Well, I thought that since I’m kind of the lead Jack Of All Trades here I should introduce myself and let tell you a bit about me.
I played games as far back as I can remember. Aside from the usual, checkers, chess and Chinese checkers, I remember playing Candy Land, Life, Mouse Trap (or at least playing with it, more so than playing it according to the rules). I especially loved playing King Oil and Code Name: Sector . I’d play Pit (We had the original Orange set) , Clue, and penny ante poker with my grandparents and family. My mom and I used to play Boggle for hours. There were of course many other games I had, played and loved.
Then, in 1977 my life changed. I was at the hobby shop with my dad looking for N-Scale trains when this box in the case caught my eye. I asked my dad what Dungeons & Dragons was. He had no idea. He asked the shop owner, and all he could say was, “Well, it’s supposed to be some kind of game.” I just looked at my dad and I remember saying “Dad, I really want that. That’s what I want”. He asked me if I was sure. As I stared back at the box all I could say was ‘Definitely’. I left there with my box clutched under my arm and a little red velvet dice bag that I have to this day.
For the first time, I was not constrained to a board and a fixed set of moves and actions. I was given a framework, and a world to set my imagination wild in. And the dice….ohhh the dice! I dutifully colored in the numbers with the enclosed crayon. I had my original D20 from that boxed set for almost 25 years but it was lost in a misunderstanding when I moved. (but that’s another story).
It was then, that my game designer roots took hold. My D&D play career included, the, Expert Set, AD&D, AD&D second edition, on and on. I even had the Computer Labyrinth game. I was mostly a DM, and created my own campaigns and modules. I didn’t realise it then, but I had started game designing. I ate Greyhawk for breakfast and Forgotten Realms for lunch. I designed my own campaign setting which you will see some of our games set in in the not too distant future. Oh yeah….it was on!
The RPG market had started to blossom. There were many RPGs such as Traveller, Star Frontiers, Champions, Marvel Super Heroes amongst others. I used to run games for our local gaming conventions in Denver. I also played the White Wolf games, Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf the Apocalypse, and Mage the Ascension. I even tried an obscure one called Vox where as a live action roleplaying game you were to uncover your hidden talents that involved your voice to perform magic like abilities in a modern world. There was of course the Steve Jacksons small box games Car Wars, Truck Stop. Those were great for sneaking into study hall.
In all of these settings I was always pushing the boundaries and seeing what I could create, or add to the settings and the game. I started doing a few games from scratch as well. The first game I designed somewhat from scratch was based on the movie The Blood of Heroes. I of course created the game out of the movie, complete with character advancement, movement special moves for the chainers and jugger etc. We even played it with cut out bits of paper. It was a living board game where your characters advanced like RPG characters did and you played your team against other players, like the myriad of miniature based team games. Warhammer 40K (although I used my friends’ armies), Blood Bowl and others. This of course lead me to miniature games. My go-to game was BattleTech. I also really enjoyed Mordheim.
Them my life changed again when my friend Jason introduced me to Magic: The Gathering. I was hooked. I went so far as to become a registered Tournament Organizer for the Denver area before I moved to Australia. I love playing Sealed Deck. It’s more of a skill and strategy play than he with the most money builds the Pro Tour deck kind of thing. This is still my favorite game to play.
I’ve always had the drive to create games. Either from an idea for a setting, or to see how a mechanic could be used, or just to find an experience that people would want to return to again and again. I would often find myself day-dreaming about this game idea or that game idea but I always had a day job and things didn’t work out.
Now that it’s later in life, and the ideas haven’t left me alone. I’m in a better position to be able to let some of them out of the bag. So here we are. I’m designing games, and I hope you like to play them.