Michael Cranford

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Michael Cranford
Michael Cranford 2013.jpg
Michael Cranford, 2013
Born (1963-06-05) June 5, 1963 (age 57)
Alma materUniversity of Southern California
OccupationVideo game designer, programmer, ethicist, software architect, writer
EmployerHuman Engineered Software
Atari, Inc.
Known forThe Bard's Tale
The Bard's Tale II
Dark Seed

Michael Cranford is a video game designer, programmer, ethicist, and software architect.

Game designer[edit]

Cranford is best known as a video game designer and programmer. He was the designer and programmer of 1985's The Bard's Tale[1] and 1986's The Bard's Tale II: The Destiny Knight role-playing video games published by Interplay Productions. He also programmed the Apple II version of Donkey Kong, the Commodore 64 version of Super Zaxxon, as well as Maze Master (a spiritual predecessor of The Bard's Tale). His last video game was Dark Seed for Cyberdreams in 1992. He left the video game industry to pursue graduate studies, and thus was not involved in the creation of 1988's The Bard's Tale III. Almost thirty years later, however, he was approached by inXile Entertainment to assist with the development of The Bard's Tale IV and had agreed to provide feedback and advice for the new game.[2]


Name Year Credited with Publisher
Story Machine (VIC-20 port) 1983 programmer Human Engineered Software
Maze Master 1983 designer, programmer Human Engineered Software
Super Zaxxon (C64 port) 1984 programmer Human Engineered Software
Donkey Kong (Apple II port) 1984 programmer Atarisoft
The Bard's Tale 1985 designer, programmer Electronic Arts
Borrowed Time 1985 writer Activision
The Bard's Tale II: The Destiny Knight 1986 designer, programmer Electronic Arts
Centauri Alliance 1990 designer, programmer Broderbund
Dark Seed 1992 designer Cyberdreams

Academic career[edit]

He was a professor for eight years at Biola University in La Mirada, California, gaining his Master of Divinity degree from Biola and a master's degree in Social Ethics from the University of Southern California. He studied architecture at the University of California at Berkeley and he holds a degree in philosophy from the University of California, and has completed a Ph.D. in Religion and Social Ethics from the University of Southern California, with a focus on ethics and technology. His current work focuses on web application development and voice-interactive interfaces.


  • Cranford, Michael (1993). "Election and Ethnicity: Paul's View of Israel in Romans 9.1-13". Journal for the Study of the New Testament. England: University of Sheffield (50): 27–41.
  • Cranford, Michael (1994). "The Possibility of Perfect Obedience: Paul and an Implied Premise in Galatians 3:10 and 5:3". Novum Testamentum. Netherlands: E.J. Brill Publishers (36): 242–258.
  • Cranford, Michael (1995). "Abraham in Romans 4: The Father of All Who Believe". New Testament Studies. Cambridge University Press (41): 71–88.
  • Cranford, Michael (1996). "The Social Trajectory of Virtual Reality: Substantive Ethics in a World Without Constraints". Technology in Society (18): 79–92.
  • Cranford, Michael (December 1998). "Drug Testing and the Right to Privacy: Arguing the Ethics of Workplace Drug Testing". Journal of Business Ethics (17): 1805–1815. Reprinted in Beauchamp & Bowie, ed. (2001). Ethical Theory and Business (6th & 7th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall. pp. 294–302.
  • Cranford, Michael (2007). Laura P. Hartman; Joe DesJardines (eds.). "Drug Testing and the Obligation to Prevent Harm". Business Ethics: Decision-Making for Personal Integrity and Social Responsibility. Boston: McGraw Hill: 301–307.

Personal life[edit]

Cranford is a Christian with no denominational affiliation. He was divorced in October 2013, though he refused to participate in the divorce due to his religious convictions. He has three children from the marriage: Logan, Leilani and Dylan.


  1. ^ Tresca, Michael J. (2010-11-16). The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games. McFarland. pp. 139–. ISBN 9780786458950. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  2. ^ inXile Entertainment, 16 June 2017. "Update 37: Bringing an Iconic Series into the 21st Century". Kickstarter. Retrieved 17 June 2017.

External links[edit]