Pete Fenlon (born 1955) is an American Role-playing game designer, game developer, graphics designer, cartographer, and publisher. He began creating fantasy role playing rules and drawing large and very detailed full-color Middle-earth maps in MERP modules. He later published science fiction, mystery, and historical games. His diverse works include both electronic and non-electronic stories, art, and game.
His work can be found in:
- Iron Crown Enterprises (Rolemaster, Spacemaster and MERP)
- Hero Games (Hero System)
- Eidolon Studio (Shadow World)
- Mayfair Games
Son of an Air Force Colonel (Peter C. Fenlon) and Captain (Melba S. Fenlon, RN), Pete Fenlon was born in Japan. He lived in Tachikawa, Omaha (Nebraska), Washington (DC), Wiesbaden (Germany), St. Louis (Missouri), Midwest City (Oklahoma), Alexandria (Virginia), and Williamsburg (Virginia) before settling in Charlottesville, Virginia. After obtaining a degree in history and anthropology at the University of Virginia, he earned a law degree at the School of William & Mary. Upon passing the bar for of the state of Virginia, he began work as a game designer, developer, and publisher. He has created and published games and fiction since 1980.
The following excerpts come from a biographic interview, and are translated from French:
"An avid player of board games and sports, I also always liked games and story-telling. I naturally loved role-playing. I invented stories and plays since I was a boy. When I was a boy scout (I was an Eagle Scout), I created many nature adventures. When I took part in the gaming club while in college at the University of Virginia, I played military simulations. When I started to play D&D in 1974, I focused more on roleplaying games. At the beginning, I made just stories, drawings, and charts. TSR proposed to buy some, but their offer wasn't very good. Instead, I elected to publish my own work. Beginning in 1977 (with Kurt Fischer and S. Coleman Charlton), I began creating the game which we would publish later under the name of Rolemaster.
While I was in law school at the College of William & Mary in 1980, I founded ICE with a group of folks who played in my Rolemaster role playing campaign. The group included Coleman Charlton (our principal rules developer), Terry Amthor (author of Spacemaster/Shadow World), Rick Britton (writer/historian), Bruce Shelley (later famous for his work at Avalon Hill, Microprose, and Ensemble Corporation), Bruce Neidlinger (our business guy), Kurt Fischer (my old co-developer), Heike Kubasch, my wife Olivia, and some others. During the 20 years which followed, ICE would publish more adventure game products than any other company, except TSR. Our work would find its way in 13 languages. It was a good 20-year run that started with Arms Law and Iron Wind, included hundreds of game and book publications, and cultimated with the Middle-earth Collectible Card Game. Coleman was our principal author, but I took part in the creation of all the basic books. I drew the majority of the color maps, edited our Middle-earth series, chaired the company, and served as our chief visionary. When we closed the doors of ICE in 2000, we had created and published hundreds of games and books.
In 2001, I joined the very talented trio of Jordan Weisman, Sean Stewart, and Elan Lee and became a "Puppetmaster." Along with Dan Carver, Todd Lubsen, Coleman Charlton, and others from the Microsoft team, we crafted a viral, cross-media mystery game to promote Dreamworks/Warner's film AI:Artificial Intelligence. Conceived by Jordan and written by Sean, the game served as a viral marketing campaign for the film by Steven Spielberg, a project begun by Stanley Kubrick. This mysterious game was tracked by players all over the world, and publications like the Guardian, Time Magazine, and New York Times, TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly (and named web site of the year by Entertainment Weekly), the Association of American Publicity, and even Architecture Review. We even received a Cleo Award nomination! A principal character in our story, Jeanine Salla, was the number two Google target for the year 2001. It was a remarkable creative experience. (Thank you Cloudmakers!)
At the end of 2001 I drew a color map for the game MageKnight, which was published by WizKids. In 2002, I joined with John Taylor, Kelton Flinn, and Al Roireau (all of EA) to form Castle Hill Studios, LLC. This was an amalgam of ex-employees of ICE and Kesmai Studios. We created entertainment and infrastructure software, most notably Omega (a suite of highly-scalable software designed to manage huge massively multi-player online offerings). We created a couple of experimental game tools for the Microsoft Corporation. In 2003, we embarked on the online game adaptation of Klaus Teuber's award-winning board game The Settlers of Catan. The project was led by Karl Roelofs. The crew included Karl Roelofs, Coleman Charlton, Ed Zavada, Alan Davies, and Ariel Butler. Following the game's publication by Microsoft, I returned to work for a company I had an interest in since 1996: Mayfair Games (Skokie, Illinois).
Now, I am a Chairman and Studio Director for Mayfair Games. We are a leading social game publisher. Our many games include the English-language version of The Settlers of Catan, Tigris & Euphrates, Empire Builder, Eurorails, Bang!, Family Business, Shear Panic!, Hey! That's My Fish!, and Pillars of the Earth.
I try to remain active apart from work, especially with the Boy Scouts of America. I enjoy sports, bicycling, backpacking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, and most every sort of travel. My wife, folk violist Olivia Johnston, and I live in downtown Charlottesville (where we savor a pretty nice slice of life).
- Taken from: Wikipedia