Netflix’s THE WITCHER apparently reached 76 million viewers in its first month of release, making it Netflix’s biggest premiere ever. Congrats to everyone involved! And, in an abundance of clarity, I was not one of them 😆 I was one of several credited writers on the first WITCHER video game along with my then writing partner Sande Chen.
Why do I feel the need to clarify? Because this week a friend reached out to me and asked, “Aren’t you rich yet?”
Alas, no. The games and series are both based on best-selling novels from Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. To him go the glory and the spoils. You can see bits of Eastern European mythology seeping in that make the Witcher’s world stand out. While the games offer more of a sequel to the books, the Netflix series adapts the books themselves.
The popularity of the Netflix series has been a boon to the games, however. WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT (also no affiliation), just recorded its highest number of players ever, despite being released in 2015. I guess to CJ Projekt Red and Steam go some of those spoils.
DAYS GONE, the survival horror game I wrote for, won for Best Storytelling at the Golden Joystick Awards last month. As a PS4 exclusive, DAYS GONE also won Playstation Game of the Year.
I contributed some early development writing, including developing the lore and jargon of the Ripper cult. Check out images from the book (art by various — I can’t draw) below.
From the Playstation website: “At its core, Days Gone is about survivors and what makes them human: desperation, loss, madness, betrayal, friendship, brotherhood, regret, love—and hope. It’s about how, even when confronted with such enormous tragedy, hope never dies.”
If you haven’t played DAYS GONE yet, maybe now’s the time. Nothing says the holidays like fighting for your life!
So apparently the water tastes like wine on consoles today! I wrote a story for Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, an award-winning game about traveling and telling stories in a folkloric Depression-era United States. If you like supporting indie games or new approaches to game narrative, this game is for you! If you hate all those things, check it out anyway, you monster. You’re sure to find something you like.
Where the Water Tastes Like Wine is available today on XBox One and Nintendo Switch. You will be able to crank it up on Playstation 4 starting Monday, December 2nd. Of course, it continues to be available on Steam, Itch.io, and GOG for all you PC dreamers. Check out the trailer while you’re at it.
It’s Halloween! Time to dress up as a pirate! Maybe even… Conan the Pirate? I contributed to this Modiphius sourcebook for Robert E. Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of. It’s a tabletop RPG that allows you to sail down the coast of the Western Sea to discover Shem, Stygia, and Kush and engage in some daring-do. The book can inspire you to write your own adventures using the 2d20 system set in Conan’s world.
Want to know more? Here’s a write-up from Modiphius’s site:
The Hyborian world is home to many dangerous people, and none are more ruthless or dastardly than its pirates, the scourge of the high seas. A menace to civilization itself, these seagoing bandits have their own ways, customs, and traditions, and Conan the Pirate explores pirates and the pirate world.
Detailed within these pages are the countries up and down the coast of the Western Sea — proud Zingara, wealthy Argos, the western reaches of Shem and Stygia — as the setting for pirate-based campaigns.
With this volume, CONAN characters can embark on campaigns of piracy, plunder, and high adventure! So, unsheathe your cutlass and ready yourself for a boarding action, to seize plunder and glory for your captain and fellow buccaneers!
So check out Conan the Pirate for Halloween — or any time you feel like an adventure!
Two projects I contributed to are debuting this month with a new look. First off, Dark Horse is collecting the HALO: LONE WOLF comic book mini-series I wrote into hardcover.
Click here if you want minor spoilers for individual issues 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Not to be outdone, Lion Forge is collecting its monthly publication of D&D resources and adventures into ROLLED & TOLD: VOLUME 1. I wrote one short adventure for their Halloween issue entitled “Maigret’s Traveling Carnival.” The collection holds many more great adventures where that came from, so players should definitely check it out.
If you want to gaze upon beautiful art, enjoy an adventure or two, AND own a book you can use as a tray (no judgment), you are in luck. The hardcover collections of ROLLED & TOLD: VOLUME 1 and HALO: LONE WOLF are available now!
DAYS GONE, the PS4 exclusive survival horror game, came out last month. I had the opportunity to write some early content for this game, set in the exquisite mountains, high desert, and forests of Oregon. The people of Bend Studios did an amazing job on this game. I spent about three months up there and even enjoyed riding around on a bike in the Cascade mountains. Spoiler: It’s more fun in-game, partially because IRL I felt like I was going to fall off, and also because it was cold!
If you’re interested in environmental storytelling, immersive ambient conversations, and a cult at the end of the world, check out DAYS GONE. Also, if you like killing zombie-like freakers while riding a bike like a boss, check it all the way out!
New year, new comic! If you love you some science fiction set on distant planets, or enjoy the Halo video games, check out Halo: Lone Wolf. I wrote this four-issue comic book series from Dark Horse and 343 that starts with issue one today! You’ll find it wherever fine comics are sold.
Halo: Lone Wolf follows Spartan Linda-058 alone on a covert mission. Her skills in infiltration and marksmanship make her perfect for the high-stakes mission to end the threat posed by a wanted scientist on a distant planet. With only an ONI-assigned AI at her side, Linda must fight through both the dregs of the Covenant and the hostility of a lost human settlement to stop the rogue scientist in his tracks.
The newest entry in the Halo comics franchise is written by Anne Toole (Horizon Zero Dawn, The Witcher) with art by Kieran McKeown (White Canvas) and JL Straw (Back to the Future), colors by Dan Jackson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Call of Duty: Zombies), and covers by Christian Ward (Quantum Age: From the World of Black Hammer, Young Avengers).
Want a preview? Preview away here!