Back in the 80s, Palladium carved out a niche as one of the biggest producers of RPGs, and that's thanks in part to the many worlds of RIFTS.
The birth of RPGs is strangely tied to lakes, which has some beautiful symmetry with the fact that early civilizations developed around rivers and lakes--and in deep bodies of water the first living organisms grew. But with RPGs, it's kind of uncanny. D&D sprang up around Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where a convention every year grew the wargaming community to the point that gamers desiring to play more and more creative scenarios until they evolved into proto-RPGs.
And not far away (relatively speaking) in Detroit, Michigan, the seeds of RPGs and wargames spread and found root, leading to the growth of a new convention called WinterCon--another place where games like D&D took hold. By the 80s, WinterCon helped transform Detroit into a "hotbed" of roleplaying and wargaming, which sets the stage for a company called Palladium.
Two things you need to understand about Palladium--they exploded onto the scene in 1981, and when they hit the scene, they quickly became one of the top three companies--and this is when D&D under TSR was at its peak, which should say something about the product they were delivering. The other thing you should know is that the founder, Keven Siembieda considered himself an artist first, and e...