Aaron Allston, the game designer and novelist who contributed to Origin's Ultima
and the Wing Commander
franchises, passed away yesterday in Branson, Missouri. He was 53.
Allston was perhaps best known as a fiction writer and a designer of tabletop role-playing games, though in his career he also wrote nonfiction books about the craft of writing, spoke at public conferences and helped write and design multiple Origin Systems games during the '90s.
In that time he was credited for contributions to games like Wing Commander: The Secret Missions
, Worlds of Ultima: The Savage Empire
, and Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss
, among others. Allston also worked with publishers like Steve Jackson Games and TSR on tabletop role-playing games like Car Wars
and Dungeons & Dragons
Allston was a prolific novelist, publishing more than twenty science fiction, fantasy and horror novels during his lifetime, including multiple entries in the much-loved X-Wing series of licensed Star Wars novels published by Bantam Books.
Writer and designer Allen Varney, a long-time friend and colleague of Allston, published a more comprehensive summary
of Allston's life and work on Google+ yesterday that everyone can and should read.