Want to playtest your Boardgame or RPG?

by nerdnyc

Our friends at Dexcon & Dreamation are hosting a convention dedicated to playtesting games!

METATOPIA 2011 takes place November 4 – 6 at the Hyatt Morristown in Morristown, New Jersey. Details here: http://www.dexposure.com/m2011.html

How do we explain METATOPIA?

Basically, Double Exposure wants you to be able to use METATOPIA as ANYTHING you want it to be. The following is what WE have come up with so far. Feel free to ask for anything you’d like, and we’ll do our best to make it happen!


For those of you who are familiar with the Hyatt Morristown from DEXCON and DREAMATION, this will be clear; anyone else, just wing it for now :-)

We will have the entire conference center exactly as we usually have it for the larger conventions. We also have the big Concord room, which is usually used for LARPing at the larger conventions and is right next to the bar. We will have the usual 6 tables set up by the waterfalls, and we also have the three small rooms inside the hotel hallway which leads to the Terrace Ballroom (we normally use them for computer gaming, video gaming and anime at the larger conventions).

We are not yet sure where the Con Suite will be set up. We will be utilizing the general space (the large Manhattan ballroom which fits 14 tables) for most open gaming and scheduled Board Game playtests, and scheduled RPG & Story playtests will go into the individual rooms. LARPS will probably all go into the Concord Room. Seminars and focus groups will go into the Cairo room, which holds about 32 people.


We will be using a standard Double Exposure track system for this convention. Registration opens at 6PM Friday night, and the convention will close at 7PM Sunday night.

The standard tracks will be:

* Friday 8PM-12AM, 12AM-4AM
* Saturday 9AM-1PM, 2PM-6PM, 8PM-12AM, 12AM-4AM
* Sunday 10AM-2PM, 3PM-7PM

For games which run more or less than 4 hours, we will fit them in as neatly as we can.


We will be working with Designers individually to figure out what kind of players they want to have at their events. For example, at the upper extreme, they’ll be able to tell us they want 5 players, 3 male and 2 female of this age and that age, with this experience and that experience, etc., or they could just tell us they want 5 players, whoever is interested. Or anything in between.

Events will be posted on a master schedule as they usually are at the larger conventions, and players will be able to reserve seats in the events which still have open seats available to general players.

We hope to have a constant stream of seminars and focus groups. Designers might ask us to assemble 10 players to discuss a new concept they have, and the room would be theirs to do with as they wish. They’ll even be free to hand out NDAs and lock the doors.

We will also have one room devoted to VIDEO SESSIONS! Yes, we promised this feature, and we’re going to make it happen. The concept here is that Designers usually have a specific way they want their game to be run. They will have the opportunity to give away (or sell) a DVD showing a session run by them so that potential GMs can know exactly what their vision looks like! Perhaps they want to create a YouTube video for promotional purposes. WE will give them the opportunity to do anything they’d like on camera, and we’ll help them edit it and package it, ready for the internet, or IPR sales, or DREAMATION 2012.


We will have a constant LARP track at METATOPIA, featuring the following committed LARPs:

* “Blacker Than The Dark of Night” by Avonelle Wing, a re-run of a very popular event from Intercon Mid-Atlantic 2005.
* “Weight of a Soul” by PST Productions, a WWII Hitchcockian LARP with a Mythos twist and very intense characterization.
* An Ars Amandi LARP from Elizabeth Stark, featuring adult romantic plots.
* A Champions LARP from Echoes of Empires, utilizing the maturing system first seen at DEXCON 14.

We hope to have Bruce Neiger run at least one of his great game shows during the Saturday dinner break.

Darren Watts will have the full IPR booth open and will be selling all of the stock like he does at the larger conventions. We’re sure some of the other publishers who are coming will also have product to sell.

We expect to have at least one video game station set up with the big projector so that everyone can hang out with their favorite video games anytime during the weekend. And I’m sure that will include at least one session of SingStar, the Karaoke game that we can’t get enough of at the larger conventions. MAYBE Rock Band, if the Electronic Gaming folks would like to pack it. Yeah, that sounds cool!

We will also have most of the extensive Double Exposure Board Game Library available to ALL attendees, designers and players alike, so that everyone can chill out with your favorite board game at any point during the convention.

In general, we want to provide an atmosphere of cooperation and relaxation at METATOPIA, without the hassle of a frenzied gaming convention happening around the Designers. We have a lot of confirmed press and podcasters coming to the event to interview Designers and cover the play, and we’ll listen to ANY proposal folks have that would make METATOPIA a success for them!


We currently have 39 confirmed Publishers & Designers, listed below:

* Darren Watts (Hero Games, IPR)
* Bill White (Consensus Games)
* Mark Salzwedel (Strategic Space)
* Ivan Turner (9 Kingdoms)
* Russell Morrisey (Gorkwobble Games)
* Kit La Touche (Transneptune Games)
* David Fooden (Game Company No. 3)
* Courtney Tricarichi (Legendary Realms Terrain)
* Brennan Taylor (Galileo Games)
* Rob Trimarco (Pantheon Press)
* Stephen Buonocore (Stronghold Games)
* Larry Wickman (Gamewick Games)
* Kevin Allen Jr. (Kevin Allen Jr. Design)
* Curt Covert (Smirk & Dagger Games)
* Greg Agostini (PST Productions)
* Zev Shlasinger (Z-Man Games)
* Fred Hicks (Evil Hat Productions)
* Erich Michel (MinMax Games, LLC)
* Chris Kreuter (Masquerade Games LLC)
* Jennifer Wong (Jennigames)
* Timothy Rodriguez (Ogreteeth Games)
* Ann Stolinsky (Gontza Games)
* Joshua Yearsley (Mad Scientist Games)
* Lizzie Stark (Leaving Mundania)
* Andrew Morris (Plague Monkey Games)
* Brendan Conway (Saint Erebus Games)
* Ben Walker (Echoes of Empires)
* Neal Stidham (Parenthesis Press)
* Bradley Eggleston (HorrorScope)
* Shawn De Arment (De Arment Publishing)
* Warren Morrison (Shattered Legacy)
* Shoshana Kessock (Phoenix Outlaw Productions)
* Michael Keller (Visible Hand Games)
* Chris Adams (Aetherco)
* Frank Hablawi (Particularly Evil Productions)
* Gil Hova (Gil Hova Games)
* George Strayton (Secret Fire Games)
* Michael & Kat Miller (Incarnadine Press)
* David Petroski (Consensus Games)

Feel free to send feedback or questions to metatopia2011@dexposure.com. More information about METATOPIA 2011 can be found at http://www.dexposure.com/m2011.html.

Vincent Salzillo, President
Double Exposure, Inc.
Gaming the Way it Was Meant to Be!


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