Dan Pinchbeck
Creative Director, The Chinese Room
Biography
Dan Pinchbeck and his studio, The Chinese Room, have received widespread acclaim for their narrative-driven games. His studio's first game, was released in 2012 and won multiple international awards, kickstarting the genre of gaming now termed "first-person explorers" or "walking simulators." Dear Esther was followed in 2013 by Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, an unashamedly literary cult horror that, once again, garnered numerous awards. In 2015, Pinchbeck and his studio released their first console title, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, an open-world, story-driven, science-fiction mystery. An instant critical smash, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture secured a place as one of the best games of 2015, winning numerous international awards, including three BAFTAs.

Pinchbeck likes to take advantage of the player as a co-author, using the player's imagination as a key tool for creating emotionally evocative games. In addition to leading the studio, Dan works as a writer and designer on The Chinese Room's titles and has lectured internationally on game design and storytelling.
Dan Pinchbeck
Creative Director, The Chinese Room
SPEAKER FILM
Dan Pinchbeck: Parachuting Into The Story
Dan Pinchbeck: Parachuting Into The Story

As Creative Director for award-winning game development studio The Chinese Room, Dan Pinchbeck challenges traditional modes of storytelling in video games. Instead of creating games in which the story and the player-driven action are often separated from each other, he urges game designers to enlist the players to co-author of the story, as he believes there’s no tool more powerful than the player’s imagination.

Rather than just tell a story within a game or VR experience, Pinchbeck believes in creating an architecture in which the story can exist, and in providing the player with the building blocks to put together a story of their choosing. In turn, the players feel more agency and ownership over the narrative, which leads to a more immersive and emotionally powerful experience.