About Me

I’m a freelance writer and game designer. I write games, novels, occasional reviews, tweets (this totally counts, right?) and develop some games. I wrote Starbound, Richard & Alice and Sepulchre amongst others. It was good times.

Email: brightlights@ashtonraze.com

Twitter: @ashtonraze

Gaming: Right now I’m working with Chucklefish and doing a lot of writing work on Starbound, which you may have heard of. It’s very exciting. I’m basically in charge of the overall story and contributing a lot of the lore, quest dialogue, NPC dialogue, dungeon ideas etc. Space ships! Sandboxes! Murderous plant-people! Starbound has it all. It’s also coming to PlayStation formats, which is nice. Update! STARBOUND IS OUT ON PC/MAC/LINUX NOW and it’s kinda taken off in a big way which is awesome. I’ll be writing for it during the course of its beta stage, and then some post-release content too. Go buy it!

I am  also one of the owners of Owl Cave, an adventure game development studio. Together, we develop adventure games, which are basically like having an adventure while playing a game, but using a mouse.

Richard & Alice, my first major video game release, came out in early 2013. Developed with leading industry renegade Lewis Denby, Richard & Alice has a Metacritic score of 71, with 8/10 scores from Destructoid, Joystiq and RPG Fan as well as high praise from the likes of PC Gamer, Edge and RockPaperShotgun. A lot of people liked the story/writing. I did that bit.

Then we released Sepulchre,  a horror adventure game set on a train, which is free. The game, not the train. That costs you YOUR SOUL (or like £15 return). Ben Chandler did all the character/background art, and he works on the Blackwell games, so you know he’s a big deal. A lot of people dug Sepulchre, which I was relieved about, because I didn’t want it to get buried. These are all jokes you’ll get when you play it, trust me. It has voice acting too!

Right now I’m working on Owl Cave’s second full release, Location Services, which is out next year. More details will be coming soon. Ben Chandler is working on that too so it looks very pretty, and it’s being programmed by everyone’s favorite Phoenix Wright fangame developer Tiarny McNulty, so it plays pretty. That’s definitely a valid way to describe something.

AND! I made three Twine games. Simmons! All The Dead Bones! Never Have I Ever (with Molly Carroll)! They are all super dark though, and absolutely not appropriate to be followed by exclamation marks.

I also have various testing/consulting experience with indie game developers/modders. And I contributed additional dialogue, scenarios and testing to Tiarny Turnabout: Ace Attorney, a fan-made tribute to the Phoenix Wright series. Tiarny made this, if it’s not obvious.

Journalism: Many years’ experience in creating copy and generating content for an online or print audience, independently or working alongside others. Experienced in SEO and creating short, concise copy for charts, blurbs or summaries. Plenty of experience both creating and maintaining a blog, finding interesting subjects to construct features around, and exploring the more niche aspects of given fields.

I’m a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph’s games section, appearing both online and in print, and assist the editor with various sub-editing. Formerly also wrote reviews for GameSpot. In the past I’ve contributed to Beefjack, Resolution Magazine and others as well as editing and writing content for the sporadically-updated Games?.

Fiction: I’ve written a crime novel. It’s actually finished and everything! I quite like it. Deciding what to do with it. Authored various short stories (some of which can be found on this blog) and a children’s book. Experience working with other authors and proofreading/workshopping the work of others. Author of the psychosexual horror comic ‘Spider In A Serpent’s Egg’ (exceptionally NSFW) and the WIP Single Bullet Theory, issue 1 of which is being illustrated at the moment. I also provided screenplay assistance/consultation for the short film ‘Rival Killers’.

I also wrote a book! And published it! Ages ago! And I’m really slow at updating my portfolio page, apparently. It’s called Bright Lights & Glass Houses and it’s a series of interconnected short stories, about things like serial killers and the London Underground and emails and a couple of bits in a diner. You should read it.

NOW; I am working on [redacted], [redacted] and [redacted]. ALMOST GOT ME THERE. Okay one is a novella that is basically finished and will be released in early 2014. One is a novel, called We Are Stars, and consider this the first official announcement other than the time I announced it on Twitter. And the final one is an ALL NEW SECRET THING that up until now only Ben Chandler has heard about. It’s called Friends Back Home, and it’s a short novel about a person who goes home after many years, only to find that things have changed. It’s also a lot more exciting than that makes it sound. I hope. The opening is set on a train so you should definitely read it if you like things that open on trains. Other examples; The Woman in Black, The Bloody Chamber, the second Professor Layton game, Under Siege 2.

I’m also in the market for an agent! Hit me up if you’re an agent that wants to represent me or just read some of my work. It’ll save me a lot of hassle in having to email and post unsolicited things. And that in itself would be the start of a beautiful friendship.

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