Newly hatched from the wonderful academic cocoon of Bates College in 1986, Dean Orion began his career as a professional writer by crafting copy for a local Long Island ad agency by day and hopping trains to The Lee Strasberg Creative Center in New York City, where his first play, Weekend In My Mind, was produced by night.
After moving to Los Angeles in 1988 to attend The American Film Institute, working in production at CBS, and successfully mounting another of his plays, A Comedy of Eros, at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, Dean soon discovered that the long and very eclectic winding road of his career was only just beginning.
With the sale of Maelstrom in 1995, an original adventure game purchased by special effects company, Digital Domain, Dean suddenly found himself telling stories in remarkably new ways. Since then he has written, designed, produced and directed an extensive and wide array of interactive content across multiple platforms.
Dean’s interactive credits include such console videogame titles as Van Helsing and Mission Impossible: Operation Surma, massively multi-player online games, Guild Wars and Aion, Nintendo DS and Wii titles iCarly and The Penguins of Madagascar , as well as numerous casual online games for Hollywood marketing campaigns, including such notable tent poles as The X-Files, Men In Black and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, just to name a few.
Managing this “split personality” between writing traditional linear and non-linear interactive content has never been easy, but Dean has always found a way to do both, writing freelance episodes of such television shows as The Invisible Man for SyFy, Thought Crimes for USA Network, and Jackie Chan Adventures for WB Kids. Most recently, Dean wrote the American pilot for the internationally acclaimed animated television series, Ben and Izzy for Rubicon Studios, and penned Newburgh and I Am an American Solider, two short films for The National Museum of The United States Army.
Dean’s unique background has also led him into the world of themed entertainment, where he has worked for many years as a writer, show producer and creative director for Walt Disney Imagineering. Among the high profile projects that he has helped create for WDI are Virtual Jungle Cruise, which opened at the DisneyQuest arcade in Orlando, Florida in 1998, Soarin’ – Living Landscapes, a large-scale interactive gaming system that opened at Epcot Center in 2007, and The Magic PlayFloor, an interactive floor installed on Disney Cruise Line’s new Dream and Fantasy cruise ships, which launched in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
A member of the Writers Guild of America, Dean has sat on the guild’s New Media Caucus steering committee, and has been a featured speaker at several guild sponsored events, including panels for the 2006 Game Developers Conference in San Jose, CA, and the Writers Guild Foundation in 2008.