Making Games with Bert & Ernie (Gen Con 2018)
Ernie is creative and impulsive and wants to make great big expressions. He likes rubber duckies and bubble baths and singing songs.
Bert likes things to be organized and buttoned down and squared away. His most cherished possession is a paper clip collection.
At Gen Con this year, I’ll present a two-hour workshop that brings together all the content — and more — from the Bert- and Ernie-focused presentations I’ve given over the last year at Essen, the Minneapolis chapter of the IGDA, the GAMA Trade Show, and CreativeMornings/MSP. Each of those events has been tailored to its audience, and this iteration will be no different.
At Gen Con, a longer time slot will help us go deeper than previous presentations in order to cover how these two mindsets of creativity can collaborate in order to design and produce great tabletop games.
Far from sorting everyone into Ernies and Berts and sending everyone on their way, I’ll talk about the ways everyone is actually a mix of these two creative archetypes, and past that, how a mix of each is necessary to get anything done and have it be any good.
Although the Bert-and-Ernie lens will inform the discussion, the presentation will cover the breadth of game production and creation, addressing and answering questions like…
- How do I find a printer? (And once I find them, how do I talk to them?)
- Should I crowdfund my game?
- How can I sell my design to an existing publisher?
- My game is awesome, but can I please get someone else to write the rules?
- I’m stuck. How do I get unstuck?
Bring your questions, ideas, dreams, and love for tabletop games. Let’s make games with Bert and Ernie!
I gave a short presentation to the creative community at CreativeMornings’ Minneapolis chapter in April about how tabletop games are creative, why creatives of all kinds should consider making tabletop games alongside their other creative aspirations, and how Ernie and Bert illuminate creative mindsets even beyond tabletop gaming.
From Idea to Market at Essen Spiel 2017
I spoke and answered questions about game design and publishing at Essen Spiel last year as part of an industry-only event hosted by game printer Cartamundi.
The official announcement won’t come until early May, but in April I bought Prolific Games from John Harris and Bill Sininger. Sign up for the Prolific newsletter — run by bears! — for news and promotions when Operation: New Management goes fully live and totally public.
I was on the Armchair Dragoons podcast, chatting with a panel of educators about teaching game design at the college level. ¶ For a virtual convention, GAMA Expo was a notable success. Although they can’t (yet?) replace for in-person shows, cons are getting closer.
Twenty-eight-day February seems like an apt month for progress on everything, but nothing brought fully complete. Teaching is ongoing, Gravstrike‘s faction logos were redesigned, Left Justified Studio’s kintsugi card game project found an artist, and I’m in the exciting process of [redacted], whose road, sadly, leads through a ton of accounting and tax filing.
The groundwork was laid in December, but in January I received the coin design for a new Band or Album campaign, to almost-certainly be called Band or Album Remix. To get word when it launches, sign up for my wildly infrequent email newsletter. ¶ I picked up a spring-term gig teaching an Introduction to Game Design course at UW-Stout. I really enjoyed teaching at the Kansas City Art Institute the semester I filled in there a few years ago, and am quite excited to taken another spin at teaching game design to college students.