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About

(Note - the views on this blog are mine and mine alone and are not the views of any company or organisation I am working for/with. Thanks)
 
A 100 Word Bio… (3rd Person! & Photo)

Dr.Tomas Rawlings is Design & Production Director at Auroch Digital and its acclaimed news-gaming project GameTheNews.net which produced the global talking-point, Endgame:Syria. He has designed games from original titles to known IP such as Games Workshop’s Chainsaw WarriorStar Wars:The Battle for Hoth and the multiple award winning Call of Cthulhu:The Wasted Land. He is a also a games consultant who has worked with major organisations such as the Wellcome Trust, the Royal Society, UK Parliament and the BBC. He has a doctorate from the University of the West of England in Software Studies. He also blogs at agreatbecoming.com, is a co-founder of the non-profit Bristol Games Hub and is named in Bristol’s Arts & Culture Power List.

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A Longer Bio (1st Person!)
I currently run my own digital media consultancy & development studio, Auroch Digital – where we do games development, consultancy and production among other stuff such our as news-gaming project GameTheNews.net. We do a lot of games/science and real-world gaming simulations. Examples of clients include The Wellcome Trust and the BBC. I’m also part of an indie development project, Red Wasp Design where we released a well received 3D turn-based strategy game for iOS and PC based on the works of H.P.Lovecraft and the award winning RPG Call of Cthulhu, called ‘Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land‘. I’m based at Bristol Games Hub, Bristol, UK – where we make games, chat and run Game Jams as well as a monthly group for the local game development community.
Prior to all this, I worked for Cardiff City Council as an assistant psychologist and residential social worker in the mid to late 1990′s when I decided to go with my earlier inclinations (a love of games) and moved to working as a computer games designer for Hothouse Creations and Pivotal Games for PC, Dreamcast, PlayStation2 and Xbox. I have also worked as an associate lecturer at Bridgwater College and University of West of England (UWE) on matters of media and technology and computer games. I am the co-author of the first ever book on filmmaking and the Internet: PlugIn&TurnOn: A Guide to Filmmaking for the Internet, published by Marion Boyars Publishers (May 2004). I was the co-founder and Development Director of FluffyLogic, a digital media studio in Bristol that has made a number of well-received and profitable games, from September 2004 until September 2010. I completed by PhD examining evolutionary theory and networked forms of media at UWE in July 2013. I’m interested in evolution, science and reason, but I look forward to the day when the great Cthulhu awakes and ushers in the end times. Ai! Ai! Cthulhu Ph’Tagen. Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu Rl’yeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!

Star Wars: The Battle for Hoth (iPhone version screenshot)

My Game & Appography… (In chronological order, newest first…just some of the games I’ve made/been involved in)

  • Fire the the Booth (HTML5) – Developed for BBC Radio 1xtra, a fun rap battle game featuring pixel version of their DJs!
  • Plague Inc: Evolved (Steam/PC) - Auroch Digital has been working with Ndemic Creations to help make Plague Inc. on desktop a reality.
  • Chainsaw Warrior (PC/Steam, iOS and Android) – A digital version of the classic 1987 Games Workshop published board game. “Perfectly judged, brutally demanding and almost impossible to put down…” The Guardian.
  • GameTheNews (HTML5/Mobile) – A project making games from news!  Including the global-talking point that is Endgame:Syria and NarcoGuerra.
  • Gamify Your PhD (HTML5/Browser) – A suite of 4 mini-games gamifying famous science experiments and explaining the principles of game design. I was the external producer on this title.
  • Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land (iOS, Android, PC/Steam) – Game based on the cult writer H.P. Lovecraft and also on the paper RPG ‘Call of Cthulhu’ which has got some great reviews and was no.1 in the UK RPG category of the App Store. It also passed though Steam Greenlight into the Steam Store.
  • Cthulhu Christmas Calendar (iOS, Android) – Red Wasp Design’s first title. “Red Wasp has produced perhaps the most interesting iPad advent calendar ever.” DigitallyDownloaded.net.
  • Mirrornaut (Browser) – Developed for a GamesJam – it won an award at the jam and got picked up by the indie press.
  • Bag It & Bin It (iOS) – A game for Wessex Water to help people have fun and learn how to save water and dispose of waste correctly. I was the designer on this project.
  • Eat Them! (Playstation3) – Another PSN title for Sony – Monster-smashing action game. I was the Development Director during most of this title’s development period, so getting involved in design, testing and fan and press outreach. Here’s a review.
  • Star Wars: The Battle for Hoth (iPhone, WM7 and iPad) – Lead Designer, community support and media campaign. The game hit number 6 in the US paid App charts, twice!
  • Savage Moon: The Hera Campaign (PSP) – Also Lead Designer on this title and did the follow-up community support and media campaign.
  • Two By Two – My first iOS title! A fun casual puzzle game.
  • Savage Moon & Waldgeist DLC (Playstation3) – Lead Designer on this title, pushed the media campaign for the game and did the follow-up community support. This was the top selling full game on PSN for the period following it’s release. (Waldgeist’s music was also nominated for an Ivor Novello award.)
  • Hidden Danger UXB! (iPaq) – A GPS game for Hewlett Packard’s Mscapes platform. I was Lead Designer on this title which included an online user-generated content system.
  • The Dark Mirror (Paper RPG supplement) – Developed and wrote this add-on for the Call of Cthulthu RPG game which sees the players as the cultists rather than those trying to stop them.
  • Conflict: Vietnam (PC, Platstation2, xbox) – Level design and scripting, script-writing and testing.
  • Conflict: Desert Storm II (PC, Playstation2, xbox, Gamecube) – Testing and gameplay evaluation.
  • The Great Escape (PC, Platstation2, xbox) – Based on the 1963 film, I was Lead Designer on this title. It charted in the UK at no.2 (below Eye Toy).
  • Conflict: Desert Storm (PC, Playstation2, xbox, Gamecube) – Testing, gameplay evaluation and multiplayer lobby design. First title in the million ‘Conflict’ selling series of action/tactical shooters.
  • Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (Dreamcast, PC & Playstaion) – Script-writing, testing and liaising with the IP holder. This was the biggest selling UK computer game until GTA4 game along…
  • Abomination: The Nemesis Project (PC) – Level design, testing, interface and other design tasks.

Savage Moon: The Hera Campaign PSP

Some of my writings…

Public Speaking & Talks…

I’ve done quite a lot of talks, workshops and public speaking over the years on a range of subjects from computer game design to filmmaking online to p2p technology. Here’s a small sample of them:

Screenshot from Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land (iPhone SD version)

About My Blog…

My blog title comes from a line in the 1986 film Manhunter; “I am the Dragon. And you call me insane. You are privy to a great becoming, but you recognize nothing. To me, you are a slug in the sun. You are an ant in the afterbirth. It is your nature to do one thing correctly. Before me, you rightly tremble. But, fear is not what you owe me. You owe me awe.” (Sampled in this great track). Why this? (It’s not that I’m a mentalist, honest!) I think that what we are witnessing with the rapid changes in technology all around us is a great becoming and yet we are so close to it that we often fail to recognise what is happening around us until the change is already the past. I am also a fan of the cool 80s style of the film. Manhunter also features the work of William Blake whose art is worn by the character (as a tattoo) that speaks the above quote. In addition, I’m a fan of the director, Michael Mann and so that snippit of the quote became my blog title.

Disclosures

Media blogger Jeff Jarvis in his book What Would Google Do? talks (and puts into practice) his ideas about how openness is important so readers know where you are coming from and can adjust your reading of my works and writings as such. So here’s my version (the bigger stuff, I’m not going to list all the small local companies/organisations I have done bits of work for…)

In terms of big companies and organisations, you can see who we work with at Auroch Digital here and what we get up to at Red Wasp Design here. At FluffyLogic I worked with Sony and THQ. I’ve done sizeable projects for Hewlett Packard, Bristol University, University of the West of England and the University of Gloucester, and Swindon Borough Council. In the past I’ve worked for companies that developed for Eidos/SCi (now Square Enix) and I’ve also worked for Cardiff City Council.

Savage Moon Waldgeist (PS3)

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