Coming Home: a Metatopia report

Coming Home: a Metatopia report

Metatopia feels like coming home. It’s so amazing to have a place where I can talk and learn about the real work of game design, talk with other people injvolved in it, and in general feel at ease.  I’ve been published, spoken at panels, run blogs, but never really managed to feel like I fit in the industry before coming to Metatopia over the last two years.

There are many reasons I personally have felt like an outsider in RPGs before, but having a place that is so intense yet intimate and relaxed, that also offers me a chance to contribute by running panels and being in people’s playtests helps me feel like I’m in inside.  I felt that both years I’ve attended Metatopia, and it’s a really special feeling. Days after the convention, I’m still smiling!

I got to playtest many of my friend’s games, which were excellent.  I got to test new card games from Tim Rodriguez and Dave Chalker, a world=building game from Laura Simpson (Companion’s Tale) and a game of modern-day ninja from Dev Purkayastha called Shadow Elite.  I got to test the new version of a tabletop Streetfighter game called Gatchafighter. With Tor, Dev and I ran a game jam where people read a short story then built the shells of some really great games. I playtested Five Fires.

I wasn’t quite ready for this.  The playtest was awesome. I had Jeremy Morgan, Elizabeth Sampat, Lilian Cohen-Moore, James Mendes Hodes, Warren Morrison, Dave Chalker and Darren Watts at the table (Tim Rodriguez popped in later), and it was just a really great time. The game was pre-alpha, so I mostly needed to test some mechanics and structures. Everything worked way better than I expected, and after the convention, all of my playtesters told people all about the game.  Soon people I’d never met before were mentioning to me how Five Fires sounded really cool!  It was quite the feeling.  I want to thank all my playtesters for their suggestions and also their evangelism for this little game I’m working on.

So I’m back now. I’ve got a Patreon campaign where you can help back Five Fires and some of my other creations, and I’ll make a return to blogging as well. Metatopia was just what the doctor ordered to revitalize me for more game design work.  Thanks to everyone for your support thus far. Thank you to everyone for the great conversations.  My next posts will be about some of the cool stuff I played and discussed in more detail.


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