I grew up in southern California (5 miles from the Pacific and 8 from Mexico), went to college in Riverside, California (smog capital of the universe), got a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, joined the teacher credential program there, and then decided to go work for a video game company. In 1995 I moved to Wisconsin to be the webmaster/online coordinator for TSR, the makers of the Dungeons & Dragons® game. When TSR was bought by Wizards of the Coast (makers of the Magic: The Gathering® and Pokemon® card games) in 1997, I moved out to their office in Renton, Washington, and took a job in their game design department in the spring of 1998. While I was at WotC, I wrote products for Dungeons & Dragons (including the 3E Monster Manual), Greyhawk (including the 3E campaign setting), Alternity, Ravenloft, and the Forgotten Realms (including the 3E campaign setting). I was let go during the layoffs of March 2002, but it was an amiable layoff because I was planning to leave the company to move to southern California anyway.
I did so, and started working for Black Isle Studios, a division of Interplay. I worked Baldur’s Gate 3 (which was canceled), Fallout 3 (canceled), an action RPG based on White Wolf’s Exalted game, and Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance 3, but Interplay’s executives screwed up (failed to pay taxes, insurance, rent, or employees) so the company fell apart (as the employees left) and those games never happened.
Since then I’ve worked for Upper Deck on card games for Kiba, Pirates of the Caribbean, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and World of Warcraft. For a while I was living in NYC as a contractor for UD, then in Vegas doing the same, then back to California to be an UD employee again. I was laid off by UD in May 2008 (because UD is stupid and the owner wasn’t happy that we “only” made $50M profit that quarter, perhaps that’s why they started counterfeiting their own cards to sell to distributors so they wouldn’t have to pay royalties and thus have a better profit margin). Turns out that was a good thing for me in the long run, as Paizo hired me as a developer for their RPG books.
After nearly six years at Paizo, I left to do my own thing, and my gamer bride Jodi and I moved back to her home town in Indiana, where I’m developing, designing, and publishing RPG products.