GTEX 2018 Professionals
Leonard Balsera is best known for his design and development work on Evil Hat Productions’ various Fate system games, such as the award-winning Dresden Files RPG, but has worked across the breadth of the industry, with credits from Pelgrane Press, Fantasy Flight Games, Green Ronin, Margaret Weis Productions, Onyx Path Publishing, Steve Jackson Games, and many others. When he isn’t eating, breathing, and sleeping hobby games, he spoils his cats rotten, reads voraciously, performs on stage occasionally, and plays a lot of video games. He lives at the intersection of memory and dream, but his physical body resides in Austin, Texas.
Brendan Cass is a software developer, data scientist, and game developer. He is co-owner of Skirmisher Publishing, LLC, and is the art director and product manager for all of its latest products. Among his latest projects are the Swords of Kos fantasy campaign setting, the upcoming Hekaton and Ragnarok: The Great Winter role-playing games, and the soon to be released City Builder: Platinum Edition. Brendan also runs d-Infinity.net and is a host on its weekly d-Infinity Live webcast every Thursday.
Raised under the technicolor sunset of refinery flares in warm and humid Southeast Texas, Adam Daigle has since relocated to the Pacific Northwest to work for Paizo, publisher of the Pathfinder and Starfinder roleplaying games. Adam started designing material for roleplaying games as a freelancer nearly ten years ago, writing for companies such as Paizo, Kobold Press, Green Ronin, and others before joining Paizo as a full-time developer working on Paizo’s award-winning Adventure Paths. In the past year, Adam was promoted to managing developer at Paizo, where he oversees and supports the most creative and passionate team of RPG developers he’s ever had the pleasure to work with. When not creating fantastic worlds, designing hideous monsters, and telling amazing stories, Adam distracts himself with drawing maps, cooking good food, listening to good music, and accepting drinks from strangers.
Jared Nielsen is a veteran in the gaming industry dating back to 1999 when he helped Gary Gygax launch his first website (www.Gygax.com), which featured a front door to his “virtual home” where you could enter and explore Gary’s musings and thoughts. He later produced a product at GenCon called Shards of the Stone, which was his first published RPG as well as the Fantasy Roleplaying Gamer’s Bible. The company was later merged with Pinnacle Entertainment Group (Shane Hensley) and Arduin and was moved to California… launching the careers of several industry veterans including Magic the Gathering’s Jason Engle, Aaron Acevedo of Sigil Publishing, and Kevin Ranson of the Crystal Lich as well as partnering with many veterans in their own right, including Sean Patrick Cannon and many others.
During a ten year sabbatical to raise five children, Jared pursued many other interests including large venture capital projects (DowAgro.com), Mortgage industry projects (First Option Online), Sports Commerce projects (Fanatics.com), Tennis projects (ATPTour.com / WTATour.com), Private Jet Aviation (UVGo – iTunes), and most recently Enterprise Architecture for the International Space Station with NASA. Now he works in large oil and gas.
With the kids flying the coop, he began investing in game industry projects under the umbrella of the Illusionist Investment Group (www.illusioni.st) which has invested heavily in monthly RPG subscription crates (www.Mythoard.com, www.DwarvenCrate.com, www.CthulhuCrate.com) as well as the manufacturing of dice, dice towers, and dice collection displays (Google for Dice Fog Tower on Kickstarter).
His latest passion is publishing adventure modules for www.DwarvenEpics.com and www.CthulhuEpics.com as well as continuing to manufacture licensed and original miniature terrain sold at www.RPGStore.com and the Dungeons and Dragons Trading Post on Facebook (the largest direct sale group for D&D products). He is also investing in mobile apps and web games including www.hex20.com and other nascent projects.
He is always exploring new initiatives including 3D miniatures and terrain printing, mold making, plaster and resin casting, and custom RPG woodworking.
He also is eager to demonstrate his resin casting “Pour-a-Dungeon” events at trade shows which are a big hit with the kids and the adults alike as they pour their own dice, miniatures, terrain, or dice towers right there at the booth.
Kevin G. Nunn
Kevin G. Nunn has spent most of his life slowly migrating westward along I-10. This trend began at the age of two, when his parents settled in New Orleans, LA, continued at the age of six, when his parents resettled in Lafayette, LA, and carried on to the age of 30, when he and his bride Debra resettled in Houston, TX.
Exposure to board games began at as a toddler, when his mother began teaching him the principles of chess. He’s been trying to make up for lost time ever since.
Kevin’s interest in game design appeared in the winter of 1980 with the design of his first roleplaying game. Several more roleplaying games and board games would follow.
Kevin’s published design credits to date include duck! duck! Go!, duck! duck! Safari!, Rolling Freight, Outlander: the Dice Game, and All You Can Eat. Kevin was also a contributing author to the anthology book Family Games: the 100 Best.
James Shade is the creative force behind Epic Age Media, which has spawned nearly 2 dozen board games, card games, roleplaying games, novels and music albums. Published titles include Galaxy Prime, Powers Beyond, All Hallows Eve, Roadkill Rumble, Wallet Warriors, Suburban Wars, Saga of 5 Ages, and others. Also founder of Darkside Gaming (1996-2007), he later expanded into film and television production, including the sitcom Morgue & Stein and the award-winning short film Tomboys. All good things will come to an end, however, when he grabs his whip and fedora and ventures into the field of archeology…
Clint Staples is a game developer and professional miniatures sculptor. He is the primary author of the Ragnarok miniatures and roleplaying games and the successful Mythos Society Guide to New England. His musings on the Runequest RPG may be found on d-Infinity every Thursday. When not exploring the wilds of and around Winnipeg, he pursues his interest in the medieval and ancient world.
Michael O. Varhola
Michael O. Varhola is the founder of game company Skirmisher Publishing, LLC and editor-in-chief of d-Infinity Online game magazine. He is a writer who has authored or co-authored 34 books and games — including the swords-and-sorcery novel Swords of Kos: Necropolis, two fantasy writers guides, and Ghosthunting San Antonio, Austin, & Texas Hill Country — and who has published more than 200 games and related titles. He has edited, published, or written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, is a combat veteran who served eight years in the U.S. Army, and lives in the Hill Country north of San Antonio, Texas. He also has an active online presence, notably through Facebook, Twitter, and a variety of other blogs, forums, and sites.