I’m a guest of honor at this year’s Gen Con, and my schedule is sure to grow and change as the show arrives. However, here’s what I know so far:
Evening: Diana Jones Award Ceremony. An industry-only event held in a super-secret location in downtown Indianapolis on the eve of the convention.
1–2 PM: Game Design: Bringing Your Concept to Life. Each game designer develops his or her own method of bringing an initial game design concept to life. Topics covered include concept development, prototype creation, playtesting sessions, pitching games to publishers, and doing everything that’s necessary to help move the process forward. Panelists will also discuss ways for new game designers to approach publishers and get their games noticed. Keith Baker, Matt Forbeck, Richard Garfield, Mike Gray, Reiner Knizia.
8–10 PM: True Dungeon. I actually have a scheduled event to play in, a VIP session of True Dungeon, along with Rennie Araucto (Gen Con’s Director of Events) and Matthew Atherton (Feedback, winner of the first season of Who Wants to Be a Superhero?).
10–11 AM: Publishing Your Game. You’ve designed, play-tested and produced your game. Now it’s time to get it published. But what do you do? Where do you go? Who do you talk to? Come find out! Matt Forbeck, Mike Gray, Rob Kuntz, Andrew Parks, Robin Laws.
11 AM – Noon: Channeling Robert E. Howard: Adapting and Creating the Worlds of an Icon. Join key creative individuals who have helped shape and bring to life the legacy of Robert E. Howard with an emphasis on writing. The panel discussion, followed by a Q&A session, will include Mike Stackpole, author of an all-new series of books chronicling the story of Belit, the Queen of the Black Coast; Loren Coleman, author of a trilogy titled Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, and Matt Forbeck, REH scholar, editor, game designer, and author.
2–3 PM: 40 Years of Gen Con: The Attendees. A panel discussion amoung longtime Gen Con attendees, plus audience reminiscences. Come and share your stories, favorite games played… what happens at Gen Con, stays at Gen Con! Dave Arneson, Matt Forbeck, Ken Hite, Robin Laws, Randy Porter.
5–6 PM: 10 No-No’s of Game Design. Ever wanted to design a game but didn’t know the best ways to do it? Well, this isn’t your panel. Designing games is as much about what NOT to do, as it is what you should do. In this panel, we’ll review different mistakes new (and experienced) game designers make. Matt Forbeck, Mike Gray, Richard Garfield, Reiner Knizia.
Plus, I should have some special surprises soon. In the meantime, all I can say is: “Look who I’m sharing the stage with!” Seriously.
One panel I share with Richard Garfield (creator of Magic: The Gathering), Reiner Knizia (the biggest name in board game design), Mike Gray (VP of game acquisition for Hasbro, and a bang-up designer in his own right), and Ketih Baker (creator of Eberron). On another, I’m sitting with Dave Arneson (co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons), plus Robin Laws and Ken Hite (two of the greatest RPG designers around). And the rest of the list doesn’t feature any slackers either: Mike Stackpole, Rob Kuntz, Randy Porter, Andrew Parks, plus hanging out with Rennie Araucto and Matthew Atherton.
I’m not bragging on myself here. I’m just stunned to be honored to be mentioned along with many of these people, much less getting to share a stage with them. It’s going to be an amazing show.