EP writers and staff...

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Cyber-Dave Cyber-Dave's picture
EP writers and staff...

Hello. I know that one of the EP staff just got their PhD, and another works at NASA. I was wondering if someone might be able to give me a few more details on the subject. The EP site does not have any bio's set up for their writers, and I was kind of curious which two credits had these credentials, as well as what the PhD in question is in. Also, I assume that the person who works at NASA has a PhD as well? Are any of the other writers academics? (My interest spawns from the effect of these credentials on the setting/game.)

EDIT: Ok, so, I found the bios. I can't find mention of the credit who works at NASA, but I have seen discussion about it on the boards in the past. Could someone fill me in on the details? Also, I see that Brian Cross was working on his dissertation when he wrote his bio. Would he be the credit who just defended? None of the other writers make mention of doctorate studies in their bios (though I have noticed that at least some of the others have MAs); are there any credits who are working towards achieving, or have achieved, their PhDs?

Thanks again in advance.

nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
Re: EP writers and staff...

PHS is made up of the core team of Adam Jury, Sprite (Rob), and Brian Cross, and supported heavily by Lars, Jack and John Snead (to the point that I don't know if they're not strictly part of PHS as well. That may be a corporate split between who "is" PHS and who is just making the products. I don't know.) They're in turn supported by a number of freelancers. I met a number of them at GenCon. It's a very smart crowd. Lars has a PhD in biochemistry, Brian just wrapped up his PhD in, I believe, something medical or biology, and the rest of the core team have a combined five hundred years experience in the RPG industry (rounded up to the nearest five hundred).

Freelancers include (and again, going out on a limb here) Justin Kugler, aerospace engineer with NASA, and Anders Sandberg, who is a massive, parallel-processing quantum supercomputer. I believe Brian is looking at a professorship somewhere, Sandberg is an academic (when he's not solving weather systems), and the rest of the crew have enough letters behind their names for a game of scrabble (if a little dull, owing to there only being one vowel).

All in all, it is an extremely well educated crew, and I think it shows in their work.

CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: EP writers and staff...

*Ninja* Nezumi also wrote one of the adventures! */Ninja*

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Cyber-Dave Cyber-Dave's picture
Re: EP writers and staff...

Thank you very much for clearing all that up for me. And I agree, it does show in their work. This has to be the best written, smartest, RPG I have EVER seen.

jackgraham jackgraham's picture
Re: EP writers and staff...

Lars, Snead & I are just freelancers who're really into it. So is Davidson Cole. Numerous other freelancers have bled for this shit, and Marc is just being modest by not tooting his own, ENnie-winnin' horn. :)

I will give a miss to taking umbrage at the possible implication that academic initials imply smarts and simply say that everyone concerned is well schooled (through one means or another) in:

1. Life
2. Science
3. Science Fiction
4. RPGs

And roughly in that order. Which is a fairly good start for Making Awesome.

J A C K   G R A H A M :: Hooray for Earth!
  http://eclipsephase.com :: twitter @jackgraham @faketsr :: Google+Jack Graham

Cyber-Dave Cyber-Dave's picture
Re: EP writers and staff...

Oh, I was not trying to say that academic initials equate to smarts (though, I do think it is fair to say that they imply them; of course, an implication is not a proof, and many things implied turn out to be false :P). I was merely curious what the various writers have studied professionally.

Thantastic Thantastic's picture
Re: EP writers and staff...

Hi, I'm Nathaniel Dean (prerelease playtester, freelancer for NPC F01 and part of the surveillance chapter in Panopticon, with hopefully more to come). I've got my MA in medieval/early modern European history and several hundred pages of thesis work on the social and judicial treatment of witchcraft and religious prosecution, so essentially a predestined path to working on transhuman rpgs.

It's been great to peek behind the veil and see some of the process that's gone into the development of individual products and the line overall. PHS consists of and works with a pool of very thoughtful, talented people and I think that everyone's personal engagement with and work towards the quality they think the game can achieve makes the critical difference in the final product.

Ex unus plures.

jackgraham jackgraham's picture
Re: EP writers and staff...

I think it's funny that we've had several well-credentialed science consultants on the project (soon-to-be-Doctor Matt Hare, physicist; Mike, er, forget last name, engineer; Justin Kugler), and yet we still don't have a consensus on which type of fusion reaction H+ uses. From the standpoint of running your average EP game, it's not important, but it's illustrative of the fact that even with trained scientists & engineers involved, this is still science fiction. We concede as much to realism as we can, but there's only so far you can go with that before you say, "It's the future. Current science/engineering knowledge doesn't explain how this stuff works yet."

J A C K   G R A H A M :: Hooray for Earth!
  http://eclipsephase.com :: twitter @jackgraham @faketsr :: Google+Jack Graham

nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
Re: EP writers and staff...

Thantastic wrote:
I've got my MA in medieval/early modern European history and several hundred pages of thesis work on the social and judicial treatment of witchcraft and religious prosecution

For reals? And to imagine we spent our brief moments at GenCon talking about what pre-gen characters to use. Next year I'm stealing you for an hour (or email me your thesis :) )

sysop sysop's picture
Re: EP writers and staff...

I want in on stealing him too - sounds fascinating :) First round's on me.

I fix broken things. If you need something fixed, mention it on the suggestions board.
I also sometimes speak as website administrator and/ moderator.

Thantastic Thantastic's picture
Re: EP writers and staff...

Done and done. I'm even more willing to talk about it after a drink or two. ;)

Ex unus plures.

Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
Re: EP writers and staff...

Quote:
t's been great to peek behind the veil

I suggest that from now on, we call Thantastic "Hawke"
*hums*
Come take a seat and I'll recite you a tale
Of bold adventure spanning both sides of the Veil
I knew a champion, we travelled far and wide
We saw so many wonders, roving side by side
(song by Miracle of Sound)

Q U I N C E Y ^_*_^ F O R D E R

Remember The Cant!

kylleran kylleran's picture
Re: EP writers and staff...

Hi all. Just wanted to pop in and clarify that my doctorate is actually in sociology with an emphasis on social change and the role new technologies play in shaping it. But also, as others have pointed out, fancy schmancy degrees do not necessarily a good writer make. One of the most awful rpgs I ever playtested was written by a mathematics doctorate who really wanted to push the 'realism' angle and ended up with just a horrifically over-complex game.

Brian Cross
Posthuman Studios

Re-Laborat Re-Laborat's picture
Re: EP writers and staff...

kylleran wrote:
One of the most awful rpgs I ever playtested was written by a mathematics doctorate who really wanted to push the 'realism' angle and ended up with just a horrifically over-complex game.

Yep. I've played one that actually got published by such a fellow. Character creation was interesting. Bring your calculator. Your scientific calculator.

Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
Re: EP writers and staff...

Transhuman Space was like that. The fluff part was -still is- awesome and can be included in EP as pre-Fall elements (except for the fully terraformed Mars, that is). Special mention to Toxic Memes.
But the crunch part! Good Castiel! you almost need a degree in physics to play a pilot!

Q U I N C E Y ^_*_^ F O R D E R

Remember The Cant!

weaver95 weaver95's picture
Re: EP writers and staff...

yeesh....I feel under gunned for these discussion boards. I'm just your average comp sci grad.

sysop sysop's picture
Re: EP writers and staff...

So am I! You fit right in. :)
It's not the letters you have after your name... it's how you wave your piece of paper around... Wait. Something like that. ;)

I fix broken things. If you need something fixed, mention it on the suggestions board.
I also sometimes speak as website administrator and/ moderator.

root root's picture
Re: EP writers and staff...

root@EP writers and staff


ha! I'm not even graduated yet. I just abuse Wikipedia and the fact that I'm comfortable making an ass of myself. It is pretty cool to know that there are enough people involved with EP who have PhD's that they could be a dissertation committee.

[ @-rep +1 | c-rep +1 | g-rep +1 | r-rep +1 ]

nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
Re: EP writers and staff...

weaver95 wrote:
yeesh....I feel under gunned for these discussion boards. I'm just your average comp sci grad.

Me too :) But root's right. Going to school for it helps, but just engaging, realizing when you're wrong, and listening to what other people have to say, hitting the books and playing with the math will make you pretty darn incredible too.

(Note: I'm not speaking from personal experience ... but I'm working on it!)

weaver95 weaver95's picture
Re: EP writers and staff...

root wrote:
root@EP writers and staff

ha! I'm not even graduated yet. I just abuse Wikipedia and the fact that I'm comfortable making an ass of myself. It is pretty cool to know that there are enough people involved with EP who have PhD's that they could be a dissertation committee.

I got my start in VQ-2(naval elint/ew unit), that's where I picked up an interest in computers. got out of the service, went to school, got a job, blah blah. fairly typical stuff really. some seriously huge brains on these boards tho. I mean I do some writing from time to time, but this is wickedly cool stuff I find here.

I did get a chance to meet with some of the EP staff at gencon in 2010. I was impressed enough there to take an interest in the game.

CruiserSailor CruiserSailor's picture
I'm here because of the art,

I'm here because of the art, and my go to owner of a local game store told me, "This is THE best. Better than Traveller. Good luck finding players."

So I'm aboard.

I did 9 years working with Torpedoes for the Navy, Studied some physics afterward, and am now looking for opportunites to write Eclipse Phase modules and share them with the Community, once I finish reading the system.

I'm pretty impressed, since I've been gaming for 35 years. This setting combines the horror / post-Apocalypse and AI stuff with relatively hard s-f that I've been looking for, for a long time.

Well met, to all. I'm happy to be a player here, and soon a producing member of the larger community.

jhfurnish jhfurnish's picture
A very loud, resounding YES.

"This has to be the best-written, smartest RPG I have EVER seen."

Absolutely. I'm glad I bought it (RPGnow, .pdf file) and I'm definitely going to try to freelance some adventures for it. It's such a fertile work that I'm already bursting at the seams with ideas for it. Pure genius. Well, a bunch of geniuses wrote it. Duh!

jhfurnish jhfurnish's picture
Now I know I'm reading some eccentric, however creative, folks.

Either someone's got a really twisted sense of humor or this is wiki vandalism. Quite over-the-top. };]

http://www.firewall-darkcast.com/wiki/stats

[When I first referenced this page, for some reason I was getting a weird font effect: really huge, huge fonts at the top, dwindling step-by-step to tiny fonts. That seems to have been corrected or something was up on my desktop.]