Dave Marsh (game developer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

David R. Marsh
Born (1964-11-05) November 5, 1964 (age 54)
ResidenceCharlottesville, Virginia
Other namesDave Belltower
OccupationFounder & President of Zojoi, LLC
Years active1985–present
Notable work
Home townRolling Meadows, Illinois

David R. Marsh (born November 5, 1964) is an American video game designer known for his work supporting the intellectual properties that used to belong to ICOM Simulations, and creating the MacVenture game Shadowgate. As of 2012, he recently founded a new game development company called Zojoi, LLC with plans to release new, remastered and revised versions of games created by him and Karl Roelofs when they were at ICOM Simulations.


ICOM Simulations[edit]

In the mid-1980s, Dave Marsh started his career in game development by developing projects and creating graphics with an Apple II. He met programmer Terry Schulenburg from ICOM Simulations after they had released their first MacVenture game: Déjà Vu: A Nightmare Comes True in 1985.[7][8] Terry told Dave about the kind of games they were working on and lent one of ICOM's Macintosh 128K systems to him. Dave enlisted the help of his friend Karl Roelofs, and together the two began working on their first complete game which would eventually become Shadowgate.

Dave officially joined ICOM Simulations in April–May 1985, and began working as an artist on the 2nd MacVenture game: Uninvited and as an artist and producer on the PC ports of the first MacVenture game, Déjà Vu. Karl came on board soon after, and the two continued designing and developing Shadowgate while working on the other MacVenture games. One of the issues that Dave and Karl had to deal with in making Shadowgate was the size constraints of the floppy disks. Some of the puzzles and rooms that were designed had to be cut in order for there to be enough space to fit them on the disks.[9]

In the early 90's, with the rise in CD-ROM technology, the higher ups at ICOM Simulations decided to move away from adventure games in favor of side-scrollers and action games.[7] Adventure games that Dave and Karl were involved in, such as Beyond Shadowgate and The Awakening, were cancelled[10] and ICOM secured a contract with NEC to develop for the TurboGrafx-16.[7] In addition to the more action oriented games, Dave and Karl also were heavily involved working on games that used live actors and full motion video, such as Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, to make use of the latest technological advancements.[11]

Two major changes happened at ICOM Simulations while Dave was there. On July 5, 1991, Tod Zipnick, the founder and principal shareholder of ICOM Simulations, died of Hodgkin's Disease at the age of 35.[12] In May 1993, ICOM Simulations was purchased by Viacom, Inc. as part of the media conglomerate's expansion into interactive media. ICOM Simulations was then renamed to Viacom New Media and changed the focus of the games Dave and the company would develop for the next four years.[11][13]

Viacom New Media[edit]

After ICOM Simulations became Viacom New Media, Dave began working on producing games based on licensed properties, primarily those of MTV and Nickelodeon. Some of these games included Rocko's Modern Life: Spunky's Dangerous Day and Beavis and Butt-head. In 1998, Viacom shut down Viacom New Media and sold off its intellectual properties.[11][13]

One of Viacom New Media's former employees was Eugene Evans, formerly of Mythic Entertainment, who had founded his own company called Infinite Ventures. He contacted Dave and got his help in securing most of ICOM Simulation's intellectual properties, including Shadowgate.[11]

Infinite Ventures[edit]

With ICOM Simulation's library of games in their possession, Eugene Evans worked with Dave Marsh and Karl Roelofs to revitalize Shadowgate and the other MacVenture games.[14]

They also re-released higher quality versions of all three volumes of the Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Video Mysteries and Dracula Unleashed as Interactive DVD games that could be played on any DVD Player.[15]

In 2008, Infinite Ventures closed down and the intellectual properties of ICOM Simulations remained in the possession of Infinite Venture's Karla Knickerbocker. In January 2012, Dave Marsh approached Karla with an interest to secure the rights to the ICOM Simulations library of games.


On March 7, 2012, Dave founded Zojoi, LLC with fellow ICOM Simulations and Infinite Ventures veteran, Karl Roelofs.[16] On the Zojoi company website, they state their mission as follows:

Our goal is to bring both exciting versions of classic titles (many of which defined entire genres) and new games to PC's, Macs and tablets!

— Zojoi Homepage, [17]

On March 16, 2012, Zojoi launched a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign to help fund the development of a remastered version of the original nine Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective mysteries. Dave Marsh appeared in the pitch video for the project to describe what he and his company wanted to do. They had set a funding goal of $55,000 for their campaign, and offered rewards that would allow backers to become an additional part of the game, such as by writing an important article for in game copies of The London Times.[18]

Unfortunately, the campaign ended on April 28, 2012 after raising $17,430: 31% of their target goal. This meant that Dave and Zojoi would not get any funding at all as outlined in Kickstarter's guidelines.[19] Despite this turn of events, Dave stated in an update on the campaign page that he and Zojoi would still work towards remastering and releasing Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, even though it would take longer to raise the money necessary to finish the work.[18][20][21]

On September 18, 2012, the first three Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective mysteries were released on iTunes for the iPad 2 and newer iPad models.[22] The Windows and OS X version of the same three mysteries were later released via Desura on October 7, 2012.[23]

Dave's next project was to revitalize Shadowgate, and on October 26, 2012, Zojoi launched a Kickstarter campaign for it. Dave and Karl both appeared in the pitch video, and were offering physical rewards including recreations of the "Staff of Ages" used in the game and a Shadowgate card game called Quests of Shadowgate designed by Coleman Charlton of Iron Crown Enterprises and Mayfair Games. Their target goal for this campaign was set at $120,000 and would last for 31 days.[24][25]

Unlike previous releases of Shadowgate, the version Dave Marsh and Karl wanted to make would be different. Dave stated that the game would be a "re-imagining" of Shadowgate where new puzzles that were cut from the original game would be added in along with other brand new puzzles. Some puzzles and rooms would also be removed or altered so that the solution to solving the room's puzzle in the new game would be different than in previous releases.[26]

The campaign met its funding goal with about two days left before the end of the campaign. When it ended on November 25, 2012, it raised $137,232 in pledges from 3,468 backers. Not only did the campaign meet its target funding goal, but its first stretch-goal as well. With the campaign's success, Dave began production on Shadowgate at Zojoi. As of December 24, 2012, Zojoi is still accepting pledges via PayPal in case anyone else wanted to pledge and assist in reaching the next stretch goal, and Dave is currently working on the game's development.[24][25][27]


Release Date Title Developer Publisher Platform Credit
1985 Déjà Vu ICOM Simulations Mindscape Amiga
Apple II
Commodore 64
Artist / Producer[4]
1986 Uninvited ICOM Simulations Mindscape Macintosh Artist / Producer[4]
1987 Shadowgate ICOM Simulations Mindscape Macintosh Game Designer / Artist / Producer[4]
1988 Déjà Vu II: Lost in Las Vegas ICOM Simulations Mindscape Macintosh Artist[4]
1991 Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective ICOM Simulations ICOM Simulations PC Art director[4]
1992 Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective Vol. II ICOM Simulations ICOM Simulations PC Art director[4]
1992 Road Runner's Death Valley Rally ICOM Simulations Sunsoft SNES Game Designer / Producer[4][28]
1993 Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective Vol. III ICOM Simulations ICOM Simulations PC Art director[4]
1993 Beyond Shadowgate ICOM Simulations Turbo Technologies Inc. TurboGrafx-CD Game Designer[4]
1993 Shape Shifter ICOM Simulations Turbo Technologies Inc. TurboGrafx-CD Game Designer / Producer[4]
1993 Dracula Unleashed ICOM Simulations Viacom New Media PC Producer[4][29]
1993 Daffy Duck: The Marvin Missions ICOM Simulations Sunsoft SNES Executive Producer[4][30]
1994 Bugs Bunny Rabbit Rampage Viacom New Media Sunsoft SNES Executive Producer[4]
1994 Rocko's Modern Life: Spunky's Dangerous Day Viacom New Media Viacom New Media SNES Game Designer / Producer[4]
1996 Beavis and Butt-head in Little Thingies Viacom New Media Viacom New Media PC Executive Producer[4]
1996 Beavis and Butt-head in Wiener Takes All Viacom New Media Viacom New Media PC Game Designer / Producer[4]
1998 Aliens Online Mythic Entertainment Kesmai PC Executive Producer[4]
1998 Starship Troopers Online Mythic Entertainment Kesmai PC Executive Producer[4]
1999 Shadowgate Classic Infinite Ventures Kemco GBC Game Designer[4]
1999 Déjà Vu I & II: The Casebooks of Ace Harding Kemco Vatical Entertainment GBC Game Designer[4]
2001 Multiplayer BattleTech 3025 Kesmai Electronic Arts PC Co-Producer[4]
2001 Silent Death: Online Kesmai GameStorm PC Executive Producer[4]
2003–2011 150 Slot Machine Titles Video Gaming Technologies Video Gaming Technologies Video Slot Machine Creative Director[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Marsh, Dave. "Dave Marsh / About". Facebook. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  2. ^ Marsh, Dave. "Dave Marsh's Public Profile". LinkedIn. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  3. ^ "Who we are". Charlottesville, Virginia: Zojoi, LLC. 2012. Archived from the original on May 25, 2012. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "Who we are: Dave's Games". Charlottesville, Virginia: Zojoi, LLC. 2012. Archived from the original on February 10, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  5. ^ Marsh, Dave (2012). "Welcome to the Shade". Dave Belltower. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  6. ^ Marsh, Dave (2012). "Bio". Dave Belltower. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  7. ^ a b c Sorlie, Audun (November 20, 2012). "Exclusive: Zojoi talks Shadowgate history and future". Destructoid. San Francisco, CA: Modern Method Network. 238512. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  8. ^ Barton, Matt (December 16, 2012), Matt Chat 177: Dave Marsh on Shadowgate and Kickstarter, San Bruno, CA: YouTube, Matt Chat 177: Dave Marsh on Shadowgate and Kickstarter on YouTube, retrieved December 24, 2012
  9. ^ Benson, Julian (November 10, 2012). "Interview: Dave Marsh on Shadowgate Kickstarter. "We definitely will keep that sense of danger around every corner"". PCGamesN. Bristol, UK: Network N Ltd. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  10. ^ Cifaldi, Frank (October 26, 2012). "Seminal 80s adventure Shadowgate hopes for Kickstarter comeback". Gamasutra. London, United Kingdom: UBM plc. 180209. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  11. ^ a b c d McElroy, Griffin (October 26, 2012). "A Successful Shadowgate Could Pave The Way For New Déjà Vu, Other Macventures". Polygon. Washington, D.C.: Vox Media. 3555494. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
  12. ^ Heise, Kenan (July 9, 1991). "Tod Zipnick, Innovator in Video-game Industry". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, IL: Tribune Company. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  13. ^ a b Zelchenko, Peter (February 12, 1999). "'Hatman' Elevates Making Fun of the Boss to a New Level". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, IL: Tribune Company. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  14. ^ beersoft (February 27, 2004). "INTERVIEW: Infinite Ventures". MSMobileNews.com. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  15. ^ Lucard, Alex (March 29, 2012). "Interview with David Marsh About His Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective Kickstarter Project". Diehard GameFan. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
  16. ^ Business Entity Details: Zojoi, LLC (SCC eFile), Richmond, Virginia: Commonwealth of Virginia State Corporation Commission, March 7, 2012, S3962646, retrieved December 26, 2012
  17. ^ "Welcome". Charlottesville, Virginia: Zojoi, LLC. 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
  18. ^ a b Marsh, Dave (March 16, 2012). "Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Adventure Mysteries". New York City, NY: Kickstarter. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  19. ^ Walker, Rob (August 5, 2011). "The Trivialities and Transcendence of Kickstarter". The New York Times. New York City, NY: The New York Times Company. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  20. ^ "Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Adventure Mysteries". Additional content provided by Dave Marsh. Kicktraq. May 28, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012.CS1 maint: others (link)
  21. ^ Marsh, Dave (April 28, 2012). "Update #5 – Thank you!". Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Adventure Mysteries. KickStarter. Retrieved December 12, 2012. Well, I started Zojoi to release these games and that's what I will do – it may just take a while longer to come up with the money to do so.
  22. ^ "iTunes Preview: 1 Mummy". iTunes. September 18, 2012. Released. 559255762. Retrieved December 12, 2012. "Released: Sep 18, 2012 / Version: 1.0”
  23. ^ "Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Case 1 Windows, Mac game". Desura. October 7, 2012. Archived from the original on November 21, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  24. ^ a b Marsh, Dave (October 26, 2012). "Shadowgate". New York City, NY: Kickstarter. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  25. ^ a b "Shadowgate". Additional content provided by Zojoi. Kicktraq. November 25, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012.CS1 maint: others (link)
  26. ^ Barton, Matt (October 28, 2012), Matt Chat 170: Lori and Corey Cole on Hero-U; Dave Marsh on Shadowgate, San Bruno, CA: YouTube, Matt Chat 170: Lori and Corey Cole on Hero-U; Dave Marsh on Shadowgate on YouTube, retrieved December 24, 2012
  27. ^ "Shadowgate Campaign". Charlottesville, Virginia: Zojoi, LLC. 2012. Archived from the original on November 30, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
  28. ^ ICOM Simulations, Inc. (1992). Road Runner's Death Valley Rally. Sunsoft. Scene: Staff Credits. Design and Direction: Dave Marsh, Producer: Dave Marsh, Additional Design: Karl Roelofs, Additional Artwork: Dave Marsh
  29. ^ Viacom New Media (1993). Dracula Unleashed. Sega CD. Sega. Scene: Intro Sequence. Game Design by Dave Marsh & Karl Roelofs, Produced by Dave Marsh
  30. ^ ICOM Simulations, Inc. (1993). Daffy Duck: The Marvin Missions. Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Sunsoft. Scene: Staff Credits. Additional Game Design: Dave Marsh & Karl Roelofs, Executive Producer: Dave Marsh, Guest Artists: Dave Marsh

External links[edit]