Vencedor, Best Narrative and HORIZON ZERO DAWN: The Sunhawk out now!

Two good newses for the price of one! HORIZON ZERO DAWN: THE SUNHAWK, the graphic novel collecting the first arc of the HORIZON ZERO DAWN comic book series, came out last week. In addition, HOLOCRIMES, a mobile AR game to which I contributed my writing skillz, won Best Narrative at the Brazilian SB Games Festival.

Horizon Zero Dawn Sunhawk cover with Talanah and AloyTitan Comics published HORIZON ZERO DAWN: THE SUNHAWK to collect the best-selling comic series into a graphic novel. The original Issue #1, which came out in August, was the top selling non-Marvel comic, outselling Batman! It’s also Titan’s best-selling comic ever! Featuring Talanah, the Sunhawk of the Hunters Lodge, the complete tale recounts what happens to Aloy’s friend Talanah after the events of the first game. The collection is barely a week old, so you’re not too late to pick up a copy. With art from Ann Maulina, and colors from Bryan Valenza, it’s definitely worth a peep!

Not to be outdone, HOLOCRIMES: AR INVESTIGATION took home the trophy for Best Narrative at SBGames Recife 2020, the Festival Virtual de Jogos. The game, developed by Brazilian developer Black River Studios, puts the player at the scene of a crime, in a grounded science fiction world where murders might hint at a greater conspiracy.

ūüŹÜ Vencedor Melhor Narrativa

HOLOCRIMES also earned nominations in Best Design, Best Tech, and Best Mobile Game. Congrats to the whole team!

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Story published in STAR WARS anthology

From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (Star Wars) by Anne Toole, Seth Dickinson, Hank Green, R. F. Kuang, Martha Wells and Kiersten White

Would you like to read a Star War? How about 40? You’re in luck! I wrote a short story for FROM A CERTAIN POINT OF VIEW: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, which comes out today! This anthology features 40 stories from 40 authors celebrating the 40th anniversary of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Authors include Hank Green, Martha Wells, and Gary Whitta.

It’s my very first Star War, so you can imagine I’m very excited! I never thought when I watched the original trilogy as a kid that I would one day be writing a story set in that world — alongside a host of excellent writers, to boot!

The stories take place during, in, and around the events of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. They include beloved characters as well as originals new to the STAR WARS universe. My story centers on the latter and takes place on Bespin after Lando saves Luke and Leia. If you ever wondered what happened to Cloud City after Lando leaves it to the Imperials, this is the story for you.

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To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the premiere of THE EXMPIRE STRIKES BACK, the proceeds of the anthology will be donated to First Book‚ÄĒa leading nonprofit that provides new books, learning materials, and other essentials to educators and organizations serving children in need.

So what are you waiting for? Celebrate, give back, and read good stuff all at the same time! You can order the anthology here or at your local book shop.

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Original series and game narrative earn nods at two festivals

Too Hollywood a headline? Nah. Two projects of mine earned their way to some laurels this month. First up, THE ICE & TIMES OF RACHEL W. was selected as an Official Selection for Stareable Fest, celebrating web series and indie TV talent. Second, HOLOCRIMES has advanced to finalist in narrative at the Festival de Jogos do SBGames Recife 2020, a festival for the Brazilian games industry. I contributed to the narrative, but I promise I didn’t commit any of the crimes!

Stareable Official SelectionICE & TIMES is a hybrid fictional/documentary short-form series intended to inspire women to pursue STEM fields. If picked up, the series would follow a young woman going on the adventure of a lifetime as she participates in research expeditions in Antarctica.

HOLOCRIMES: AR INVESTIGATION allows the player to participate in a remote investigation of crimes as a new investigator. Solving these crimes may unveil a plot that menaces more than just the victims. Available for any detective using an Android. In addition to its nomination for Best Narrative, HOLOCRIMES is also a finalist in the Best Mobile Game, Best Design, and Best Technology categories. Maybe crime does pay.

If you’ve had a chance to play the game, I’d definitely love to hear your thoughts! Drop a comment below.

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Speaking on Games x Comics at PAX Online today

PAX West and PAX Aus are combining for the global PAX Online Experience |  PowerUp!Today’s the day! I’ll be joining a host of other talented folks to speak about writing for games and comics in the virtual experience of PAX Online! Watch the stream, then join us on Discord for a Q&A to get the last ounce of value from our lovely and fearless panelists!

Games x Comics – Complimentary Mediums?

When: Today! September 17, 2020, 1pm PST
Where: PAX Online

Games and Comics have an overlapping audience in spite of their differences. Interactive vs. passive consumption, moving vs. static images – but what are the traits they share that draw people to both? What are some of the similarities and differences in how they can be used to tell their stories, and how can the two be used to boost each other within a franchise?

PANELISTS
Cade Peterson [CEO, MidBoss], JJSignal [Creative Director, MidBoss], Sina Grace [Comics Writer (formerly MARVEL, currently IDW, Archie Comics, BOOM! Comics, PT), freelance], John Barber [Editor-In-Chief, IDW Publishing], Mary Kenney [Writer, Insomniac Games (Video games: MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN: MILES MORALES and THE WALKING DEAD: THE FINAL SEASON)  (Comics: READ-ONLY MEMORIES and MY LITTLE PONY)], Anne Toole [Writer, HORIZON ZERO DAWN (game and comic), CURSE OF THE PHARAOHS (ASSASSIN’S CREED ORIGINS), and HALO: LONE WOLF (comic), freelance], Sam Maggs [Writer, video games and comics (Comics: MARVEL ACTION: CAPTAIN MARVEL; TRANSFORMERS: GALAXIES. Video games: SPIDER-MAN: THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS; RATCHET & CLANK: RIFT APART)]

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Horizon Zero Dawn #1 out today!

The official first issue for the Horizon Zero Dawn comic book series I wrote is available now in comic book stores! It’s always been a dream of mine to see my comics sitting on the shelf alongside other great creators. It was a privilege to work with such a great artist in Ann Maulina, and I’m only slightly biased because we share the sam(e) nam(e). I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it.

The Free Comic Book Day (Summer) issue is still available in some stores, too, so you can go and pick up today’s Horizon Zero Dawn #1 while you’re getting your free comic! You can also find a digital copy of Horizon Zero Dawn #1 on Comixology.

The comic has 6 variant covers, as well as 3 virgin covers — Titan really went all out.

Horizon Zero Dawn #1 (virgin variant)

Publisher: Titan Comics
Written by Me!
Art: Ann Maulina
Colors: Bryan Valenza
Letters: Jim Campbell

Following the events of the game and issue 0, Horizon Zero Dawn #1 follows Talanah as she pursues a contract for a machine and stumbles across a new breed… and a mysterious man in the woods. Explore a world dominated by awe-inspiring machines, as humanity fights for survival on this new earth.

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Speaking on narrative in games at SDCC Comic-Con@Home

Today as part of Comic-Con@Home, I’ll be speaking on a virtual panel on Narrative Design for Computer Games. I spoke earlier this week on a panel for Horizon Zero Dawn Comes to Comics, which has reached nearly 2,000 views, all of them me ūüėČ .

Narrative Design for Computer Games
When: July 25, 2020 at 10am PST
Where: Online
Industry vets Neal Hallford¬†(Betrayal at Krondor),¬†Haris Orkin¬†(Call of Juarez),¬†Anne Toole¬†(Horizon Zero Dawn), and¬†Xalavier Nelson Jr.¬†(We Are the Caretakers) break down how narratives are crafted and executed in the gaming industry. Moderated by¬†Jana Hallford¬†(Swords & Circuitry: A Designer’s Guide to Computer Role-Playing Games).

Join us!

Later, I’ll be heading over to Golden Apple Comics for some Free Comic Book Day/Summer comics, including the free Horizon Zero Dawn comic I wrote! For more details, check it here.

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Free Horizon Zero Dawn comic & SDCC Panel today!

HORIZON ZERO DAWN continues with a comic I wrote, and its first 0 issue is free at your local comic book store for Free Comic Book Day! If that’s not enough, as part of #ComicConAtHome and #SDCC2020, you can join 842 (!) other attendees today at 2pm PST at our panel to learn more about how Horizon Zero Dawn Comes To Comics. What are you getting yourself in for? Read on…

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Issue 0 launches the HORIZON ZERO DAWN comic mini-series and continues the story of the popular game. Sunhawk of the Hunters Lodge, Talanah finds herself stuck in Meridian until a battle with a Ravager at the very gates sets her on a new adventure. You can get her comic for free today at a participating comic book store near you! Find a store with your zip code here: https://www.freecomicbookday.com/

The San Diego Comic-con/ Comic-con @home panel today unites the creatives from all over the world who brought this comic to life. Comic-con @home is free for everyone, so hop on for some streaming fun!

Horizon Zero Dawn Comes To Comics
When: Today, July 23, @2pm PST
Where: Online
This August, Titan Comics and Guerrilla will embark on an exciting adventure together, as the first original comic book series set in the world of the global smash-hit PS4 game Horizon Zero Dawn comes to comics. In this panel, Titan Entertainment’s¬†Andrew Sumner¬†&¬†Duncan Baizley¬†talk to the creative team behind this hotly-anticipated comic book launch! Writer¬†Anne Toole,¬†artist¬†Ann Maulina,¬†Guerrilla narrative director¬†Ben McCaw,¬†principal artist¬†Gilbert Sanders¬†and Guerrilla studio director/art director¬†Jan-Bart van Beek¬†discuss bringing the critically-acclaimed Horizon world to this illustrated medium.
Social media and buy links: https://linktr.ee/TitanPanels

“See” you then!

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Scribe Awards nomination for Pet Noir!

SCRIBE-v3-medPet Noir, the graphic novel for which I wrote two issues, was nominated for a Scribe Award! Pet Noir follows the tale (or tail?) of a genetically engineered cat who solves crimes on an international space station. Awarded by the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, the Scribe Awards acknowledge and celebrate excellence in licensed tie-in novels based on TV shows, movies, and games.

While the 2019 nominations covered audio dramas as well as an array of novels, I am honored to join this illustrious list of nominees for graphic novel:

GRAPHIC NOVEL
Blade Runner 2019: Los Angeles by Michael Green and Mike Johnson
Doctor who‚ÄĒthe Thirteenth Doctor: Old Friends¬†by Jody Houser
Pet Noir by Anne Toole, Christie Yant, and Pati Nagle
Star Trek‚ÄĒYear Five: Valentine‚Äôs Day Special¬†by Paul Cornell
The Wrath of Fantomas by Olivier Bouquet

Congrats to all the nominees, and here’s to making more cool comics in 2020!

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LockDownCon tonight! Speaking on Narrative Design for Games

What are you doing tonight? Hopefully you’ll be “attending” the first, hopefully not annual LockDownCon! I’ll be speaking on a panel about game writing in just a few short hours, so you’ll have your opportunity to learn from a bunch of fine writers and narrative designers. Here are the details:

Narrative Design For Computer Games

 

When: Friday, June 26th, 2020, 7pm PST
Where: Online
Who: Neal Hallford, Anne Toole, Haris Orkin, Xalavier Nelson Jr., Whitney Beltr√°n, Jana Hallford (M)

If you’re a fan of games, comics, cosplay and more, check out the rest of the agenda for LockDownCon, which will continue all weekend! It’s completely free!

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Game Writing Interview from the Level Up Conference

If you want to learn more about my game writing process, check out this interview that was just posted from the Level Up Conference in 2019. Over the course of two minutes, I solve all of game writing and also discuss the IGDA Women in Games SIG. It’s amazing. Check it out.

It may be some time before I’ll be speaking in person at a conference, but videos live forever! For better or worse.

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