Popular mint maker, Mentos has recently procured the services of Graeme Devine to help them launch a new iOS game to go along with a new marketing campaign for the Mentos brand. The company certainly know how pick their game designers enlisting the help of Ex-Ensembler and now founder of GRL Games, Graeme Devine to design the game “Spider Swiper” for iOS. Read more
Graeme Devine’s GRL Games has announced that its second game following Clandestiny has been published to the Mac Store. Full Deck Solitaire is just like your traditional Solitaire, but with a whole lot more – 22 different variations of Solitaire infact! This will be a perfect game for anyone who loves Solitaire on the Mac OS X platform. The game also sports a friendly UI and moving video backgrounds. Below is a screenshot and link to the App Store where the game can be downloaded for just $0.99. Read more
Just when you thought enough ex-Ensemblers have joined Zynga, a press release from the D.I.C.E Summit has revealed that Bruce Shelley is now acting as consultant for Zynga having recently finished a consulting role at UbiSoft studio, Blue Byte where he worked advising the team on the Settlers 7 game. It is currently not known what type of internal studio Bruce is working with at Zynga, however my guesses would be that he is working with Brian Reynolds on the FrontierVille game. Bruce had previously worked with Brian Reynolds at Microprose. Read more
It’s that time again, the time to be festive and jolly – it will soon be Christmas and our favourite Ensemble-lites are busy working away at Robot, Zynga, Windstorm and GRL Games. 2011 is sure to bring lots of excitement; I expect we will see glimpses of Robot Entertainment’s secret Game 2.0 project next year, perhaps at PAX East. Windstorm Studios is also sure to release further information about Dusty’s project. Graeme Devine’s newest venture GRL Games will be in full swing with the release of Clandestiny for Mac OSX. Read more
Two more art blogs are now available on the Robot Entertainment website. First up is Won Choi who is partnered with Planet Age of Empires. Won has come up with something a little different, something more lighthearted than previous art blogs in the series. Take a look at the below: Read more
Yes I did just use that cheesy “A new age of” phrase! But yes, today is the day that this blog finally gets a new look after using the plain-jane wordpress theme for the past coming up to two years now. I hope that this new look helps improve the website ashetically and also helps users find content more easily. I have placed Ensemble history and studio information on the top black bar, sorted by studio. On the blue bar are all the blog posts categorized by studio. On the previous design there were way too many categories, by filtering these down it should be much easier and quicker to find information about the studio your need.
At the top of the page we have a “featured articles” slider. This slider will show all the top news from the studios formed out of Ensemble. So be sure to check back often to see what’s happening from your favourite Ensemblites and new studios!
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:
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.
Bruce Shelley has been interviewed by a German online magazine GamersGlobal.de. Most of the interview talks about Settlers 7 and Bruce’s role in the games development. It looks like he’ll be bringing accross Ensemble game design philosophies such as playtesting and making the game easier to play for gamers. However if you listen to the first few minutes of the interview Bruce talks about the closure of Ensemble Studios where he believes it was a mistake and says that the studio was closed due to Microsoft thinking it wasnt a strategic studio anymore. He goes onto say that Ensemble were making different games outside of the genre but those games kept being cancelled by Microsoft. Clearly Microsoft did not give the studio a chance to explore titles outside of the RTS genre, a big shame on Microsoft.
Check out the video below:
Its been just over a year when Ensemble Studios closed its doors (29th Jan 2009) and we have seen lots of news where the developers have set up new companies such as Robot, Bonfire, NewToy, Fuzzycube and Windstorm and we have seen some of the developers join posts in other prestigious companies such as Paul Jaquays now working at CCP North America. However news has been scarce about iconic Ensemble developer and co-founder Bruce Shelley, until now.
Today it was widely revealed that Bruce Shelley has joined Ubisoft’s Blue Byte studio where he will be working as consultant on the RTS game “Settlers 7″. It looks like nothing can keep Bruce away from RTS video game development! You can find out more about the game and see Bruce in action as he describes the economy structure of Settlers 7 in the YouTube video below.
Also check out the high res download of the video over at BigDownload.com
Settlers 7 open beta now open
More good news is that the Settlers 7 game that Bruce is working on is now accepting beta signups so that you can get a first look at the game. More details about that available here: http://www.fileplanet.com/promotions/settlers-7. Note also that an ubi.com account is needed for registration so be sure to get that setup first.
Remember-EnsembleStudios.com will be following developments of this game closely and will update with any more Bruce Shelley blogs or vidlogs. Keep an eye out!
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: