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Adventure Game Fan Fair update: Panels, parties and presentations announced!

Adventure Game Fan Fair update: Panels, parties and presentations announced!

It’s May already, which means that July is just around the corner. And THAT means that the countdown is on for real until the Adventure Game Fan Fair!

Surely you’ve all heard of the Fan Fair by now, but just in case you’ve developed a typically adventure-ish case of amnesia in the last few months, it’s the very first convention dedicated to adventure games in the United States! It’s being held July 26-28 in the William W. Philip Hall at the University of Washington, Tacoma campus, and it’s going to be an amazing weekend packed full of fun times and fellowship with fans and developers alike, including many industry legends!

But yeah yeah, you know all that and either jumped in early to snag your tickets and help us fund the event on Kickstarter (thank you!), or you’ve been waiting for a bit more info before diving in. Well, ask and ye shall receive, as info is exactly what we come bearing today.

The schedule isn’t fully finalized even now, as we’re still waiting on final confirmation from some, but we know you’ll agree it’s already an embarrassment of industry riches, and it’s only going to get BETTER as we finish tying up loose ends.

So, without further ado, here’s the panel itinerary (hands-on demos to be announced soon!) for the Adventure Game Fan Fair 2024. We hope to see you there! (And there’s still time to make that happen, but tickets won’t last much longer!)


Friday, July 26th

Doors open at noon!

1:00 p.m. Narrative Design Chat

An hour-long discussion with prominent game developers Charles Cecil (Broken Sword, Beneath a Steel Sky, joining us remotely), Dave Gilbert (Unavowed, the Blackwell series), Matt Costello (The 7th Guest, The 11th Hour), and Deborah Todd (Reader Rabbit, Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego). Mat Van Rhoon (Tesla Effect, The Last Ark) leads the chat about their experiences and lessons learned while crafting stories for games.

2:30 p.m. That’s Edutainment!

Games may be fun, but that doesn't mean we can't learn from them too! Don't take our word for it, as Lori and Corey Cole (Mixed-Up Fairy Tales, Castle of Dr. Brain) join the returning Deborah Todd to discuss how to make games both enjoyable and informative in a panel emceed by Daniel Greenberg (Professor of Game Design at George Mason University).

4:00 p.m. The 7th Guest Retrospective

The 7th Guest writer Matt Costello is joined by co-creator Graeme Devine to discuss stories about creating the original CD-ROM horror classic, as well as its sequel, The 11th Hour. Troels Pleimert (aka Space Quest Historian) hosts as the pair share tales about designing the puzzles, working with the actors to create haunting FMV scenes, and so much more!

6:00 p.m. Variety Show

It’s a veritable buffet of entertainment, with features including a trivia game show, a cosplay contest, and a number of live game-themed musical performances by Al Lowe, Erik Elsom, Alex Greenberg and Error 47

8:30 p.m. Afterparty (Greater Tacoma Convention Center)

Once the distilled and fermented juices start flowing (and with a bar at the venue, you know they will!), it’s time to let our hair down for a late-night panel doing a comic deep dive into the infamous Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties, a live DJ set, and singing ourselves silly at marioke. (That’s exactly like karaoke, but with rewritten songs about our favorite video games!)


Saturday, July 27th

Doors open at 9:00 a.m.!

10 a.m. Composing for Games

Space Quest Historian jumps back into the emcee chair with illustrious Sierra game composers Al Lowe, Ken Allen and Robert Holmes for a conversation covering everything from mood and feelings to the nitty-gritty technical details of making music for games. From the early days of single-tone PC speaker and FM synthesizers to the lush orchestral scores of today, this panel takes you on a historical journey through the magic of game music.

11:30 a.m. AMA with the Williams

The legendary Ken and Roberta Williams take time out from spelunking their reimagined Colossal Cave and sailing all over the world to answer your most burning questions, hosted by Metal Jesus Rocks and Drunken Master Paul. It's only an hour so come prepared – it's an AMA so you can ask them anything! (Well, within reason.)

1:00 p.m. Sierra Days

Now that the bosses are out of the room, it's time to hear all about what REALLY went on within (and beyond) the hallowed halls of Sierra, led by host Paul Quinn (aka Drunken Master Paul). You will not want to miss this star-studded who's who reunion of adventure game giants, including Al Lowe, Jane Jensen and Robert Holmes, Lori and Corey Cole, Richard Aronson and more! 

2:30 p.m. Meet the Voices

You've heard their voices, but now meet the people behind many of your favorite gaming roles! Acclaimed indie developer Francisco González (Rosewater, Lamplight City) hosts a star-studded voice acting lineup including Dominic Armato (the voice of Guybrush Threepwood), Ivy Dupler (Unavowed, Whispers of a Machine), Melissa Medina (Starfield, Return to Monkey Island) and Richard Aronson (King's Quest's own Cedric the Owl!). 

4:00 p.m. King’s Quest: 40th Anniversary Retrospective

Speaking of King's Quest, don't look now if you don't want to feel old, but this year the venerable Quest for the Crown turns 40! So much has changed since then, and yet so much of the adventure genre owes its inspiration to the legacy of King's Quest. So who better to reminisce and take us all back to where it started than Ken and Roberta Williams, Jane Jensen, Richard Aaronson, and (remotely) Josh Mandel.  

6:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony and Hall of Fame Inductions 

We close out Saturday by recognizing the best of the best, beginning with awards for the top modern games of the last few years, followed by the best EVER with the inaugural inductions into the officially licensed Adventure Game Hall of Fame! You'll want to dress up for this evening gala led by esteemed actor Melissa Medina, interspersed with a variety of musical interludes, including never-before heard pieces and medleys created especially for this evening.


Sunday, July 28th

Doors open at 9:00 a.m.!

10:00 a.m. Engineering Empathy 

Dave Gilbert, renowned developer and founder of Wadjet Eye Games, talks about the importance of invoking empathy, using Unavowed and his Blackwell series as examples. It may not be something we think about as players, but it's this investment in characters that helps make Gilbert's games some of the most beloved.

11:30 a.m. Save Early, Save Often

We've all been there: totally engrossed in our game when suddenly a quick and unexpected death sends us all the way back to... wait, we did save, didn't we? Ohhh, too bad, we forgot the classic adventure game mantra! It's a fun topic with deep meaning, so Cade Peterson (Read Only Memories: NEURODIVER) and Alex Greenberg (aka GalexQuest, of Bethesda Game Studios) joins a collection of familiar writers, YouTubers, podcasters and more to explore the why we die in games, relive some of their favorite deadly encounters, and chat about some themes and frustrations that surface when delving into the “great beyond.” 

1:00 p.m. Pixel Panel

Once upon a time, pixel art was just art, and cutting-edge art at that. But now, with all the bells and whistles of modern technology, there's still something comfortably nostalgic about those wonderful blocky designs. So much so, they may be more popular than ever, and here to tell us all about it are several of the top modern indie game developers: Meredith Gran (Perfect Tides series), Tom Hardwidge (Lucy Dreaming, Heir of the Dog), Julia Minamata (The Crimson Diamond) and emcee Paul Korman (The Phantom Fellows).

2:30 p.m. Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure Retrospective

Writer/designer Aaron Conners arrives with his brand new novel to join Mat Van Rhoon on stage to discuss stories from the most recent Tex Murphy adventure. Hear insider stories about your favorite post-nuclear private investigator, and what it was like to be behind the scenes of this cyberpunk noir. 

4:00 p.m. Live Speedrun

This might be over quickly! Popular YouTuber and speedrunner extraordinare OneShortEye shows us how to whiz through a game at breakneck speed without hurting ourselves. You'll have to see it to believe it – just don't blink or you might miss it. Cheering him on and probing for details about the secrets of successful speedrunning will be none other than Julia Minamata. What's the mystery game(s)? OneShortEye's not saying!  

5:00 p.m. Send-Off

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and this last little gathering wraps up the Adventure Game Fan Fair 2024. With drives home ahead and planes to catch, we won't keep you long, just enough to offer our sincere thanks, shed a few tears at the parting, allow time for photos, and then kick you all out. After all, someone's gotta clean up the place! 

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  1. The program is awesome. Almost all the people who have shaped the adventure game genre are there. Too bad I don't have time to attend but I wish everyone else there a good time.

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