James M Hewitt
After a decade in Games Workshop retail stores across the South-East, James moved to Nottingham on a whim to pursue a dream of writing games for a living. Six years later he's settled down, bought a house and started a family - oh, and quit his job to become a full-time freelance games designer. Never do things by halves, eh?
It began with a lucky break, a foot in the door at Mantic Games which led to being one of the designers on DreadBall: the Futuristic Spots Game. The game was the largest tabletop games Kickstarter in the UK for some time, and it led to James being employed by Mantic full time.
He was technically the Community Manager, but also found time to be responsible for copywriting, concept design, video editing, proofreading, commissioning authors and just about anything else that turned up. Much as he loved the job he still wanted to be designing games for a living, so when a position opened up in the Games Workshop rules team - responsible for Warhammer 40,000, Warhammer Age of Sigmar, and much else besides - he applied, and was delighted to be welcomed aboard.
He spent nearly two years as part of Games Workshop's Publications department, contributing to core games, codexes, army books, battletomes and supplements. The part he enjoyed the most was designing the rules for three board games: The Horus Heresy: Betrayal at Calth, Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower and Gorechosen. This was the sort of thing he'd been wanting to do all along!
In 2016 James moved on from the Publications department to become a founding member of the new Specialist Brands team, devoted to revitalising products from Games Workshop's back catalogue. His first responsibility was curating the new edition of Blood Bowl, an absolute classic with a massive base of established players, so he was careful to not rock the boat and kept the rules pretty much as they were. The follow-up project, Adeptus Titanicus, was much more liberating - he was free to design the game from the ground up, taking inspiration from previous editions but updating it for a modern audience. The game has yet to be released, but it was shown off in February 2017 and was very well received!
In June 2017, following the loss of a colleague, James realised that life is short and dreams are made to be followed. He decided that it was time to take a leap of faith, and Needy Cat Games was born.
As well as designing his own games, James is available for hire! He offering bespoke games design, copywriting, rules consultancy, community management services and a fair bit else; if you're interested in working with him, hit the button below or view the Contact page.
For the record, the Needy Cat in the picture above is Helo, who never fails to find a seat at the gaming table. He's lovely really.
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