Brian

Bruce C. Shelley papers Edit

Summary

Identifier
116.5468
Finding Aid Author
Nicole Pease
Finding Aid Date
July 2017
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of Description
English

Dates

  • 1975 – 2010 (Creation)
  • 1982 – 2000 (Creation)

Extents

  • 0.5 Linear Feet (Whole)

Agent Links

Subjects

Notes

  • Abstract

    The Bruce C. Shelley papers are a compilation of game rules, correspondence, strategy guide notes, design documents, and more, relating to Shelley’s career in both the board and video games industries. The bulk of the materials are dated between 1982 and 2000.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    This collection is open for research use by staff of The Strong and by users of its library and archives. Though the donor has not transferred intellectual property rights (including, but not limited to any copyright, trademark, and associated rights therein) to The Strong, he has given permission for The Strong to make copies in all media for museum, educational, and research purposes.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    VHS tapes in this collection will need to be acclimated to the temperature of the room they will be viewed in prior to watching (about two hours). Some documents in the collection contain pages that are printed out of order and/or are missing pages. 3.5” floppy disks and CDs require advance notice to access and are limited to on-site researchers only.

    At this time, digital files in this collection are limited to on-site researchers only. It is possible that certain formats may be inaccessible or restricted.

    Please see The Strong's Digital Games Files Access Policy here .

  • Custodial History

    The Bruce C. Shelley papers were donated to The Strong in September 2016 as a gift of Bruce C. Shelley. The papers were accessioned by The Strong under Object ID 116.5468. The papers were received from Shelley in one box.

  • Preferred citation for publication

    Bruce C. Shelley papers, Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong.

  • Processed by

    Nicole Pease, July 2017

  • Biographical Note

    Bruce Campbell Shelley began his games career testing war board games by mail for free. Simulations Publications soon provided him with his first job as a professional game designer in the summer of 1981. Shelley joined Avalon Hill in 1982, where he developed board games such as 1830: The Game of Railroads and Robber Barons and Titan. In 1987, Avalon Hill prompted Shelley to switch his focus from board games to computer games. Shelley worked alongside Sid Meier and Andy Hollis at MicroProse Software Inc., learning the philosophy of game design; there, Shelley co-designed Railroad Tycoon (1990) and Civilization (1991) —the games for which he is best known.

    Shelley started at Ensemble Studios in 1995, joining two fellow gamers he knew from college. As Senior Designer at Ensemble, Shelley helped to structure the company and influenced the development methodology. He contributed to Age of Empires (1997) and Age of Empires II: Age of Kings (1999), real-time action games with historical depth. Shelley moved to Zynga in 2009 as a Senior Design Director on CastleVille (2011) alongside Brian Reynolds and Dave Pottinger. As of 2017, Shelley continues to be active in the gaming community.

    Shelley’s methodologies in developing games include targeting broad audiences, working with prototypes early in the process, keeping the development process fun and fast-paced, drawing inspiration from existing games, and focusing on creating an enjoyable, quality, and best-selling game. His accomplishments include being inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 2008 as well as being elected to its Board of Directors.

  • Collection Scope and Content Note

    This collection contains materials relating to Bruce C. Shelley’s time in both the board/strategy game and video game industry. These include digital materials, game rules, correspondence, strategy guide notes, conference materials, articles, magazine clippings, design documents, outlines, order forms, prototype specs, inserts, and reviews. The bulk of the materials are dated between 1982 and 2000.

    The Bruce Shelley papers have been arranged into three series, each of which has been further divided into subseries. The collection is housed in four archival document boxes.

  • System of Arrangement

    Series I: Analog game-related, c. 1975-1984

    Subseries A: Simulations Publications, Inc.
    Subseries B: Avalon Hill Games, Inc.
    Subseries C: Miscellaneous wargaming materials

    Series II: Digital game-related, 1993-2010

    Subseries A: MicroProse Software Inc.
    Subseries B: Ensemble Studios
    Subseries C: Zynga

    Series III: Personal papers, 1978-2009

    Subseries A: Personal papers
    Subseries B: Conference materials

External Documents

Instances

  • Type
    Accession
    Container 1 Type
    Box
    Container 1 Indicator
    1-4
    Container 1 Barcode
    Bruce C. Shelley papers

Components