THE WORK

In 2005, I decided to pursue my dream of writing for comics, novels, and role-playing games. I was working in video games as a visual consultant (not a writer) at the time, which made use of my Adobe skills, and I was doing well. But it was writing that I had wanted to do since college, and really what I had been on a course for my entire life.

While I had several false starts, it was in 2010 that I had my first success. From that point on, I had one book or book with me in it out per year. Still, it was a side thing.

In 2017, I left my video game job of seventeen years and devoted myself completely to writing—and it shows in the number of projects I’ve involved in over the past few years. Starting in 2019, I’ve written at least two published books per year. The lesson here is you have to follow dreams in order for them to come true. While it’s smart to have a job you can rely on as security, don’t let that security keep you back from what you really want.

Well, enough preaching (for now). As the year nears its end, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on a decade of my work in covers. This post will be updated as new projects are released.

—Andrew E.C. Gaska

An award winning game-writer, author, designer, and graphic novelist with twenty years of industry experience, Gaska is the creative force behind BLAM! Ventures. He has worked as a freelance consultant to 20th Century Fox and Rockstar Games and is the lead writer of Free League Publishing’s ALIEN Role Playing Game. In addition to being the senior development editor for Lion Forge comics and animation, he is a contributor to both their game division and their licensing team. 

What follows is the published and preorder work by Andrew E.C. Gaska from 2010-2021.

  • Choose Your Own Adventure: 8th Grade Witch. Graphic Novel, Co-writer, ONI Press/ChooseCo LLC, preorder for 2021
  • ALIEN RPG: The Colonial Marines Operations Manual. RPG Campaign Sourcebook, Lead Writer, Free League Publishing/20th Century Studios, preorder for 2021
  • ALIEN RPG: Destroyer of Worlds Cinematic Scenario. RPG Adventure Boxed Set, Lead Writer, Free League Publishing/20th Century Studios, 2020
  • ALIEN RPG: Starter Set. RPG QuickStart Boxed Set, Settings and Adventure Writer, Free League Publishing/20th Century Fox, 2020
  • ALIEN RPG: Chariot of the Gods Cinematic Scenario. RPG Adventure, Lead Writer, Free League Publishing/20th Century Fox, 2019
  • ALIEN: The Role Playing Game. RPG Corebook, Lore and Settings Writer, Free League Publishing/20th Century Fox, 2019
  • Death of the Plant of the Apes. Science Fiction Novel, Author, Titan Publishing/20th Century Fox, 2018
  • Plant of the Apes: Tales From the Forbidden Zone “The Unknown Ape”. Short Story, Author, Titan Publishing/20th Century Fox, 2017
  • Buck Rogers In the 25th Century: Lo, the Moons of Saturn. Science Fiction Novella, Author, BLAM! Noir, BLAM! Ventures LLC, Dille Family Trust, 2016
  • The Complete Guide to Publishing Comics. “How to” Book, Guest Essay Writer, Comfort and Adam, Watson-Guptill Publications, 2015
  • HAWKEN: MELEE “Lapse.” Comic Book, Writer, Archaia Black Label, BOOM! Entertainment/Meteor Entertainment, 2014
  • Classic SPACE: 1999 -To Everything That Was Graphic Novel, Writer and Creative Director, BOOM! Entertainment/ITV Studios, 2013
  • SPACE: 1999 – Aftershock and Awe. Graphic Novel, Writer and Creative Director, Archaia Entertainment/ITV Studios, 2012
  • Conspiracy of the Plant of the Apes. Illustrated Novel, Author and Creative Director, Archaia Entertainment/20th Century Fox, 2011
  • Critical Millennium: The Dark Frontier. Graphic Novel, Writer and Creator, BLAM! Ventures LLC/Archaia Entertainment, 2010

You can find out more about Andrew E.C. Gaska’s work at the links below:

Facebook: AndrewECGaska| Instagram: blamventurer| Twitter: @andrewecgaska | Portfolio: blamventures.com | WordPress: roguereviewer | Linkedin: aecgaska

Live Q&A with ALIEN The Roleplaying Game lead writer Andrew E Gaska

All Things Alien w/Andrew E.C. Gaska via Free League Twitch

Chatting again with Matt on the Free League Twitch Channel, watch the playback here

SIGNED AND NUMBERED ALIEN RPG WRITER’S PROOFS AVAILABLE NOW!

UPDATED 11.29.20: As most of you know, I’m the ENie and UKGE award winning settings writer, adventure author, and canon consultant to the ALIEN Role Playing Game by Free League Publishing. Today I’m offering a limited signed and numbered experience for anyone who wants a copy of the ALIEN RPG Starter Set or the Destroyer of Worlds Expansion. There aren’t many of these to go around, as they are my personal writer’s proofs. Here’s what you get:

ALIEN RPG STARTER Set:

A case fresh Starter with all the maps, cards, and books included.

  • Signed Starter Set rulebook
  • Signed Chariot of the Gods booklet 
  • Will sign the box as well upon request.
  • Signed and numbered Gold, Silver, or Bronze Certificate of Authenticity (see Pricing below)
  • Pricing (Shipping not included)
    • GOLD ($120): Limited run of one! Signed in gold ink, this set is numbered 1 of 1  GOLD IS SOLD OUT!
    • SILVER ($80): Limited run of five—only 3 left! Signed in silver ink, numbered x of 5 and includes a small silver drawing inside by author Andrew E.C. Gaska. 
    • BRONZE ($60): Limited run! Signed in bronze ink, this set is numbered x of 12  BRONZE IS SOLD OUT!

ALIEN: DESTROYER OF WORLDS Cinematic Scenario: 

A case fresh Destroyer of Worlds with all the maps, cards, and book included.

  • Signed Destroyer of Worlds booklet 
  • Will sign the box as well upon request.
  • Signed and numbered Gold, Silver, or Bronze Certificate of Authenticity  (see Signing Tier below)
  • Pricing
    • GOLD ($100): Limited run of one! Signed in gold ink, this set is numbered 1 of 1  GOLD IS SOLD OUT!
    • SILVER ($65): Limited run of five—only 2 left! Signed in silver ink, numbered x of 5 and includes a small silver drawing inside by author Andrew E.C. Gaska. 
    • BRONZE ($40): Limited run of twelve—only 8 left! Signed in bronze ink, this set is numbered x of 12 

If buying both, you will receive matching numbers. 

SHIPPING:

Continental United States MEDIA MAIL is $10, PRIORITY MAIL is $20.

PAYMENT

These will go very fast! Message me directly on FB at https://www.facebook.com/andrew.gaska for PAYPAL payment instructions, orders are first come first serve!

—Andrew E.C. Gaska

An award winning game-writer, author, designer, and graphic novelist with twenty years of industry experience, Gaska is the creative force behind BLAM! Ventures. He has worked as a freelance consultant to 20th Century Fox and Rockstar Games and is the lead writer of Free League Publishing’s ALIEN Role Playing Game. In addition to being the senior development editor for Lion Forge comics and animation, he is a contributor to both their game division and their licensing team. 

Facebook: AndrewECGaska| Instagram: blamventurer| Twitter: @andrewecgaska | Portfolio: blamventures.com | WordPress: roguereviewer | Linkedin: aecgaska

All images are © 2020 their respective owners. All rights reserved.

All Things Alien w/Andrew E.C. Gaska via Free League Twitch

You can watch the playback on Twitch

DEFINING CANON IN AN ALIEN WORLD

As a franchise consultant to 20th Century Fox on ALIEN, Predator, and Planet of the Apes, I often had to take a long hard look at a number of long-beloved franchise stories and try to figure out how exactly that could still fit in canon. If I couldn’t, I had to recommend they be tossed. I proposed a third option–what I’ve come to call barroom canon. These are stories overheard in a bar (or read in a comic, or played in a video game, or even posted on Facebook) that may or may not have some truth to them. This allows canon to have some flex in regards to including stories that otherwise could no longer count in a franchise’s development.

As the lead writer and canon consultant on the ALIEN RPG by Free League Publishing, I developed the following Canon Tier guidelines to working out the ALIEN universe.

Because people like to react before they read completely, I will stress again that this list is a guideline based on my franchise consultant work at FOX . I used it when creating the backstory/lore/history of the Alien Universe for the Role Playing Game. Several fans asked for the list. It’s okay if it doesn’t fit your personal head canon, I am in no way suggesting it should. The game lore is designed to reject what you don’t like and use what you do.

The notes below about Predator, AVP, and Easter Eggs are guidelines I was given by FOX’s franchise department when I was brought on board as a consultant. Remember that canon in any franchise is always fluid–no RPG or novel will stop headlining producers and directors from taking a series in any direction they want to try. This list is canon as canon stands, until it doesn’t.

A NOTE ABOUT PREDATORS

The first thing to understand about ALIEN, Predator, and AVP is that they are three franchise universes.

AVP is officially a separate franchise and therefore a separate canon than Alien/Prometheus. Predator is also separate from AVP and Alien/Prometheus. If a Predator shows up in an alien project, that project is in the AVP universe and not Alien.

THE TRUTH ABOUT EASTER EGGS

Easter Eggs are never an indicator of canon, they are surprise homages and nothing more. The separation of franchises is per Fox themselves, and was handed to me as perimeters to follow when I first worked on the Predator Bible for them. Lots of people get frustrated by the AVP statements above. They want Predator in their Alien. Personally I think both franchises are better on their own, so I’m happy about AVP being a third franchise.

YOUR UNIVERSE

All that being said, the Alien RPG is a guide to YOUR alien universe, official or not. Make your game universe your own. What you want in your campaign is absolutely what should be in there, no matter what. As for what I used, this is the list I stick to. It is based on my discussions and work with FOX as a franchise consultant, and I’ve laid out the setting and whatnot accordingly.

A NOTE FROM MU/TH/UR: As new inspiration or products appear, they will be added to these lists. LAST UPDATE was on 01.16.2021

TIER I CANON 

Definitive and authorized canon to the Alien/Prometheus universe:

  • Film Series1
    • Prometheus
    • Alien: Covenant
    • Alien
    • Aliens
    • Alien 3
    • Alien Resurrection
  • Alien Isolation video game
  • Mike Tanaka Alien Isolation Twitter account
  • Covenant Short Films:
    • The Crossing 
    • The Last Supper 
    • Meet Walter 
    • Five Crew Messages 
    • Phobos 
    • Advent 
    • David’s Lab: Last Signs of Life
  • Prometheus Short Films:
    • TED Conference, 2023
    • Happy Birthday, David 
    • Quiet Eye: Elizabeth Shaw 
    • Project Prometheus: Mission 
    • Weyland Industries Testimonial 
    • Prometheus Transmission

TIER II CANON 

These sources are absolutely canon until Ridley Scott or another producer throws a curveball:

  • Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report
  • Alien: The Blueprints
  • Alien: David’s Drawings
  • Alien Role Playing Game by Free League Publishing 
    • Alien RPG: Starter Set
    • Alien RPG: Core rulebook
    • Alien: Chariot of the Gods
    • Alien: Destroyer of Worlds
    • Alien: Map of the Middle Heavens
    • Alien: Colonial Marines Operations Manual
    • All upcoming Alien: RPG products
  • The following Dark Horse comic series:
    • Aliens: Dead Orbit
    • Aliens: Dust to Dust
    • Aliens: Defiance
    • Aliens: Resistance
    • Aliens: Rescue
  • Titan and Imprint Novel Series
    • Alien: Covenant – Origins
    • Alien: The Cold Forge
    • Alien: Into Charybdis
    • Alien: Infiltrator
    • Aliens: Phalanx
    • Alien: Prototype
    • Alien: Isolation novelization
    • Alien: Echo
  • The 40th Anniversary Short Films
    • Alien: Containment
    • Alien: Specimen
    • Alien: Night Shift
    • Alien: Ore
    • Alien: Alone
  • Alien: Blackout Mobile Video Game
  • Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual

TIER III CANON 

Majority of the content is canon with some minor problems that can be explained away as myth or heresay.

  • Weyland Industries Viral Website (some distances are exaggerated) 
  • Aliens: Colonial Marines Video Game (Creatures and Technology are canon, the story is not)
  • Movie novelizations (accurate except when contradicted by screen evidence)
    • Alien
    • Aliens
    • Alien 3
    • Alien: Resurrection
    • Prometheus (Japanese language only)
    • Alien: Covenant
  • Alien Novels: 
    • Alien: Out of the Shadows 
    • Alien: Sea of Sorrows
    • Alien: River of Pain

MYTHS AND LEGENDS 

This stuff should be thought of as tall-tales told in bars. The events may or may have happened as described, but the locations exist:

  • Alien Survival Manual (was intended as canon but has glaring errors)
  • William Gibson’s Alien III in all incarnations:
    • William Gibson’s Alien III: Comic Adaptation
    • William Gibson’s Alien III: Audio Drama Adaptation
    • William Gibson’s Alien III: Novelization
    • William Gibson’s Alien III:Screenplay Draft I
    • William Gibson’s Alien III:Screenplay Draft II
  • Unused Screenplays including:
    • Star Beast
    • Eric Red’s Alien III
    • David Twohy’s Alien III
    • Vincent Ward’s Alien III
    • Alien: Engineers
    • Alien: Paradise Lost
  • The Bantam Books and DH Press Aliens novels:
    • Novels in the Complete Aliens Omnibus Volumes 1-7 including:
      • Aliens: Earth Hive
      • Aliens: Nightmare Asylum
      • Aliens: Female War
      • Aliens: Genocide
      • Aliens: Harvest
      • Aliens: Rogue
      • Aliens: Labyrinth
      • Aliens: Music of the Spears
      • Aliens: Berserker
      • Aliens: Original Sin
      • Aliens: DNA War
      • Aliens: Cauldron
      • Aliens: Steel Egg
      • Aliens: Criminal Enterprise
      • Aliens: No Exit
  • Concept art (includes all art books)
  • Aliens: Adventure Game by Leading Edge 
  • Alien: Covenant Short Films:
    • x Audi lunar quattro 
    • She Won’t Go Quietly 
  • Aliens: Colonial Marines Video Game (Storyline)
  • Aliens: Bughunt (Labeled as such in the book)
  • The following Dark Horse comic series:
    • Aliens: Field Report
    • Aliens: Fire and Stone 2 3 4
    • Aliens: Life and Death 2 3 4
    • Comics in the Dark Horse Aliens: Omnibus Volume 1-6 including:
      • Aliens: Outbreak
      • Aliens: Nightmare Asylum
      • Aliens: The Female War
      • Aliens: Theory of Alien Propagation
      • Aliens: The Alien
      • Aliens: Tribes
      • Aliens: Space Marines [Kenner Comics]
      • Aliens: Hive
      • Aliens: Newt’s Tale
      • Alien 3 Comic Adaptation
      • Aliens: Genocide
      • Aliens: Harvest
      • Aliens: Colonial Marines
      • Aliens: Rogue
      • Aliens: Sacrifice
      • Aliens: Labyrinth
      • Aliens: Advent/Terminus
      • Aliens: Reapers
      • Aliens: Horror Show
      • Aliens: Music of the Spears
      • Aliens: Stronghold
      • Aliens: Frenzy
      • Aliens: Taste
      • Aliens: Mondo Pest
      • Aliens: Mondo Heat
      • Aliens: Alchemy
      • Aliens: Kidnapped
      • Aliens: Cargo
      • Aliens: Survival
      • Aliens: Alien
      • Aliens: Earth Angel
      • Aliens: Incubation
      • Aliens: Havoc
      • Aliens: Lovesick
      • Aliens: Lucky
      • Aliens: Apocalypse – The Destroying Angels
      • Aliens: Once in a Lifetime
      • Aliens: Headhunters
      • Aliens: Tourist Season
      • Aliens: 45 Seconds
      • Aliens: Elder Gods
      • Aliens: Purge
      • Aliens: Glass Corridor
      • Aliens: Stalker
      • Aliens: Wraith
      • Aliens: Dark Horse Presents
      • Aliens: Dark Horse Insider
  • Arcade, computer, and console video games
    • Aliens: Armageddon
    • Aliens: Infestation
    • Aliens: Extermination
    • Aliens: Thanatos Encounter
    • Aliens: Online
    • Aliens: Trilogy
    • Aliens: A Comic Book Adventure
    • Alien 3: The Gun
    • Aliens: Alien 2  
  • Kenner Aliens Toyline

SHOE-HORN CANON:

A similar concept, look and feel film franchise, and a film that might as well be part of Alien though it is not. These will NEVER BE OFFICIAL. They are absolutely not part of the Alien Universe, but can be massaged into it if you squint hard enough.

  • Blade Runner
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Outland
  • Soldier

NON-CANON:

Absolutely not connected in any way to Alien—save for possible similar themes and/or easter eggs. While not canon, these properties make for great inspiration for the universe.6

  • Predator, its sequels, comics, novels, and games
  • AVP, its sequels, comics, novels, and games 4
  • Avatar (2009)
  • Firefly (2002)
  • Alien vs. any and everything 5
  • Alien 2: On Earth (1980)
  • John Carpenter’s the Thing (1981)
  • The Thing (2011)
  • Raised by Wolves (2020)
  • LIFE (2017)
  • Sunshine (2007)
  • Pitch Black (2000)
  • Riddick (2013)
  • Virus (1999)
  • Underwater (2020)
  • Prospect (2018)
  • Saturn 3 (1980)
  • Pandorum (2009)
  • Supernova (2000)
  • The Rig (2010)
  • Leviathan (1998)
  • Deep Star Six (1989)
  • Event Horizon (1997)
  • Ex Machina (2014)
  • Annihilation (2018)
  • Species, its sequels, comics, and novels
  • Terminator, its sequels, comics, novels, and games
  • Screamers (1995)
  • Whatever

Footnotes

  1. In the case of the films, you can count the special editions OR the feature versions as canon. I have used the special editions when writing the RPG but made nods towards the feature versions)
  2. Only the Aliens issues of “Fire and Stone” and “Life and Death” are part of the Alien Universe. The Predator and AVP portions are not.
  3. Anything with Predator in it is part of the separate Predator universe instead, or…
  4. If an Alien and a Predator appear, that means its part of the separate AVP Universe. Even if it says its an ALIEN labeled product and not an AVP one—if a Predator shows up it’s AVP).
  5. As a rule of thumb, inter-company crossovers mostly do not count towards canon in any franchise. In regards to other companies who DO count the situations that occur during crossovers, those events are never directly referred to again. For example: you will never have Judge Dredd say, “remember that time I punched Batman?” and show a recap panel of batman’s face being smashed after the license has expired. What they did instead was say, “remember when I punched that masked vigilante?” and did not show it again. You can’t use someone else’s characters past the limited time of the license. So while the event could define changes in the world, the details will forever be vague. If one of the companies involved pushed mentioning these things too far, the other could be like, um… excuse me…
  6. Updated thanks to some suggestions by FB user and gamer Pete DeRosa.

I think that’s everything. I’ll add to the list if I remember anything else.

—Andrew E.C. Gaska

An award winning game-writer, author, designer, and graphic novelist with twenty years of industry experience, Gaska is the creative force behind BLAM! Ventures. He has worked as a freelance consultant to 20th Century Fox and Rockstar Games and is the lead writer of Free League Publishing’s ALIEN Role Playing Game. In addition to being the senior development editor for Lion Forge comics and animation, he is a contributor to both their game division and their licensing team. 

Facebook: AndrewECGaska| Instagram: blamventurer| Twitter: @andrewecgaska | Portfolio: blamventures.com | WordPress: roguereviewer | Linkedin: aecgaska

All images are © 2020 their respective owners are used for the purposes of commentary or review only unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

STAR TREK: the HARRY MUDD Conundrum

The following is based on a Discovery Season 1 scenario whereas Harry Mudd had betrayed the star fleet personnel he captive in a Klingon prison with. The question was raised as to whether or not to take Harry with them when they escaped. The scenario would very much play out differently under different captains.

COMMAND STYLE POSSIBILITIES:

Captain Picard: “The defining principle of the Federation is that all sentient life has the right to exist. We take Mr. Mudd with us. No matter what he has done, he is entitled to a jury of his peers. It’s the right thing to do.”

Captain Kirk: “You are on your own, Harry… unless you promise to STOP DOING what you are going to do even though you PROMISE NOT TO! Do we have a deal? Do. We. Have. A deal? Alright, come with us.”

Captain Sisko: “It would be very tempting to just, leave him here, wouldn’t it.” (long pause with disapproving look followed by sigh) “ Alright, take him.”

Captain Janeway: “Should we take Mr. Mudd with us, is the question. I remember a time when the galaxy was a little bit rougher and the frontier was a little bit longer. Mudd is from that time. We would get home much faster if we left him behind, but the principles of the Federation are more important than us getting home. We take him with us.”

Captain Archer: “You set us up, Mudd. One day, my people will form some kind of… federated group that will come up with a set of rules, or directives, that would apply to situations like this. Until then, I will have to go with my heart. Take Mudd with us and put him in the brig.”

Captain Georgiou (Prime): “Mudd must face trial for his crimes. I will make a peaceful gesture to the Klingons and request his extradition.”

Captain Georgiou (Mirror): “This miscreant was amusing the first dozen times. Just snap his neck.”

Captain Lorca: “F*ck off, asshole. You f*cked with the wrong captain this time. Your name is Mudd for a reason. Rot in hell.”

Captain Pike: “I know what Lorca would do with Harry Mudd. I’m not Lorca–I want your trust. Options?”

Captain Freeman: “Mudd? Didn’t Kirk deal with this asshat like a century ago? Why is he not behind forever bars? Does the Federation bother to follow up on anything?”

—Andrew E.C. Gaska

An award winning game-writer, author, designer, and graphic novelist with twenty years of industry experience, Gaska is the creative force behind BLAM! Ventures. He has worked as a freelance consultant to 20th Century Fox and Rockstar Games and is the lead writer of Free League Publishing’s ALIEN Role Playing Game. In addition to being the senior development editor for Lion Forge comics and animation, he is a contributor to both their game division and their licensing team. 

Facebook: AndrewECGaska| Instagram: blamventurer| Twitter: @andrewecgaska | Portfolio: blamventures.com | WordPress: roguereviewer | Linkedin: aecgaska

All images are © 2020 their respective owners are used for the purposes of commentary or review only unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

Barroom Canon, Deep Lore & Unpredictability, Talking Alien RPG with Settings Writer Andrew E.C. Gaska!

We have just uploaded the 116th episode of the Alien vs. Predator Galaxy Podcast! Corporal Hicks and RidgeTop are joined once again by franchise consultant Andrew E.C. Gaska to discuss Alien: The Roleplaying Game, an award winning RPG that Drew served as the world and adventure writer for! We discuss how to write scenarios for unpredictable players, reconciling different entries in the lore, deep and head canon and plenty more!

Alien vs. Predator Galaxy

“Hello, MU/TH/ER. It’s me, Drew.”:A Q&A with Andrew E.C. Gaska – GraniteCon@Home

Andrew E.C. Gaska is the gold Ennie and UKGE Award-winning settings and adventure writer for the ALIEN Role Playing Game, Drew is a creative director, designer, and sci-fi author with twenty years of industry experience. He is a freelance consultant to 20th Century Fox, maintaining continuity and canon bibles for Alien, Predator, and Planet of the Apes. For seventeen years he consulted for Rockstar Games on titles such as Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption. Drew has written two Planet of the Apes novels and is also the Senior Development Editor for Lion Forge Animation. He lives beneath a pile of action figures with his glutenous feline, Adrien.

Victory Condition Gaming