Marc W. Miller

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"Marc Miller" redirects here. For the cryptozoologist, see Marc Wolfgang Miller.
Marc W. Miller
Marc Miller in 2009.jpg
Marc Miller in 2009
Born Marc William Miller
(1947-01-01) January 1, 1947 (age 69)
Residence Bloomington, Illinois
Nationality American
Other names Marc Miller
Occupation Game designer, author
Known for Game Designing
Spouse(s) Darlene

Marc Miller (born January 1, 1947[citation needed]) is an American wargame and role-playing game designer and author.

Career Beginnings[edit]

After serving the U.S. Army, Marc Miller continued his studies at Illinois State University in 1972 under the G.I. Bill.[1]:53 There he joined the ISU Game Club, created by Rich Banner and Frank Chadwick.[1]:53[2] Banner obtained a grant that funded the printing of blank hex sheets (suitable for making war-game maps). Adding new members Loren Wiseman and John Harshman, the ISU club drafted a variety of designs. Some of these designs were derivatives of existing games, and had generic names like Guerre and Swamp, while others were the original concepts, such as Triplanetary.

In 1973, after being convinced by Miller, Chadwick and Banner Illinois State University created SimRAD (Simulation Research, Analysis, and Design), a college program where students and teachers designed games. Revenue from these games supported the funding of innovations in education.[1]:53 At the same time, Miller, Chadwick, Banner, and Wiseman decided to publish a massive World War II simulation game and created Game Designers' Workshop as their publishing company.[1]:53 When university funding dried up for SimRAD, the three shifted their attention to the commercial sector.[3]

Game Designers' Workshop[edit]

Game Designers' Workshop was formed on June 22, 1973, and was initially headquartered in Miller and Chadwick's apartment.[1]:53 In that year, GDW published Drang Nach Osten, the first of its Europa Series on World War II.

In 1974 the company published five new titles, including Coral Sea, based on the World War II naval battle.[citation needed]

In 1975, GDW published Triplanetary by Miller and Harshman.[1]:53 Miller designed the wargame Chaco based on the 1930s war between Bolivia and Paraguay.[4]

Miller designed the wargame The Russo-Japanese War.[4] Miller along with Chadwick, Harshman, and Wiseman designed Traveller, which was published in 1977.[1]:54 Miller also designed the science-fiction board game Double Star for GDW.[4]

During his tenure at GDW, Miller designed a total of 74 games and products, with 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.[1]:205 While the material DGP produced went unused, Miller had expressly forbidden his licencors from referencing the material because of his concerns over copyright issues.[1]:206

Miller left GDW in 1991.[1]: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.[2] "Everybody was just very happy to move on."[5]

Post GDW[edit]

Miller designed the computer game Challenge of the Five Realms and the card game SuperDeck!.[4] Marc Miller received the rights to Traveller, Twilight: 2000, and 2300AD, and formed a new company called Far Future Enterprises. He served as the head of this company, which held the rights to the games.[1]: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.[1]:330 While Far Future Enterprises licensed Traveller and other games to several companies, Miller worked on his own fifth edition of Traveller for Far Future.[1]:63

Miller also consults for gaming companies.[1]:63 Miller publishes his own game designs through Far Future Enterprises (FFE) at, consulting on various aspects of the game industry through his Heartland Publishing Services, primarily design and production issues. His role-playing games are currently in print through Steve Jackson Games and Mongoose Publishing.

Personal History[edit]

Marc Miller graduated from Glenbard East High School and the University of Illinois. Miller served the U.S. Army as a Captain and received a 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 the 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 children, Staley Krause and Richard File-Muriel.

Awards and recognition[edit]

Miller has received every major award for game design excellence, including the Origins Award, the prestigious Games 100 Award (six wins), and the Game Designers' Guild Award. He was inducted into the Charles S. Roberts (Origins) Hall of Fame in 1981 as a designer. 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.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7. 
  2. ^ a b DiceCast Special Holiday Interview Episode [1] by Polymancer Studios. Podcast, includes interview with Marc Miller
  3. ^ Allen Varney (January 14, 2010). "A Perpetual Traveller - Marc Miller". The Escapist (magazine). 
  4. ^ a b c d Miller, Marc W. (2007). "Lensman". In Lowder, James. Hobby Games: The 100 Best. Green Ronin Publishing. pp. 176–178. ISBN 978-1-932442-96-0. 
  5. ^ "Spotlight On: The Original Designer of the Traveller Roleplaying Game. An Interview WIth Marc Miller." Polymancer magazine, Volume 2, Issue #10. pp 37-42.
  6. ^ "Poker Deck". Flying Buffalo. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 

External links[edit]