Learn more about our awesome guests!
Alan is a psychology professor that designs games and draws inappropriate comics. His gaming journey began with playtesting for others. This naturally led to designing games on his own. Then, one fate spangled evening, he met Sean McCoy in Las Vegas. Their love was hard and fast, and since he had already proposed to his girlfriend using a tabletop game, he felt that an equally appropriate proposal for Sean was a partnership in which they would publish beautiful games. They wanted to make games that would inspire and echo the fun they found in their own togetherness.
Elaine & Efka are No Pun Included, or in Quintin Smith’s words: “the second best board game reviewers in the world.” Obviously they are flattered and take umbrage with that quote at the same time and ever since they have been looking for an opportunity to challenge it. Is their bio blurb on the SHUX convention page the right place to do it? Perhaps. Perhaps it’s misguided or perhaps it’s a quirky meta attempt at humour. Either way, everything is an experiment with these two and so is this.
Jonathan is a game designer, author, and illustrator currently residing in sunny San Diego. His design credits include Star Wars: Imperial Assault, Warhammer 40k, Forbidden Stars, DOOM the Board Game, A Game of Thrones the Trivia Game, Nickelodeon’s Splat Attack, and Bargain Quest. He has strong opinions on competitive game design, fictional narrative structure, and soup dumplings.
Tim is a designer of board and video games. He loves creating unique experiences through games. He loves mixing boardgames and videogames in unexpected ways. He is the creator of the chinese restaurant boardgame Wok Star, the word-deckbuilders Paperback & Hardback, the heist boardgame Burgle Bros and Fugitive the deduction game.
Isaac is a strong, proud, independent woman that don’t need no man. He has an unhealthy addiction to Anime and has been black listed by Square-Enix due to his obsessive fascination with Final Fantasy. After being introduced to Plaid Hat Games, by his overly intrusive mother back in 2010, Colby Dauch has taken this budding designer under his wing and propelled Isaac into the wonderful world of board games. As the designer of Dead of Winter, Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn, Starship Samurai, and other hits, Isaac Vega is true force of gaming.
Mandi is a member of The Dice Tower Team where she co-hosts the bi-weekly Dice Tower podcast with Suzanne Sheldon and also appears on The Dice Tower’s Monday night “Teach and Plays” with co-host Michael Corneau. She also creates video reviews with co-host Caryl Tan on the To Die For Games YouTube Channel, of which she is the Founder. Mandi likes to be busy so some of her other hobbies include: snowboarding, football, makeup artistry and sewing. Favourite games that you can find on her shelf are: Viticulture, Food Chain Magnate, Caverna and Trajan, just to name a few. She enjoys pinup fashion and is easily recognizable by her hair colour.
Steve Wolfhard graduated from Sheridan’s Classical Animation program in 2003. He worked as a character designer on Studio B’s Being Ian, Pucca, and Kid vs. Kat. He illustrated the Zombie Chasers series for Harper Collins and released the comics Cat Rackham Loses It!, Turtie Needs Work, and The Collected Cat Rackham with Koyama Press. He currently lives in Ontario with his wife Leslie and their two cats and is an Emmy-nominated storyboard artist on the Cartoon Network series Adventure Time.
Daniel is a professional animator and…’YouTuber’? That felt bad to write. He does run two YouTube channels, though! A channel about video game animation called New Frame Plus, and it’s sister channel, PlayFrame. Also I was formerly the voice, showrunner and co-creator of Extra Credits. Wait, was this supposed to be written in third person? HE was formerly the voice. Can I start over?
Jennifer will give any non professional a run for their money in Scrabble. She plays Star Wars Imperial Assault competitively. She’s fished for and eaten piranha. For more interesting Jennifer facts, stop her at SHUX and ask to try her game demo.
Ali is the producer of the actual play podcast Friends at the Table, and has been swinging swords and falling for her enemies since the show first started in 2014. As a producer, she works to find the best way to polish the narrative without losing the experience and joy of sitting down to tell a story with your friends. As a player, she’s always willing to put up with pesky “rules” and “dice” to make the story a little more interpersonal, romantic, and messy.
Nels started Caledonia, a video game studio working on its first (unannounced) title. Previously he was a game designer for Firewatch, lead designer on Mark of the Ninja, and is probably Canada’s only game developer born & raised in Wyoming. He is one half of Canada’s greatest Netrunner podcast, Terminal7.
Game developer of the programming variety. Working at Unity. Shipped Firewatch, the Bureau, Minerva’s Den, Bioshock 2, and Spiderman 3.
Josh has been playing tabletop games since he was 8, when he received a copy of the Holmes D&D box, and hasn’t stopped since. He’s the designer of Fox in the Forest and Foresight and co-designer of Hocus, and has developed games for several companies.
Game developer @ Ubisoft Toronto, formerly Bethesda (76, Fallout 4, Skyrim, Fallout 3, Oblivion, Bloodrayne 2), occasional speaker & gnomic aphorist.
Aaron is a teacher-librarian who spends way too much time thinking about tabletop gaming. He has been trying to use board games in his library more and more, because who doesn’t want to play board games while doing their job, right? He has been producing the Boards Alive podcast for the last 4 1/2 years. He also listens to way too many gaming podcasts and knows more than he should about all the hot new games. Aaron loves to play RPGs as well, both GMing and playing as a character, and he’s always looking for a way to make his RPG experience more immersive.
Linsae’s dream gaming night would be a rousing RPG session surrounded by frosty beverages and lots of snacks, but as she is surrounded by board game enthusiasts, she is often forced to try new games and then talk about them on the Boards Alive Podcast. Linsae despises people or games that take themselves too seriously, and she is probably most well known (and loved) for her negative zingers, Linsae Reviews. Last year, Linsae began running her own mini-podcast on the Boards Alive channel, It’s DATENIGHT, a short show that focuses on games to play with your favourite date.
Hoby wants to bring the whole family back to the games table. He is a father of two who believes that life is far too short to turn loved ones away from game nights. It is his desire to bridge the gap between generations of gamers and promote the social, educational, and cognitive benefits of board games for all ages!
Hoby has been a fan of playing games his entire life, but it was after witnessing the gaming potential of his young daughter that he was inspired to create something special. Not long later, My Little Scythe was born.
If it’s fun for Vienna, she’ll likely want to excel at it. Vienna was introduced to board games at the age of 3 and has enjoyed beating her parents in games ever since. But instead of playing more trivial kids games, Vienna has always wanted to play what the adults played. By the age of 5, Vienna was able to grasp games like Zombicide, Blood Rage, and Scythe. After telling her dad that she wanted to create a game for her friends, the daughter-daddy pair created the first prototype of My Little Scythe–a game inspired by Scythe but with a My Little Pony twist. When she’s not gaming or dreaming up new games, Vienna loves reading, swimming, gymnastics, Netflix, and her new role as an older sister.
Ross is a passionate advocate of board game art, running an interview website called More Games Please. The site was created to spotlight the work of those behind tabletop artwork and he interviews his guests to shed light on both their processes and inspiration but also their personal stories. He’s also an enthusiastic photographer, running an Instagram account under the same name where he regularly posts updates of the games he’s playing taken with his trusted DSLR.
Jay Cormier is the less Asian half of the handsome game designer duo known as the Bamboozle Brothers. Together they have almost taken over the world with their infamous designs (note: change ‘taken over’ to ‘been noticed by’ and ‘infamous’ with ‘pretty decent’). Their biggest game is Belfort. Belfort and Akrotiri. Two…their two biggest games are Belfort and Akrotiri…and Junk Art. Three…Their three biggest games are Belfort, Akrotiri and Junk Art….and Rock Paper Wizard….Damn. Amongst their designs, they have such diverse elements as Belfort, Akrotiri, Junk Art and Rock Paper Wizard and But Wait There’s More…I’ll come in again.
Jay Cormier is the less Asian half of the handsome game designer duo known as the Bamboozle Brothers. Together they have designed a lot of games.
Jay has taught game design at Vancouver Film School for the last 5 years. He has also designed multiple escape rooms for corporate purposes. Basically, if it’s game related, Jay has done it or wants to do it!
Ryan is a high school English teacher and father of two young children from Lynnwood, Washington. In late 2016, he designed a fan campaign for Scythe, which eventually led Jamey Stegmaier to reach out to him about co-designing the third Scythe expansion, The Rise of Fenris. Overjoyed at the opportunity to work with one of his favorite game designers on an expansion for one of his favorite games, he jumped at the opportunity.
He has hopes of publishing his own original game someday, but in the meantime he carries on his duties as husband, father, and teacher. Hobbies that board gaming, game design, and fatherhood have forced him to put on hold for a while include bagpiping with his wife, studying Japanese, basketball, tennis, and martial arts.
Quinten is an elementary teacher who, while trying to teach kids the basics, is also trying to show them the essentials of gaming and having fun. He is half of the Boards Alive Podcast where he pretends to know what he’s talking about. He always loves playing board games and tabletop RPGs and tries to immerse himself in them whenever possible. Even when not playing games he is at least listening to more podcasts than he can keep up with. Quinten hopes to be involved in the hobby for as long as the hobby will let him, which hopefully will be forever!
Adrienne Ezell – Memphis,TN
Game Designer, Shogunate – 2018, Freelance Art Director, Marketer, and Designer.
A passion for gaming meets over a decade of marketing and design experience, resulting in playing every day *for* work! Board games are Adrienne’s favorite sandbox, the reward is bringing people together for fun, in a box. Getting to do it every day for work? THE. BEST.
She is passionate about bringing games to life with graphics. Known for details that make each card and page special, Adrienne’s nuanced touches immerse players in the game. She focuses on the gaming experience – how we want players to feel when they play a game.
Something she finds equally rewarding is game design itself. She starts with all the bells and whistles and then pares things away till she finds the fun and gets the mechanics to marry with the theme. Her games have rules that are easy to digest and quick to get to the table.
Alex is a game designer based in Brooklyn. He makes the games Monikers, Pitch Deck, and some other ones that he’ll show you if you ask. Before working in games, Alex helped start Kepler, a Rwanda-based university network that combines online and offline courses to reduce the cost of higher education in Africa.
Janine is a cast member on the actual play podcast Friends at the Table, and is known in large part for her willingness to evoke disgust and distress in her fellow players by introducing things like a race of people inspired by the last panels of The Enigma of Amigara Fault, or a crabwalking horse with a dog’s mouth. She’s worked as a freelance game reviewer and critic for various sites including Polygon, Waypoint, GameSpot and Paste, and is also currently writing for the upcoming game Hitman 2.
Clayton wanted to play a MegaGame so hard that he ended up getting a group to run them. In addition to making crazy things happen in the Pacific Northwest, he’s also a software engineer making VR games. He likes strategy games for their mind-tickling puzzliness, and social games for their messy inter-player antics. He is a founding member of Seattle MegaGames. He has cropped a cake out of a picture recently. Like others of his culture, he has an interest in board games and independent video games. He actually likes Monopoly.
Ally found herself dragged into Seattle MegaGames with the first game of Watch the Skies. A long-time tabletop RPG and board game player, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Now she regularly herds cats into running megagames, in addition to GMing tabletop games, and hosting a podcast. Professionally she’s held jobs in assorted disciplines in the video game industry, knowing just enough about things to get herself into trouble.
Evan took one look at a MegaGame and said “this must happen more”. A lifelong lover of games of all types, he found the sheer scale of player interactions and moving parts in a MegaGame to be a dream come true. He is a founding member of Seattle MegaGames, and has spent a decade as User Interface Engineer helping design and implement new ways for players to interact with video games.
Sen is the short, Asian half of the versatile tabletop design team, the Bamboozle Brothers. They have covered a diverse range of games from the Euro strategy game Belfort to But Wait, There’s More!, a party game about pitching wacky products, to the 2-player Akrotiri, to Junk Art, a family-friendly dexterity game. As Sen has gained critical success in the industry, he has been asked to design games featuring some of fandom’s most beloved properties such as Orphan Black (with Jay Cormier), The Legend of Korra (with Jessey Wright), and Dungeons & Dragons: Rock Paper Wizard (with Jay Cormier and Josh Cappell). He is highly sought-after as a developer to add that final “je ne sais quoi” and bring other people’s games to completion. Sen has also begun to put pen to paper on the RPG side of tabletop design, contributing scenarios and settings to Kids on Bikes (the brainchild of Doug Levandowski and Jonathan Gilmour) and Gears of Defiance (from indie stalwart Ryan Schoon).
Sen is a well-regarded personality in the design-o-sphere, co-hosting The Meeple Syrup Show webcast and speaking academically at the University of Waterloo and Wilfred Laurier and as a panelist or moderator at Gen Con, SHUX, Breakout Con, FanExpo, GenreCon, Forest City ComiCon, AnimeNorth, ProtoTO and ProtoATL. He loves talking about game design, so reach out anytime!
Art is a cast member on Friends at the Table. Since being introduced to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons at nine years-old he has played dozens of characters in various campaigns and one-shots and created untold hundreds for all the games that never came together for one reason or another. He is most interested in dramatic irony, clever mechanics, and googling pictures of cute animals.
Matthew is a freelance experience designer and games consultant. Having spent a decade working on digital games, he founded Do Better Games and released Bring Your Own Book. He’s at SHUX thanks to an opportunity to collaborate with Seattle MegaGames on a new concept. Matthew loves unusual mechanics, house rules for Risk 2210, and dreaming about how to shoehorn golf into everything. His day job is making holograms at Microsoft. And yes, he will play crokinole with you.
Nick is an award-winning illustrator from Boston working in the amazing world of tv animation. Now residing in LA, Nick also co-owns Lay Waste Games, publishers of Dragoon, Human Era, and Heads Will Roll. Some of his favorite things include drinking too much soda, eating too many tacos, and playing all the games.
Trond is a researcher, software engineer, and game designer. His interests include virtual and augmented reality game design, the use of games for learning, social change, problem solving, and much more. He is a founding member of Seattle MegaGames, a veteran designer of large scale live role-playing and grand strategy games, and Director of Development at Virtual Therapeutics, a company using games to improve the lives of people undergoing long-term illness.
Accustomed to choosing those who live or die in battle, creative direction and game design are a breeze for this stalwart Valkyrie. Lindsey spreads her logistical wings at Dog Might Games to bring the best in creative direction, game design, and computer-exploding powers (seriously she breaks anything not made of cardboard). She has worked on multiple game titles such as Countdown: Action Edition, Bayou Bash, and Darkness Comes Rattling: War of the Spirits. She spends her spare time racing 6-legged horses and trying to teach random dogs how to sit.
Jenn hails from Australia and is driven by the idea of games that forster friendship, curiosity and challenge. As the founder of Inquisiment, Jenn’s ambition is to create a world of games that emphasize cooperation rather than competition.
Jenn’s always loved games but her modern gaming career evolved from her days at Team Bondi, Media Saints and Disney/Playdom where she was a key developer in games focused on character behaviour, education, and hidden objects. In 2009, she became an independent game developer, determined to build games that challenged conventional game mechanics. Her determination led her to come up with 52 game ideas in 52 weeks and then complete a new challenge to finish 12 games in 12 continuous months. She is currently creating a cookbook of a dozen edible games.
When she’s not focused on building games, you can find Jenn exploring her local neighbourhood, posting about brooches, lindy hopping, and adding to her collection of gourmet chocolates.
The following lists are completed, playable games that Jenn has developed or contributed to. They are divided into two categories: Digital and Non-Digital. Games are listed in reverse chronological order, i.e. with the latest games at the top.
Mike is the developer of such games as Lords of Vegas, the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Unspeakable Words, and Betrayal at House on the Hill. He’s the president of the Seattle game company Lone Shark Games, whose games include the recently released Apocrypha Adventure Card Game, The Maze of Games puzzle novel, and the Ninth World and Thornwatch games. Mike also dabbles in politics with his advocacy group Basket of Adorables and their satire book The Ghastlytrump Tinies.
Jesse is a game developer, comedy writer, political activist, and co-founder of Seattle MegaGames. He helps run large-scale gaming events throughout the US & Canada. He’s also the creator of Supreme Courtship, the dating game where you date young, sexy versions of the current US Supreme Court Justices! One day, he’ll run the perfect RPG – just you wait.
Beth is a board game illustrator living in Bellingham, WA, with her husband and two unruly cats. Her hobbies include board gaming and… well, that’s mostly it. Almost entirely board gaming, and an occasional tromp around nature. She’s also not very good at writing about herself in third person. She supposes she could practice, but there are board games to be played, and she has priorities.
Nick Trujillo (tru-hee-yo) is a Seattle-based illustrator, animator, and storyboard artist who specializes in portraiture, environments, and character design. His clients include Microsoft, Amazon, Penny Arcade, Cards Against Humanity, and Lone Shark Games. When he’s not drawing, streaming, or playing games, he is likely on a side-quest for ice-cream.
Jesse “The Drawbarian” Turner is an artist and game developer out of Vancouver, BC. He also co-hosts the Terminal7, a Netrunner podcast where they (Jesse & Nels Anderson) discussed Netrunner, sometimes in the context of video games, sometimes just in terms of strategy, design or anything else fascinating about the game. He’s pretty loud and draws pretty fast.
Nikki is a game designer and advocate for inclusivity in gaming. She believes that games should bring joy and love into the world and unite all those who play them. Her designs include Eldritch Horror, Mansions of Madness Second Edition, Legacy of Dragonholt, and Arkham Horror Third Edition. She also has a love for animals, internet memes, and terrible puns (but we won’t hold that against her).
Justin is a game designer based in Chicago. He is the co-creator of Monikers and is working on a couple new tabletop projects that focus on strong player interaction and collaboration. Outside of games, Justin is a cool dad and public interest attorney working in environmental law.
Austin is the editor-in-chief of VICE’s gamign website, Waypoint, as well as the GM and host of Friends at the Table, an actual play podcast focused on critical worldbuilding, smart characterization, and fun interaction between good friends. Before his career as a critic, journalist, and podcaster, he studied the intersection of play and labor at Calarts and the University of Western Ontario, where he was a Research Associate in the Digital Labour Group. His appreciation for giant mechs, sad orcs, and genre deconstruction is only outshone by his love of collaborative, systems-driven storytelling.
Fred is a narrative designer and RPG writer with over 15 years in the industry. He spent 12 years as one of the Story Leads for the Legend of the Five Rings collectible card game and roleplaying game. Since then, he has written and consulted for both the tabletop and video game industries. Some of his current projects include working with Muse Games as a narrative consultant, writing for the Mutants & Masterminds RPG, and being a member of the Story Team for the Doomtown CCG. He regularly speaks at conventions such as PAX West, Magfest, and Shut Up & Sit Down Expo about gaming industry topics and storytelling in games.
Scott is the author of 23 novels, five for adults and 18 for young adults. He’s best known for the Uglies quartet, set in a future where cosmetic surgery is compulsory at age sixteen. Scott is returning to the Uglies world with four new novels, starting with Impostors, out Sept. 11, 2018.
He’s also known for the Leviathan trilogy, a steampunk retelling of World War I, illustrated by Keith Thompson. His books have won the Philip K Dick Special Citation, the Aurealis Award, the Victorian Premier’s Award, and have been named NY Times Notable Books and BBYA Top Ten Children’s Books of the Year.
Scott’s greatest accomplishment is, of course, his three Powerpuff Girl choose-your-own-adventure books. He has also played D&D with Dave Arneson.
Game breaker by day, scream peddler by night, and always a man of mystery (but only in the continental United States). Witt has once again dove head first into something he didn’t know existed. He is one of the founding members of Seattle Megagames and has spent over a decade giving game devs nightmares.
Josh is an editor and usability developer, working to bring clarity and ease to learning and playing games. He’s edited or developed over a hundred games, including Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right and the second edition of Kingsburg, and he’s currently deep in the trenches with Vast: The Mysterious Manor. He’s entirely too likely to be found drinking orange-vanilla seltzer and gets really too hyped if you give him more than a little caffeine, so be careful.
Eric is a veteran game designer with more than 2 decades of industry experience. For nine years, he ran his own award-winning studio Gamelab, which helped invent casual games with hit titles like Diner Dash, as well as make innovative games like Gamestar Mechanic, an online community that lets players create games. Pre-Gamelab titles include the PC title Gearheads and the indie pioneer SiSSYFiGHT 2000. In recent years, Eric has created game installations with architect Nathalie Pozzi for museums including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. He designs tabletop games like the card game Metagame (with Local No. 12) and the strategy boardgame Quantum. Eric is the co-author of Rules of Play and the Game Design Reader and co-founded The Institute of Play, a nonprofit that opened a school in NYC based on games and play as the model for learning. He is a founding faculty and Arts Professor at the NYU Game Center.