Eric Cagle: Designer • Writer • Producer
Howdy! I’m a game industry veteran with over 20 years working in all aspects of roleplaying, card, board, mobile app development, video games, and virtual tabletop—project management, game design, development, writing, editing, prototyping, printing, shipping and admin.
Whew, that sounds like a lot! The reality is that I’ve been in this industry for quite a long time and worked with some amazing people that I still call friends and colleagues. I have my finger on the pulse of the tabletop gaming space, while still reaching out into the digital future to make apps and digital tools to help out fellow gamers. Whether its paper or digital, I have the experience and know-how to get products out there.
Story is life. I love nothing better than to create new worlds, interesting characters, and fun settings for people to enjoy. I love working with teams of writers, coders, artists, and the ever-important editors to make something new and exciting.
Let me help you make your game, your world, your app, and your vision. Note: there might be kilts involved.
Eric Cagle: Game Designer • Writer • Producer
Mesa Mundi Inc.
2015 - Present
Project manage D20PRO Virtual Tabletop • Design UX and UI for games, game tools and other software • Coordinate vendor relations • Manage remote team using Agile/Scrum • Create Game Design Documents (GDD)
2011 - 2015
Lead Game Designer/Producer
Design UI, write Game Design Document (GDD) and create innovative mechanics for,entertainment apps, game utility apps and casual/social games for iOS and Android,• Create prototypes and wireframes for game design and menu flow,• Project management for design, code, art and testing teams using Scrum methodology
Associate Game Designer
Designed UI, GDD, wireframes, and game mechanics for upcoming iPhone game • Write story and dialogue elements, campaign setting, monetization and rewards system
2006 - 2010
Lead Editor for ``No Quarter`` magazine's schedule, editing, photography, artwork, and writing • Commission freelance writers and artists for content
2007 - 2010
Content Writer & Game Designer
Write story arcs and dialogue for PC-platform video game • Map levels, flowchart story elements, and manage story lines,
Smith and Tinker
2008 - 2009
Develop background material, dialogue, and story elements for web-based game ``Nanovor``
2007 - 2008
Write story arc and dialogue for ``ourWorld`` gaming site • Design interactive locations and new games plus art orders
Microsoft Game Studios
Content Writer & Editor
Write news, game play advice, and story material for various game title websites, including: Gears of War, Rise of Legends, Forza Motorsports, and Zoo Tycoon 2
Wizards of the Coast
1995 - 2005
Design for Dungeons & Dragons; Magic: The Gathering; Star Wars RPG & d20 Modern • Work with licensors including Lucasfilm and Blizzard Entertainment • Attended dozens of game conventions and trade shows • Assisted in organized play tournaments for Magic: The Gathering
Southern Illinois University
1990 - 1993
B.A. Radio/Television Production (Corporate Video Production) • Minor: English
SOFTWARE & PRODUCTION SKILLS
MS OFFICE SUITE
VIDEO & AUDIO PRODUCTION
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
CLIENTS I'VE WORKED FOR
Design & Writing Samples
A few decades and several hundred-thousand words later, I’ve built up quite a collection of game titles I’ve worked on. In most cases, I served as a freelance co-writer and designer for these products, contributing anything from a few thousand words to half or more of a book.
Simply click on an image below to bring up samples of my writing! For a complete list of all my titles, go to the Credits page to the right. As time (and finding old articles) permits, I’ll continue to add more examples for a complete archive.
UI NOTE: Hovering over a book image below brings up a stupid pop-up window showing the source files. It’s an issue with the theme, very annoying, and something that I’m working on fixing through the developer. 🙁
Dungeons and Dragons (3.0 & 3.5)
Hasbro/Avalon Hill Board Games
Star Wars Roleplaying Game (Original & Saga Edition)
Design & Writing
Writing, Game Design & Editing Credits
At my core, I’m a writer and a designer. With decades of experience in the tabletop and mobile game space, I’ve written (and edited, did layout, and printed) a lot of words about gaming over the years. This includes some of the most popular games and settings in the world, such as Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars, Magic: The Gathering, Warhammer, Warmachine, and many others.
I’ve also helped write for a variety of digital sites and games, for companies such as Microsoft Game Studios, Griptonite (now Glu Mobile), and Flowplay. I was also a principal in small, indy mobile shops such as Lifeform Entertainment and Mesa Mundi, Inc.
I started working at Wizards of the Coast in 1995. When they purchased my beloved TSR in 1999, I moved to RPG R&D where I was able to work first-hand on the (then) latest versions of Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars, and new games, such as d20 Modern. The following are the hardcover books that I was a co-designer or writer for:
• Unnamed Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition Supplement
• Galaxy of Intrigue (Star Wars Saga Edition)
• Galaxy at War (Star Wars Saga Edition)
• Jedi Academy Training Manual (Star Wars Saga Edition)
• Threats of the Galaxy (Star Wars Saga Edition)
• Monster Manual IV (Dungeons and Dragons 3.5)
• d20 Critical Locations (d20 Modern Roleplaying Game)
• d20 Apocalypse (d20 Modern Roleplaying Game)
• Races of Destiny (Dungeons and Dragons 3.5)
• Monster Manual III (Dungeons and Dragons 3.5)
• Ultimate Adversaries (Star Wars Roleplaying Game)
• Menace Manual (d20 Modern Roleplaying Game)
• Urban Arcana Campaign Setting (d20 Modern Roleplaying Game)
• Fiend Folio (Dungeons and Dragons 3.5)
• Ultimate Alien Anthology (Star Wars Roleplaying Game)
• Arms and Equipment Guide (Dungeons and Dragons 3.0)
• Star Wars: Edge of Empire Core Rulebook (Fantasy Flight Games)
• Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Core Rulebook (Fantasy Flight Games)
• Shades of Empire (Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying Game; Green Ronin Publishing)
• Mysteries of the Hollow Earth (Exile Games)
• Tome of Salvation (Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying Game; Green Ronin Publishing)
• Grimm (Fantasy Flight Games) • Origins Award Nominee 2008
• Tome of Corruption (Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying Game; Green Ronin Publishing)
• Hollow Earth Expedition (Exile Games) • Origins Award Nominee 2007
• The Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying Game Companion (WFRP; Green Ronin Publishing)
• Terror in Talabheim (Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying Game; Green Ronin Publishing)
• Artifacts of the Ages: Legendary Weapons (Dungeons and Dragons; The Game Mechanics)
• Modern Magic (d20 Modern Roleplaying Game; The Game Mechanics)
In addition to writing, I’m also an editor and layout designer. I’ve edited game books, web articles, and was the Editor-in-Chief for a gaming magazine.
Managing Editor Credits
I served as Editor-in-Chief for Privateer Press’ “No Quarter” Magazine for three years. The bi-monthly publication served as the marketing piece for Privateer Press’ flagship miniatures games Warmachine and Hordes (among other games they produced). I was responsible for nearly everything: article ideas, planning, hiring writers and artists, supervising print production, and copyediting.
• No Quarter Magazine (Issues #8 – #30; Privateer Press)
Roleplaying Game Editor Credits
• Escape From Ceranir (Green Ronin Publishing)
• Murder in Elmshire (RPGA adventure)
• A Long Way to Go for a Little Knowledge (RPGA adventure)
• Hellspike Prison (RPGA adventure)
• Sons of Gruumsh (RPGA adventure)
• The Ruins of Karse (RPGA adventure)
• Sympathy for the Baatezu (RPGA adventure)
• That Which Was Not Meant to Be Known (RPGA adventure)
• The War of Dust (RPGA adventure)
• Only the Force (RPGA adventure)
Dragon Magazine is a venerable gaming magazine from the earliest days of roleplaying games. Previous owned by TSR, it was later picked up by Wizards of the Coast and then Paizo Publishing. My articles were written from between 2002 through 2007. I’ll be adding scans of my saved articles in the future:
• “Ecology of the Clockwork Horror” (monster psychology, #350)
• “Hitting the Bullseye” (bows and crossbows, #349)
• “Alien Blessings” (monstrous humanoid spells, #342)
• “Ecology of the Behir” (monster psychology, #333)
• “Ecology of the Kenku” (monster psychology, #329)
• “Spoils of War” (dividing treasure, #327)
• “Ecology of the Rakshasa” (monster psychology, #326)
• “Winning Races: Cyclopeans” (new race, #323)
• “Ecology of the Choker” (monster psychology, #323)
• “Cloak & Dagger” (spy gadgets, #316)
• “Heavy Gear” (dragon magic items, #308)
• “Betraying Your Evil Nature” (temptation and redemption, #306)
• “Can You Keep a Secret?” (bluff and sense motive skill, #305)
• “Saying the Right Things” (social skills variations, #303)
• “The Minions of Darkness” (monstrous prestige classes, #300)
• “Feats of Personality” (feats and roleplaying, #299)
• “Punishments of Lolth” (dark elf initiatory rites, #298)
• “Sinister Tools” (dark elf magic items, #298)
• “Worshippers of the Forbidden” (monstrous prestige classes, 296)
• “And The Wall’s Came Tumbling Down” (siege weapons, #295)
• “Howls of Nature’s Wrath” (new monsters, #293)
• “Stone, Road, and Tusk” (halflings, dwarves, and orcs, #292)
I wrote several online adventures during my time with Wizards of the Coast as well as adventures for the RPGA. With the latest editions, access to them on the WotC are sadly lost, however they are available (some free, some for sale) now on dmsguild.com!:
• The Fane of Lolth (Dungeons and Dragons 3.5)
• The Ruins of Karse (Dungeons and Dragons 3.5)
• Chilled to the Bone (Dungeons and Dragons 3.5)
• Doublestrike! (d20 Modern Roleplaying Game)
• Project Javelin Campaign Primer (d20 Modern Roleplaying Game)
• Into the Frozen Waste (Dungeons and Dragons 3.5)
• Cat and Mouse (Star Wars Roleplaying Game)
• Team: Bravo: System Error (d20 Modern Roleplaying Game)
• The Eye of the Sun (Dungeons and Dragons 3.5)
• Team Bravo: Touch of Death (d20 Modern Roleplaying Game)
• Team Bravo: Flames of Wrath (d20 Modern Roleplaying Game)
• Team Bravo: The First Assignment (d20 Modern Roleplaying Game)
• The Temple of Redcliff (Dungeons and Dragons 3.5)
Wizards of the Coast was great in letting their staff write all sorts of articles to go on the website: game advice, adventure hooks, tips and tricks, and short encounters. I wrote dozens of these articles from between 2002 and 2007:
Star Wars Roleplaying Game Web Articles
• “Bounty Postings” (6 articles; mini-encounters)
• “University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life: The Nazren” (new species)
• “Planet Hoppers” (4 articles; new worlds)
“Tactics and Tips” D&D Web Articles
Samples provided below, for each article, go to the Tactics and Tips archive.
• “The Forgotten Grimoire” (6 installments; odd or obscure spells)
• “Devilishly Difficult Opponents” (8 installments; fighting various devils)
• “Know Your Enemy” (16 installments; lore for various monsters)
• “Minions of the Abyss” (4 installments; fighting various demons)
• “Tougher and Meaner Than You” (10 installments; fighting dragons)
• “Fightin’ Dirty” (4 installments; special combat tactics)
• “Zombies! Where’s the Cleric?” (healing without magic)
• “Winning Tactics Against Incorporeal Creatures”
• “Winning Tactics Against Flying Creatures”
• “Keeping Watch” (sleep, resting, and vigilance)
• “Using Animal Companions and Familiars”
• “Winning Tactics Against Golems”
“NPC Close Up” D&D Web Articles (Example NPCs)
• “Gwall, White Dragon Samurai”
• “Grenex, Servant of Wee Jas”
• “Samakar, Fierce Muni”
• “Talrijik, Mind Killer of the Scars”
• “Vakra, Bane of Elves”
• “Quinn, Eyes and Ears of the Scars”
• “Mezriss, Assassin of the Scars”
• “Zola, Sorcerer of the Scars”
• “Tennaguar, Cleric of Kord”
• “Durand Stonetalker, Dwarf Cleric”
“Campaign Quirks” Web Articles
• “Rules vs. Roles” (tacticians/thespians in game)
• “Tactician in Your Game” (handling clinical roleplayers)
• “Thespian in Your Game” (handling extreme roleplayers)
• “Man (or Elf’s) Best Friend” (animal companions)
• “Fight Another Day” (playing cowards in game)
• “Someone Call the Cops!” (handling authority figures in game)
“Random Encounters” Web Articles
• “Monks of the Burning Tigers” (5 part article)
App & Digital Design
I’m currently more active in the digital, mobile, and desktop side of game and game tool development. I have experience in designing and prototyping apps for iOS and Android, with a few out on the market. My writing and design experience also extends to websites, video game dialogue/narrative, and world building.
What I Did: Game Design • Prototyping • Producing • Marketing
Contracting with Lifeform Entertainment and Mesa Mundi, I designed and coordinated the creation of Warhammer 40,000: Assault Dice, the official dice roller for Warhammer 40,000, a tabletop miniatures game owned by Games Workshop.
This app is able to roll hundreds of dice at a time, instantly showing results, speeding up play. It also includes a unique “scatter die” pane used for determining the direction for ranged effects in the game. For more information or to get the app, check out: Assault Dice Website
What I Did: Project Management • Producer • Marketing Coordinator • Vendor Relations
I work as the Project Manager and Producer for the D20PRO Virtual Tabletop System from Mesa Mundi, Inc. D20PRO is a desktop app that allows users to host games, such as Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, or any roleplaying game system – you run the games as you would at the tabletop, but the system automates lots of things to make your games run bigger, faster, and better all with your friends online.
My duties include scheduling, product releases, marketing planning and collateral planning, features design, convention support, and general producing–I like to call the position “black ops.”
Go download a free, 30-day trial of D20PRO here!
What I Did: App Design • Prototyping • Producer • Project Manager
Iron Atlas was a mobile app designed to help tabletop gamers run their RPGs using tablets and phones. Unlike the Virtual Tabletops (VTTs) out there, Iron Atlas was strictly device oriented. It allowed GMs to quickly add maps, character and monster tokens, build encounters, and organize their games.
The Kickstarter campaign to fund the app was unsuccessful, but spurred additional business dealings and synergy (I hate that word, but it applies here) with other companies. Iron Atlas was ahead of its time, with intuitive drag-and-drop UI and simple editing so easy, anyone could build an encounter in no time.
What I Did: Game Design • Prototyping • Dialogue & Narrative • Producing
Sonic Office Smash was a fun, silly app designed for sheer, visceral entertainment. I designed and wrote it to be a “game” where you could choose an object commonly found in an office, then beat the living crap out of some other piece of office equipment. It came with awesome sounds and dialogue in the form of Vincent “Vinnie” Smashalino, a certified “Anger Management Consultant who sounded like a garbage man from New Jersey, but full of motivational wisdom.
Sonic Office Smash is still available in the app store, but hasn’t been updated in years, so “Your Results May Vary.”
Apple App Store: Sonic Office Smash
What I Did: Game Designer • Writer • Story Arc Producer
March 32nd was an ambitious and highly-innovative video game product done by a friend and colleague of mine. Inspired by the horror-themed video games of the day, March 32nd dealt with a “generic” protagonist in a crazy alternate world (or in his mind?) where conspiracy was everywhere and nothing was as it seems. I helped set out the initial backstory, world, and dialogue for the project, which was cancelled, unfortunately, in 2011. Still, to this day, it continues to look amazing and was deep, dark, and full of intrigue.
What I Did: Writing • Narrative Design • Help and Tutorial Scripting
Nanovor was another very ambitious product produced by Smith & Tinker. The concept was a mix between playing a game on the web and using custom hand consoles to create, power, and expand your army of tiny monsters called “nanovors.” This game was designed for the 8-13 year old market.
As a contractor, I wrote dialogue, story elements, help manual information, and in-story background. This meant writing in the voice of up to six different characters, while still maintaining consistent, helpful advice. Lots of fun. My work also appeared in a print publication found in my Samples Page.
The game isn’t supported anymore, but lives on a free site that you can view here.
What I Did: Writing • Narrative Design • World Building
OurWorld is gaming portal site owned by Flowplay, Inc. here in Seattle, WA. The concept is a shared world experience that uses hundreds of indy games to serve as the mechanism for players to earn in-game cash to upgrade their characters’ clothes, hair, home, and personal items. Its oriented towards the 8-15 year bracket and primarily a female audience.
I contracted with them early in their building process and designed and wrote locations inside the setting, dialogue for characters, and other world building. The in-game universe has expanded enormously and I hope to contract with them again in the future to add to it.
Hey! Ping me if you’re looking for someone to help out with your game, digital/app project, or other entertainment-related project. I’m a Professional game and app designer, world builder, dialogue and narrative creator, producer, and project manager.