Announcing XOXO Tabletop

August 19th, 2014

The week of XOXO announcements can’t be stopped. Today: our lineup for XOXO Tabletop.

Last year, we expanded XOXO to include Tabletop, a new evening event featuring our favorite independent card, board, and RPG games, with the game designers there to show you their work.

It was a bigger hit than we ever expected, so we’re bringing it back this year on Saturday to the top floor of the YU, with more games, more designers, and a whole lot of beer.

Monikers

A modernized and meme-savvy version of the classic party game Celebrity, Monikers asks your friends to guess the name on your card, drawn from 400 of the “weirdest, most interesting names we could think up,” from Drunk Jeff Goldblum to the Star Wars Kid. Coming off the success of their overfunded Kickstarter project, designer Alex Hague joins us from Brooklyn to show it off.

Mouse Guard: Swords & Strongholds

Indie RPG designer Luke Crane returns to XOXO with a light strategy game for two players inspired by David Petersen’s Mouse Guard comics. Played on a wooden gridded board with mouse pawns and a deck of illustrated cards, the game raised $55,000 from over 1,200 fans.

Slap .45

Raising double their Kickstarter goal in the first day, Slap .45 is an Old West-themed duel card game with a slap mechanic, easily learned in about five minutes for up to seven players. Co-creator Max Temkin joins us from Chicago to show off the prototype, developed over the last year.

Marrying Mr. Darcy

Twin Cities-based conductor-turned-game designer Erika Svanoe created Marrying Mr. Darcy, a role-playing/strategy card game inspired by Pride and Prejudice, in which players play the female characters from the book to attract a suitor. The game raised more than $57,000 on Kickstarter and was shipped to backers in April.

Catacombs

Originally created in 2010, Catacombs is a dungeon crawler board game with dexterity, where players flick wooden discs to defeat monsters. In April, the creators launched a complete redesign of the game’s artwork with illustrations by Kwanchai Moriya, a blockbuster project that raised over $200k on Kickstarter. Game designer Aron West is coming from Hamilton, Canada to share his latest prototype.

Ninja

An ancient folk game, Ninja is a theatrical turn-based party game where players take turns striking moves and engaging each other in ultimate ninja combat. Ninja evangelist and Threes creator Asher Vollmer joins us from Los Angeles to facilitate battles. Ninja costume optional.

These French Fries Are Terrible Hot Dogs

Can you convince someone that toilet paper is a penguin, without telling a lie? These French Fries Are Terrible Hot Dogs is a party card game that asks players to convince others their card is the best hot dog, hat, or other object, usually by stretching the truth. Raising five times his goal on Kickstarter, creator Shawn Pierre joins us from Philly to share his latest prototype.

Guts of Glory

NYC’s Zach Gage may be best known for his videogame work on games like Spelltower and Ridiculous Fishing, but he’s made several tabletop games too. Guts of Glory is his first board game, a competitive eating game set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland for 2-4 players, shipped earlier this year after a successful Kickstarter project.

Two Rooms and a Boom

Two Rooms and a Boom is a fast-paced party game of social deduction, like Werewolf with a ticking time bomb. Groups of up to 30 people split into two teams, get assigned roles, and try to find the bomber and save the President in three tense, timed rounds. Bolstered by their smash Kickstarter project, creators Alan Gerding and Sean McCoy bring their latest prototype to XOXO.

Gloom: Copyright Infringement Edition

Keith Baker is a game design legend, responsible for creating the world of Eberron for Dungeons & Dragons and Gloom, a darkly-comic game played on transparent plastic cards. Gloom’s second edition was released earlier this year, but one variation will never see the light of day: Copyright Infringement Gloom, which crams in characters and situations from Star Wars, Star Trek, Firefly, Doctor Who, and more into a lawsuit-worthy sci-fi universe. Keith will bring his unpublishable game, you bring your imagination. (No lawyers, thanks.)

Werewolf

I’m a villager! Really!

Announcing XOXO Music

August 18th, 2014

We’re less than a month away from XOXO 2014 and we’ve barely announced 20% of what we’re planning. That changes today, with daily announcements of our festival lineups over the next five days. First up: XOXO Music.

For the last two years, we’ve brought some our favorite indie musicians to XOXO — eclectic lineups of artists and bands who’ve used technology in interesting ways, to connect directly to their fans, and build their careers without sacrificing their creative or financial control.

This year, we’re doubling down. For the first time, we’re expanding to two nights of musical performances on Friday and Saturday night at Holocene, four blocks from our main HQ and directly across the street from the Yale Union, our venue for Arcade and Tabletop.

Let’s do this.

Friday, September 12

Pomplamoose

Pomplamoose

Nataly Dawn and Jack Conte kick off their biggest-ever tour at XOXO to support Season Two, Pomplamoose’s new album and video series made possible by Patreon, the subscription funding platform Conte co-founded last year. Together, the indie-pop duo recently passed 100 million views for their VideoSongs on YouTube — videos that show every step of the recording process without lip-syncing or overdubs.

Mike Doughty

Mike Doughty

The former frontman for “slacker jazz” group Soul Coughing, Mike Doughty has a deep history of online experimentation, blogging before Blogger and self-publishing his solo album Skittish on his site after it found a cult following on Napster. His last three albums were funded directly by fans through Pledge Music, most recently his upcoming Stellar Motel, where he’s posted exclusive videos during the recording process. Doughty will be joined by long-time collaborator Andrew “Scrap” Livingston on cello.

Molly Lewis

Molly Lewis

Armed only with a ukulele and a disarming wit, Molly Lewis made videos viewed by millions, toured with geek legends, serenaded Stephen Fry, and charmed more than 400 fans into pledging over $2,600 for every new song she releases. She’s riding the train down from Seattle, presumably to LARP her Harry Potter fanfic. (Photo by Stephen Wilson.)

Marian Call

Marian Call

Alaskan singer-songwriter Marian Call is like Joni Mitchell for the Comic-Con set, a geek chanteuse who got her start winning a Firefly song contest, rocks a mean typewriter, and performed Particle Man at CERN. With the support of her fans, she toured all 50 states and then took on Europe and the UK with a hugely-successful Kickstarter project, funding a series of intimate house shows.

Anil Dash

DJ Anil Dash

Yes, that Anil Dash. We hope you like Prince.

Saturday, September 13

YACHT

YACHT

YACHT is not like other bands. How many electropop bands team up with Panic to make a series of iPad sleeves? Or protest the NSA’s domestic spying by making a single and t-shirt with all profits donated to the EFF? Or release their own app to help people explore the city they live in? Claire Evans and Jona Bechtolt join us for a special performance at XOXO two days before kicking off their North American tour.

John Roderick & Sean Nelson

John Roderick & Sean Nelson

In 2001, Harvey Danger’s Sean Nelson asked his friend John Roderick if he wanted to make an album. The result was The Long Winters, three brilliant albums, and a near-religious cult following. Last year, they celebrated the ten-year anniversary of pop masterpiece When I Pretend to Fall with a series of sold-out shows. Roderick reflected on his slow-burn success, less “rock star” and more like “running a thriving dental practice.” John and Sean join us for a special duet show. (Photo by David Lee).

Nerf Herder

Nerf Herder

In the late ’90s, SoCal pop-punk band Nerf Herder found a hit in their loving tribute to Van Halen and wrote the Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme, but fought to leave their crummy major label deal, releasing three albums before taking an eight-year hiatus. In the interim, singer Parry Gripp became a viral smash with his soundtracks to popular memes like Nom Nom Nom Nom and Baby Monkey. Finally, Nerf Herder is back and completely independent, with an upcoming new album funded entirely by their fans.

Vektroid

Vektroid

Ramona Andra Xavier, the incredibly prolific and enigmatic 21-year-old producer and graphic designer known as Vektroid, produced over 40 albums in the last four years under a dozen names, including Macintosh Plus, New Dreams Ltd, PrismCorp, and Laserdisc Visions. A pioneer of vaporwave, a microgenre of remix art, Vektroid chops and screws samples into a lo-fi soundscape that’s like listening to a VRML shopping mall. We really have no idea what to expect, but this should be good.

DJ Magic Beans

DJ Magic Beans

By day, Maggie Vail is the label manager for Bikini Kill Records, the co-executive director for CASH Music, and a past XOXO speaker. By night, she turns into DJ Magic Beans, Portland’s own superhero.

Hotels & Accommodations

July 3rd, 2014

Hey, everyone! While XOXO 2014 passes are still rolling out to attendees, we know many of you are anxious to start booking your hotels. Fortunately, we’ve negotiated some great discounts for you around town.

We should stress, September is a very busy month for events in Portland, with a lot of other festivals going on during or around the weekend that XOXO is taking place.

While we’re holding blocks of rooms at these hotels, we expect they won’t last long, so we advise you book your accommodation immediately.

Like last year, we’re running a continuous shuttle from all the hotels below to our festival venues. The Jupiter Hotel is a short ten-minute walk from XOXO, all the other downtown hotels will take about 30 minutes by foot, which might prove a great reason to rent a bike while you’re in town.

When?

We highly recommend that you come in on Thursday and leave no earlier than Sunday night. Preferably Monday morning.

Our opening party kicks off XOXO on Thursday night, and we run talks until Sunday 5pm, often saving our favorite speakers for last, followed by a big closing party that runs from 7pm until late.

We know some people may need to leave early, so we will shed a tear when you go.

Hilton Downtown

Located four blocks from the Marriott, the Hilton also boasts close proximity to public transport, and plenty of great food and drink. Our shuttle stops at the Hilton, and runs continuously during XOXO. Discounted single or double rooms come in at $179/night, with complimentary wifi included.

Book now or learn more.

Marriott City Center

Update: Sold out! The Marriott’s “boutique” City Center location is in convenient proximity to great coffee, the downtown cart pods, and public transportation to/from the airport. Our shuttle will pick up right in front of the Marriott, and runs continuously during XOXO. Our attendee discount brings rooms down to $158/night, including complimentary wifi.

Book now or learn more.

Jupiter Hotel

Update: Sold out! This year, we’re happy to announce we’ve taken over the entire Jupiter Hotel, a funky restored motel in inner SE Portland, adjacent to the Doug Fir Lounge, one of Portland’s best music venues. Everyone who stays here will be attending XOXO — a first for us.

An easy 12-minute walk to XOXO, this is also our most affordable hotel option, with 81 rooms between $129 - $159 per night, complimentary wifi included. The cheaper bar-side rooms can get noisy in the evenings, or you can choose one of the quieter rooms on the “Chill” side of the hotel.

Book now or learn more.

AirBnb

Not into the hotel scene? Use Airbnb to rent a local apartment or room, a great way to experience Portland like a native. This map shows current listings close to XOXO. If it’s your first time, this link will give you a $25 discount off your first booking.

On Significant Others

June 23rd, 2014

Last year, it was relatively straightforward to attend XOXO with your spouse or partner. Since we reviewed surveys first-come first-served, you were both likely to receive an invite if you submitted around the same time.

With this year’s lottery, we’re throwing chance into the mix — so we’re adding a compromise.

As part of the survey process, you’ll be able to supply the name of your spouse or significant other. If they’re not randomly selected for a conference pass, they’ll be given priority access to purchase a festival pass.

We worked hard last year to make XOXO welcoming, diverse, and family-friendly. It meant a lot to us that so many of you travelled with your families, and while we want to make the registration process fairer this year, we also want to ensure that we’re building upon that friendliness.

Hugs & kisses,
— Andy & Andy

On Diversity

June 23rd, 2014

After XOXO ended last year, we were curious what the gender ratio looked like. Anecdotally, it was a lot of men, but how many?

We don’t collect any demographic information from XOXO attendees, but we did find one way of measuring gender: looking at men’s vs. women’s t-shirts. It wasn’t perfect — some women chose men’s sizes — but it’s the closest we have.

The results were dismal. Both years, with two completely different approaches to registration, the ratio stayed consistent — about 22% of attendees were women, a little over one woman for every four men.

We don’t have demographic information about how people identify in terms of race or ethnic community, but using the (admittedly very imprecise) method of looking at the crowd, it’s clear we’ve had an overwhelmingly white audience.

This isn’t unusual for tech conferences, but XOXO is not a tech conference. It’s an arts and technology festival about independence, and there’s no reason it should inherit the problems that plague the tech community.

We want XOXO to represent the broad spectrum of amazing and interesting people across art and tech, but we haven’t done enough to let everyone who cares about these ideas feel welcome. More than 80% of the people who’ve wanted to attend XOXO in the past are white, straight, cisgender, able-bodied dudes, and we want everyone who’s not in that category to know XOXO is for you too.

We can do better. So we’re trying something new this year.

When you register, you’ll see a new addition to the survey:

Do you identify with a group that’s been underrepresented at XOXO?

Your answer is entirely optional and confidential, and freeform text instead of multiple choice. Diversity means much more than gender or race alone, and it isn’t easily pigeonholed into a series of checkboxes.

We’ll review the responses and factor them into the admission process, using your answers to prioritize attendees that have previously been underrepresented.

Like everything else at XOXO, this is an experiment. And like any good experiment, we’ll measure the results, report on them, and keep trying.

We won’t get this perfect right away — we’re still learning how to address these issues — but we’re committed to trying.

A Word About Conduct

Our code of conduct has always been pretty simple — we don’t tolerate harassing behavior of any kind. Anyone violating it has been and will be dealt with appropriately.

We want everyone to feel safe and comfortable at XOXO, and we try to cultivate an atmosphere of empathy and belonging. For the last two years, we’ve announced this policy on stage during the opening remarks.

Last year, we needed to enforce it for the first time when a drunken attendee sexually harassed an XOXO volunteer. We took her report in private, tracked down the attendee, and permanently removed him from the festival after he confirmed the details. (If you’d like a third-party take on how we handle harassment, the volunteer that was harassed wrote about her experience in detail.)

This year, we’ve gone one step further, and formalized it as policy. As with previous years, we’ll talk about it on-stage so everyone’s aware of our rules.

If you have any questions, please get in touch at hi@xoxofest.com.

XOXO,
— Andy & Andy

2014 Registration

June 20th, 2014

XOXO is an ongoing experiment. Every year, we try new things, see what works, and iterate. It’s worked pretty well for us so far — last year’s XOXO exceeded all our expectations, and we’re excited to try it again.

But one thing we didn’t like about last year — there was a lot of confusion around the registration process. We hated the feeling of panic and chaos that came from that confusion, and the subsequent mad rush to be first in line to buy a pass.

So this year, we’re making two significant changes to the registration process:

  1. You’ll have a week to fill out the registration survey.
  2. Attendees will be randomly selected from a lottery of approved surveys.

Timeline and Passes

On Tuesday, June 24, we’ll announce the initial lineup for XOXO 2014, and surveys will open up. On Tuesday, July 1, one week later, we’ll begin emailing attendees to buy passes. You’ll have 24 hours to buy your pass, or it will be given to another randomly selected attendee.

Like last year, we will have two types of passes — a “Conference” pass, which includes access to the conference and festival events for $500, and a “Festival” pass, which includes access to the festival events for $150.

XOXO passes are non-transferable, but can be refunded in full until Friday, August 22. After that, all sales are final.

Survey

Like last year, we’ll ask you to sign in with Twitter and answer three simple questions:

  1. What do you do?
  2. What are you working on right now?
  3. What’s something you’ve made that you’re proud of?

This short survey is our way to screen out people who are looking to exploit the attention of XOXO attendees. There are a lot of companies out there who want to sell something to you rather than participate, and this is our way to make sure that doesn’t happen.

This isn’t an application — we’re not judging you based on the quality of your work, how many Twitter followers you have, or anything else like that. We use these responses to answer a simple question: is this someone who makes things, or not? Artists, makers, designers, founders, and hackers of any kind are immediately approved.

Alright, Here Goes Nothing

We’ve been working really hard to piece together another excellent lineup of events for you, and Tuesday is just the beginning. We feel like we’ve got something really special planned for September, and we’ll have lots more to announce in the coming weeks and months. Let the great experiment begin.

See you in September,

— Andy & Andy

Releasing the XOXO 2013 Videos

October 11th, 2013

In case you don’t follow us on Twitter, we’ve started releasing the talk videos from XOXO on YouTube. 

We’ve published five of this year’s wonderful talks so far, and plan to release two more every weekday:

  • Cards Against Humanity’s Max Temkin opens XOXO with a heartfelt talk and a special musical performance by The Doubleclicks. 
  • Former Wired editor Chris Anderson tells how he went from building the first Lego drone with his kids to running a Tijuana drone factory. 
  • "I never set out to be a full time sex cartoonist." Oh Joy Sex Toy’s Erika Moen shares how she accidentally became a full-time artist.
  • Thoreau 2.0: Pinboard’s Maciej Ceglowski strip-mines Walden for Tim Ferriss-style lifehacks. (Eat the donuts.)
  • What do gypsy jazz and Python have in common? Adrian Holovaty's experience posting his guitar videos on YouTube led to Soundslice, a new tool for sharing guitar tablature and helping indie musicians.

If you like, you can follow us on Twitter to get notified or subscribe to our YouTube channel to see more. Or go outside instead. That’s okay too.

Kickstarter + XOXO at Brooklyn Beta

October 9th, 2013

We’ve noticed a lot of familiar faces around Brooklyn these past few days, so we got together with our friends at Kickstarter, and decided to throw together a little shindig later this week for all our friends at Brooklyn Beta.

Join us for an evening of beer and camaraderie this Thursday at Lavender Lake (383 Carroll St) from 7pm - late. We’ll have an open bar for a little while for Brooklyn Beta badgeholders, and, as is XOXO tradition, you should prepare yourselves for a good amount of hugging.

Get down early for a good spot. See you there!

Food & Drink at XOXO

September 19th, 2013

Like last year, we’re building a cafe in the garage of the YU. We’re building a custom wooden deck extending out of the cafe, with ample seating for food, drink, and conversations.

Two small creators work in that space every day, in the wood-framed office in the garage — Roseline Coffee and Cocanú Chocolate.

In a city known for its coffee, Roseline is something special. Founder Marty Lopes spent years roasting coffee at Extracto and curating coffee at Barista before starting up his own super small-batch roastery. He’ll be serving a variety of freshly-roasted coffee drinks from his newly-built coffee cart at XOXO.

Next door to Roseline, Cocanú is one of only three “bean-to-bar” companies nationwide, taking whole, raw farm-fermented cacao beans, and crafting them into a final product under one roof. Sebastián Cisneros, an Ecuadorian expatriate, has been handcrafting chocolate in Portland since 2009 and will be on-site selling his work over the weekend.

Food Carts

Portland’s street food scene is among the best in the world, with over 400 food carts across the city. Like whales, Portland food carts gather in “pods,” averaging 5-8 but with the largest hosting more than 60 carts. If you’re coming from a city like NYC, LA or SF, you might think food trucks are the same thing, but there are some big differences — while food trucks need to stay on the move, Portland’s food carts are effectively permanent.

For a festival about indie art and technology, food carts are the culinary equivalent. The barrier to entry and costs are low, letting you experiment with new ideas and build a following without falling into deep debt. And several carts in the last year — like Lardo, Salt & Straw, and Nong’s Khao Man Gai — have leveraged their fan base to open brick-and-mortar locations.

About 80% of our attendees come from out of state, many for the first time, so we like to show them the best of Portland by closing down the street in front of XOXO on Friday to Sunday to build our own pod, with our favorite carts from around the city. Two of the carts are even leaving their own pods, towing themselves out to settle in for all three days! Here’s the full lineup:

Nong’s Khao Man GaiTaken from the street food of her native Bangkok, Nong Poonsukwattana only makes one dish: poached chicken & rice, wrapped in butcher paper and served with a spicy sauce. But it’s so insanely good, the lunch lines at her 10th & Alder location often stretch down the street, leading to two new locations to satiate the addicts. (Saturday-Sunday only)

Cheese & Crack — Funded through a successful Kickstarter project, William Steuernagel makes handmade cheese and cracker boxes, along with charcuterie plates and housemade bitter sodas, out of an adorable reclaimed wood food cart. Perfect for snacktime.

PDX 671Named after Guam’s area code, chef Ed Sablan brings the Chamarro cuisine of his native home to Portland, a delicious and unique fusion of Filipino, Spanish, and Malaysian influences. Winner of this year’s Eat Mobile festival, and featured this week on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Koi Fusion — Bo Kwon was 12 years old when he started fusing his South Korean parents’ food with other cuisines, adding kimchi to his grilled cheese sandwiches. 20 years later, he’s doing it for his customers with a food cart empire—three trucks and five stationary locations mixing Korean BBQ and Mexican flavors in tacos, burritos, and Seoul sliders.

Taco PedalerMelanie and Erica ride their three-wheel cargo bike around Portland, spreading their local and organic tacos across the city like modern-day Johnny Appleseeds. But instead of apple seeds, tacos.

Aybla Grill — Syrian-born chef Saied Samaiel was trained on the Greek island of Crete for ten years before coming to Portland, growing his cart business to five locations across the city with a selection of Mediterranean, vegetarian-friendly offerings made with local and organic ingredients. (Friday and Sunday only)

Bunk TruckThe mobile arm of chef Tommy Habetz and Nick Wood’s sandwich empire of Bunk Sandwiches. Avoid gimmicky carts like Big Ass Sandwiches, and stick with the real thing: simple, high-quality ingredients on damn-good bread. (Friday 6pm-Sunday)

The carts will be out all day Friday through Sunday, and open to the public.

And if the lines get bad, there’s no shortage of fantastic food and drink within a short walk of the YU. Check our Guide for all our recommendations.

(P.S. Voodoo Donuts is still mediocre. Go to Blue Star.)

Announcing XOXO Tabletop

September 16th, 2013

Last year at XOXO, we saw attendees hanging out in our cafe, at the tables on the street, and in the bars nearby playing board and card games they love or, in some cases, prototypes of games they’re working on.

This year, we decided to try something new. In the Unmarket, near our registration tables, we’re offering a library of independent board, card, and RPGs to borrow and play throughout the weekend, curated by Playtest’s Matthew Baldwin and Max Temkin.

And on Saturday night, while Film runs upstairs, we’re hosting XOXO Tabletop—a chance to meet and play with several independent game designers, as well as our resident game gurus.

If there’s a game you love, or you’re working on one you’d like to show off, bring it along! We’ll have a bunch of tables set up in the Market downstairs for you to run games, and an open bar with a rotating tap list of incredible local craft beer and wine upstairs on Saturday night.

We’ve already announced the lineups for our MusicFilm, and Arcade events. Here’s who we’re bringing to XOXO for Tabletop.

Like all our other evening events, Tabletop requires an XOXO pass and is open to all passholders.

Burning Wheel / Torchbearer

Indie RPG legend Luke Crane creates fantasy role-playing games that focus on characterization and storytelling instead of loot and 12-sided dice, from Burning Wheel and Mouse Guard, to his most recent, Torchbearer. Each system is about difficult choices, challenging the beliefs of the player-character to advance long, character-driven stories. 

Cards Against Humanity / Werewolf

If you haven’t played the “party game for horrible people,” now’s your chance. Three years ago, Chicago-based designer Max Temkin and seven of his friends from high school launched a Kickstarter project for a game they first created at a New Year’s party in 2008. The result, Cards Against Humanity, has topped Amazon’s bestselling games list for over two years. Not for the easily offended.

If we’re lucky, Max will also bring his new decks for Werewolf, a game of accusations, lying, and mob justice. In 1997, legendary game designer Andrew Plotkin reskinned the parlour game Mafia with a werewolf theme, spawning a party game that’s infected tech and gaming gathering ever since with its disarmingly simple rules and addictive gameplay. (P.S. I’m a villager.)

Dungeon Roll

A quick and casual dice game, Dungeon Roll tasks players to assemble a party and press their luck exploring deep dungeons and defeating monsters for treasure. Each player chooses a Hero, granting them special abilities, and roll seven Party Dice to assemble their party and battle monsters, claim treasure, and heal their party. Can you loot the dungeon and kill the Dragon? St. Louis-based designer Chris Darden joins us at Tabletop to show off his Kickstarter-funded blockbuster.

Emperor’s New Clothes

Jonathan Liu’s new game, currently in production, looks more like avant-garde art more than a board game. In Emperor’s New Clothes, the board, cards, dice, box and manual are all stark white. The rule sheet and downloadable party are all blank. Like the classic fairy tale, it’s a game of bluffing and make-believe. But who’s bluffing who? 

Machine of Death

In the near future, an enigmatic machine can reveal your eventual cause of death. Nobody knows how it works, but it’s always right. “Drowning” could be from falling off a boat or passing out in a bowl of oatmeal, but nobody knows which.

Based on the collection of short stories, Machine of Death is a game of problem solving. Using The Machine’s predictions and the target’s current location, find increasingly bizarre and hilarious ways to kill your target with random tools, liquids, and furniture in David Malki’s card game of creative assassination.

Relic Expedition

In Relic Expedition, players manage their backpack of supplies as they race to collect ancient treasure lost deep in the heart of the jungle. As players explore, the jungle board grows in unpredictable ways, making each game different the last. Last April, brothers Randy Hoyt and Tyler Segel raised the money to manufacture the first print of Relic Expedition on Kickstarter. Tyler, the game’s creative director and artist, joins us to show off the upcoming release.

Story War

In Story War, the only way to win is to control the story—spinning the most entertaining tale inspired by randomly chosen scenario cards. Join creator Brad O’Farrell and artist Vondell Swain at XOXO to use your shared pop culture context to make up elaborate battles and crush the opposing team with your imagination.

Like Apples to Apples, every battle’s moderated by a judge that rotates every turn. Players are also free to make stuff up, as long as they can be convincing, so your characters are able to do anything as long as the judge lets you get away with it! Each battle ultimately evolves into an organic story and a memorable shared experience.