About this project
Our Mission Statement: OrcaCon is a tabletop games and geek convention in Everett, WA. OrcaCon features 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.
These are the words which opened our very first Kickstarter and our convention. Our Mission Statement has been solid ever since the inception of OrcaCon back in 2014. Now, we continue on our mission, with the launch of OrcaCon 2.0. We decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign for our second OrcaCon, so we can cover the hotel space rental, which is $20,000. OrcaCon 2016 was a huge success, with 703 people showing up to play games and enjoy the show. Last year's Kickstarter made it easy for us to focus on quality guests, content, and perks for our attendees. We're coming back with another Kickstarter Project so our Year 2 can be even more successful with MORE space for games, panels/workshops, tournaments. We will also have a Quiet Room, a special Suite for our Kickstarter Reward games, and much much more!
OrcaCon 2.0 will be January 13-15, 2017. Our theme for OrcaCon 2.0 is promoting racial diversity & accessibility in tabletop games. We've hand selected our Guest of Honor and Special Guests, promoting diversity and supporting indie tabletop games.
Team OrcaCon is happy to be partnering again with the Holiday Inn Downtown Everett. We've secured even more space to promote games and local businesses. We're keeping the same rate of $99.00 per night, which offers up numerous perks, such as mini-fridges, microwaves, free parking, and free wi-fi for all hotel guests. Our host hotel also offers numerous accessible rooms, plus each room can be converted for hearing impaired guests.
What about games?
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
- Trading Card Games
- Collectible Card Games
- Miniatures War Games
- Game & Geek Businesses in our Dealers Hall
- Panels and workshops from Game Industry Professionals
- Play-testing new games
- Game Demos
Guests of Honor
Shoshana Kessock - Shoshana Kessock is a writer, game designer and scholar specializing in tabletop and live action roleplaying experiences. A graduate student at the NYU Game Center, she is the founder of the Living Games Conference, the first academic conference in the US dedicated to live action role-play games in all their forms.
She is also co-founder of Phoenix Outlaw Productions, an independent role-play game design company, with several titles in production for publication. She is the author of such freeform LARPs as SERVICE, The Last Ten Minutes, and Dangers Untold, and has staffed and organized live events for nearly eight years. When she isn’t running and writing games, she travels the world speaking about innovation and on design in the LARP community and topics like social action and activism in gaming spaces. She hails from Brooklyn, New York.
Elsa S. Henry - Elsa S. Henry is a half-blind, half-deaf, Scandinavian horror writer and disability advocate. She's the mind behind Dead Scare and the Fate Accessibility Toolkit, and a contributor to projects such as Wraith's 20th Anniversary Edition, The Dracula Dossier, and Blue Rose RPG. She's been an Industry Insider at GenCon, a speaker at GeekGirlCon, and has appeared in the Analog Games Journal. She runs Feminist Sonar, and writes extensively on disability and game design all over the web.
Tanya DePass - Tanya is a long-time gamer and enjoys talking, reading and writing about gaming diversity, feminism, race & racism, fandom as a way of life and many other topics. She is the spawn point of the #INeedDiverseGames hashtag on Twitter, which has grown into its own community. She is also the Editor-in-Charge of Fresh Out of Tokens and the Co-Host of the Chromatic Life podcast. You can also find Tanya on Patreon.
Lillian Cohen-Moore - Writer, editor and game designer. http://www.lilliancohenmoore.com/ Lillian Cohen-Moore is an award winning editor, who devotes her writing to fiction and journalism. Influenced by the work of Jewish authors and horror movies, she draws on bubbe meises (grandmother’s tales) and horror classics for inspiration. She loves exploring and photographing abandoned towns; Lillian spends every fall searching for corn mazes and haunted houses—the spookier the better. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Online News Association.
Raven Mimura - After just three-and-a-half years, Raven Mimura graduated from the internationally regarded Rhode Island School of Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. Some months later, portfolio in hand, he made his debut at GenCon, the country’s largest fantasy/sci-fi gaming convention. He has been working steadily (and feverishly) ever since, with a primary focus in the gaming field.
His work can be found in a wide range of the industry’s top properties: Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, World of Warcraft TCG, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Shadowrun, Call of Cthulhu, Vampire: The Requiem, Legend of the Five Rings, and many others. An avid gamer himself (since elementary school), Raven has always been inspired by the incredible artwork on display in the world of games. He feels blessed to have the opportunity to contribute to that continuum. http://www.ravenmimura.com/
We have a great group of folks signed up to be Special Guests and our list keeps growing! These amazing people will be running Kickstarter-exclusive games, panels/workshops, and some will be running demos of their games!
- Jessica Price
- Crystal Frasier
- Strix Beltrán
- Richard Martija
- Andrew Sudangnoi
- Matt Trussell
- Mark Diaz Truman
- Marissa Kelly
- Matthew Moore
- Nicole Lindroos
- Sean Patrick Fannon
- Carinn Seabolt
- Lynne Hardy
- Ryan Macklin
- Wes Schneider
- Steve Kenson
- Joe Carriker
- Stephen Radney-Macfarland
- Robert J Schwalb
- Alexander Jerabek
Kickstarter Exclusive OrcaCon 2017 T-shirt
The 2017 OrcaCon Kickstarter exclusive t-shirt was designed by our friend, Marisa Erven! Marisa was one of our featured artists in the OrcaCon 2016 Dealers Hall. We fell in love with her work, and commissioned our special T-shirt for 2017! This T-shirt is a Kickstarter EXCLUSIVE, and will not be available once the campaign has ended! Get your shirt only be pledging one of the levels, or choosing as an add-on item.
OrcaCon's Blackfish Stout Returns!
Blackfish Stout was created for us 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 in the Seattle area?
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.
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 run 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."
We know folks love add-ons, and we want to offer the following so you can order numerous rewards.
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 Kickstarter Exclusive t-shirt! - Add $30 USD to your pledge for each t-shirt you wish to add to your reward level!
Blackfish Scholarship - Add $20 USD to your pledge to support bringing folks to OrcaCon who wouldn't normally be able to attend.
OrcaCon Kickstarter Exclusive Dice! - Add $15.00 to your pledge for each pair of dice you'd like 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 your original pledge tier! You simply edit the dollar amount by the items above. As an example, if you wished to pick up one of the Exclusive game levels, and wanted to add a T-shirt, you would simply update your $250 to $280. Easy peasy!
We're not the kind of folks who are good with secrets, so we'll just announce our Stretch Goals now!
$22,000 - One day Game Day in July! We call it a mini-con as it will be in one of the smaller ballrooms at our host Hotel. Admission will be free for every backer who pledges at the Membership level or higher
$24,000 - A/V services for the panel rooms. The hotel doesn't supply A/V services, and we'd love to provide this for our hearing impaired attendees.
$26,000 - Expand the One Day Game day to the whole Everett Ballroom! This way we can add vendors and tournaments! And maybe even a game swap!
$28,000 - Blackfish Scholarship Expansion. OrcaCon will set aside 25 OrcaCon 3-day Memberships for local folks who wouldn't normally be able to attend. We want to give back to the community while supporting the tabletop hobby in Snohomish County and the Pacific Northwest.
$30,000 - All OrcaCon 2017 Kickstarter backers will get a pair of OrcaCon Convention Dice! This means those of you who back at a level with the Kickstarter exclusive dice will get FOUR dice total! That's 2 KS exclusive and 2 convention (the dice we'll sell in our store onsite).
Quotes from OrcaCon 2016
We'd love to share some of the feedback we received from OrcaCon 2016 attendees and special guests!
"I was stunned when I walked into OrcaCon Friday afternoon to find it packed with people playing games. Day one of a new show and it was hopping! It's the best sort of local convention and I can't wait to go next year." - Jon Leitheusser, Green Ronin Publishing
"My experience at OrcaCon was wonderful and welcoming. I can’t wait for year two!" - Beth Sobel
"My friends and I started going to game conventions this summer at Dragonflight and had such a great time that we were excited to talk with people from Orcacon. Months of anticipation did not disappoint as we woke up early and played late into the night. Volunteers were very nice and it was very well organized. We are all definitely coming every year, and my friend and I were very lucky to go for the VIP membership!" - Andy Richards
"OrcaCon was awesome! The game room was well organized and the staff was welcoming and knowledgeable. For a first year Con, the turn out was wonderful. When does prereg start for 2017?" - Angela Burllingame
"What a nice, well run event. Plenty of people who look like they're having a good time. Bravo! I tip my hat to you. Very proud of the Dreamcon connection." - Karen C Davidson Thompson
"It was a great event. I was busy though. Never made it to any other room but the gaming room!" - Darlene Miller
"DnD Adventures League was awesome, great DMs and fellow players, can't wait till next year!" - Tim Kelley
Meet the OrcaCon Volunteer Staff!
Donna "Danicia" Prior, Founder & Executive Director - Donna is the Sparkly Princess of Social Media & Community Management in the video game industry. She is the Events Manager for Green Ronin Publishing and is the Executive Director of OrcaCon, the Inclusive Analog Games Convention in Everett, WA. Donna is on the Community Management Advisory Board at the Game Developers Conference. She has spoken about building communities, diversity, harassment, and accessibility at the Game Developers Conference, numerous times at PAX / PAXDev, Gen Con, Mensa Annual Gathering, NorWesCon, and the Community Manager Conference in Leipzig, Germany. Donna is a gamer and a beer geek, often combining both hobbies while teaching new people to game and appreciate beer. She’s also insists she is NOT a Hobbit. You can follow Donna on Twitter: @_Danicia_. Find her also on http://about.me/Danicia
Barry "Fildrigar" Wilson, Founder, Vice Chair, & Treasurer - Born of Hippies in the uncharted backwoods of the Pacific Northwest, Barry Wilson was literally raised by wolves. He is often found in the company of cats, and is known to be handy with tools of all sorts. Among his passions are games, sharing his love of gaming with others, and general shenanigans. He currently resides in Greater Pugetopolis, equidistant from sea, mountains, forest, and the hustle and bustle of city life..
Steve Hobbs, Advisory Board Member - 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."
Chip Nixon, Volunteer Manager - Chip has been working at conventions for over 10 years, and she considers working nerd events as part of her identity. She'll be helping out with OrcaCon as the Volunteer Coordinator, and is also lending a hand with graphic design. She has cats named Captain Shanks and Buggy the Clown. Chip tweets for a living, and loves to draw and go Lindy Hopping.
Denise "Kittee" Notman, Registration Manager - Denise hails 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.
Elliot Erickson, Security Manager - 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. Elliot has been involved with convention security & operations since Steamcon.
Anna Armstrong, Dealers Hall Manager - Avid tea drinker and lover of good suits, Anna is a gaming and events contractor in the tabletop gaming industry.
Mary Prior, Green Room/VIP Manager - Mary will again be our Green Room Hostess with the Mostess. She happens to be Donna Prior's mom, and this is payback for all the years she dragged Donna with her to volunteer at various Mensa conventions across the country. Mary grew up in the backwoods of southwestern Oregon (Gold Beach/Hunters Creek), where she pretty much ran wild and loved every minute of it. The only game she remembers playing was Single-Deck Pinochle with family members. Since then, the Navy suggested she visit South Korea (Po'Hang), England (London, Stonehenge, Stratford, and Bath), as well as being forced to spend time in Hawaii every three years. She does play Quiddler on occasion, and LOVES Cards Against Humanity! This also allows her to cheerfully host the Green Room while her favorite daughter and Son4 Barry can play games and do Con things.
Lee Pate, Operations Lord Supreme - Highly regarded wizard from the prime material plane. His exploits include not dying at low level, many, many times. He loves Dragons and can be found most days, guarding a hoard in a cave somewhere. His magic leaves something to be desired but he loves conversation.
Elizabeth Boisen, Community Row - Elizabeth is a minion wrangler at a local castle building guild. Elizabeth enjoys playing new games and meeting new people. She has a kind heart and a fun spirit and uses these traits to distracts you as she wins the game.
Risks and challenges
There are many challenges for fan-run conventions, especially when they are new. We were able to cover the expense of the convention space rental, but there are a lot more expenses involved in running a convention.
The biggest risk for us in Year 2 is the same as Year 1. What if no one shows up? If they don’t, it 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 2018. 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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