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Archive for July, 2010


Bonfire Studios releases its first game “We Farm” for iPhone / iPod Touch / iPad

Bonfire Studios today announces the release of its first iPhone game “We Farm” . We Farm is a strategy game for iPhone where players can build their own farm and raise animals to earn rewards such as blue ribbons to progress through the game. The official description is as follows:

We Farm is a new kind of animal. Build a barnyard, raise critters and bring home the blue ribbon.

Invite your friends to take pictures with your prize-winning pig and patron businesses on your farm. Visit theirs for inspiration. And compete for the title of finest acreage this side of the Mississippi.

  • Raise horses, pigs, sheep, ducks and even ostriches, then compete for the blue ribbon at the county fair.
  • Make your farm your own with over a hundred buildings, animals and decorations
  • Plant veggies, fruit and flowers to earn your keep
  • Share your farm with your friends to earn extra coin and XP
  • If anyone has ever played FarmVille on Facebook you may find a similar expierence with We Farm but on the iPhone/Pad platform. If your interested in finding out more a video says a thousand words so take a look at this demo video demonstrating how the game works when building your first barnyard.

    It looks like a great game and I wish Bonfire all the success with its release. Unfortunately I do not have an iPhone at the moment so am unable to offer a review but I would love to hear your comments. Post a reply to this blog or drop me a line on Twitter! Meanwhile I can provide some quick FAQ’s…

    When is the game available?

    Its available right now on the iTunes store for immediate download and is available FREE. So if you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch then what are you waiting for? Head over to the iTunes Store to purchase or click the link below:

    Purchase We Farm in the App Store

    How much does it cost?

    This game is free to play 🙂

    Who are Ngmoco?

    Ngmoco are publishing the game. You may have heard of them before as they have also worked in partnership with another studio formed by Ex Ensemble staff, NewToy with thier game “We Rule“.

    When was this game released?

    The game was available for download July 29th 2010.

    Where can I find more information?

    The official website for We Farm can be found at: which contains screenshots, videos, descriptions and blogs for the game – well worth checking out!

    What’s next for Bonfire Studios?

    Bonfire promises to produce further games for the iPhone / Pad platforms so keep an eye out for more iPhone games from Bonfire Studios soon!


    More photos of the Robot Entertainment studio added

    Have a nosey over at the Robot Entertainment website and you might notice some new photos on the studio page. The new photos show the bots hard at work on mystery projects and some snaps of the luxurious Robot lounge:

    Pretty snazzy!

    Take a look at some more snaps over on the website:  Look carefully and maybe you’ll spot something!


    Justin Korthof on new Robot website plus Ian Fischer’s role at Gamesauce

    Robot Entertainment’s Community Manager Justin “SixOkay” Korthof has published his first blog on the new Robot website design reflecting on the launch and re-assuring fans there is much more in the pipeline for the website including new features and bug fixes.

    Hello again. It’s been a while since we last talked. Now that we’ve got the new website up, that’s going to change. Since we put the new site up about a week and a half ago, you’ve all been kind enough to sign up and take it for a test drive. And we’re glad you did! Thanks to you guys, we’ve already started making updates to the site. We’ve been fixing bugs and improving various little features. And we’re not stopping any time soon.

    We’re currently doing a little under-the-hood work, but soon we’re going to begin work on some great profile improvements, as well as adding and improving forum features. Is there anything you’d like to see? If so, be sure to let us know over in the Suggestions Forum.

    Justin also discusses Robot’s Lead Designer – Ian Fischer’s role at the Gamesauce conference in July 19th. The conference is a place where developers can inspire other developers with unique and interesting ways about making engaging games. At this conference Ian will be speaking on “the role of emergence in gaming and the part it plays in the future of the medium.” Justin expands to clarify further:

    It’s about the future of the gaming industry. In it he compares the first 60 years of games to the first 60 years of films to support the idea that despite the game industry’s immense accomplishments, we’re only just starting to get really serious about making games. If you’re interested in the presentation, I’ll see if we can snag a video of it, or perhaps make a blog post out of it.

    Exciting stuff. It is always good to see Ex Ensemble employees giving talks as they are veterans in the industry. You can also catch Bruce Shelley and Paul Bettner giving talks soon too at the GDC. We also look forward to seeing some more developments on the Robot Entertainment website so keep your eyes peeled on and if you haven’t already sign up on the forums

    Read the full blog from Justin at Robot Entertainment


    Paul Bettner of Newtoy also to speak at GDC Europe

    Paul Bettner from iPhone developer NewToy is also going to be presenting at GDC Europe along with Bruce Shelley (these are separate presentations). Paul’s talk is titled “Keys to Successful iPhone Game Marketing”. The talk is likely to draw on things from the studio’s expierence in generating highly successful iPhone games including the highly popular Words / Chess with Friends series. Here is the session description from the GDC Europe website:

    Publishers and developers are constantly looking for ways to solve the biggest issue with creating games for iPhone, discovery. If people don’t know about your app and can’t find it, it’s impossible to make money in the market. The participants of this session will discuss what you need to do to have success in today’s iPhone market. From the effectiveness of advertising, to code giveaways and promotions, if you’re creating a game for iPhone, this session will better prepare you for the task of marketing your game.


    Robot Entertainment working on “Spartan” – Screenshots leaked!


    This will no doubt be very exciting news for Robot Entertainment and Ensemble Studios fans as earlier this morning Kotaku revealed that Microsoft is looking for beta testers to test a “ground breaking new strategy game” titled “Project S“. Soon after the publication of that article an updated article was distributed correcting “Project S” with another codename “Spartan”. Along with the first ever supposed screenshot of the game!

    Kotaku also reports that Spartan may well be the games actual name suggesting that this is Robot Entertainment’s Game 1.0 project with Microsoft Game Studios! Exciting stuff. Age fans might be disheartened to see it is not an Age of.. game but never fear the same may have elements of Age of Empires being that it is a strategy game. Alternatively there is a possability that this game could be renamed “Age of..” but that would seem unlikely given the above screenshot. There is likely to be lots of news about this over the day so keep checking back for updates!

    Some FAQ’s..

    Has Robot Entertainment commented on this news?

    No. This news is currently not confirmed by either Microsoft Game Studios or Robot Entertainment. There has been no comment or confirmation that the above is genuine (although we assume it is).

    Is this an Age of Empires game?

    It doesnt look like it, but it is a strategy game and may have some elements of Age of Empires along with some new ones – maybe RPG elements. Who knows.

    Can I sign up to beta test?

    As far as I am aware existing Microsoft beta testers for Games for Widnows Live have been emailed inviting them to take part in the testing. If you havn’t got an invite then at this time I do not believe there is a way to join the testing.

    Any more news and leaks?

    Not yet, but keep checking back!



    Robot Entertainment’s new website launches!


    Just as you were oogling over the small preview a few hours ago the bots over at Robot Entertainment have got the new website off the ground over at featuring all of the previous content plus a swanky new design and community forums to discuss both Robot Entertainment’s studio and future games! Whats more, and sure to please some Age Community members there is even an off topic section which was sadly lost since Ensemble’s closure over at Age Community.

    So what are you waiting for go have a nose around and sign up on the forums! You can fin me under the “deanparkr” alias 🙂


    Get a sneak peak of Robot Entertainment’s new website design

    This is why its always a good idea to become of a fan of ex ES studios on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. By following studios on these social network sites it often means you can find out what your favourite studios are up to much quicker! Today Robot Entertainment teases with a small screenshot of the upcoming website design. The new design looks like this:

    The website looks quite nice, although I’m not sure if I like the large and  slightly old fashioned Robot on the top right..  I would prefer a more modern looking Robot for a modern studio! What do you think? Join in the discussion on Facebook!!/photo.php?pid=6481989&id=113092790195


    Bruce Shelley to speak at the Europe GDC “Five Rules for Draft One of Your Game Design”

    Gamasutra reports that legendary game designer of Ensemble Studios, Bruce Shelley will be taking part in a 50 minute lecture at the Game Developers Conference in Europe (the GDC). The lecture is targeted at developers with any expierence and the summary as per the GDC website is as follows:

    Session Description
    Both veteran designers and students of game design sometimes struggle with the challenge of, ‘I have a great idea but I haven’t figured it all out and I don’t really know how to express it on paper.’ In this Game Design session, Bruce Shelley shares five guidelines for the challenge of producing a complete first draft game design proposal, a road map to help designers focus their thoughts and get momentum on the process of ‘getting it down.’ He covers both the game design decisions you need to have made before you’re ready to pitch an idea, and how to make that perilous journey from intuitive idea to the written word.

    It is great to see Bruce actively taking part in the games industry. Bruce recently served as design advisor on Ubisoft’s Settlers 7. If you haven’t checked out Settlers 7 it might be worth having a dabble at the game demo. With Bruce Shelley involved you can be sure the first 15 minutes of the game will be very fun and engaging, one of Bruce’s design values is to have the first 15 minutes as fun as possible

    The GDC takes place August 16-18th and I expect we shall hear details about what Bruce has to say on or soon after the event.


    AOE3 forums on Age Community gets renamed “Age of Empires Forums”

    Eagle eyed visitors to the Age of Empires 3 forums on Age Community might have noticed the heading text has changed from “AOE3 Forums” to a more generic “Age of Empires” forums. Could this indicate that the forums will now be used to discuss more than one Age game and not just Age 3? One might deduce that this could indicate that a new Age game is on the horizon and the forum name change allows Robot to utilise the Age Community address ( to support both Age3 and Age4(?).

    Of course, this is all wild speculation but one must wonder why the forums have been renamed all of the sudden. .

    Note: Only the heading text and page titles have changed –  graphics remain to be Age 3 related – so no getting too excited! – its been a slow news month so I thought I would post something to get peoples inquisitive minds thinking again 🙂