Michael Zummo was born in Milwaukee Wisconsin. Some know him as a software developer, others a usability expert, still others as a board and video game designer. One little boy calls him father.
From his earliest days he was captivated by the Sierra On-line adventure games created by husband and wife team Ken and Roberta Williams. They inspired his sense of exploration in strange lands, and fostered his love of interactive storytelling. It was something that never left him.
In high school he created his first game, The Great Beyond, which combined a science fiction narrative with adventure gaming concepts.
He graduated in 1996 from Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin with degrees in computer science and communications. Blending his two loves, he delved into online marketing and game development for children on Kidscom.com. It was working with the children that first exposed him to the concepts of contemporary usability.
In early 2000 he shifted his career away from coding and development and into usability and human factors. As a technical contractor he worked inside corporate America creating interfaces and conducting usability studies. He also began the first push to extend his short story into a novel.
In 2006, Zummo explored his love of board games and game design. He made focused on two concepts: Villany, and HoverDome. The first an all-against-one concept (heros vs a evil nemesis), the second a hover bike racing game.
In 2007, during time off after the adoption of his son Derek, he entered into a video game competition with 60,000 members worldwide. Using virtual office technologies he served as co-director coordinating the effort. After a vote of the community and sponsoring game company, he was selected as the winner. The prize was being hired by the sponsoring game company, Acclaim Games, as the next producer and director for their titles.
While at Acclaim he created the brands for multiple games, wrote the story for a flash based massively multiplayer online game, and learned the mysteries of social marketing. Among his titles, RockFREE (aka RockRiot) on Facebook received 1.5 million monthly active users at its peak. Taking his leave of the game industry he returned to his usability roots and continued writing.
In 2013, while preparing his first book for launch, he also penned the narrative for a major zombie franchise mobile game.
In the end, what Mike discovered through his career was the very thing that exited him, the sense of exploration in strange lands, was a passion he enjoyed bringing to others. Writing became the perfect vehicle to achieve it.
Today, in addition to being a single father, his usability job, boardgame side projects, he continues work on the D'mok Revival series.
In his *spare time* he enjoys playing video games, hanging out with friends, singing karaoke, and spending quality time with his son and family.