Time is a construct. However, it’s OUR construct. (“Ours” as a society, I mean.) So as we use this imperfect system called a “calendar” to mark our time here on this tainted blue orb we call Earth, I wanted to wish all of you a Happy New Year!
And not to turn these totally warm and earnest new year wishes into a blatant narcissistic plug for a new project, BUT – how to say this non-narcissistically? – I have some news to share:
I wrote a Minecraft children’s book called Mobs in the Mansion, which was published today by Penguin Random House. It was illustrated by the amazing Alan Batson. Here’s the official publisher description of the book:
Journey into the world of Minecraft in this Step 3 Step into Reading, the only official leveled reader series based on Minecraft, one of the world’s best-selling video games!
Minecraft® is one of the best-selling video games of all time! And now learning to read has never been more fun for players of the game ages 4 to 7. They’ll get a great introduction to the game’s most mysterious biomes when two players, Emmy and Birch–and their tame wolf Byte–set out on an epic adventure to explore a dark Minecraft mansion!
Dominic Hatch was a man with a dream. But what was that dream? And who on Earth was Dominic Hatch?
In order to answer those questions, you have to play a video game called Dame Time: Ogden.
I wrote the story bible, plot outline, and character dialogue for Dame Time: Ogden. And Dominic Hatch figures quite prominently in the story bible, as he plays a huge role in the backstory and lore of the game.
Once you begin playing the game, you’ll see that many of the people you meet have a very strong opinion about Dominic. They’ll explain who he was, why he was so important, what his legacy is, and how he shaped the world of Dame Time: Ogden.
When you explore a certain area in the game, you’ll see a framed portrait of Dominic Hatch. I can’t say where you’ll find it; that would be telling. Besides, I think it’s more fun if you look for it as you play the game, and find it on your own. But it looks like this:
And that portrait is (loosely) based on a rough sketch I drew which looks like this:
Now, I wasn’t part of the art team for Dame Time: Ogden. My responsibilities were strictly limited to the game’s narrative, lore, worldbuilding materials, dialogue, plot, and other story-driven components.
However, in the early days of my writing career, I supplemented my income by drawing one-panel gag cartoons for magazines (e.g. Nickelodeon Magazine, Fortean Times, etc). And I do have formal training as an artist. So occasionally, when I’m working on a project and I’m trying to describe a character I’ve created to the rest of the team I’m working with, it’s just easiest to hand them a drawing and say, “And the character looks like this.” Then they look at the drawing and say, “Ohhhh, okay. Now I get it.” Because sometimes a simple pencil sketch can communicate more about someone than a thousand eloquently written words. (And yes, I realize I’ve basically just said “A picture’s worth a thousand words.” Which is a very clichéd expression. But sometimes, clichés are true.)
Anyway, that’s the rough sketch I gave to the art team, who then used it as the basis for the framed portrait of Dominic which they created. A portrait that you’ll find…somewhere in the game. Think you can find it?
Dame Time: Ogden was developed by MetaVenture Studios, the gaming division of Grow Your Base. The game launched last month, as part of The Sandbox Alpha Season 3! And you can play Dame Time: Ogden by clicking HERE.
You can also visit the official Dame Time: Ogden website by clicking HERE.
Oh! And you can find out about the other video game projects I’ve worked on by clicking HERE.