Entertainment – Games
Game & Simulation Design

Drawing - Surveyor
For more information about my game products published by Peregrine, click here.
I have always loved games and simulations. They appeal to my curiosity about 'what might have been' or 'what could be', if only a few things had occurred differently.
I have been an avid game player and game designer since my youth. I've been a member of many weekly game playing groups since the early 1980's, over the course of which I've played every style of game from traditional wargames, roleplay games, board and card games, to various games on the computer, PS3, Wii and recently, on Facebook.
I have no favorite type of game; as a player, I consider any game that provides a sustained enjoyable experience to be a winner!

Computer/Online Game Designs
Since 2006 I've had the opportunity to work on a number of online and video game concepts. These include developing a facebook game concept for Clipwire Games; the review, analysis, artwork production, and management of existing and proposed facebook game projects for Zynga Game Network Inc., (Toronto).
In 2008 I produced online game interface designs and logos for various games for Beevision.
Also, I developed original game concepts for pitches at Vortex 2007 (Toronto) and for the 2006 Telefilm Canada 'Great Canadian Video Game Contest'.

Published Game Products
I have designed, written, Illustrated, art directed, and published two roleplay games (RPG): Murphy's World, a humorous techno-fantasy RPG and Bob, Lord of Evil, a humorous techno-horror RPG. I've also created and published Adventure Areas, a miniatures game surface that can be used for RPGs and GRIT Multi-Genre Miniatures Rules that enable a player to use an RPG Character for a miniatures scenario. A related product, Adventure Audio, provides adventure game background music.
I also served as art director, photographer, and editor for
Nexus, the Infinite City, an RPG published by Daedalus Games.

Unpublished Game Concepts
I have several finished games — some extensively playtested — that are ready for publication. They cover all genres of gameplay and include board games, card games, roleplay games, 'live' roleplay games, and a dice game. I am keen to speak with any game manufacturer or publisher interested in discussing the publication one or more of these products.

Drawing - Naga Female
To view some of my Entertainment Industry illustrations, click here.
A Lifelong Passion
As a child, I always looked forward to playing games with my family and friends. My father invented games as a hobby, manufacturing professional prototypes out of painted wood and paper cardstock. He even attempted to sell his games to Parker Brothers, but the process became too expensive so he did not pursue it

Encountering Roleplay Games
My first encounter with roleplay games (RPG) took place in 1979 when I was still in high school. I was at a party and overheard a conversation where people were discussing "levels" and "dungeon crawls". I had no idea what they were talking about and at the time; that, however, was soon to change — by 1980 I was an enthusiastic player.
An RPG can be thought of in its most basic form as a warfare simulation game combined with improvisational acting and storytelling. It's like playing one of the lead characters in a movie or novel.
One player takes on the role of 'Gamemaster' (or some similar term) and performs the task of administrating the game for the other players — a combination storyteller and referee. Each player creates a 'Player Character' to use in the 'Adventure Scenario'; the Gamemaster creates (from their imagination and other resource materials, the setting, the dilemma and backstory of the adventure, and the 'Gamemaster Characters' that the Players' Characters encounter during course of their adventures.
Like most people introduced to the hobby, my first roleplay experience was with
Dungeons & Dragons — a fantasy (medieval + magic) RPG that was based on the popular Lord of the Rings novels. Soon this was followed by an adventure with using the rules of a science fiction RPG, Traveler.

Drawing - Hip Elves
To view some of my Entertainment Industry illustrations, click here.
Designing an Original RPG
While I found the ideas and potential behind the RPGs I played wonderful, I concluded that the rules were limiting and restrictive to the development of Characters with the depth of skills and capabilities of those found in film and literature. Most early RPGs were designed by people with a background in wargaming, hence, many of the rules created for these games were heavy on Character templates ('Class') and specific capabilities and limitations intended to provide 'game balance'. I thought many of these limitations unnecessarily limited what the Characters could attempt to do, reducing the range of potential actions during the adventure.
I wanted to permit the Characters to be created and develop like 'real' people — building on a unique initial combination of Attributes, then acquiring new skills and capabilities as they discover and practice them. If you practice specific things you get better at them — practically anything is possible. Game balance is shifted to the players themselves — they can create Characters with significant capabilities in only a few things, or with numerous skills but little expertise in any.
The first version of my RPG,
Weapons & Wonder (multigenre rules with a future-fantasy setting), was completed in 1981. Initial playtesting took place over the next 2 years — gameplay with the system has continued ever since.
From 1983 to 1984 I began to shop the game around the industry in the USA; while I generated some interest from several publishing houses (including Marvel Comics), at that time no company was interested in purchasing a RPG not designed 'in house'.

Publishing Roleplay Games
I decided that if I wanted to others to play my games (by this time I had developed several RPG settings and was working on miniatures game rules), I would have to publish them myself. I began a process of attending game conventions across North America and asking game distributors, retailers, and manufacturers as much information about the game industry as possible.
I joined the
Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and established The Design Group, a game designers' club that served as an opportunity for members to gain feedback from other designers and playtesters (some of the products that emerged from club members include Scrye Collector Card Magazine, Shadowfist Collector Card Game, and Feng Shui RPG).
After presenting my game designs to the club everyone thought that my humorous techno-fantasy RPG,
Murphy's World, was the most unique relative to the marketplace at that time. I followed the successful launch of this product with a humorous techno-horror RPG sequel set in the same world, entitled Bob, Lord of Evil.

Cover - Murphy's World RPG
Cover - Bob, Lord of Evil RPG

Drawing - Book of Ned
To view some of my Entertainment Industry illustrations, click here.
An ‘Education’ in Gaming
As my commercial interest in games grew throughout the 1980's and 1990's, I made an effort to gain experience playing as many types of games as I could, including wargames, family games, card games, and miniatures games. I also began designing games of every type and playtesting them with the various gaming groups I associated with and at game conventions including Gen Con in the USA.
I created an original
Live Action Roleplay (LARP) game with elements of mystery, fantasy, an horror, and organized several events for parties that included up to 85 people! I briefly became involved with the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) and then a LARP organization for which I created a weekend-long adventure that included combat with padded weapons and constructed sets.

An Ongoing Adventure
Today, my passion for gaming continues; I meet weekly with friends to play familiar and new games and playtest original games. Whenever possible, I also try to make time for computer games — a very addictive passtime!
Over the years I have lectured and conducted workshops on game design and the game business and run game events at game and science fiction conventions in both the USA and Canada. I've also written articles for printed and online magazines on game related topics.

Drawing - Elf Playing Croquet
Game Design, Writing, Illustration & Graphic Design Assignments
I am always seeking new commissions and assignments. Please contact me to discuss the details.

Kevin Davies
email: webmail@kevindavies.com
phone: (416) 461-9884
mail: 40 Seymour Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4J 3T4.

I am seeking employment or a long-term contract as a Game Designer, Writer and/or Concept Artist. To view my Résumé as a pdf please click here.

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This page was last updated July 10, 2010
Content copyright © 1980 to 2010 by Kevin Davies. All rights reserved.