Sandy Petersen in May 2004
Carl Sanford Joslyn Petersen
September 16, 1955
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.
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. 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, and many scenarios and background pieces thereafter. 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 ]
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, 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.
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.Petersen served as co-designer for West End Games's Ghostbusters roleplaying game. 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 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 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 . [ citation needed ].Between 1989 and 1992 he also worked on the video games Darklands , Hyperspeed , and Lightspeed . He also made some contributions to Civilization
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.
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.
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 (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.
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 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.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 . 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.
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.
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!".Green Eye Games also produced the unsuccessful kickstarter Cthulhu World Combat (iOS, Android, Windows, PSN, Xbox Live).
In June 2015, it was announced that Petersen and Greg Stafford had returned to Chaosium Inc.
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."
Sandy is married, has five children, and nine grandchildren.
Basic Role-Playing (BRP) is a role-playing game system which originated in the RuneQuest fantasy role-playing game. The BRP standalone booklet was first released in 1980 in the boxed set release of the second edition of RuneQuest. Greg Stafford and Lynn Willis are credited as the authors. A percentile skill-based system, BRP was used as the basis for most of the games published by Chaosium, including Call of Cthulhu, Stormbringer, and Elfquest.
Call of Cthulhu is a horror fiction role-playing game based on H. P. Lovecraft's story of the same name and the associated Cthulhu Mythos. The game, often abbreviated as CoC, is published by Chaosium; it was first released in 1981 and is currently in its seventh edition, with many different versions released. It makes use of Chaosium's Basic Role-Playing (BRP) system, with special rules for Sanity.
Chaosium Inc. is one of the oldest publishers of role-playing games still in existence. Established by Greg Stafford in 1975, its first title was the board game White Bear and Red Moon, set in Stafford's fictional fantasy gaming world of Glorantha. Over the years Chaosium has published many acclaimed and award-winning games. These include the roleplaying games RuneQuest, set in Glorantha, and Call of Cthulhu, based on the stories of H.P. Lovecraft.
RuneQuest is a fantasy role-playing game first published in 1978 by Chaosium, created by Steve Perrin and set in Greg Stafford's mythical world of Glorantha. RuneQuest is notable for its system, designed around percentile dice and with an early implementation of skill rules, which became the basis of numerous other games. There have been several editions of the game.
Cthulhu is a fictional cosmic entity created by writer H. P. Lovecraft and first introduced in the short story "The Call of Cthulhu", published in the American pulp magazine Weird Tales in 1928. Considered a Great Old One within the pantheon of Lovecraftian cosmic entities, the creature has since been featured in numerous popular culture references. Lovecraft depicts Cthulhu as a gigantic entity worshipped by cultists. Cthulhu's appearance is described as looking like an octopus, a dragon, and a caricature of human form. Its name was given to the Lovecraft-inspired universe where it and its fellow entities existed, the Cthulhu Mythos.
Stephen Herbert Perrin, often simply known as Steve Perrin, is a game designer and technical writer/editor.
Francis Gregory Stafford, usually known as Greg Stafford, was an American game designer, publisher, and practitioner of shamanism.
David Allen Hargrave, known as The Dream Weaver, was a prolific and sometimes controversial game designer and writer of fantasy and science fiction role-playing games (RPGs). Hargrave's most notable written works were based upon his own mythical world of Arduin.
The Elder Sign is an icon in the Cthulhu Mythos, whose stories describe it as a form of protection against evil forces. Although not described in Lovecraft's work, he illustrated it in correspondence as a line with five branches. Mythos writer August Derleth described the Elder Sign as a warped, five-pointed star with a flaming pillar in its center, and it is this interpretation which has become the most popular in subsequent Mythos literature.
Unaussprechlichen Kulten is a fictional book of arcane literature in the Cthulhu Mythos. The book first appeared in Robert E. Howard's short stories "The Children of the Night" (1931) and "The Black Stone" (1931) as Nameless Cults. Like the Necronomicon, it was later mentioned in several stories by H. P. Lovecraft.
Lovecraft Country is a term coined by Keith Herber for the New England setting, combining real and fictitious locations, used by H. P. Lovecraft in many of his weird fiction stories, and later elaborated by other writers working in the Cthulhu Mythos. The term was popularized by Chaosium, the producers of the Lovecraftian role-playing game Call of Cthulhu. Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi refers to the area as the "Miskatonic region", after its fictional river and university, while Lovecraft biographer Lin Carter calls it Miskatonic County, though Lovecraft indicates that at least some of his fictional towns were located in the real-life Essex County of Massachusetts.
Lovecraftian horror is a subgenre of horror fiction that emphasizes the cosmic horror of the unknown more than gore or other elements of shock. It is named after American author H. P. Lovecraft (1890–1937), who is largely credited as the first author to pioneer the genre.
Kenneth Hite is a writer and role-playing game designer. Hite is the author of Trail of Cthulhu and Night's Black Agents role-playing games, and lead designer of the 5th edition of Vampire: the Masquerade.
Lynn Willis was a wargame and role-playing game designer, best known for his work with Metagaming Concepts, Game Designers' Workshop (GDW), and Chaosium.
Marcus L. Rowland is an English retired laboratory technician and an important figure in gaming, particularly with regard to games with Victorian era content.
The Tentacles Convention was an international role-playing game convention held annually at Stahleck Castle in Germany on Pentecost. Tentacles was dedicated to games set in Glorantha such as HeroQuest and RuneQuest, as well as Call of Cthulhu, Stormbringer and Hawkmoon.
Jennell Jaquays, née Paul Jaquays, is an American game designer and artist of table-top role-playing games (RPGs) and video games. Her notable works include the Dungeons & Dragons modules "Dark Tower" and "Caverns of Thracia" for Judges Guild; the development and design of conversions on games such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong for Coleco's home arcade video game system; and more recent design work, including the Age of Empires series, Quake 2, and Quake III Arena. Some of her best known works as a fantasy artist are the cover illustration for TSR's Dragon Mountain adventure.
Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land is a Lovecraftian horror tactical role-playing game developed by British studio Red Wasp Design in conjunction with Chaosium. The game was released in 2012, for iOS in January, for PC in May, and for Android in June.
Charlie Krank is a game designer who has worked primarily on role-playing games.
Christian T. Petersen is a game designer who has worked primarily on board games and role-playing games.