Guests of Honor
Katherine Cross is a Ph.D. student in Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Centre in New York, and a contributing columnist to Gamasutra. Her work has focused on everything from game design to community management to online harassment. As a social and gaming critic, her work has appeared in numerous publications worldwide, including Rolling Stone, Bitch Magazine, The Baffler, Time, The Verge, Polygon, First Person Scholar, and The Daily Beast.
She is also a sought-after thinker on technology whose commentary has appeared on NPR, ABC Radio National, Le Monde, and Dagens Nyheter among others. Recently, she has begun to enter the world of game design, contributing writing and scenarios to games like the Pathfinder RPG and Eclipse Phase. She yearns for the robot uprising and is currently writing a book on the subject.
Brittanie Boe is a writer, photographer and video producer who founded Be Bold Games in 2018. Her passions include her cat Dax, her daughter Hailey, bouldering, and going on adventures to capture the perfect photos on her camera.
She writes about her perspective as a Latinx woman in gaming and is passionate about intersectional feminism as well as queer inclusion and advocacy. When she’s not tweeting she’s off in the mountains playing ukulele and singing at the top of her tiny lungs. https://www.beboldgames.com/
Victoria Caña – Producer for Wizards of the Coast by day, award-winning indie game designer and speaker by night — Victoria is an ambitious Seattleite who enjoys writing her life story as though she’s the protagonist of a novel, traveling around the world in search of good food, playing as many board games as possible, and helping other people achieve their dreams.You can find Victoria on virtually every social media platform under the handle @victoriacana. You can also learn more about her award-winning board game Gladius at https://www.catquartetgames.com/.
Brian Cortijo is an educational administrator and a veteran freelance game designer, having contributed to Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Blue Rose, and other games over the last decade and a half, and has been captivated by games for more than twice that long. His current focus is on helping designers adjust their worldbuilding to better reflect the players they hope to attract, and to make more immersive game experiences. He talks. A lot. Sometimes people even listen.
You can see some of his ramblings over on Twitter under the clever and inventive handle @briancortijo.
Artist Guest of Honor
Aaron Bowersock – Hi everyone! My name is Aaron, and for the past few years I’ve been working on a whimsical and vibrant Day of the Dead art mashup project called PopMuertos. What started with drawing sugar skull versions of ALL Gen 1 Pokemon, this project has now branched out into everything else I love- cartoons, movies, original characters, and even my corgi, Pickles! I grew up with these colors and patterns and have really enjoyed incorporating them in fun, new ways. And I hope you enjoy it too! You can find more work at PopMuertos.com or watch me draw, live on Twitch. Hope to see you around!
Misha B. – Misha Bushyager is a longtime gamer and designer working on making sure the next generation of geeks sees themselves represented. She’s a panelist, writer, editor, proofreader, and sensitivity reader for tabletop RPGs and larps. She’s one of the founders of New Agenda Publishing and a curator for More Seats at the Table.
She worked on Orun, #Feminism, Chill:SAVE, Lovecraftesque, Dead Scare, Misspent Youth:Sell Out With Me, Masks:Unbound, and the as yet unpublished larp Nightingales.
DC is a Black non-binary game designer and full-time freelancer currently residing in Seattle, WA. They’re largely known for their games, “Mutants in the Night”, and the ENnnie award winning “plot ARMOR”. They’re also a contributing designer for Wizards of the Coast (D&D), and a featured writer at D&D Beyond. DC focuses on bridging the gap between independent designers and industry titans.
Sarah Gulde is a ginormous Trekkie and all-around geek! She has appeared on Trek panels across the country and internationally, and you can also catch her on various Trek podcasts as well as the Deep Space Nine documentary “What We Left Behind”. When she’s not attending cons she’s running “NERD CAMP” in Portland, OR, which is a mini-con with a focus on diversity and inclusion. Her favorites games are Kingsport Festival, Arkham Horror, and Call of Cthulhu.
Graeme Barber is a long time player and GM, and new designer and consultant in the world of RPG’s. He started his blog, POCGamer, in 2013 to address the issues of representation and racism in science fiction and fantasy media, and has since developed that concept further with his video podcast, Lore Diver. He has worked as a consultant for world building and region design, and as a freelance writer, creating the concept and background for a player race in High Level Games’ upcoming Archons of Nikud game. He is currently working on some projects of his own, including a minimalist Sci-Fi RPG, Sojourner, and a rules light fantasy game in the mode of classic 16bit JRPG’s. When not being a blerd, he can be found with his family, working as a GIS Technician, soldiering in the Canadian Army Reserves, or scuba diving.
Nicole Jekich – Nicole is a food-obsessed game designer, blogger, & community organizer in Seattle, WA. Her first co-designed game, Food Truck Champion published by Daily Magic Games, is now available. Nicole is passionate about helping others create their first game. You can find her at the many events thru PlaytestNW: a group of designers in the Pacific Northwest looking to bring tabletop games to the masses.
Mike Robles (or TheMikeRobles as he’s known online) is a gaming, comic, and horror enthusiast, as well as a first generation Mexican-American. He has been a Community Manager for some of the biggest games in the gaming industry. He’s worked on Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, Minecraft, Killer Instinct (2013) and more.
When he’s not busy being a community manager he’s usually playing video games or board games with his wife and child. He wants his kiddo to grow up loving everything and everyone. You can always chat with him on Twitter: @TheMikeRobles
Carmen Marin – Holas~ I’m Carmen Marin, aka Diana Moon, and I’m a Bi Latina Editor/Writer/Content Creator! I’ve been a geek since birth, thanks to my parents who’ve been Trekkie and Sci-Fi/Horror fans all their lives. Been a gamer since the Commodore 64 and got into the world of tabletop in high school. I love all things pop culture in all the mediums, and through my upbringing of being a Union Strong family, always been an advocate for more representation, more visibility, more rights in everything we do in our lives. I’ve written for mobile romance games in the past, and done sensitivity reading and editing for PC games like Verdant Skies, and tabletop like Girl Underground, along with over a years worth of playtesting varous indie games. Currently a freelancer editor and writer, working on a few modules of games coming out in the near future.
Bianca Anderson is a writer, gamer, and unapologetic angry black lady. She spent six years in the AAA gaming industry in talent acquisition and user experience, before choosing to leave a pursue a new path. Bianca is vocal and passionate about about the intersection of marginalized identities and the representation thereof in geekdom – both in media and in broader geek culture. She believes in the power of a bold lip, cute clothes, strong words, and unbridled enthusiasm.
Emma Larkins is a board game designer, creator of …and then we died, Abandon All Artichokes, and Heartcatchers. She hosts #TableTakes presented by Gen Con, a board game news show on Twitch, and Ludology, a podcast about the thoughtful analysis of game design. She writes about #gamedesigndaily on social media, streams live board game design, and runs a weekly playtest event for the Seattle Tabletop Game Designers. She’s spoken about game design on panels at PAX, PAX Dev, SHUX, DreamHack, and Twitch Con.
Tracy Barnett – I’m Tracy Barnett, and I make games. I’m a queer, non-binary tabletop game designer, and I make games of all types! I’m best known for my work on Iron Edda Accelerated, Karthun: Lands of Conflict, and as the editor of Paper Arcade. I also run TheOtherCast podcast network, producing RPG actual play, and Another Blank Page (with my co-host Kate Bui). This is my first OrcaCon and I’m super-excited to spend the weekend playing and talking about games in the Pacific Northwest.
Lynne Hardy got into roleplaying games thanks to the Seahawks so, even though she’s not watched a game in years, she’s always happy to come to Seattle for OrcaCon. Having originally trained as a biomedical researcher, she got into writing for RPGS after a cheeky letter to Wizards of the Coast. Now, far more years later than she’s prepared to admit, she’s written for numerous companies, including Nightfall Games, Pelgrane Press, Cubicle 7, and Modiphius, and worked as an editor for Green Ronin (amongst others). As well as developing her own steampunk and fantasy games (Cogs, Cakes & Swordsticks; Small Things), she is now employed full time by Chaosium as Associate Line Editor for the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game. When she’s not doing that, she gives lectures and workshops on historical embroidery techniques.