Glorious Four-Color Comedy!

What do you get when you combine post-apocalyptic fun with gamer comics? A series of hysterical Fallout comics by the folks at Penny Arcade!

Check out the first one on the site, now! And check out the official Bethesda Blog for insight into their production.


Wisdom and Genre Evolution

In an excellent essay on being a more open DM by Stephen Radney-MacFarland in Dungeon, this brief section struck me as being a good encapsulation of a larger truism about genres in any art/entertainment form. And life itself, perhaps:
Keep this sense of wonder and flexibility in mind when deciding what you'll allow as PC choices as well. I know there's been a some virtual rumblings about dragonborn and some of the newer D&D races from folks who (like myself) were weaned on Tolkien. But you have to realize that fantasy is a language, and that languages expand and change -- especially when the language is discovered and loved by younger users. When I was a kid, all I wanted to write, draw, and paint was the fantasy of Moorcock, Leiber, Howard, and Tolkien . . . and of course D&D. The adults around me told me I was wasting my time. Often, cruelly and with much certainty, they said the flights of fantasy I loved were dumb, or pedestrian, or childish. They were wrong.

Now the tables are turned, and I'm the adult. It wasn't so long ago that I sat in a meeting at my other gig -- as an instructor at a local art school -- and I sat around and listened to other instructors complain about how the kids liked drawing all this over-the-top anime fantasy. They called it childish, pedestrian, and a waste of time. Guess what: They're wrong, too. What those kids are drawing is the future of fantasy and it's coming fast. If I were you, I'd do my best to understand it and embrace it, and go out of your way to find a fit for it in your game world. Join the conversation instead of denying it! One of the greatest strengths of D&D and roleplaying games as a medium is the shared aspect of it. Sharing is compromise. Sharing is being flexible. Sharing is saying yes. Sharing is fun!


Prepare for the Future!

I cannot properly express how much I love this trailer. Hope you do, too!


Post-Apoc Film Festival!

If you're in the Santa Monica area on the weekend of August 22-23, and jonsing for some Fallout and other postapoc movies, then I've got good news for you!

The American Cinematheque, and Geek Monthly Sponsor ‘A Post-Apocalyptic Film Festival Presented by Fallout® 3’

It's a two-day long movie festival of post-apoc movies, showing Wizards, Damnation Alley, A Boy and His Dog, The Last Man on Earth, The Omega Man, and Twelve Monkeys. General Admission tickets are $10, which covers three movies, popcorn and soda, and an entry in a Fallout 3 giveaway.


E3 Excitement

In case you haven't already read about it in other game magazines, blogs, ads, skywriting, deep space radio waves, donkey shows, or off-broadway plays, there's this little thing called E3 coming up. And I'm boundlessly honored that Next-Gen magazine picked my baby, Fallout 3, as their most anticipated game of the show.

Despite working in game design, I'm still a fanboy at heart. I prefer to describe it as "boundless enthusiasm," but either way, I still find myself obsessively following details about upcoming games that I can't wait to devour. And while I'm curious about pretty much all everything that's been announced, I've got my own short list of games I'm particularly eager to examine.

Left 4 Dead
A team-based shooter with asymmetrical goals and powers, set in a zombie crisis, and polished to Valve's usual mirror shine of perfection. Team Fortress 2 got me back into team FPS games, and did an excellent job stressing the value of fulfilling a role in a team. Now L4D looks like it'll change up the dynamic by giving each side different roles. The designer in me is intrigued, and the zombie aficionado in me is gleefully loading his shotgun.

Rock Band 2
The first Rock Band still has me captured in its siren song of drumming and group gameplay, and I have tremendous respect for Harmonix's attitude and approach to presenting it as a platform for play. While I'll miss the option for user-created tracks, I trust them to do it right eventually, and I'm plenty excited about everything else it has to offer. Of course, they had me at "drum trainer."

Mirror's Edge
I was already eager for this game because of my fascination with parkour and its graceful gameplay feel, but now that I know its story is being penned by Rhianna Pratchett, I'm almost beside myself with anticipation. With a dedicated writer like her behind it, I have high hopes that the game doesn't just feel smooth, but for its underlying themes to be consistent and unified. If they're also in line with the philosophy behind parkour, then even better. A tall order, but the price of skill is facing high expectations.

For the record, my own game would be on this list, but I'm already pretty familiar with it.



Bethesda Softworks: Summer 2006 - Present
Fallout 3 - Game of the Year (Gamasutra, IGN, OXM)
Quest Designer, Writer
Writing memorable dialogue and unique characters, designing branching storylines with emphasis on high player agency. Creating content, setting lore, and games systems for massive RPGs in collaborative design teams.

Art In Transit: Winter 2005 – Summer 2006
Producer, Artist
Founded city-wide, $10,000+ public art display program, coordinating funding, publicity, display schedule, and message integrity with 31 artists and 3 major organizations. Organized multiple traditional and non-traditional gallery displays.

McKesson: Summer 2003 - Summer 2006
Flash Animator, Interactive Designer
Designing rapid prototypes of engaging educational Flash animations and lessons for nation-wide education of employees and customers. Working closely with educational and technical team for high-speed development of lessons and proprietary tools. Developing comprehensive training programs for education of industry professionals in major pharmacy chains.

Demiurge Studios:
Summer 2002
Enveloped and animated high-detail primary characters for PS2 demo of the Unreal engine, including visemes and facial emotions. Integrated work with other team members with eye towards character and consistency, using 3D Studio Max.

Social Robot Project: Spring 2000 - Summer 2001
Creative Designer, Animator, Writer
Developed character personality through dialogue and 3-D animation using proprietary, UNIX-based animation and scripting software. Worked with project leaders, providing creative input for overall visual and interactive feel of character.

Building Virtual Worlds: Spring 2000 – Summer 2001
Texture Mapper, Writer, Animator
Worked in small groups with programmers and modelers to develop interactive virtual reality worlds and stories, under Randy Pausch at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center. Developed settings, characters, and interactions for short stories while animating using proprietary software.

The Camarilla: Autumn 1996 – Winter 2004
Global Setting Advisor, Regional and Venue Storyteller
Developed stories, plots, and rules sets for worldwide live action role-playing game, working in conjunction with international teams of assistant storytellers. Created global history and setting for specific character types, with a focus on creating rich story potential for all players. Directed story for East Central Region of the United States, overseeing plot arcs and actions of dozens of players and storytellers across seven states in person and online.


This is a test. Hello, world! Lorem ipsum, and all that. Expect this place to go through quite a few template changes before I settle on something I like.

Google pushed me over the edge with Lively. Once I realized I was using Google Mail, Google Reader, Google News, Google Maps, Google Chat, and Google Lively, I figured I might as well make the move over to Google Blogger.

It's a wonderful Googlife!