Sandy Petersen

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Sandy Petersen
Sandy Petersen in May 2004.jpg
Sandy Petersen in May 2004
Carl Sanford Joslyn Petersen

(1955-09-16) September 16, 1955 (age 63)
Occupation Game designer

Carl Sanford Joslyn "Sandy" Petersen (born September 16, 1955) is an American game designer.



Petersen was born in St. Louis, Missouri and attended University of California, Berkeley, majoring in zoology.

University of California, Berkeley Public university in California, USA

The University of California, Berkeley is a public research university in Berkeley, California. It was founded in 1868 and serves as the flagship institution of the ten research universities affiliated with the University of California system. Berkeley has since grown to instruct over 40,000 students in approximately 350 undergraduate and graduate degree programs covering numerous disciplines.

Zoology is the branch of biology that studies the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct, and how they interact with their ecosystems. The term is derived from Ancient Greek ζῷον, zōion, i.e. "animal" and λόγος, logos, i.e. "knowledge, study".

He is a well-known fan of H. P. Lovecraft, whose work he first encountered in a World War II Armed Services Edition of The Dunwich Horror and other Weird Tales found in his father's library. In 1974, Dungeons & Dragons brought his interest to role-playing games.[ citation needed ] He became a full-time staff member at Chaosium. [1] His interest for role-playing games and H. P. Lovecraft were fused when he became principal author of Chaosium's game Call of Cthulhu , published 1981, [2] and many scenarios and background pieces thereafter. [3] While working for Chaosium he co-authored the third edition of RuneQuest , for which he also co-wrote the critically acclaimed Trollpak and a number of other Gloranthan supplements.[ citation needed ]

H. P. Lovecraft American author

Howard Phillips Lovecraft was an American writer who achieved posthumous fame through his influential works of horror fiction. He was virtually unknown during his lifetime and published only in pulp magazines before he died in poverty, but he is now regarded as one of the most significant 20th-century authors of horror and weird fiction.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

<i>Dungeons & Dragons</i> fantasy role-playing board game

Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. It was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR). The game has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997. It was derived from miniature wargames, with a variation of the 1971 game Chainmail serving as the initial rule system. D&D's publication is commonly recognized as the beginning of modern role-playing games and the role-playing game industry.

He authored several critically acclaimed RuneQuest supplements for Avalon Hill and Games Workshop. [3] Petersen served as co-designer for West End Games's Ghostbusters roleplaying game. [3] He still plays and runs role-playing games, and is a frequent guest at conventions where he usually runs a freeform game of his own devising, and/or helps to run someone else's game.

Avalon Hill board game company

Avalon Hill Games Inc. is a game company that specializes in wargames and strategic board games. Its logo contains its initials "AH", and the company is now often referred to by this abbreviation. Before its takeover by Hasbro, it was known as The Avalon Hill Game Company and the initials TAHGC. It has also published miniature wargaming rules, role-playing games and sports simulations. It is now a subsidiary of the game company Wizards of the Coast, which is itself a subsidiary of Hasbro.

Games Workshop company

Games Workshop Group PLC is a British miniature wargaming manufacturing company based in Nottingham, England. Games Workshop is best known as developer and publisher of the tabletop wargames Warhammer Age of Sigmar, Warhammer 40,000,The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game and The Hobbit Strategy Battle Game. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

West End Games (WEG) was a company that made board, role-playing, and war games. It was founded by Daniel Scott Palter in 1974 in New York City, but later moved to Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Its current and past product lines include Star Wars, Paranoia, Torg, DC Universe, and Junta.

He worked some time for MicroProse, where he is credited for work on Sid Meier's Pirates! and Sword of the Samurai . [3] Between 1989 and 1992 he also worked on the video games Darklands , Hyperspeed , and Lightspeed . He also made some contributions to Civilization [ citation needed ].

MicroProse American video game company

MicroProse Software Inc. was an American video game publisher and developer founded by Bill Stealey and Sid Meier in 1982. It developed and published numerous games, many of which are regarded as groundbreaking, classics and cult titles, including starting the Civilization and X-COM series. Most of their internally developed titles were vehicle simulation and strategy games.

<i>Sid Meiers Pirates!</i> 1987

Sid Meier’s Pirates! is a video game created by Sid Meier and developed and published by MicroProse in 1987. It was the first game to include the name "Sid Meier" in its title as an effort by MicroProse to attract fans of Meier's earlier games, most of which were combat vehicle simulation video games. The game is a simulation of the life of a pirate, a privateer, or a pirate hunter in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

Video game electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer monitor

A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.

Primarily interested by the first-person shooter Wolfenstein 3D , Petersen joined id Software about 10 weeks before the December 1993 release of Doom and in that time created 19 levels for it (of which 8 were based to some extent on early drafts by Tom Hall). He later created 17 of the levels for Doom II , and 7 levels for Quake . His Lovecraftian influences also resulted in some changes to the monster designs for these games.

First-person shooter video game genre centered around gun and other weapon-based combat in a first-person perspective

First-person shooter (FPS) is a video game genre centered around gun and other weapon-based combat in a first-person perspective; that is, the player experiences the action through the eyes of the protagonist. The genre shares common traits with other shooter games, which in turn makes it fall under the heading action game. Since the genre's inception, advanced 3D and pseudo-3D graphics have challenged hardware development, and multiplayer gaming has been integral.

<i>Wolfenstein 3D</i> video game

Wolfenstein 3D is a first-person shooter video game developed by id Software and published by Apogee Software and FormGen. Originally released on May 5, 1992 for MS-DOS, it was inspired by the 1981 Muse Software video game Castle Wolfenstein, and is the third installment in the Wolfenstein series. In Wolfenstein 3D, the player assumes the role of Allied spy William "B.J." Blazkowicz during World War II as he escapes from the Nazi German prison Castle Wolfenstein and carries out a series of crucial missions against the Nazis. The player traverses each of the game's levels to find an elevator to the next level or kill a final boss, fighting Nazi soldiers, dogs, and other enemies with knives and a variety of guns.

id Software American video game development company

id Software LLC is an American video game developer based in Dallas, Texas. The company was founded on February 1, 1991, by four members of the computer company Softdisk, programmers John Carmack and John Romero, game designer Tom Hall, and artist Adrian Carmack. Business manager Jay Wilbur was also involved.

He left id Software for Ensemble Studios in June 1997. [4] There, he has worked as a game designer on several of their Age of Empires titles, including Rise of Rome , Age of Kings , and The Conquerors . [3] During this time, he was a frequent poster on the HeavenGames forums under the username ES_Sandyman. He ran an extremely popular series of threads, "Ask Sandyman", where forum members could ask him about anything they wanted.

Petersen was the Executive Producer for the movie The Whisperer in Darkness (2011) which was nominated for awards at the Chicago and Warsaw International Film Festivals. It was produced by H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society Motion Pictures in the style of a 1930s black and white horror movie.

He currently[ when? ] serves as the publisher of horror magazine Arcane: Penny Dreadfuls for the 21st Century. [5]

Petersen took a professorship at The Guildhall at SMU in 2009 following the closure of Ensemble Studios, where he taught several courses on game design. [6]

Petersen worked at Barking Lizards Technologies as their Creative Director, after leaving The Guildhall, and worked on their iOS release, Osiris Legends .

In mid-2013 Petersen led a highly successful Kickstarter campaign by his company, Green Eye Games, to produce the Cthulhu Wars boardgame. Over US$1,400,000 was raised achieving over 3,500% of the initial target. This success allowed the creation of more figures (60), map expansions and additional scenario options. In most, if not all, previous Cthulhu games "you strive to avert the impending catastrophe. But in Cthulhu Wars you ARE the catastrophe! The Great Old Ones have returned to claim the ruins of Earth, and you are one of them!". [7] Green Eye Games also produced the unsuccessful kickstarter Cthulhu World Combat (iOS, Android, Windows, PSN, Xbox Live). [8] [9] [10]

In June 2015, it was announced that Petersen and Greg Stafford had returned to Chaosium Inc. [11]

Personal life

Petersen is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but sees no conflict between his faith and his design of games involving Satanic elements. While working on Doom, he said to John Romero: "I have no problems with the demons in the game. They're just cartoons. And, anyway, they're the bad guys." [12]

Sandy is married, has five children, and nine grandchildren. [13]


Video games

Role-playing games

Board games


See also

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  1. Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 86. ISBN   978-1-907702-58-7.
  2. Petersen, Sandy (September 1993). "Eye of the Monitor". Dragon (197): 57–62.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Petersen, Sandy (2007). "Up Front". In Lowder, James. Hobby Games: The 100 Best. Green Ronin Publishing. pp. 341–344. ISBN   978-1-932442-96-0.
  4. Feldman, Curt (July 9, 1997). "Ensemble's Second Title Picks Up Speed". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on December 3, 1998. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  5. Arcane: Penny Dreadfuls for the 21st Century.
  6. The Guildhall at SMU Faculty, Guildhall @ SMU Faculty Biographies.
  8. Barking Lizards Management Team.
  10. Archived 2012-11-21 at the Wayback Machine
  11. Stafford, Greg (2015-06-02). "GREG STAFFORD & SANDY PETERSEN REJOIN CHAOSIUM INC" . Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  12. Kushner, David (2003). Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture . p. 144.