October 2nd 2013
Today we’d like to introduce you to David Ladyman, the editor responsible for putting together Jump Point magazine. David is also responsible for the ship brochures and our other published fiction, more of which you will be seeing in the future. He’ll be in the hot seat on this week’s Wingman’s Hangar, so be sure to tune in Friday at 11 AM CST (-5 GMT) to learn more about him.
Gradually, like the camel with its nose under the tent. Martha and I got married and moved to Austin in 1977, where I started grad school at UT Austin (Linguistics). I was asked to playtest a Metagaming boardgame at a local game center. (Rivets? One World?) That turned into more playtesting, especially for games that Steve Jackson was designing for Metagaming, and then when Steve left to form his own company (SJG), I started playtesting for him — Illuminati, Car Wars and so forth (still board games).
In the meantime, I had started helping run game conventions (early ’80s), including three that I headed in Austin (Texcons) and one Origins (the national game tournament of the time) for which I was one of the head staff. My events included head-to-head Dungeons & Dragons, and an interactive convention game that we called Hexworld: up to 100 players travelling back and forth between eight gamemasters … precursors of computer games and massive online games before we had computers …
Within about five years, I was on staff with SJG, culminating in being system guru for both GURPS and Car Wars. In fact, I got a taste of Jump Point by editing the first few issues of Autoduel Quarterly, a Car Wars magazine set in the fictional future of that game world. While with SJG, I worked with Warren Spector, Steve Beeman, Jeff George, Denis Loubet and others I’m forgetting — all people who worked at Origin as well.
After leaving SJG, I spent a couple of years freelance editing and developing for FASA (Battletech basic games and scenarios, Renegade Legion ditto, a little Shadowrun) and TSR (AD&D scenarios). Meanwhile Warren was telling me that his new company was going to need a staff editor very soon, and when the position opened at Origin, I leapt at it. Fortunately, Fred Schmidt believed everything Warren and I told him, and he hired me, in 1991.
Projects … I arrived a Origin a few months after Ultima VI and Wing Commander (I) shipped. As editor, my name was on every product that shipped from that point until I left, in 1997. That includes WC II – V (Prophecy), Ultima VII – IX (some of this after I left Origin, as a contractor), all of the Speech Packs, Secret Missions and other add-ons, all the various console titles, Strike Commander, WC Armada, and so forth.
… yes, I’ve worked with Chris before. :)
I’m putting together the monthly Jump Point e-magazine for subscribers, plus the brochures for each new ship premiere. When I say “put together,” I mean that everyone else gives me lots of good material, and I hammer it into something publishable. I’m also responsible for finding and managing freelance authors of the stories that appear in Spectrum Dispatch and Jump Point. And I edit whatever other text that arrives on my desk.
I’m not very good at combat sims (he admitted), so I’m most interested in the social interaction and storyline development that we’ll be seeing as the game develops. You’ll see me in the game, but I won’t be leading any raids or other significant space action.
I’m mostly playing what my two teenage sons want to play, when I have time … that’s Rift with Jesse and Civilization with Will. Also several different board games, including 7 Wonders, Ticket to Ride, and Through the Ages.
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