Joe Sparks <>


Joe Sparks
San Francisco CA


Joe Sparks is an award-winning artist, animator, musician, game developer, and San Franciscan, with a long, well-known career in the software and web publishing industry. He has developed several prominent games & entertainment products for the web and CD-ROM. His work has been the subject of feature articles in major magazines and newspapers around the world, including the New York Times, SPIN, San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and hundreds more.

He is best-known for his one-man show "Radiskull & Devil Doll," a flash cartoon seen by several million unique visitors and root to many spin-off products (comic book series, international book from Carlton, dolls, toys, merchandise).

His first game, Spaceship Warlock (1991), was one of the earliest & best-known multimedia CD-ROM games to combine all original animation, story, music, & game play. Spaceship Warlock is widely considered a pioneering work, and it received many awards and honors, including the "Game of the Year" award from Macworld Magazine.

Sparks' next notable achievement was the Total Distortion CD-ROM game released by Pop Rocket (1995). This influential production blended creative activities with adventure gaming. Total Distortion collected several industry awards and widespread coverage in major magazines and newspapers. A few highlights: Won New Media’s Award of Excellence; The New York Times Magazine ran a 4 page story on Joe Sparks entitled "Virtual Virtuoso;" Entertainment Weekly listed the game in its top ten releases of the year; Rolling Stone placed it among the top 5 music CD-ROMs.

Joe Sparks has also served as VP of R&D for Reactor (Game publisher), CEO of Pop Rocket (Game publisher), and Artist-in-Residence of Macromedia (now Adobe). For over 2 years, Sparks served as Game & Interactive Developer, Show Creator & Senior Designer for San Francisco-based (Most popular online games & entertainment site during Sparks’ time).

For more bio info see:


Central Designer, Programmer & Developer
Spaceship Warlock, Total Distortion, and numerous small games & interactive activities for Macromedia,, Artificial Works

Graphics & animation for a variety of computer and console games
Reactor: Creepy Castle; EA: Desert Strike, Kasporov Chess, many others

Additional Programming & Design
Learning Company: 1st School House Rock CD-ROM game; LeapFrog: Leapster Software titles, many others

Video and Shows (wrote, directed, produced, shot, animated, scored, voice-over, etc.)
VPL Technology Video, NASA Space Sub Video, Radiskull & Devil Doll animated series, "Behind the scenes of Radiskull & Devil Doll"- Animation Training CD-ROM. Also co-wrote Radiskull & Devil Doll Fan Book published by Carlton Books, London.


Expert: Adobe CS3 Masters Edition, FInal Cut Pro Studio (including motion, etc.), Flash Animation & Actionscript, streaming media, Director Development & Lingo Programming, and many standard art, video, and animation tools (Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks, AfterEffects, etc.). Music & audio software expert (Sonar, Cubase, SoundTrack, Garageband, and many others). Daily use of Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and Flash. God with Blender 3D and other 3D tools. Decent with AJAX, Javascript, CSS, HTML. Not bad with PERL.


Joe Sparks Digital Media / (1998-Ongoing) - Principal. Original content developer and consultant, developer, designer and developer. Regular consultant to Apple, Adobe/Macromedia & other companies. Strong experience in advertising, working contracts for Publicis, Y&R, BBDO, Eleven, Godfrey Q & Partners, Questus, Code & Theory, and others. Regularly hired as conference speaker at trade shows such as FlashForward.

Gyro International, San Francisco Office (2006 to 2008) Lead Developer, Senior Designer/Programmer/Animator, flash, actionscript, multimedia and web development, video and animation design and editing from brainstorming to execution, delivery, and on-going maintenance (site admin). Day-to-day use of Adobe CS3 Master's edition, Final Cut Pro Studio, Blender 3D. Managed many large and small projects, both solo, and as a team leader on the larger technical developments involving 4 or more flash developers. I worked on nearly every example in our portfolio here:

Kessler Pacific (2006) Designer and programmer on a large team. HTML + javascript + flash development & design for web sites, email campaigns, web application forms for credit cards. Stand-in role as web master for kessler worldwide. Creative design and animation for several web advertising campaigns for Washington Mutual and others.

Pulse Mobile (2004-2005) Art Director for interactive mobile and web entertainment company.

FUEL (2004) LA based TV advertising, motion graphics, multimedia shop
Multimedia developer, animation, e-training developer, web & game dev.

LeapFrog Enterprises (2003) 3rd largest toy company in US
Game programmer and designer for Leapster (Mobile, flash enabled device), a Macromedia company (1999-2001)
Senior Designer, Show Creator, co-creator of company with 3 other macromedia employees

Macromedia (now Adobe) (1997-1999)
Artist in Residence, Principal Artist, Advisor. Helped to create & launch shockRAVE &

Pop Rocket, Inc. (1992-1996)
CEO and Lead developer. Built company from 3 to 20+ employees. Raised venture capital from Hummer-Winblad Venture Partners. Lead publishing deals with Electronic Arts, BMG & NEC Japan, Mindscape Europe and many others worldwide. Launched award-winning top CD-ROM game "Total Distortion" and continued to publish "Spaceship Warlock."

Reactor, Inc. (1990-1991)
VP of R&D: Game Designer & developer. Co-created "Spaceship Warlock" with Mike Saenz. Created art and music for "Creepy Castle."

Artificial Works (1989-1992) - Principal
Developer and animator for many clients: Electronic Arts, NASA, Apple, Learning Company, others

NASA Ames Research Center (1989-1990) - Animation, Design, Virtual Reality, Video Director
I worked with the engineers and managers of the Mission To Mars Robotics Team and saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars. A video I created about my NASA work and personal story was a featured part of Apple CEO John Sculley's Keynote speech at Macworld, and was also featured on ABC News.

Paracomp, Inc. (founding company to Macromedia) (1988-1990)
Tech support, 3D artist & developer, Software materials and documentation, trade shows and evangelism.


5 years switching majors at San Francisco State University, Bakersfield, & Taft Colleges;
Broadcast Communication Arts, Radio & Television, Music Theory, Theater


Macworld magazine Game of the Year (Spaceship Warlock)
Shockwave Peoples Choice Award Best Game Site
Many other Game, Interactive Media, and Music Awards for a variety of multimedia products.


About Joe Sparks
Career Milestones:

Flash Animation, Character Design, Show Creation, Sites by Joe Sparks
Radiskull & Devil Doll Site:
Dicky & Jackie Music Video:
"Meet Dicky" preview:
Examples from past 2 years at Gyro:

for resume.doc & additional contact info.

Joe Sparks <>