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This is the website of the London-based games publisher, consultant, designer, writer and player James Wallis.

What’s James been doing?

James’s latest book is Everybody Wins, an overview of the greatest board games of the last 45 years, and a history of the board-game renaissance and the Spiel des Jahres, the biggest games prize in the world. The book is published by Aconyte in the US and UK, and is also available as an ebook and audiobook. As part of the publicity for it James edited a six-part podcast, with interviews of games figures including Reiner Knizia, Matt Leacock, Peter Adkison, John Kovalic and Leslie Scott.

James has an chapter in What Board Games Mean To Me, an anthology of personal pieces edited by Donna Gregory, released at the end of 2023. The same year he also wrote on board games for the Daily Telegraph and appeared on BBC Radio 4 and Times Radio to talk about them.

From 2020-2022 James was studio manager at The Green Board Game Co. Ltd., a UK-based games studio that is part of the Asmodee Group of companies. He was responsible for completely revamping, re-artworking and relaunching the BrainBox line of educational games to a global market.

Before that, he was director of the games consultancy Spaaace, which he set up in 2007, lectured in games design and interactive narrative at London South Bank University and the National Film & Television School, and wrote about games for Tabletop Gaming magazine and others. Spaaace continues to operate but is no longer his primary focus.

He co-wrote the book Board Games In 100 Moves with industry legend Sir Ian Livingstone. It was published by Dorling Kindersley in 2019.

He is co-host of the games-analysis podcast Ludonarrative Dissidents, which will launch its third series in early 2024.

The Game Design Masterclass, James’s workshop in tabletop game development, celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2018. As well as introducing thousands to the best practices and tricks of the trade, it’s been used by brands, businesses and large organisations to teach team building, project management, and iterative development. It has been run across Europe and in the USA, as well as spawning a sibling series of workshops in Australia, and regular appearances for the National Film and Television School and the Prince’s Trust. It has its own website: www.gamedesignmasterclass.com.

James was narrative designer for Insane Robots, the XB1/PS4/PC card-battling game from Playniac that released in 2018 (Metacritic 87%).

Alas Vegas, James’s kickstarted RPG of ‘flashbacks, blackjack and payback’ launched to the public in early 2018, to strong reviews (4.7 out of 5 aggregate at OneBookShelf) and good sales. It is on sale through all good online bookstores, and in digital form from DriveThruRPG, where it is a gold-level seller, and at Indie Press Revolution.

The third edition of James’s game of competitive boasting¬†The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen was released by Fantasy Flight Games in December 2016, to rave reviews. The rights are back with James now, though digital copies are still available from DriveThruRPG, where it is a gold-level seller, and print copies from Indie Press Revolution.

The bottom-up reboot of 1980s classic RPG Paranoia, on which James was lead designer, was released by Mongoose Publishing in 2017.

The seventh supplement for James’s story-telling card-game Once Upon a Time (co-developed with Andrew Rilstone and Richard Lambert) is ‘Fairy Tales’, and like the base game it’s available at all good games shops.

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