Industry Guests for 2018

Rone Barton:  Author | Designer | Podcaster

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Rone Barton began gaming as a wee six-year-old in the 1970s and then in his teens Dragon magazine bought his very first professional submission. Imagine the ego on that kid. In 2010 he won two gold ENnie awards. One for Best Podcast: Atomic Array, and one for Best Electronic Book: The Great City Player’s Guide. Imagine the ego on that now much larger kid. He publishes Iron GM Games for which he co-created the Starfinder compatible low-magic sci-fi horror setting Grimmerspace, and aside from writing for Iron GM Games, he’s also game designed for TSR, Frog God Games, Goodman Games, 0one Games, and Terra/Sol Games. Rone co-produces and co-hosts the Iron GM Tournament which tours conventions around the land in search of the world’s greatest game masters. In 2008, he launched the oft award nominated Atomic Array podcast and then created three new podcasts, the award-nominated Open Design Podcast and Iron GM Podcast, and RPG Countdown.

Erica Hayes-Bouyouris: Designer


Erica is an elementary school teacher by day, and a board game designer by night. She has two games currently released; Roar from IDW and Ink Monsters with Albino Dragon, both co-designed with Daryl Andrews. Erica has three more Kickstarters scheduled in the next half a year with Renegade Game Studio, Grand Gamers Guild, and Bread & Circus, with more games contracted to come in the near future. 

Erica is the co-host of the Meeple Syrup show, a show about board game design and publishing. Erica is also one of the Directors for the charity Path of Play, which raises money for Autism support, donating games to therapy centres, and subsidizing autism therapy for families in need in both Canada and the United States.

Isaac Childres: game Designer | Publisher


Isaac Childres is the one-man army behind Cephalofair Games, which published Forge War in 2015, Gloomhaven in 2017, and Founders of Gloomhaven to arrive later 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.

Jonathan Chaffer:  Game Designer


Jonathan Chaffer is the designer of Stroop from Grand Gamers Guild, and the upcoming Filler from Green Couch Games. A Grand Rapids local, he represents the burgeoning West Michigan design scene at GrandCon. He is a charter member of the Grand Rapids Unpublished Boardgame Society, a collective of designers, publishers, and playtesters in the area who meet regularly to hone each others' skills.

In his professional life, Jonathan is a principal of Rapid Development Group, a consulting firm specializing in web and mobile applications, and is the author of several books on the jQuery JavaScript library.

Rob Daviau:  Game Designer | Publisher


Rob Daviau is an award-winning game designer whose games have been sold world-wide. He is the co-designer of Pandemic Legacy (Seasons 1 - 3).  Since 1998, he has designed and published over 70 games from children’s games to family games to party games to more in-depth games for the hobby market.  Rob has largely designed tabletop games but has also done work with hybrid physical-digital games and some work with digital games.  

Rob is a writer as well as a designer, having spent much of his 20s as an advertising copywriter. He also wrote a chapter in Kobold Design’s Guide to Game Design, was a contributor to DRAGON magazine, and has written various articles on game design.

Rob has spoken at game conventions, participated in dozens of radio interviews, performed live TV segments, and contributed live color commentary for ESPN during the 2009 Monopoly World Tournaments.  He has guest lectured at MIT, Carnegie-Mellon University, and NYU on game design. He was an adjunct professor of game design at NYU in 2013 and is currently a visiting professor of game design at Hampshire College.

Jessica Davis: Game Developer | Publisher


Jessica Cassady Davis is Board Game Developer from Boston, MA who also publishes games with Artana and Maple Games. Her first solo game development is Lovelace & Babbage, coming to Kickstarter from Artana this Fall. As a member of the Jontourage (See Jon Gilmour below), she has to admit that her greatest weakness is also writing bios and the color green. So she is copying Jon Gilmour’s bio and additionally asks that you let her have that player color if you join her in a game. She would add jumping through hoops of fire to her love of long walks on the beach and play testing games at the same time and contrary to Jon, though she supposes that he likes these games too, her favorite games are Ginkgopolis, Nations, Dominant Species, Sidereal Confluence and the 18XX rabbit hole while maintaining her status as the world’s leader in plays of The Mind. She has been to almost every board game convention under the sun so attending Grand Con was a must.

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 Crossroads Game, and Vault Wars. His greatest weaknesses are writing Bios, and the color green. He loves long walks on the beach and play testing 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.


Mandi Hutchinson: Game Reviewer | Educator | Dice Tower

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Mandi Hutchinson hails from Canada "The Great White North", born in Calgary, Alberta, but has settled in the Nation's Capital, Ottawa, Ontario. What better way to understand the Canadian government than to work for them! Mandi has University degrees in Criminology, Sociology and Education.  She currently works for the Federal Government in Human Resources as a Teacher and Learning Advisor. 

We can't forget about the games! In her family, gaming had its own dedicated time during the week and it was a way for everyone to stay connected.  There were definitely some memorable moments such as playing Risk with her brothers.  She will never look at that game the same again.  

Mandi has been creating media game content... continued.

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, 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.

Jason Kotarski: Game Designer | Publisher


Jason Kotarski is the founder of Green Couch Games, a small publisher based in Grand Rapids, Michigan that specializes in making “Great little games that make great big connections.” Jason has also designed games for Dice Hate Me Games, White Goblin Games, Crash Games, and Toy Vault. He is the host of The 20 Minutes of Filler Podcast which features short bursts of conversation about quick, casual games. 

Richard Launius: Game Designer

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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.



Doug Levandowski:  Author | Game Designer


Doug Levandowski is an English teacher and game designer from New Jersey. His games include Gothic Doctor (with John McNeill), Fired, UnPub: The UnPublished Card Game (with JR Honeycutt), Seven Minutes in Hell, and Kids on Bikes (with Jon Gilmour). Fired was the winner of Boston FIG's prize for Most Dynamic Game in 2016. In his games, he tries to immerse players in off-beat worlds and encourage their own creativity. He lives with his remarkably supportive wife, shockingly cute baby daughter, and extraordinarily apathetic cats.

Brian Lewis:  Game Designer


Brian is a board game designer from Lansing, MI.  His credits include Dinosaur Island (Co-Designed with Jon Gilmour) and Titans of Industry.  Brian currently has several new games in development with WizKids, Pandasaurus Games, and Gozer Games.  Brian's player color is red, he loves all types of games, and composes choral music in his spare time.

Mick McArt:  Author | Game Designer

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Mick McArt is the author of the book series “Journal of an Outlaw,” a fantasy parody set in the Unremembered Realms. Books 1 & 2 have at least 100 stories each and are 200+ pages in length. Book 3 is already in production. All artwork was done by up-and-coming phenom Matt McEntire.

**Exciting News** Mick's newest creation for GrandCon is a game based on the book series. "The Forbidden Treasure of Miftenmad" mixes fun elements of RPG gaming, like skills and hit points, with the dice rolling fun of Yahtzee. It's a family game with a demented twist! The game even comes with a Journal of an Outlaw story that is exclusive to the game! 

Mick and his family currently reside in Midland, Michigan.

Jon Mietling:  Artist | Game Designer | Publisher


Jon Mietling is a husband, father, game designer, artist, and publisher. During the day Jon works for non-profit called Friendship Circle, which provides programs and services for individuals with special needs. Jon is a husband and father of 7, he loves how board games can educate as well as strengthen relationships. His family has grown recently with the addition of 5 foster kids. Much like Friendship Circle's Mission statement, Jon believes that within each of us is a soul worthy of boundless love. Jon loves active and creative problem-solving and board games which naturally lead to board game design. His company, Portal Dragon, has fulfilled 2 Kickstarter games. With his most recent game, Zephyr: Winds of Change, complete Jon is looking forward to launching 2 more games in 2018. In addition to all this Jon has also recently found opportunities to create 3d Kickstarter videos for other publishers and enjoys being a part of each project's creative process. As a long time gamer, Jon is thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to the industry he has come to love. 

Find more information about Portal Dragon here:

Andrew Parks:  Game Designer | Publisher


Over the past 15 years, Andrew Parks has designed over 25 board and card games for publishers such as WizKids, Stronghold Games, and Z-Man Games. Andrew's most well-known games include Core Worlds, Star Trek: Frontiers, and Star Trek: Attack Wing. Andrew's games have been nominated for many industry awards and have been featured in game indexes such as Games Magazine's "Games 100" and The Dice Tower's "Top 100 Games of all Time." Andrew has won awards for several of his designs, including Parthenon: Rise of the Aegean, Core Worlds: Galactic Orders, and D&D: Attack Wing. He has had the opportunity to work on many popular licenses, including X-Men, Justice League, Harry Potter, and The Hunger Games. Andrew's game design studio, Quixotic Games, has also published some of its own original titles, including Canterbury and Dungeon Alliance.

Ben Pinchback:  Game Designer


Ben Pinchback is a game designer from the metro Detroit area.  In his spare time, he is also an engineer, husband, and father.  Ben designs exclusively with Matt Riddle and they are responsible for over 12 published games to date including Fleet, Wasteland Express Delivery Service, Songbirds, The Goonies, Wharfside, Trolstigen, Morocco, Floating Market, and more. 

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 or on Instagram: lancered_illustration

Matt Riddle:  Game Designer


Matthew Riddle is a game designer from the metro Detroit area.  In his spare time, he is also an engineer, husband, and father of two wonderful teens.  Matt designs exclusively with Ben Pinchback and they are responsible for 12+ published games to date including Fleet, Wasteland Express Delivery Service, Songbirds, The Goonies, Wharfside, Trolstigen, Morocco, Floating Market, and more.  Matt dreams of one day brining the mid weight euro back cause them other designers don't know how to act.

Corinne Roberts: Artist | Illustrator


Corinne Roberts has written and illustrated Trip to Trekka and Imaginary Sea 1,2,3!.  Her webcomic/comicbook Out and About will be released for 2018. Along with her books, she illustrated the webcomic, Kitty Game and the card game, Unreal Estate. As a watercolorist, Corinne currently teaches at Kendall College of Art and Design in the Continuing Studies program and continues to teach numerous workshops and classes throughout West Michigan.

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 2018, the brothers have several exciting designs in the that have or relased or are in the works that they can't wait to announce...

Jeremy Salinas:  Board Game Reviewer | Man vs Meeple


Man versus Meeple:  Jeremy Salinas and David Waybright are bringing something fresh and exciting to the board game community.  Man vs Meeple was created to treat the hobby with the respect it deserves, and shine a positive light on it for anyone interested in watching.

ur goal is to create a variety of content for board gaming, and provide the industry another platform to showcase the games we're all playing, and some that we're not playing yet.  We want Man vs Meeple to be the "go-to" channel for anything and everything you're interested in when it comes to board games.

Steven Schend: Game Designer | Author

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Steven Schend fell into the fantasy worlds of L. Frank Baum’s OZ books, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan and Barsoom novels, and Ray Harryhausen movies and they paved the way to his career. Since 1990, Steven has been an editor, developer, designer, writer, or assistant manager for TSR, Inc., Wizards of the Coast, Bastion Press, Green Ronin, the Sebranek Group, Gaming Paper, and other publishers. He’s also taught writing and world-building at art and community colleges. Steven has written scores of magazine articles and role-playing game products, and he hopes to match that track record as a fiction author, having published two novels and more than a handful of short stories. Steven lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he crafts worlds of his own when he’s not busy with his most important works in progress—his family and children.

Owen K.C. Stephens:  Game Designer | Author

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Owen K.C. Stephens begin his professional game design career with articles in Dragon and Pyramid magazines in the 1990s. He was hired by Wizards of the Coast in 2000 to work on the Star Wars d20 rpg. He became a full-time freelance designer in 2001, working on D&D (3.0, 3.5, and 4.0), the Wheel of Time Roleplaying Game, d20 Modern, Star Wars (d20, Revised Core Rulebook, and co-write of the Saga edition), Scarred Lands, EverQuest d20, Dark Company, Thieves World, Song if Ice and Fire RPG, DragonAge RPG, and numerous other projects for companeis such as Kobold Press, Legendary Games, and Rite Publishing (who hired him to be a developer in 2016). He because a regular Paizo freelance writer for the Pathfinder RPG, and produced hundreds of small pdfs for the game through Super Genius Games, and later began his own company Rogue Genius Games. In 2013 he was brought on by Green Ronin Publishing to oversee the Freeport Pathfinder line, and in 2014 was hired by Paizo as a developer, and became the Design Lead for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game. 

Eric Summerer:  Game Reviewer | Voice Artist | Dice Tower


Eric is known as the “golden voice” of The Dice Tower, Summerer has served as co-host of the foundational podcast since 2009. He has also served as voiceover artist, announcer, and part-time singer for many other podcasts and videos within the network. You might have also heard his voice on a number of Audible audiobooks ranging a wide variety of genres.

Ignacy Trzewiczek:  Game Designer | Publisher | Author


Ignacy Trzewiczek is a Polish game designer, publisher, and long-time role-playing game writer.  Ignacy has delivered us games such as Stronghold, Imperial Settlers, Robinson Crusoe:  Adventures on the Cursed Island, and Pret-a-Porter.  His publishing company, Portal Games, has expanded his game universe with games like Alien Artifacts,  Crazy Karts, Tides of Madness, and Cry Havoc.  Ignacy has also authored a couple of books:  Boardgames That Tell Stories  - a collection of essay-work written with famous designers like Rob Daviau, Antoine Bauza, Bruno Cathala, Mike Selinker and many more; Boardgames That Tell Stories 2 - a storybook discovery of adventures about publishing games.  You can discover more about Ignacy and his company here Portal Games.

Edward Uhler: Board Game Reviewer | Heavy Cardboard


Edward Uhler is the founder and host of Heavy Cardboard, a board game media channel dedicated to teaching, playing, and discussing medium and heavy strategy boardgames, war-games, 18XX and thinky-filler. Throughout his life, board games and card games have served to bring family and friends together. As a kid, he played Risk, Payday or Life with his nomadic family followed by passing time in the USMC playing Spades, Hearts, and Magic the Gathering with his fellow Marines. Later on, he found a profession playing Poker in Las Vegas for a number of years before stumbling on hobby board games in 2009. At that time, he entered the hobby full on with a dedication to heavier, more intricate games for the competition of decision making they provide. He enjoys everything from heavy Euros to 18XX games to war games and he is as enthusiastic about discussing these games as he is about playing them. Within Heavy Cardboard, Edward has helped establish a warm and welcoming community of gamers worldwide, whose focus is not only on the games but also on the people who play them. In addition to being a board game enthusiast, he Is an avid cook and foodie as well as one hell of a moody Gemini.



David Waybright and Jeremy Salinas are bringing something fresh and exciting to the board game community.  Man vs Meeple was created to treat the hobby with the respect it deserves, and shine a positive light on it for anyone interested in watching.

ur goal is to create a variety of content for board gaming, and provide the industry another platform to showcase the games we're all playing, and some that we're not playing yet.  We want Man vs Meeple to be the "go-to" channel for anything and everything you're interested in when it comes to board games.

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.