Shane Lacy Hensley is an author, game designer, and CEO of Pinnacle Entertainment Group and is a resident of Gilbert, Arizona. He has written several novels and designed a variety of games including miniatures wargames, tabletop wargames, and role-playing games, as well as substantial freelance work writing modules for game systems. He has also scripted at least one computer game. Hensley has been a Guest of Honor at a number of major conventions and has garnered several game industry honors and awards.
Shane Lacy Hensley was born in Clintwood, Virginia, and began playing Dungeons & Dragons after he discovered the game through a series of comic-strip ads that were running in comic books in the 1980s. Hensley later sent West End Games an unsolicited Torg adventure he had written, which was soon published as The Temple of Rec Stalek (1992).Hensley did more work for FASA, TSR, and West End over the next few years. Among them several proucts for the Shatterzone setting.
Hensley created the game company Pinnacle Entertainment Group in 1994 as he wanted to create a 19th-century miniatures game and contacted local company Chameleon Eclectic about publishing it, which resulted in Fields of Honor (1994). Ownership of the game remained with Pinnacle, but it was published in conjunction with Chameleon Eclectic.
Hensley had the idea for a new game centering on cowboys and zombies as he was setting Pinnacle up, when he saw the Brom painting of a Confederate vampire on the cover of White Wolf's then-unreleased Necropolis: Atlanta; he thus began writing what would eventually become Deadlands. After completing a first draft, Henlsey flew in two friends and game designers, Greg Gorden and Matt Forbeck; they both liked what they saw and asked to buy into Pinnacle, although Gorden soon left for personal reasons. Hensley also did some computer game design work for SSI. Forbeck left Pinnacle a few years later, leaving Hensley as the sole owner.
On September 13, 2000, it was announced that Pinnacle had been sold to a company called Cybergames.com. Cybergames used acquisitions' income to buy other companies – harming the individual companies' cashflow and ruining production schedules – and Hensley announced on January 12, 2001 that the acquisition had been "undone", but not before considerable damage had been done to Pinnacle, leaving it with just a few employees.
Hensley then became part of the new d20 boom, kicking off a new d20-based weird war campaign with Blood on the Rhine (2001).In 2003, Hensley formed the new company Great White Games and transferred all of Pinnacle's IP to it, as well as publishing the new game Savage Worlds (2003). After that he joined Cryptic Studios in 2004. Together with senior developer David "Zeb" Cook, Hensley was the writer on City of Villains (2005). He also designed the role-playing game Army of Darkness (2005) for Eden Studios.
Hensley left Cryptic to make a Deadlands MMORPG at Superstition Studios in 2007, but the parent company went bankrupt and the never appeared.Hensley headed Dust Devil Studios where he brought Zombie Pirates (2010) to market but he later returned to Cryptic Studios and became the Executive Producer on the Neverwinter MMO, then on to Petroglyph Games to work on the End of Nations MMORTS (published by Trion Worlds).
Novels and short stories
Player's Guide, 1993 (reprinted 2011), with Ed Stark & Dave Wetzel
Rule Book, 1993 (reprinted 2011), with Ed Stark, & Dave Wetzel
Universe Guide, 1993 (reprinted 2011), with Greg Farshtey & Dave Wetzel
Through the Cracks, 1994, with Ronald Seiden, Ed Stark, Matt Forbeck, Greg Farshtey & John Terra.
Techbook: Ships, 1994 (reprinted 2011), with Ed Stark
Star Wars RPG?
Secrets of the Sisar Run?, 1993, with Craig Robert Carey and Pablo Hidalgo
Glah Ubooki's Strange & Wondrous Imports?, 1994, article in Star Wars Adventure Journal 1
Edge of the Empire Core Rule Book?, 2013, with Sterling Hershey and others