The Development Team
The John Tiller Software development team is made up of a number of different talented people from a wide variety of backgrounds and locations. They range from Project Coordinators to Scenario Designers, Graphic Artists to Playtesters, Musicians to Map Makers. Here are some of the people who make "A John Tiller Game" possible.
I've been interested in history and "gaming" type topics for over 30 years now, ranging from HO & 1/72 scale miniatures to board games and finally to computer wargames. I got hooked on the Battleground games with #1, Ardennes. Started creating scenarios for John's games and soon found myself putting together full games. Have done scenario design and/or project management on a dozen games, with more to come. I also handle Support for John Tiller Software as well as HPS Simulations. Play an active role in the on-line community having helped establish several clubs and help run many more. Currently living in central Virginia enjoying the rural life.
Hail from the eastern most province of Canada, but came west with the oil boom in the early 80's. While growing up, was always interested in "things military." Started playing board wargames at age 12, joined Army Cadets at age 13, and went on to the Reserves and became an Officer in Her Majesty's Canadian Forces. Got into computer wargames when a 486-33Mhz with 4MB of RAM was about all the PC anyone needed. Became active on the Talonsoft forum and was given an opportunity of a lifetime –to help test Battleground Bull Run. In 1999, as Talonsoft was dissolving, received an email from John Tiller in which he said "Glenn, let's keep in touch, you might have a game in you someday." Since then, have partnered with Dave Blackburn to create over 20 titles for John Tiller from WWII and the Post WWII periods.
I started playing chess in first grade, and started playing wargames when I was in middle school, including board games from Avalon Hill and SPI, and miniatures games using 1/72 scale models. I currently work for the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where I started working with John Tiller on a contract for the USAF in 2003. My first conribution to a published game was the AI development for World War II in Europe: The First Blitzkrieg. Since then, I have done AI development work for the Modern Air Power and Naval Campaigns series, and have done a few AI tweaks for Panzer Campaigns and Squad Battles. I have also co-authored several academic papers with John Tiller. I am married and have two children. When I am not working on games or playing them, I coach soccer in my copius spare time.
I was born in Berryville, VA. This is in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. I served in the army from 59 – 62. I was stationed in southern Germany. I was a loader, gunner on the M48's and the M60's. I reached PFC. I have worked for Avalon Hill, Talonsoft, HPS, John Tiller. I worked as the artist in these diff companies. I have played Wargames since "Gettysburg" an AH game. I still play many different types of board games, and JT computer games.
Dave "Blackie" Blackburn
Born in the UK, moved to Canada in 1976. Served 15 years in the British Army, 4 years with the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards in all armored trades, wireless operator, gunner, driver and commander, plus time in armored cars, 12 years in the Army Air Corps as a helicopter pilot. Flew in Canada as a helicopter pilot doing all type of bush and then government work from coast to coast to coast, with time in every province. Glenn Saunders proposed we partner up for working on wargames, which we did, initially for Talonsoft's Campaign Series. Then we stayed with John Tiller and work primarily on Panzer and Modern Campaigns also Total War in Europe. I am the map maker for these series and have also done maps for a lot of other John Tiller Games' series.
I have been interested in 'things military' since I bought my first Sgt Rock comic book at the price of 12¢. I played my first wargame when I was a sophomore in High School (Avalon Hill's Gettysburg with squares). I played my first computer wargame, Red Lightning, on a Commodore Amiga, while I was in the US Army from '77 to '90. Finally John Tiller came out with Battleground Gettysburg and I became an addict. Every Friday on my way home from work, I was looking for the next John Tiller game. When John was leaving Talonsoft, Bill Peters mentioned me to him while working on Eckmuhl using the old Battleground engine and John asked me to come on board to do graphics research and graphics for his next game that would come out with HPS Simulations. I have since worked on almost every game in every series that John Tiller has produced.
I have been playing war games since 1962 starting with AH "Gettysburg" and "Tactics II". I grew up through the great SPI era but drop out of playing in the 80s to mid 90s, with raising a family and all. During all this time I loved reading military history of all eras. In the late 90s I discovered John Tillers Battleground series and got involved with play testing the Campaign series games. It was at this point I met Glenn Saunders and became friends. When John moved from Talonsoft to HPS Glenn got me involved first with creating campaign maps and then into my main focus of OOB and scenario research. Since then I have helped Glenn and Blackie with three East Front titles and helped in the OOB creation of a number of other titles. I also help John by creating battle and scenario location maps for all of his various game systems.
Musician, songwriter, historian, Tom Hook hails from the Midwest. Growing up in the hills of Clay County, Missouri, he spent much of his childhood watching the Missouri River make its sweeping turn past Kansas City heading northwest across the Great Plains towards the Rockies. Everyday journeys took him across the Lewis and Clark trail and through the boyhood haunts of Frank and Jesse James. Consequently, at an early age he developed a deep passion for American history. Coupled with that was a consuming love for music. Beginning the piano at age three, he studied classically throughout his boyhood, eventually attending the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. However, his true passion has always been for American folk music. As a child, his mother's family would gather into the "old home place" every Sunday for dinner and an afternoon session of old-time picking. It was then, learning songs from generations past, that Tom discovered the link that music offers to times long forgotten. He is an ardent student of American popular and folk music in its many forms: the "war" music of the American Revolution, the Civil War, both World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam. The "country" music of Appalachia, the Ozarks, the Far West, and the Delta South. The "urban" music of Ragtime, Jazz, Blues, Swing, Broadway, Rock and Roll. Railroad songs, Cowboy songs, Steamboat songs, Sharecroppers songs, Pop hits... the list is as endless and varied as America herself. Simply put, Tom Hook is a student of American music.
I have been working in the games industry since 2001, and the music industry since 1998. I've also been an active composer in the film and television industry, with music appearing regularly on the Cartoon Network, ABC, NBC and CBS promos and various A&E and PBS productions.
As a kid I loved "Army Stuff"; from games to BB Gun wars (which landed me in hot water with the parents a few times). Started with 'Squad Leader' & 'Assault' and got hooked on infantry simulations. By 16 I was designing my own scenarios & writing military style Operations Orders covering a WARPAC thrust through the Fulda Gap. Fought in Gulf War 1 as a mech infantry platoon leader and then on to Germany with 3rd Armored Division - platoon GDP position was above Bad Hersfeld right in the middle of the Fulda Gap. I now run a company exporting stuff to Russia, where I've since learned Ivan is not 10 feet tall. Through internet wargaming circles I discovered John Tiller's Modern Campaigns. A good friend, Mark Breed, introduced me to Glenn Saunders. Mark & I produced the "AFNORTH/Berlin" unofficial module for NGP '85. This lead me to a playing a strong role on the final Germany '85 release, which felt like the culmination of a life's worth of work (I mean play!).
Özgür "Oz" Budak
Born in 1972 in Izmir , Turkey. I am a social science scholar and lecturer in the Ege University. I teach/study sociology and political theory. Izmir is also my hometown I had left only for study. It is a coastal Aegean city of tourism and commerce. I am married with two small boys and a cat. My real name is Özgür but wargamer fellas call me Oz. I have been playing computer games since the 80's with my first computer, a Commodore64. Playing Tiller games since 1997. My first pbems were "campaign series" which I played quite much those days. I also played battleground series those years. Got into the HPS realm with the release of Smolensk41 in the "Panzer Campaigns Club" that I joined in 2000. I was predominantly a Panzer Campaigns player (which I am still playing); however 6-7 years ago I met Frank Harmon whose dedication to the series vitalized my interest in SB. I started designing scenarios and mods for various titles and produced more than 150 custom SB scenarios. I also worked in the development of the "Africa at War" Mod. In 2005 Rich offered me a place among the team for a new title they were planning. The Soviet - Afghan War (SAW) represents the revival of the SB series after a long period. Working with Rich and Mike Cox for a new SB title was a great pleasure for me. It was also a duty to serve/improve the game I enjoyed so much. After SAW's release HPS gave me another project; completing the game Frank started, the Winter War which was released a year after. Finally, this year I finished the biggest project I shouldered, the Red Victory which was truely a delightlful experience.
Mike Cox is a native of Sonoma, California who has always had a deep interest in history and wargaming specifically. Raised on conflict simulation classics, from Avalon Hill, SPI and others (usually tactical), computer wargaming was an easy transition. Always tinkering with scenario editors and in love with the 'sandbox' that they provide, he was quite enthusiastic with John Tiller's first title for HPS: Campaign 1776. He became very active in playing John Tiller games by email and producing amateur scenarios for various titles. His youthful interest in tactical wargaming came full circle when he was presented the opportunity to partner with Özgür Budak to design scenarios for the Squad Battles: Soviet Afghan War title. He continues to design for Squad Battles and is involved with testing and design work in other series as well. Mike currently resides in Sonoma with wife and two children. He has been involved in the wine business for close to 25 years. Mike makes wine for a well known pinot noir and chardonnay specialist in Carneros as well as has his own pinot noir brand. Of course, he still plays and enjoys boardgames and is working on raising the next generation of wargamer as well.
Jim Dunnam is a native of Waco, Texas. Jim and his wife, Michelle, met at Baylor University and have three children, Lauren, Mason and Rachel. Jim holds B.B.A. and J.D. degrees from Baylor, and he is a partner at Dunnam & Dunnam, L.L.P., in Waco. The firm was founded by Jim's grandfather in 1925, and Jim joined the firm in 1988. Jim was named the 2001 Baylor Young Lawyer of the Year. Jim served as a member of the Texas House of Representatives representing Waco and surrounding areas for 15 years beginning in 1997. Jim was also the House Democratic Leader from 2003 until 2011. Jim's involvement in history related gaming spans several decades. His playtesting credits run from Richard Berg's Blackbeard to Johnny Reb III Miniatures rules. Jim first began working with John Tiller on Talonsoft's Battleground Chickamauga. Jim went on to assist in several HPS Panzer Campaigns titles including Smolensk, Normandy, Salerno, Kursk and Korsun, Total War in Europe – First Blitzkrieg and Campaign Atlanta. Jim is also very active with Lone Star Historical Miniatures – www.lshmwaco.org.
David was born in Sydney Australia, but is now residing in Singapore with his family. My bio photo illustrates one of the advantages of living on the equator – year round game fishing! I currently work for a large US multinational in the IT industry with a responsibility for 17 countries across Asia Pacific. I have been a long term gamer since the late '70's graduating from all things Avalon Hill and SPI to computer wargames. An early association with Roger Keating and Ian Trout of SSG gave me a chance to see the industry from the inside and I spent my spare time both play testing and doing scenario design. If anyone has an old copy of SSG's Rommel – Battles for North Africa you will find a photo of me circa 1989! My first work involving HPS/JTS games was the Alt version mod of Korsun '44. That experience prompted me to design a Kharkov '43 mod which ultimately was chosen to be published by JTS. I have always had a passion for the Eastern Front and have jumped at the chance to research and design scenarios that are as close as possible to history.
Military matters always fascinated me, hence I started to play wargames when I was around 10. I started with boardgames but quickly, by a mixture of lack of opponents and lack of availability of boardgames in my home country, I moved onto computer wargames. I still remember the first, it was Operation Vulcan for the memorable ZX Spectrum 48k. From that point onwards I never stopped playing them, and they become an inherent part of my life, their only serious competition for a hobby being horse riding, and horses in general. I started to collaborate with HPS as a playtester in the Squad Battles series, and ended up being invited to design Spanish Civil War for the said series. At present I'm still working in Squad Battles, having just finished a new title, and also assisting another fellow designer in yet another SB game.
My first exposure to wargaming came when my brother came home on leave in 1979 and brought several Avalon Hill games with him. Soon enough, I scrounged together enough money to buy a copy of Panzer Leader and my interest in wargaming was off and running. I've been interested in computer wargames from the beginning, starting with SSI's Tigers in the Snow. I took a bit of a break from wargaming while in school, but was drawn back in by the Battleground series. I've been actively playing a variety of games ever since. My first efforts in scenario design were in making a variety of hypothetical scenarios for Jutland. I've also participated in playtests for several Napoleonic games, as well as HPS Renaissance. I have a BA in History and a Masters of Divinity.
Gary "Mo" Morgan
Gary Morgan is the son of an Army mathematician who inherited his mom's creative art and music talent. While attending college to study commercial art and graphic design, Gary's Vietnam vet tank commander friend challenged him to a game of Panzerblitz and he was hooked on wargaming. Gary dreamed of becoming a fighter pilot after seeing The Blue Max and played fighter combat manual simulations from SPI to learn more. He joined the Air Force and was blessed with an assignment in fighters; during his flight training Gary discovered game system inaccuracies so he decided to redesign his favorite game, Foxbat and Phantom. Originally published by the USAF as Check Six!, Flight Leader was later released by The Avalon Hill Game Company and Gary's commercial wargame design career was launched. While Flight Leader worked well at the individual aircraft level for air combat engagements, Gary realized that a theater-level scale was needed to portray the environment of the fighter-bomber in the ground attack role. TAC AIR (first released by the USAF as FEBA) was Gary's first scratch-built game design and followed the meteoric rise of Flight Leader for manual jet fighter simulations to win a Charles S. Roberts award. Gary's teaching assignment to Maxwell as director of wargaming for Air Command and Staff College, and a new job at Air and Space Basic Course eventually put Gary in touch with John Tiller during the Connections wargaming conferences. ASBC's use of Starcraft inspired John to design the Modern Air Power series and Gary became the series designer, with commercial releases War Over Vietnam and War Over the Mideast.
Bill is a native of the Los Angeles area and began playing boardgames and miniatures as a teenager. He joined a local club at Cal State Northridge and also played at the homes of his wargaming friends and also at several local game stores. He joined the US Air Force in 1979 and served for four years as an analyst at NSA. During this time he joined a wargame club and served as its President. Once out of the military his work and school and church work took him away from active gaming for almost thirteen years with some time in between where he resumed his miniature gaming for a short time. During the period 1983 to 2004 he served in the fields of Industrial Security and Information Technology for three defense contractors. In the 1990s he got interested in computer gaming and by 1995 had bought his first Talonsoft Battleground game. By 1998 he had cracked the game text file codes for the Napoleonic games and was creating a module for Wagram when a friend recommended that he contact John Tiller about working with him on game projects. By 2009 he has produced four titles for the Napoleonic series and is currently working on many other projects slated for future release.
While having no armed forces experience or academic training in history, I've always been interested in a wide range of military subjects. During my teen years, I became an avid board wargamer, but quickly gravitated toward the fledgling computer wargames market, fueling an interest in game design and modding. During the 1990s, my study and gaming interests shifted from the Napoleonic Wars and World War II toward the American Civil War, where they have largely remained. Involvement with John Tiller's developing efforts and HPS Simulations began in 1998. In addition to playtesting various HPS titles, creating a scenario pack for Campaign 1776, and designing the four Civil War Battles series titles Campaigns Corinth, Ozark, Peninsula, and Vicksburg (the last with Lee Hook), I review books for several print magazines and run the website Civil War Books and Authors.
I was born in 1963, in Santa Monica California. I have a BA in History and a MA in Education. I currently reside in Cookeville, Tennessee. My two children are Lindsey and Lane. Among other things I enjoy Scuda diving and flying, and yes, wargaming! Since 1998, I've worked on many John Tiller games, of which most are from the American Civil War. Look for me under the water, in the air, or tramping through some battlefield.
Born in Gloucestershire, England, I studied history at London University, specializing in later mediaeval history and the Arthurian legends for my postgraduate studies, subsequently publishing a book on King Arthur in Legend and History. After finishing my studies, I taught English and British history at a Japanese university in Tokyo, but am now back in the UK and living in High Wycombe with my wife and young son. I've been a wargamer since my school days, originally playing tabletop and board games, but moving over to computer games in the mid 90s when the Battleground games first appeared. I've been a playtester for a number of HPS projects and was the scenario designer for Renaissance and Greek Wars and am involved in several new projects currently in development.
"Wild Bill" Wilder
"Wild Bill" Wilder, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, has been active in board and computer wargaming for over 45 years. Like so many others, he cut his "gaming teeth" on board games from Avalon Hill. He has led scenario design teams and done scenarios For Novastar, SSI, Talonsoft, Battlefront, Matrix Games, and, of course, HPS, among others. His major contribution to the Tiller games has been as coordinator and lead scenario designer for "The Proud and the Few," "Korea," "War in the Pacific," and "Eagles Strike." To date he has designed over 1,500 scenarios and campaigns, covering primarily World War II, the last half of the 20th Century, and even battles for today. He has also been a prolific author with publications on the Wargamer, The Armchair General, and others. He is currently retired at 74, but still a very active wargamer.
Ed "Volcano Man" Williams
Armor non-commissioned officer in the US Army from 1996-2006. Obtained a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Military History from Sam Houston State University, Texas. Began working on John Tiller games in 2001 as a tester for Tobruk '41. Started designing scenarios with Modern Campaigns: Korea '85 and, later, the First World War Campaigns series. Historical interests are primarily with the more obscure and lesser well known periods of military history.