Anyhow, it's back and way bigger than ever -- more games, more designers, more everything. If you don't mind a post-hurricane landscape, and are interested in game design, I urge you to come out to Morristown, New Jersey this weekend and dive in yourself. Darren Watts has headed up a major expansion in the seminar track, with the results you see before you. Herewith my Metatopia schedule:
Friday, November 2
7:00PM - 8:00PM: "The Coolest Game You Never Heard Of" presented by James Ernest, Kenneth Hite, Jason Morningstar, Cam Banks, Nathan Paoletta, Brennan Taylor & Others. Join our Guests of Honor and several additional talented designers for a discussion about their favorite obscure game that influenced them. What did we learn, why do we love them, and why do they remain obscure? This discussion will address both role playing and board/card games. Visit the IPR booth to buy your copies after the panel!
8:00PM - 9:00PM: "My Dearest Failure: Games That Didn't Work and Why" presented by Jason Morningstar, Kenneth Hite & Rob Donoghue. Sometimes it just doesn't work out. Join us for a discussion of games that never got made despite the best of intentions, and what lessons we can learn from the wreckage.
Saturday, November 3
11:00AM - 12:00PM: "Mission Statements and Elevator Pitches" presented by Kenneth Hite & Bill White. "What's this game about?" You have 20 seconds or less to sell your product to interested parties. How do you make the most of that time? There's an art to it that can be practiced and refined, and the answers can help keep you focused as you finish the design.
2:00PM - 3:00PM: "An Hour With Kenneth Hite" presented by Kenneth Hite. Join Guest of Honor Kenneth Hite for a discussion of the principles of setting design. The setting - be it a whole galaxy or a single palace - helps define your game. Setting constrains plot and defines character; it's what the designer brings to the table before anyone else sits down. This seminar takes setting design down to its fundamentals, and builds up from there.
4:00PM - 6:00PM: "The Role Playing and Story Games Roundtable" presented by Kenneth Hite & Jason Morningstar. Led by several of our special guests, this discussion will focus on the art of designing role playing and story games and the elements necessary to catch the players' imaginations. Particular emphasis on new concepts and how to push the envelope.
6:00PM - 7:00PM: "Should You Self-Publish?" presented by Kenneth Hite, Amanda Valentine, Nathan Paoletta & Darren Watts. You've designed, prototyped, playtested, refined and now it's time to decide: Publish it yourself, or make a deal with an existing publisher. Come discuss the pros and cons of both approaches.
Sunday, November 4
2:00PM - 3:00PM: "Writing History Into Game Design" presented by Kenneth Hite & Bill White. Our panelists speak to how they've personally used historical events to inspire and influence their game design, and how they've seen it done to good effect by other designers.