The Adventure Begins
Aka Why start Lightheart?
My earliest gaming memory is that of the Milton Bradley game HeroQuest. I was much too young to grasp how to play, but I was enthralled by the board and the miniatures. My parents were the adventurers, and my older sister controlled the monsters. They usually played a few times a month. Since I didn’t fully grasp the complex rules, I would often sit on my dad’s lap and use one of the monster figures to “follow” behind the party as they explored deeper into the dungeon (much to my older sister’s dismay). When my family wasn’t around, I’d pull the box out and make up my own stories with the heroes and villains on the grid-based map.
Growing up, I regularly drew my own games and dungeons replete with all sorts of traps and monsters, but no one in my circle of friends and family ever had any interest in Dungeons & Dragons or other tabletop role playing games. However, my parents kept encouraging me to draw, and with my love of gaming I attended college to gain a degree in Game Art & Design. I quickly realized programming wasn’t for me when creating a simple binocular effect in a game engine caused the program (and computer) to crash hard, resulting in a lot of headaches and a lot of cursing. I decided to keep to the art side of design.
After college I held a professional role as a supervisor in a major retail call center, which left little time for creativity on the job (not to mention making my degree feel useless). In my free time, I discovered the miniatures game Malifaux, and I became enthralled with the theme and setting. Later I pounced on the opportunity to back the Malifaux TTRPG Through the Breach Kickstarter and fell in love with role play games all over again. Designing little bits of NPC background that adventurers could discover and drawing scaled-down battlefields just felt right. I introduced my then girlfriend (now wife), Courtney, and a few friends to the game, and I realized that I felt more satisfied writing my own campaigns and drawing my own maps than I had during any point in my professional career.
Life has a surprising and unexpected way of changing course, which we rediscovered when Courtney and I left our jobs and moved to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to her family. In between odd jobs, I began running multiple sessions of Malifaux and D&D for friends both in person and over video chat. My passion for writing and drawing my own content only grew further, and with the encouragement of my wife and a few friends, I started Lightheart Adventures officially in April of 2019. Since then, I’ve learned so much from an amazing creator community about art, storytelling, and what makes it fun. My goal in starting this website is to share my art with everyone while creating a community to share, brainstorm, and learn alongside other TTRPG creators and fans. Of course, an added perk will be to eventually earn a living off of what I love to do, but the ultimate goal? One day, I hope that one of my games will be the one to inspire another child to sit on their parent’s lap and “follow” along.