Jump to content

Karl Roelofs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Karl Roelofs
Born (1964-09-11) September 11, 1964 (age 59)
Occupation(s)Creative Director and Producer at Zojoi, LLC
Years active1985–present
Notable work

Karl Roelofs (born September 11, 1964) is an American video game developer known for creating the MacVenture game Shadowgate. He is a co-founder of the video game development company Zojoi, LLC with Dave Marsh.[4]


ICOM Simulations[edit]

Karl Roelofs began his career in video game development in 1985 when his best friend Dave Marsh enlisted him to help with designing a video game for ICOM Simulations. Karl had wanted to be a writer and saw an opportunity in Dave's offer. He accepted the chance to design and write a fantasy adventure game and began working with Dave to create their first game together which would later be called Shadowgate. Karl was hired at ICOM Simulations in 1987 after the company had already released its first two MacVenture games, Déjà Vu: A Nightmare Comes True, Uninvited, and while working on and finishing Shadowgate.[5]

Karl and Dave were not fully aware of how successful the games they developed were at the time as they were mostly focused on porting the MacVenture games to as many computer systems as possible.[5] Together with Dave, Karl worked on a sequel to Shadowgate called Beyond Shadowgate which was to be the next Shadowgate MacVenture title.[4] The game was four times larger than the original Shadowgate and had been fully designed and scripted,[6] but ICOM Simulations got a contract with NEC to develop for the TurboGrafx-16. ICOM decided to shift their focus from adventure games to side scrolling and top-down action games. This prompted a redesign of Beyond Shadowgate for the TurboGrafx-CD as a hybrid side-scrolling and adventure game.[5]

In 1993, ICOM Simulations was purchased by Viacom, Inc. and renamed to "Viacom New Media".[7] Karl began to work on games based on MTV and Nickelodeon properties, such as Nickelodeon GUTS and Rocko's Modern Life: Spunky's Dangerous Day.[3] After Viacom shut down Viacom New Media in 1998, Karl Roelofs went on to work for brief stints at Konami of America and Kesmai Studios/Electronic Arts.[8] A highlight of this period was his involvement in an online version of the Settlers of Catan for MSN Zone.[3][9]

Then he joined a new company with his friend Dave Marsh and another former employee of ICOM Simulations: Eugene Evans.[4] Eugene was the founder and president of a new video game production company called Infinite Ventures, and had obtained the rights to ICOM Simulation's original intellectual properties, including Shadowgate.[10] Together, Karl worked with them to create what was intended to be the "next generation" world of Shadowgate.[11]


On March 7, 2012, Karl Roelofs co-founded Zojoi, LLC with Dave Marsh.[12] They had reacquired the rights to the ICOM Simulations properties which included the rights to Shadowgate, Uninvited, and Déjà Vu I and II and materials such as the master recordings for the Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective games.[13]

The first project from Zojoi was a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign to remaster the Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective mysteries and release them for iOS and Android tablets as well as Windows and OS X platforms. The campaign had a funding goal of $55,000 and ran for 44 days. However, it only received $17,430 in pledges and did not succeed.[14][15]

Despite the unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign, Karl and Dave were able to obtain funding through other means for the Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective mysteries.[16][17] The first three mysteries were released on September 18, 2012, over iTunes for the iPad 2 and newer models,[18] and on October 7, 2012, over Desura for Windows and OS X.[19] Karl and Dave took their experience with the campaign for Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective and applied what they had learned for their next Kickstarter campaign for Shadowgate. Instrumental to this was that Shadowgate would be re-imagined and that it be in pre-production so that they could clearly communicate their vision through visuals, audio, and art.[6]

On October 26, 2012, the Kickstarter campaign for Shadowgate went live with Karl Roelofs appearing beside Dave Marsh in the campaign pitch video.[20] It had a funding goal of $120,000 and was set to last for 31 days.[21] The campaign was successful and raised $137,232 in pledges by November 25, 2012. With that funding, the new re-imagined Shadowgate moved into production. If the reception to the new revision of Shadowgate is great enough, Karl and Dave have expressed an interest in developing their original vision for the sequel, Beyond Shadowgate, as well as bringing back re-imagined versions of Uninvited and Déjà Vu I and II .[4]


Release Date Title Developer Publisher Platform Credit
1985 Déjà Vu ICOM Simulations Mindscape Amiga
Apple II
Commodore 64
Artist / Producer[3]
1986 Uninvited ICOM Simulations Mindscape Macintosh Artist / Producer[3]
1987 Shadowgate ICOM Simulations Mindscape Macintosh Game Designer / Artist[3][22]
1988 Déjà Vu II: Lost in Las Vegas ICOM Simulations Mindscape Macintosh Artist[3]
1991 Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective ICOM Simulations ICOM Simulations PC Game Designer / Artist[3]
1992 Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective Vol. II ICOM Simulations ICOM Simulations PC Game Designer / Artist[3]
1992 Road Runner's Death Valley Rally ICOM Simulations Sunsoft SNES Additional Design[23]
1993 Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective Vol. III ICOM Simulations ICOM Simulations PC Game Designer / Artist[3]
1993 Beyond Shadowgate ICOM Simulations Turbo Technologies Inc. TurboGrafx-CD Original Concept[3][24]
1993 Shape Shifter ICOM Simulations Turbo Technologies Inc. TurboGrafx-CD Game Designer[3]
1993 Dracula Unleashed ICOM Simulations Viacom New Media PC Game Designer[3][25][26][27]
1993 Daffy Duck: The Marvin Missions ICOM Simulations Sunsoft SNES Additional Design[3][28]
1994 Bugs Bunny Rabbit Rampage Viacom New Media Sunsoft SNES Additional Design[3][29]
1994 Rocko's Modern Life: Spunky's Dangerous Day Viacom New Media Viacom New Media SNES Game Designer[3][30]
1994 Nickelodeon GUTS Viacom New Media Viacom New Media SNES Producer[3][31]
1997 Broken Helix Konami Konami PS1 Additional Design[3][8]
1999 Shadowgate Classic Infinite Ventures Kemco GBC Game Designer[3]
1999 Déjà Vu I & II: The Casebooks of Ace Harding Kemco Vatical Entertainment GBC Game Designer[3]
2001 Air Warriors III: Millenium Version Kesmai I-Magic
Electronic Arts
PC Live Producer[3]
2005 Catan: The Computer Game Castle Hill Studios MSN Games PC Co-Producer / Artist[3]
2005–2011 50 Five-Reel and Three-Reel Mechanical Slot Machine Titles Video Gaming Technologies Video Gaming Technologies Slot machine Creative Services Manager[2]


In addition to his video game credits, Karl Roelofs is also the inventor of a published patent for a gaming machine and method. The patent describes a game play mechanism for gaming machines wherein certain icons obtained from the spinning reels could be saved in a separate grid, and then called back in blank areas of the reel in order to complete a winning combination. Karl created this patent while he was working at Video Gaming Technologies. It was applied for on February 1, 2008, and was granted by the US patent office on January 17, 2012.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roelofs, Karl. "Karl Roelofs / About". Facebook. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Roelofs, Karl. "Karl Roelofs' Public Profile". LinkedIn. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Who we are: Karl's Games". Charlottesville, Virginia: Zojoi, LLC. 2012. Archived from the original on February 17, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  4. ^ 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 January 7, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Sorlie, Audun (November 20, 2012). "Exclusive: Zojoi talks Shadowgate history and future". Destructoid. San Francisco, CA: Modern Method Network. 238512. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Cifaldi, Frank (October 26, 2012). "Seminal 80s adventure Shadowgate hopes for Kickstarter comeback". Gamasutra. London, United Kingdom: UBM plc. 180209. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  7. ^ Zelchenko, Peter (February 12, 1999). "'Hatman' Elevates Making Fun of the Boss to a New Level". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, IL: Tribune Company. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Broken Helix (PSX) Credits Part 2". YouTube. June 8, 2007. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  9. ^ "Who we are". Charlottesville, Virginia: Zojoi, LLC. 2012. Archived from the original on May 25, 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  10. ^ beersoft (February 27, 2004). "INTERVIEW: Infinite Ventures". MSMobileNews.com. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  11. ^ McGlothlin, Ed (July 29, 1999). "Interview with Dave Marsh and Karl Roelofs". Gaming Intelligence Agency. f990729. Archived from the original on February 24, 2002. Retrieved January 7, 2013. Alt URL
  12. ^ 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 January 7, 2013.
  13. ^ Business Entity Details: Zojoi, LLC (SCC eFile), Richmond, Virginia: Commonwealth of Virginia State Corporation Commission, March 7, 2012, S3962646, retrieved January 7, 2013
  14. ^ Marsh, Dave (March 16, 2012). "Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Adventure Mysteries". New York City, NY: Kickstarter. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  15. ^ "Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Adventure Mysteries". Additional content provided by David Marsh. Kicktraq. May 28, 2012. Campaign Dates. Retrieved October 13, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  16. ^ McElroy, Griffin (October 26, 2012). "Shadowgate remake hits Kickstarter, adds new rooms, graphics and music to original adventure". Polygon. Washington, D.C.: Vox Media. 3553810. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  17. ^ Dimopoulos, Konstantinos (September 20, 2012). "Mobile Game Pick: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective (Zojoi)". IndieGames.com. London, United Kingdom: UBM plc. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  18. ^ "iTunes Preview: 1 Mummy". iTunes. September 18, 2012. Released. 559255762. Retrieved December 12, 2012. "Released: Sep 18, 2012 / Version: 1.0"
  19. ^ "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.
  20. ^ Marsh, Dave (October 26, 2012). "Shadowgate". New York City, NY: Kickstarter. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  21. ^ "Shadowgate". Additional content provided by Zojoi. Kicktraq. October 26, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  22. ^ "[Macintosh Version] Shadowgate – Staff Credits". YouTube. April 3, 2009. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  23. ^ "Road Runners Death Valley Rally – Game Ending – Nintendo Super NES". YouTube. May 22, 2012. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  24. ^ "PC Engine Longplay [017] Beyond Shadowgate". YouTube. November 7, 2009. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  25. ^ Viacom New Media (1993). Dracula Unleashed (Sega CD). Sega. Scene: Intro Sequence. Game Design by David Marsh & Karl Roelofs, Produced by David Marsh
  26. ^ ICOM Simulations Infinite Ventures (2002). Dracula Unleashed (DVD). Infinite Ventures. Scene: Credits. DVD Development Team Executive Producer: Eugene Evans, Original ICOM Simulations Development Team Producer: David Marsh, Design: David Marsh & Karl Roelofs
  27. ^ "Dracula Unleashed [Finale Part 2 of 2] Remastered Version". YouTube. March 20, 2011. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  28. ^ "Daffy Duck: The Marvin Missions (SNES) Gameplay Part 10". YouTube. December 4, 2008. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  29. ^ "Bugs Bunny Rabbit Rampage (SNES) Gameplay Part 10". YouTube. June 7, 2008. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  30. ^ "SNES Longplay [021] Rocko's Modern Life: Spunky's Dangerous Day". YouTube. May 3, 2009. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  31. ^ "Let's Play / Review : Nickelodeon GUTS SNES part 3". YouTube. March 8, 2008. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  32. ^ US patent 8096871, Karl Roelofs, "Gaming machine and method", issued 2012-01-17, assigned to Video Gaming Technologies, Inc. 

External links[edit]