Tracking the Game Designer in the Wild

If you’re looking to meet and talk with your favorite game designer, there’s no better place than Gen Con, probably the best hunting ground in the world short of Essen. If you’re looking to meet and talk with me in particular, I’m going to make it even easier by telling you where you can make sure our paths cross.

Thursday, 1:00 PM: Intelligent Design: Evolution of Rules
As a game goes through more than one edition, or even more than one printing, the rules evolve away from the originals. Our panel of industry pros talk about how to keep the rules changing for the better.

If you want to hear me talk about the evolution of the HeroClix rules, come on by. Also on the panel are Tim Kask (the first employee of TSR!) and Lew Pulsipher, the designer of the classic board game “Brittania”, so I’ll be the young turk(!) on the panel.

Friday, 10:00 AM: Playing with Other People’s Toys: Licensed Games
Making a game based on your favorite movie or comic book can be a process with both pleasures and pitfalls. Designers of games based on TV, novels, toys and even other games tell their tales.

Odds are that I, Matt Forbeck, and Mitch Gittleman have worked with your favorite at some point, and this panel should be a mix of the fun of working with them and something akin to the scene in Jaws where Quint and Hooper are comparing scars.

Friday, 1:00 PM: Game Development from Prototype to Publication
Taking your game from a design to a prototype that you can show to a manufacturer or publish yourself. Join our Industry guests as they discuss the ins and outs!

A full lineup at this panel, where I’ll be joined by Eric Lang, Paul Peterson, Devin Low and Jeff Quick. I have plenty to share, but I also can’t wait to hear what the other designers on the panel have to say.

Saturday, 3:00 PM: Time Management for Creatives
How to get the most bang for your buck out of your 168 hours a week, as well as sleep and pay the bills.

I’ll have tips, Stan! will have tricks, and the uber-productive father-of-five Matt Forbeck will give us all his secrets or the panel and audience will eat his brain to steal his power. You don’t want to miss that.

Outside of those panels I’ll be showing my wife around her first Gen Con and we’ll probably slip away to play a few games, but you also have a good chance of catching up with me at any of the following places, which I tend to visit regularly:

You can also keep up with me and my doings, as per usual, via my Facebook and Twitter feeds. Feel free to send me a direct message on either if you’re having trouble tracking me down.

See you in Indy!

Gears of War HeroClix Preview

A Mauler from Gears of War HeroClix

Over on Figures.com, they’re running a preview of the Gears of War HeroClix figures I designed for WizKids, including previews of the brand-new grenade mechanic and two new team abilities for the C.O.G. and the Locust Horde!

Where’s Seth?

If you’re reading the Funlab you probably know most or all of this already, but HeroClix World asked me to write up a short article on what I’ve been up to since leaving WizKids.

It’s only when I stop to write up a summary like that that I realize how busy I’ve been. I really do deserve a nap. But first, there’s that deadline to attend to…

Watchmen HeroClix Preview

HurmOver the next few days, WizKids is interviewing me about the upcoming Watchmen HeroClix set I designed, and previewing some of the figures in the set along the way.

The set was a lot of fun to work on, and it’s great to finally start sharing some of the fun with players. I can’t wait until it gets into their (and my) hands, starting at the San Diego Comic Con.

Seth Johnson Bystander Tokens for HeroClix

When I was lead designer for the HeroClix line at WizKids, I went to a lot of conventions and tournaments to watch players play, and to talk to them about the game. It was a blast, and I loved talking to players everywhere from San Diego to Philadelphia.

For fun, and to encourage players to seek me out so we could talk, I decided to make up some special HeroClix bystander tokens to hand out. But as a WizKids employee, making tokens of any licensed character like Batman or Spider-Man involved fees and approvals–and I was typically working on a budget of pizza money and a time frame of “That Kinko’s downtown is open 24 hours a day; I can get there before I have to go to the airport, right?” So instead, swallowing my humility and sticking my tongue firmly in my cheek, I made tokens of myself.

The Seth Johnson bystander tokens looked like true bystander tokens, although they weren’t die cut. I handed out the first token I made (B001) for two years. Then, when I ran out of those, I made three more (B002-B004.)



Sometime last year, I gave away the last one. I’m probably never going to print up any more, so they’ll have to join the SKETCH! Character Generator as collectible artifacts of my career. (Not that I expect them to be burning up eBay anytime soon–my mom already has one of each.)

But as the tokens are still mentioned and discussed by HeroClix fans once in a while, I thought I’d put them up here on my webspace so anyone who wanted some could print their own. (Note to fans: Let me know what your local judge says if you try and field them using WizKids’ new “print n’ play” policy!)

Click here or on the image above for the bigger file, and then take me to your battlefield! It’s too bad that I didn’t get a chance to work on the line a bit longer, so I could do a Seth token with a special power or two. But I guess there’s nothing stopping me from posting one here…

HeroClix World Interview

My Hammer of Thor chariot showed up in the mail the other day, the first HeroClix piece I had nothing to do with in five years. I’m pretty excited to sit down and discover how it plays with the rest of the HeroClix fan community, as soon as I can tear myself away from the Champions Online beta.

Speaking of HeroClix, one of the sites helping keep the game alive is HeroClix World, and a couple weeks ago I did an interview with the site that rambled across my history as a game designer (the long-lost Masters of the Universe RPG revealed!), how I got to WizKids, and more. You can read the interview here, broken up into three parts as I kept blathering on and on and on:

They’ve already done an interview with nbperp, the last Rules Arbitrator for HeroClix, and they’ve announced upcoming interviews with John Byrne and Jason Mical. Definitely great stuff for HeroClix fans.