By THOMAS F. JOHNSON
RinCon, Arizona’s premier gaming convention, will be returning to Tucson this year after a hiatus in 2011.
Several prominent game designers will be attending, most notably James Ernest, owner of Cheapass Games and creator of “Kill Doctor Lucky,” and John Wick, who has done prominent work on the “Legend of the Five Rings” role-playing game and created the critically acclaimed RPG “7th Sea.”
The con will have many events, such as a cosplay-themed fashion show, a flea market for old gaming paraphernalia, and panels on everything from funding RPGs via Kickstarter to making gaming more inclusive.
Below is an interview with Seth Jaffee, a con coordinator.
How did you start RinCon?
I was around when RinCon first started five years ago, but I wasn’t directly involved. In its first three years, the convention grew and grew, and was very popular. However, the board of the Southern Arizona Gamers Association, the organization that started up to run events such as RinCon and monthly board game days and role-playing days, dispersed. Some members got busy; others moved out of town.
As a result, in 2011 RinCon did not happen. Some local gamers rallied and put on a charity gaming event called Not-A-Con in its place, but there were some that wanted to see RinCon back. I was one of those people, so I stepped up to be President of SAGA, and I recruited some people to help me put on RinCon again.
I’ve never run an event like this before, but I’ve been to a lot of them. I just gathered all the information I could, and jumped right in! Fortunately I wasn’t alone – SAGA has a whole new board, and they’ve been very helpful in resurrecting RinCon.
What’s in the future of RinCon?
Well, in the immediate future is RinCon’s triumphant return! Down the road, who knows? I hope that we will see the growth and popularity reminiscent of the first couple of years so we can do some of the more ambitious things we would like to do at the con.
What is the most promising new board game to appear at the convention?
Well, there are so many, it’s hard to answer that question! As Head of Development for local game publisher Tasty Minstrel Games, I’m incredibly biased. TMG will be demoing several upcoming games such as “Ground Floor” and “Skyline”, “Captains of Industry” and an expansion to my own game “Eminent Domain” – as well as popular titles “Belfort,” “Homesteaders” and “Village.”
Do you have any advice for newbies to tabletop role-playing?
My advice would be to worry less about the rules and more about the story. Let the GM worry about the rules – you are there to play the game. If everybody does that, then in my opinion everybody’ll have more fun!
What are the best board games that you don’t think receive enough attention?
The obvious answer is my first published board game “Terra Prime.” Due to production issues it didn’t really get much exposure. But soon it may be available on an online portal, and I hope to one-day do a second edition with the completed expansion included.
What do you think are the next big innovations coming soon in the board game market and tabletop RPG market?
If I knew what the next big innovation was, I’d be working on a game using it.
When: Friday, Sept. 28 at 12:00 p.m. to Sunday Sept. 30 at 6 p.m.
Where: Tucson Airport Holiday Inn, 4550 S. Palo Verde Road
Hotel phone: 746-1161
Costs: Friday and Saturday only, $20, Sunday only, $10, whole event, $40