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Two Mini-Talks with Jeff Tidball and Trailhead Games
Matthew & Austin are best friends and Co-Founders of Trailhead Games, a company geared towards crafting narrative game experiences for summer camps, schools, and organizations. They have written and run over forty 100+ player programs, each with unique and relevant storylines and game mechanics.
Most recently, their projects have including Climate Clash, an educational game in which 4th-6th grade students race to fund the building and development of carbon-free energy sources, and The Bill, a political activism game incorporating silly organized chaos with practical skills like initiating conversations, creating collaboratively, and organizing movements.
With a worldly repertoire of creative knowledge and a passion for all things fun and games, Matthew and Austin seek to make an impact on the culture around us through the introduction of this narrative style of gaming and utilize the natural human desire to play to enhance our creativity, productivity, and joy.
Jeff Tidball played Dungeons & Dragons for the first time in 6th grade, pronounced it the greatest thing ever, and by 7th grade had decided he’d create games for a living. Five years into that career, when it looked like World of Warcraft would destroy tabletop gaming forever, he moved to Los Angeles and got an MFA in Screenwriting from USC.
Happily for everyone, gaming lived, and today Jeff is a game designer, producer, and publisher. He’s the Chief Operating Officer at Atlas Games, the St. Paul–based publisher of Gloom. He’s also the co-founder of Gameplaywright, a non-fiction publisher of books about games, stories, creativity, and the work that orbits those things. Recent projects include publishing The White Box, a game design workshop-in-a-box; producing Cursed Court, a board game of wagering and deduction; and editing Friendly Local Game Store, a book with the audacious goal of helping people who want to open game stores wind up with middle-class incomes.