We’re very pleased to be able to confirm that veteran boardgame designer, Eric Lang is returning again for another Breakout! With more than fifteen years of experience in designing and developing games, Eric is a very influential developer in the industry having worked with many of the biggest boardgame publishers. One of the most prolific game designers out there, Eric is also the 2016 recipient of the Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming!
Jonathan Gilmour is a Board Game Designer from Northern NY, and lives in NW Ohio. His credits include: Co-designer of Dead of Winter: A Crosssroads Game, and Vault Wars. 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.
Derek is the designer of the card-based story game: Hope Inhumanity. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic landscape where players play characters trying 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 sparked by meeting the game designers who created these games he loved playing. He loves exploring the gray area hidden in the intersection of board games and role playing games, where there’s room for great games that incorporate the best of both.
Mark Richardson is a game designer and cartographer. Mark just published his first RPG design Headspace exploring shared consciousness cyberpunk. Mark has spent the last 17 years making maps professionally for the Canadian Government and has provided his cartography skills to a variety of RPGs including 7th Sea 2nd Edition, Urban Shadows, Project Dark, No Country for Old Kobolds and King Wens Tower. Mark lives in Ottawa, Canada.
Corey Reid oversees the collaborative fantasy pulp setting Dino-Pirates of Ninja Island, and is the author of a number of related works. There are a number of role-playing games based on this setting, derived from original platforms including Fate, d20, Old School Hack and even the Leverage RPG. He’ll be running a sampling of these games at BreakoutCon, introducing players to the prehistoric swashbucklingkung-fu adventure that is Dino-Pirates of Ninja Island.
Nicole Winchester tells Americans her hometown is Toronto. Since 6ixers would call her a liar, she’ll tell the truth at Breakout: she grew up in Peterborough, Ontario, where she kicked off her RPG career by acting in an improv soap based on Vampire: The Masquerade. She finds adventure by travelling the world, exploring the city, and playing and making games. Her work can be found in Tribe 8, The Fate Codex, Indie Mixtape Vol. 2, and at games.cultureaddicthistorynerd.com. She is also a social media producer and strategist, and owner of #partytime social media events, specializing in social for entertainment and live events. She can be found online @noizangel.
Todd Crapper (yes, you read that right) is a multiple-ENnie nominee, recipient of the 2013 Judges Spotlight Award for Killshot: The Director’s Cut, creator of RPGs such as Killshot, ScreenPlay and others and the owner/lead designer of Broken Ruler Games. Originally from the Toronto area, he has refused to return to the city that birthed him… until now! Currently living in the middle of nowhere over an hour outside of Ottawa, he’s also one of four co-hosts of the Ottawa Game Publishers podcast with fellow attendees Jason Pitre, Mark Richardson and Fraser Ronald. And he’s eager to talk about games, play games, smell games… ok, maybe just the first two.
Jonathan has been making games for the past 13 years. With RPGs he’s worked on CyberGeneration, Chill, and his own projects like Geasa and Critical!: Go Westerly. He’s also done a few card and board games such as the recently released J’accuse as well as Suitors and Cast Off. Ask him questions, he’ll probably answer them!
Writer and game designer Robin D. Laws created Feng Shui, Hillfolk, (winner of the coveted Diana Jones Award,) The Esoterrorists, Ashen Stars, HeroQuest, and The Gaean Reach. His fiction projects encompass eight novels, editorial duties on five anthologies and the short story collection New Tales of the Yellow Sign. He comprises one-half of the two-time ENnie-winning podcast Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff, and can be found online at robindlaws.com.
Tim W. K. Brown is a Toronto Canada based game designer and member of the Game Artisans of Canada. His second game “Quartex” is now available in 10 countries including Canada, United States, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy and India!
Order of invention, his next published game will be released in 2017
Tim is an avid gamer and can be quite often seen at the T.A.B.S. events in the Toronto Area and at the monthly designers night at Snakes & Lattes.
Learn more about Tim at his website www.timwkbrown.com
Alex Roberts is a glowing ball of energy who wants to bring meaningful experiences of play to the whole darn world. Her acclaimed interview show Backstory, on the ONE SHOT podcast network, features insightful and thought-provoking interviews with designers, scholars, organizers and more from across live-action and tabletop role-playing communities. She freelances for companies like Thorny Games, Angry Hamster Publishing, Burning Wheel HQ, and Bully Pulpit Games, while her non-fiction reporting has appeared in outlets like Storycade and VICE. Her first non-digital game, Tension, is due out in early 2018.
Lindsey started role playing when she was nine years old and hasn’t looked back. Her specialty is Big Eyes Small Mouth horror-comedy games, but has begun branching out to Sailor Moon, Witch: the Fated, and Kobolds Ate My Baby. Her next big step is to run Adventures’ League Dungeons and Dragons. Lindsey loved working for Guardians of Oder (back at the turn of the century!) and was involved in research and writing for their anime line of games. She is delighted to bring her brand of fun and weirdness to Break Out this year. Let’s play!
Moyra Turkington is a Toronto native, with a background in Theatre and Cultural Studies. Before designing games, she used to larp them onstage for a live audience in Biosphere 2013, Masquerade, and Ascension. She was a major contributor for Dream Pod 9’s Tribe 8, and is the creator of the design house Unruly Designs and of War Birds – a series of powerful chamber larps and freeform tabletop games about the experience and contribution of women during WWII. She is interested in immersive, transformative and political games, and particularly in creating a multiplicity of media, design, representation and play. She writes for Gaming as Women and her older ideas on theory can be found on Sin Aesthetics. In her spare time she can be found roaming the world playing games as a larp tourist.
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. He’s been published in Knights of the Dinner Table and Polygraff Magazine. Recently he published a novel of dark Norse fantasy: Seith and Sword for Pendelhaven Press. He is currently working with them on an exciting, family oriented, story game called Vanagard.
Jacqueline “Jax” Bryk is a freelance writer and co-editor of the queer gaymes anthology. Though much of her published work has been tabletop, she primarily writes and runs American freeform LARPs, both at home and conventions. Her games focus mostly on family, love, trauma, and toxic social dynamics, all things that are close to her heart. Her game “The Porch” won the 2016 Golden Cobra for Most Convention Ready Design.
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 http://swordsedgepublishing.ca/ and has published games such as Nefertiti Overdrive, Centurion, and Sword Noir. His published fiction includes “A Dead Pound of Flesh” in Black Gateissue 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.
Fraser is also a co-host on the modern gaming podcast Accidental Survivors. His personal blog and media commentary site is Sword’s Edge.
Daryl Andrews is a full-time freelance game designer / developer and also the Game Design Manager at IDW Games. Beyond doing game design, Daryl co-hosts a weekly design-centric webcast called “The Meeple Syrup Show.” He is also a member of the Game Artisans of Canada. Some of Daryl’s most recent game designs include: Back to the Future: Outatime, Sagrada, and Fantasy Fantasy Baseball. Additionally, Daryl was the lead developer for TMNT: Shadows of the Past (designed by Kevin Wilson).
Learn more about Daryl at his website meeplesyrupshow.com
Daniel Kwan MSc. is a Toronto-based educator, archaeologist, storyteller, and co-creator of Curiosity in Focus and RollPlay. As a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, his work has taken him to Turkey, London, Paris, Jordan, and China. The primary focus of his doctoral research is the relationship between the early subsistence practices and pottery technology of the Shangshan culture (11,400 – 8600 BP) in Zhejiang Province, China. He is a member of an international research team investigating the Shangshan and the origins of rice agriculture in the lower Yangtze Valley.
In addition to his studies, Daniel is a Canadian Weblog Award nominated blogger (2013 & 2014), educational consultant, photographer, podcaster, and Toronto-based educator – working as a Studio Instructor at the Royal Ontario Museum. He is one of the co-founders of RollPlay – an organization that strives to make meaningful and engaging educational content through the use of alternative mediums such as analog gaming. He hosts a weekly podcast called “Really F***ing Cool” on iTunes and Stitcher. His writing and photography has been featured in The National Post, Guardian, Guardian Witness, Royal Ontario Museum blog, FutuReale Magazine, Roar Magazine, Savage Minds, and the Royal Ontario Museum ROMKids blog.
Find out more about Daniel on his website danielhkwan.com.
Rachel Kahn is big fan of fantasy stories and games, and illustrates them professionally. She earned her BFA in Visual Art from York University, Toronto, with a sidequest into fantasy and sci-fi cultural studies. You can see her illustration in work published by Strange Horizons, Stone Skin Press, Bully Pulpit Games and more, and she self-publishes nonfiction and fantasy comics as half of Weald Comics. She has also been mentoring and giving workshops through Dames Making Games and Community Living Toronto for four years, given lectures and run classes at George Brown College, Brock University, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Aga Khan Museum, and taught animation and illustration students at MtM College of Animation, Art and Design.
Be sure to check out her tabletop rpg related art prints, originals, books and more in her store – especially the Call of Cthulhu prints and a lovecraftian pencil case!
Andrew is the co-designer of Urban Shadows and The Forgotten, both successfully funded Kickstarter games. He has a great deal of enthusiasm for live action and tabletop roleplaying games and has created several free tabletop games based on the Apocalypse World engine; including Star Wars World, A World of Ice and Fire, Legends of the Guard and more.
Emily Care Boss of Black & Green Games is an independent role-playing game designer & publisher living in western Massachusetts, USA. Her designs include Breaking the Ice, Shooting the Moon, and Under my Skin, now collected as the Romance Trilogy. An early participant at the Forge forums and a proponent of independent publishing, she is a member of the Indie Game Developer’s Network. Emily founded JiffyCon in 2006, a regional role playing game convention showcasing independent and small press games. She has done design, fiction and setting work for Pelgrane Press, Evil Hat Productions, Ginger Goat, Cubicle 7 and others. She edited the RPG = Role Playing Girl Zine and has written articles on rpg design and theory in the WyrdCon Companion and other collections. You can find Emily’s games and other work at blackgreengames.com.
Anna Kreider is a game designer and publisher of indie tabletop roleplaying games. She has published a number of her own games, but has also freelanced for major publishing companies like Green Ronin and Onyx Path. She is also an illustrator and the author of the popular feminist gaming blog Go Make Me a Sandwich which has received more than 2 million views and currently has more than 100 supporting patrons through Patreon. Through her blog, she has been able to pursue her passion of advocating for increased diversity in the games industry.
Andrew Valkauskas is the author and designer of the Fate of the Norns line of games. The Ragnarok Viking RPG has a rich history of over 20 years of evolution. The latest edition uses a revolutionary system of runes rather than dice. The Illuminated Edda as well as Lords of the Ash are the latest books in the series with many more planned.
The Fate of the Norns universe has also expanded to include two novels and a second edition of the Gulveig card game.Andrew designed Gulveig to be a gamer’s answer to Friday night poker. It’s a quick trick-taking card game where you bid, bluff and score your way to victory.
Andrew is an avid gamer and will be running games throughout the convention.
Jason Pitre is a game designer and professional ecologist from the wilds of Canada. He runs the RPG Design PanelCast, sharing information on roleplaying game design and publishing.
Jason is a designer behind the Spark Roleplaying Game (2013), the ENnie-award-winning Posthuman Pathways (2014), and Sig: The City Between (2015). He has also done freelance work for Pelgrane Press, Evil Hat Productions, Dangerous Games, Greenhat Designs, and Metal Weave Games. He designs games about social commentary, philosophy, and messy emotional situations.
When he isn’t designing games or reading up on polar bears, he roasts ‘n brews a mean cup of coffee.
Hamish Cameron is a writer, game designer and historian raised and trained for adventure in New Zealand and now venturing deep into the wilds of the infamous “New England”. He is best known for The Sprawl (2016), a PbtA game of mission-based cyberpunk action. He is currently working on a game for young roleplayers focused on cooperative problem-solving and a game for older roleplayers focused on cannibalism and protean body transformation. He publishes RPGs as Ardens Ludere and board games as part of Cheeky Mountain Parrot Games. You can find him tweeting merrily at @peregrinekiwi and @thesprawl_rpg.
Pieter van Hiel is a Hamilton-based writer. A former newspaper reporter and photographer, he now toils in a corporate word mine. Sometimes he writes RPGs. He is author of several supplement books for the Ironclaw RPG and is co-author of Albedo: Platinum Catalyst and Usagi Yojimbo. Most recently, he wrote two supplement books for the game Urban Jungle (2016). He likes film cameras and cheese. He has character sheets old enough to have children in high-school. He contributes to the game blog, THAC0S at Midnight.
Epidiah Ravachol is an author and game designer known for Dread, the horror roleplaying game that uses Jenga, and his fiction published in the sword and sorcery magazine Worlds Without Master. He resides in the Northeast of the United States of America with his wife and fellow game designer Emily Care Boss and their constellation of space wizards.
Michelle Lyons-McFarland is the co-owner of Growling Door Games. She has been creating roleplaying games since 2000, working in-house on lines such as Shadowrun, BattleTech, and Dungeons and Dragons and freelancing for companies from Green Ronin Publishing to White Wolf/Onyx Path Publishing. She has a particular interest in the overlap between games and education, bringing her two worlds together. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in English literature at Case Western Reserve University with the goal of becoming a professor and game designer. Her game, Tragedy in Five Acts was featured on i09 as one of “the very best storytelling games to light your imagination on fire.”
Matthew McFarland, also known as BlackHat Matt, has been writing and developing roleplaying games professionally since 1998. Most of the work he has done has been for White Wolf Game Studio (now Onyx Path Publishing), where he contributed to almost all of their game lines (including the World of Darkness and Chronicles of Darkness). He spent three years as lead developer for the Dark Ages game line, and wrote the Ennie-winning demo chronicles for Vampire: The Requiem and Mage: The Awakening. He has also done some assorted work for Green Ronin, Eden Studios, and Guardians of Order. In Matt’s day job, he is a speech-language pathologist for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
Learn more about Matt at his website growlingdoorgames.com/
Chris graduated from Ryerson in Business Management so if you find him let him know if you’re hiring. When he’s not looking for a job you can find him designing games. Known for Lanterns: The Harvest Festival (but really only people know his game) and only published a small game to get listed as a Designer & Publisher on BoardGameGeek before it’s too late. His favorite games include Parade, Ticket to Ride, Lost Cities, and Jaipur. He also loves piano music, the Leafs, and sushi.
Joshua Kitz is the mastermind behind Simple Superheroes: the RPG of Infinite Powers & Possibilities, and elegant framework that let’s you create any hero and superpower you can imagine. He believes that the greatest strength of RPGs is having individuals able to combine their creativity.
Joshua has also just launched the CDG Marketplace, a webstore for all of us Canadian’s to support our game designers and local game stores. Many of his fellow guests game’s are available from www.composedreamgames.com/marketplace
He also designs interactive mysteries for the touring theatre company Live History. A group that puts on site specific historical productions where audience members must work together, talk to actors, and unravel clues.
Sen-Foong Lim is the short, Asian half of the versatile tabletop design team, the Bamboozle Brothers. Since 2011, they have covering a diverse range from the Euro-styled strategy game “Belfort” to “But Wait, There’s More!”, the party game about pitching wacky products to “Junk Art”, a family-oriented dexterity game. As they’ve gained critical success in the hobby, they have been asked to design games featuring some of fandom’s most beloved properties and are now sought after to develop other designers’ games. Sen also hosts the weekly design-centric webcasts, the Meeple Syrup Show and it’s offshoot, The Game Dojo. He may have to use jiu jitsu on you if you choose yellow before he gets a chance but you can distract him with good BBQ.
Fraser Simons is an avid cyberpunk fan who set out to design a game within the same vein as his favourite genre. The Veil kickstarted successfully and is planned to be released into the wild early 2017. He has a mad passion for story games, comic books, collecting vinyl, actual play podcasts, and bread.
Stentor Danielson is the co-proprietor of Glittercats Fine Amusements, along with Cheyenne Wall-Grimes, based out of Pittsburgh PA. They have been designing games since 2010, spanning the gamut from card-based party games to strategy board games to story-focused roleplaying games. When they’re not designing games, Stentor spends their time working as an artist (under the name Mapsburgh), an environmental studies professor at Slippery Rock University, and a kitten wrangler at the Knoll Street School for Wayward Kittens.
Dana Kubilus is a so-called “human”, raised and trained for adventure in a variety of American settings, and has now ventured deep into the frozen wilds of the infamous “New England”.
She is best known for relentlessly adding cats into everything, including two feline settings for The Sprawl, a PbtA game of mission-based cyberpunk action. She is currently is working on layout, editing, and design for various Ardens Ludere projects. You can find her tweeting sporadically about cats and craft beer at @DAYtheELF.
Emily Griggs is an author, illustrator, and professional nerd. She freelances for a variety of gaming companies as both a writer and an artist, as well as writing and illustrating her own game projects, working on a webcomic, and selling her line of geeky greeting cards. You can find her in Ottawa, Canada surrounded by dice, toys, and far too many dragons, or online at sweetingenuity.com.
Helaina is the head honcho at Kids Table Board Gaming and the co-designer of their first release: Foodfighters. She is looking forward to their second game, Problem Picnic: Attack of the Ants, being released this June. By day, Helaina is a Middle School Math / Science / Design & Tech teacher. She loves to incorporate table top games into all of her classes, and can often be seen playing her favourite games with her lunch time game club. She has been, most recently, added to the panel of speakers at Nights at the Game Table. Born and bread in Toronto, Helaina is excited to attend and take part in her first local Con!
Kiel Chenier is a Toronto-based freelance writer, layout artist, and illustrator working in tabletop games. His work has been published by EN World (EN5ider), Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, and more! He also writes and illustrates for the blog Dungeons & Donuts on Tumblr!
Find out more about Kiel on his website Dungeons & Donuts