Allen Turner teaches game design as a Professional Lecturer at DePaul University’s College of Computing and Digital Media, in the School of Design.
He’s an Afro-Indigenous game designer, storyteller, artist, dancer, author, and performer who believes in the power of play and story as fundamental, powerful medicines which shape our sense of self, relationships, and our connection to the cosmos.
A 20 year veteran of the video games industry, he has worked on projects at Bungie Software (Myth, Myth II, Oni, Halo), Day 1 Studios (MechAssault), Wideload Games (Stubbs the Zombie, Hail to the Chimp), Marvel Comics and Disney Interactive Studios (Disney’s Guilty Party, Marvel XP).
As a storyteller, Allen often tells myths and legends within the Native American community in Chicago. He has also provided cultural performances for the Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Public Library, the Illinois Teachers Conference, Newberry Library, Chicago Historical Society, and most recently the Adler Planetarium.
As an educator, Allen extols play as a learning tool by educating teachers and organizations via consulting and mentoring, as well as offering public presentations and workshops focused on exploring narratives, on large scales and personal scales, and how to bring those narratives, games, and game-like learning into class rooms to give students a sense of progression, context, and purpose.
As a performer, he enjoys exploring the narrative power of dance as a space of personal ritual and transformation via various forms of folkloric dance. His motions pull from all of his heritages and experiences with various teaches becoming a fluid blend of Raqs Sharqi, Butoh, West African, and North American Men’s Traditional and Omaha (Grass) dances.
Through his studio “Council of Fools”, Allen utilized his design, storytelling, and cultural experience to create, and publish, a table-top RPG called “Ehdrigohr: The Roleplaying Game.” A dark fantasy setting that pulls from the myths and folklore of Native American peoples and tribal peoples from all over the world, Ehdrigohr explores tribal themes and allegorical battles with depression, solitude, identity, and erasure.
Currently he’s working on a number of projects across a variety of media. This includes:
- CHA Graphic and Game Design Program – This program is hosted at DePaul University CDM every summer and invites youth from the Chicago Housing Authority to use design to explore their voices and create art and games that focus on personal narratives.
- DreamWalk (with Dr. Doris Rusch) A board game and tool for group storytelling and myth making and the exploration of the meaning behind those myths.
- The DePaul Game Studio – A studio space within DePaul where students can participate in long term game development projects.
- When Rivers Were Trails – A game which is a project with Michigan State University and the Indian Land Tenure Foundation to provide a historical context to the plight of Natives forced to travel west due to the Dawes Act of 1890.
- Freelance writing doing worldbuilding in various role-playing game properties for a range of publishers including White Wolf, Onyx Path Publishing, and Khepera Press.
- Council of Fools Rhythm Council, which is a space where he experiments with music and ambient sonic experiences.
If you are interested in hiring Allen for freelance writing, consultation, game design, or a variety of workshops on game-like learning or worldbuilding please use the form below to contact him for rates and services.