As our team continues to expand here at Cubicle 7 we want to share more insights from team members on their love of RPGs, their careers and the work they do here at Cubicle 7. This week we hear from Elaine, one of our amazing freelance writers!
Greetings mortals and monsters! I’m Elaine, a freelance writer at Cubicle 7 currently working away on Age of Sigmar: Soulbound and soon to be working on Warhammer 40,000: Wrath & Glory.
My love for storytelling was forged among the twisted, wyrdstone laced ruins of an old world city. One spoken of only in hushed words… “Mordheim”. Like many drawn to this hobby, I grew up on wargames, video games and my mother’s massive hand-me-down horde of pulp sci-fi and fantasy paperbacks. I have no doubt that I spent most of my formative years exploring other worlds rather than living in my own. But it wasn’t until my gaming group discovered the wonders of emergent storytelling that the warpflame spark of creativity ignited my mind.
No longer was I simply shuffling my legions of crudely painted miniatures across a table, angling for maximum efficiency. I didn’t care anymore if I beat my opponents or topped the month-long tournaments at my LGS.
Now, my hard bitten Skaven Assassin “Guttershank” was scampering from rooftop to rooftop, executing mad leaps through the crumbling buildings and making countless tactically unsound decisions. All of his fevered recklessness, just to get a chance at facing off against the red haired man-thing that took his eye weeks ago.
The two mortals locked blades among the ruins, precious wyrdstone at their feet bathing them in a sickly light. Weeks of bitter rivalry hewn on their filth and blood smeared faces. The rest of the pack could have piled in… taken down the aging man-thing with ease. But no! This was Guttershank’s moment. They formed a chittering circle of teeth and claws around the dueling fighters and watched in anticipation of the final blow…
This was a transformative experience for me. The singular crystalised moment in time when I realised that I didn’t just want to “play” games any more, I wanted to tell stories with them.
From there on out, I began to seek a career in game design and storytelling!
Lucky for me, Abertay University in Dundee offers a world class “Games Design and Production Management” course. And it wasn’t even that far from my sleepy rural hometown. So I fed my obsession for narrative game design, did my studies, got my grades and hit the road.
Almost two decades after Guttershank slid his blade into his rival’s chest with a victorious shriek, here I am. I have worked extensively in the games industry as both a designer and producer on many titles, wrote countless short stories and homebrew tabletop settings, started a small boardgame company with my wonderful partner, and most recently, began freelance writing for Cubicle 7.
When I saw that there was an opportunity to revisit the worlds that inspired me to begin my career, I simply couldn’t resist.
Along this path I have continued to reinforce my love for tabletop roleplaying. To me, roleplaying is the purest form of collaborative storytelling and emergent narrative. Nothing beats sitting down with a group of your closest friends, cracking open the spine of a fresh source book, building a world together, and filling it with adventure.
During the few stolen moments of tranquility in my life, when I’m not writing, creating board games or playing TTRPGs, you can normally find me relaxing in a corner with a good sci-fi/fantasy book in hand and enough tea or coffee to sink a small ship.
Speaking of stolen moments, I think it is about time for me to slink back into the shadows and continue my dark works.
Until next time, go find yourself an adventure. And if you can’t find one, make one!