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(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 150 Word Bio… (3rd Person! & Images: Tomas photo JPG, Tomas photo 2 BMP, Auroch Digital presskit()Auroch Digital image pack & Bristol Games Hub image pack)

Dr. Tomas Rawlings is Studio Director at the games studio Auroch Digital (since Sept 2021, part of the Sumo Group). As well as running the studio, he is an experienced, award winning games designer who has worked on many games from original titles (such as Mars Horizon) to well-loved IP such as Star Wars: The Battle for Hoth and the multiple award winning Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land. He co-founded the online Digital Tabletop Fest & SimFest events with Steam.  He is a well known speaker and consultant on games and gaming who has also worked with major organisations such as the Wellcome Trust, the Royal Society, UK Parliament & BBC. He also created and ran Auroch Digital’s acclaimed news-gaming initiative which produced the global talking-point, Endgame:Syria (included as part of the V&A museum’s video games exhibition). He has a doctorate from the University of the West of England in Software Studies & co-founded the non-profit Bristol Games Hub.

A Longer Bio (1st Person!)
I currently run games development studio, Auroch Digital – where we do mostly development plus a small amount of consultancy, research and production among other creative activities. We do a lot of games/science and real-world gaming simulations. We also specialists in porting between platforms, both between digital (PC, mobile, console) and also physical/boardgames into digital. We work with Games Workshop, Steve Jackson Games and many more! Auroch Digital has been (since September 2021) part of the Sumo Group.
In October 2020 I co-founded and co-curated the worlds first event focused on ‘Digital Tabletop’ with Steam; Digital Tabletop Fest. This event ran online from 21st to 26th October and explored though streams, panels and interviews, games that play with the intersections between boardgames and video games.
I’m also part (one of three) of indie board game company Bos Taurus Diceworks.
Examples of consultancy 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. I’m also part of Bos Taurus Diceworks, a small company that looks at physical game design.
Prior to all this I worked as a 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!
  • I’m on twitter at: @TomasRawlings. Feel free to say hello!
  • I’m on Steam as tomasrawlings
  • I’m on email at: tom at aurochdigital dot com
  • I’m on LinkedIn too. If we’ve connected, let’s link too!
  • My YouTube account is here. Auroch’s is here.

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)

  • Boltgun (PC, Xbox One, Series S, PS4, PS5 & Switch) – Our take on the retro-shooter genre in the Warhammer 40,000 setting!
  • Brewmaster (PC, Xbox One, Series S, PS4, PS5 & Switch) – An original Auroch Digital ‘hobby sim’ title about brewing beer!
  • The Colonists (Console Port) – We brought the amazing PC title to console and won an award for it!
  • Mars Horizon (PC, Mac, Xbox One, Series S, PS4, PS5 & Switch) – An original Auroch Digital title about running your own space agency to complete the first crewed mission to Mars. For this title we worked with both the European Space Agency & the UK Space Agency.
  • Megaquarium & DLC (Console Port) – Working with Twicecircled to bring their amazing game to console.
  • Agatha Christie: Death on the Cards – (Card game) – Working with the Agatha Christie estate and Modiphius I designed this social deduction game.
  • Dark Future: Blood Red States (PC) – A reboot of Games Workshop’s classic boardgame of car combat.
  • Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics – (PC, Xbox One, PS4 & Switch) – A Lovecraftian take on WW2 combat as the Nazis ally with an older, darker power and you need to stop them!
  • Ogre (PC, Xbox One, Series S, PS4, PS5 & Switch) – The classic strategy game by Steve Jackson brought into the digital age.
  • Last Days of Old Earth (Steam/PC) – A deep strategy game with publisher Slitherine set at the end of time.
  • Elections of US America (Card game) – A crowdfunded physical newsgame in conjunction with US political site Wonkette.
  • Ballot Bots (HTML5) – A game with BBC Newsbeat for the UK Election in 2015.
  • Chainsaw Warrior: Lords of the Night (Steam/PC, Mac, Linux) – Sequel to the Games Workshop classic, Chainsaw Warrior. Darkness is back!
  • 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/Mac/Linux) – Auroch Digital has been working with Ndemic Creations to help make Plague Inc. on desktop a reality.
  • Chainsaw Warrior (Steam PC/Mac/Linux, 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.”
  • 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 including video game design, digital tabletop, running a game studio, newsgames and where gaming meets the real world. 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.

A few other links:

  • I’ve got some older game design documents on Scribd here.

Savage Moon Waldgeist (PS3)

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