Guests of Honour

John Butterfield

Upon graduating Parsons School of Design in New York City, John worked as an illustrator and animator until discovering that he might make a living from his lifelong passion for board games. Starting at SPI in 1978, he developed Battles for the Ardennes, Battle for Stalingradand Fifth Corps; co-designed Freedom in the Galaxy, and then designed Voyage of the Pandora, Dawn of the Dead and Battle over Britain. Upon the demise of SPI he joined Victory Games to co-design Ambush! and design Hell’s Highway.

A long break from board games followed, during which John designed the first online fantasy baseball game, Baseball Manager for Prodigy Services, and for several years applied his game design skills to interactive exhibits and software for museums.

In 2008 John returned to board game design with D-Day at Omaha Beach, followed by RAF: The Battle of Britain, D-Day at Tarawa, Enemy Action: Ardennes, D-Day at Peleliu, and WWII Commander: Battle of the Bulge – the iOS game and the forthcoming board game. 2018 saw the publication of SpaceCorp, John’s first game for one to four players. Currently, he is designing Enemy Action: Kharkov, expansions for SpaceCorp and another volume in the WWII Commander series. During the day, John works for Facebook as a UX design lead.

Mandi Hutchinson

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.

Melissa Lewis-Gentry

Melissa Lewis-Gentry is a business consultant specializing in analog game sales, marketing, and production. She established herself in the game industry as the Director of Sales and Marketing for John Wick Presents, publisher of the award winning RPG 7th Sea, and prior to that as the Business Manager for Modern Myths, a hobby comic and game store. Melissa is passionate about the business of games, and making sure designers and artists have the tools they need for success. You can find out more about her at

Chris Spivey

Chris Spivey writes and develops role-playing games, bringing to it his decades-old love of gaming, horror, and history, and a mission to create a more inclusive gaming world. His groundbreaking and critically acclaimed game Harlem Unbound won 3 Gold Ennies and the IGDN Groundbreaker award. Some of his other contributions can be found in Cthulhu Confidential, 7th Sea: Land of Fire and Gold, Geist 2nd Edition, Trail of Cthulhu: Out of the Woods and Thousand Years of Night. Future work includes Harlem Unbound Second Edition, City of Mist, a modern-day superhero Pulp Cthulhu campaign and he is the Line Developer for a new RPG science fiction line for Chaosium.

Nikki Valens

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).

Industry Guests

Coming soon!

Check out 2018’s guests here!

Check out 2017’s guests here!

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