Getting to Know the FallCon Core: Sarah Stevenson

FallCon Gaming Society - Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Ok this will be the last of our FallCon profiles... at least until after the convention. Truth be told, we have so many dedicated volunteers that we won't have time to feature them all on the blog before the convention this weekend. We intend to continue the series after FallCon Weekend and we'll likely extend the series by first focussing on our numerous Game Ambassadors and then some of our awesome regular attendees. If you'd like to be part of the series, please send us an email.

Tomorrow, we'll do a round up of commonly asked questions and give a few tips for this weekend. Today though, our profile sheds light on one of the beautiful smiling faces that will greet you at Registration this weekend: Sarah Stevenson!

Sarah, please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Sarah Stevenson and I grew up here in Calgary.  I often joke it’s hard to find a born-and-raised Calgarian these days! I went to the University of Calgary and completed a double BA in 2006. A few years later I met my husband, Nick, while working at a local consulting firm. We’ve been married for almost four years. We are typical Calgarians, spending most of our time in one quadrant of the city!

How did you get started with tabletop gaming? 

I don’t really remember when I started tabletop gaming. Dad had a games room in the house we grew up in. The closet was full games! At an early age we were introduced to Clue, The Game of Life, Stock Ticker, Mastermind, Sorry, Monopoly - all of the classics. My cousins, sister and I spent hours in the basement playing board games!

What's your role with FallCon?

I help coordinate and staff the registration desk at FallCon!  The FallCon registration desk is staffed by volunteers.  At registration we welcome participants, set them up with name badges and the registration of scheduled games. 

How did you become involved with FallCon? 

My aunt Susan used to be the Registration Coordinator at FallCon. When I was younger I used to hang out with her at the registration desk. When she was ready to pass the torch, I happily accepted the job. Occasionally she comes out of “retirement” and you will see her helping out at the Con. [ed: like this year, thanks Susan!]

What do you enjoy the most about your favourite game? 

One of my favorite games is Ticket to Ride.  I like the game because it’s a race to get from one destination to another. No, no I’m not competitive at all! [ed: she comes by it honestly; apple doesn't fall far from the tree]. The board is colourful and it’s a good way to get to know your geography too! 

What do you think makes a great party game? 

A great party game makes everyone laugh and gets players excited to play!

What other hobbies keep you occupied when you're not gaming?

When I’m not gaming, I’m crafting!  Lately I’m into making my own terrariums.  Check out my latest creation.

Where (and with whom) do you generally do most of your gaming?

Nick and I have regular games nights with friends.  Champagne Thursdays would not be complete without playing a game or two!  Dixit and 7 Wonders are two of the group’s favourites.

For the Love of Games Challenge #3: Public Game Play

FallCon Gaming Society - Sunday, September 28, 2014
Tableau of Victory and Defeat [263/365]

We're heading into the final few days before FallCon Weekend! By this time every year, the anticipation is just gnawing at me (like the zombies in my last game of Dead of Winter). It's time to put that live wire energy to good use, don't you think? Time for Challenge #3!

Here's a quick recap of our Challenges:

Challenge #3 is another PDA, or public display of (gaming) affection. This week as a lead into to FallCon, we're challenging you to play games in public venues and areas. Since you partook in last week's challenge, you already have a few games at work. Time to wipe the dust off those games and put them to good use!

This week's forecast isn't quite as nice as last week's but there's still a couple great days for lunch time gaming outside at your nearby park or walkway (Memorial Park or Eau Clair). Monday, Wednesday and Friday would be perfect for a game of Hive, or Carcassonne outside on a lunch or coffee break! For Tuesday and Thursday, why not play inside at one of the numerous +15 eating areas or in the Devonian Gardens? Or find a free boardroom and get a few coworkers together to play a game of Sushi Go or 7 Wonders.

Like our other Challenges, which are still ongoing, we're asking you to take a picture of your PDA and then share it back with FallCon via twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #FallCon 27. We'll be drawing a random winner for each challenge and each winner will receive a free weekend pass to FallCon.

Can't think of anyone to play with at lunch hour this week? We suggest commenting below with a day, game, location and time and allow others to respond with availability and interest. So get out there, meet some fellow gamers, showcase your favourite games and show the world how fun this hobby and this gaming community can be! If we can get a bunch of comments and replies, we might even be able to coordinate a gaming flash mob. Wouldn't that be cool!?


Getting to Know the FallCon Core: Dave Blizzard

FallCon Gaming Society - Saturday, September 27, 2014

Next in Nathalie's interview series, a chilly blast from the past: Dave Blizzard.

Who are you? What's your story? 

Thanks Nathalie for doing these interviews. 

I just retired and living on Canada's west coast. I've been playing games pretty much all my life. As a kid, I played with my parents and 5 siblings. We played many card games, Monopoly, Careers, Crokinole, Risk, Clue, Sorry!, Chess, Backgammon and lots of other boardgames.  

I played my first wargame (Anzio) when I was 16 and got hooked on them. I played lots of them in the 1970s and continue to play them. In the mid 1980s I discovered Eurogames and added them to the games I played.  

Besides playing face to face, I play many games via the internet, mostly play by web and typically have 20+ games going at once, including Chess, Backgammon, Titan, Hannibal, Targi, Roll through the Ages, El Grande, Vinci.   

I enjoy the social aspects of multiplayer games and the tense head to head battle you get with 2 player games. I have three children, all of them play boardgames and two of them have attended FallCon. And one of them (Ian) is very involved in the FallCon organizing group.

What's your role with FallCon?

Since I moved from Calgary a few years ago my involvement in FallCon has lessened. I now help out during the convention in setup, registration, game moderator and whatever else I'm needed to do. Before I moved, I was part of the organizing committee for many years. One interesting thing I did for several years at FallCon was develop and run a convention wide game, one where everyone at the convention plays, usually organized into teams. It was a great way to get the attendees to meet other gamers.

How did you become involved with FallCon? 

I met the Canadian Wargamers Group members before the first FallCon and was a game moderator at the first convention. Shortly after that I got involved with the organization and have continued to this day.  

What do you enjoy the most about your favourite game? 

As you can imagine, it is hard to have just one favourite game.  If there is just one other person around, I would always love to play Rommel in the Desert. It's a very exciting, tense World War II wargame with lots of hard decisions and just enough fog of war. If there are four of us, then I would pull Tichu out.  It's a great partnership game with its share of laughs. At FallCon, my favourite would be Circus Maximus, especially with the large board and the miniatures. Lots of dice rolling, everyone cheering and laughing. 

What other hobbies keep you occupied when you're not gaming?

I love to play sports and have played baseball, squash and tennis for many years. 

Where (and with whom) do generally do most of your gaming? 

When I lived in Calgary, I played in a regular gaming group, which included several of the FallCon organizers.  Over the past few years, I haven't played much face to face, mostly with family during gatherings.  But I still play lots of games via the internet, as I mentioned earlier. 

How many different games do you think you've played? 

Wow, very hard to say, I would guess somewhere in the thousands, I have over 5000 games, although I haven't played them all.

Getting to Know the FallCon Core: Brent Lloyd

FallCon Gaming Society - Thursday, September 25, 2014

Our FallCon Core Interview series today continues with a big, huggable, loveable bear of a man. The one, the only: Brent "Thunder" Lloyd.

Who are you? What's your story? 

My name is Brent and I am a game-a-holic. I grew up in Calgary with three younger brothers and no sisters so playing games was a huge part of my childhood. I went to College and ended up working for Western Research, which became Bovar, and then Sulphur Experts. For the past 27 years I have been travelling around the world to various Oil and Gas facilities.

How did you get started with tabletop gaming? 

My father loved Chess when I was a small boy. I remember sitting on the floor across from him and he taught me how to play by handicapping himself. He would only use the King and the Pawns, as my game grew he would add in a Knight, then the other Knight, one Bishop, etc and finally the Queen. He would also set up problems on the chess board and ask me to solve them. I can still hold my own in a Chess game, but I never went on to higher playing levels because of other games.

My family always had a Games Closet: Stock Ticker, Land Grab, Monopoly, Risk, etc. Games were just a part of our family experience. Then in Junior and High School I met a life long friend named Jeff. He also loved to play games, but he loved the War Games from SPI, so we played those quite a bit together. Dungeons and Dragons was released in the boxed sets and we started playing that like crazy, especially in 1977 when AD&D was released. Then in 1982 the game that would really fire my passion Illuminati from Steve Jackson Games. I have probably played over 100 games of Illuminati. I played all through highschool and college and still enjoy getting it to the table.

What's your role with FallCon?

I have two main roles with FallCon: one is running the Canadian Game Design Award; the other is acting as one of Directors of the FallCon non-profit society. At the convention, you'll often see me greeting new people and teaching games. I love getting new people into the hobby.

How did you become involved with FallCon?

I was attending FallCon and decided I liked it. Steve Zanini was sitting at the Registration table and Dave Blizzard was standing beside him - I just walked up and asked how I could help. He had a very worried expression on his face. :)

What game would you play if you could play with anyone from history dead or alive?

I would have a very tough time choosing between playing Commands & Colors: Ancients with either Caesar, Hannibal, or Alexander. How could I not want to match up with some of the greatest generals who ever lived?!?!

What are your favourite gaming podcasts or video review channels? 

Wow, I travel for a living so I listen to a lot: On Board Games, Boardgames to Go, The Dice Tower, The D6 Generation, Ludology, Exploring Games with GamerChris, FATcast, The Spiel, The State of Games, I've Been Diced, Boardgame Babylon, Garrett's Games and Geekiness, Point 2 Point. Some of those are not regular podcasts and I do miss many episodes of the ones further down the list due to time constraints. The first five though I listen to all the episodes.

Tell me about your most memorable gaming moment.

There are so many! Most memorable is just spending social time with family and friends. It really is the social aspect that makes games memorable to me. 

What sort of gaming events do you generally attend?

I attend quite a few public conventions: FallCon (Calgary), OwlCon (Houston), BGG-Con (Dallas), GenCon (Indianapolis), MilleniumCon (new to me this year) and quite a few Not-So-Public conventions: The Gathering of Friends (Niagara Falls), Rocky Mountain Retreat (Seebe), LoneStar (Houston) and CanCon (Concan). 

When I am at home I game every Tuesday, first Sunday of the Month and second and fourth Saturdays on a regular basis through Meetups. I also game occasionally on Fridays with some good buddies, where we meet and evaluate prototypes for publication.

Do you have any other game related activities?

I have been trying to produce boardgames as a potential retirement business, but Kickstarter is kicking that to the curbside. Producing is mostly involved with the financial aspects of publishing the games. To date I have financed production of the following games: Rolling Freight, Octopus' Garden and Rialto. All three of those were with different publishers and I would love to work with other publishers, but many are turning to Kickstarter instead of private funding.

Thanks for the questions Nathalie and thanks for doing this!

What is FallCon?

FallCon is a boardgame and tabletop miniatures convention for the masses held every fall in Calgary. Consider FallCon a philosophical extension to those fun Friday game nights you spend with family and friends! Against a backdrop of fun and friendly competition, gamers young and old are invited to join us in playing some of the best games available today.

October 3-5, 2014

Commonwealth Centre

3961 52nd Avenue NE #1177
Calgary, AB

Pass Info

Weekend Pass - $50

Family Weekend Pass - $80

Friday Pass - $20      4:00pm-12:00am

Saturday Pass - $30   8:00am-12:00am

Sunday Pass - $20     9:00am-4:00pm

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