Essen Panels - 2019

I am excited to announce the lineup of  topics and guests for our 2019 Essen 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 Essen 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


2019 Essen Panels


Life of the Party 

Frank DiLorenzo (R&R Games)

Darrell Ottery (Eclectic Games)

Thomas Provoost (Repos Production)

Vlaada Chvátil (CGE)

Rikki Tahta (La Mame Games)

Views of social / party games have changed tremendously over the past 20 years. We'll explore how social / party games have evolved and how they are helping to expand the game community and drive the success of the game business.


Knizia - One on One 

Reiner Knizia   (game designer) 

If rock stars exist in the game playing world, Reiner Knizia is one. He is one of the most celebrated and prolific game designers on the planet. Join us for a wide-ranging discussion covering his career, his thoughts on game design and development, the game industry, and much more.


Convergence: RPGs & Board Games

Isaac Childres  (designer, Gloomhaven)

Julie Ahern (Greenbrier Games)

Błażej Kubacki (Board & Dice)

Ezra Denney (Quests & Chaos)

More and more, we see rpg and board game worlds converging . This panel will explore how the two intersect to create a new breed of thematic and adventure driven game.  What experiences can these games create that draw from both wells? How difficult and different is the design process? Can both worlds benefit from this convergence?


Teaching and Learning Games

Paul Grogan (Gaming Rules)

Ella Ampongan (Ella Loves Board Games)

Stella Jahja (Meeple University)

Rodney Smith (Watch It Played)

One of the greatest challenges that unites designers, publishers, and players is how best to teach and learn a game. From reading the rules, to online instruction, and teaching at the table, there's no single method for success since players learn in so many different ways. We sit down with a team of experts to see how they approach teaching games and how they factor in different learning styles.


The Con Game

Ted Alspach  (Bezier Games)

Tiffany Caires (HABA)

KJ (Happy Baobab)

Beth Heile (BGG)

Michał Zwierzyński (Galakta)

Conventions and trade shows are a growing part of the game community on a global scale. We examine the value and necessity of conventions and trade shows from an industry perspective. We'll explore the differences in events around the world and how publishers decide which ones to go to and what they focus on at each event.


Love & War - Broadening the Audience for Wargames

Martin Wallace (designer)

Katie Aidley (Board Game Brain Project)

David Chircop (Mighty Boards)

This panel will examine how and why wargames today can appeal to a much wider range of players than your typical grognard. We'll explore the variety of reasons there are to love wargames and how this helps bring more players to the table.


The Art & Science of Playtesting

Bruno Cathala  (designer)

Antoine Bauza (designer)

Rikki Tahta (designer)

Smoox Chen (designer)

Playtesting is a critical part of the design process. A game fresh from the mind of a designer is destined to evolve once other players get a chance to explore it and push its boundaries. We'll examine how different designers approach this process and how they use playtesting to shape the games that make it to your table.


*awaiting final confirmation on appearance