Michael Iantorno PhD Candidate, Game Designer, and Writer

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Mammoth Island Adventure Club Released

Today, Mammoth Island Games debuts its Adventure Club! Each season of the Club offers a bevy of postcard-sized, system neutral, TTRPG adventures. The current season theme is Islands and features five entries. After Hearth & Blade and The Elephant in the Room, my brother and I shifted our focus toward smaller TTRPG projects. This is for three reasons. First, scoped-down TTRPGs allow us to...

Background Checks: Disentangling Class, Race, and Gender in CRPG Character Creators

I am happy to announce that a journal article I co-authored with Mia Consalvo has just been published in Games & Culture! Background Checks: Disentangling Class, Race, and Gender in CRPG Character Creators is now available as an open access article, and represents months of research we conducted on Dragon Age and Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura. The paper is one of many outputs of...

One Page Dungeon Anthology Released

The One Page Dungeon Contest is a yearly competition where aspiring game designers create a role-playing-game dungeon within the space of an 8.5×11 sheet of paper. Dozens of participants compete with one goal in mind: to create the ultimate single page adventure. After having competed for a number of years, we’ve decided to offer our 4 previous entries for free on the Mammoth Island Itch.io page...

Hearth & Blade (Version 1.0 Release)

After years of on-and-off development and 18 months of open beta testing, the Hearth & Blade core rulebook is now released! Folks can pick up a copy (PWYC) on the Mammoth Island itch.io page. Hearth & Blade is a campaign setting and homebrew ruleset for the first edition of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Explore Yavmir, a frozen realm steeped in rich Slavic folklore. Delve into ancient...

A Trio of Game Boy Workshops

This past summer, I had the privilege of working with Alex Custodio and lee wilkins on a trio of Game Boy workshops, leading up to our Solar Game (Boy) Jam on August 26th.  The work was completed as part of the Milieux Solar Media Project, which explores the affordances of solar energy for digital communication systems. The three workshops invited guests to tinker with different aspects of the...

Volatile Memory: How to Replace Your Game Boy Cartridge Batteries

Last week, Alex Custodio and I had the opportunity run a workshop titled Volatile Memory: How to Replace Your Game Boy Cartridge Batteries, which we put on as part of an exhibition at Concordia University. We invited folks down to the Makerspace to learn about videogame maintenance and showed them how to swap the battery on a Game Boy cartridge – extending its lifespan by allowing certain...

Power Bombs and Glass Cannons: A Reflection on Metroid Dread

This is more of a personal reflection on Metroid: Dread rather than a review. I mention this off the top because I’m not claiming any sort of objectivity — my critiques of the game are firmly rooted in my ongoing love for Super Metroid and Metroid: Fusion. To put in bluntly: I’m judging Dread in comparison to two of the series strongest entries, which is unfair for innumerable reasons. As most of...

It Comes In Waves

Over the last few years, I have been lucky to be a part of the ongoing Class and Games research project at Concordia University. These sorts of long-term media studies endeavours are delightful, amorphous things — one day you might find yourself working on a paper about working-class videogame heroes and the next you’re delving into Twine to tell a story about the early days of the pandemic. It...

Michael Iantorno PhD Candidate, Game Designer, and Writer