David Marsh
David Marsh
Born August 3, 1983
Nationality Usa flag American
Title Level designer
Aliases ■ Zaphod Beeblebrox

David Marsh is the creator of a few Counter-Strike maps. He is most known for his map Estate.

His alias originates from the character Zaphod Beeblebrox in Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series of books.[1]


David Marsh was introduced to the world of first person shooters in the form of Duke Nukem 3D,[1] which was also the first game he designed basic levels for even though he was struggling with getting a hang of the engine.[2] His first touch with Worldcraft (which later became Valve Hammer Editor) was when he purchased a copy of Quake that came bundled with its level editor.[3] Eventually, David got tired of level editing for Quake because the game "didn't seem real enough".[1]

However, when Half-Life was released, Marsh didn't even get to finish the game before he was lured into checking out what kind of levels could be designed with its engine.[1] Since it used the same editor as Quake, he already had some experience with the level editor for the game and once he discovered the surrounding community and mods he was hooked.[3]

Marsh played Counter-Strike for the first time when Beta 2 was released. He would release his first custom map, Ranch, only a few days later.[1] The map was being considered for inclusion into Beta 3, but Jess Cliffe asked for the map to be optimized. At the time, Marsh didn't have the required skills to do this.[2]

The first map that got officially included was Iraq, which was a joint effort between David Marsh and Cameron Wu.[2] It was included in Beta 5, but was quickly removed from the game. However, in Beta 6.5 two maps designed by him, Estate and Tundra, were included. Both of these maps were successful and Tundra would be included in the game all the way up to Counter-Strike 1.5. Estate was even more of a success as Valve Software bought the rights to the map and made it part of the retail product in Counter-Strike 1.6.

David Marsh lost interest in level design for Counter-Strike around the time the game became a retail product. He felt that the community and its expectations changed as a result of this and that people who bought the retail game wouldn't have the same amount of respect for the designers since it was no longer strictly a mod. Instead, he moved on to Day of Defeat mapping and created the map Zafod, which was at one point included as an official map.[2]

His first job after graduating high school was working on the level design of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines at Troika Games.[3] In 2007 he co-founded the company NimbleBit with his brother. He has been working there since, focusing on the creation of mobile games.[4][5]

List of maps

Official maps

Map name Game(s) Responsibilities Year
Estate Cs t Level designer 2000
Iraq Beta Level co-designer 1999
Tundra Beta Level designer 2000

Custom maps

Map name Game(s) Responsibilities Year
Aurora (cs) Cs t Level designer 1999
Dustbunnies (de) Cs t Level designer 2001
Ranch (cs) Cs t Level designer 1999


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 David "Zaphod" Marsh - Level Designer: Bio. Archived from the original on 2001-11-12.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 B-F Total Gaming Network - Zaphod Interview. Archived from the original on 2002-11-02.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Pocket | Hall of Fame: David and Ian Marsh
  4. Facebook | NimbleBit - About
  5. NimbleBit - Who We Are

External links Archived from the original on 2001-12-05.