Catalyst Game Labs is dedicated to producing high quality games and fiction that mesh sophisticated game mechanics with dynamic universes-all presented in a form that allows beginning players and long-time veterans to easily jump into our games and fiction readers to enjoy our stories even if they don’t know the games.

Catalyst Game Labs is an imprint of InMediaRes Productions, LLC, which specializes in electronic publishing of professional fiction. This allows Catalyst to participate in a synergy that melds printed gaming material and fiction with all the benefits of electronic interfaces and online communities, creating a whole-package experience for any type of player or reader.

Loren L. Coleman

Director of Theoretical Gaming Sciences

I’ve been a novelist, game designer, and all-around literary hatchet-man for over fourteen years. Regularly published since about 1995, my first BattleTech novel, Double-Blind, hit the bookstores in 1997. In the last ten years I’ve published over twenty novels, including nine for BattleTech and a trilogy to help re-launch the world of Conan. Counting up all short stories and game-related sourcebooks, I have well over two million words in print—most of them involving a media tie-in project of one type or another. Most recently I’ve edited two DAW Books anthologies as well as a six-series set of Young Adult work for Adventure Boys, Inc.

I am also one of the primary founders of InMediaRes Productions, LLC, which launched the successful internet publishing venture, BattleCorps.com, and is now developing Catalyst Game Labs. With a great deal of hard work, Catalyst will soon be known for creativity and high professional standards—a company in which everyone involved stands proudly behind every single product.

To accomplish this, I’ll be staying out of the way of a lot of very smart, very hardworking people. And in the meantime, I will contribute what I can as editor-in-chief, creative consultant, and staff writer. I enjoy a creative environment where people challenge me, though in the end (as many writers already know) I have very strong opinions which will continue to evolve as I do my part to help guide the universe(s) forward.

Reaching me can be difficult, as I tend to keep myself “slightly” overburdened. Refer to our Submission Process Guidelines for the best way to submit fiction and other works to BattleCorps, and to the relevant web pages for how to submit material for our game lines. For general business, please use contact@catalystgamelabs.com and they can get the message to me.

Randall N. Bills

Game & Managing Developer: Alternate World Engineer
I’ve served as the BattleTech line developer, continuity editor, art director, and a primary author/novelist; under FASA I was also the BattleTech assistant line developer. I’ve also served as the Mechwarrior: Dark Age continuity editor, working with WizKids to help in the creation of the universe—including its thirty full-length novels—assisted in the writing and crafting of the original MechWarrior community campaigns, and was the driving force behind the coffee-table art/universe book MechWarrior: Technology of Destruction. In addition I’ve also published fiction and/or game design in the Shadowrun, Earthdawn, Crimson Skies, Vor: The Maelstrom, Eclipse Phase, and Star Trek universes, as well as young adult fiction published under Adventure Boys.

My goals are to continue the quality of Shadowrun and BattleTech products as set with Shadowrun 20th Anniversary Edition, and the BattleTech Introductory Box Set and BattleTech: 25 Years of Art & Fiction.This involves working closely with both line developers to ensure they receive the necessary resources to maintain that quality, while hitting their release dates. This also allows me the flexibility to throw my skills at new games that Catalyst pursues.

As Managing Developer, I can work at any level of game production, as needed. This may include making outlines, selecting and guiding the fantastic creative talent of authors, artists, painters and so on that work for Catalyst, rules generation, writing, art direction, product specification with a manufacturer, and so on.

I can be reached at randall@catalystgamelabs.com

Herbert A. Beas II

Game & World Development: Alternate World Engineer [BattleTech]; God of Nukes, Fire, Death, and Other Fun Stuff

I’ve been playing BattleTech (and the MechWarrior role-playing game) since 1990 and have been writing for both since about 1997, way back when FASA ran the show. Since then, I’ve served as the BattleTech’s assistant line developer (pretty much throughout the days of FanPro), as well as playing the role of junior continuity editor for the series. Meanwhile, I’ve working alongside the folks at WizKids on their Mage Knight and MechWarrior: Dark Age lines (way more of the latter than the former), while puttering around in some other fantasy and sci-fi game universes.

My goals are to continue the quality established by Total Warfare and TechManual, not only in fleshing out the rules and such, but also to ensure that the universe never gets too stale and peaceful for us. Since the line began back in 1984, BattleTech has always been (in my none-too-humble opinion, anyway) far more than a simple “beer-and-pretzels” game; it’s been a universe, filled with characters, intrigue, and lots of heavily armed, stomping hulks heavy metal.

I continue to believe—as my progenitors in this gig before me did—that for both long-time players and newcomers alike, the story and the game should both be top-notch. Praise for that, of course, will always go to the creative team behind the universe—at all levels, from the most discreet playtesters to the contributing authors and artists that make the whole thing up (and, of course, the folks at WizKids and Catalyst who let us put it on the shelves!) Only together do we keep this entire universe alive and wonderfully messy.

As a developer, my job’s pretty much to oversee every book from start to finish. This includes making the outlines, soliciting and assigning the authors, requesting art where needed (an area I rely heavily on the input of my mentor, Randall Bills), assuring a nice flow of continuity and aesthetics, and all that fun stuff. I’ll even write on occasion, and do a “pre-edit” pass of material (part of that continuity and aesthetic flow thing) to best ensure that the material fits the universe as best as it can. (Once more, these tasks come with the heavy aid of a team, but in the end, I suppose you could say the developer is the guy most responsible for the finished product’s quality, and not be too far off the mark.) As a consequence of my past role as assistant dev, I’m also largely responsible for maintaining continuity both into the universe’s history and into its Dark Age “future history”, while establishing the baseline for the overall story arc that runs in between.

I can be reached at classicbattletech@catalystgamelabs.com (or by politely-worded queries to HABEAS2 on classicbattletech.com)

Questions I can help with:

  • Upcoming BattleTech Products and their contents
  • Universe and Rules Related Question
  • The appropriate use of nuclear weapons in any situation

Jason Hardy

Shadowrun Line Developer and super spy

According to the various bios I’ve written about myself over the years, I have: won the Nobel Peace Prize, choreographed a Shadowrun musical, and been renowned for my prowess in the art of seduction. So clearly I can only be trusted so far when I’m doing this sort of thing.

Here’s what’s verifiable: I got my game-writing start with two Crimson Skies novels that never came out in English, did some d20 stuff, finagled some miscellaneous Shadowrun credits, then wrote the MechWarrior: Dark Age novel _The Scorpion Jar_. That led to many things, including two more MWDA novels and the Shadwrun novel _Drops of Corruption_. I’ve also written a number of stories for BattleCorps and some other stories here and there, plus I was nominated for an ENnie for an April Fool’s joke, a fact that I might have engraved on my tombstone.

I’m completely excited to be immersed in the Shadowrun setting and to have a chance to do all sorts of things that will excite, amuse, and most likely occasionally enrage the incredibly faithful players that have kept the flame of Shadowrun burning. It’s going to be fun (and stressful and maddening, but that’s okay), and I hope I can help a lot of other people have fun too.

If not, I always have my top-secret monastery/elite martial-arts training dojo in the Himalayas to retire to.

I can be reached at jason@catalystgamelabs.com

Brent Evans

Art Director, Illustrator, “Chief Art Monkey”

I started illustrating professionally at 17 and spent the next 17 years moonlighting across a ludicrous number of industries. Along the way my path turned to the dark side when and a buddy put a “Blood of Kerensky” novel in my hand. I was instantly hooked on the BattleTech Universe (which led me to the Shadowrun Universe) and I became a die-hard fan of both. By 2005 I decided to focus only on IPs I truly loved, tapped a few connections and soon found myself working on Mechwarrior Dark Age. A month later Randall Bills transitioned me over to BattleTech.

As a veteran illustrator I’d seen how most Art Direction came from Author-side Editors lacking a solid grasp on creating art, and how most companies treated their artists like the proverbial “room full of monkeys” (as if they could throw in blank sheets of paper, close the door, and wait for illustrations to start sliding out the crack at the bottom.) But I love of the craft of creating visual images and stuck with it, all the while working Corporate by day. As such I became “bi-lingual” in speaking both business and artist, which inspired Catalyst to ask me to take over art direction in 2009.

As the Art Director I’ve built an enormous international “Corps” of freelance artists which ranks among the very best in gaming. My illustrators are absolutely fantastic and it’s to them I give all credit for the amazing visuals that bring these properties to life (props to you all!) For my part I’ve been able to build this Corps by focusing on artists who do this for the love of these games. I encourage them to deliver the very best images every time, develop them whenever possible, and cherry pick images that play to their strengths.

I am always happy to hear from fans and can be reached at brent@catalystgamelabs.com

Illustrators are always welcome to send in their submissions by sending a brief 1-page email with a link to your portfolio: artwork@catalystgamelabs.com

Matt Heerdt

Graphic Design, Production, Layout Machine

Matt, also known as a geek, is an ape-like cryptid that purportedly inhabits mountainous regions, mainly in the Rocky Mountain region of Montana. Matt is usually described as a large, hairy, bipedal humanoid. The term “geek” is an anglicized derivative of the word “gecsquac” which means “dice man” in a Salish Native American language.

Scientists discount the existence of Matt and consider him to be a combination of folklore, misidentification, and hoax, rather than a living animal, in part because of the large numbers thought necessary to maintain a breeding population. A few scientists, such as Jane Goodall and Jeffrey Meldrum, have expressed interest and belief in the creature, with Meldrum expressing the opinion that evidence collected of alleged Matt encounters warrants further evaluation and testing. Matt remains one of the more famous examples of a cryptid within cryptozoology, and an enduring legend.

Matt is described in reports as a large hairy ape-like creature, ranging between 5-6 feet tall, weighing in excess of 180 pounds, and covered in dark brown or dark reddish hair. Alleged witnesses have described a thick beard, glasses, and a certain je ne sais quoi. Matt is commonly reported to have a engaging personality by those who claim to have encountered him. Some proponents have also claimed that Matt is omnivorous and mainly nocturnal.

Matt is said to spend much of his time in game design and production. He is rumored to have created Cosmic Patrol, a pen-and-paper role-playing game set in a retro sci fi universe. He is supposedly employed by Catalyst Game Labs, working on BattleTech, Shadowrun, Leviathans and more.

Remember, it’s up to you. Matt is a crucial part of the ecosystem, if he exists. So let’s all keep Matt possibly alive for future generations, unless he doesn’t exist. The end!

I can be reached at matt@catalystgamelabs.com

Ray Arrastia

Production, Graphics, Artist, CamoSpecs Online Coordinator and other things…

I’ve been a gamer since grade school. I was introduced to gaming (beyond casual games) by my local comic shop owner and have been hooked every since. I’ve been working as a graphic designer for nearly twenty years and—barring animation—the work I’ve done has run the gamut; from working in a T-shirt sweatshop to being part of a marketing team servicing multi-billion dollar, international clientele, I’ve been involved in nearly every aspect of media.

I got into the gaming and hobby industry slowly, about 10 years ago. I was simply driven by the desire to “help out” in areas of my hobby where I thought I could make a difference, and things have snowballed from there. My goals here have always been to apply my skills and time where I can, so that we can produce the best quality product possible—and to never stop learning and having fun while doing so.

I can be reached at ray@catalystgamelabs.com

Michael J. Miller

Demo Team and Convention Support Manager / Agent Coordinator

First and foremost, I’ve been a gamer most of my life. I have been a volunteer for several gaming companies most of my adult life after college. I truly believe having a good core of volunteers is important to supporting the games we run. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the best volunteers in the world. (Yes that means YOU guys, the Agents).

After performing my duties as the volunteer Coordinator for almost two years, I was given the opportunity to continue on as an employee of Catalyst Game Labs. Being a volunteer most of my adult life, I was not sure what this new opportunity would bring. I do know I am looking forward to the challenges coming.

My goal is simple: To have the best Demo Team out there supporting the best games out there. I really wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the Agents, I’m proud to be associated with them.

I can be reached at southpaw13@catalystdemos.com

Questions I can help with:

  • How do I become a Demo Team Agent?
  • Can I get prize support for “X” convention?
  • How can I get one of Catalyst Game Labs’ games run in my venue?

Questions I can not help you with:

  • What is the meaning of life?
  • Who is Devlin Stone?
  • Why is there a 2 hex minimum range on a Gauss Rifle?

Steven “Bull” Ratkovich

Missions Developer, Ork Decker, and Shadowrun’s Personal Whipping Boy

I’ve been gaming for nearly 30 years now, and in that time I’ve been a dwarven warrior, a cyborg super-hero, a mutant boxing bulldog, a mad scientist in the old west, an Imperial stormtrooper-turned-Rebel soldier, and even a kender once or twice (among many, many, many things). But the day I became an ork decker was the day I felt like I was finally home. Through Shadowrun I’ve made more friends than I can possibly count and I’ve been lucky enough to meet many of my idols and heroes of the gaming and fiction worlds over the years, many of whom I’m also proud to consider friends.

In 1996 I attended my first Gen Con with friends I met on a Shadowrun e-mail list from far-flung and foreign places such as Canada and Arizona, where I met many of the old FASA crew for the first time. I also got asked to help playtest the upcoming Shadowrun, Third Edition. In 1997 I got asked to run a Shadowrun: The Trading Card Game tournament at the Origins Game Fair, and I ended up helping to organize and gamemaster the Shadowrun RPG Tournament there as well. At that point, my fate was sealed, and I’ve been involved with Shadowrun in one capacity or another ever since, as a playtester, freelancer, convention coordinator, and now a developer. It’s been a long and winding road, but it’s been a fantastic ride the entire time!

As the Shadowrun Missions Developer, my goals are simple: to make the Shadowrun Missions Living Campaign one of the best LC’s available, to tell awesome stories and to bring back some of the style and attitude of classic Shadowrun modules such as Mercurial, Dragon Hunt, and Dreamchipper. And most of all to make sure that you, the GMs and players and fans of this amazing world, have a great time.

I can be reached at missions@shadowrun4.com.

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