This year’s PAX Australia convention, only the second in the show’s history, is only 13 days away. Ten Copper will be there, and if you will be too, then you’ll no doubt want to know what’s going on! Well, we’ve saved you the trouble of combing through the schedule (though here it is anyway) and hooked you up with a rundown of the best non-digital-gaming panels. Take a look:
Friday October 31
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM (Galah Theatre) – The Golden Age of Tabletop Gaming
With mass media exposure heightening the TableTop Effect, plus a rising tide in board games enthusiasm in an open global market, we’ve entered a Golden Age of Tabletop Gaming. TableTop producer and game designer Boyan Radakovich leads a discussion about why going analog is the hottest new trend in gaming! Learn how both TableTop, the award-winning show hosted and created by Wil Wheaton, and TableTop Day, an international gaming holiday, have empowered our global gaming community. Please join in!
- Boyan Radakovich [Producer / Creative Director, Geek & Sundry / Gamesmith]
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM (Wombat Theatre) – Cards Against Humanity
Pitch your card ideas to the creators of Cards Against Humanity and special guests. The best suggestions will go in the game, the worst suggestions will be mercilessly ridiculed.
- Eli Halpern [Co-Creator, Cards Against Humanity]
- David Munk [Co-Creator, Cards Against Humanity]
- Claire Friedman [Experience Manager, Cards Against Humanity]
- Jenn Bane [Community Manager, Cards Against Humanity]
- David Pinsof [Co-Creator, Cards Against Humanity]
- Max Temkin [Co-Creator, Cards Against Humanity]
9:00 PM – 10:00 PM (Dropbear Theatre) – Quest to fund Indie Board Games
Do you want to conquer the challenges of indie board game backing and hunt fancy loot? Your party may be too small, the dungeon too ambitious, the loot may be swallowed in inexperience or lost in the sands of time. How about defeating the boss guarding game funding success? Self funding, crowd funding and publishing can be defeated with new fighting techniques. This panel has some leading Australian indie board game wizards who will share both sides of their experience with modern game funding.
- Wesley Lamont [Managing Director, RAEZ]
- Phil Harding [Managing Director, Adventureland Games]
- Sean Carroll [Managing Director, 93 Made Games]
- Alex Bijk [Creative Director, Lab – Blue Room]
- Paul Nicholas [Creative Designer, Lab – Blue Room]
9:30 PM – 10:30 PM (Fruitbat Theatre) – Things that go bump on the tabletop
Running a horror roleplaying game is like telling a ghost story. When done right, the game leaves players laughing nervously for years afterwards. Three expert gamemasters and authors spill the brains on how to have fun freaking people out, covering atmosphere, plots, NPCs, and tentacles. Lots of tentacles. If you want to get more horror into any tabletop RPG or if you’re just Cthulhu curious, come along and share the scares.
- Mark Morrison [Game designer, Campaign Coins]
- Rebecca Orth [GM, Freelance]
- Scott Vandervalk [GM, Freelance]
Saturday November 1
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM (Galah Theatre) – From Pixels and Putty to Awesome Tabletop Miniatures
Miniature figures are an iconic part of the tabletop wargaming hobby – recognisable from product lines such as Reaper Miniatures, Warhammer 40,000 and Warmachine. How are they created? Who designs them, and what skills are needed? From concept art to production, our panel of experienced sculptors and designers will look at how digital and physical media are used to create these figures.
- Andrew Lum [Director – Product Development, Aetherworks]
- Peter Overton [Sculptor, Twisted Miniatures]
- Kosta Heristanidis [Sculptor, Eureka Miniatures]
- Craig Clarke [Sculptor, CNC Workshop]
- Robert Sakaluk [Product Designer, Aetherworks]
- Ed Pugh [CEO, Reaper Miniatures]
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM (Dropbear Threatre) – Designing board games in an established universe
More and more licensed properties are coming to board games, but designing these games is a challenge. You could have an instant hit, but you could also incur the wrath of fans. And are any of these film and TV tie-ins really any good? Join Trent and Mark from the Dice Men Cometh podcast, with designers who’ve faced this challenge firsthand: Martin Wallace who has worked on games for Dr Who, Discworld and more; and Melbourne’s Mark Morrison who’s worked with the Elric and Cthulhu properties.
- Trent Swindells [Podcaster, Dice Men Cometh]
- Mark Rickards [Podcaster, Dice Men Cometh]
- Mark Morrison [Board game writer, Campaign Coins]
- Martin Wallace [Board game designer, Tree Frog Games]
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM (Galah Theatre) – The Indie Board Games Panel
Tabletop gaming has seen a dramatic increase in popularity, and with it we’ve seen a significant rise in independent game makers. From self-publishing mavens to print-on-demand hobbyists, indie board games are starting to make their way onto mainstream tabletops everywhere. Join a panel of Australian professional tabletop game designers and publishers to find out what it takes to design, publish, print and sell your own game.
- Anthony Sweet [Game Designer, Handwritten Games]
- Dann May [Art Director, Game Salute]
- Anthony Condos [Director of Innovation, 93 Made Games]
- Phil Walker-Harding [Designer & Publisher, Adventureland Games]
- Dr. Kate Raynes-Goldie [Director, Games & Interactive at FTI/Founder, Games We Play]
6:30 – 7:30 PM (Fruitbat Theatre) – Dice or Byte: The Convergence of Tabletop and Digital
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of rolling a handful of dice, and nothing like the effortless complexity of a video game. Can you blend the two, and how? What are the distinct strengths of each, and what are their weaknesses? Join a panel of leading Australian developers who make games that bridge the board and screen for a discussion of where these realms excel, where they can merge, and what they can learn from each other.
- Paul Sztajer [Founder, Director, SeeThrough Studios]
- Morgan Jaffit [Founder, Defiant Development]
- Trent Kusters [Founder, Director, League of Geeks]
- Elphie Coyle [Creator & Chairman, Lightmare Studios]
- Christopher Ng [General Manager, Thousand Face Publishing]
- Melissa Rogerson [Tabletop Manager, PAX Australia]
Sunday November 2
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM (Kookaburra Theatre) – Magic:The Gathering with Aaron Forsythe (Director, MTG R&D)
Be among the first gamers in the world to see what’s coming up in the world’s best strategy trading card game, Magic: The Gathering! Join special guest Aaron Forsythe (Director of R&D for Magic: The Gathering) in person as he showcases upcoming products, events and even a preview or two. Of course, if you’ve got any burning questions about Magic you’ve always wanted to ask Wizards, you’ll have an opportunity to ask Aaron and the team directly in our Q&A session!
- Will Chan [Brand Manager APAC, Hasbro Australia]
- Aaron Forsythe [Director of R&D Magic, Wizards of the Coast]
- Dale Aitken [Regional Manager APAC, Hasbro Australia]
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM (Fruitbat Theatre) – Live RPG++
Team up with the Dicestormers as they gird their loins and set off to parts unknown in search of treasure and glory. Along the way they’ll face deadly perils, brought to life with the aid of map visualization tool Dungeon Mapp, experience the amazing sounds of Syrinscape and use game mechanics and NPCs sourced from none other than you, our audience! Does adventure and glory await? Are their loins sufficiently girded? What will become of our intrepid heroes? Only you can help us find out!
- Derek Proud [Director, Ambitious Software]
- Ben Loomes [Creative Director, Syrinscape]
- Nathan Bennett [Actor, Dicestormers]
- Johnny Sharpe [Actor, Dicestormers]
- Murray Dahm [Actor, Dicestormers]
- Jon Wright [Actor, Dicestormers]
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM (Galah Theatre) – Game Design Lessons from Producing TableTop
Producing the hit show TableTop, created and hosted by Wil Wheaton, has taught game designer Boyan Radakovich a deeper understanding of what makes tabletop games successful. Learn new key concepts gained from creating the show such as: maximizing fun efficiency, creating a shared narrative for the players, the power of visual presentation, and many other techniques to take your game design to the next level. Join in the conversation and help grow our global gaming community!
- Boyan Radakovich [Producer / Creative Director, Geek & Sundry / Gamesmith]
What else is on?
Remember, there’s always games, tutorials, tournaments, competitions, painting sessions and more happening in the enormous Tabletop Gaming area all day every day during the 3-day event. It’s easily the best area of the convention (sorry, videogames!) with a much more relaxed atmosphere than the booming convention hall, so check in as often as you can and just chill out.
If you see us around, say hi and let’s sit down for a game or two!
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