I grew up in the dark days before cable TV or VCRs. I spent my weekends flipping through the local UHF channels, praying I would find my favorite films: grainy, washed out, badly dubbed tickets to magical worlds called “Toho” and “Daiei” – the Japanese monster movie. I could usually count on a classic American monster movie every week, but the discovery of a Godzilla movie on TV was like gold. Even after my folks got cable I still checked the local stations for my favorites. In 1985 my geek dreams came true when a new Godzilla movie came to theatres, with promises of more to follow.
My daily cartoon intake had always involved Japanese anime. The simplistic adventures of Speed Racer progressed to the more mature plot and characters of Star Blazers. But it was the military mecha of Macross and Gundam that captivated my attention. I started watching them for the giant robot action, but was quickly moved by the drama of these soldiers and their lives. Japanese cartoons did not talk down to me the way American animation often did; anime was a respected art form there, and watching imports made me feel like a connoisseur.
My love of roleplaying games grew at the same time, and while Dungeons and Dragons was my first love, other anime fans worked in the industry, and soon Mekton and Battletech were filling my game sessions. These two hobbies finally collided in 2007 when I won a contest to have Mecha Vs Kaiju featured as a setting for the True20 Roloplaying game. The subsequent sourcebook was not successful, and I thought my foray into game design was over.
In 2013 Fate Core enjoyed a wildly successful Kickstarter, and the game which followed had the unique quality of being released under the Creative Commons license, meaning anyone could create a game using the system. With the arrival of “Pacific Rim” and the advent of the Legendary Godzilla series, the time had come for Mecha Vs Kaiju, Powered by Fate! My own Kickstarter success led to 8 years of gaming, writing, and nearly 20 supplements. But as the roleplaying scene changed I sought a game system which would allow me to better model the anime, manga, and movies that I loved.
This website is dedicated to the development of Mecha Vs Kaiju 202X – Primed by Cortex! The Cortex Prime roleplaying engine features a core dice mechanic and a modular rule structure that allows me to create a system that not only encourages players to behave like anime and manga characters, but rewards them for doing so.
As this new era of my life begins, I have many people to thank.
- My beautiful wife Christine Hayes, who puts up with my ridiculous hobbies and matches me in my love of roleplaying games.
- My brother Randy Wright, my first nerd pusher, who opened my eyes to the wonders of science fiction.
- My first otaku friend Chris Wiler, who would make weekly pilgrimages to obscure anime shops to find untranslated movies and shows for us to puzzle and wonder at.
- John Phillips, who sparked this entire idea with the words “Kaiju on the DMZ”.
- Jim Mason, my brother from another mother.
- Jeremy Forbing, one of the best DM’s I’ve ever had, and who has helped immensely in the development of MVK Cortex.
- And YOU, should you choose to join my Patreon!