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Posts from the ‘Bonfire Studios / Zynga Dallas’ Category

30
Jul

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: http://www.ngmoco.com/we-farm/ 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!

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    22
    Jun

    Bonfire Studios developing for mobile platforms – iPhone, iPad, Android?

    A recent job listing on the Bonfire Studios website suggests that Bonfire may be pursuing game development opportunities with the mobile market including Apple’s iPhone / iPad and Google’s Android OS.

    Bonfire Studios is seeking a talented programmer who loves programming games for mobile devices to join our team and share in the creation of our games and technology. The ideal candidate has industry experience in the mobile space including iPhone, iPad and Android, and has shipped mobile titles to his or her credit. This is a position that requires excellent time management skills and the ability to work in a self-directed manner.

    Certainly seems like the studio has plans to develop some kind of mobile game. It is not known if mobile games are the core focus of the studio, it may well be the case that they are developing games for PC and / or consoles as well. The studio is also looking for network programmers for Xbox Live and PSN. More details about the new mobile job description appear below. Food for thought!

    Required:

  • You have mobile game industry experience and we want to hear about it, including at least one shipped game on iPhone, iPad or Android platforms.
  • You are a great programmer with excellent debugging skills and good design sensibilities.
  • You love working with other people on a team and prize good communication.
  • Burning passion for gaming and game development.
  • Preferred:

  • You have multiple shipped mobile games to your credit.
  • You have experience working in Microsoft Silverlight.
  • You have a degree in Computer Science or similar discipline (Physics, Math, EE, etc.)
  • Instructions:

    Email us at: jobs@bonfire-studios.com. Attach your resume and cover/introductory letter in Microsoft Word (or compatible) format.

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    13
    May

    New artwork for the Bonfire Studios website

    A nice treat from the artists at Bonfire - some new art has been added / changed on the website. Perhaps this art is a sign of things to come?

    Check out www.bonfire-studios.com

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    30
    Apr

    Bonfire’s Natalie Wohr on Channel 33 Dallas TV – Part 2 (with video)

     

    In response to part 1 here is the video of the Channel 33 broadcast. You can spot Natalie towards the end working on some concept art for Bonfire Studios.

     

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    29
    Apr

    Bonfire’s Natalie Wohr on Channel 33 Dallas TV

    If you happen to live in the Dallas area be sure to tune in to Channel 33 tonight  at 9:00CST to see a special news segment about women in the gaming industry. Natalie is featured on the programme along with women from other studios. The programme may have some footage of inside Bonfire Studios so keep your eye out.

    Hopefully we’ll be able to get some video on here of the programme for those unable to tune in.

    Incase you are wondering – Natalie is a concept / 2D artist at Bonfire

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    2
    Apr

    Stephen Rippy “What Ive learnt at Bonfire”

    Hot on the heels of Robot Entertainment’s one year anniversary comes Bonfire’s own anniversary and is blogged about by musical genius Stephen Rippy.

    This evening, Bonfire Studios will have a small party celebrating the end of our first year as a company and the beginning of our second.  In honor of that sort-of startling milestone, I wanted to take a minute to look back at the past twelve months and maybe share a couple of things I’ve picked up along the way.

    Stephen talks about the transition from Ensemble Studios to Bonfire Studios. Turns out they didn’t move very far, just down a few floors in the same high rise building:

    The end of Ensemble Studios as an entity also meant the shuttering of the space we’d occupied for the previous ten years.  We were nearing the end of our jobs and our lease, and had nowhere to go but down.  So down we went, literally – ten floors lower in the same building.  And we did it ourselves.  Over a single feverish weekend, fueled by junk food, beer, and months’ worth of accumulated angst, we grabbed our inherited computers, desks, and full-sized arcade machines and hauled them down, one armload at a time.  There were cuts, bruises, and people walking around with refrigerators strapped to their backs, but at the end of it all, we had something that was our own:  a new home.

    The team at Bonfire have been working incredibly hard over the past year and while there is nothing to show just yet you can be sure these hard working developers will come up with a great game, perhaps more will be revealed at E3 this year.

    For all of that, though, we’re confident and excited about the future – and we hope you’ll come along with us!  To everyone here, congratulations on our first anniversary.  See you back here this time next year.

    Keep an eye on and read the full blog over at the Bonfire Studios website!

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    14
    Mar

    Paul Bettner of NewToy says Ensemble demise due to company culture

    News is spreading around that Paul Bettner an ex Ensemble programmer has had a bit of a “rant” at the GDC explaining that Ensemble Studios should not of blamed Microsoft for the studios closure and should instead look at failings with the company culture at Ensemble Studios. In what has proven to be such a shock read from an ex-Ensemble employee which certainly damages the excellent working environment Ensemble was credited for he says:

    “The reality is that every single game we shipped took twice as long as we said it was going to take, and cost twice as much to make.

    “Microsoft is a public company, they answer to their shareholders, and we were simply too expensive.”

    Ouch.

    But wait, theres more:

    “Ensemble had a company culture where everyone was a workaholic, developers worked late and slept at the office, and were addicted to the rush of success of the Age of Empires series.

    I watched this happen and I did almost nothing to stop it. As an employee, and later as a manager, I didn’t take a stand. I just kept hoping for that next high”

    “This is a horrible vicious cycle. We burn out all our best people. We destroy these precious artists, we wreck their families and we sacrifice their youth. So they leave, and they take all their experience with them.”

    Some pretty shocking comments there which resulted in huge applause from the GDC audience, perhaps with other developers agreeing that there is way too much pressure in the industry with these “crunching” hours.

    This is the first time we have had an Ensemble Studios employee almost attack the way the company was managed but we must remember on the other end of the scale that alot of people stuck with Ensemble once the studio was told it would be closed down and ironically Dave and Paul Bettner were one of the first employees to leave and start NewToy before Halo Wars was completed.

    These are one mans comments and do not reflect the thoughts of the whole studio. 45 employees followed Tony Goodman to start up Robot Entertainment so there must of been confidence in the highest management. Perhaps lessons have been learnt about crunching hours and the new Ensemble startups are paying closer attention to how staff are looked after and how studios are run to ensure talent does not leave whilst at the same time balancing budget and hitting milestones. Now with studios like Robot and Bonfire being fully independent there may be less pressure to meet publisher demands, hopefully.

    Source: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/crunch-culture-killed-ensemble-studios

    Sidenote:

    It should also be noted that Robot Entertainment sponsor the International Game Developers Association and therefore stands by the values and principles behind the IGDA “Quality of Life” white paper. If there were any issues at Ensemble these should now have been addressed with the management at Robot Entertainment. Robot Chief Operating Officer, Patrick Hudson comments on the IGDA website:

    Robot Entertainment is proud to support the IGDA in its ongoing mission to make the game development community a better environment for all of us.

    This comment is not related or a response to the Paul Bettner discussion and has been present on the IGDA website for quite some time prior.

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    14
    Feb

    Looks like something is brewing over at Bonfire Studios

    In case you haven’t noticed the Bonfire Studios website went offline recently with a new web page advising the studio is “re-fueling” its website. Could this mean the ever so silent Bonfire Studios is about to show details of their upcoming video game? Or is it going to be a whole new website of teasers? Time will tell!

    Looking forward to seeing what the Bonfire team come up with on thier new website! Keep a sharp eye on http://www.bonfire-studios.com/

    Somethings cookin’!

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    24
    Dec

    Happy Holidays

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    Christmas eve today and I wanted to wish all the blog readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Last year was a sad time for the Ensemble crew but this year things are looking up. Studios like Robot, Bonfire, Windstorm, NewToy and Fuzzycube amoung other ventures seem to be going very well with the latter two already performing exceptionally well on the iPhone platform. Will 2010 reveal any teasers for Robot, Bonfire and Windstorm projects? We hope so! Stay tuned for updates over 2010. Meanwhile, here’s a little greeting from your friendly Robots:

    Xmas 09 Robot card

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    3
    Nov

    Dave Pottinger quits Robot, moves to Bonfire

     3_davepottinger

    Jeremy W of the Halo Wars official community forum recently spotted the removal of Halo Wars lead designer, Dave Pottingers name from Robot Entertainment’s list of employees. Dave Pottinger was a long time member of Ensemble Studios and was present at the beginning with Age of Empires 1. Dave was fairly big on community engagement appearing on the Halo Wars forums and writing development blogs on the games official website. Dave was also responsible for the mammoth Robot Entertainment lego sign effort who’s blog remains on the studios website. Often a spokesman for game development at Robot Entertainment, appearing on voice and video chats about Halo Wars and post Ensemble, it is currently unclear why he has chosen to move to Bonfire Studios.

    Dave has updated his post on Halo Wars forum pointing out that Robot was a great place to work, it just wasnt the things he wanted to be doing and Bonfire was more aligned with the projects they were undertaking.

    Robot is a great place with crazy good talent.  A huge chunk of my best friends work there:)  Just turned out to not be the right place for me and where I want to go/what I want to do.

    And I can still play with Legos no matter where I am:)

    No matter where Mr Pottinger is placed, its exciting that he will still be apart of developing games with Ex-Ensemble people – keep an eye out for Bonfire news!

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