GDC launches memorial fund for artist Paul Steed

Paul Steed, a 3D modeler who made a name for himself working on the iconic Quake and Wing Commander series, died in August after more than two decades in the industry. Known as the man behind the “Crackwhore” female model for Quake II, Steed was also an active member of the Game Developers Conference advisory board – and it’s the board who has set up a memorial fund to recognise Steed’s contribution to the industry.

Paul Steed

Paul Steed

Steve Theodore is a GDC Advisory Board member and technical art director at Undead Labs. He remembers his friend:

Unlike most of us, Steed didn’t labor in obscurity. If you were involved in games during the ’90s — whether as a professional or as a fan — it was hard not to pay attention to Paul Steed. He worked on some of the seminal titles of the decade, notably the Wing Commander series and the Quake series.

He produced the first demo for Xbox 360, presented a Game Career Seminar keynote at the Game Developers Conference, and was a leading exponent of art outsourcing — proving that he could remain topical for nearly two decades. Always outspoken and always controversial, he was not a typical game artist — but he was the most public exemplar of what we do for people both inside and outside the business.

As well as all of that, Steed served on the GDC advisory board for many years, as well as working on some of the games industry’s most influential, critically-acclaimed releases. He also wrote a regular column for game artists – Thinking Outside the Box – and created books on modeling and animating 3D characters.

Steed, aged just 48 when he died, left behind a wife and children. This new memorial fund has been set up to help them through this difficult time. If you wish to contribute, please visit the official GDC website, or make a donation by visiting any U.S. Wells Fargo branch. (Not in North America? Don’t stress. International bank transfers are possible, or talk to GDC General Manager Meggan Scavio for more details.)

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