About Us

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We're writers, designers, directors, and coders.

We love story. We're based in the UK and Canada, and we work on projects all over the world.

What’s your story?

Ian Thomas

Partner and Co-founder

Writer/Narrative Designer/Coder/Director

Ian is a writer, programmer, and games developer who’s handled interactivity and storytelling for a living for over two decades. He’s worked in interactive television, education, puppet-making, film, publishing and the games industry, and has contributed code, writing, or design to more than fifty games, including franchises from LittleBigPlanet to LEGO.

He founded Talespinners in 2016 with Giles Armstrong, and since then has written, consulted, and directed on over 30 titles, including as Story Lead on Frictional Games‘ next game.

Outside mainstream games, Ian’s work includes the Napoleonic horror movie Fallen Soldiers, the children’s Cthulhu book Where’s My Shoggoth? and the best-selling interactive story Pendragon Rising. He also writes, designs and directs live-action experiences such as the acclaimed ghost story God Rest Ye Merry.

Matt Gibbs

Associate Partner

Writer/Editor/Game Designer

Matt is a writer and editor. He has worked on games such as DICE’s Battlefield 1Creative Assembly’s Total War: Rome IISega’s Binary Domain, and Ubisoft Reflections’ Driver San Francisco.

Alongside his work for Talespinners, he is the Managing Editor of Improper Books, a comic and book publishing studio focused on creator-owned stories that have a touch of the fairy tale or otherworldly about them.

Before going freelance, he worked in creative services for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. Originally a field archaeologist, he has worked on sites covering the Mesolithic to the Medieval throughout the United Kingdom.

Among other Talespinners projects, he’s currently lead writer on Lost Forest‘s Winter Hall.

Chris Tihor

Associate Partner

Writer/Game Designer

Chris is a writer and game designer with over twenty years of game and software development experience. He has a background in the arts and a never-ending love affair with geek culture and has written for video games, comic books, and role-playing and board games.

Before Talespinners, he worked with studios such as Harebrained SchemesTap Tap TapHeadless Chicken and One More Story. He’s best known as the creator of the award-winning game Mandatory Upgrade: X Marks the Spot.

For Talespinners, he’s worked on Depot, Raid: World War II and a number of unannounced titles.

He’s based in Toronto, Canada.

Michelle Clough

Associate

Writer/Editor/Game Designer

Michelle is a part-time/freelance writer and narrative designer based in Vancouver, BC. Co-founder and chair of the IGDA Romance and Sexuality SIG, she has spoken about male sexualization and healthy, diverse fanservice at multiple conferences, including Queerness and GamesPAX Dev, and the GDC Narrative Summit. Her credits include QA for Mass Effect 3, senior writer/editor for the adventure dating sim 1931: Scheherazade at the Library of Pergamum, and current work in sci-fi RPGs, mobile interactive fiction and VR experiences.

Michelle was lead editor for us on Purrfect Date.

Jason Marchant

Associate

Writer/Creative

Part writer, part performer, part games journalist and part corporate mouthpiece, Jason has been connecting words into meaningful sequences for the better part of two decades. He’s worked on marketing for games such as Ratchet & Clank and Killzone, scripts and taglines for Nokia and Microsoft, and even finds time to write his own stories and roleplaying adventures. He also likes to act and do the odd voiceover now and again.

Rachel Thomas

Associate

Live Event Designer/Producer

Rachel has designed, organised, and written live events for over twenty years, including critically-acclaimed games such as the ghost story God Rest Ye Merry, the horror Slaght Maand, and the pulp action-adventure Dick Britton and the Voice of the Seraph. She is a founder member of Crooked House.

When not working with Talespinners, Rachel is a photographer, and practising veterinary surgeon.

Giles Armstrong

Co-founder

Giles co-founded Talespinners with Ian in 2016, and in his time with us worked on over 25 titles. He was the lead writer on Bloody Zombies, developed by Paw Print Games, and on The Spectrum Retreat by Dan Smith Studios and Ripstone.

Giles left Talespinners to join Guerilla Games as a Senior Writer in July 2018, and we can’t wait to see what he produces! He’s still a friend and advisor to the company, and will forever be a Talespinner.

Specialists

We work with a wide range of external writers, with specialists in genre, medium, but also in particular topics. Along with games writers, we have award-winning authors, comic book writers, screenwriters, copywriters and editors on our books. Let us know if you’re looking for something in particular.

Mentorship Programme

We run a mentorship programme to help up-and-coming games writers produce portfolio pieces. Here are our current mentees!

Devin Presbury

About: Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, I strongly believe that anything can be deep-fried. I have a B.A. in Interactive Entertainment, an M.F.A. in Writing for Screen & Television from the University of Southern California, and a lot of theories about misunderstood Star Wars villain Elan Sleazebaggano.

The Programme: As an aspiring video game writer, I would like to create an interactive story that will help strengthen my portfolio.

The Project: When her best friend is murdered and she’s targeted next, Ash must break into the memories of her estranged friends to determined which one is the killer.

Kelly Hornung

About: As a fan of interactive narratives and unique games, I am always looking for ways to combine these two interests together.

The Programme: With experience as an essayist and playwright, I’m hoping to build my skills in writing non-linear dialogue and plot, as well as develop strategies for environmental storytelling.

The Project: My game will explore the future of food security and wealth, inspired by the works of Edward Gorey, Punchdrunk Theatre Company and Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Next Floor’.

Maja Bäckvall

About: I’m a Danish/Swedish academic researcher specialising in Viking Age runes and medieval manuscripts. My main claim to fame in the games industry so far has been translating Harald Hardrada’s lines into Old Norse for Civilization VI.

The Programme: I hope to learn more about narrative structure, and ultimately to get one step closer to a career in games.

The Project: Medieval pilgrimage – in SPACE. An interactive travelogue set in a space station society based on medieval Europe.

Melissa Gibbs

About: I am a 22 year old freelance writer and blogger from Montreal who has a degree in literature. When I’m not drowning myself in coffee and working on my manuscript, I’m probably slaying something on Final Fantasy or exploring a tomb with Lara Croft.

The Programme: Working under Talespinners, I hope to gain some insight into the game industry as well as how I can make my project ‘Beneath The Bluest Sea’ become a polished stand-out piece of my portfolio!

The Project: Roan, a human child born in a world of turbulent storms and Blue, a river-spirit stuck in a scorching desert, are thrown together as unlikely friends in a quest to save their parallel worlds from total destruction.

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