The organization known as Handmade Games is made up of a wealth of
wonderful people. There are those who simply own and run the company, and
then there are the blessed ones who volunteer to help out when the owners
need it the most. Below is information of both of these groups, as well as
a short history of the company.
The people who are officially in charge of Handmade Games are the following:
Joseph Cotton - Senior Partner, Producer, Technical Director
Joe is the driving force behind Dark ConFrontation, ultimately responsible for project deliverables and timelines as well as game rules and
game development tools. Joe has a long and storied gaming career beginning over 15 years ago with D&D
and Bureau 13 and has been a veteran of Dark Con since ‘96. Since then he has become passionate about game development in its various
forms: LARP, table-top, computer, and board. He holds bachelors degrees in both Computer Science and Philosophy from the University of
Alabama, showing a strong predilection for logic and puzzles. You could call Joe a Rules Lawyer, but that wouldn't quite encapsulate it
since he loves to actually create the draconian laws that dictate game play. We are lucky to have someone at the helm who enjoys that
which drives most people crazy.
Nicholas Casiday - Junior Partner, Marketing and Communications Director
Nick is responsible for all Marketing and Communications duties for Handmade Games. Nick has been involved in games for longer than he can
remember, and interested in game development for almost as long. Nick first became involved with Dark ConFrontation in 2001, and has been an
advocate and fan ever since. With a degree in Philosophy from the University of Alamaba with a special
interest in psychology, Nick is uniquely suited to setting our companies strategy to both enhance the sense of community we want to
establish and grow with our existing players, and identifying and bringing in new players.
Jonathan Thomas - Junior Partner, Artistic Director
Jon (or J.T.) is the one responsible for prop design and fabrication as well as coordinating the artistic efforts of our various contacts.
If something is drawn, built, sewn, painted, glued, or altered in Photoshop, it more than likely is something J.T. had his fingers on at
one point or another. JT received his bachelors degree in Theater from Jacksonville State university, giving him immense experience at set
design and stage production, both very useful talents when it comes to designing and running LARPs. JT is also an avid gamer, with nearly two
decades of exposure to role-playing games, starting with Bureau 13 (which he introduced Joe to), and is a veteran of Dark ConFrontation
Any others who look suspiciously like they might be running the show are either our beloved Staffers or cleverly disguised decoys.
This section is dedicated to those people who volunteer their time and energy to keep
Dark ConFrontation running.
They are our eyes, ears, hands, and often brains when we just can't be there, or at
least be there sane.
Our staffers do the toughest, most thankless, most time-consuming job that I can think of.
Not only that, but they essentially miss out on one of the biggest, best Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Conventions in the world because they're too busy helping us out.
And what do they get for all this hard work and sacrifice?
Sadly, just our eternal thanks and a mention in this section. A hugs. Joe gives good hugs, so don't under estimate the persuasive power involved in those hugs.
The following are our staffers for Dragon*Con 2008
What needs to be said about Benji Hughes? Former creative director of Handmade Games, Benji has agreed to work with the new owners on game development.
This works out well for everyone, as Benji never liked all the administrative stuff related to being in charge of a beast like Dark ConFrontation
and we get access to a brilliant LARP designer. Our games will certainly be better for having Benji around.
Ruby has the thankless job of being the one who yells at us and tells us when we're
being stupid. This is especially valuable since, if you know us, you know that encouragement doesn't
always work. We all feel incredibly lucky that Ruby has continued to help out with this crazy endeavor; we wouldn't be
nearly as far along as we are without her help.
Joey's degree is in English composition, and it shows.
I don't think he has ever handed us a piece of writing to which our response was
something other than, "Wow! This is incredible!" We are truly blessed to have such an experienced writer working with us this year on Dark ConFrontation,
not least because we've been told he'll write 50+ characters and the DarkConian Times for snickers bars.
David Luchin has also agreed to help us out on our inaugural run. In his past life as one of the Head Referres for Dark ConFrontation,
you all know who Luchin is. What you might not know is that he is responsible for writing the player handout software that guides us
in casting you guys. Ever wonder what black magic goes into that? Ask Luchin...
BK Jackson and Nick Dunn
Nick and BK have been staffing for Dark ConFrontation for the last several years. We still aren't sure why they do it, but they are invaluable when
it comes to game time. They both do anything asked of them, not only with perfect competence, but also with a cheerful (if occasionally scarily boisterous)
Laura and Stephen Dlouhy
Laura and Stephen have been participating in Dark ConFrontation for as many years as most anyone can remember. For most of those years Stephen
is best known as the man eating plant that sat in Malice's to spy for us, and Laura was something cute (and loud). Laura and Stephen mean a lot to us
because they meet and eventually married through their involvement in Dark ConFrontation. We all feel as if we are part of their marriage...
James Park is a new soul in the ranks of Dark ConFrontation. Having been dragged into the game in 2007 by his wife, he requested a staff position in
2008. James has lots of experience running games and is willing spend all his time at Con helping out - so we already love him.
History of Dark ConFrontation and Handmade Games
Dark ConFrontation and Handmade Games were originally the brainchild of two rare individuals, Jon Walton and Mark Mackinzie. They designed Dark Confrontation as a game that used cards for all items and special abilities and coins for conflict resolution. They
then ran Dark Con in their free time at Dragon*Con and then on rare weekend
events with a host of helpful staffers.
After many years of entertaining their fans, personal issues led them to sell the game and company to four fresh-faced college kids: Benji
Hughes, Ed Pichon, Bryon (Smithy) Smith, and Bryan (Xande) Alexander.
For 10+ years these four continued to entertain players and innovate new mechanics and traditions within the game. In 2008, these great refs and owners passed the torch once again to three long-time players with big dreams and a deep love for the game: Joseph Cotton, Nick Casiday, and Jon Thomas.
With fresh stamina and some new ideas, these brave souls
prepare to carry on the heavy mantle of Handmade Games and Dark ConFrontation into the future.