No preview of an upcoming product this month. No R&D secrets to reveal. Not really. Instead, I wanted to let you know that I’m leaving Wizards of the Coast. It’s time for my next adventure.
It’s hard to believe that I first entered the hallowed halls of TSR, Inc. in the long-ago year of 1993. I was the new kid on the block back then, even though I had seven years of professional work behind me at the time and a handful of industry awards already to my credit. Some of the greats were still on the staff back then, people whose work I admired and played in my formative years, including Zeb Cook, Jeff Grubb, and Jim Ward. My first projects were set in the Dungeons & Dragons worlds of Dark Sun, Ravenloft, and Planescape, and I couldn’t have been happier. It was a gamer’s (and game designer’s) dream come true. As time went on, I got the plum assignment of lead designer for the Alternity Science Fiction Roleplaying Game, working with co-designer Rich Baker and editor extreme Kim Mohan. It was a great time.
In 1997, Wizards of the Coast acquired TSR and moved me and a bunch of the staff out to Seattle. Shortly thereafter, I was promoted to Director of R&D for Dungeons & Dragons. I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with a talented group of creative people over the years, and we accomplished such feats as launching both the 3rd and 4th editions of the D&D roleplaying game, creating d20 Modern and d20 Star Wars, launching painted plastic miniatures for D&D, creating new worlds such as Eberron and the D&D Core World, and most recently launching a new category of D&D board games that started with Castle Ravenloft. I can’t wait to see what they do next! I know that whatever it is, it will be great and I will be playing it.
My professional time with D&D may be coming to an end, but the game and its worlds will always be near and dear to my heart. I am a gamer, first and foremost, and it’s the game I always go back to for inspiration and fun. So, until our paths cross again, do what I’m still doing and …
This is Bill Slavicsek’s final act as Director of R&D for Dungeons & Dragons Games and Novels. He’s had a blast. Now he can’t wait to find out what happens next.