Tabletop Gaming Company Founder and Publisher Chris Birch loves the tabletop gaming scene, from roleplaing games to wargames and boardgames; he grew up on Dungeons & Dragons, Steve Jackson’s Ogre and 15mm historical wargames. He loves it so much that he long harboured a dream of making and publishing games.
Five years ago, Chris followed his dream to create and run a game company and founded founded Modiphius. The company used Kickstarter to enable their first project, Achtung! Cthulhu; since then Modiphius has become full-time employment for Chris and around twenty employees. Modiphius has created new games and secure the licenses for some of the biggest franchises around, including Infinity, Fallout, Conan and Star Trek.
Join Chris and I for a great chat about headphone-stealing squirrels, what a major convention does to your work schedule, preparing for the tabletop gaming business through the music and fashion industries and making sure you choose projects based on whether you genuinely love them!
3D character artist Delaney King has worked on a swathe of triple-A video game titles, including Unreal Tournament 2004. She was instrumental in developing the Australian video game design scene by starting professional courses based on her education during trips to the United States.
Delaney has also started the brands, King’s Minis and Darkling Games, and is preparing Skulldred, a set of tabletop miniatures gaming rules designed specifically to allow those who have impairments with numerical literacy to enjoy the full competitive experience of miniatures wargaming, for release.
If those weren’t enough, Delaney, identifying as queer herself, is a tireless advocate for the LGBTIQ community within the video game industry.
Join us for a great chat about the good old days of miniatures gaming, the struggles of unionising in a digital industry, the three main qualities people look for when hiring game designers, the relative densities of hobbits and lava, how hard it can be to ask for help and how you really, really, really need to back your stuff up!
Veteran video game designer and roleplaying game master Steven Lumpkin has worked for some of the biggest names in the online gaming industry, including Red Storm Entertanment, the makers of the Rainbow Six franchise, and Funcom, the makers of Age of Conan, Anarchy Online and The Secret World, as a level designer. His job was creating the tense action scenes that have challenged players across the globe as they venture through these games’ vast virtual worlds.
Steven is now working on the Rollercoaster Tycoon franchise, but has gone from creating levels to working on the basic infrastructure of the game itself as a game designer.
Steven is also a lover of tabletop roleplaying games. He’s been a game master for the RollPlay team on the Twitch channel ItMeJP, where he ran the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition campaign, The West Marches, which featured a huge rotating roster of streaming and YouTube celebrity players. While Steven was on hiatus at the time of recording, he’s since returned to gaming with a new campaign on his own Twitch and YouTube channels and is looking forward to GMing for the Misscliks and other channels!
Steven and I talk about having a day job in gaming while pursuing a musical hobby in his off hours, the reality of working quality assurance in the video game industry, taking out the trash in online game encounter design, how to manage the “crunch” cycle at the end of pre-release game development and staying chill when gaming with some of the biggest names in live streaming.
Game designer and writer Monte Cook has worked on hundreds of roleplaying and board game products. He co-designed the Third Edition of Dungeons & Dragons, served as design consultant on the Pathfinder roleplaying game and, in 2012, co-founded Monte Cook Games, LLC. As Creative Director and Lead Designer, Monte co-created the Cypher System roleplaying game rules that are the heart of The Strange and the award-winning Numenera.
Monte also bends his writerly talents to novels and fiction, comic books and nonfiction works. In his spare time, he makes the odd YouTube series with fellow geeks, like the a tongue-in-cheek take on ghost hunting reality shows, Geek Seekers, co-starring Jen Page.
Please listen for a great chat about sleeping on couches while interning with an RPG company, some of the dearly departed brands of the RPG industry, why you shouldn’t listen to gossip about the “big guys” and the differences between working for and running an RPG company.
Tabletop roleplaying game GM Adam Koebel is at the forefront of an explosion of RPG popularity online. Though the creative storytelling hobby of tabletop roleplaying games have been around since the advent of Dungeons & Dragons in the mid-seventies, it’s only in the last few years that people have been able to harness live streaming and YouTube videos to present their play for others’ entertainment.
Adam is currently the Game Master in Residence at Roll20, a platform for playing tabletop RPGs across the Internet, and GM of the RollPlay: Swan Song and Rollplay: Balance of Power campaigns for Twitch live-streaming channel itmeJP.
Adam also co-designed the award-winning Dungeon World tabletop roleplaying game and streams analytical content and video game play from Vancouver, Canada. Join me as I have a great geek-out over a shared hobby and chat about how modern technology is enabling not just RPGs as entertainment, but all us hobbyists a chance to improve our skills and find our audiences!
Opening a friendly local game store in an out-of-the-way, tropical tourist town might seem downright crazy, but Cairns boy Mick Archer has not only done it, he’s made The Wicked Goblin a success. He focuses his store on the people who play tabletop games as much as, if not more so than, the products themselves.
The exterior of The Wicked Goblin.
In my latest location recording, Mick and I chat about his background in both gaming and hospitality, how Mick built his war chest for The Wicked Goblin and the importance of not just having friends and family in your corner but also having a true partnership in your business.
Thank you again, Adam at Sprue Grey, for your questions! I hope my chat with Mick helps you open your own Friendly Local Store soon!
Please stick around after the interview for an update on my own paid to play progress!