publisher of Tsuro and other classic titles. In his role as Director of Fun™, Chris helps find new game designs to publish, assists with game development, provides customer service, and dreams of owning a DeLorean. Chris can also be found in front of the camera in his parody YouTube series Shut Up and Watch Dice Hate Happen where he “teaches” people to “play” games and “succeeds.”
Nick Little: Game Designer | Publisher
Nick Little is the Director of Development and Production at Indie Boards and Cards, designer of Dreamwell, and co-designer of and co-designer of Heroes Wanted, Scoundrel Society, Path of Light and Shadow and Legendary: Buffy The Vampire Slayer. He enjoys playing all kinds of strategic and tactical board games. If you see NIck at a convention, challenge him to a game of Time’s Up.
Keith Matejka: Game Designer | Publisher
Keith Matejka is a game designer, game publisher, and avid gamer out of Madison, Wisconsin. His small board gaming publishing company, Thunderworks Games, was founded in 2013 and has published three games to date – Bullfrogs, Roll Player, and Blend Off. He designed both Bullfrogs and Roll Player. The next projects from Thunderworks Games include the expansion for Roll Player called Monsters & Minions and a brand new title from designer Brett Myers called Dual Powers: Revolution 1917/ He is married to is very supportive wife, Claire, and has a son named Isaac who he loves being a dad to.
Mick McArt: Author | Illustrator
Mick McArt is the author of the new book series “Journal of an Outlaw”, a fantasy parody set in the Unremembered Realms. Book 1 has 125 adventures & observations crammed into a 200+ page book, with beautiful cover art by artist Matt McEntire.
Mick is also the illustrator and author of the "Tales of Wordishure" series of children's books. There are three books in the series so far. Books 1 & 2, a Christmas special, plus a music CD that goes with the stories. He created "Beacons of Light", plus the "Story of Clay" claymation book series, After a few television appearances he created a small Saturday morning art show on a local television station, TCT. He appears at book signings, art shows, comic cons, and also gives lectures at churches, schools, and colleges on independent publishing. Click here to read more.
Paul Peterson: Game Designer
Paul Peterson started his career as a game designer in the card mines of Wizards of the Coast in 1994. There he worked on almost a dozen collectible card games including Magic: the Gathering, Pokemon, and Harry Potter. It is also where his first card game, Guillotine was published. Since then he has bounced back and forth between the worlds of electronic and tabletop gaming, and his credits include games for PC, mobile, and Facebook as well as numerous card and board games such as Smash Up, Unexploded Cow, and as one of the designers for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.
Adam Sadler: Game Designer
Adam Sadler has been designing games for over 10 years. He began his career in professional game design while working at Fantasy Flight Games. During his time at FFG, he worked on several projects but was probably best known for his work as lead designer for Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition. Since leaving FFG in 2012, Adam has been designing games as a freelancer with his brother Brady. Together they have designed several games, such as Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game, The Walking Dead: No Sanctuary, Street Masters: Rise of the Kingdom, Myth: Dark Frontier, and Awful Fantasy the Card Game. Adam continues to design games on a freelance bases with Brady and they have several exciting games to be announced and released in the near future.
Brady Sadler: Game Designer
Brady is a graduate from Purdue University with a degree in Creative Writing. Originally setting out to be a fantasy novelist in the same vein as George R.R. Martin and Steven Erikson, Brady got into gaming through heavy metal and fantasy literature. After forming the fantasy melodic metal band Lorenguard with his twin brother Adam during college, Brady penned his debut novel "Eve of Corruption," the first book in a planned trilogy that told the story behind their band's conceptual music. However, Lorenguard was put on hiatus when Brady got offered a job at Fantasy Flight Games, relocating him to the frozen north. After serving as a marketing copywriter and creative content developer at FFG, Brady eventually departed to pursue a freelance career with his almost-as-handsome co-designer and brother, Adam. Together, the brothers have worked on such popular product lines as Descent: Journeys in the Dark - 2nd Edition, X-Wing, Mansions of Madness, Gears of War, and many other FFG titles. As freelance designers, they have done core designs for Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game, The Walking Dead: No Sanctuary, Myth: Dark Frontier, Street Masters: Rise of the Kingdom and Awful Fantasy: The Card Game. As of summer 2017, the brothers have several other exciting designs in the works that they can't wait to announce...
Lance Red: Artist | Illustrator
Lance Red is a traditionally trained digital freelance artist with a love
for fantasy illustration. He has brought many characters to life for
companies such as Paizo Publishing, Minotaur Games, and Legendary Games.
His art is characterized by its rich details, vivid colors, and love of
characters. You can view his current work at www.lance.red or on
Corinne Roberts: Board Game Illustrator
Corinne Roberts is a local illustrator from Grand Haven. She graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design through the Illustration program and has taught a variety of drawing/painting workshops and classes throughout West Michigan. In 2012 she released her first self published written and illustrated children’s number book, Imaginary Sea 1,2,3! Along with her next book Out and About, she also self publishes children, anime, fantasy, and sci-fi prints and cards. Outside of art, she is also an editor for the comic series Rainbow in the Dark.
Martin L. Shoemaker: Author | Game Designer
Martin L. Shoemaker is a programmer who writes on the side… or maybe it’s the other way around. Programming pays the bills, but a second place story in the Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest earned him lunch with Buzz Aldrin. Programming never did that!
Martin’s Clarkesworld short story "Today I Am Paul" was nominated for a Nebula award by the Science Fiction Writers of America and received the Small Press Award from the Washington Science Fiction Association. “Today I Am Paul” has also appeared in The Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 1, The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2016 Edition, The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Third Annual Collection, and The Year's Top Ten Tales of Science Fiction 8, as well as seven international translations. His story “Racing to Mars” received the Analog magazine Analytical Laboratory award in 2016, and his story “Unrefined” was a Writers of the Future winner in 2015. His work has also appeared in Galaxy’s Edge, Digital Science Fiction, Forever Magazine, Humanity 2.0, The Year’s Top Short SF Novels 4, Time Travel Tales, Trajectories, The Glass Parachute, and The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-First Annual Collection.
Martin lives and writes in Hopkins MI, You can learn more about his writing at http://Shoemaker.Space.
Beth Sobel: Board Game Illustrator
Beth Sobel is a board game illustrator living and working in Bellingham, Washington. She has an MFA in Painting from Savannah College of Art and Design, and feels incredibly fortunate to be able to work in an industry she loves. You can find her work on board games such as Herbaceous, World’s Fair 1893, Viticulture and Tuscany, Lanterns, The Last Garden, Coldwater Crown, Trickster, Path of Light and Shadow, Between Two Cities, and more. She has also contributed to the Lord of the Rings LCG, the Firefly and Start Wars RPGs, and Legend of the Five Rings. Beth Sobel Illustration.
Kevin Wilson: Game Designer
Kevin Wilson is a long-time game designer who has worked on many board games including Arkham Horror, Descent: Journeys in the Dark, Android, Sid Meier's Civilization: the Board Game, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past. Be careful not to ask him anything remotely related to game design, because he will talk your ear off. He currently lives near the Twin Cities with an utter absence of cats.
Tom Vasel: Dice Tower Game Reviewer
Tom Vasel is the host and creator of The Dice Tower. In the early 2000’s, he began to write reviews of board games, so that others could find out about these wonderful games. In May 2005, he started his eponymous podcast with Joe Steadman. Sam Healey took over co-hosting duties for some time, and the current co-host of the show is Eric Summerer. In 2008, Tom moved his review focus from the written word to video, and The Dice Tower has grown to produce over 2,000 videos each year.
He lives in Homestead, FL, with his wife Laura Vasel, and their seven children.