Announcing our Industry Insider Guests of Honor for Gen Con 2014! Our Industry Insider Guests are as diverse as the industry itself and have extensive knowledge and expertise.
The Industry Insider Guests will be hosting lots of seminars and panels while at Gen Con. Search under Gaming Group/Company for Industry Insider GoH for the full listing of events being offered under this program.
Please join us in welcoming the Gen Con 2014 Industry Insider Guests of Honor (some pictures are forthcoming):
- Keith Baker
- Lillian Cohen-Moore
- James Ernest
- Bruno Faidutti
- Matt Forbeck - IIGoH Advisory Panel
- Andrew Hackard
- Shane Hensley
- Kenneth Hite - IIGoH Advisory Panel
- Jon Hodgson
- Steve Kenson
- Eric Lang - IIGoH Advisory Panel
- Nicole Lindroos - IIGoH Advisory Panel
- Jay Little
- Jeff Martin
- Luke Peterschmidt
- David Preti
- Mike Selinker
- Jennifer Shahade
- Greg Stafford
- Elisa Teague
- Richard Thomas
- Allen Varney
- Jordan Weisman
- Ray Winninger
Keith Baker is best known for creating the Eberron Campaign Setting for Dungeons & Dragons and the storytelling card game Gloom. He's produced a host of games, novels, and RPG supplements, including the novel The Queen of Stone and the card game Cthulhu Fluxx. Currently he's hard at work on a brand new fantasy RPG, Phoenix: Nine Deaths.
Lillian Cohen-Moore is an award winning editor who devotes her writing to fiction, journalism and game design. She's written feminist gaming critiques for Bitch Magazine, and spent two years behind the column "RPG Girl Thursday" at Geek's Dream Girl. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Online News Association.
When not in Seattle, she can be found live tweeting convention panels, workshops, and visits to places like NASA.
James Ernest is a game designer and publisher best known as the president of Cheapass Games. His best-known games include Kill Doctor Lucky, Button Men, Give Me the Brain, Lord of the Fries, Lords of Vegas, and Pirates of the Spanish Main. As president of Cheapass Games, he has won several Origins Awards for game design and graphic design, and is a member of the Origins Hall of Fame.
Bruno Faidutti (born October 23, 1961) is a prolific French game designer, historian, and sociologist who frequently collaborates with other game designers such as Alan R. Moon, Bruno Cathala and Serge Laget, although he has also done many designs on his own, including perhaps his most famous game, Citadels, and his recent Mascarade.
Matt Forbeck has been a full-time creator of award-winning games and fiction since 1989, designing games and toys and writing stories of all sorts. He has designed board games, collectible card games, roleplaying games, and miniatures games and has written comic books, computer games, magazines, novels, nonfiction, screenplays, and short fiction. His work has been published in over 10 languages.
He has twenty-seven novels published to date, including the award-nominated Guild Wars: Ghosts of Ascalon and the critically acclaimed Amortals and Vegas Knights. His latest work includes the Magic: The Gathering comic book and the Dangerous Games trilogy of thriller novels set at Gen Con.
His projects have been nominated for 28 Origins Awards and won 15. He has also won five ENnies and a Scribe Award. He is a proud member of the Alliterates writers' group, the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, the International Thriller Writers, and the International Game Developers Association.
He lives in Beloit, Wisconsin, with his wife Ann and their children: Marty, Pat, Nick, Ken, and Helen. For more about him and his work, visit Forbeck.com.
Andrew Hackard has been the Munchkin Czar at Steve Jackson Games since 2009. Previously, he was an editor and then Managing Editor for SJ Games from 2000-2004, when he left home to find his fortune. (Turns out, it was in the dungeon all along!) Andrew started down this path by writing and editing articles as part of the Kargatane fan community for the Ravenloft campaign setting. Andrew lives in Round Rock, Texas.
Shane is the owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Group and the creator of Deadlands, Savage Worlds, and many other games. He's written or designed numerous comics, novels, short stories, CCGs, miniature games, and computer games, and has served as an Executive Producer on several AAA video game titles including Neverwinter and End of Nations. He lives in Chandler, Arizona.
Multiple Origins, Golden Geek, and ENnie Award winner Kenneth Hite has designed, written, or co-authored over 80 roleplaying games and supplements, including the Star Trek Roleplaying Game, GURPS Infinite Worlds, GURPS Horror, The Day After Ragnarok, Trail Of Cthulhu, and Night’s Black Agents. Outside gaming, his works include Tour de Lovecraft: the Tales, Cthulhu 101, The Nazi Occult, the “Lost in Lovecraft” column for Weird Tales, and a series of Lovecraftian children’s books. Half of the podcasting team behind Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff, he lives in Chicago with two Lovecraftian cats and his non-Lovecraftian wife, Sheila.
Look for him on Facebook (facebook.com/kenneth.hite) and Twitter @kennethhite.
Jon Hodgson is the art director and deputy CEO of Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd, responsible for art direction on The One Ring rpg, (Won ENnie for best art, and best production values 2012), Doctor Who Adventures in Time and Space rpg (awards too numerous to list, but Best Family Game at the ENnies 2013), The Doctor Who Card Game (Winner of the 2013 Origins Award for Best Card Game), and all Cubicle 7's other core lines including Rocket Age, World War Cthulhu, The Laundry, Victoriana, Cthulhu Britannica (Shadows over Scotland won the Origins Award and ENnie for Best Setting 2012).
He's also been a full time freelance artist for close to 15 years having worked on a variety of games from the smallest indie titles to the largest - Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, Warcraft Trading Card Game, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st and 2nd editions, Warhammer Historical, Legend of the Five Rings, All Flesh Must be Eaten, Dragon Warriors, Dust Devils, Spione, to name but a few.
You can check out his work at www.jonhodgson.com.
Steve Kenson has been working in the tabletop gaming industry since 1995. His published credits include work for Shadowrun, Earthdawn, Aberrant, Blue Rose, World of Darkness, and many more. He is best known for designing the award-winning Mutants & Masterminds superhero RPG for Green Ronin Publishing and serving as its developer from 2002 until 2009. In 2011, Steve started his own publishing imprint, Ad Infinitum Adventures, to publish material for ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying.
He maintains a website and blog at www.stevekenson.com.
Born in Montreal, Canada, Eric has been designing games professionally for the last 15 years. Games based on awesome licenses like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, World of Warcraft, A Game of Thrones, Warhammer Fantasy, Duel Masters, Call of Cthulhu, and many more. He's also designed many original themed games such as Quarriors! and Kaosball, with several new original IP’s currently in development.
Nicole Lindroos entered the game industry in 1987. She has worked on staff on numerous game lines and for several companies including Lion Rampant, White Wolf, Atlas Games and Cheapass Games. She co-founded Adventures Unlimited magazine, contributed the gaming-food column Adventures in Dinner for Open Gaming Monthly and has been an active freelancer for large and small companies alike. For the last thirteen years she has been co-owner and General Manager of Green Ronin Publishing.
Jay Little is an award-winning game designer with more than 20 years of experience in the hobby gaming industry. With dozens of published titles, Jay Little has designed a broad range of board games, card games and roleplaying games. He has worked with several high profile licenses, including Star Wars, Warhammer, and Major League Baseball. Jay has been invited to share his insights in game design and development as an industry guest at workshops, seminars, conventions, and podcasts, as well as with students of all ages. Jay enjoys discussing the basic principles of game design, including how they can be applied to a variety of fields, as well as related topics, such as ideation, game theory, the social contracts of gaming, and the gacha principle.
Jeff Martin is a dual-class gamer nerd who is currently advancing along two different career paths relevant to the gaming industry. He has been President of Dwarven Forge, LLC since 2004 where he has recently completed two highly successful Kickstarter campaigns. Also, Jeff is the creator and Executive Director of True Dungeon -- the largest event at Gen Con Indy. He has been presenting this live-action fantasy adventure since 2003, and Jeff is a 30+ year veteran of Gen Con (Indy).
Ryan Miller has been in the gaming industry for over 14 years, working his way up from retail to Wizards of the Coast R&D. His game design career began in 2001 with the founding of Sabertooth games, where he co-designed the Warhammer 40,000 and Warcry CCGs. In his ten years at Wizards, he's worked on Magic: the Gathering, Duel Masters, Kaijudo, Axis & Allies, Dungeons & Dragons, and several other games. He's also been performing improv comedy for the past 22 years with companies such as ComedySportz and Jet City Improv.
Luke has been active professionally in the hobby game industry for 20 years. His first job was as a CCG designer for Guardians. He went on to work for WotC as a Brand Manager, where he both trained other Brand Managers and worked on such projects as L5R and Star Wars. He left WotC to form Sabertooth Games with Robert Watts and Ryan Miller. He eventually sold Sabertooth to Games Workshop, and then went on to form Geek Dynasty - his very successful consulting company that was responsible for the game design (and so much more) on the hit game Bakugan which won "Toy of the Year" two years in a row. He has also worked on several other TV driven game products. Luke was an early adopter on Kickstarter and through various entities has seen 6 projects funded through Kickstarter including the critically acclaimed Castle Dice.
Luke's given talks and/or appeared on previous panels at PAX, PAX Prime, Gen Con, Magfest, Unpub, and major new media conferences around the country. Luke currently teaches Critical Game Analysis at a STEM university in Harrisburg, PA while he works on his latest series of personal projects and continues to consult with fortune 500 toy companies.
David Preti (born in Milan, Italy) has been an industry professional for the last 10 years as a producer, art director and visionary. During his tenure, he had a critical role in Rackham publishing, co-created Dust Games (The Adventurers, Dust Tactics) and founded Guillotine Games (the studio behind Zombicide). He also masterminded the wildly successful Kickstarter campaign for Zombicide, and works with Cool Mini or Not on projects like Kaosball, Wrath of Kings and the brand new Arcadia Quest.
David is currently hard at work on two brand new epic game releases: Bloodrage, an epic board game of Viking pillaging and The Others, a suspenseful and fantastic new horror board game, each with his trademark quality plastic miniatures, breathtaking art and innovative gameplay.
Mike Selinker is the president of Lone Shark Games, a game and puzzle design studio in Seattle. A former creative director and lead designer at Wizards of the Coast, Mike worked on 3rd edition D&D, Axis & Allies, Risk Godstorm, and many trading card and board games.
Since founding Lone Shark, he’s designed or co-designed Unspeakable Words, Pirates of the Spanish Main, Lords of Vegas, and the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, among many other games. His puzzles have appeared in the New York Times, Games, the Chicago Tribune, and Wired, and he is the author of several books including the how-to books Puzzlecraft and the Kobold Guide to Board Game Design, and the puzzle novel The Maze of Games.
Two-time US Women's chess champion Jennifer Shahade is an author, gamesplayer and commentator. She is the classical chess advisor for Yamie Chess, which brings her to Gen Con.
Her books "Chess Bitch" and "Play Like A Girl" both aim to bring more women and girls into chess. Jennifer is the editor of the US Chess Federation website, a board member of the World Chess Hall of Fame and the co-founder of 9 Queens. Jennifer is also a poker player-- she represents PokerStars as their Mind Sports Ambassador and makes instructional poker videos at runitonce.com.
Greg Stafford is one of the foremost game designers, worldbuilders, and publishers in the history of the hobby. The founder of Chaosium and Issaries, his designs include the wargame WHITE BEAR AND RED MOON, the computer game KING OF DRAGON PASS, and the roleplaying games PRINCE VALIANT and KING ARTHUR PENDRAGON. He also co-designed RUNEQUEST, the BASIC ROLE-PLAYING system, the GHOSTBUSTERS RPG, and the HEROQUEST RPG. He is perhaps best known for his creation of the world of Glorantha, a multi-decade world-building, myth-making project. His GREAT PENDRAGON CAMPAIGN, one of the most complex and ambitious RPG campaigns ever published, won the Diana Jones Award in 2007. He is also a novelist and practicing sweat lodge leader.
Elisa Teague has worked in the game industry for 14 years, first as the Senior Director of Product Development at Playroom Entertainment, and then as a freelance consultant for various game companies and inventors, with her expertise in game design, game pitch readiness, and production. Last year, her game "Geek Out!" hit the market, with another version due out in 2014. She has more games coming out soon, and she is currently working on a game industry book from a woman's perspective, due out in 2015.
Elisa also regularly speaks on a traveling convention panel titled "All Shapes and Sizes Welcome," which focuses on body image and women's issues in the game and entertainment industry and runs her own geek magazine "for fun on the side".
Since 1986, when he began illustrating and art directing for White Wolf Magazine, Rich has been responsible for the look and feel of every White Wolf product ever created: rpg books, card games, board games, fiction, you name it. Since becoming Creative Director in 2006, Rich has also been responsible for White Wolf’s writing and development; beginning his tenure at the helm by launching Scion and Changeling the Lost. Rich was one of the driving forces behind the Vampire the Masquerade Twentieth Anniversary Edition, and has stepped back into publishing paper RPGs with the continued cWoD line and creative directing for Onyx Path Publishing.
Along the way, Rich was also able to continue to flex his illustrative talents with various illustrations within White Wolf products, including indulging in his interest in symbols and alphabets by creating the many clan, tribe, tradition and other groups symbols and the alphabets for Werewolf and Exalted. But as an illustrator, Rich is best known for his work on CCGs: VTES, Doomtown, RAGE, Netrunner, Shadowfist, and his best known work as a classic Magic the Gathering artist where his creation the Stuffy Doll first appeared on the original Black Vise artwork. Rich can be found at the Onyx Path booth where he’ll be glad to talk about White Wolf and Onyx Path Publishing or gallivanting around Indianapolis By Night.
Writer and game designer Allen Varney (www.allenvarney.com) designed the 2004 Mongoose Publishing edition of PARANOIA. His published work includes supplements for half a dozen RPG lines, over 300 articles and reviews, and eight books. Allen operates the online RPG sales site Bundle of Holding (bundleofholding.com).
Jordan Weisman has been the creative force behind several interactive entertainment companies, including his latest venture, Harebrained-Schemes LLC. Along the way, he created MechWarrior, Shadowrun and Crimson Skies, three of the longest running franchises in the game industry. Weisman got his start in the paper game industry founding FASA Corporation in 1980, where he created BattleTech/MechWarrior and Shadowrun. He pioneered publicly accessible virtual reality at his second company, Virtual World Entertainment, which he sold to the Disney family in 1992. Jordan founded FASA Interactive to develop his properties for PC and sold the company to Microsoft in 1998. After the acquisition, Jordan became the Creative Director for Microsoft’s Games Division where he oversaw the first two years of all Xbox titles, including the launch of the Halo franchise.
In 2000 Weisman founded Wizkids when he invented the collectible miniature figure game format for MageKnight, MechWarrior and HeroClix. Wizkids grew quickly and was acquired by Topps Inc. in 2003. After Wizkids, Jordan co-founded 42 Entertainment to build upon the pioneering transmedia experience he created with Steven Spielberg for the film A.I. Artificial Intelligence which spawned the new genre of Alternate Reality Games. As Chief Creative Officer of 42 Entertainment, Jordan oversaw the creation of “I Love Bees,” the launch of Halo 2, “Why So Serious” for Dark Knight, “Year Zero” for Nine Inch Nails, along with many other landmark ARGs.
In 2011, Jordan founded Harebrained Schemes and, partnering with Bungie, released the critically-acclaimed and best-selling mobile title, Crimson Steam Pirates. Their second game, Strikefleet Omega was named one of Google Play’s Best Games of 2012 placing Harebrained Schemes firmly on the list of studios to watch. In July 2013 Harebrained Schemes made history when they released Shadowrun Returns, the first seven figure Kickstarter campaign to be successfully delivered to excited backers and positive reviews. In February 2014 the company released Shadowrun: Dragonfall a complete second campaign set in Berlin.
Most recently Weisman is working on Golem Arcana a hybrid game which merges his experiences in tabletop and digital game design and development that will release in August 2014. Weisman is a New York Times bestselling fiction author, winner of the Northwest E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year award, Time Magazines Ten Best Ideas, and dozens of design awards. He is an adjunct professor at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and co-founder of the Center for Serious Play at the University of Washington.
Ray Winninger is an Executive Producer at Harebrained Schemes, responsible for the development of GOLEM ARCANA, the world's first digitally-enhanced tabletop miniatures game. Previously, Ray was an Executive Producer at Microsoft and Viacom, a Contributing Editor of DRAGON Magazine, and the Editorial Director at Mayfair Games. He's designed or co-designed numerous games over the last twenty five years, including UNDERGROUND, DC HEROES and TORG, though he's probably best known for his "Dungeoncraft" articles for DRAGON.
* Guests are subject to change.