Our thanks again to Heather Elizabeth Ross for providing us with the biographies of women in computing. Here is today’s offering:
Anne Westfall created the first microcomputer-based program to help structure subdivisions. In 1981, Westfall and her husband, John Freeman, formed Free Fall Associates, the first independent game development company. Among their titles was Archon, which became EA’s biggest seller at the time. Westfall served on the Game Developer Conference board of directors for six years. The duo renamed their company Free Fall Games and continue to develop games today.
Born Jane Elizabeth Smith, Jane Jensen received a BA in Computer Science from Anderson University in Indiana and worked as a systems programmer for Hewlett-Packard. She worked for Roberta Williams in the early 90s at Sierra Games as a writer on Police Quest 111: The Kindred, and EcoQuest: The Search for Cetus. She co-designed Kings Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow with Williams. Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (1993) was the first game Jensen designed on her own and it received Computer Gaming World Magazine’s “Adventure Game of the Year.” Jensen followed this up two sequels, The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery (1995) and Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned (1999). In 1996 and 1998, she published two novelizations of Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. In 1999, Jensen published her first non-adapted novel, Millennium Rising (retitled Judgment Day) and Dante’s Equation (2003), which was nominated for the Philip K. Dick science fiction award. Jensen continues her work in computer adventure games with the latest line of Agatha Christie and The Women’s Murder Club PC titles. She designed Inspector Parker (2003) and BeTrapped! (2004) with Oberon Media. Jensen recently developed her dream project, Gray Matter (2010), with developer Wizarbox and publisher DTP Entertainment. Jane Jensen is currently a story consultant on Phoenix Online Studios’ adventure game, Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller.