Gaming Guests

Tom-Dowd-WorksTom-DowdTom Dowd – Game Designer
Tom Dowd is a 30-year veteran of the game design business, having been first published while still in high school. He is one of the co-creators and developer of the award-winning Shadowrun role-playing game, as well as writer/contributor to other role-playing titles (such as Vampire: the Masquerade), two novels, and multiple short stories. While a developer at FASA Corp., he worked on the Shadowrun (as line developer and author of Shadowrun, 2nd Edition and multiple other titles), BattleTech, and EarthDawn game lines and joined FASA Interactive in the mid-90’s where he was senior designer of MechCommander. In 1999 he was the lead designer on the Xbox/Xbox-Live million+ selling release, MechAssault. Other computer game credits include Shadowrun for the NES and Sega consoles, the MechWarrior 2 & 3 games, Axis & Allies, Leisure Suit Larry and DuelMasters. Most recently he contributed the short story “Dinner with a Friend” to the Shadowrun Returns Anthology for Hairbrained Schemes. He is currently the lead of Skotos Tech’s online rpg game Castle Marrach and is associate chair of the Interactive Arts + Media department at Columbia College Chicago.

AUtLMTodd Van HooserTodd Van Hooser – Game Designer 
Over the last few years, Todd has published a handful of short stories and subsequently seen them adopted in a classroom setting. He is always hard at work on something new, whether it be a new short story, or an addition to his series the Laughing Moon Chronicles, including his table-top roleplaying game based therein. He always loves sharing a good story. Todd has been telling stories all of his life. He has a degree in English and creative writing at the University of Missouri which made him gather some important lessons on writing and how raw talent will never meet its potential without constant practice, a little discipline, and an open mind. Todd is now beginning his 10th year as an educator, and is more excited than ever to be back in the classroom. During the 2006-07 year he was recognized as Teacher of the Year, and has subsequently had the pleasure of being invited into numerous classrooms to share short stories or discuss the process of writing. He strives to make the material relevant to the lives of his students and to open their eyes and hearts to aspects of literature they may have never before considered.

Wicked FantasyJohn WickJohn Wick – Game Designer 
John Wick is a 20th and 21st century role-playing game designer best known for his creative contributions to the Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) properties Legend of the Five Rings and 7th Sea. He self-published Orkworld under the Wicked Press banner, and later co-founded the Wicked Dead Brewing Company with Jared Sorensen. His games under that company include Cat, Schauermärchen, Enemy Gods, and Thirty. He has won the Origins Award for Best Role-Playing Game and Best Collectible Card Game twice (for both the Legend of the Five Rings and 7th Sea role-playing games and collectible card games). He has also written for White Wolf, Inc., Pinnacle Entertainment Group, and worked for various video game companies, providing storyline and dialogue. He has written two regular on-line columns: The Game Designer’s Journal (for The Gaming Outpost) and Play Dirty (for Pyramid Magazine). He then went solo, creating his own publishing house. From there, he created games such as Cat, Discordia and his magnum opus, Houses of the Blooded. Wicked Fantasy, his latest venture, began as a series of articles in Kobold Quarterly Magazine reinventing the “standard races” in fantasy roleplaying. Now, those same articles have been expanded and revised (five times their original size!) and fit with the PATHFINDER Roleplaying Game.


tunnelsandtrolls75Ken St AndreKen St Andre – Game Designer 
Ken St. Andre is a fantasy author, and game designer, best known for his work with Tunnels & Trolls. In addition to writing the game rules, Ken wrote solo adventures allowing play without a game master. He also worked as a designer on the roleplaying games Stormbringer and Monsters! Monsters!, and the computer game Wasteland. He has also written stories for game-based anthologies such as Battletech, Shadowrun and his own Tunnels & Trolls role-playing game.