Terror By Design: How to design and run horror games

Terror By Design: How to design and run horror games
  • Fri Oct 11, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Rachel Beck, Meguey Baker, Misha Bushyager, Beau Sheldon, James Mendez Hodes, and Whitney "Strix" Beltrán
  • Panel
  • California A (Panel)
  • 2
  • 4 of 50


Dim the lights. Horror games make for a great play experience, but can be a trick to pull off. Join game designers Meguey Baker, Misha Bushyager, Beau Sheldon, James Mendez Hodes, and Whitney “Strix” Beltrán as they discuss how to design and run horror games. Panel moderation by Rachel Beck. Bring your questions for a Q&A time afterward!

Meguey Baker (she/her) has been a gamer since she was a little kid in the 70s, and has been gaming ever since. She designs games that are accessible to folks who have never played a role-playing game before, provide great story quickly, and fit in a life that’s full of other things. Her games have been playtested extensively in schools and library summer programs for teens, as well as at gaming conventions and in gaming groups of adults.

Misha Bushyager (she/her) is a longtime gamer and GM and fledgling designer working on raising the next generation of geeklings. She’s written for Chill: SAVELovecraftesqueMisspent Youth, and Dead Scare and served as an editor for #Feminism and is writer, editor, and marketing manager for New Agenda Publishing.

Beau Sheldon (they/them or he/him) is a designer and editor of roleplaying games, a games journalist, and creator of the Script Change RPG toolbox. They have worked on live action and tabletop games including Let Me Take a SelfieOf the WoodsFirefly Smuggler’s Guide to the RimMasks: Halcyon City Herald, and Bubblegumshoe. Their Thoughty site hosts their numerous interviews with game designers, artists, and creators, as well as articles on game theory and design. Their current projects are Turn, a tabletop game about shapeshifters in small towns, and a web series called Leading with Class, teaching leadership using concepts from games. Their work focuses on community, identity, being better – and asking questions.

James Mendez Hodes (he/him) is an ENnie Award-winning writer, editor, and cultural consultant whom you might know from 7th Sea, Scion, or several blog posts complaining about racism in the analog gaming community. He has an academic background in West African religion, Asian classics, and comparative martial arts. He lives in the greater New York metropolitan area on traditional Lenape land, as well as on the internet at jamesmendezhodes.com and Twitter at @LulaVampiro.

Whitney “Strix” Beltrán (she/her) is an award-winning narrative designer and writer for both analogue and video games. She is a games academic, diversity and inclusion advocate, and sometimes improv actor on Twitch. She is co-author of Bluebeard’s Bride, and currently serves as a narrative director at Hidden Path Entertainment.

Rachel Beck (she/her). Living on the outskirts of Los Angeles, California for over a decade turned one-time fantasy writer Rachel Beck into an author of the cyberpunk series The Glitch Logs. When not hammering out new stories by the light of a dying laptop, she also enjoys gaming, tabletop RPGs, and escaping the cyber dystopia to enjoy nature. Rachel is also the author of the stand-alone fantasy novel SommniumThe Dark Menagerie storied-jewelry series, and co-creator of The Dracula Files through StoryForge Productions. You can follow her on Twitter at @rachelthebeck or read The Glitch Logs by visiting www.glitchlogs.com.

Image credits: Horror, CC BY-NC 2.0 Sztanko Demeter.

Tags: GMing Advice, Horror, Player Advice, Safety Tools panel, game design

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *