Marc Blank, born in
1954, was one of the authors of the original mainframe Zork
in 1977, but before committing himself fully to the later founded
Infocom, he followed his initial goal to become a doctor and
graduated from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology and the Albert
Einstein College of Medicine.
Even during that
period his heart lay with programming and gaming. His spare
time work with Joel Berez on the "Z-Machine"
was fundamental for Infocom's success, and he eventually became
one of the company's co-founders on June 22, 1979. Not much
later in the same year he replaced the resigning Mark Broos
on the board of directors.
His immediate task
at Infocom had been to oversee the conversion of "Zork"
to home computers, but when that was settled he became interested
in doing something new and on his own. In 1982, now in the
position of vice-president of product development, he was
ready for it: his profound love for murder mysteries led him
to write "Deadline,"
which, as a mere side effect, prompted a very favorable entry
in the New
York Times Book Review of May 8, 1983.
But his position
kept him from authoring more titles, so 1983's co-authoring
remains his only other title up to 1986, when, unhappy with
the course the company was taking and due to personal commitments,
he officially resigned and left.
Still, he was not
lost to his fans, as his love for telling a great story and
his ties to Infocom remained strong. He kept active at developing
the Z-Machine further and made use of the advancements in
Zone" and "Journey."
When Infocom ended
it became quiet around Marc on the commercial software market
for a while, until in 1993 he teamed up with Mike
Berlyn to found Blank, Berlyn and Co., which was later
renamed to Eidetic, their very own company. At first they
published productivity software, crossword puzzles and other
word games for the Apple Newton. Their "Notion:
The Newton List Manager," was one of the most successful
titles ever sold for the Newton, eventually becoming bundled
with all Newtons.
They finally specialized
on PC and Playstation titles, among them "Syphon
Filter," which became one of the biggest hits for
the console in 1999 and the latter series that emerged out
of it, was one of Sony's most important title assets in console
Marc also returned
once more to text adventures, when in 1997 Activision asked
him and Mike to do the small "Zork: The Undiscovered
Underground" as promotion for the release of Activision's
graphical game "Zork:
In 2000 Eidetic
became part of Sony,
gaining the informal name "Sony Bend." Marc left
in 2004, although he still consulted for them.
As a hobby he developed
a software that became vastly popular with users of handheld
devices, which in 2007 led to it being
bought by Palm,
Inc. Marc joined Palm, but resigned in December of 2008,
saying he was "no longer enjoying" his work there.
to Marc Blank for contributing to this biography.