We are pleased to announce our Special Guests for 2019!
Mr. Brown started playing games at 5 with his Uncle Dave every day after school. He first played Chess and then moved on to Feudal and Thinking Man’s Golf. By the age of 7, his older brother Shad had caught the full bug for D&D and the two played role playing games with their close friends Ryan and Dwayne for the next 10 years. At 12, he was consumed by the Gamemaster series of games by MB, mostly Axis and Allies but also Conquest of the Empire, Broadsides, and Fortress America (still to this day, his favorite — thanks Mike Gray!).
After spending a year developing the game Teraforming (while recovering from knee surgery) Sean attended his first Gencon to sell the game and landed a job with Eagle Games doing demos. He later helped to build a distribution network (FRED) and continued developing and distributing games for Eagle Games.
With Mr. B Games Sean has utilized Kickstarter to provide the financial backing to fulfill his lifelong dream of running his own game company. His current offerings are Alien Uprising, Spurs, Realm of Heroes, Clockwork Kingdom, Posthuman, WarQuest, Prospectus and Helionox.
Todd Gardiner – Chaosium Inc.
Mr. Gardiner has been the Director of Organized Play for Chaosium for two years, before that doing graphic design in their products or on their covers. An avid gamer, he has both a weekly board game group and a weekly RuneQuest group. Currently he is swamped in editing the stack of convention scenarios that Chaosium will be offering for 2019 and planning his end-of-summer escape to Burning Man, which he has been attending since 2001.
Keith Avallone & Sam Avallone – PLAAY Game
Keith Avallone is the owner and CEO of PLAAY Games LLC, a company dedicated since 2000 to preserving and advancing the grand pastime of sports board games. In addition to designing games, he also directly oversees the manufacture, marketing and distribution of PLAAY Games. Currently, PLAAY Games offers eleven sports game titles, everything from baseball to roller derby. His son Sam joined the business just this year. Before finding his “encore career,” Keith spent 30 years as a radio disc jockey, working at legendary top-40 stations like KKBQ/Houston, WPLJ/New York and KHKS/Dallas. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Texas with a degree in Advertising. He and his wife Cara have lived in Highlands Ranch since 2007.
Sam is wrapping up at the University of Colorado at Denver, otherwise known as “CU In The City,” he’ll earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Animation in May. He’s a fan of all kinds of games–both video and board games–and has a massive collection of Pokemon cards and custom-built, tournament-quality decks. Sam grew up playing games with Keith, and over the years they collaborated on numerous board game ideas that were both kid-friendly and interesting to play. Some of these games are being further developed and polished up for release under an extension of the PLAAY brand that we intend to launch this fall.
Andrew Leman – HP Lovecraft Society
Mr. Leman grew up in Arvada, Colorado, in a large family that owned a publishing company. He was surrounded by books, graphic design, and handcrafting from an early age. Fascinated by the 1920s/’30s, he is one of the founding members of the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society, and has produced a number of literary, film, theatrical, music, prop and gaming projects there with his longtime friend and collaborator Sean Branney. He wrote and directed the first HPLHS student film, The Testimony of Randolph Carter, directed The Call of Cthulhu, and co-wrote and co-produced The Whisperer in Darkness. He co-writes, produces, and performs in the Dark Adventure Radio Theatreseries. He co-created the HPLHS musical sensations A Shoggoth on the Roof, two albums of Lovecraftian holiday music, the jazz vocal album Ogham Waite: Live at the Gilman House, and The Curious Sea Shanties of Innsmouth, Mass.
Leman earned his MFA in acting from the University of Illinois, and has been seen on professional stages in Chicago and Los Angeles. He greatly enjoys reading for The H. P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast and being an occasional guest host. When not pursuing any of these many other occupations, Leman is a graphic and type designer, and his typographical work has been seen in books and on movie screens, Trader Joe’s products, and billboards nationwide.
Andrew is devoted to his husband Glenn Alfonso and their rescue dogs.