‘Game Write’ is a recurring series dedicated to the fiction of game industry veterans. From the best-selling titles of Drew Karpyshyn and Austin Grossman, to the obscure classics of Jane Jensen and Sheldon Pacotti, this series hopes to unearth both the gems and the trash we tend to leave buried in the credits.
This series was inspired by the persisting obscurity of many of these authors despite the high quality seen in their work.
As I read new books and write new reviews, I’ll add further author portfolios and links below. If you know (or are yourself) a writer in the video game industry who wants support, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org (although, at this point, my reading list is quite long!).
Huso’s passion for game design and storytelling led him to a lucky position with Arkane Studios, where he’s worked for the last ten-plus years as a level designer for both their Lyon and, currently, Austin offices. He also appears to have done work with Treyarch and EA Los Angeles. He started publishing fiction about the same time, shipping two science fiction and fantasy novels with Tor, and, most recently, self-publishing his work via Amazon’s digital publishing. He can be reached via his site, anthonyhuso.com.
The Last Page (2010)
Box of Devotions (2012)
Black Bottle (2012)
Bone Radio (2015)
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic (2006)
Call of Duty: World at War (2008)
Boom Blox Bash Party (2009)
Jane Jensen (b. 1963) has been developing story-driven adventure games since Sierra On-Line championed the genre alongside LucasArts. She’s best-known for penning and directing the trilogy of Gabriel Knight adventure games throughout the ’90s. She’s also developed projects with Oberon Media, I-play, Wizarbox, Nikitova Games, Phoenix Online Studios. She currently owns her own development studio, Pinkerton Road Studio. Her fiction career started with adapting her Gabriel Knight series into novels, and later shifted into thrillers and character-driven mysteries. She also publishes male/male romance under the pen name, Eli Easton. She’s also active on Facebook.
Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (1997)
The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery (1998)
Millennium Rising, or, Judgment Day (1999)
Dante’s Equation (2003)
Kingdom Come (2016)
In the Land of Milk and Honey (2016)
Police Quest III: The Kindred (1991)
King’s Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow (1992)
Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (1993)
The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery (1995)
Gabriel Knight III: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned (1999)
Gray Matter (2010)
Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller (2012 – 2013)
Moebius: Empire Rising (2014)
Marc Laidlaw had been publishing sci-fi and horror stories from the early ’80s until entering the video game industry in 1997. Between 1997 and 2015, he worked as lead writer with Valve Software, and helped instigate a paradigm shift in narrative design with 1998’s Half-Life. Since retiring from the games industry in January 2016, Marc Laidlaw has returned to his roots as a prose writer, and has republished nearly all of his novels and short stories as affordable e-books via Amazon. More information on his fiction can be found on his website or by following him on Twitter.
Dad’s Nuke (1985)
Neon Lotus (1988)
The Orchid Eater (1994)
The Third Force (1996)
The 37th Mandala (1996)
White Spawn (2015)
400 Boys and 50 More (2016)
Half-Life 2 (2004)
Half-Life 2: Episode One (2005)
Half-Life 2: Episode Two (2006)
Dota 2 (2013)
Sheldon J. Pacotti
While Sheldon Pacotti is best known for his work in video games starting in 2000, he’s also been quietly publishing fiction for over 25 years. His writing has primarily been in the realm of sci-fi and cyberpunk, but he doesn’t seem to shy from noir and literary fiction, either. He’s perhaps most famous (and forever-so) for his contributions to the Ion Storm‘s two Deus Ex games in 2000 and 2003 — cyberpunk FPS-RPG hybrids that have quietly reigned as a hallmarks of quality games writing since release. In addition to working with Ion Storm, he’s also worked in development with the Second Level, his own company New Life Interactive, and — currently — Otherside Entertainment. See more about his work via his site, sheldonpacotti.com, or follow him on Twitter.
Experiments in Belief: Stories 1990 – 2000 (2013)
Demiurge (2000 / rev. 2014)
Deus Ex (2000)
Deus Ex: Invisible War (2003)
America’s Army: Rise of a Soldier (2005)
Cell: Emergence (2015)
System Shock III (2017)
Harvey Smith has been a prominent voice in game design (and taking chances) for 20 years. Starting in QA for Origin Systems in the mid-’90s, he came to prominence as a designer for Ion Storm’s Deus Ex (2000) and director for its 2003 sequel. Later, he led a development project in the Area 51 series for Midway Austin before joining Arkane Studios in 2008 and finding success with the Dishonored series. His first and only foray into the world of prose fiction was released in 2013. To see more of his work, visit his site at witchboy.net, or follow him on Twitter.
Big Jack is Dead (2013)
Deus Ex (2000)
Deus Ex: Invisible War (2003)
BlackSite: Area 51 (2007)
Dishonored 2 (2016)