2019 GenCon Panels

I am excited to announce the lineup of  topics and guests for our 2019 GenCon panels!

We'll be recording 7 discussions with an amazing group of  interesting, intelligent and engaging people who are involved with the world of board games and united by a passion for play.

Each panel episode will release shortly after the con. 


We are actively and eagerly looking for sponsors for our coverage. Each GenCon panel reaches a large slice of the game playing public. This is an audience you can reach for fractions of pennies on the dollar! For more information, click here, or email stephen@thespiel.net


2019 GenCon Panels


Redefining the Boundaries of Play 

Rory O'Connor (HUB Games)

Michael Fox (HUB Games)

Ignacy Trzewiczek   (Portal Games)

James Ernest (game designer)*

There’s a new wave of drama-driven games. They are fueled by tragic events and circumstances and deal with subjects or topics not often associated with tabletop games let alone fun. We’ll examine how these narrative based games are pushing the boundaries of how we define play with some of the great minds helping to create this new genre.


Mental Health and the Power of Board Games 

Sen Foong Lim   (game designer) 

Katie Aidley   (Katie's Game Corner)

John Knoerzer (licensed clinical social worker)

Bruce Voge (North Star Games)

Bebo (Be Bold Games, aka Brittanie Boe)

Board Games can be a source for many kinds of enjoyment. But their power also overlaps into many areas of mental health - learning to play can help us develop meaningful skills and ways of looking at the world that extends far beyond the tabletop. We’ll examine how games can be a powerful and positive force on many different levels related to mental health with teachers, professionals and players.


The Expanding Board Game Market

Stephen Buonocore  (Stronghold Games, Indie Game Studios)

Shari Spiro (Breaking Games)

Morgan Dontanville (Catan)

Kathleen Mercury (teacher, game designer)

Gerald King III (Weird Realms, Kickin' It with Mr. King)

The board game market has grown dramatically over the past two decades. From the mass market to board games figuring into pop culture and even mainstream media, the  community of players has continued to expand as we see more designers and publishers try to reach a broader and more diverse audience.  We’ll examine this topic from an industry perspective, asking how game designers/developers, publishers, retailers, educators and media outlets try to make sense of the market as a whole today and where it might be headed.


Thinking Inside the Box

Beth Heile (BGG)

Frank Jaeger (Ludo Fact)

Jean-Francois Gagne (Panda)

Scott Hill (Flying Frog Productions)

One of the many joys of games comes from the simple joy and aesthetic pleasure we get from the components. From the designer and publisher to the manufacturer and companies providing after market accessories, we’ll examine the incredible amount of time, energy and creativity that goes into every bit inside the box and how that shapes our experience with a game.


Indie Publisher Roundtable

Gil Hova (Formal Ferret Games)

Tim Fowers (Fowers Games)

Maggie Clayton (Greater Than Games)

Kris Gould (Wattsalpoag)

Julie Ahern (Greenbrier Games)

In a day and age where we have seen so much corporate consolidation within the board game business, in many respects the creative engine that drives the industry are the many small game publishers bringing an amazing variety of titles to the marketplace. We sit down with a group of successful publishers for a wide-ranging discussion related to the challenges, lessons, advantages and pitfalls of being an independent publisher today.


International Trade and the Business of Games

Mike Selinker  (Lone Shark Games)

Scott Gaeta (Renegade Games)

Daniel Zayas (Longpack Games)

Ray Wehrs (Calliope Games)

Marguerite Cottrell (PSI)*

The business of games is global. A game today may be designed in Canada, signed by an American publisher, manufactured in China and distributed throughout Europe and sold to players in multiple languages.  It’s a complex engine to keep spinning. We’ll dig into this game behind the games to gain a better sense of how the parts of this trade engine fit together and discuss how tariffs can jeopardize the health of the industry as a whole.  


Iterative Game Design

Ted Alspach  (Bezier Games)

Justin Gary (Stoneblade Entertainment)

Ben Rosset (designer: Between Two Cities)

Elizabeth Hargrave (designer: Wingspan)

Tom Lehmann (designer: Race for the Galaxy)*

Like artists in other disciplines, game designers often stand on the shoulders of those that came before them. One great idea provides the spark and inspires the next - each one an iteration - the goal being to create something unique and yet it remains connected to a lineage beyond itself. This panel assembles a group of renowned designers to examine the process and protocol that goes into iterative game design.


*awaiting final confirmation on appearance