Dr. Michael Capps Joins Autarch’s Management Board (A Press Release!)

January 14, 2016 (Durham, NC): Autarch LLC, publisher of the best-selling Adventurer Conqueror King System, is pleased to announce that Dr. Michael Capps has become a member of the company’s management board.

Best known for his work as a videogame executive, including as President of Epic Games, Dr. Capps is a lifelong tabletop gamer. With decades of experience in organized play as part of the Role-Playing Games Association (RPGA) and as a director at DragonCon, he has been working closely with Autarch founder and lead designer Alexander Macris on tabletop projects since 2008.

“I hope that by working with Autarch I can help bring the tabletop role-playing game hobby – a hobby that has provided me with years of enjoyment – to the next generation of gamers,” said Dr. Capps. “It is also entirely possible that I failed a saving throw versus Suggestion, so please check back with me in about eight hours.”

Autarch LLC’s first product, Adventurer Conqueror King System, was crowdfunded in 2011 and went on to become a platinum bestseller on DriveThruRPG and a Three Castles Award finalist. The company is currently crowdfunding its sixth product, Lairs & Encounters, a sandbox supplement for Adventurer Conqueror King System. In 2016 the company is slated to crowdfund the long-awaited Auran Empire Campaign Setting and begin work on a new product line.

“As Autarch has grown, the challenges of managing its products and building its fanbase have become more complex,” said Macris. “With his years of experience in building the world’s leading game development company, not to mention his INT and CHA bonuses, Mike is the hero we need to help us reach the next level with Autarch.”

Autarch is currently a 5th level LLC and needs 32,000XP to reach 6th level, at which time it will gain +1 to profitability throws and a new proficiency. 

About Dr. Michael Capps: Dr. Michael Capps has been a game designer, executive producer, lead programmer and studio executive. He's best known for his decade as the president of Epic Games, based in Cary, NC. Epic is the creator of the mega-hit “Unreal” game series and the blockbuster “Gears of War” franchise, which has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide and won more than 50 game of the year awards. Epic’s game technology, the Unreal Engine, is the nine-time winner of Game Developer magazine’s Front Line Award. Under Michael’s leadership, Epic was recognized as Spike TV’s Studio of the Year, Official Xbox Magazine’s Developer of the Year, the North Carolina Technology Association (NCTA) Large Company of the Year and the NCTA Top Industry Driven Technology Company of the Year.  In 2009, Michael was named NCTA Technology Executive of the Year, and in 2010, Epic was named NCTA’s Private Company of the Year. In addition, Game Developer magazine placed Michael in its Game Developer 50, which recognizes significant contributors to the game industry.

Michael currently serves on the board of directors for the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS), which is charged with recognition of outstanding achievement in the entertainment software community; Remedy Entertainment, known for creating blockbuster character-driven videogames like Max Payne and Alan Wake; and Sphero, makers of the wildly popular Sphero, Ollie, and Star Wars BB-8 robots.  He is an advisor for the Immersive Technology Alliance (ITA), an industry organization encouraging augmented and virtual reality technologies. Prior board service includes the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), a group of game publishers gathered to further goals of the games industry; the Entertainment Software Review Board (ESRB), which manages the videogame rating system; and the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), the world’s largest nonprofit membership organization for game developers.  Michael also has served on the North Carolina Innovation Council and Change the Equation, a non-profit, non-partisan CEO-led initiative to drive innovation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

Prior to entering the game industry, Michael served as a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, where he specialized in defense and entertainment collaboration, virtual reality and computer graphics.  For his work in these areas, he was one of 50 graphics pioneers included in the ACM SIGGRAPH documentary, The Story of Computer Graphics

While at the Naval Postgraduate School, Michael was the producer, designer and lead programmer of the America’s Army computer game. Sponsored by the U.S. Army, America’s Army was the first free-to-play downloadable first person shooter.  It provides a portal into the Army, from basic training to Special Forces missions, to tens of millions of registered users.

Michael’s varied experience with information technology and military simulations led him to be featured in the Discovery Channel’s Combat Countdown series, the Science Channel’s NASA Unexplained Files, and Discovery’s What on Earth? series about satellite imagery.

A departmental honoree in mathematics and creative writing, Michael graduated summa cum laude from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He holds master’s degrees in computer science and electrical engineering from UNC-Chapel Hill and MIT, and a doctorate in computer science from the Naval Postgraduate School.

I am very happy to hear that! Autarch are already some of the highest quality publishers out there (together with Sine Nomine), and this addition would make you even better.

Wow! That's great news! I had no idea Alex was courting such high-profile people!

Does he have rules/mechanical ideas or insights that he wants to help implement in ACKS (maybe based on his videogame experience or whatever), or his role going to be more managerial?

Welcome, Michael!  I'm sure we'll here about his projects as he gets acclimated.

Did anyone else notice that line that snuck in there about the long-awaited Auran Empire setting coming THIS YEAR?  I've been an ACKSian when it was playtests with Tavis in the city (and even have some of those vintage softcovers from before the first edition), the advent of a commitment to kickstart the setting is also some major news!







Well things are getting real interesting around these parts. Looking forward to the next step.


This is fantastic news!