Flint Dille (born November 3, 1955) is a screenwriter, game designer, and novelist. He is best known for his animated work on Transformers, G.I. Joe, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, and his game-writing, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, and Dead to Rights, as well as his non-fiction book written with John Zuur Platten.
Dille was born in Chicago, Illinois. His parents were Robert Crabtree and Virginia Nichols Dille. He attended Glenbrook South High School. In 1977, he graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a Bachelors degree in Ancient History and Classical Rhetoric. He received a Master of Fine Arts in Professional Writing (Cinema) from the University of Southern California. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
After grad school, Dille worked as a freelance script reader, production assistant, and assistant art director before getting his first writing job from Joe Ruby at Ruby/Spears as a Saturday Morning Development writer. This led to writing scripts for Mr. T., The Puppy, and RoboForce. Later, Dille went to work for Sunbow Productions and served in various capacities as Writer, Story Editor, Associate Producer, Co-Producer on several shows, including Transformers (Generation 1), G.I. Joe, Inhumanoids and Visionaries. After that, Dille worked briefly at CBS on the in-house production of Garbage Pail Kids, before working with Amblin Entertainment on several projects, including An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, Tiny Toons (as a movie), and We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story.
- TSR and Dungeons & Dragons
Dille met Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, while Gygax was in Hollywood and they began collaborating on a number of projects, including the Sagard the Barbarian gamebook series (1985-1986), which was published by Pocket Books.:18 They also collaborated on The Sceptre of Seven Souls. Dille co-authored a script with Gygax for a Dungeons & Dragons film; however, the film was never made. Dille introduced his sister Lorraine Williams to Gygax at Gygax's request. TSR was having hard times financially, and she was suggested as both a potential investor and as a skilled manager, and she was brought in to TSR as Vice President and Administration.:18 In 1989, TSR made an expansion out to the west coast to get D&D back onto the television and into movies; Dille ran this new department, which was called TSR West.:23 Dille was able to get the boardgame A Line in the Sand (1991) published the same day the US bombing started in the first Gulf War, as he was able to convince the president of the company to make things move quickly.:23 The Buck Rogers roleplaying game XXVc began at TSR West, but Dille could not finish it so it was shipped back east.:23
For the rest of the 1980s, Dille focused on animation writing and game writing and design. At TSR Dille also worked on Dragonstrike where he wrote and Directed the Video which was an early example of a 'hybrid' film, containing blue screen and digital backgrounds and animation. Dille also directed several audio Interactive discs, including First Quest, Karameikos, Red Steel and Planescape. The TSR Audio Disc: Terror T.R.A.X: Track of the Vampyre, was later re-done as a CD-ROM by Groliers, directed by Flint Dille and programmed by Peter Marx and Evolutionary Publishing.
- Interactive Games
Dille's career shifted to interactive games in the late 80's when he worked on several projects for the Sega CD platform, including Double Switch, Maximum Surge and Corpse Killer. At that point, Dille then worked on Soviet Strike and Nuclear Strike for Electronic Arts, writing the videos and completed a transition from paper games and products to video games.
Dille won "Story of the Year" for his work on The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay and on Dead to Rights. Dille was the writer for other video games, including Fantastic Four 2, Teen Titans, Superman Returns, James Bond: Tomorrow Never Dies, Soviet Strike, and Nuclear Strike.
- Frank Miller
Dille is a close friend of comics creator Frank Miller; "Frank and I met during what I call our 'professional adolescence' when he was doing the Dark Knight and I was doing the Transformers cartoon series," says Dille, "and we've been great friends ever since." Dille was selected to spearhead the design, scriptwriting, story generation, and overall production of a video game adaptation of Miller's Sin City for Red Mile Entertainment. Miller planned to direct a Buck Rogers film, with Dille as producer, but this project was scrapped in 2009.
Google revealed Flint Dille to be the creative lead of alternate reality, geomobile game Ingress on All Tech Considered, an NPR radio segment. The project operates as if it isn't a game, presenting itself as reality at Wyrd Con 2014. At ComiCon 2014 Dille spoke on the panel "Story Worlds: The Alchemy of Franchise Creation." Using his experience with Ingress, he explained the way different medias are growing interconnected.
Recently Flint Dille completed a Transformers graphic novel trilogy, Autocracy, with Chris Metzen and Livio Ramondelli. The series follows the origins of Optimus Prime and Megatron one million years before they arrive on Earth.
At TechWeek LA, Dille unveiled Transportopia, which he describes as turning the entire city of Los Angeles into a massively-multiplayer online game as an attempt to change our relation to the city and "move us outside of our bubbles."
- Other projects
Dille also taught an Alternate Reality Game Design class at UCLA film school, Winter Semester 2011.
- Video games
- Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu
- Sagard the Barbarian Interactive Gamebook series with E. Gary Gygax
- Dead to Rights
- An American Tail: Fievel Goes West
- The Transformers: The Movie (1986)
- Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light (several episodes)
Regarding Dille's script for Fievel Goes West, critic Cliff Terry wrote, "Screenwriter Flint Dille has provided a story that is frenetic and fast-paced—in the end, too hyper, too cluttered—with some decidedly dark touches that, conceivably, could have undertones of the Holocaust. To lighten things up, Dille periodically tosses in bits of relatively sophisticated humor. At one point, the desert is described as 'a million-acre catbox,' there are references to espresso and endive, and when Miss Kitty cuts out on Tiger, she purrs—Casablanca-like: 'We'll always have the Bronx. Here's lookin' at you, kid.'"
- Dille, Flint; Platten, John Zuur (2008). The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design. Los Angeles, CA: Lone Eagle. ISBN 1-58065-066-X.
- "The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design (9781580650663): Flint Dille, John Zuur Platten: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
- "Skywalkers would have pleased Buck's creator". Philadelphia Daily News. February 8, 1984. p. 8.
- The Hollywood Reporter (December 20, 2008). "Sin City creator eyes big-screen Buck Rogers". The StarPhoenix. p. E10.
- Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
- Sacco, Ciro Alessandro. "The Ultimate Interview with Gary Gygax". thekyngdoms.com. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
- La Farge, Paul (September 2006). "Destroy All Monsters". The Believer Magazine. Archived from the original on 2008-10-04.
- Red Mile Secures Key Talent for Sin City Game
- Sin City: The Game - It?s Going to Be Unreal at FEARnet
- "The Return of Buck Rogers". IGN.
- Vejvoda, Jim. "Did The Spirit Kill Buck Rogers?". IGN.
- "A Video Game Meant To Take Us Back To The Physical World".
- "INGRESS: Game or Reality? with Flint Dille at Wyrd Con 5".
- "Story Worlds: The Alchemy of Franchise Creation".
- "Transformers: Autocracy".
- "Flint Dille".
- The Comic Book Database: Flint Dille
- Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (2003) at the Internet Movie Database
- Sullivan, Patricia (March 5, 2008). "E. Gary Gygax; Co-Creator Of Dungeons & Dragons". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-10-17.
- Dead to Rights at the Internet Movie Database
- Wheelman at the Internet Movie Database
- An American Tail: Fievel Goes West at the Internet Movie Database
- Terry, Clifford (November 22, 1991). "Spielberg rolls out small guns in 'Fievel'". Chicago Tribune. p. F.