Erick Wujcik

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Erick Wujcik
Born (1951-01-26)January 26, 1951[1]
Died June 7, 2008(2008-06-07) (aged 57)[2]:270
San Rafael, California
Occupation Author, editor, game designer, graphic artist, programmer
Period 1979–2007
Genre Fantasy, science fiction
Subject Computer programming, East Asian culture
Notable works After the Bomb
Amber Diceless RPG
Ninjas & Superspies
Revised RECON
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness
Notable awards ENnie Award
2008 Lifetime Achievement
Origins Award
2011 Hall of Fame
Partner Kathryn Kozora

Erick A. Wujcik (January 26, 1951 – June 7, 2008) was an American designer of both pen-and-paper and computer role-playing games, and co-founder of Palladium Books.

Gaming career[edit]

Wujcik started off as head of the gaming society at Wayne State University, known as the Wayne Street Weregamers, where he met and befriended Kevin Siembieda.[2]:155 By 1980 the Wayne Weregamers became known as the Detroit Gaming Center, and Wujcik and Siembieda moved the group from the Monteith House (scheduled for demolition) to an off-campus building run by a non-profit; Siembieda became Assistant Director for the Center with Wujcik as Director.[2]:155 Wujcik published the science-fiction adventure Sector 57 (1980) under the Detroit Gaming Center banner.[2]:268 Wujcik worked as a computer columnist for The Detroit News where he wrote their weekly Computer Column from 1979 to 1981. That served to be a springboard for him to co-found Palladium Books alongside Kevin Siembieda and work on developing numerous role-playing games and supplements for such settings as Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness, After the Bomb, Rifts, and many others, including Amber Diceless Roleplaying Game and Paranoia.

Siembieda got the rights to produce a licensed roleplaying game based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book, but he did not approve of the freelancer's final product so he had Wujcik redesign the game in five weeks, and it was published as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness (1985).[2]:158 Wujcik designed Revised Recon (1987), a role-playing game revision of the miniatures warfare game Recon (1982).[2]:159 Wujcik also designed the Ninjas & Superspies role-playing game (1988), which built on his long-term interest in Japan and involved extensive research on his part.[2]:159 Wujcik also wrote the RPG After the Bomb for Palladium.[2]:268 He also freelanced for West End Games, and wrote one of the early adventures for the Paranoia roleplaying game, Clones in Space (1986) and contributed to the Acute Paranoia (1986) supplement.[2]:268

While working at West End Games, Wujcik discovered that the company held a license for Roger Zelazny's Amber novels, which were among Wujcik's favorites, and offered to design an Amber RPG game even through West End would not guarantee to publish it.[2]:268 While playtesting the game, Wujcik found that it worked better without dice, but West End did not agree, so he acquired the RPG rights to Amber.[2]:269 He began developing the game for R. Talsorian Games in the early 1990s, but encountered creative differences there as well.[2]:210 Siembieda encouraged Wujcik to set up his own company to publish the game, and Wujcik founded Phage Press, hiring his cousins Lisa Seymour and Ron Seymour to deal with the business side of the company.[2]:269 Amber Diceless Roleplaying was finally published in November 1991 by Phage Press.[2]:269 Wujcik did not like the manuscripts submitted for the game's supplement Shadow Knight (1993), so he rewrote the book himself.[2]:269 James Wallis brought his Bugtown game to Phage to be produced, but creative differences kept Wujcik from agreeing with him so Wallis pulled out of Phage in 1994 and created Hogshead Publishing; in 1996, Wujcik convinced Matt Howarth to relicense the Bugtown rights to him, although Wujcik never actually published a game based on the comic.[2]:269 Wujcik wrote the book Mystic China (1995) for Palladium.[2]:270

Wujcik was also the founder of the gaming convention known as Ambercon.[citation needed] In 1997 he went to work for Sierra Studios and was lead game designer on the game Return to Krondor (1998).[2]:270 He also served as a game designer at Outrage Entertainment for the game Alter Echo.

Wujcik served as chief editor of Amberzine, a fanzine for the Amber Diceless Roleplaying Game, publishing the work of such notables as Ray Bradbury, Henry Kuttner, and Roger Zelazny. He was also an editorial contractor for the Detroit Historical Museum, and gave seminars on a wide range of topics related to the writing, design and development of role-playing games.

At the end of 2004, Wujcik licensed the rights to Amber Diceless Role-playing to Guardians of Order.[2]:270

From 2004 to 2006, Wujcik was Game Design Studio Manager for UbiSoft China, in Shanghai.

Until his death in June 2008, Wujcik was Senior Game Designer and Writer for Totally Games, located in Marin County, California.

Illness and death[edit]

On December 22, 2007, it was announced that Wujcik had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.[3] The same day, Kevin Siembieda set up a website for well-wishers to leave Wujcik messages:

Erick Wujcik, age 56, is dying of cancer. Until a few weeks ago, Erick was healthy and doing fine. He was enjoying his work at Totally Games, a videogame company, when he thought he had come down with the flu. When he couldn't shake it, he went to the doctors. The diagnosis was unexpected, to say the least. Pancreatic cancer that had spread to his liver. There was no advance warning. It was a shock. Erick presses forward with the willful exuberance he has exhibited all his life.[4]

In his final months, chemotherapy treatments had failed to eradicate Wujcik's cancer and were halted. He entered hospice care in his home in San Rafael, California.[5]

On June 6, 2008, Kevin Siembieda released an update on Erick's condition:

I'm sorry to report that Erick is quite ill now and suffering from the consequences of a failing liver. His deteriorating condition is not a surprise, but it is unwelcomed. Erick has beat the odds and fooled the doctors – fooled everyone – by lasting as long as he has, but then Erick has always been full of surprises and magic. But even the power of the "Wuj" has its limits, and I fear it won't be long now.[6]

Erick Wujcik died the following day, June 7, 2008.[7]

Awards and honors[edit]

In August 2008, the first – and, to date, only – Liftetime Achievement ENnies were given out during the awards ceremony at Gen Con. Along with Dungeons & Dragons creators Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax, Erick Wujcik was recognized for his contributions to the gaming industry.[8] However, being aware of his diagnosis and uncertain of his prognosis, EN World decided to present Wujcik with his award on January 26, 2008, at a gathering of family and friends to celebrate his 57th birthday.[9] Kevin Siembieda later offered remarks in remembrance of Wujcik at the official ceremony.

Wujcik was also inducted into the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design Hall of Fame by the Game Manufacturers Association at the 37th Origins Awards on June 25, 2011.[10]

Bibliography[edit]

Palladium Books[edit]

After the Bomb[edit]

Beyond the Supernatural[edit]

  • McCall, R.; Siembieda, K. & Wujcik, E. (October 1987). Beyond the Supernatural: A Role-Playing Game of Contemporary Horror (1st ed.). ISBN 978-0-916211-18-9.  [Out of Print] – "Victim rules" and additional text.
  • Siembieda, K.; Long, K.; Wujcik, E. & Garwood, B. (October 1990). Boxed Nightmares: An Adventure Sourcebook for Beyond the Supernatural. ISBN 978-0-916211-41-7.  [Out of Print] – Additional text and ideas.

Heroes Unlimited[edit]

  • Long, K.; Siembieda, K.; Sheiring, S.; Marciniszyn, A.; Rosenstein, J.; Wujcik, E.; Gustovich, M. & Donald-Siembieda, A. (May 1992). Villains Unlimited: A Sourcebook for Heroes Unlimited (1st ed.). ISBN 978-0-916211-49-3.  [Out of Print] – Additional text.
  • Siembieda, K.; Breaux, W., Jr.; Wujcik, E.; Long, K.; Oliver, A. & Trustrum, S. (March 1998). Heroes Unlimited, Revised Second Edition. ISBN 978-1-57457-006-9.  – Additional text and concepts.

Martial arts[edit]

Mechanoid Invasion[edit]

  • Siembieda, K. (April 1981). The Mechanoid Invasion.  [Out of Print] – Tunnel designs.
  • Siembieda, K. & Wujcik, E. (December 1985). The Mechanoids. ISBN 978-0-916211-13-4.  [Out of Print] – Adventure scenarios.

Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game[edit]

  • Siembieda, K. & Wujcik, E. (June 1984). The Palladium Role-Playing Game (Rev. ed.). ISBN 978-0-916211-04-2.  [Out of Print] – "Gersidi" adventure scenario.
  • Siembieda, K. (November 1984). The Palladium Role-Playing Game Book II: Old Ones (1st ed.). ISBN 978-0-916211-09-7.  [Out of Print] – "Special thanks" for help with "Place of Magic" adventure scenario and map designs.
  • Siembieda, K.; Balent, M. & Wujcik, E. (July 1985). Monsters and Animals (1st ed.). ISBN 978-0-916211-12-7.  [Out of Print] – Assistant monster designer.
  • Siembieda, K.; Jacques, C.; Cartier, R.; McCall, R.; Marciniszyn, A. & Wujcik, E. (May 1987). The Palladium Role-Playing Game Book III: Adventures on the High Seas (1st ed.). ISBN 978-0-916211-17-2.  [Out of Print] – Additional text.
  • Bartold, T.; Boucher, G. S.; Davies, K.; Gomez, J.; Long, K.; Marciniszyn, A.; Siembieda, K. & Wujcik, E. (October 1989). The Palladium Role-Playing Game Book IV: Adventures in the Northern Wilderness. ISBN 978-0-916211-39-4.  [Out of Print]
  • Siembieda, K. & Wujcik, E. (December 1996). Dragons & Gods: A Sourcebook for the Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game, Second Edition. ISBN 978-0-916211-98-1. 
  • Siembieda, K.; Wujcik, E.; Cartier, R.; Marciniszyn, A.; Jacques, C. & McCall, R. (December 1996). Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game Book III: Adventures on the High Seas (2nd ed.). ISBN 978-0-916211-17-2.  – Contributing author, editor.
  • Wujcik, E.; Siembieda, K.; Coffin, B.; Bartold, T.; Marciniszyn, A.; Jacques, C. & Long, K. (February 2003). Wolfen Empire Adventure Sourcebook. ISBN 978-1-57457-063-2. 

Revised RECON[edit]

  • Wujcik, E.; Siembieda, K.; Balent, M. & Siembieda, M. (June 1986). The Revised RECON. ISBN 978-0-916211-19-6.  [Out of Print] – Revised rules and additional text.
  • Wujcik, E. (February 1987). Advanced RECON: Supplemental Rules and Adventures. ISBN 978-0-916211-24-0.  [Out of Print] – Author, maps.
  • Wujcik, E.; Siembieda, K.; Balent, M. & Siembieda, M. (April 1999). Deluxe Revised RECON. ISBN 978-1-57457-023-6.  – Lead author, maps.

Rifts[edit]

  • Siembieda, K.; Nowak, P. & Carella, C. J. (July 1995). Rifts World Book Eight: Japan. ISBN 978-0-916211-88-2.  – Special consultant.
  • Siembieda, K.; Coffin, B.; Breaux, W., Jr. et al. (September 2001). Coffin, B. & Siembieda, K, eds. Rifts Game Master Guide. ISBN 978-1-57457-067-0.  – Selected material.
  • Siembieda, K.; Coffin, B.; Wujcik, E. et al. (February 2002). Rifts Adventure Guide. ISBN 978-1-57457-072-4.  – Additional text and "words of wisdom".
  • Siembieda, K.; Wujcik, E.; Smith, W.; Dudley, M. & Clark, B. C. (January 2004). Rifts World Book 24: China 1—The Yama Kings. ISBN 978-1-57457-094-6. 
  • Wujcik, E.; Siembieda, K.; Gleba, C. & Yoho, T. (August 2004). Rifts World Book 25: China 2—Heroes of the Celestial Court. ISBN 978-1-57457-095-3. 
  • Siembieda, K.; Bellaire, C.; Therrien, S.; Ward, T. & Wujcik, E. (August 2005). Rifts Role-Playing Game, Ultimate Edition. ISBN 978-1-57457-150-9.  – Additional text and ideas.

Robotech[edit]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles[edit]

The Rifter[edit]

  • Wujcik, E. (January 1998). "The Name Giver". In Smith, W. The Rifter: Sourcebook and Guide to the Palladium Megaverse (1): 8–12. ISBN 978-1-57457-009-0.  [Out of Print]
  • Wujcik, E. (April 1998). "Thinking Big". In Smith, W. The Rifter (2): 8–10. ISBN 978-1-57457-012-0.  [Out of Print]
  • Wujcik, E. (February 2006). "The Name Giver" and "Thinking Big". In Smith, W. Best of "The Rifter": 9–16. ISBN 978-1-57457-160-8.  – Reprinted from Issues 1 and 2.
  • Smith, W., ed. (July 2008). The Rifter (43). ISBN 978-1-57457-135-6.  – Special tribute issue.

Phage Press[edit]

West End Games[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VSQG-M38 : accessed 08 Oct 2013), Erick A Wujcik, 7 June 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7. 
  3. ^ Siembieda, K. (December 22, 2007). "Darkening clouds and tear soaked smiles". Murmurs from the Megaverse. Taylor, MI: Palladium Books. Retrieved August 6, 2011. 
  4. ^ Siembieda, K. (December 22, 2007). "Erick Wujcik". Erick Wujcik: One of the Great Game Designers. WordPress. Retrieved December 22, 2007. 
  5. ^ Siembieda, K. (April 11, 2008). "Palladium Books Press Release". Westland, MI: Palladium Books. Archived from the original on August 2, 2008. Retrieved August 27, 2011. 
  6. ^ Siembieda, K. (June 6, 2008). "Erick Wujcik's health is in fast decline". Murmurs from the Megaverse. Westland, MI: Palladium Books. Retrieved June 7, 2008. 
  7. ^ Siembieda, K. (June 8, 2008). "My friend, Erick Wujcik, has passed on". Murmurs from the Megaverse. Westland, MI: Palladium Books. Retrieved June 8, 2008. 
  8. ^ "2008 Nominees and Winners". ENnie Awards: History of Winners. Seattle, WA: Gen Con. Retrieved May 21, 2012. 
  9. ^ Siembieda, K. (January 29, 2008). "Erick's Birthday". Erick Wujcik: One of the Great Game Designers. WordPress. Retrieved August 27, 2011. 
  10. ^ Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design. "Origins Awards: Hall of Fame Inductees". Columbus, OH: Game Manufacturers Association. Retrieved May 21, 2012. 

External links[edit]