Warhammer started in 1982 as a tabletop miniatures game. It has gone on to become a powerhouse franchise across tabletop games, comics, fiction, and video games from RTS to MMORPG. The rumors of a Warhammer 40,000 movie never stop. Your game setting can be just as powerful.
If your game takes off beyond your wildest dreams, you will have a strong basis for expansions and sequels.
When potential licensees in other media come calling – from jewelry makers to movie producers – you will be ready for them.
A well-organized setting bible is vital to the development and maintenance of a strong franchise. It holds all known information about the setting and major characters, and defines what is accepted canon.
A good setting bible, whether in the form of a book or a wiki, serves the following purposes:
• Keeping setting details and backstories consistent within the game as it is developed;
• Facilitating the creation of an in-game encyclopedia, or of spotlight pieces on a promotional blog or web site;
• Providing a reference for developers working on expansions, sequels, or spin-off products.
Simply put, a good setting bible gives you control of your IP.
1986: Games Workshop hired me to pull together all the scattered, disparate pieces of the Warhammer fantasy mythos, organize them, fill in the blanks, and create Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. The winner of multiple awards and the number two fantasy tabletop RPG on the market for many years, WFRP has provided the foundation for all subsequent development of Warhammer products, including a fiction line and videogame projects such as Warhammer Online.
1990: White Wolf Publishing contracted me to help develop their Vampire: the Masquerade tabletop RPG and its World of Darkness setting. I contributed to nine core titles over the line’s first four years. The property has since spread across novels, video games, and a TV series, Kindred: the Embraced.
1993: Psygnosis South-West contracted me to develop the setting and storyline for the first G-Police game. Released in 1997 for PC and PlayStation, this SF gunship combat game was well reviewed and spawned a sequel, Weapons of Justice, in 1999.
1996: I created the Nomads of Klanth setting for an MMO tank shooter being developed by VR-1 Entertainment. Sold to AOL as part of a multi-title deal, the initial game was well received by AOL’s players and the gaming press when it was released in 1999.
1997: VR-1 tasked me with improving the setting for The SARAC Project, a MMO SF submarine sim that has been described as Eve underwater. After rewriting the setting bible and in-game encyclopedia, the game sold to So-Net Japan in 1999.
2007: I began working with tabletop RPG publisher Rogue Games to help develop their Colonial Gothic setting (described by some as Lovecraft meets Dan Brown in 1776), including planned expansions into fiction and other spin-offs. Every title I have worked on has garnered ratings of 4-5 stars (8-10 out of 10) at sites such as Amazon.com, DriveThruRPG.com, and Roleplayerschronicle.com.
2011-2012: I consulted with leading social game developer Kabam to create story bibles for three of their intellectual properties, to facilitate the company’s move into the mobile market. Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North became the top-grossing iOS app of 2012.