nealhallford

Neal Hallford was bred on the planet Vhoorl to be the soul-sucking brood twin of Great Cthulhu, but his adoptive family insists he's really from Oklahoma. Despite his parents best attempts to give him a decent upbringing, he was irrevocably tainted by his contact with horror fiction, amateur filmmaking, comic books, role-playing games, Dr Who, and Star Trek. After his short career as a shoggoth tamer came to an abrupt end (due largely to a surprising lack of shoggoths in Tulsa), he decided to pack it in and become a computer game designer instead. Best known for CRPGs like BETRAYAL AT KRONDOR, PLANET'S EDGE, DUNGEON SIEGE, and LORDS OF EVERQUEST, he is currently summoning up TABLINOMICON, a Lovecraft-themed app for the Android. He also dabbles in the even darker arts of independent filmmaking, and is involved in the production of several projects including THE CON OF WRATH, a documentary from fellow Okie Larry Nemecek. He currently lies dreaming in R'leyh (known more mundanely as San Diego, California).

* My brother and I once had a conversation with the Archbishop of Canterbury about Templars while standing in the rose garden outside Cantebury Cathedral.

* I was born in Sapulpa, Oklahoma giving me a legitimate claim that I was born on Route 66.

* Although I might not look it, I'm part Cherokee.

* Both of my parents were schoolteachers. My mother, Betty, taught all the subjects for all the grades at the Salvation Army unwed mother's home in Sand Springs. My father, Henry, was the first vocational director for the Sand Springs School District and built its program.

* I have an older brother named Gene who currently teaches at the University of Oklahoma, my old alma mater.

* I love having animals around, but I'm especially fond of dogs.

* During junior high, I got to be very close friends with Matt Harris whose older brother Sam would later become the first winner of Star Search. Matt released his first album, Slighty Elliptical Orbit, on Leon Russell's record label in 2002.

* I grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and attended school in Sand Springs. I graduated from Charles Page HS in 1984.

* I play 3 musical instruments: drums, keyboards, and most recently, acoustic slide guitar...none of them particularly well.

* Between 1984 and 1987, I worked on and off at KTOW, a small country and western station in Sand Springs, Oklahoma.

* I have a degree from the University of Oklahoma in journalism with an emphasis on radio, television and film production.

* Since 1990, I've been writing and designing computer games. Titles you might recognize include "Planet's Edge", "Might & Magic III: Isles of Terra", "Betrayal at Krondor", "Return to Krondor", "Dungeon Siege", and "Golden Axe". My most recent games, "X-Life: Driven" and "X-Life: Babangar Blues" were created as a e-diplomacy project for the U.S. State Department and presented to Barack Obama as part of his presidential transition materials.

* I met my wife, Jana, in the Night Writer's Chat on America Online. We later married on October 5, 1996 in the Victorian Rose Garden of the Tulsa Historical Society (at the time, located on the grounds of the Gilcrease Museum).

* On October 9th, 1995, I was in a train wreck aboard Amtrak's Sunset Limited. Terrorists calling themselves the Sons of the Gestapo left four notes on the site. I found two of them. Since that time, I've taped two interviews about the event which appeared in the US, UK and Canada. Both specials, "When Trains Crash: Blood on the Tracks" and "Derail: America's Worst Train Wrecks" periodically resurface on TLC and the Discovery Channel. In 2012, I released an ebook on Amazon about my experience called, strangely enough, "The Derailment of the Sunset Limited".

* In 2001 I co-authored a book with my wife Jana called Swords & Circuitry : A Designer's Guide To Computer Role-Playing Games. You can pick up copies through Amazon.com.

* I achieved my true geek credentials in December of 2004 when I was invited in to pitch a slate of episodes of "Star Trek: Enterprise." Although the show's cancellation prevented any of the shows I pitched from hitting the screen, I did get a full tour of the Enterprise set and got to sit in the coveted Captain's Chair before the set was struck.

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