More information about Breakout 2018’s awesome guests will be available soon. Follow our news feed for future announcements.
Maury Brown is the President and co-founder of Learn Larp, LLC and Snow Dragon Games and the lead designer and organizer of the blockbuster larp New World Magischola, which more than 1,000 people have participated in since it opened in 2016. She’s the designer of A Wolf By Any Other Name, a modular larp-in-a-box that can have between 6 and 25 players, and one of the writers of the Compendium of North American Cryptids and Magical Creatures, a book of creatures based on North American folklore as well as original lore. Brown is also the designer of Immerton, a new fantasy world and 4-day immersive larp experience by and for women, and the publisher and co-developer of the new wizard school adventure board game, New World Magischola House Rivalry. She has spoken at conventions and conferences worldwide about inclusive and differentiated larp design; player-centered design; missing stairs, harassment, and community management in gaming communities; safety coordination, conduct policies, and emotional labor in gaming communities; safety and calibration techniques for larps and RPGs; and inclusive design principles for game design and play. She is also a roleplay studies scholar and has published work on building empathy through gaming, trauma triggers and their effect on play, gender in larps, and feminist and queer game design. She firmly believes in the power of roleplay to change lives and improve the world, and designs and publishes games that bring people together and challenge oppressive norms.
Jacqueline “Jax” Bryk is a freelance writer and game designer from Delaware. Though she’s only 24, she’s no stranger to the industry, having won the Golden Cobra Award for Most Convention-Ready Design and being a featured guest at BreakoutCon 2017. Apart from Growling Door Games, Jacqueline has written for Onyx Path Publishing, Helmgast AB, Galileo Games, and Damocles Thread Development.
In her spare time, she likes to yell at games like Civilization V and Crusader Kings II, model for photographers and visual artists, avoid arguments about politics, and attempt recipes she saw on Iron Chef America once.
You can subscribe to her monthly serial novel about magical queer anarchists at Damocles Thread Development on Patreon.“
Helaina Cappel was born and bred in Toronto. She is so excited to spend another year as a guest at Breakout. Helaina is best know for co-designing Foodfighters and her upcoming Kickstarter campaign Haunt the House. She is also the Chief Gamer at KTBG (aka Kids Table Board Gaming), a company that publishes kids games for adults.
In her spare time (haha!) she is a full time teacher with the Toronto District School Board, where she is often found using games to teach the curriculum. She also runs a very successful game club and has been doing this for many years.
Christopher Challice is an avid gamer and mythology buff who lives in Ottawa Ontario. As a camp counselor, game master, and writer he’s been telling stories for over 25 years. He grew up engrossed in fantasy/sci-fi. He studied the classics at Trent University. He crafted his own mythology while telling campfire stories in Jungle Cat World Orono. Over the years he’s shared articles, stories, and adventure books.
Learn more about Chris at his website The Tao of Chall
Christopher Chung is the designer of Lanterns: The Harvest Festival, winner of the 2015 Mensa Select award. Lanterns was also nominated for the 2016 SXSW Tabletop Game of the Year, 2015 Golden Geek Family Board Game and 2015 Dice Tower Gaming Awards Best Family Game. He Graduated with a B.Comm from Ryerson University and Seneca College. He loves hockey, piano soundtracks, underground hip-hop, and staying up late at night to design more games or binge-watching anime.
Jonathan Gilmour is a Board Game Designer from NW Ohio. His credits include Co-designer of Dead of Winter: A Crosssroads Game, Wasteland Express Delivery Service, and Dinosaur Island. His greatest weaknesses are writing Bios, and the color green. He loves long walks on the beach and playtesting games. Sometimes at the same time. His favorite color is Orange, so please let him have that as a player color. His favorite games are Cosmic Encounter, Nations, and Hanabi. His least favorite game is “The What Game Should We Play” game. He and his wife have four children, with the goal of having a built-in game group any time they want it.
Glenn Given is the co-founder and principle designer for Games by Play Date an independent design and publishing studio in southern New Hampshire. He is the chief designer behind the fanfiction party game Slash: Romance Without Boundaries a game which has the honor of being strongly disliked by both the Cards Against Humanity staff, Board Game reviewer luminary Tom Vasel and a very vocal segment of the Supernatural TV series fanbase. Glenn has also designed and published games about:
He currently lives in the very Lovecraftian woods of New Hampshire and continues to focus on making games for underserved sections of the gaming audience.
Derek is the Toronto-based designer of the card-based story game: Hope Inhumanity and its expansion Martial Law. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic landscape where characters attempt to survive a journey to a more hopeful place.
Derek spent years immersed in indie role playing games like Burning Wheel, Dread, Fiasco and Apocalypse World. His desire to design games was ignited after meeting the game designers who created the games he loved playing. He enjoys exploring the gray area at the intersection of board games and role playing games, where there’s room for great games that incorporate the best of both.
Rachel Kahn illustrates for, playtests, writes and teaches with tabletop RPGs. You can see her work in the upcoming Yellow King RPG, as well as within Trouble for Hire, The Warren, and Perilous Almanacs. Rachel Kahn also self-publishes small system-agnostic adventures in her Pocket Dungeons format, including Keep on the Shining Isle. You can learn more about her artwork at portablecity.net and pick up her games, artwork and comics like By Crom! at portablecity.bigcartel.com
Jonathan Lavallee is a game designer from Toronto. He’s been making games for over 13 years now, from larger product lines like CyberGeneration to Chill 3rd edition, to smaller games like Gaesa and Critical!: Go Westerly. Currently he’s working on a collaborative teenage detective storytelling game called We Used To Be Friends and will be joining the Hand Eye Society as part of the Artist in Residency program at the Toronto Oakwood Public Library. There he’s going to be talking to kids about “screenless games” as well as working on a new collaborative game where you play “monsters” trying to reintegrated into society called Third Life.
Sen-Foong Lim is the short, Asian half of the versatile tabletop design team, the Bamboozle Brothers. Since 2011, they have covered a diverse range of games from the Euro-styled strategy “Belfort” to “But Wait, There’s More!”, the party game about pitching wacky products, to “Junk Art”, a family-oriented 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 and is a sought-after developer when publishers and designers need that extra je ne sais quoi to bring the game to it’s final form.
Sen also hosts the weekly design-centric webcasts, the Meeple Syrup Show with an aim to amplify diverse voices within the game design community and industry. Sen has spoken at University of Waterloo, Wilfred Laurier University, and Sheridan College about designing games and has moderated or participated on panels at Gen Con, Breakout Con, FanExpo, PAX Unplugged, Metatopia, and Forest City ComiCon, He wants to share his experience with others so they, too, can make great games!
Brent is an elementary school teacher, artist, and a game enthusiast. As the co-founder of Akinji Entertainment, he has often been the driving force behind our game ideation and came up with the core concepts behind both of CATaclysm’s mechanics and world. However when he isn’t teaching, playing, or making games, he is grooming his epic beard.
He loves RPGs and has been a DM/GM for close to 18 years. With a serious passion for storytelling and mythology, his flash of insights and no nonsense work ethic make him Akinji’s tour de force.
Matthew McFarland, known in some internet circles as BlackHat Matt, has been writing games professionally for nearly 20 years, which is a sobering thought. He co-owns Growling Door Games (with Michelle Lyons-McFarland), and publishes the post-apocalyptic RPG curse the darkness, Shakespeare emulator A Tragedy in Five Acts, and the new edition of the class horror RPG Chill. Matt also works as a freelance writer and developer, and recently helmed the 20th anniversary edition of Changeling: The Dreaming for Onyx Path Publishing.
Learn more about Matt at his website growlingdoorgames.com/
Fraser Ronald is an author and game designer from Ottawa, Canada’s capital. He runs Sword’s Edge Publishing, which produces role-playing game products and can be found at swordsedgepublishing.ca. His games include Sword’s Edge, Nefertiti Overdrive, Centurion, and Sword Noir. His published fiction includes “When She Was Five” in Fantastic Stories of the Imagination issue 234, “A Dead Pound of Flesh” in Black Gate issue 15, “For Simple Coin” in On Spec issue 79, and “Gifts of the Elder Gods” in the Parasitorium: Terrors Within, a horror and dark fantasy anthology.