Sandy Petersen bigraphy, stories - Critics

Sandy Petersen : biography

September 16, 1955 -

Carl Sanford Joslyn Petersen (born September 16, 1955) is an American game designer.


Petersen was born in St. Louis, Missouri and attended University of California, Berkeley, majoring in zoology.

He is a well-known fan of H. P. Lovecraft, whose work he first encountered in a World War II Armed Services edition of The Dunwich Horror and other Weird Tales found in his father's library. In 1974, Dungeons & Dragons brought his interest to role-playing games. His interest for role-playing games and H. P. Lovecraft were fused when he became principal author of Chaosium's game Call of Cthulhu, published 1981, and many scenarios and background pieces thereafter. While working for Chaosium he co-authored the second edition of RuneQuest, for which he also co-wrote the critically acclaimed Trollpak and a number of other Gloranthan supplements. He still plays and runs role-playing games, and is a frequent guest at conventions where he usually runs a freeform game of his own devising, and/or helps to run someone else's game.

He worked some time for Microprose, where he is credited for work between 1989 and 1992 on the video games Darklands, Hyperspeed, Lightspeed, Sid Meier's Pirates! and Sword of the Samurai. He also made some contributions to Civilization.

Primarily interested by the first-person shooter Wolfenstein 3D, Petersen joined id Software about 10 weeks before the December 1993 release of Doom and in that time created 19 levels for it (of which 8 were based to some extent on early drafts by Tom Hall). He later created 17 of the levels for Doom II, and 7 levels for Quake. His Lovecraftian influences also resulted in some changes to the monster designs for these games.

He left id Software for Ensemble Studios in June 1997. There, he has worked as a game designer on several of their Age of Empires titles, including Rise of Rome, Age of Kings, and The Conquerors. During this time, he was a frequent poster on the HeavenGames forums under the username ES_Sandyman. He ran an extremely popular series of threads, "Ask Sandyman", where forum members could ask him about anything they wanted.

Petersen took a professorship at The Guildhall at SMU in 2009 following the closure of Ensemble Studios, where he now teaches several courses on game design., Guildhall @ SMU Faculty Biographies.

Petersen now works at Barking Lizards Technologies as their Creative Director, and worked on their recent iOS release, Osiris Legends. Petersen is also behind the Kickstarter launch of the most recent Cthulhu boardgame "Cthulhu Wars", By his newest company 'Green Eye Games' which contains 60 hand sculpted miniatures! And Cthulhu World Combat (iOS, Android, PC, PSN, XBOX Live). .

Petersen is a Mormon, but his religion has not prevented him from designing games involving Satanic elements. While working on Doom, he said to John Romero: "I have no problems with the demons in the game. They're just cartoons. And, anyway, they're the bad guys." Sandy has a wife, five children, and six grandchildren.

He currently serves as the publisher of horror magazine Arcane: Penny Dreadfuls for the 21st Century..


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