Editorial: Ian Trout (1949 - 2011)
Beloved developer, strategy game enthusiast and co-founder of Strategic Studies Group Ian Trout sadly passed away this morning.
It is with a sad and heavy heart that we report the passing of Ian Trout this morning. Ian was well-known as one of the founders of Strategic Studies Group, also known as SSG, developer of strategy wargames. His experience in developing strategy games with co-founder Roger Keating stretched twenty years, from Reach for the Stars: The Conquest of the Galaxy to Decisive Battles of World War II: Battles in Italy.
Reach for the Stars was credited for being one of the first and possibly the launcher of 4-X space games (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) that began its humble beginnings on Apple IIís, Commodore 64s and PCs.
SSG titles were well-known for their challenging artificial intelligence that went up against the player. SSG didnít scrimp on giving players tools to create their own scenarios, as many of the SSG titles came with scenario editors. SSG had also published a magazine called Run 5, which provided information on the historical aspects of their titles as well as game designs and upcoming new scenarios. With the magazine also came a disk that had scenario files pre-loaded and ready to play. Run 5 was published quarterly and ran for 25 issues.
SSG won the 2003 Wargamer of the Year from PC Gamer and many others for their Korsun Pocket game. Even in 2003 we know how hard it was for a Wargame to receive such honors. The most recent release was Across the Dnepr: Second Edition.
Ian Trout described himself on the SSG staff page as ďI'm a sometime bug-hunter turned chalky turned bookseller before stumbling into computer game design and publishing. Twenty years and twenty-odd games on, and nothwithstanding the industry's peculiar volatility, I'm still at it... older, greyer, fatter... but not much wiser. I love it.Ē
Ian Trout will be sorely missed and we here at Wargamer offer our prayers to friends and family of a great man and a great developer.
From left to right: Taubman, Ian Trout, Roger Keating, Gregor Whiley, Power