If you’ve played many MMOs over the past few years, you’ve probably played a game that Jack Emmert helped create. As the chief creative officer of Cryptic Studios, he led the design for City of Heroes/City of Villains, Champions Online, and Star Trek Online. Every one of them offers sharp combination of engaging gameplay and clever storylines designed to keep you coming back for more.
I first met Jack back in the ’90s when I was the president of Pinnacle Entertainment Group. He was a huge tabletop roleplaying gamer in those days, and we had many beers at Origins, Gen Con, and other conventions. He contributed to our Deadlands and Hell on Earth game lines, and his writing was always sharp and inventive, a pleasure to publish. He was working on his post-graduate degrees at the time, and you could see how he jammed every bit of his brilliance into the game writing as he must have been putting into his school work.
After Jack moved on to the computer game industry and City of Heroes became a smash hit, he wound up hiring many members of my old Pinnacle crew — Shane Hensley, Zeke Sparkes, John Hopler, and more — some of whom still work with him at Cryptic today. I’ve managed to avoid that fate by stubbornly refusing to move, but he was still kind enough to forgive me for that and read Amortals. Here’s what he had to say about it:
“A near-future detective story that asks a fundamental question: what is it to be human when you never really die? A taut existential action thriller and a must read!”