Thursday, November 29, 2018

Crafter Con is The Game Crafter's very own game design convention. Its focus is on education to make you a better game designer. It features a track of seminars and workshops with industry experts. As well as a play testing room where you can work out some kinks with other designers 1 on 1.


Time Title Presenter
8am Registration opens
9am Component.Studio Workshop JT Smith
11am What do retailers expect from Kickstarted games? Bryan Winter
Noon Lunch break On your own
1:30pm Intellectual Property in Games Robert Lawler
2:30pm Defining Your Game Jay Little
3:30pm The Survival Guide for Design Alisha Volkman
4:30pm Rulebook Pitfalls for Indie Designers Dustin Oakley
6pm Dinner break On your own
8pm Component.Studio with Your Projects JT Smith

During the main schedule, there will also be a separate room open and set up for play testing. So if you are not interested in one of the seminars or workshops you always have something to do. This room will remain open until midnight.

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Session Descriptions

This is the list of sessions available at Crafter Con 2018.

Component Studio Workshop

Learn how to use Component.Studio from the guy who invented it. In this session, we'll work together to create a new game from scratch in Component.Studio. You can either just watch, or if you bring a computer you can build want we build in real-time so that you have some hand's on experience with Component.Studio.

JT Smith is the creator of The Game Crafter and the designer of The Captain is Dead.

What do retailers expect from Kickstarted games?

Master retailer Bryan Winter will tell you what he expects from kickstarted games in order to add them to his retail shop. He'll discuss packaging, stretch goals, promotions, and more. If you plan to publish your own games, this is a must attend event.

Bryan Winter is the owner of the friendly local game store I'm Board, one of the most popular games stores in the midwest.

Intellectual Property in Games

Attorney Robert Lawler will give a short presentation on intellectual property law as it relates to board games, and then open up to questions. He's happy to discuss things like contracts with artists and writers, agreements with publishers for royalties, filing copyrights and trademarks, etc.

Robert "Bo" Lawler has been an attorney specializing in intellectual property since 2005, working at several firms in Wisconsin as well as serving at the US District Court in Iowa.

Defining Your Game

How do you explain your game to other people? How do you take the experience and make it easy to understand? What goes into a good elevator pitch? You need to be able to explain your game differently based on the audience -- a publisher, a play tester, or a gaming stranger. Learn the three key things publishers want to know, how to create a good elevator pitch, and tools to help you focus on what's important in your game by looking at GNS Theory (Gamist - Narrativist - Simulationist).

Jay Little is an award-winning game designer and passionate game enthusiast with more than 20 years of experience in the hobby gaming industry. In addition to designing his own games, Jay also teaches video and board game design for the University of Wisconsin - Stout.

The Survival Guide for Design

A guide on how to pick the best program for you needs when creating and handling your board game files. Pros and Cons of different types of programs. Learn the basic tools of these programs that you will need. Learn to read and understand different manufacturers templates and how to use them in these programs. Learn a bit about sizes and formats for saving them.

Alisha Volkman is a game designer and artist. She does contract art via AlishaDoesArt.com.

Rulebook Pitfalls for Indie Designers: Common Errors and How To Avoid Them

Whether self-publishing, sending games to reviewers or publishers, or just playtesting, designers need to communicate their rules flawlessly. In this seminar you’ll see real world examples from indie games showing what to do and not to do when writing your rulebook.

An avid gamer since childhood, Dustin Oakley has been active in the game design, prototype, and The Game Crafter communities for the last few years. He has an eclectic background, having worked as an archaeologist, software developer, and elementary school teacher. He has a master’s degree in special education and a general love of words and languages.

Component.Studio with Your Projects

You can work on your projects in Component.Studio, and JT will answer your questions and help you work through building out your projects live. You will need a computer for this session. It will go until 10pm or until everyone's questions are answered, whichever comes first.

JT Smith is the creator of The Game Crafter and the designer of The Captain is Dead.

Room Layouts & Maps


Crafter Con Seminars

The Crafter Con Seminars will be held in room KO. If you come in the main entrance you can get their by taking an immediate right on the 4th floor. It will be open from 8am until 10pm.


Crafter Con Play Test Room

The Crafter Con Play Test Room can be found on the second floor in the Hall of Fame Room. It will be open from 8am until Midnight.