Jonathan Hicks is a writer, artist and game designer and began his love affair with Fighting Fantasy in 1983 with his first book 'The Citadel of Chaos', and then soon moving on to roleplaying games. He contributed to the Advanced Fighting Fantasy Stellar Adventures game and writes adventures for the fantasy game, published by Arion Games.
He ran the blog Farsight Blogger and spent much of his time interviewing gaming industry names, reviewing products and having opinions.
'It's 1983. My little sister is still at primary school and I've not long started secondary school. She comes home one night with a small pamphlet filled with small images of children's books, all published by Puffin and being made available to schools. She wants to know if anyone wants anything as she is going to purchase a book or two.
Up until this point I've been a passive observer of the science fiction/fantasy genres. I've cut my teeth on Star Wars, Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds, the BBC dramatisation of The Lord of the Rings and plenty of classic sci-fi movies such as This Island Earth, The Thing From Another World and the Day The Earth Stood Still. I was still a distance from appreciating science fiction and fantasy in all it's forms - I still didn't like Blade Runner because Han Solo wasn't doing what I expected him to do.
So I'm scouring these book images for anything that seems even slightly quirky when my roving eyes fall on the image of some kind of cat/wolf beast with black fur and red eyes, at the head of a long line of beasts all exiting a castle as bat-winged creatures soar through a blood-red sky. It's 'The Citadel of Chaos', book two of the Fighting Fantasy series, and I'm intrigued. An original fighting fantasy adventure in which YOU are the hero? Whatever could this mean?
So, bang goes a week's pocket money and the book is ordered. Several days later, I sit down on a rainy Saturday afternoon to read it and I'm perplexed by these scores, dice and apparent rules. After raiding the tattered Monopoly box for two six-sided dice I tentatively have a first go at the book.
I don't remember how well I did, but I do remember missing my tea as I was totally absorbed by the book. I went to bed late and arose early the next Sunday morning, like pre-8 o'clock early, to carry on playing and it was only when my mom physically dragged me out of the bedroom to eat my Sunday dinner was I able to get any kind of grasp on the real world. At school the following Monday I gushed to classmates about this book, how amazing it was and how it allowed you to take part in and even decide the outcome of a story. I was hooked, and after I located a copy of 'The Warlock of Firetop Mountain' I began to collect the books in earnest. I loved reading and my over-active imagination loved adventures - how could it get any better than this?'
1997: Wrote article ‘Please Hug The Roleplayer To Your Left’ for the ‘On The Soapbox’ section of ‘Arcane’ magazine issue 20.
1999 – 2004: Contributed stories and articles and scouted for big-name interviewees for popular Star Wars fansite Lightsabre.
2004: Published twice by the British Science Fiction Association in their writer’s magazine ‘FOCUS’.
2006: Designed the missions and wrote the dialogue for a computer game of Universal’s new Battlestar Galactica, published by Dynamite Mobile.
2007 – present: Designed the simple game system ‘SKETCH’ and created ‘Farsight Games’ to promote this simple, easy to run rules light game.
2008 – 2009: Wrote for and edited 9 issues of ‘ODDS: The Tabletop Roleplaying E-Magazine’.
2009-present: Reviewer for the tabletop gaming hobby, with reviews featured on own blog Farsight Blogger and RPG.net.
2012 - 2017: Staff writer for www.jedinews.co.uk, the second most popular Star Wars fansite in the world.
2017 - Present: Games News Editor for Star wars site Fantha Tracks.
2017: Co-writer of Advanced Fighting Fantasy Stellar Adventures, published by Arion Games.
2017-present: Writer of several free products for Farsight Games.
2018-present: Writer of official AFF adventures for Arion Games.