Zero Sum is a young company dedicated to producing the highest quality computer role playing games available. As lifelong gamers with substantial industry experience, our founders, Mat Williams and CP McBee, created Zero Sum to have the freedom to make the kind of games that kept them up countless hours glued to a computer screen. Our flagship title, Prelude to Darkness, is just that kind of game. An RPG for the serious gamer, Prelude promises to be as fiendishly addictive and involving as any RPG ever released. We hope that you too will soon be sucked into the immersive world of the Valley.


Zero Sum Team

CP McBee
President, Co-Founder, Finance/Marketing, Area Designer (The Barrier Fortress, Jerrock)
CP began working as a video game tester at (the now defunct) Acclaim Entertainment at the age of 15. By the age of 19, CP was the youngest assistant producer at Acclaim with a slew of well known titles (including Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam, WWF Wrestlemania, and X-Men: Children of the Atom) under his belt. Dissatisfied with the lack of depth he found in games, he decided to start a company dedicated to meeting the needs of the sophisticated gamer. Upon graduating from Babson College in 1998, CP and Mat Williams gathered a team of programmers and artists from Harvard University to begin work on their flagship title Prelude to Darkness.

Most recently, CP has published an article detailing Zero Sum's unprecidented success in raising money for an independent gaming company. As an advocate of the independent gaming movement CP looks forward to providing any help to up and coming game developers at his blog

Mat Williams
Co-Founder, Lead Game Designer, Programming, and Art
Mat's first experience in the game industry involved sharing a desk with CP at Impressions Software while designing levels for a title that never shipped. After graduating from Harvard and a brief but glorious career in QA he returned to sharing a desk with Mr. McBee when they founded Zero Sum Software. Mat has a passion for storytelling and creating unique, thought provoking worlds for players to explore. He has also worked as a set designer and animator in the Boston area.


Currently Mat is the producer for Tilted Mill Entertainment in Boston. In addition to Prelude to Darkness games Mat has worked on include Caesar IV(Producer), Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile(Producer), Empire Earth(QA), Lords of Magic(QA), and Civil War Generals II(QA).

Travis Williams
Lead Artist
Travis began creating computer games with BASIC and Hypercard on his first computer, an IBM PC jr. As lead artist for Zero Sum, Travis is responsible for creating all of the 3D models and textures in Prelude to Darkness, (which at 3200 x 3200 tiles is the largest contiguous RPG environement ever created). Travis also developed much of the music and sound for Prelude.

Travis graduated from Harvard University in 1997, and currently plays all over the country as bassist in his bands Los Diablos and Gone Baby Gone. After his escapades with Zero-Sum, he worked on statistical analysis projects for Kochevar Research Associates, before accepting the inevitable job offer from Tilted Mill games.

To learn more about Travis's experiences developing game art, see his interview at RPGcodex.

Ryan McCarthy
Lead Writer, Area Designer (Ironwood, Kellen, The Barrier Fortress)
A professional writer and actor, Ryan McCarthy is responsible for creating or editting all of the dialogue in Prelude to Darkness. Since graduating from Harvard University in 1998, he has been in numerous films and productions, including Shakespeare in the Park in New York. He is currently finishing his third year in an acting MFA program at UC San Diego.

James Williams
Programming, 2D Art
Cousin to expatriate Canadian Travis Williams, (but not related to Mat), James Williams is a resident of Vancouver, BC. He obtained a bachelors degree in Philosophy and Genetics from the University of British Columbia. Mat Williams and crew recruited him as he was halfway through an honours degree in Computer Science. After a stay with Zero Sum in humid Somerville, he returned to BC to finish his degree. Since then, he has worked as a software engineer for the GEOIDE geomatics consortium and Factory1Games. He is currently a software engineer with Backbone Entertainment , and a part-time law student at the University of Victoria.

Robin Kalnin
Lead Tester
Robin Kalnin graduated with a B.Mus in Performance (Saxophone) from the University of British Columbia. He made the acquaintance of James Williams while playing in the UBC Jazz Ensemble, and the two men worked together as professional musicians for several years. After relocating to Toronto, Ontario, Robin accepted an invitation to become involved in handling QA for Prelude to Darkness. Robin has continued to immerse himself in computer software development, and he currently works as a consultant for Meridian Software Canada, a Toronto-based consultancy which undertakes database work for hospitals and CROs.

David Beebe
Area Design (Land's End, The Academy)
David graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in dance and subsequently went into Network IT. Living in the lush rainforest of corporate America he was captured by the monkey containment labs at Zero-sum Software to help with plot development, testing, and to act as an associate producer. After he escaped (and ran free through the rainforest for a bit more) he found his way to Impressions Games where he managed the Lords of the Realm III Beta Tester boards, tested the game, developed scenarios, and flew off to LA to do battle with Impressions Corporate uber-structure along the final path to gold for Lords Of the Realm III. It was mostly a tie, but David does have an avi of him dancing in a mind bogglingly huge drumming circle at Venice Beach. When Impressions closed its doors, David migrated to Tilted Mill Entertainment to work on their flagship title, Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile. David continues his work as an Associate Producer at Tilted Mill Entertainment, where he is once again working closely with Mat Williams.

David's game credits include Caesar IV(tm) - Associate Producer, Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile(tm) - Associate Producer, Lords of the Realm III(tm) - Production Support, Beta Test Lead, Scenario designer, tester.

Nathaniel Bennett
Area Design (The Citadel)
Nathaniel Bennett (born August 4, 1971) is a modern American game designer of Western European descent (notably Italian). He split his growing up between Bryn Mawr, PA and Michigan City, IN. He attended Swarthmore College outside of Philadelphia where studied biology with special interests in shark biology and evolution. He has been a dedicated fan of role-playing games since the early 80s and has several playtesting credits including Ars Magica 4th Edition, the Everquest rpg, and the Game of Thrones d20 rpg. His primary contributions to Prelude to Darkness include lead design and scripting for The Citadel and Crossing East, scripting of Land's End, and design and scripting of the wandering encounters found throughout The Valley. Prelude to Darkness is his first professional game design experience, and he thinks everyone should have an opportunity to get paid for their hobbies at least once in their life.

Bennett currently lives in Somerville, MA with his cat Dexter, who is widely regarded as a genius in feline game design, especially those using random game pieces, shoe laces and catnip filled toys.

Tom Forget
Portrait Art
Tom Forget doesn't play many video games, really, as he's too busy working, painting, or cleaning his kitchen. When he's not hunched over a table in his basement, he can be found forgetting to look before crossing all throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan or grousing about the weather to no one in particular. He is, however, always grateful when someone provides him with an opportunity to paint for them.

Christopher Ariza
Music
Still young and idealistic, Christopher hopes to create a better game music, one that is both musically sophisticated, pleasing to the (somewhat) common-ear, and dramatically (or non-dramatically) suited for the environment of the game. He has not heard such a music yet, so he is still a bit dubious if it is possible. When not experimenting with the musical sensibilities of the gaming audience, Christopher can be found composing esoteric concert music in a style that has been called maximalist minimalism, whatever that may be.

Christopher can currently be found performing all over New York city. To learn more about Christopher and his music, visit flexatone.net