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May 16, 2021
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William Volk's Blog   Expert Blogs


William Volk was the co-founder and CCO of PlayScreen, LLC,  He is an avid cyclist.  He attended the University of Pennsylvania and did graduate work at the Universities of Maryland and New Hampshire ... earning degrees in Physics, Astronomy and Computer Engineering.
In college, Mr. Volk participated on the cycling team, a passion that continues to this day.

Volk began his game career in 1979, on the launch team of the computer game division of Avalon Hill, now a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc.  He authored the Avalon Hill Games Conflict 2500, Voyager 1, and Controller (Air Traffic Control Game).

In 1995 Mr. Volk co-founded Aegis Development, a pioneering firm in the area of multimedia and digital video production. At Aegis, he served as the VP of Development and oversaw the development of some of the first animation and video titling systems for personal computers. Mr. Volk also designed and programmed Aegis Draw and Draw Pro. 

Volk served as the Vice President of Technology at Activision, Inc. where he was responsible for the development of the first CD-ROM entertainment project, The Manhole™, and the ‘discovery’ of the product’s talented authors, Rand and Robyn Miller, both of whom would become the creators of the best selling CD-ROM Myst™.  Volk created the products that secured Activision’s success, including the highly acclaimed Return to Zork™.     

At Lightspan, Inc (a leading educational software company) as chief technologist of gaming technology, Volk managed the programming and Q&A groups. His team produced more than 110 titles for the Sony Playstation.  

Volk was co-founder and CTO of where he and his team developed the first bar coded print-at-home grocery coupons available on the Internet. His understanding of the technology, security and interface issues was critical to’s successful launch in 1999.

Volk founded ZipProof in 2000, a soft proofing and collaborative software firm used by Print Shops from Colorado to Chile.  

Prior to co-founding PlayScreen, Volk served as CEO of Bonus Mobile Entertainment and co-designed the social mobile game "The Dozens" inspired by the Wayans Brothers card game.

PlayScreen was a leading publisher of iPhone, Google Android and Social Network games.

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Expert Blogs

I've decided the best thing I can do about this issue, besides the personal and political stuff is to apply my decades of game design experience to a climate-apocalypse game (there are enough zombie games anyway).

With iOS 10, iMessage now has 3rd party apps. Because these apps sit in the context of a chat session, and players can add apps during a chat session, this makes player to player social gaming far more appealing by removing friction in the process.

Kayne West recently went on a Twitter rant about how mobile games were cajoling his very young children to make in-app purchases. Most apps targeted for 5 year olds are relying on in-app purchases. The solution is for parents to purchase premium games.

Sunday was my birthday, also marks 1/3 of a Century in the game business. One "birthday surprise" was a flame-o-gram about Violent Games.

William Volk's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 01/22/2021 - 10:19]

If only Apple Google had ...

If only Apple Google had set the base price of an app to 99 cents and not free . r n r nOn mobile you have numerous 'games ' that are really glorified Skinner Boxes. A Skinner box, also known as an operant conditioning chamber, is an enclosed apparatus that ...

Comment In: [Blog - 08/01/2019 - 10:20]

See for updates. ...

See for updates.

Comment In: [Blog - 08/02/2019 - 11:11]

Don 't worry, as you ...

Don 't worry, as you gain decades of experience on dozens of releases, GDC will pretty much ignore your speaking proposals :-

Comment In: [News - 08/13/2018 - 04:28]

Having spent 1994-1999 at Lightspan, ...

Having spent 1994-1999 at Lightspan, this looks INSPIRED Nice work.

Comment In: [Blog - 09/25/2018 - 10:49]

If you love making games, ...

If you love making games, make games. r n r nThe opportunities and channels for independent game devs are better than they have ever been.

Comment In: [Blog - 08/14/2018 - 07:30]

My most successful title technical ...

My most successful title technical producer, UI, Game Engine in a 35-year career violated almost all those rules. r n r n25 years later there are 1000 's of YouTube videos devoted to it, many complaining about its unfairness. r n r nThis is The Return To Zork, of course.