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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 Readout" section in Aliens magazine for Dark Horse International, later expanding his contributions as the technical guide Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual. Brimmicombe-Wood also worked on the comic Do Aliens Dream? for Argus House and the 1999 video game Aliens versus Predator. Outside of the Alien franchise, he has worked on numerous popular video game series, including Far Cry 3 (2012) and the Killzone franchise (2004-present).[4]

History with franchiseEdit

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


Do Aliens Dream?Edit

Brimmicombe-Wood's first work in the Alien franchise was as illustrator on the comic book short story Do Aliens Dream?, included in the UK-based Skeleton Crew magazine, Vol. 2 #2, in July 1990. This remains one of very few Aliens comics not to be published by Dark Horse Comics.

Aliens magazine Technical ReadoutsEdit

In the late 1980s, Brimmicombe-Wood spent a weekend with his friends Tim and Elaine, who both hadn't seen Aliens, so Brimmicombe-Wood brought the film and they watched it. After the film, Tim and Brimmicombe-Wood talked about "all the wonderful weapons and toys" in it. This conversation "planted a seed in [Brimmicombe-Wood's] mind," and so the next day, when he began his 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 However, Brimmicombe-Wood wasn't sure what was going to become of them, as the notion of getting the essays published was "something of a pipe dream back then, as [Brimmicombe-Wood] wasn't yet a pro." Indeed, he was still serving an apprenticeship in fan publishing, so the articles were shelved for a while.

A few years later, Brimmicombe-Wood was doing some freelance work for Dark Horse International. Liliana Bolton, the artist John Bolton's wife, ran Dark Horse International and their UK publishing operations, with one of their titles being Aliens magazine. While the magazine was primarily focused on reprinting comics, it still needed feature material to fill space, so Brimmicombe-Wood and his business partner, Dave Hughes, produced reviews and background material. They brainstormed some article ideas and Brimmicombe-Wood realized he had still had the Technical Manual articles in a drawer. Brimmicombe-Wood "dusted it off and polished it" for the magazine while also starting to write some new material.

After the first articles were published in the magazine, the reaction from readers was very positive and a lot of people were asking if the articles were "official", or they simply assumed it was.

Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical ManualEdit

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

Although Hughes and Brimmicombe-Wood were discouraged, they still had a sample of the Technical Manual material, which Hughes "hawked" around London-based publishers until they discovered Boxtree Ltd. Already having published a couple of Alien-related book titles, Boxtree was familiar with the property and were prepared to make a deal with them. Soon, they were signed and Brimmicombe-Wood was faced with "a pile of work and a deadline" to create Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual.

Brimmicombe-Wood presumes 20th Century Fox got involved when Boxtree negotiated the license. Much to Brimmicombe-Wood's chagrin, he soon discovered that Boxtree had only bought a license for just the 1986 film Aliens. This proved frustrating for Brimmicombe-Wood, as he had hoped to fill out the book with material from the 1979 film Alien and the 1992 sequel to Aliens, Alien3. However, when Fox's licensing division began to read drafts of the Technical Manual, "they had kittens."

Originally, a section of the final chapter referenced the events of Alien3, and went into detail about Alien morphology. However, this information had to be edited because it wasn't covered by the license for Aliens. In the end, Brimmicombe-Wood had to cut much of the content based around Alien3 from the final chapter, including a large article on the escape pod from the film, which was done originally for the magazine, until the chapter was about half its original length. Mention of the third movie was also restricted to an oblique reference. However, unlike the third Alien film, Fox were prepared to "stretch things a little" with regards to Alien as various events and items from the first film, such as the Nostromo, were mentioned in its sequel. Thus, Brimmicombe-Wood was allowed to include them in the book.

Aliens versus PredatorEdit

Brimmicombe-Wood did a lot of initial design work on the 1999 video game Aliens versus Predator a few years before its release, although by the time the game was released, "pretty much all [of Brimmicombe-Wood's] contribution had disappeared and [his] credit was little more than a thank you."


Brimmicombe-Wood attended Alien Convention '93, where, after lunch, he was included in a questions and answers panel along with Aliens 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 Alien, the derelict ship and the Pilot.[5] Brimmicombe-Wood also later attended Aliens Convention '99.[7]


  • As of April 28, 2007, Brimmicombe-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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