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Lee Brimmicombe-Wood

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Lee Brimmicombe-Wood

Lee Brimmicombe Wood.[1]

Lee Brimmicombe-Wood (born December 7, 1963) is a British designer of board games[2] and video games[3] who wrote the technical guide Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual. Wood has worked on numerous titles including Far Cry 3 (2012) and the Killzone franchise (2004-present).[4]

History with franchiseEdit

Before working on the Colonial Marines Technical Manual, Wood enjoyed the Alien films enormously, particularly Aliens, although he wasn't a big of a fan of the spinoff material.


Aliens (magazine) Technical ReadoutsEdit

Main article: Aliens (UK magazine)

In the late 1980s, Wood spent a weekend with his friends Tim and Elaine. They hadn't seen Aliens, so Wood brought the film and they watched it. After the film, Tim and Wood talked about "all the wonderful weapons and toys" in it. This conversation "planted a seed in [Wood's] mind," and so the next day, when he began his long train ride back home, he pulled out a pad and started to write out in longhand the beginnings of the Smart Gun entry.

He quickly wrote up a number of these pieces: the Smart Gun, the Pulse Rifle and a couple others. Wood wasn't sure what was going to happen to them. The notion of getting these essays published was "something of a pipe dream back then, as [Wood] wasn't yet a pro." He was still serving an apprenticeship in fan publishing, so the Tech Manual articles got shelved for a while.

A few years later, Wood was doing some freelance work for Dark Horse International. Liliana Bolton, the artist John Bolton's wife, ran Dark Horse's UK publishing operation and one of their titles was the Aliens magazine. The magazine was primarily a vehicle for comic reprints, but they needed feature material to fill space and so Wood and his business partner, Dave Hughes, were busy producing reviews and background materials. They brainstormed some article ideas and Wood realized he had still had the Technical Manual articles sitting in a drawer. So Wood "dusted it off and polished it" for the magazine while starting to write some brand new material.

After the first articles were published, the reaction was really positive. A lot of people were asking whether the articles were "official" or not, or they simply assumed it was.

Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical ManualEdit

Main article: Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual]]

The Technical Manual articles in the Aliens magazine piqued the interest of Dark Horse in the US and they asked whether Wood's team could adapt the material into a six-issue comic-book series. Randy Stradley seemed confident they could produce the Technical Manual under their existing comics licence and Dave and Wood met up to "glad-hand" Randy at the UK Comic Arts Convention. Wood and Dave were pretty much ready to sign contracts when Dark Horse pulled the plug on their entire UK operation, and with it went the Technical Manual project.

Dave and Wood were downhearted, but they still had a sample of the Tech Manual material and so Dave "hawked it" around the London publishers until they found Boxtree. They already had a couple of Alien-related book titles and knew the property. They were prepared to do a deal with them and soon they were signed and Wood was faced with "a pile of work and a deadline."

Wood presumes Fox got involved when Boxtree negotiated the license. Much to Wood's chagrin, he soon discovered that Boxtree had only bought a license for Aliens (just the second movie). This proved frustrating for Wood, as he'd hoped to fill out the book with material from the first and third movies. However, when Fox's licensing division in Beverley Hills began to read drafts of the Technical Manual, "they had kittens." A whole section of the final chapter referenced the events of the third movie, and went into all sorts of detail about Alien morphology. That had to be scrapped because it wasn't covered by the license. In the end, Wood had to cut the final chapter down by half and restrict mention of Alien3 to an oblique reference.

Fortunately, Fox were prepared to "stretch things a little" with regards to the first movie. As various events and items from Alien, such as the Nostromo, were mentioned in the sequel. Wood was allowed to drop those into the book, but a big article on the escape pod from the third movie, done originally for the magazine, was left out.

Aliens versus PredatorEdit

Main article: Aliens versus Predator (1999 video game)

Wood did a lot of initial design work on Aliens versus Predator a few years before its release, although by the time the game was released, "pretty much all [of Wood's] contribution had disappeared and [his] credit was little more than a thank you."


Lee Brimmicombe-Wood attended Alien Convention '93, where, after lunch, he was included in a questions and answers panel along with Dark Horse UK Aliens (the magazine) features editor Dave Hughes, features writer Jim Campbell and Harry Harris.[5] The one[5] to two[6] hour long session concentrated mainly on the origins and biology of the Xenomorph, the derelict ship and the Pilot.[5] Lee also later attended Aliens Convention '99.[7]


  • As of April 28, 2007, Wood hadn't watched Aliens since he wrote the Colonial Marines Technical Manual 14 years earlier.

External linksEdit


  2. BoardGameGeek
  3. The Olympian
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2
  6. Aliens, volume 2, number 13

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