Saturday, 8 October 2011

Want to write a game for Pheno?

I’ve volunteered for the position of writer wrangler for Pheno. So, I’d like to extend an invitation for writers to create a game for the con in June next year :)

Pheno’s goal is to provide exciting, creative, imaginative, challenging and fun games from across the roleplaying spectrum. To do that, we need enough games to keep wide variety of players happy - popular systems, systemless and esoteric systems, freeforms, tabletops and other things that don’t fit into a category.

Given the numbers of people who play the following systems, I’m particularly looking for D&D, Pathfinder, White Wolf (mostly the vamp stuff) & Warhammer 40K games.  I'm also looking for systemless stuff.

Pheno is intended to extend the roleplaying community in Canberra – to provide a place where you can relax, chat, make new friends, play games both familiar and unfamiliar, and otherwise do stuff you wouldn't normally do in a weekend. The organisers recognise that designing a game is a lot of hard work, and we do our best to support and assist our GMs wherever possible.

In the lead-up to the con, we can provide you with help on everything from blurb-writing to game design, and put you in contact with other writers and play-testers. At the con, we offer a GMs-only room with full access to computers, internet, printers and real coffee (or tea). Our gophers will take your lunch orders every day to make sure you’re a happy, well-fed GM. If you’re a new designer, you’ll be eligible for Pheno’s New Designer Award, which recognises new talent.

Now, to the nitty-gritty. Pheno runs over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, next year it'll be from Friday June 8 (registration from about 1900) to Monday June 11 (ending with post-con drinkies). Our venue is Daramalan College in Dickson, Canberra.

You can find more information about Pheno on our website at Currently this is Pheno 2011’s website, but a holding page for the 2012 convention will be uploaded eventually.

If you’d like to write a game for us, please send me a message or email to confirm, with answers to the questions below. There’s no need to send a blurb just yet! Please reply early, as we have a limited number of slots available, especially for certain game styles such as freeforms.

We’d like to know about you and your game, so we ask that you send the following information:

  • Are you a New Designer? (Pheno regards you as a New Designer if you have never written for a convention before, or if you have written only one game before. Co-writing credits will also be considered.)
  • If you are a New Designer, what GM/DM/ST/and other person who organises a game titles/writing experience to you have?
  • What sort of game would you like to run? Don’t send us the blurb yet, just a brief description of the type (table top/freeform), system/setting/genre, and any other relevant information. We try to keep a balance of different game styles and genres over the convention in order to give our players the broadest possible choice.
  • How often are you thinking of running the game? Not all writers want to run all con and not all games will fill for an entire con. While we like writers who can run all con (as it makes scheduling less of a nightmare for us), if we know you can only run three or four times, we’ll take it into consideration. We’d prefer to not to drop down to only offering one session of a game as part of the fun is allowing players to talk to each other about their session.

Next steps – As we get the games in, we’ll fill up slots. Given the player numbers we have, we can only offer a certain number of games and we’ll try to fairly allocate this between all the game offers and types we get in. Have a look at the website for a rough idea of the total number of games we can offer players (in a catch 22, as we grow we’ll offer more games. But in order to grow, we need space for more players. And so we go round and round). We’ll email the writers and those who may have missed out to let them know what happens next.

Feel free to contact me via email privately or leave a message below if you want to chat about any of this.


  1. Looks like Pheno 2012 is going to be *very* web saavy, with lots of brainstorming and discussion through this blog :) Great stuff, and thanks for volunteering!

  2. Hey Jacinta,

    What email address should we send submissions to?



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