My BigBadCon Schedule!

September 11, 2016 Comments off

13435545_1012112098823930_5154603073464857263_n

I know, I am such a multitasker. I am watching the amazing Seattle Seahawks play handegg, while drinking craft beer and blogging about tabletop games. Okay, so maybe that just makes me a Seattleite.

I just posed my GaymerX 4 schedule, with some random bloggy bits. You can read that here. I’m pausing here and there, every time a Seahawks player does something awesome. This might take a while. CAWWW-CAAAAWWWW.

LET’S TALK ABOUT BIGBADCON.

This will be the first time I’ve been to BigBadCon. It’s an RPG convention, mostly, but has some amazing panels and some board/card games, too. I first heard about BigBadCon from Ryan Macklin  I saw him tweeting about it or something a while back (I have memory lost issues, for reals) and always wanted to go. A couple years later, I’m now attending as a Special Guest. I’ve really enjoyed following BBC and Sean Nitter, the host of BigBadCon. We’re Twitter pals, and I was so stoked to meet him at Gen Con this year. When he first asked if I would Special Guest, I was blown away. HELLO IMPOSTOR SYNDROME. When you think of making games, most people think about the writers and designers. A whole ton of people are involved, from layout designers, marketers, and many others who work behind the scenes in publishing. It warms my old lady heart to see so many conventions and organizers reaching out an including all people involved in game publishing.

As a convention organizer myself, I really love what Sean & company are doing and I hope that between us, OrcaCon and GaymerX, we can make the trifecta of safe, welcoming, and amazing conventions on the West Coast.

ANYWAY. You don’t want to hear me blather on. You want to know my schedule, right? WELL, HERE WE GO!

Friday:

4pm – 5pm: Real talk on Tabletop toxicity – Tabletop has a toxicity problem and it should be discussed, like adults in an open forum so we can move forward to fixing rather than having the same old is there a problem or not, it’s you not the community BS we see crop up over and over. Join our discussion for an open discussion on what to do. If you think there is no problem in the table top community and think this is the time for 101 discussion? This won’t be for you.

Saturday:

10am – 12pm: Destroying The Fake Geek Girl Fallacy  Tanya DePass, Donna Prior, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, and Jessica Price will tear apart the fallacy of the Fake Geek Girl. We’ll spend a bit of time on why this trope is harmful to women and to the gaming community at large. Panelists will be from a variety of backgrounds, experiences and knowledge of geekdom. Find out if it is ever ok to question someone’s geek cred.

8pm- 10pm: The Arl’s Ransom – The Arl of Stenhold is hiring adventurers to escort his children home from an extended family visit in Denerim. The money’s good; what could go wrong? Based on the hugely popular video games, the Dragon Age RPG brings the excitement of BioWare’s rich fantasy world to the tabletop. This 2-hour game is an introduction to Green Ronin’s Dragon Age.

10m- 12am: The Arl’s Ransom – The Arl of Stenhold is hiring adventurers to escort his children home from an extended family visit in Denerim. The money’s good; what could go wrong? Based on the hugely popular video games, the Dragon Age RPG brings the excitement of BioWare’s rich fantasy world to the tabletop. This 2-hour game is an introduction to Green Ronin’s Dragon Age.

Sunday:

2pm – 4pm: Titansgrave: The Rust Wastes – Your characters will explore the mysterious Rust Wastes, a technological graveyard in the city-state of Nestora that promises grave danger and wondrous rewards. What secrets do the Rust Wastes hide? This 2-hour game is an introduction to Green Ronin’s Fantasy Age and Wil Wheaton’s world, Valkana, from his show “Titansgrave: Ashes of Valkana”.

4pm – 6pm: Titansgrave: The Rust Wastes – Your characters will explore the mysterious Rust Wastes, a technological graveyard in the city-state of Nestora that promises grave danger and wondrous rewards. What secrets do the Rust Wastes hide? This 2-hour game is an introduction to Green Ronin’s Fantasy Age and Wil Wheaton’s world, Valkana, from his show “Titansgrave: Ashes of Valkana”.

 

 

 

GX4 Schedule!

September 11, 2016 1 comment

14068466_1216457641744797_593992521706164679_o

I’ve got some blog posts queued up, but haven’t gotten around to finish them. I’ve got drafts for Gen Con, Dragonflight, and PAX West. I planned on knocking them out, but picked up a nice 3-month contract for work, so I’m a bit behind. Maybe I will get them knocked out this week.

All that aside, I am also working on all the things I need to do for GaymerX 4 and BigBadCon.  This post will be all things GaymerX! As a Tabletop Boss of Honor, it’s important for me to be out and visible as a woman who works in the games industry. I have a unique perspective in that I work in both video games and tabletop games, plus I’m old. OLD OLD OLD. Well, for vidya that is, based on the comments from people who play video games. Queue Angry Old Lady shaking her cane. Which reminds me, I need to get a new cane. My current one is old like me.

Anyway, this isn’t for me to whinge about my age or my disabilities. I can do that any time. Today, I’m putting all my GX4 stuff in one place. I love these blog posts, because it actually helps ME stay organized. So…here we go! Note: These are my official duties. I will, of course, be at the VIP party and other things for BoH to do. Here’s the Sched link to my bio and events: https://gx4.sched.org/speaker/info1951

Friday:

12pm – 2pm: How to be a Game Master The most common reason given why not to run a game is, “I don’t know how.” This workshop will give you the tools and coaching so that you do know how.

4pm – 5pm: Navigating the Intersection of Videogames & Tabletop – This panel will look at the intersection between video games and pen & paper RPGs, and how to draw strength and learn from both sides.

7PM – 9PM: Titansgrave: The Rust Wastes – Explore the mysterious Rust Wastes, a technological graveyard in the city-state of Nestora that promises grave danger & wondrous rewards. Titansgrave is the new RPG setting created for Wil Wheaton’s RPG show, “Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana”.  This 2-hour game is an introduction to Green Ronin Publishing’s Fantasy AGE game system and the Titansgrave world.  Dice & characters will be provided. 

9PM – 11PM: Titansgrave: The Rust Wastes – Explore the mysterious Rust Wastes, a technological graveyard in the city-state of Nestora that promises grave danger & wondrous rewards. Titansgrave is the new RPG setting created for Wil Wheaton’s RPG show, “Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana”.  This 2-hour game is an introduction to Green Ronin Publishing’s Fantasy AGE game system and the Titansgrave world.  Dice & characters will be provided. 

Saturday: 

11am – 12pm – Queer as a Three-Sided Die: Tabletop Gaymers – Join our tabletop Bosses of Honor to talk about queer issues, themes, and experiences in the tabletop gaming hobby and industry. We want to hear from you!

4pm – 5pm – Manage Session Creating Inclusive Gaming Groups & Events – Want to know how to find inclusive groups for gaming? How do you create your own gaming meet-ups? Many game groups play in public, but they’re not welcoming.

You need anti-harassment policies, a game host welcoming the new players, and relationship building with the business owner. You can do it! Our panelists will give you tips on creating safe & welcoming spaces for new players in public places.

5pm – 6pm – Manage Session Gatekeeping & Geek Policing – Geek policing and gate-keeping happens when someone shows interest in something of the nerdy persuasion, and “true fans” chase them away or “cred check”, especially towards marginalized groups. You’re not a REAL geek if you don’t like Firefly” “FEMALES don’t like strategy games” “OMG WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU LOVE 4TH EDITION, IT SUCKS”. These are all examples of gatekeeping & geek policing.

Sunday: 

9am – 11am – The Arl’s Ransom The Arl of Stenhold is hiring adventurers to escort his children home from an extended family visit in Denerim. The money’s good; what could go wrong? Based on the hugely popular video games, the Dragon Age RPG brings the excitement of BioWare’s rich fantasy world to the tabletop. This 2-hour game is an introduction to Green Ronin’s Dragon Age. Dice & characters will be provided!

11am – 12pm – The Arl’s Ransom – The Arl of Stenhold is hiring adventurers to escort his children home from an extended family visit in Denerim. The money’s good; what could go wrong? Based on the hugely popular video games, the Dragon Age RPG brings the excitement of BioWare’s rich fantasy world to the tabletop. This 2-hour game is an introduction to Green Ronin’s Dragon Age. Dice & characters will be provided!

3:00pm – 4:00pm – Fans vs Creators: Is there a better way? – Whether we’re talking about the 100, Ghostbusters, or your favorite video game series, there’s a sense that fandom spaces have become armed camps rather than spaces for discussion. Creators are suddenly backed against a wall feeling as if they must now justify their choices. Is that justification truly necessary? Where does the line exist between listening to one’s audience and caving to their demands? Is there such a thing as a ‘good fan’ and a ‘bad fan’, and how does one walk that line in order to participate in a healthy conversation with creators about things like representation? Is that even possible anymore?”

 

 

 

 

A Bug’s Life

August 10, 2016 Comments off

A million years ago, I was working at the Dell Factory Outlet in Austin. This total nasty lady came into the Outlet Repair Center, barged through the line, going on and on about how our products were shit, and that she was Very Important and demanded an immediately fix or replacement. Basically, it was this NL25 386 notebook. There was a known issue with the chassis, as seen here:

dell-nl25-laptop-parts-unit-5-21

We did free replacements on the cases via recall. These were not manufactured at the Dell facility, and we had to send them off to New Mexico or something to get them fixed at the factory. There was about a 3-week turn around. Mind you, this was about the time the first Pentium chips were coming out in the mid-90s, and this Very Important Person was furious about her beat up 386.

I get it. PCs are expensive and laptops more so. Especially back then. She ranted and yelled and cursed. Of course, the sales manager went and talked to the back of the house tech support manager. We actually repaired walk-in PC repairs (or folks could send them in) at the Factory Outlet Service Center.

At any rate, she said she plugged the thing in, it poofed and sparked, then went dead. She demanded our techs fix it (even tho we didn’t have the parts. The tech manager agreed, due to sales manager escalating. Charge for us to look at it was $129.00. She agree and said to fix it.

She left her number (pre cell phone days) for her office and went away. Our team continued to help the line. Wasn’t 2 minutes later I got a call to come to the back.

A tech bench had a bunch of folks around it, some with cans of spray. The tech manager used a screwdriver to lift the unscrewed lid and hundreds of tiny roaches scattered. The rest of the team started stomping and spraying. The manager grabbed a bunch of dead ones (he was wearing gloves) and put them in a baggie. Taped the whole thing shut, with the big bag of roaches taped to the top. They refused to touch it further and told me to call her to pick it up.

The same folks who were waiting in line were still there in line. Since she was easy to reach, I called her from the Front Desk, instead of the back of the house (because i cannot abide abuse. Angry customers? Sure. Abuse? NEVER).

“HELLO MS SO-AND-SO? WELL, WE DID SEND YOU THAT RECALL NOTICE YOU REMEMBER AND YOU REFUSED TO LET US FIX IT? WELL, THAT’S WHAT CAUSED YOUR ISSUE. BECAUSE IT IS CRACKED, AND IT ALLOWED A NEST OF ROACHES TO TAKE UP RESIDENCE. YES, I AM SERIOUS. SOME BUGS ARE ATTRACTED TO ELECROMAG…YES, I AM SERIOUS. NO, THIS ISN’T A JOKE.

ANYWAY, YOUR NOTEBOOK IS PERMANENTLY FRIED, FULL OF ROACHES AND NOW WE HAVE TO DECONTAMINATE OUR TECH AREA. WE SUGGEST YOU COME PICK UP YOUR LAPTOP IMMEDIATELY. AND OH, YOU OWE US $129 FOR DIAGNOSING YOUR ISSUE. THANKS AND GOOD DAY.

When I hung up, the whole waiting room bust out laughing and also with nervous “ew gross” gigglesr. She arrived 10 minutes later, paid the $129 without speaking, grabbed her laptop and stormed out the building.

Categories: Main

All things Gen Con!

June 3, 2016 Comments off

I’m super duper excited about Gen Con this year, and not just because I was selected as one of the 2016 Industry Insiders. Okay that’s a big part of it.

I’m super honored to be chosen this year, and I look forward to meeting so many amazing people.

I’ll be doing my usual duties, working in the Green Ronin Publishing booth. Actually, I’ll be rocking the Geek & Sundry portion of the Gen Con booth. So stop by for some Critical Role and Titansgrave goodness. I’ll post more to my socials when I know exactly what we’re gonna be selling and doing with the team. So many secret plans! /evil *edit* Here’s everything Green Ronin and Geek & Sundry! 

Before I get into more Industry Insiders stuff, I want to first thank all the old and new volunteer GMs who are bringing 90+ RPG sessions to Gen Con! We’ll be running lots of Mutants & Masterminds, Titansgrave, Fantasy AGE, Dragon Age, Song of Ice & Fire RPG, DC Adventures, some Freeport Pathfinder, and even Ork! You can do a search for Green Ronin to see all the games we’ve submitted. *gleeee*

Back to the Industry Insiders! I’ll be on a few panels for the Seminars below. Signups are live, so go ahead and add it to your schedule.

Thursday:

SEM16100220  – ­ It’s A Jungle Out There: Safety For Gamers

Controversies over inclusivity & other issues have created a dangerous social media environment for gamers. Learn how to protect yourself online, help victims of harassment, & more.

Friday:

SEM16100219 – Inclusive Gaming: How To Host & Create A Safe & Welcoming Space For All – ICC : 241 (1pm-2pm)

Learn about creating a fun, welcoming, supportive environment for all gamers at your table, & about how to build rich, inclusive stories that your players will remember for years to come.

Saturday:

SEM16100225 – Making RPG Welcoming To New Players – ICC : 241 (10am-11am)

As the RPG & story gaming hobby grows, we need to know how to create a warm, inviting & safe atmosphere for new players. How do we do our best to make sure these players have fun & come back?

SEM16100231- Social Media & The Gaming Industry –  ICC : 240 (4pm-5pm)

Social media has changed the world, & gaming is no exception. Discussion on ways to improve your online presence, market yourself & your game to prospective clients & customers.

Sunday:

SEM16100226 – Raising Money To Publish Your Board Game – ICC : 241 (11am-12pm)

Confused about Kickstarter? Flummoxed about funding? We will discuss a number of different ways to fund your board game project beyond just crowdfunding, including related legal and business issues.

Still not enough to find me? Here’s where else I will be:

Wednesday:

  • Meeting Green Ronin GMs. I’ll be stationed outside the expo hall so my GMs can find me and get their badges, and whatever information. Look for my GR shirt and green hair. Come hang out with me from 1pm-7pm.
  • Dinner at the Claddaugh Pub. Dinner & GM badge handouts
  • Diana Jones Awards

Thursday:

  • Working in the Geek & Sundry area of the Green Ronin booth, with the exception of the seminar.
  • VIG Party

Friday:

  • G&S at Green Ronin again. I’ll be MIA from about 10am – noon, as I wrangle the Critical Role Q&A panel, which starts at 11am. It’s free, but you need a free ticket to attend. No generics accepted. Once the ticketed folks are sat, anyone can come in without a ticket, if there is room.
  • Playing Games with GR staff. Somewhere. Some time. I hope there is beer.

Saturday:

Sunday:

  • G&S at Green Ronin booth! Final seminar! Last hugs! Sales!
  • GR dinner and probably some drinks in there. Hah!

 

I Call BS

May 13, 2016 Comments off

Owen K.C. Stephens

It’s gatekeeping elitist narrow-minded BS of the worst sort to cowardly hint that a drive for diversity has caused the Industry Insider program to mysteriously lower its standards and result in a slate of lesser-known designers. And yet, many people are doing so, and some leaders in the industry are winking and elbow-nudging rather than taking a stand and calling BS.
So for the record, claiming diversity was only achieved by lowering standards in the program IS BULLSHIT. Of the highest order.
I was an Industry Insider once, with more than a decade of experience under my belt. Most of the other *PANELISTS* had no fucking clue who I was.
Next time someone makes that claim, I want to grill them about who the people who were in the program over the past decade were, and see how many of them are known, as compared to multiple salaried developers and managers…

View original post 59 more words

Categories: Main

Baby, I’m a Star

April 22, 2016 Comments off

I don’t have it in me to go into what Prince’s music has meant to me and the impact it had in my life when was younger. I do have a story about how his music came up in a very unexpected way for me many years ago.

My favorite Prince song is “Baby, I’m a Star”. I first heard it while watching “Purple Rain”. It was a pretty emotional movie. Sure, the acting wasn’t the greatest, but it wasn’t full of actors. But boy, did that movie  have heart.

When Prince & the Revolution played this song at the end, I heard it as a joyful expression of just playing music. The joy of music. Of performing. It was like everyone in the audience of that live recording was all in sync with Prince. Being a part of his joy. You can see it in this video.

So. I used to be a club DJ. Back in 1985, I was working in San Antonio. I was the DJ at the Hyatt, down on the Riverwalk. It was a slow night, in winter. Most of the customers around that time, were folks who worked in the bars, hotels, and restaurants on the River. It was super slow, as it was the downtime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and a ‘school night’ to boot.

DJdonna

Normally, I stuck to a lot of the regular Top 40 dance tunes, but also a lot of my fave funk/freestyle tunes like Debbie Deb, Shannon, Freestyle, Trinere, Sheila E, Dazz, Gap Bad. On those slower nights, I also mixed in Lena Lovich, Nina Hagen, King Creole & the Coconuts. As long as the bar was full of “river rats” aka the folks who worked in hospitality, I could play what I wanted. After all, they were spending LOTS of money on drinks.

Anyway, so that December night, there was a KISS concert in town. There were heaps of young women and teenage girls running around the area. Apparently, they were staying at the Hyatt, I think? A lot of women tried to come into the bar, but since they weren’t 21, they were turned away.

I was playing some tune and folks were dancing. Until these two ROCK GODS walked in. I quickly saw it wasn’t Gene Simmons nor Paul Stanley, which were the only two KISS people I knew on sight. They were taken to a table with some security dudes and groupies.

Of course, the whole crowd wanted me to start playing KISS music. I figured that was the last thing they would want to hear. And the only song I had from them was “Lick it Up”. Yuck.

I put on a long song and went over to talk to them. ‘Hey, I’m the DJ here and everyone wants to hear some KISS. I’d rather play what YOU want to hear, and I’ll make a dedication or some shit”.

One of the dudes, “BABY, I’M A STAR! PLAY THAT!”

I was so jazzed and excited. Except, you gotta slam that one in right. Remember, this is Ye Olde Vinyl Dayes, so I have to be super precise on how I put this one in, for a couple of reasons. First, it comes very quickly after I Would Die 4 U. Essentially, you have a downbeat to knock it in on Baby’s first note. When mixing vinyl, you have to have a precise touch for matching the beats, which 12″ dance singles are made for. You match the beats, adjusting so it’s seamless. (gods, I miss this). With this one? You basically have to have your finger ready in the exact place, to hit the exact beat of the song already playing. You “slam” it in there. BAM. The song just HITS you.

I don’t even remember what I was playing, but I was talking over a part of the music with the “hey folks, this one goes out to you from KISS” and then SLAMMED IT.

Hard and loud.

It wasn’t what the crowd expected. But they went wild. Like jumping up and down wild. And that one dude from KISS…came out and dance in the middle of it all. People weren’t trying to do the best moves. They weren’t trying to show off, hook up, or anything.

For those few minutes, people were simply dancing joyfully. The feeling of oneness between the DJ, the crowd, and the song is one I simply cannot describe. It’s a feeling I think that Prince would have loved.

 

Categories: Main

NorWesCon 2016

March 8, 2016 Comments off

Luke, I am a Jedi...

It’s the time of year again, when I dust off the blog and post my NorWesCon schedule. I’ve got a pretty light year, with only 7 panels! Go me! I’m moderating most of them, so I really should email the panelists so we’re all on the same page regarding the discussion.

First, the non-panel things. We’ll have an OrcaCon table in the Club Table row. If you’re at NorWesCon, you can drop by and say hello. We’ll be handing out ribbons and promoting OrcaCon 2017. We’ll have a suite this year for #NachosBeerCon, which is really just having a quiet space to play games, eat nachos, and drink beer.

Now, on to the panel schedule!

Thursday:

Make a Gaming Night Recipe Book / 4:00 PM-5:00 PM – Cascade 12
A good thing to have for gaming nights is a recipe book with quick recipes that can be dished up away from the table, including good meals that are friendly to all participants and don’t get in the way of the evening’s games. For bonus nerd points you can give the recipes nerd themed names, which we’ll definitely be doing … because nerds.
Elizabeth Guizzetti (M), Lilith Whitewolf, Ogre Whiteside, SunnyJim Morgan, Donna Prior

Friday:

Non-Traditional Gamers Speak / Fri 1:00 PM-2:00 PM – Evergreen 1&2
Come hear how gaming is and be an even more inclusive environment.
Donna Prior (M), J. F. High, Burton Gamble, Mickey Schulz

Saturday:

Video Games 101 / Sat 12:00 PM-1:00 PM – Cascade 5&6
FPS, MMO, RTS, MOBA… What do these acronyms mean? How do I select a console or platform that suits my needs? How do I manage my time and not miss dinner? How do I deal with harassment and trolls? What’s good etiquette for various online interactions? If you’ve asked any one of these questions or have similar queries, come ask our panel of experts.
Donna Prior (M), Elizabeth Sampat, Jonny Nero Action Hero, Annie Bellet, Burton Gamble

Internet & Real Life Trolls / Sat 4:00 PM-5:00 PM – Cascade 7&8
From Gamergaters to Rabid Puppies to the person who just doesn’t think that being “PC” is important… How does this affect the real people who are being subjected to mistreatment? What can we do take a stand against it? Should we and how should we?
Donna Prior (M), Mickey Schulz, Elizabeth Sampat, Rafeal Richardson

Is Fandom More Diverse & Accepting? / Sat 6:00 PM-7:00 PM – Cascade 7&8
The idea that fandom and SF/F is more accepting and diverse is often bandied around. Is that true? How do we move beyond the oppressive tropes? And what can we do to be aware of creating a truly accepting environment? How do we build inclusive communities?
Rafeal Richardson (M), Donna Prior, Brenna Clarke Gray, Sheye Anne Blaze

Sunday:
Geek Policing: Don’t Do It / Sun 1:00 PM-2:00 PM – Cascade 9
Geek policing and gate-keeping happens when someone evinces interest in something of the nerdy persuasion, and someone else starts quizzing them on it like nerddom is the Ivy League. It’s not okay. And we—all of us nerds of all races, genders, orientations, and ages—need to stop it. Period.
Donna Prior (M), Jeff Harris, Shubzilla, J. Rachel Edidin, Jonny Nero Action Hero

Star Wars: A (New) New Hope / Sun 3:00 PM-4:00 PM – Cascade 10
The Force Awakens came out last December, and fan passions are running deep. Was it a brilliant update that brought the saga to a new generation? Or a lens-flared fiasco of Jar-Jarian proportions? Either way, Disney is going all-in on all things Star Wars, so there’s much, much more on the way.
Donna Prior (M), Rafeal Richardson, Dee Wright, Jeremy Zimmerman, David Fooden

Categories: Main
%d bloggers like this: