Greg Costikyan

Greg Costikyan is CEO of Manifesto Games, which works to build a vibrant, innovative, and viable independent games industry. He began working in the game industry at the age of fourteen, in 1974, when he was hired by Simulations Publications, Inc. to ship and assemble games. Two years later, he moved onto SPI's design staff, and his first game, based on the Battle of Alamein, was published. In 1985 he joined West End Games as employee number three-after which he oversaw the development and publication of more than fifty gaming products, designing several of West End's best-selling games, including Paranoia and Star Wars: The Role-Playing Game at the same time. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was a house husband, taking care of two small children, while simultaneously writing three science fiction novels, a fantasy fiction serial for the Prodigy commercial online service, and the game MadMaze for Prodigy, which became the first online game to attract more than a million players. He then worked as a game designer, researcher, and consultant before founding Unplugged Games, one of the first North American mobile game start-ups. Greg has designed more than thirty commercially published board, role-playing, online, computer, and mobile games. His games have won five Origins Awards and a Gamer's Choice Award.

Essays by this author

Games, Storytelling, and Breaking the String


Greg Costikyan revisits the narrative versus game-play debate that continues to be a staple of both Game Studies and Game Design. He presents a spectrum that ranges from game-focused forms to narrative-centric models, and suggests that free-form role-playing may be the most desireable marriage of narrative and game-play.