Raven McCracken, our game designer

The Man, the Myth, the ... McCracken!

In which Raven McCracken presents his bio for the curious.

Bio: Raven c.s. McCracken was born decades before what we call the Internet.

A fan of Marvel Comics and science, it was only natural that when exposed to his first role-playing game at a convention in Seattle that he was inspired. Starting on what would be his life-long path, he labored in secret for years to forge the first engine that would power the Word of Synnibarr.

During this process, his "real life" included working in engineering at the Boeing commercial aircraft company in Renton Washington on the 737 and 757s, and performing in a rock band. It seemed that the rock band, of which Raven was the lead vocalist, inadvertently assisted in the marketing.

Unexpectedly his work was well received and the volume of local sales encouraged him to continue revising and perfecting Synnibarr.

Sales eventually reached a point where Raven felt that he could leave the Boeing Company and pursue a career in the Role-playing game industry. Admittedly as Raven was on the cutting edge of the industry, he made design errors -- some of which were seized by critics who simply despised the game for the sheer unlimited scope.

To fully understand this, one has to keep in mind that at that point in time, most games were very low powered ... Spell users with only one spell a day and fighters that were little more than slightly better than "human."

Synnibarr had superheros with spells limited only by the energy to power them -- in half a dozen powerbases, with fantastic weapons, as well as starships. The greatest starship ever ... The Worldship Synnibarr. Characters were designed to start as mortals and eventually reach godhood.

For players who were used to a character with a single spell a day ... this was INCONCEIVABLE and for some, even hurtful and infuriating. Thus there were created two camps: gamers and POWER gamers. Within a year, this was the case everywhere.

Eventually the Cult status of Synnibarr appeared and the game has enjoyed a consistent public awareness. Even if the awareness appeared to be negative, it somehow managed to keep Synnibarr alive while other RPGs came and went.

After Synnibarr had captured nearly one percent of the world market share, Raven married and continued to work on the game. Finding employment for a time with Sierra On-line as a computer game designer, he also modeled for the DC comic project, based on a TSR trilogy.

After a release of Synnibarr and its first supplement, "The Ultimate Adventurer’s Guide," Raven proceeded to take a short break from Role- Playing games and began work on what he called a "trading board game."

This was following in the wake of the collectible card games and featured aspects of traditional RPGs and collectible card games, and some all new mechanics for randomly changing the board every game. Thousands were sold, and the game was very well received.

Following "Crypt," Raven used the proceeds and ventured into the restaurant industry in eastern Washington, owning and operating the Sun Valley Restaurant and Lounge, and then later, the 509.

Following the economic collapse in 2003, Raven returned to Seattle and in little less than three years suffered a catastrophic fire that consumed his pets, home and a lifetime of possessions.

Forced once more to find a source of revenue, Raven proceeded in writing and publishing his first short stories in a collection entitled, "I Eat Butterflies." Of the collection, the short story, "Merlin’s Knot" was a best seller in France for a short while.

Following that collection was the book, "It's always Spring Break Somewhere in the Galaxy."

On the heels of these he wrote a number of Synnibarr-based soon-to-be released novellas and novels.

With a bit of inspiration from Kickstarter, he set about republishing "Synnibarr." His first Kickstarter campaign failed, but the second was 200 percent funded. Thus inspired the final version of the completely redesigned engine has been tested, and found to be worthy of publication; late, but as close to perfect as the team can create. This time the game is to be released in three separate manuals.

Currently Raven's extracurricular activities include an organization called "The Jet City Saber Guild." In this group, Raven portrays a Jedi, and engages in choreographed fight scenes with a lightsaber. See Jet City Saber Guild on Facebook for more information.