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Who Are We?

About the founders Mark Lefler and Jeff Mallett
& others working for Zillions Development Corporation.

Jeff Mallett, a USCF-rated chess expert, has been programming computer games since 1977. His chess program Innovation won the 1994 ICCA Best-Annotation Award. Jeff is currently listed on MacTech Magazine's "Top 20 Contestants of All Time" list for his speedy Programmer's Challenge entries. His nxn Othello program, which won 33 out of 36 games in a tournament against 9 other programs, was published in the May 1997 issue. His nxn Pente program, another contest winner, was published in the February 1998 issue. His writings on board games have been published in "Home Chess," "Variant Chess," "NostAlgia," and "World Game Review."

Jeff has degrees in Computer Science and Music from Cornell University, where he graduated with distinction in 1988. His non-computer interests include songwriting, piano, barbershop quarteting, music recording, chess, and juggling.

Mark Lefler has been programming computer chess for over 16 years. His chess program NOW tied with first place among all chess programs at the1996 AEGON Human-Computer Tournament, receiving 4.5 out of 6 points. This tied the program with other world class programs such as "Fritz." NOW beat Grandmaster Larry Christiansen, one of the U.S.'s top players.

Mark graduated in 1981 with a BS degree in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His non-computer interests include performing magic (Mark has won many competitions performing original tricks), music, and gaming.

Other Contractors

Stephen Tavener has been programming professionally for over a decade with clients ranging from British Airways to a gambling consortium. When not forced to work for a living, he is likely to be found playing games, dealing in used games over the internet, writing game reviews for "Games, Games, Games magazine", or practising Tai Chi Chuan.

Stephen lives in London (England) with his partner Rosie, two cats, and an indeterminate number of lodgers.

Ken Seehof comes from humble beginnings in the state of California and has since moved to Biose, Idaho. He has been programming since age 12 and has written three go programs and a chess program over the years; one of which can be found at the MSN Gaming Zone. Currently Ken has an interest in artificial intelligence and is developing a visual programming language for neural nets.

Ken graduated from U.C. Santa Cruz with a BA in Computer Science. His interests are piano, aikido, skiing, chess, go, shogi, chinese chess, Y, and tic-tac-toe.

In 1981 Eric "Braz" Ford left his job at Swain's House of Music and started working in his garage after he heard you could buy a totally programmable three voice analog synthesizer for $200. Coincidentally, the synthesizer was embedded in a computer. Since then he has coded music and sound effects for games, speech synthesis and recognition apps, a couple of FORTH interpreters (just a phase) and much boring database and financial software. He's worked for Apple Computer (10 yrs.), and contracted for Hewlett Packard and Sun Microsystems. Most recently he finished the programming on a three CD multimedia business education/simulation for Arthur Andersen. Between contracts he works on porting his multiplayer D&D chess game to Java.

Offline he improvises music on a wide variety of instruments, studies chess endgames, reads, attends a psycho-spiritual-mystery school, plays with his wife and daughter, and watches a lot of mind-numbing television.

Here are some photos of commercial products we've worked on...


  Maurice Ashley Teaches Chess

Davidson/Simon & Schuster

Contains Jeff's Innovation chess engine and chess code.

"...contains a full fledge chess engine that will challenge, and sharpen, your recently learned skills. The chess engine is extremely challenging and customizable."
- Review on Gamer's Zone

Also released in these collections...

 Sierra's Complete Chess - Sierra Attractions

 Chess Advantage - Encore Software

Grandmaster Championship Chess for Windows
Grandmaster Chess for Macintosh



These contain Mark's NOW Chess engine. This was ported to the Mac in both 680x0 and PowerPC forms by Jeff. Windows GUI by Mark; Mac GUI by Jeff.

Grandmaster Championship Chess - Capstone

Grandmaster Chess for Macintosh - Capstone

Grandmaster Ultra

The Learning Company/Softkey/Encore

Grandmaster Ultra can be found in these collections...

 Grandmaster Chess Ultra
- Softkey/The Learning Company

6 Great Board Games - Encore Software

6 Great Laptop Games - Encore Software


 Dr Schiller's Chess PowerCD

Zane Publishing

Both Windows and Mac versions. Contains Jeff's Innovation engine.


Mark's chess engine, which achieved the highest score in the world famous 1996 AEGON Human-Computer Tournament! [DOS]

Internet Chess for the Macintosh

Strategy Labs

Lets people worldwide play chess in real-time on the Internet Chess Club. Programmed by Jeff. [Mac]

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