Ask Sandyman

Article written by Various
Published on 09-15-2008; updated on 08-17-2014

Sandy Petersen made his debut in the game world as the author of the role-playing game Call of Cthulhu (1981), as well as a contributor to games like Darklands, Sid Meier's Pirates!, and several other games. He eventually joined up with developer id Software, shortly before the release of their hit first-person shooter Doom. He created several of the game's levels, as well as levels in it's sequel, Doom II, and the popular id title Quake. Leaving id Software for Ensemble Studios in 1997, he continued working as a game designer for Rise of Rome, Age of Kings, and The Conquerors expansion.

Sandy, best known by his alias ES_Sandyman, became a frequent poster in the Age of Kings Heaven forums in 1999 and 2000. Posting primarily in our archived Strategy forum, "Ask Sandyman" was a Q/A series where anything goes, where our forumers could ask him *any* question they desired, whether about life, philosophy, history, or (of course) Age of Kings. He was a very intelligent and entertaining member of the ES crew, and we're proud that he was a part of our community. This section is an archive dedicated entirely to his wisdom and the many behind-the-scenes aspects of AoK he shared with us.

"I've been a game designer for about fourteen years. Until the fall of 1988, I worked for Chaosium Inc., a game company for whom I designed or co-designed Call of Cthulhu, Elfquest, Ghostbusters, RuneQuest and a whole mess of supplements. In 1988, I switched genres from paper to silicon chip and became a designer for MicroProse Software. There I designed Lightspeed, and Hyperspeed, and co-designed Darklands and the infamous Dr. Floyd's Wacky Windows. In 1993, I came to work for id Software, where I designed levels and monsters for the infamous Doom game, which achieved the much-envied status of having outraged a congressional subcommittee. Somewhere or other, my games have managed to acquire a fairly large assortment of awards, doubtless because the game industry is less discriminating than our elected representatives. After Doom, I worked on Doom II and Quake. In the summer of 1997, I joined Ensemble Studios, where I am designing an appropriate computer game for a person of my inclinations and background."

"Ask Sandyman does not have any off-topic questions. No question is off-topic in this thread."

"I urge you not to give in - emulate my reading habits and surpass me. The fact that my brain is filled with random bits of arcana has proven to be an enormous and continuous source of amusement to myself and others."

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