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Obituary: Pioneer game artist Paul Steed
Obituary: Pioneer game artist Paul Steed
August 13, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

August 13, 2012 | By Eric Caoili
More: Console/PC, Art

Renowned game artist and industry veteran Paul Steed, best known for his landmark 3D modeling work in id Software titles like the Quake and Doom series, has passed away. Details regarding his death have not been disclosed.

Steed spent more than two decades of his life working in the industry, getting his start as an artist and 3D modeler, and eventually transitioning into an entrepreneur and even heading a studio with his most recent role at UTV Ignition Entertainment.

His contributions to the industry are immeasurable -- more than a few game artists have honed their craft by referring to Steed's work, reading his tutorials and Thinking Outside the Box column, and poring over his books on animating and modeling game characters.

Steed also frequently gave talks at universities, hosted and sponsored contests, participated in discussions at game development online communities, and served as an advisory board member and speaker for the Game Developers Conference.

He got his first industry job at Origin in the early '90s, working on the Wing Commander franchise and other titles for four years. He eventually went on to companies like Iguana Entertainment and Virgin Interactive.

It was at id, though, where Steed gained fame amongst game developers for his work on modeling and animating characters for the company's shooters. He eventually parted ways with the company over creative differences after working there for four years.

After id, Steed bounced around at WildTangent, Atari, and even Microsoft's Xbox Advanced Technology Group, where he worked on the development of Xbox 360 and the XNA tools. He spent five years as president and COO of outsourcing company Exigent before landing at UTV Ignition.

During his Game Career Seminar keynote speech at GDC 2008, he proclaimed, "This is not a job. It's a lifestyle, requiring your heart, your soul and putting all your passion into it. I'm here today because I will never stop."

Steed is survived by his wife and children.

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Ali Afshari
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Wow, Adam Adamowicz gets taken too early and now Steed...two men I looked up to in the industry.

Eric McVinney
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Damn shame, it is. He's done such fantastic work in both Doom and Quake series.

Ted Brown
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Paul was awesome. I only met him a few times, but the stories he could tell -- and the passion behind them -- were unforgettable.

Pedro Silva
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Steed is one of those people that are too big to fit in a lifetime. His work will forever be known and many generations in the future will look back to what he acomplished and refer to it as "those were the times". RIP Paul Steed. My deepest sympathy goes to his family and friends.

Ujn Hunter
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Sad news. He's one of the reasons I got involved in game development to begin with.

Henrik Strandberg
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My deepest condolances and warm thoughts to Paul's children and family. We worked closely at Atari for a few years, and not only was Paul one of the brightest, nicest, most professional and talented people I have ever come across in almost 25 years in this industry - he was also a very close friend with a big, warm heart; one of those rare people who would always make room in his busy schedule to meet up whenever we attended the same trade shows. My eyes tear up as I write this - Paul I will miss you.

Rob Kahlon
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I've known Paul for a number of years while at Exigent. A true professional on so many levels - will be sadly missed. RIP Paul.

Camilla Bennett Koutsos
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Steed's been my friend for almost 13 years, and I keep feeling like this is some kind of sick joke. Logically, I realise it can't be, but he always seemed to play the game of life in god-mode.

It's an honour to call him friend, even if he was a crazy bugger.

Bob Satori
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So terribly sad to lose not just a great talent but a man who, despite being a "superstar" in his own career, was known more for how much he gave back and helped others.

Only the good die young. He will be missed.