Marc Miller, along with Rich Banner and Frank Chadwick circa 1972, was a member of the Illinois State University (Normal, Illinois) Games Club. Banner engineered a grant which funded the printing of blank hex sheets (suitable for making wargame maps). The three (plus new members Loren Wiseman and John Harshman) began drafting a variety of designs, some derivative of existing games at the time (with generic names like Guerre, Swamp), and some original concepts (Triplanetary).
In 1973, Illinois State University, under a program to fund educational innovation, created SimRAD (Simulation Research, Analysis, and Design), which designed games for implementation in the college classroom. At about the same time, the three decided to publish a massive World War II simulation game (conceived and created Game Designers' Workshop as their publishing company. As university funding dried up for SimRAD, the three shifted their attention to the commercial sector.
Game Designers' Workshop adopted as its birthdate June 22, 1973. In that year, GDW published Drang Nach Osten (the first of its Europa Series on World War II) and Triplanetary (Miller’s first science-fiction design). In 1974, the company published five new titles, including Coral Sea (the World War II naval battle) and Chaco (the 1930s war between Bolivia and Paraguay) by Miller. During his tenure at GDW, Miller designed a total of 74 games and products, an average of one every four months. including Imperium, Traveller, MegaTraveller, and 2300 AD.
Marc Miller publishes his own game designs at farfuture.net, and consults with the game industry on design and producing issues. His role-playing games are currently in print through Steve Jackson Games and Mongoose Games.
Marc Miller is a graduate of Glenbard East High School (Lombard Illinois) and the University of Illinois. He served in the United States Army, achieving the rank of Captain. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam.
He served on the City of Bloomington Human Relations Commission (1987—2001) and was a founder of the Bloomington-Normal Not In Our Town grass-roots anti-racism movement. He serves as President of the Pratt Music Foundation, a non-profit providing music education scholarships to deserving youth.
He currently lives in Bloomington, Illinois with his wife Darlene.
Miller has received every major award for design excellence, including the Origins Award, the prestigious Games 100 (six times), and the Game Designers’ Guild Award. He is in the Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame twice: he was inducted as a designer into the Origins Hall of Fame in 1981, and his role-playing game Traveller was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997.