Our Story


The name Deck Nine pays homage to an early interactive storytelling game that inspired us. Released in the mid-80’s, Planetfall, written by Steve Meretzky and published by Infocom, was an instant classic. The AI character, Floyd, still stands the test of time and his death evokes memories of wonder and sadness – quite possibly the first time a game did that. The game begins with you aboard the Stellar Patrol Ship Feinstein, scrubbing filth with your patrol-issue self-contained multi-purpose all-weather scrub brush and your location is: DECK NINE.

The story of our studio actually began many years ago. In 1997, Mark Lyons founded Idol Minds, a small independent game developer focused on PlayStation 1 games. Early hits include the beloved snowboarding series CoolBoarders. For the next twenty years, the studio grew with the gaming industry, ranging far and wide, but always building a reputation for innovative technology and compelling gameplay. In recent years, we have been successful in a new genre of gaming, narrative adventure games. Our first narrative title, Life Is Strange: Before the Storm, was completed in 2018, followed by Farewell, Life is Strange: True Colors, and most recently, the Life is Strange Remaster. We are currently working with Telltale games on The Expanse: A Telltale Series. 


In recent years, our expert programming team has been busy developing and fine tuning a suite of tools that we call StoryForge. StoryForge gives the writers, directors, cinematic artists and content creators everything they need to create an interactive story and turn that story into a fully functioning narrative game. 

Thanks to these tools, and a talented staff, Deck Nine has become an industry leader in the Narrative Adventure genre. 


Writing a traditional screenplay is hard enough before you add the branches and consequences found in narrative games. These stories are an order of magnitude harder to write than film and television scripts. Traditional screenwriting software tools and even spreadsheets are simply inadequate. The more time we can spend writing, reading, and playing the story before it goes into production, the better it will be. PlayWrite is a revolutionary writing tool that allows our writers to focus on amazing characters, intriguing plots and agonizing choices and consequences. Additional functionality, like scene graphs, motion capture and audio recording scripts and output to our custom cinematic tool makes PlayWrite a vital part of our creative process.


Narrative adventure games seamlessly blend back and forth between interactive and film-like moments. Crafting the film-like moments is an elaborate and labor intensive exercise. Deck Nine built and integrated StoryTeller into our storytelling process. StoryTeller is where the magic happens.


It’s important to us to make the creative process as smooth and rapid as possible for our creative directors. To that end, we’ve built a state of the art motion capture facility in our office. Our cinematic director comes from film and television and he works with motion and voice actors to capture all of the major performances for the games. We have been enhancing this process and our talented MoCap team works like a well-oiled machine. 


The Deck Nine Development Diary is a peek behind the scenes during the making of our latest game. This video was shot
in our Colorado studio and features some of our Life Is Strange: Before the Storm development team.