Dr. Cat (David Shapiro)
This article is about the game designer. For the in-world character in the Ultima game series, see Dr. Cat.
Dr. Cat (born David Shapiro) is a game designer who worked for Origin Systems from 1986 to 1991, where he worked on Ultima V, Ultima VI, and Runes of Virtue. He is best known for his role, along with Manda Dee, in founding the independent gaming company Dragon's Eye Productions, which developed the free-to-play multi-user game Furcadia.
The first game that Dr. Cat designed was Caverns of Frietag, which was published in 1982 by Muse Software for the Apple II. At this time, he additionally worked on developing a shape editor and graphics package for the Apple II, the latter of which was known as Cat Graphics and was the topic of an article in Byte magazine.
Dr. Cat first interviewed with Origin shortly after the company was founded in 1983. After working briefly at Angelsoft, he answered an advertisement in The Space Gamer magazine, which announced the company's existence and mentioned it's need for programmers, game designers, artists, and writers. According to Dr. Cat, he was the only applicant to respond. He flew out to where Origin was headquartered at the Garriott family's house, and there stayed briefly before being told by Robert Garriott that they were not yet ready to hire him.
Later, in 1986, after Dr. Cat had been working at Penguin Software for a year, Dr. Cat began work with Origin as a contractor working on Moebius: The Orb of Celestial Harmony. He would go on to work with the company for the next five years.
In Game Counterparts
- Dr. Cat: Dr. Cat appears in Ultima V and Ultima VI as the proprietor of The Cat's Lair. In Runes of Virtue, he makes an appearance as an anthropomorphic cat person who offers the player hints, and in Runes of Virtue II he serves as the proprietor of a bar in Jhelom.
- Gertan: Gertan, a wounded fighter found near Cove during Ultima VI, is based on Dr. Cat's Dungeons & Dragons character.
- http://www.gamedev.net/columns/interviews/furcadia.asp Interview with Dragon's Eye Productions 24 Feb 2003
- Independent Games Festival - 2003 Finalists