Lots of new projects and possibilities simmering. One that I can talk about: I'm doing some writing for The Walking Dead: Road to Survival. If you haven't played this game, you oughta. It's wicked fun.
So, it's been announced. Marvel Avengers Allianceis going to live at a farm upstate. I turned in the last scripts almost a month ago, and since then I've been thinking back over the whole experience. I started working on Avengers Alliance in October 2010. Back then it was called Agents of S.H.I.E.LD.. Guess why they changed the name? (Actually it's not what you think. They wanted the game to support the Avengers movie. So even though the player was an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., it became an Avengers game. Then when everyone loved Coulson in the Avengers movie, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. reappeared as the show's title. Or at least that's the way I remember it.)
Nearly six years. That's the longest I've ever done any one thing. A close second is teaching at the University of Maine, and Avengers Alliance was actually what let me leave the university with reasonable confidence that I would be able to pay my mortgage. So I am nothing but grateful to the game, and to the rest of the team, and to Marvel/Disney, and to the 75 million or so players who were really the ones who made the whole thing work as well as it did.
Some numbers: During the course of Avengers Alliance, I wrote 24 chapter scripts and 36 SpecOps scripts, totaling something like 260 missions. Well over 100 characters have speaking roles. My aggregate script is 39,000 lines of dialogue. That's the equivalent of about 40 movie scripts -- or in game terms, about the same as Mass Effect 3 or Fallout 3.
In other words, a whole lot of story for a browser/mobile game. In that respect, I think Avengers Alliance wasn't just fun; it was genuinely ground-breaking. I'm proud to have been part of it.
The announcement of Alliance's end comes right as I'm starting a couple of new things. I'm about to start working on at least one other game, and will be talking more about them as things get finalized.
Also, as of August 29, I'm teaching at the University of Southern Maine. They want to start a game design program (specifically, they're calling it Gaming and Simulation Development) and they've asked me to help get it up and running. I never meant to go back to teaching when I left Orono, but this was too interesting an opportunity to pass up. So, that's how the circle works. I left university teaching to work mostly on games, and then the experience working on games led to another university teaching job.
And I'm still working on games.
And writing books.
And writing comics.
Life is great. I can't wait to see what comes next.
Very pleased to announce THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON, a graphic novel for middle-grade readers about Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, coming from Tilbury House in March 2017. Words by me, art by Ben Bishop. Catalog page below.
"It may have been created specifically to accompany the game, but it's probably the most effective survival book about urban disaster that I've read. And I'm a survival nerd, so I've read a lot of them." -- Outside Magazine on New York Collapse -- which is out tomorrow! Read the rest here
Hey, look! Here are a couple of covers for the first issue of a comic I'm writing, Deus Ex: Children's Crusade. The covers have different artists, as you can see, and John Aggs is doing the interior art (which looks great). What's it about, you ask? A bit of teaser copy:
With society still reeling from the Aug Incident – the Illuminati orchestrated event which caused augmented individuals to mindlessly attack their ‘natural’ counterparts – anti-aug sentiment is at an all-time global high. Task Force 29 – an Interpol-funded coalition, created to quash the rising tide of terrorist activity – stands as the world’s main defence against total anarchy.
In the city of Prague, where tension is especially high, the team’s latest recruit, Adam Jensen, readies for his first mission with the unit. But being augmented himself, how will the former SWAT officer handle himself when faced with the grim reality of the mechanical apartheid?