About

Harvey Smith is a game designer and novelist who has been working in videogames professionally since 1993. Currently, he is co-creative director at Arkane Studios, working alongside Raphael Colantonio. October 2012 saw Smith and Colantonio release the award-winning Dishonored, working with Arkane Studios teams in Lyon, France and Austin, Texas. In 2009, Smith released the iPhone game KarmaStar. From 2004 to 2007, he served as studio creative director for Midway Austin, managing the design department, starting three projects and shipping Blacksite during that time. He worked at Ion Storm’s Austin office from 1998 to 2004, acting as creative director of Deus Ex: Invisible War and lead designer on the award-winning Deus Ex, winning the 2000 BAFTA and many other awards. Prior to Ion Storm, Smith worked at Multitude, an Internet startup in San Mateo, CA. There he was lead designer of FireTeam, an innovative tactical squad game that was one of the earliest video games to feature voice-communications between players. He started his career at the pivotal game company Origin Systems, working as an associate producer on Cybermage and Ultima VIII, lead tester on System Shock and a play-tester on Super Wing Commander. He has written about numerous game design subjects and has spoken at the Game Developers’ Conference, MiGS, SxSW, E3, QuakeCon and other conferences. In 2005, he won the Game Design Challenge at GDC for his entry, Peacebomb! Smith has served on Advisory Boards for the SxSW Screenburn Festival and the Game Developers’ Choice Awards. In addition to working with Arkane Studios, Smith has written the novel Big Jack is Dead, which he describes as a collision of Southern Gothic and Silicon Valley.

Dishonored, Co-creative Director
KarmaStar (iOS), Designer/Producer
Blacksite, Studio Creative Director
Invisible War, Creative Director
Deus Ex, Lead Designer
FireTeam, Lead Designer
Technosaur (cancelled RTS), Creative Director/Producer
Cybermage, Associate Producer
Ultima VIII (CD re-release), Associate Producer
System Shock, Lead Tester
Super Wing Commander, Tester

Super Wing Commander System Shock Cybermage Ultima 8: Pagan Technosaur Fireteam Deus Ex

Deus Ex: Invisible War

Blacksite

KarmaStardx2_japangotysft24


19 thoughts on “About

  1. Pingback: Harvey Smith on environmental storytelling and embedding narrative – Nieman Storyboard - A project of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard

  2. Hello Harvey! I found an article with information about yours canceled game Technosaur. I’m very interested about it and if you have some playable alpha version in yours archives – could you share it with me? One of my hobby’s – that’s I’m a collector of rare game versions and I hope sometime show my collection in one of museums. So if you could help me with Technosaur – that will be just great!

    Thanks,
    Evgeniy

  3. Thanks. All I have are the images on the website. The vertical slice build played like an RTS with multiple view altitudes. Someone (David Reese or Mike Songy) might still have the code. I might have a demo disc in the attic, but I doubt it…I purge periodically and this dates back to the mid-90s.

  4. Mr. Smith,

    I am the Senior Video Game Editor for AlmostNerdy.com, and I would love to be able to do a short e-mail interview with you about Dishonored. We’re a new site, but we’re growing rapidly, and it would definitely be great to give our readers a bit of an inside look on what is certainly one of the most exciting games of 2012!

  5. Hi Harvey,

    I’m a journalist from the UK, currently working on an article for Eurogamer about Deus Ex, with a focus on content that was cut from the game. I’m already talking to a few people about the game and I’m aware of the materials Warren’s had held at the University of Texas. If you’ve got time though, I’d love to round some of that out with a short interview with you. Is this something you’d be interested in contributing to?

    Apologies about contacting you through the blog, but I couldn’t find another way to reach you directly.

    Joe

  6. Hello, i don’t think anyone else could answer this for me so I’m coming to the master himself.

    In the walkthrough of Dishonored you did of The Golden Cat I notice that when you pull up the quick access wheel you have all the powers and weapons unlocked already. I didn’t even get incendiary bullets until the very last level, let alone have that many powers by that point in the game. Am I doing missing something or was that all for demonstration purposes? I feel like the beginning missions with less powers and weapons are the most open and would be the most fun to replay once everything is unlocked. Alas, this option(i.e. New Game+) was not added and that makes me a sad panda.

  7. Hey Harvey,

    I’m an art student with an interest in creative writing and I was wondering what careers options are available combining game design and writing? After spending so much time in Dishonored exploring the world and reading the notes/letters/books and just enjoying the whole immersive experience of the game, I realized that story fascinates me more than anything else and since gaming is the ultimate story-telling medium, I definitely want to do something like that.
    Currently, I’m applying to animation programs but I’m not sure what is possible with an an animation degree or if perhaps there’s another way to go about being part of the writing and designing process.
    I figured you would be the best person to ask about this seeing as you’ve been part of some great games and you conceived Peace Bomb, a concept for a game that would be more than just ‘a game’.
    If you could give me any information about careers and possibly degrees that would help, I would greatly appreciate it. Or if there’s anyone one else you think I should contact about this, I’d appreciate that too.
    I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond.
    Cheers,
    Gaurav Dua

    p.s. If it’s alright with you, could you respond using my email and delete this comment? I’m a little paranoid about posting online where everyone can read what I write. If not, no worries.

  8. Hey there Mr. Smith! Any interest in doing a brief email interview for the JaceHallShow? Dishonored was our Game of The Year 2012 and we’re thinking about doing a write up, it would be cool to get some brief quotes from you. Let me know what you think. I’m really looking forward to it.

    Thanks,
    Justin Kahn

  9. Yes, Raphael and I would love to chat. But please work through Angela Ramsey, our PR manager. Her email is ARamsey, followed by AT bethsoft DOT com. Thanks and cheers.

  10. You probably don’t remember me but my name is James Webb and I have been an avid follower since your days at Ion Storm, just not always been vocal (communicated with you about it through the years). I’ve always liked your philosophy on games and where your vision was…I’ve enjoyed your speeches/lectures/notes/papers/write-ups on where games are and where you envision them to go and be.

    Back in the day when Deus-Ex was being made, I helped run deusex-machina.com…I helped run it for about 1-2 years with Daniel Todd at TTLG (who is now with you at Arkane). I used to ICQ you all the time and we’d talk shop about games, your visions, and where we thought games should go and philosophy on what makes games fun and the game design process. I even flew down to Ion Storm Austin and met with you for a day and you showed me around the studio, I video taped an interview with you (which never got posted) and I interviewed Warren (which never got posted) and a few other staff like Stephen Russell, and Ricardo Bare, etc. A few years later you invited me back to the studio and we discussed me getting a start with Ion in a QA/Play Test position.

    Anyways, I haven’t talked to you in years, and really don’t expect you to remember me, but I’ve kept up with your journey throughout the years and just wanted to simply say that I’m glad to see you where you’re at. I’m glad to see you finally end up with a company after Ion where your visions can be best served and demonstrated, and where we can see you actually make a difference again in game design/philosophy. In short, I’m glad you stayed true to yourself and didn’t give up and I’m proud of you man.

    James

  11. Hello Harvey smith, I am a fan of games you’ve created, I played dishonored i’m under age but still I have wanted to be a game designer since i was about 5 i’m only 11 now and i’m aspired to become a game designer so i was hoping that you could tell me some key tips on starting a foundation to a design. I’ve been playing games since i was 2 years old and i have always loved them so i want to become a game designer when i grow up so i can be apart of creating great games.

  12. Hi Harvey,

    Our names are Daryl Rodriguez and Jeanette Garcia. We’re making a documentary on the history of video games! We have individuals such as Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, Activision co-founder David Crane, Centipede co-creator Dona Bailey, Adventure creator Warren Robinett, amongst others. Check us out on Kickstarter:
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1128229743/world-1-1

    Let us know what you think!

    Thanks,

    Daryl and Jeanette

  13. Hello,

    My name is Tsvetan Hadzhiivanov and I am a postgraduate student at the University of Bradford. I am currently researching environmental storytelling and your presentation with Matthias Worch “What happened here?” was brilliant.

    My report is on environmental storytelling as whole, its benefits and how to address the problem of players missing the narrative elements (whether it’s a mise en scene, Bioshock – style audio recordings, etc.). I was wondering if you had any further research papers on the topic, particularly on self – paced narrative and its benefits. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Kind Regards,
    Tsvetan Hadzhiivanov

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