The Origin Story

When I was in fifth grade, I wrote a play about the Trojan War. My homeroom teacher thought it showed initiative, so the class put it on at the end of the year. When I left the school in eighth grade, the school was still performing it. That was the year in which I watched a whole new class hide under our enormous papier-mache’ horse. In that moment, I said to myself, “Man, this crap sounds like it was written by a fifth-grader.”

And that’s about how my life has gone ever since.

In college, I took a lot of writing courses and formed a writing team with my then-girlfriend, now-wife. We broke into the world of pencil-and-paper roleplaying games. After college, we realized that world wasn’t going to pay the rent, and tried our hand at screenwriting.

In our first paid gig writing a ten-o’-clock spy drama, we sat down with one of the senior writers and asked his advice. When times got tough, what did he tell himself that made staying in the industry worth it? He considered for a moment and said, “Well… I discovered anti-anxiety medication.”

So the quest for a better life kept going. After a trip to the Game Developer’s Conference in 2005, we ended up in the video game industry. Now, video games have their own horror stories, but through the grace of whatever gods watch over video games (probably Eulalia, Muse of Franchises), I ended up at a series of pretty good places to work. I managed to build a career that’s spanned a bit more than a decade. I get to geek out about science fiction, fantasy, and horror as part of my day job, and that day job lets me support the family that I love.

So what do I want now? I want you to come on an adventure with me.


In Which It’s the Most Plunderfool Time of the Year

According to the Internet, Confucious was the one who said “the hunter who chases two rabbits catches neither,” and man, does that explain what happened to my blog this year. It’s been months since I updated it, because I was busy chasing three other rabbits: posting my progress on Twitter, Facebook, and now Bluesky. The …


You can contact me by e-mail at I like to write back, but I can’t always. You’re more likely to get a response by posting on Bluesky ( or Twitter (@theotherhepler), which I check far more often.

I prioritize working over ego, and family over working. Maintaining a web site and contacts with fans falls under “ego” stuff.

I’m sure you’re a cool person and we’d have lots to talk about.

A Writing Tour

This is is where I show off promotional materials, excerpts from books, links to published or produced works, and so forth. My LinkedIn page covers my specific responsibilities for the collaborative projects. (Writing samples are at the bottom — just scroll down.)

I have also spoken at the Game Developers’ Conference on the topic of writer research skills. If you’re an attendee, you can find my 2016 lecture “What Wikipedia Doesn’t Know Can Hurt You,” in the GDC Vault.

Video Games

Pirates of the Caribbean

Relics of Gods

The Mass Effect Trilogy

Star Wars: The Old Republic

FableLabs Projects

My Loft



Civil Blood: The Vampire Rights Case that Changed a Nation

Short Fiction

“The 10:40 Appointment at the NYC Department of Superhero Registration”

“The Torturer of Camelot”

“High Water Mark”


The Agency

Tabletop Role-Playing Games

Legend of the Five Rings




The Shot Glass of Nostalgia” — Tabletop Stories to Help Your Games




Writing Samples

These are resume fodder: YouTube videos of my video game work and prose fiction in small, digestible chunks.


A Question of Motivation Part 1 (MMO Quest Giving) ~ 5 min

A Question of Motivation Part 2 (MMO Quest Resolution — twist at 10:34, dialogue at 18:31, total dialogue time ~ 5 min)

Priority: Citadel from Mass Effect 3 (Action Sample, RPG Video Game) ~ 30 min

Citadel DLC — Thane’s Memorial Service (Dialogue Sample, RPG Video Game) ~30 min

Citadel DLC — Silver Coast Casino Infiltration (Non-Combat Social/Stealth Mission) ~ 30 min

Wayfinder‘s Traditions of Eventide (Seasonal MMO Content) ~ 15 min or 47 min for all three parts


The Double (Contemporary Romance Fiction)

Interactive Novels:

Pinning Him Down (Contemporary Romance Interactive Fiction in Twine)

Interactive Quizzes:

“What Do I Know About Video Games?” (A Twine Quiz)