Magic Meeple…the Boardgame People!

Magic Meeple Games, LLC. is an independent tabletop games design, development, & publishing company based in Phoenix, Arizona. Officially formed in 2015, MMG was co-founded and currently co-owned by husband/wife team Ian Stedman and Trish Stedman who have over 20 years of combined involvement in various games industries.

We love games.


We believe that games should:

Mission statements can be useful, but are very thin and usually vague. We prefer to build our company and grow based on a few simple principles…

Respect “Be silly, be honest, be kind.”Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Good customer service begins with this one simple thing. It does us no good to be dishonest, rude, or take ourselves too seriously. We’re all human beings that deserve respect, so it is our endeavor to extend that same respect to others as we would hope they would show to others (and still keep a sense of humor at the end of the day!) We will endeavor to always put our passion before profits and remain true to our core values as individuals and a business.

Honor “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”Maya Angelou

Just as we are all humans that deserve respect, no one is perfect and mistakes happen. We must strive to do the best we can as Designers, Developers, and Publishers; be transparent with our stakeholders; and most of all own the mistakes we make and endeavor to do better, in all things.

Fun “Life is more fun if you play games.” - Roald Dahl

Game time is family time and studies have shown over and over again how board games can be very good for you. We believe that the Age printed on a game’s box should reflect the safety and useability of a product without adult supervision. But, with adult supervision, even games labeled for Ages 14+ can–and sometimes should–be enjoyed by much younger children with responsible family members to help foster inclusion and togetherness, which is what having fun is all about. We must endeavor to never, ever lose sight of this.

Creation “Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. MAKE” - Joss Whedon

But most of all, we must never forget why we started doing all this in the first place: to be creative, make games, try new ideas, have fun, and bring people together. To love what we do and do what we love is why we are here! Nobody knows how we will evolve or what kinds of things we’ll eventually decide to create, but if it is fun and engaging to us, we’re confident it will be for you as well!

Meet the Team

Ian Stedman - Co-Owner, Chief Creative Officer, Game Designer: Magnum Opus

A passionate and creative self-starter with a fascination for all things gaming. The designer of Magnum Opus from Clever Mojo Games and several other self-publishing projects. A lifelong designer of board games and video games with project experience in both fields. Often seen wearing any combination of the following hats: designer, developer, publisher, graphic designer, illustrator, rules writer, editor, voice actor, public speaker, website administrator, and customer relations.

Special Guest/Speaker: RinCon (multiple years)
Special Guest/Speaker: Strategicon 2015
Special Guest/Speaker: PAX Prime 2015
Guest of Honor : Penguicon 2018

Trish Stedman - Co-Owner, Chief Business Officer

A bold leader and respected I.T. and Convention professional. Managerial involvement with gaming conventions including Phoenix Comicon, RinCon, and Crit Hit for years as an experienced event planner. Often wearing the hats of: developer, consultant, business analyst, finance officer, editor, server administrator, long-term planning, outreach, public speaker, and customer relations.

Nemo Rathwald - Graphic Design, Game Designer: Overworld

“Overworld” is Nemo’s first game to be published, but will not be the last. Nemo specializes in game components that physically prevent you from breaking rules, so you don’t have to remember them.

Nemo got into game design in 2003, at the first Penguicon (a convention of all geeky interests) and has been helping to run the convention ever since, where he playtests new board games of his own design every year.

He laser-cuts his game prototypes at the local hackerspace i3Detroit, where he teaches classes on how to use Adobe Illustrator to create cutting paths for machine tools.

Michael Eskue - Game Designer: Darkrock Ventures

Michael Eskue is the designer of Darkrock Ventures and a few other games like Council of Verona and For The Win. He and his wife, Lisa, live in the White Mountains of Arizona, and have co-designed a few games that should be available soon: Trash Pandas, Titan Dice, and Oracles. Michael can often be found at AZ gaming conventions and enjoys teaching and learning all types of games.

Michael Lipton - Game Designer: Fire of Eidolon, Game Designer: Incoming Transmission

Michael is an avid game designer, with two games published through Magic Meeple Games and a couple more on the way! His engineering background lends to games that are streamlined for the players, while all the background mathematics and mechanisms are intricately balanced. Always happy to talk to folks about design, development, and testing of games.

Tiffany “TJ” Johnston – Director of Staffing

Tiffany brings 14 years of convention experience to Magic Meeple Games. She is responsible for all of Magic Meeple Game’s staffing and staff training. Her team can tackle any issue and the attendees will continue having an amazing experience. She inspires loyalty and excellence in her team and they would follow her through a war zone (typically known as a convention).

The (brief version of the) History of Magic Meeple Games

A long time ago, Magic Meeple Games founders Ian Stedman and Trish Stedman wanted to start a business. Something outside of the everyday, something relevant to their passions and interests as gamers and business-people. Landing on a target was not easy, and Magic Meeple Games went through several transformations before it became what you see today. Our humble beginnings in 2006 took the form of a video game training and tournament organizer called Gamer’s University, which later became a news and review outlet covering new relevant board and video games. G.U. Games arose when co-founder Ian Stedman changed his focus to board game design and through much hard work, soon became a published designer. In 2015 we shifted our focus completely and now we want to bring more awesome games made by all kinds of designers into the world.

Magic Meeple Games began when our good friend, and Gamelyn Games founder, Michael Coe approached us to co-publish a project with him so they could focus on other projects. It was an idea we had been entertaining joining the industry for over a year as more than just a designer and he encouraged us to break in…and break in we did! Magic Meeple Games debuted with their first project, Darkrock Ventures, designed by the very same Michael Eskue of Council of Verona/TableTop fame.

Our publishing history may be just beginning but with over 20 years of involvement and experience in the board games industry, we aren’t new. Just a new name, a new focus, and a new style.

Welcome to Magic Meeple Games!!