Owner, Creative Director, Lead Designer
Jason Morningstar is a game designer who lives and works in Durham, North Carolina, USA. In addition to tabletop and live action roleplaying games, he has also made games for clients like Google and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His collaborations include the #feminism collection, Fastaval nominee Old Friends with Ole Peder Giæver, and the popular Love in the Time Of… games with Matthijs Holter.
Jason’s games have been featured at Indiecade and in the Gen Con 50th anniversary museum. He has been a guest at a variety of events, including Ropecon, Gen Con, Lucca Comics and Games, and Dragon Con. Jason was a keynote speaker at the 2016 Living Games conference.
Beyond roleplaying, Jason consults on the use of games for teaching and learning, most recently with the University of California, University of Michigan, Kaiser-Permanente Health Care, and the Innovation Learning Network.
In addition to design, Jason has written extensively on game-related topics. His articles have appeared in the anthologies Analog Game Studies, States of Play, and Unframed.
I have over 50 published games including both commercially successful and highly experimental titles. My work is published in nine languages.
Bully Pulpit Games. Perfection. 2020.
Bully Pulpit Games. Sky Deck. 2020.
Bully Pulpit Games. Seat Five. 2020.
Bully Pulpit Games. Space Post. 2020.
Bully Pulpit Games. Radioactive Bison. 2019.
Bully Pulpit Games. Deep Love. 2019.
Bully Pulpit Games. A Green and Narrow Bed. 2018.
Bully Pulpit Games. The Underwater People. 2018.
Bully Pulpit Games. The Fobolex Interstellar Corporate Retreat (With Alex Roberts). 2018.
Bully Pulpit Games. The Dream. 2018.
Bully Pulpit Games. The Blue Way. 2018.
Bully Pulpit Games. WINTERHORN. ENnies Judge’s Spotlight award. Featured at USC’s Emergency and Emergence conference, 2018.
Bully Pulpit Games. Phones of Glory. 2018.
Bully Pulpit Games. Ghost Court. Featured at Indiecade, 2017.
Bully Pulpit Games. Welcome Guests. 2017.
Bully Pulpit Games. First Ride/Last Ride. 2017.
Google Austria. The Vienna Apparatus, a custom-designed installation and group game series.
Threeforged Competition. The Policy of Truth. 2017.
#Feminism Collection. Shoutdown to Launch. 2016.
Bully Pulpit Games. The Skeletons. 2016.
Bully Pulpit Games. Old Friends. Fastaval award nominee, 2016.
Bully Pulpit Games. Night Witches. 2015.
Bully Pulpit Games. JUGGERNAUT. 2015.
Bully Pulpit Games. Out of Dodge. 2014.
Bully Pulpit Games. The Climb. 2014.
Bully Pulpit Games. Durance. 2013.
Bully Pulpit Games. The Fiasco Companion. 2012.
Game Chef competition. Danger Mountain. 2010.
Bully Pulpit Games. Fiasco. 2009. Winner, 2011 Diana Jones Award, Best Support, 2009 Indie Games Awards. ENnies Judge’s Spotlight Award.
Two Games, One Name Competition. The Plant. 2009. Winner, “Out of the Box” award.
Murderland Competition. Bodymore Murdaland. 2008.
Game Chef competition. Dulse. 2008. Runner-up.
Valentines Day Game Competition. Animal Rescue Vigilantes 2008.
Bully Pulpit Games. Grey Ranks. 2007. Co-Winner, Diana Jones Award. Winner, Indie Game of the Year. Winner, Most Innovative, Indie Game Awards.
Game Chef competition. Grover Cleveland. 2007. Runner-up.
Game Chef competition. Terra Nova. 2006.
Bully Pulpit Games. Drowning and Falling. 2006.
Bully Pulpit Games. The Shab al-Hiri Roach. 2006. Winner, Sui Generis Award, Kenneth Hite’s Out of the Box. Top Eight, Game Chef.
Ronnies competition. Xochitlcozamalatl. 2005.
Game Chef competition. The Governor’s Report Concerning the Doomed Assault on the Fire Moon. 2005.
24 Hour RPG competition. Dungeon Squad. 2005.
52 Pick-up column, rpg.net. President of the Galaxy. 2001.
Analog tabletop and live action clients look to me for evocative and well-researched material, often at surprising intersections of history and pathos.
- Punch Village (Puppetland)
Black Armada Publishing
- Zemlya Sannikova (Lovecraftesque)
- The Wardian Case (Lovecraftesque)
Bully Pulpit Games
- House Ghost (With Jessica Creane)
- The Wizard’s Querulous Dram (With Lizzie Stark)
- Four Lovers (With Lizzie Stark)
- Honor Bound (With Randy Lubin)
- Space Station Fobolex (With Alex Roberts) (Star Crossed)
- The Last Pull (Durance)
- Bayou Dupree (The Warren)
- Polygon Wood (The Warren)
- The Flowery Dream (The Warren)
- Dark Mode (The Warren)
- The Skyr Pitch (Larp)
- Postcard to Angela (Cthulhu Britannica: London)
- The Tiffany Doctors (Undying)
Evil Hat Productions
- Fight Fire (Fate)
- Revenge Tragedy (Unbound)
Heart of the Deernicorn
- The Underworld (With Rachel E.S. Walton) (Fall of Magic)
Jackalope Live Action Studios
- Cultural development (A War of Our Own larp)
- Siberian Climate Refugee group (Cyberpunk 2020 larp)
- Night City University group (Cyberpunk 2020 larp)
- The Curse Ewer (Phoenix: Dawn Command)
- The Trip to Jeju Island (The magicians)
Learn Larp LLC
- The Vacant Chair
- Bad Blood
With J. Li
- Cancel Christmas (Viewscream)
- Hollywoodland (Hilllfolk)
- Many Fires (Trail of Cthulhu)
- The Black Drop (Trail of Cthulhu)
- Time Seed: Lydia Litvyak (Timewatch)
- Additional Tables (Fight Fire)
Photographs of Lightning
- THE MONSTERS (Monsterhearts Second Skins)
Red Moon Medicine Show
- The Tale of Hart van Laer (Don’t Walk in Winter Wood)
Sage Kobold Games
- Juntu’s Floating Ice Hell (Dungeon World)
- Nanga Parbat (Perseverant)
Steve Wallace Art
- The Ship (No Country for Old Kobolds)
- The Wreckers
Thieves of Time
- Sukakpak (Cthulhu Dark)
- Marginalia (Stealing Cthulhu)
- The Czaten Dacha (Dialect)
UNICEF Office of Innovation
- The Ixitpla (Systemless horror)
Articles, Chapters, Forewords
- Care Boss, Emily, Jason Morningstar and Ivan Vaghi. “Beyond the Game Master: The Rise of Peer Empowered Tabletop Roleplay”. States of Play. Ed. Juhanna Pettersson. Pohjoismaisen Roolipelaamisen Seura, 2012.
- Morningstar, Jason. “Agreement, Endowment, and Knowing When to Shut Up”. Unframed: The Art of Improvisation for Game Masters, edited by Martin Ralya. Engine Publishing, 2014.
- Morningstar, Jason. “Rude Mechs Bring Live Action Roleplaying to Duke Performances”. INDYWEEK, September 29, 2014.
- Morningstar, Jason. Foreword. Focal Point: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Running Extraordinary Sessions. Ed. Martin Ralya. Engine Publishing, 2015.
- Li, J. and Jason Morningstar. A Pattern Language for Larp Design. n.p., Web, 2016
- Morningstar, Jason. “Visual Design as Metaphor”. Analog Game Studies, Volume One. Ed. Aaron Trammel, Emma Waldron and Evan Torner. ETC Press, 2016
- Morningstar, Jason. “Itras By Without Itras By.” Itras By: The Menagerie. Ed. Carsten Damm. Vagrant Workshop, 2017
- Morningstar, Jason and Henshaw, Bob. “Incremental Approaches to Accessible Electronic Content”. Educause Conference. 2003.
- Morningstar, Jason. “Quick-and-Dirty Usability Testing in an Academic Environment”. Syllabus Conference. Santa Clara, CA, 2003
- Morningstar, Jason and Saroj Primlani. “Accessibility of Online Synchronous Learning Space: Challenges and Strategies”. 21st Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference. California State University, Northridge, Center on Disabilities. 2006.
- Morningstar, Jason for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing. Pediatric Oncology Orientation Game. In use, 2011. Presented at the Innovation Learning Network Seattle Conference, 2011.
- Morningstar, Jason for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health. Distance MPH Capstone Project. 2011.
- Morningstar, Jason for Kaiser-Permanente Health Care. Academic Nursing Summit Game. 2011.
- Morningstar, Jason. The International RPG Scene. Gen Con, 2012.
- Morningstar, Jason. “Visual Design as Metaphor”. Metatopia, 2015.
- Morningstar, Jason. “Iterative Analog Games for Teaching and Learning in Medical Education”. Living Games conference, 2016.
- Morningstar, Jason and Timothy Hutchings. “Ephemera”. Metatopia, 2016.
- Morningstar, Jason, Ben Morrow and Jay Sylvano. “Ground Truth” Metatopia, 2016.
- Morningstar, Jason, Steve Segedy, Angela Webber and Richard Malena-Webber). “Fiasco Live”, 2017.
- Morningstar, Jason for Google Austria: Omnichannel Games. 2017.
- Morningstar, Jason. “WINTERHORN”. USC School of Cinematic Arts, Emergency and Emergence conference, 2018.
- Morningstar, Jason. “You are Already A Game Designer”. Cympub-con, Seoul, South Korea, 2019.
- Morningstar, Jason. “An Approach To Game Design”. Cympub-con, Seoul, South Korea, 2019.
- Morningstar, Jason. “The Intersection of Gaming and Theater – A Look At She Kills Monsters”. Owens Community College, 2019.
- Morningstar, Jason. “Hands-On Games in Medical Education”. Owens Community College, 2019.
- Morningstar, Jason. “Using Analog Games for Teaching and Learning”. Owens Community College, 2019.
- Big Bad Con
- Cympub-Con, South Korea (Speaking on Game Design Principles)
- Dragon Con
- ECGC (Speaking on Tabletop Design Principles)
- Gen Con (Guest of Honor and moderator)
- Go Play Northwest
- Lucca Italy
- Mid-Atlantic Convention Expo
- Metatopia (Featured speaker, 2011-present)
- PAX Unplugged
- Pyrkon Poland (Speaking on GMless Design and Play)
- RopeCon Finland (Speaking on Hacking Games, North American Larp)
- Viking Con Denmark
Campus Visits and Presentations
- Durham Technical Community College
- NC Literary Festival In conversation with Davey Wreden
- KADK Royal Danish Academy
- Owens Community College
- Ringling College of Art and Design
- University of Michigan Stamps School of Art and Design
- USC School of Cinematic Arts
- USC Games
- UC Irvine School of Information and Computer Science
- UC Berkeley staff continuing education
- UNC Arts and Sciences
- Wake and Durham county library systems
- Wake Technical Community College
International Editing and Localization
I often serve as a developmental and localization editor for translations into English, particularly in the tabletop RPG and larp spaces.
- Cympub, Korea
- Crescendo Giocoso, Italy
- GGStudio, Italy
- Janus Designs, Italy
- Labyrinth, PRC
- Michal Havelka et al, Czechia
- Narrativa, Italy
- Pro-Indie, Germany
- Retropunk, Brazil
- Studio 101, Russia
- Thoughtful Games, Denmark
I have been instrumental in creating and supporting organizations that challenge designers, honor innovation, solve problems and build capacity.
- Camp Nerdly. Founder and organizer, 2008-2015, board member, 2015-present
- Sandcon. Founder and organizer, 2014-present
- Golden Cobra Challenge, founder and awards committee, 2014-present
- Diana Jones Award committee, 2012-present