Game Designers' Workshop

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Game Designers' Workshop
Former type Corporation (1973-1996)
Industry Wargame and Role-playing game publisher
Founded June 22, 1973
Defunct February 29, 1996
Headquarters Normal, Illinois USA
Key people Frank Chadwick, Rich Banner, Marc Miller, Loren Wiseman
Products Traveller

Game Designers' Workshop (GDW) was a wargame and role-playing game publisher from 1973 to 1996.[1] Many of their games are now carried by other publishers.[2]

History[edit]

Game Designers' Workshop was originally established June 22, 1973. The founding members consisted of Frank Chadwick, Rich Banner, Marc Miller, and Loren Wiseman.

GDW published a new product approximately every twenty-two days for over twenty years. In an effort of bridging the gap existing between the milieux of role players, board wargamers and miniature wargamers, the company published RPGs with fantastic settings alongside ones with realistic or military themes, as well as rulesets about WW2, WW1, modern warfare and the American Civil War (meant to be used with 15mm or 20mm miniatures) and board-based wargames such as the Air Superiority series or Harpoon.

The company disbanded February 29, 1996 after suffering financial troubles. Designers working for the company attributed a part of GDW's failure as burn-out. Miller stated in interviews that the closure was voluntary, resulting from burnout after years of producing games very rapidly, a pace that he believed that they could not sustain in the long term.[3] "Everybody was just very happy to move on."[4]

Products[edit]

Role-playing games[edit]

Board Games[edit]

Game Year Designer Category Notes
1940 1980 Frank Chadwick wargame Series 120
1941 1981 John Astell wargame Series 120
1942 1978 Marc Miller wargame Series 120
1815: The Waterloo Campaign 1975 (2nd ed. 1982) Frank Chadwick wargame
8th Army: Operation Crusader 1984 Frank Chadwick wargame Double Blind series
Battle of Agincourt - 1415 AD 1978 Marc Miller wargame Series 120
Air Strike 1987 JD Webster wargame Air Superiority series
Air Superiority 1987 JD Webster wargame Air Superiority series
Battle of Alma 1978 Frank Chadwick wargame Series 120
Arctic Front 1985 Frank Chadwick wargame The Third World War series
Assault 1983 Frank Chadwick wargame Assault series
Asteroid 1980 Frank Chadwick sci-fi Series 120
Attack in the Ardennes 1982 Frank Chadwick wargame
Avalanche 1976 Frank Chadwick wargame
Azhanti High Lightning 1980 Marc Miller sci-fi Charles S. Roberts Award winner
Bar-Lev 1977 Frank Chadwick wargame
Battle for Basra 1991 Frank Chadwick wargame First Battle series
Battle Rider 1994 Frank Chadwick sci-fi
Battlefield Europe 1990 Frank Chadwick wargame First Battle series
Beda Fomm 1979 Frank Chadwick wargame Series 120
Belter 1979 Frank Chadwick sci-fi
Blood & Thunder 1992 Frank Chadwick wargame First Battle series
Bloodtree Rebellion 1979 Lynn Willis sci-fi
Bloody Kasserine 1992 Frank Chadwick wargame
Blue Max 1983 Phil Hall wargame
Boots & Saddles 1984 Frank Chadwick wargame Assault series
Brilliant Lances 1993 David Nilsen sci-fi
Bundeswehr 1986 Frank Chadwick wargame Assault series
Burma 1976 Bob Fowler wargame
Case White 1977 Frank Chadwick wargame Europa series game VII
Chaco 1973 Marc Miller wargame
Chieftain 1988 Frank Chadwick wargame Assault series
Citadel 1977 Frank Chadwick wargame
Coral Sea 1974 (2nd ed. 1976) Marc Miller wargame
Crimea 1975 Frank Chadwick wargame
Dark Nebula 1980 Marc Miller sci-fi Series 120
Desert Falcons 1989 JD Webster wargame Air Superiority series
Double Star 1979 Marc Miller sci-fi
Drang Nach Osten 1973 Frank Chadwick wargame Europa series game I
Eagles 1974 Loren Wiseman wargame
En Garde! 1975 (2nd ed. 1977) Darryl Hany rpg
Eylau 1980 Rik Fontana wargame
The Fall of France 1981 John Astell wargame Europa series game VIII
The Fall of Tobruk 1978 Frank Chadwick wargame
Fifth Frontier War 1981 Marc Miller sci-fi
Fire in the East 1984 John Astell wargame Europa series game I
Great Patriotic War 1988 Frank Chadwick wargame
Guilford Courthouse 1978 Greg Novak wargame Series 120
Harpoon 1987 Larry Bond wargame
Harpoon: Captain's Edition 1990 Larry Bond wargame
A House Divided 1981 (2nd ed. 1989) Frank Chadwick wargame 2 time Charles S. Roberts Award winner
Illad 1978 Rik Fontana sci-fi
Imperium 1977 Marc Miller sci-fi
Indian Ocean Adventure 1978 Marc Miller wargame
Invasion Earth 1981 Marc Miller sci-fi
Kasserine Pass 1977 Frank Chadwick wargame
La Bataille de la Moskowa 1977 & 1988 John Harshman wargame
Last Battle 1989 Tim Ryan rpg
The Battle of Lobositz 1978 Frank Chadwick wargame Series 120
Manassas 1975 (2nd ed. 1976) Tom Eller wargame
Marita-Merkur 1978 Rich Banner wargame Europa series game III
Mayday 1978 Marc Miller sci-fi Charles S. Roberts Award winner
Battle for Midway 1976 Marc Miller wargame
Battle for Moscow 1986 Frank Chadwick wargame
Narvik 1974 (2nd ed. 1980) Frank Chadwick wargame Europa series game IV
The Near East 1983 John Astell wargame Europa series game IX
The Normandy Campaign 1983 Ben Knight wargame Double Blind series
Operation Crusader 1978 Frank Chadwick wargame
Operation Market Garden 1985 Frank Chadwick wargame Double Blind series
Operation Crusader 1978 Frank Chadwick wargame
Over the Top 1990 Greg Novak wargame Command Decision series rules
Overlord 1978 Frank Chadwick wargame
Pearl Harbor 1977 (2nd ed. 1979) John Prados wargame
Persian Gulf 1986 Frank Chadwick wargame The Third World War series
Pharsalus 1977 Loren Wiseman wargame
Phase Line Smash 1992 Frank Chadwick wargame solitaire game
Port Arthur 1976 Marc Miller wargame
The Battle of Prague 1980 Frank Chadwick wargame Series 120
The Race for Tunis 1992 Frank Chadwick wargame
The Battle of Raphia 217 BC 1977 Marc Miller wargame Series 120
Red Army 1982 John Astell wargame
Red Empire 1990 Frank Chadwick wargame
Red Star / White Eagle 1979 Dave Williams wargame
Reinforcements 1985 Frank Chadwick wargame Assault series
Road to the Rhine 1979 Frank Chadwick wargame
The Sands of War Expansion Kit 1992 Frank Chadwick wargame First Battle series
The Sands of War 1991 Frank Chadwick wargame First Battle series
Scorched Earth 1987 John Astell wargame Europa series game II
Snapshot 1979 Marc Miller sci-fi
Soldier King 1982 Frank Chadwick wargame
Southern Front 1984 Frank Chadwick wargame The Third World War series
Spain & Portugal 1984 Frank Chadwick wargame Europa series game X
Suez '73 1981 Frank Chadwick wargame
SSN 1975 Stephen Newberg wargame
Stand & Die 1991 Frank Chadwick wargame First Battle series
Tacforce 1980 Frank Chadwick wargame miniatures rules
Team Yankee 1987 Frank Chadwick wargame First Battle series
Test of Arms 1988 Larry Smith wargame First Battle series
Tet Offensive: 1968 1991 Frank Chadwick wargame
Their Finest Hour 1976 Marc Miller wargame Europa series game V
Their Finest Hour 1982 & 1984 John Astell wargame Europa series game V
The Third World War 1984 Frank Chadwick wargame The Third World War series
Torch 1985 John Astell wargame Europa series game XI
Torgau 1974 Frank Chadwick wargame
Trenchfoot 1981 Frank Chadwick wargame
Triplanetary 1973 (2nd ed. 1981) Marc Miller sci-fi
Tsushima 1976 Marc Miller wargame
Unentshieden 1973 Frank Chadwick wargame Europa series game II
Verdun 1978 Marc Miller wargame
Western Desert 1983 John Astell wargame Europa series game VI
White Death 1979 Frank Chadwick wargame
Yalu 1978 John Hill wargame

Miniatures rules[edit]

  • Fire & Steel (Napoleonic Wars)
  • Harpoon (modern naval combat), later developed into a computer game
  • Johnny Reb (American Civil War)
  • Striker (science fiction, 1983), another Traveller based game.
  • Command Decision (20th Century Warfare, WWII)
  • Combined Arms (Cold War, post-WWII)
  • TacForce (20th Century Warfare)
  • Over the Top (20th Century WWI)
  • Star Cruiser (23rd Century Space Warfare) a 2300AD based game
  • Sky Galleons of Mars (Space 1889 aerial Warfare)
  • Soldier's Companion (Space 1889 land, air and sea warfare)

Grenadier Magazine[edit]

The Grenadier was the house magazine from 1978 to 1990, with 35 issues. It started off as a quarterly magazine, but towards the end was published sporadically. Although it covered games from all companies, it gave most of the magazine space to GDW games.

Journal of the Travellers Aid Society[edit]

Journal of the Travellers Aid Society was a magazine dedicated to Traveller published by GDW between 1979 and 1985.

Challenge[edit]

Challenge was a role-playing game magazine that replaced Journal of the Travellers Aid Society. It covered all of GDW's role playing games, not just Traveller. It was published between 1986 and 1996.

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jason Weesner (2007-01-11). "On Game Design: A History of Video Games". Game Career Guide. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  2. ^ "Far Future Enterprises - Home". Far Future Enterprises. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  3. ^ DiceCast Special Holiday Interview Episode [1] (by Polymancer Studios). Podcast, includes interview with Marc Miller
  4. ^ "Spotlight On: The Original Designer of the Traveller Roleplaying Game. An Interview WIth Marc Miller." Polymancer magazine, Volume 2, Issue #10. pp 37-42.
  5. ^ "1976 List of Winners Presented at Origins 1977". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  6. ^ a b "1978 List of Winners Presented at Origins 1979". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  7. ^ a b c d "1979 List of Winners Presented at Origins 1980". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  8. ^ a b c d "1980 List of Winners Presented at Origins 1981". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  9. ^ a b c "1981 List of Winners Presented at Origins 1982". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  10. ^ "1982 List of Winners Presented at Origins 1983". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  11. ^ "1984 List of Winners Presented at Origins 1985". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  12. ^ a b "1986 List of Winners Presented at Origins 1987". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  13. ^ a b c "1987 List of Winners Presented at Origins 1988". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  14. ^ a b c "1988 List of Winners Presented at Origins 1989". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2007-09-14.