About this project
WE DID IT! WE HIT OUR GOAL!
This is still the best way to get your Early Bird Memberships, which come with special perks over post-Kickstarter memberships.
We're not done with our Special Guests; we'll have lots of great game industry folks, alongside new indie developers just creating their first games.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Our Mission Statement:
OrcaCon is a games and geek convention, focusing on analog games. This includes: board and card games, role-playing games, and miniature games. OrcaCon is focused on creating a safe and welcoming space for promoting the tabletop games hobby, supporting diversity in tabletop games, and building a community of both novice and experienced game players.
The inception of OrcaCon first came about during a rather fun gaming session at Dragonflight 2013. Our group of friends found ourselves reminiscing about the many good times that were had many years ago at Dreamcon. We all wished for there to be another gaming convention in Snohomish County, as the other nearby options required a bit of a drive to Seattle. Thus, OrcaCon was born!
We are working with the Holiday Inn Downtown Everett, as they've hosted many fantastic conventions in the past. We've secured the entire hotel space, so we can bring you the best in games, game programming, and merchants. If you're staying at the hotel, and coming from the airport, you can get a shuttle direct to the hotel for $29 each way! The hotel is right off the train/transit station, so it's easy to get here if you cannot drive. And if you are driving, the hotel as FREE parking! The Holiday Inn Downtown Everett also offers a free shuttle for guests, so you can explore the Everett area! Visit the AFK Tavern a gamer/geek pub, and Boeing's Future of Flight Museum,
We are working with local game companies, game groups, and game creators to bring you the best in:
- Board Games
- Card Games
- Role-playing Games
- Story Games
- Pokemon Gym & Trivia
- Trading Card Games
- Collectible Card Games
- Miniature War Games
- Geeks Who Drink Trivia on Friday and Saturday Nights
- Game & Geek Businesses in our Dealers Hall
- Panels and workshops from Game Industry Professionals
- Playtesting new games
- Game Demos
Games Guest of Honor - Chris Pramas
OrcaCon's very first Guest of Honor is Chris Pramas, CEO of Green Ronin Publishing! Chris Pramas is an award-winning game designer, writer, and publisher. He is best known as the designer of the Dragon Age RPG, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (second edition), and Freeport: The City of Adventure.
He is also the founder and president of Green Ronin Publishing, a leading light in the world of pen and paper RPGs. Pramas got his start as a freelancer, writing books for such games as Over the Edge, Feng Shui, and Underground. He later spent four years as a staff designer at Wizards of the Coast, ending his tenure there as a creative director. More recently he's lent his talents to computer games, serving as creative director on the Pirates of the Burning Sea MMO RPG at Flying Lab Software and as lead writer on Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online at Vigil Games.
Pramas continues to lead Green Ronin, and the company's successes include such games as DC Adventures, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, and Mutants & Masterminds.
Artist Guest of Honor - Linda "Brasse" Carlson
OrcaCon's very first Artist Guest of Honor is Linda "Brasse" Carlson! Linda has been working in video game Community Management for many years. While many fans of EverQuest II and Lord of the Rings Online know her as Brasse, the Dwarf, not many know of her work with her own webcomic and highly-detailed maps!
Growing list of Special Guests
- Randall Bills, Catalyst Game Labs
- Lynne Hardy, Designer Cogs, Cakes and Swordsticks
- Lillian Cohen-Moore, Writer, editor and game designer. http://www.lilliancohenmoore.com/
- Ryan Macklin, co-creator of Fate Core, freelance game designer, independent creator-publisher, editor on many Pathfinder books, the mind behind Katanas & Trenchcoats, cat and scotch lover. http://ryanmacklin.com/
- Corvus Elrod, storyteller, game designer, and creator of Bhaloidam - an independently-published tabletop storytelling platform inspired by Umberto Eco's semiotics, Russian Formalism, and Commedia dell'arte. Bhaloidam.com
- Duane O'Brien. Aspiring Famous Game Designer, RPG Geek, AlphaComplex Citizen and a stodgy GM's Worst Nightmare @ATerribleIdea
- Joe Carriker, RPG Designer of 15 years. Aspiring Novelist. Queer. Bear. Witch and ConjureMan. Social Justice Druid. Mostly, hella a nerd. Lead Designer of A Song of Ice & Fire RPG
- Tara Theoharis, The Geeky Hostess! Blogger meets marketing consultant meets part-time model. Full-time Seattleite and geeky lady. Lover of entertaining, decorating, and gift-giving with a personal and geeky flair. Weakness for cupcakes, lolcats, and puns.
- Jen Page! Jen Page is an indie, genre actress who loves all things geekery- sci-fi, fantasy and gaming. Look for her online in web series such Geek Seekers, Chop Socky Boom and JourneyQuest (Season 2). Feature films include the gaming cult hit Dorkness Rising and the eye-popping sci-fi indie: Project London.
- Zoe Quinn, Game designer, writer, artist, activist. Founder of Crash Override Network, the Online Anti-Hate Task Force.
- Mike Selinker, Game designer, puzzlecrafter, author, and, when all else fails, president of Seattle's Lone Shark Games.
- Nicole Lindroos, Nicole entered the game industry in 1987. She has worked on staff on numerous game lines and for several companies including Lion Rampant, White Wolf, Atlas Games and Cheapass Games. She co-founded Adventures Unlimited magazine, contributed the gaming-food column Adventures in Dinner for Open Gaming Monthly and has been an active freelancer for large and small companies alike. For the last thirteen years she has been co-owner and General Manager of Green Ronin Publishing.
- Liz Spain, Game designer, costume McGuyver and steampunk bodger. Twitter: @VoodooBunnyLiz
- Jennifer Brozek, Hugo Award-nominated editor and an award winning author, award-winning game design writer, award-winning editor, and small press publisher. http://www.jenniferbrozek.com/
- Keith Baker! Keith has been designing games professionally for over two decades, and has developed card games, RPGs, computer games and more. He's best known for creating the Eberron campaign setting for Dungeons & Dragons; this world has been used as the foundation for two computer games and dozens of novels and game supplements. He also created the card game Gloom, a casual storytelling game. Phoenix: Dawn Command (now on Kickstarter!) is a convergence of these styles - an innovative roleplaying game set in a compelling world, with accessible rules that encourage storytelling. Keith is designing the game, along with Dan Garrison.
- Jenn Ellis - Jenn has built a career on solving complex problems in creative ways. She's consulted for Fortune 100 companies on product development, helped make healthcare at the Olympics go digital, and once started a summer camp. She is the producer of Phoenix: Dawn Command and co-owner of Twogether Studios.
- Brian Knudson - Brian's unconventional education and career path has exposed him to many different types of thinking, businesses, and roles, which has provided the insights of how to make Closet Nerd (the Knudson's game design company) work. He understands what makes games tick, and knows how to take an abstraction and bring it into reality. His Master's education in Human-Centered Design and Engineering has enabled him to empathize with people, and make the kind of games that people want to play. Brian designs games with his Brother Brent Knudson, and their first game, Ergo, was published by Catalyst Game Labs. Closet Nerd Games then worked with Sandstorm Productions to produce Globalization and Hecho.
- James Earnest! James Ernest is a world-renowned game designer and the founder of Cheapass Games.
- Jon Leitheusser, Game Developer, Designer, Writer, and Editor at Green Ronin Publishing
- Shanna Germain, Writer. Editor. Leximaven. Game Girl. Vorpal Blonde. Bisexual Brainlicker. Midas's Touch. Schrödinger's Brat. http://www.shannagermain.com/
Kickstarter Exclusive T-Shirt Artist
OrcaCon is happy to have Elizabeth Simins on board to design our Kickstarter Exclusive T-shirt! Not only does Elizabeth make beautiful arts, but she also has designed t-shirts for the Gaming's Feminist Illuminati and the GX3 Kickstarter! You can see more of her work and support her on Patreon.
OrcaCon 2016's Blackfish Stout
We'll be featuring our own stout on tap at the hotel, sponsored by Salish Sea Brewing, in Edmonds, WA. We really believe in keeping things local and supporting businesses in Snohomish County. You'll be able to buy the Blackfish Stout in the hotel bar through the weekend, plus we'll have it on tap at select geeky businesses leading up to OrcaCon!
Why Create A New Con?
We feel it's so important to create an environment that's different from other game conventions we've attended in the past, so with OrcaCon we're focusing on welcoming people of all ages and game experience levels. If you have always wanted to learn how to play games, this is the convention for you. Do you like more hard-core board games? This convention is for you, too!
Many of us who have founded the convention are experienced in working conventions, volunteering at conventions, and running conventions. We decided to spend more time discussing the project, and in July 2014, we decided to make this a reality. As the group started talking to their friends and peers, we quickly had enough staff volunteers to get the convention off the ground.
From OrcaCon's Founder, Donna Prior, "It's incredibly important for me! When I was younger, I was told too many times, "Girls don't play games," "No women play D&D," "Miniatures wargaming is for men only." I've been hearing this for 30 years, and none of it is true!
I've been running tabletop game meetups, with great success, for years across numerous cities in the United States. I truly believe that games are for everyone, and we should always strive to make our game communities greater and more inclusive by teaching games to new people regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion.
I firmly believe in the phrase, "Be the change you want to see." I've made it a life goal to push away the stereotypes, and embrace everyone who wishes to learn how to play games."
OrcaCon Volunteer Staff and Key Contributers
Founder & Executive Director Donna "Danicia" Prior - Sparkly Princess of Social Media & Community! Gamer, Geek, craft beer nerd! Future wife of Wedge Antilles. She's been volunteering and working conventions and conferences for over 30 years. Twitter: @_Danicia_
Advisory Board Member and Panel Pod dude Steve Hobbs. When Steve’s not representing his constituents in the State Senate he loves to spend his free time reading comic books with his boys or playing Axis and Allies with his friends. Steve’s happy to volunteer his time to help make OrcaCon a success. You can read his blog about OrcaCon, "Nerd Gaming Culture and our Washington State Economy."
Games Chair Barry "Fildrigar" Wilson - Born a feral child deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. BIG GIANT NERD. Owns too many cats, miniatures, and board games. Gentleman GM.
Volunteer Manager Chip Nixon - Chip has been working at conventions for over 10 years, and she considers working nerd events as part of her identity. She has worked such shows as PAX (Prime/East/South), the Game Developers Conference, Emerald City Comic Con, GeekGirlCon, and is the Volunteer Coordinator for PAX Dev. She'll be helping out with OrcaCon as the Volunteer Coordinator, and is also lending a hand with graphic design. She loves to draw, has cats named Captain Shanks and Buggy the Clown, and tweets for a living.
Registration Manager Denise "Kittee" Notman - from backwoods Minnesota to the suburbs of Seattle. Gaymer of all types; PC, Consoles, and Tabletop Games. Volunteers at such places as Geek Girl Con and PAX. Is super excited for Orcacon! For more adventures, see KitteePlays.com.
Security Manager Elliot Erickson - S-Pod Lead. Known face at many of the 425's game stores, enjoys crunchy RPG systems with smooth mechanics. fairplay, for fun, and co-operative.
Dealers Hall Manager Anna Armstrong - Avid tea drinkier and lover of good suits, Anna is a gaming and events contractor in the tabletop gaming industry.
We know folks love add-ons, and we want to offer the following so you can order numerous rewards and/or shipping!
Additional Standard Membership - Add $45 USD to your pledge for each additional membership you wish to receive when you choose the Standard Membership Level.
OrcaCon d6 Dice! - Add $15 USD to your pledge for each pair of OrcaCon d6 you wish to add to your reward level!
OrcaCon Kickstarter Exclusive t-shirt! - Add $35 USD to your pledge for each t-shirt you wish to add to your reward level!
How do you add to your pledge?
- Click the “manage your pledge” button on the project’s page.
- Increase your pledge by the amount needed to claim the add-on(s).
- Save your pledge. Do not change the tier that you originally pledged at.
So, if you wanted a Standard Membership, a Kickstarter Exclusive t-shirt, and OrcaCon dice, you keep the $45 Membership tier. You'll edit your pledge to add $35 for the t-shirt and $15 for the dice. Your total pledge would be $95 USD!
Quick shout out! We'd like to give thanks to the following folks for assisting with our super awkward and fun Kickstarter video:
- Alyssa Gobelle, video production
- Geoff Tenney, video production
- Thomas Rakowitz, composer of "Sailing with Memories" from his album, IN THE ATMOSPHERE. Visit his Bandcamp page, Rockyowitz
Risks and challenges
There are many challenges for every independently run convention, especially for one in its first year. The largest, of course, is that no one will show up, which means no one books hotel rooms, or buys memberships! Our plan is to use the funds in the Kickstarter project to pay for the convention space, so we can focus the funds raised via sponsorship and membership to cover the rest of the convention's operating expenses.
Our biggest challenge will be filling those hotel rooms, so we won't have to pay huge penalties. Not making our room goals would mean it would be incredibly difficult to host OrcaCon 2017. And we really want to keep this convention going and growing!
We hope that with enough content and great hotel room rates, we will have no problem filling our hotel room block, which means we will be able to kick off the next OrcaCon in the black! More guests! More things to do! More content! MORE EVERYTHING!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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