Sam Roads is a writer, entrepreneur, musician and game designer, based in Cardiff, UK. He trained as a composer at UWCC, owns five businesses, and has won two international Origins awards for game development. He lives with wife Lizz Roe.
In 1994 he founded Harlequin Games, a play-by-mail business which currently owns and moderates Legends, a game for 60 players, that lasts for years and has a 400 page rulebook! In 2011 Harlequin Games won the Game Manufacturers’ Association Best New Play-By-Mail Game ‘Origins’ award for Legends: The One Ring.
In 1998 he founded M.E. Games Ltd., and in 2004 Game Systems International Ltd., which respectively moderate and own the game Middle-earth Play By Mail, which itself is in the Game Manufacturers’ Association Hall of Fame. In 2003 the game won the Game Manufacturers’ Association Gamers’ Choice award for Play-By-Mail.
Throughout the 90s he sang and played bass in Pontypridd-based Crystal Eyes, including appearances on Welsh TV and radio.
In 2007, with the support of Ian Livingstone (Games Workshop, Lara Croft) he was a founder of Microcosm Games, Wales’ premier Facebook developer, where he currently works as Creative Director.
More recently he spent four years as a volunteer at Cardiff and District Samaritans, an experience he describes as ‘life changing’.
In 2014 he brought iconic magazine Creative Screenwriting from Hollywood to Cardiff and edits daily interviews with the best screenwriters in the business.
In the last couple of years he has turned to writing graphic novels, with Pat Mills (creator of 2000AD) describing his work as “masterful”. His first, Kristo, is a retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo, set in Stalin’s Russia, and his second, Silicon Heart is a story of love and prejudice set in the Welsh Valleys of the future.
“My goal is to gently change the world by writing stories about difficult issues, but to obscure the chilli taste of social commentary in a tasty tortilla wrap of humour and action.
You won’t find any spandex, nor protagonists describing their actions in the third person. You will find stories about diversity, mental illness, religion, politics, post-modern altruism and baby polar bears.*
*No actual baby polar bears. Sorry.