My name is Stephen, and I’m a transmedia story designer and interactive narrative design evangelist. I was a pen-and-paper RPG kid with a weakness for my NES, drawing comics, and shooting short films. I received my BFA in Digital Media from a fantastic design school in Detroit called The College for Creative Studies. With the dawn of the dot-com era I began designing single-player virtual worlds for kids and teaching courses on Interactive Multimedia. For my master’s degree I attended the School of Cinematic Arts @ USC focusing on Interactive media. There I was exposed to some great thinkers and became enraptured with transmedia story design, non-linear narrative structures, and screenwriting.
In 2006 with THQ Canada dba Relic Entertainment, I created the Narrative Designer position for THQ worldwide. With the help and mentorship of the talented team there I was able to create a unique pipeline for narrative production. I recently finished my second Narrative Design position @ the independent Chicago studio Day 1, and am currently working on some independent projects.
It’s been almost 3 years now since the first incantation of the NDE, and I’m happy to say it’s going pretty well. The site attracts 2000+ readers a month from Baghdad to Los Angeles, spending on average of about 2 minutes of their time here, others still spend a wealth more and for that I am grateful. Thanks to you all.
The Narrative Designer role is taking off: being accepted into the fold at major video game development studios, adopted by aspiring students, game designers, writers, and more. I know in only a few short years more I will be seeing fantastic results of my efforts to evangelize this exciting new role in interactive entertainment development, and I owe it all to you, the readers of the NDE. Without your time, interest and feedback it would be all for none. What’s most exciting to me is that more and more people are recognizing the importance of Narrative Design and the ROI it can provide to interactive entertainment production.
As a message to you all, I say: Stay the course, take chances, deliver your best, and within time your work will bring joy to the hearts of many. Like so many pioneers before us, you have chosen a lonely path, one that will prove fruitful only for the lucky and the persistent. Talent is great, but it’s worthless without execution; so go out there and do, steer clear of the cannots and do-nots, believe in yourself and form lasting relationships with the many talented people it takes to make our dreams live. In the end your hard work will be rewarded.
The NDE is growing, all your needs for Interactive Narrative Design can be found @ http://interactivenarrativedesign.com
Stephen E. Dinehart