Industry Insider Featured Presenters for Gen Con 50
Gen Con is pleased to welcome this year's Featured Presenters for it's Industry Insider Program.
Featured Presenters are a diverse group, as diverse as the industry itself! The Featured Presenters will be sharing their expertise, experience, and adventures with you as they host seminars and participate in panels. As diverse as they are, you can be sure about one thing they have in common ... gaming!
Check out all the exciting events hosted under the Industry Insider program when Event Registration opens on May 28 at noon (Eastern).
Industry Insider Feature Presenters for Gen Con 50 are ...
Guests are subject to change.
Pictures will continue to be added as we receive them.
John Adamus is an ENnie-award winning editor whose work appears in the Dresden Files Roleplaying Game Paranet Papers, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Night's Black Agents, Designers & Dragons, Fate Worlds, and a host of other products. He's the designer behind Noir World, and a constant advocate for people creating art and celebrating creativity.
Jake Alley has worked as a game designer and sometimes publisher since the late '90s, developing board games, card games, RPGs, MUDs, and browser games, in addition to working as a video game critic, and giving the occasional talk on game design.
Aljernon Bolden has been a life long table top gamer from his first time picking up AD&D in grade school, to the modern day where he tries to find as many ways to geek out as possible. He has spent ten years in the video game industry as a programmer and developer, specializing in products that have bridged the gap between traditional tabletop world and the digital age of video games.
Trained at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Aljernon has spent his entire professional career in his adopted home of Seattle, WA. Over the course of his career his experience has spanned from hand held electronic children's game and learning tools, to working on venerated properties such as Shadowrun and BattleTech.
Currently he is a Senior Engineer at Harebrained Schemes, as well as a regular participant in Hyper RPG, exploring tabletop RPGs in front of a live internet audience.
Edward started out as a freelance RPG designer in 1988, writing for Paranoia, Cyberpunk, Cybergeneration, Necroscope, and others. His work picked up an Origins award, although his name was misspelled on it.
In 1997 he joined Five Rings Publishing Group, which was then bought by Wizards of the Coast. During those years he managed Dune, Rage, Doomtown, Legend of the Five Rings, and other games. He's the one to blame for the loud yells of "Banzai!" that echo through the TCG halls every Gen Con.
Following his departure from WotC, he worked for a bewildering array of companies, including BioWare, Interactive Imagination, Press Pass, AEG, and WizKids, before finally landing stable employment outside the game industry and settling comfortably back into freelancing for iello, Queen, and others.
He is the co-designer of Thunderstone Advance, a published novelist, and has recently resurrected his blog at GamerBling.com.
He categorically denies ever having been associated with the Academy of Game Critics.
Joseph Carriker is the developer for Green Ronin's A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, as well as the adjunct Chronicle System line of game supplements. He has been writing in the gaming industry for fifteen years now, and has worked on a variety of game lines over those years, including most of White Wolf/Onyx Path's World of Darkness, Chronicle of Darkness, Exalted and Scion lines, Wizards of the Coast's Dungeons & Dragons Third Edition and Fifth Edition lines, and Green Ronin's Blue Rose and Mutants & Masterminds in addition to his work on A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying.
He is an outspoken queer gamer, having helped organize and take part in the annual Queer as a Three-Sided Die panels at Gen Con, and in expanding those offerings to multiple other conventions. He has also just published his first novel, Sacred Band, about a team of LGBT superheroes in a post-superheroic world.
Joseph lives in Portland, Oregon with his partner A.J., and likes to believe he does his part in Keeping Portland Weird.
Liz blames her brother for all of this. An avid gamer for almost thirty years, Liz has worked on over 70 different RPG products, helped organize the first unofficial PaizoCon, started and headed the Wayfinder fanzine for its first four issues, went on to work for Paizo after being a member of its community for five years, and is now a mostly organic, free range freelancer.
Liz also likes art, baking, coffee, and all things ninja, but not always in that order. She is not a werewolf.
Katherine Cross is a veteran gaming critic and scholar whose first academic paper was focused on the potential of tabletop roleplaying games. She has often written about the intersection of videogames and tabletop games in her work, and her gaming/tech criticism has appeared in Wired, Polygon, Rolling Stone, and elsewhere. In addition to this, she is also a freelance games writer whose creative work has appeared in Pathfinder, Eclipse Phase, and the indie RPG Pigsmoke.
She keeps a weekly column on the art of game design and culture at Gamasutra.
Tanya DePass is the founder and Director of I Need Diverse Games, a not-for-profit foundation based in Chicago, that is dedicated to better diversification of all aspects of gaming. I Need Diverse Games serves the community by supporting marginalized developers, attend the Game Developer Conference by participating in the GDC Scholarship program, helps assist attendance at other industry events, and is seeking partnership with organizations and initiatives.
Tanya is a lifelong Chicagoan who loves everything about gaming, #INeedDiverseGames spawn point, and wants to make it better and more inclusive for everyone. She's the founder and Editor In Chief of Fresh Out of Tokens podcast where games culture is discussed and viewed through a lense of feminism, intersectionality and diversity. Tanya is also the Diversity Liaison for GaymerX and often speaks on issues of diversity, feminism, race, intersectionality & other topics at multiple conventions throughout the year. Her writing about games and games critique appears in Uncanny Magazine, Polygon, Wiscon Chronicles, Vice Gaming, Paste Games, and other publications.
As a game industry polymath, Crystal Frasier has worked as a writer, game developer, editor, illustrator, and graphic designer with eighteen year's experience. Best known for her work on the Pathfinder line of roleplaying games and adventures, she is also the lead developer for Green Ronin's Mutants & Masterminds superhero roleplaying game, and has written for companies ranging from Onyx Path Publishing to Undead Labs.
With a keen wit and a focus on character-driven storytelling, she strives to make game worlds where everyone can see themselves reflected. She is a survivor of both the Art Institute of Seattle and New College of Florida, and pulls heavy inspiration for her work from European, Central American, and African history as well as the works of L. Frank Baum and Lewis Carroll. In her free time, Crystal reads comics, plays with her dog, and obsessively re-watches old cartoons from the 80s and 90s.
Jaym Gates is an author, editor, and communications manager. Her work has appeared in BLUE ROSE 2ND ED, FIREFLY: SMUGGLER'S GUIDE TO THE RIM, TIANXIA; she is one of the developers on the projects LAST REDOUBT, and CRISIS SIM, an academic crisis management RPG. She's edited the anthologies WAR STORIES, ECLIPSE PHASE: AFTER THE FALL, EXALTED: AGE OF SORROWS, VAMPIRE THE MASQUERADE: ENDLESS AGES, GENIUS LOCI, LEGENDS OF STRATEGY, STRANGE CALIFORNIA, and more. Her short fiction and nonfiction can be found in a number of anthologies and online. Her first comic, a collaboration with Galen Dara, was recently published in DIRTY DIAMONDS.
She was also the Communications Director for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and helped develop the guidelines for membership based on game writing. She's been the Media Director for the nonprofit organization Uplift Aeronautics, worked for Amazon Publishing, was the publicist for Paizo's Pathfinder Tales, and has presented at The Atlantic Council, Stanford University, and 100 Year Starship Symposium on the subjects of crisis communication and science fiction.
In her spare time, Jaym rides horses, goes shooting with friends, and does a Russian martial art called 'Systema'. More information about any of these things can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow Jaym on Twitter at @JaymGates.
BJ Hensley is the founder of Playground Adventures, she is a fan of family togetherness and is dedicated to ensuring that both her family and others have creative outlets they can share together. She wholeheartedly believes that RPGs are capable of being an interactive classroom for problem solving, arithmetic, reading, writing, social skills lessons, and more.
When she isn't hard at work furthering the goals of PGA she can be found working with a variety of other publishing companies as an editor, author, marketing adviser, Kickstarter manager, layout designer, and occasional artist/cartographer. Her most recent projects beyond PGA include work for Adventure a Week, Frog God, Kobold Press, Legendary Games, Rogue Genius, Rite Publishing, and she is the Director of Marketing at Lone Wolf Development the makers of Hero Lab. At home, she spends a great deal of time with her family playing games, attending school events, and participating in group art projects.
Kat Kuhl is the cofounder of both Paracosm Press and the One Shot Podcast Network as well as the host of the Campaign Podcast. She is dedicated to creating an open and inclusive gaming community, and designing games that help new people discovery the hobby.
Lyz Liddell has been a freelance RPG editor since 2004. For most of that time, she has maintained a day job as a progressive nonprofit activist at the national level, working with college students and student affairs professionals in areas of secular and interfaith programming. After organizing the Reason Rally 2016 in Washington DC, she has stepped back from activism to pursue RPG editing and writing as a full-time endeavor, primarily with Paizo, Inc working on the Pathfinder RPG and Starfinder RPG product lines.
Lyz is also a professional performing musician with Columbus-based ensemble The Early Interval, as well as an avid cyclist, gardener, cook, and kitteh-momma.
James Lowder’s publications include the bestselling, widely translated dark fantasy novels Prince of Lies and Knight of the Black Rose; short fiction for such anthologies as Shadows Over Baker Street and Tales of the Lost Citadel; game design for TSR, White Wolf, Chaosium, and Steve Jackson Games; as well as comic book scripts, film reviews, and critical essays about pop culture. On the other side of the publisher’s desk, he serves as executive editor for Chaosium’s fiction line. His past editorial credits include line editing for the Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, and Pendragon novel series; RPG editing on 1st and 2nd edition D&D releases; and more than a dozen critically acclaimed anthologies, including Madness on the Orient Express, Hobby Games: The 100 Best, and The Munchkin Book. His work has received five Origins Awards and an ENnie Award, and been a finalist for the International Horror Guild Award and the Stoker Award.
Anna is a writer, actor, and game designer. She's written for Onyx Path's Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition Dark Ages and World of Darkness: Dark Eras. She's co-writer on the upcoming Dystopian Universe RPG (based on the Indie Boards and Cards games Coup, The Resistance, and One Night Revolution), to be published by Evil Hat Productions in 2018. She's also been chosen to write the novel tie-in for the Dystopian Universe.
She's worked professionally as a proofreader and editor. Her proofreading credits include Atomic Robo -- Majestic 12, Kaiju Incorporated, and the Fate Adversary Toolkit. She's edited the published novels Orison by Daniel Swensen and Edgar Wilde and the Lost Grimoire by Paul Ramey, and the soon to be published Oath of Blood by Lisa V. Tomecek.
She founded Nine Muse Press in 2013, a small, indie e-press. She's also a produced playwright; four of her plays have been performed (original: O, For a Muse of Fire and Feet of Clay, adapted: O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi and Andersen's The Snow Queen).
Carol Monahan is Vice-President and Co-Owner of Cheapass Games, LLC, publisher of "Kill Doctor Lucky" and "Tak: A Beautiful Game", among many other titles. She got her start in the game industry as Director of Sales of Wizards of the Coast from 1993-1997, followed by work on logistics and information systems projects there until she "retired" in 2000. During that time, her husband James Ernest founded and ran Cheapass Games. After a break to start a family, and stints in other fields, Carol helped James relaunch Cheapass Games in 2012, with a Kickstarter to bring back one of Cheapass' best-selling titles, "Unexploded Cow". Cheapass Games have run nine successful campaigns to date, and Carol has also provided consulting to other small businesses on crowdfunding campaigns.
Paul Peterson has spent his career as a game designer with one foot in digital games and one in hobby games. He has worked on collectible card games, MMOs, mobile games, board games, and games for kids at companies such as Wizards of the Coast, Zynga, and Popcap. He is currently a Creative Director at Popcap Games, with a heavy side of board game design with games like Smash Up and the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.
Harrison has had almost a decade of experience designing games, and is currently working at Hangar 13 on Mafia 3 and its associated DLC. He worked for a number of years at Telltale games, where he worked on The Walking Dead Game, winner of over 90 Game of the Year awards. Harrison then co-created and led the initial design for Tales from the Borderlands.
Marie Poole is the Chief Business Officer of Lone Shark Games, Executive Director of the Inclusiveness Initiative and a member of the board of GAMA. She has coupled her business acumen with a passion for gaming and the community in which it thrives. Marie can often be found at one of her favorite local game stores gaming with her friends. Her passions in the industry include: finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint in game production and creating an inclusive safe environment for all folks.
Jessica Price has worked in video games, alternate reality games/transmedia entertainment, and tabletop roleplaying games as a writer, editor, game designer and producer on everything from MMOs to Xbox titles to games involving a lot of dice. After helping create the Kinect launch portfolio as a writer/editor at Microsoft Studios, she moved to Paizo Publishing, where she is the project manager for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. In addition to keeping Paizo's production processes running smoothly, she has been the lead developer on major Pathfinder releases such as the Strategy Guide, Inner Sea Gods, and Inner Sea Races, and an author for the Pathfinder Campaign Setting line.
Creature-feature mad-scientist by day, gamer by night, Darcy geeks out about science, snails, and squicky creatures as much as she does RPGs, and often enjoys the beautiful cross-pollination between the two. She got hooked on GMing via the weird science-fantasy setting Numenera, powered by the Cypher System, about which she co-hosts a podcast: Cypher Speak. She writes articles for Gnome Stew, focusing largely on interviews and signal-boosting exciting creative projects that could use the support of the community/backers. Darcy has enjoyed three years of working with ConTessa to support and highlight women-identified folks in gaming, and now many more groups of people. Darcy loves bringing new people to tabletop gaming, and encouraging first-time folks to create, GM, and lead. She is currently playtesting a LARP called "An Empty Page."
Amber E. Scott began her career writing for Dragon and Dungeon magazines over a decade ago, and has since contributed to the official Dungeons & Dragons line, the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and many other games. Her upcoming book, Pathfinder Adventure Path #115: Trail of the Hunted, marks her fourth contribution to the Pathfinder Adventure Path line. Amber recently finished a three year stint as a writer at the video game developer Beamdog, on the game Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear.
Liz applies current principals of behavioral science to sell cardboard. From lead game design on products such as the Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow's Walk expansion to the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, she specializes in weaving rich themes into the game experience. Over the past decade, Liz has worked in a number of roles freelancing for game companies such as Harebrained Schemes, Flying Frog Productions, and Aesterlight Studios.
She once took on the mad task of becoming her own board game publishing company with a steampunk exploration game called Incredible Expeditions. Today, Liz is the Card Shark for Lone Shark Games, designing mechanics for new games such as the Apocrypha Adventure Card Game. She is also a leading expert in designing games for dogs.
Paul Stefko is an ENnie-nominated game designer, developer, and writer. He has been lucky to work with companies like Evil Hat Productions, Atlas Games, and Pelgrane Press, and he publishes his own original material under his imprint, Nothing Ventured Games. By day, he works in content marketing, and by night, he enjoys reading and avoiding his cat. The cat's just mean.
C.A. Suleiman has contributed scores of books to the hobby games industry's top properties, including Dungeons & Dragons and the World of Darkness, and is the editor and IP developer of the shared-world horror fantasy The Lost Citadel. Along with being developer of the award-winning Mummy line, he co-authored the flagship game Vampire: The Requiem and created the Egyptian-fantasy world of Hamunaptra. He's especially proud to have shepherded development of the world's first fantasy campaign setting - Dave Arneson's Blackmoor - and to have worked alongside its storied creator until his passing in 2009. In addition to the books he's written and developed, C.A. has written for board games, hobby periodicals, and fiction. He is a long-standing member of the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design (GAMA), for which he has served for years and as jury foreman for the annual Origins Awards, and is a regular guest at hobby and fandom conventions around the world, including a two-time Guest of Honor at DragonCon. These days, he's got his hands full as Creative Director of Make Believe Games, where he is creator and line developer of its new Cthulhu Mythos roleplaying game Sigil & Sign.
C.A. lives in the Washington, D.C. area, where his band Toll Carom is busy toiling away at its latest concept album. Despite the many and varied protestations of his better judgment, he finds himself a regular contributor to the Facebook.
Elisa Teague has worked in the Toy and Game industry for 17 years. Working at two manufacturers and consulting for both game companies and inventors, she has had a hand in the game design, art direction, development and production of over 100 games, with her most recent game designs Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow's Walk and multiple Geek Out! variations coming out in the last few years. She is one of the authors and editor for Girls on Games: A Look at the Fairer Side of the Tabletop Industry and continues to help the industry move forward in intersectional inclusivity. Nicknamed "The Lizard King," Elisa prides herself on juggling work and family, while making her own games and helping others make theirs. She can be reached at @geekypinup.
James Wallis has changed the games industry twice. In 1995 his company Hogshead Publishing proved that a European RPG producer could compete on equal terms with North American ones; and in 1998 he started the indie story-game revolution by accident, with a little 24-page game called The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen. This year he has three new RPGs: the third edition of Baron Munchausen, now 144 pages and with Fantasy Flight Games; the all-new reboot of Paranoia from Mongoose Publishing; and his self-published odyssey through a nightmarish casino city, Alas Vegas. He's also the founder of the Diana Jones Award, chairs the annual GameCamp event in London, and writes a column for Tabletop Gaming magazine.