Marc Blank
• Name: Marc S. Blank
• Joined Infocom: 1979
• Games written: 7
• Left Infocom: 1986
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 of "Enchanter" 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 "Border 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 gaming.

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: Grand Inquisitor."

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 ChatterEmail, 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.

Many thanks to Marc Blank for contributing to this biography.

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Titles written by Marc Blank:

Zork I (1980) (with Dave Lebling)

Zork II (1981) (with Dave Lebling)

Deadline (1982)

Zork III (1982) (with Dave Lebling)

Enchanter (1983) (with Dave Lebling)

Border Zone (1987)

Journey (1988)

Past Infocom:

Columbo's Mystery Capers (1994, Eidetic) (with Mike Berlyn)

Notion: The Newton List Manager (1994, Eidetic)

Live Action Football (1994, Accolade) (with Mike Berlyn)

All Star Baseball (1995, Accolade) (with Mike Berlyn)

Bubsy 3D: Furbitten Planet (1996, Accolade) (with Mike Berlyn)

Zork: The Undiscovered Underground (1997, Activision) (with Mike Berlyn)

Syphon Filter 1 (1998, Eidetic)

Syphon Filter 2 (2000, Eidetic)

Syphon Filter 3 (2001, Sony)

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