Marc W. Miller
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|Marc W. Miller|
Marc Miller in 2009
After serving in the U.S. Army, Marc Miller continued his studies in Illinois State University in 1972 about the G.I. Bill.:53 While he attended, he joined the ISU Game Club, which was created by Rich Banner and Frank Chadwick.:53 Banner made a grant which funded the printing of blank hex sheets (suitable for making wargame maps). The three, plus new members Loren Wiseman and John Harshman, began drafting a variety of designs. Some of these designs were derivatives of games existing at the time, with generic names like Guerre and Swamp, while others were original concepts like Triplanetary.
In 1973, after being convinced by Miller, Chadwick and Banner, along with Illinois State University created SimRAD (Simulation Research, Analysis, and Design), which designed games for implementation in the college classroom under a program to fund educational innovation.:53 At about the same time, Miller, Chadwick, Banner, and Wiseman decided to publish a massive World War II simulation game, and conceived and created Game Designers' Workshop as their publishing company.:53 When university funding dried up for SimRAD, the three shifted their attention to the commercial sector.
Game Designers' Workshop
Game Designers' Workshop was formed on June 22, 1973, and was initially headquartered in Miller and Chadwick's apartment.:53 In that year, GDW published Drang Nach Osten, the first of its Europa Series on World War II, and in 1975 GDW published Triplanetary by Miller and Harshman.:53 In 1974, the company published five new titles, including Coral Sea, based on the World War II naval battle, and Chaco, based on the 1930s war between Bolivia and Paraguay, by Miller. Miller designed Traveller with help from Chadwick, Harshman, and Wiseman, and the game was published in 1977.:54 During his tenure at GDW, Miller designed a total of 74 games and products, an average of one every four months, including Imperium, MegaTraveller, and 2300 AD.
Miller wrote a letter to the company Digest Group Publications in 1987, asking them to help him make Traveller material more accessible.:205 While the material DGP produced has gone unused, Miller has expressly forbidden his licensors from referencing the material, due to his concerns over copyright issues.:206
Miller left GDW in 1991.:60 GDW closed its doors on February 29, 1996. Miller stated in interviews that this closure was voluntary, resulting from burnout after years of producing games very rapidly, a pace that he believed they could not sustain in the long term. "Everybody was just very happy to move on."
Marc Miller received the rights to Traveller, Twilight: 2000, and 2300AD, and formed a new company called Far Future Enterprises with himself as its head to hold the rights to these games.:63 Miller partnered with Sweetpea Entertainment to license his science-fiction property in exchange for funding to get Imperium Games running in February 1996, as a new publisher solely dedicated to Traveller material.:330 While Far Future Enterprises licensed Traveller and other games to other companies, Miller worked on his own fifth edition of Traveller for Far Future.:63 Miller also consults for gaming companies.:63 Miller publishes his own game designs through Far Future Enterprises (FFE) at farfuture.net, and consults about various aspects of the game industry through his Heartland Publishing Services, notably on design and production issues. His role-playing games are currently in print through Steve Jackson Games and Mongoose Publishing.
He served on the City of Bloomington Human Relations Commission (1987–2001) and was a founder of the Bloomington-Normal Not In Our Town grass-roots anti-racism movement. He serves as President of the Pratt Music Foundation, a nonprofit organization providing music education scholarships to deserving youth.
He currently lives in Bloomington, Illinois with his wife Darlene. He has two adult children, Staley and Richard.
Awards and recognition
Miller has received every major award for game design excellence, including the Origins Award, the prestigious Games 100 six times, and the Game Designers' Guild Award. He was inducted into the Charles S. Roberts (Origins) Hall of Fame in 1981 as a designer, and his role-playing game Traveller was inducted into the Origins Hall of Fame in 1997. He was featured as the king of spades in Flying Buffalo's 2010 Famous Game Designers Playing Card Deck.
- Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
- DiceCast Special Holiday Interview Episode  by Polymancer Studios. Podcast, includes interview with Marc Miller
- "Spotlight On: The Original Designer of the Traveller Roleplaying Game. An Interview WIth Marc Miller." Polymancer magazine, Volume 2, Issue #10. pp 37-42.
- "Poker Deck". Flying Buffalo. Retrieved February 11, 2014.