Marc W. Miller
Marc Miller returned to school at Illinois State University in 1972 on the G.I. Bill after getting out of the U.S. Army.:53 At school, he joined the ISU Game Club, which was started by Rich Banner and Frank Chadwick.:53 Banner engineered 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 derivative of existing games at the time (with generic names like Guerre, Swamp), and some original concepts (Triplanetary).
In 1973, Illinois State University, under a program to fund educational innovation after being convinced by Miller, Chadwick, and Banner, created SimRAD (Simulation Research, Analysis, and Design), which designed games for implementation in the college classroom.: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 As 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 out of 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 (the World War II naval battle) and Chaco (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 that 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 the 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 licensed Traveller and other games to other companies, Miller has 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.
Marc Miller is a graduate of Glenbard East High School (Lombard Illinois) and the University of Illinois. He served in the United States Army, achieving the rank of Captain. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam.
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 non-profit 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 design excellence, including the Origins Award, the prestigious Games 100 (six times), and the Game Designers' Guild Award. He is in the Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame twice: he was inducted as a designer into the Charles S. Roberts (Origins) Hall of Fame in 1981, and his role-playing game Traveller was inducted into the Origins Hall of Fame in 1997. He was honored as a "famous game designer" by being 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.