Legendary game designer Bruce Shelley takes to the blog over at BonusXP, the topic at hand is talking about how video game ideas start out in their early stages. The Ensemble philosophy of play testing comes into throw here, even right at the start of a brand new game idea.
The method that we have seen work most successfully, beginning many years ago with board and paper games, is to build a prototype, start pushing around the pieces, and then rely on our instincts as gamers to feel what parts are working, not working, what new idea to try, etc. We call this design by playing. Read more
BonusXP’s upcoming strategy game “Servo” has been in the news over at Gamespot with Kevin VanOrd talking to BonusXP’s Bruce Shelley and Dave Pottinger at last months GDC. The interesting interview gives us some insights on what BonusXP are heading towards with the game. Some interesting tidbits include the play time, with Servo matches taking around 10 minutes a game compared to a longer more drawn out RTS matches such as found in say, Age of Empires. We have seen a smaller game time target with Ensemble’s Halo Wars which typically had matches around 20 minutes. It’s interesting to see that BonusXP are looking at quite a short average game-time with Servo. Dave Pottinger commented: Read more
Its been quite a big year for BonusXP, although you might not think it when noting that the studio hasn’t released any new titles this year. However since Cavemania’s release in 2013, the studio has seen some great accomplishments. BonusXP founder, Dave Pottinger has taken to the studios website to write a blog reflecting on the year, a happy end to 2104.
Today BonusXP, the studio formed out of some Ensemble Studios members headed up by Dave Pottinger, John Evanson and Jason Sallenbach have today announced that they have formed a publishing partnership with Stardock for their next game. In todays press release we learn that BonusXP are working on a PC Game, this follows the studios previous two mobile games, Monster Crew and Cavemania. Remember ES can also advise that their next game will be an RTS, perhaps going back to their core roots from the Ensemble days. Read more
Dave Pottinger, founder and CEO of BonusXP has posted his Cavemania post-mortem blog on Gamasutra. Post-mortems are always very interesting reading and Cavemania’s is no exception. In the post we learn about how Cavemania started off as an RPG game as opposed to the “match 3″ game we see in the finished product. The blog also talks about various highs and lows during the development and describes the studios design methodology.
Starting from the beginning just how did BonusXP end up with a match-3 Age of Empires esque strategy game? The project first started off and an RPG which was worked on by one full-time programmer. Read more
Looks like Christmas has come early from BonusXP who have today released the Android version of “Monster Crew”. There are many great games on iOS that never make it to Android, its great to see that BonusXP have taken the time to enable the millions of Android users to enjoy the spooky platforming game. If you havn’t been able to play the game yet here is a quick low down. Monster Crew is an “endless” platformer that sees you play the role as Frankie, a boy who had his precious card collection taken at a yard sale. Frankie travels to a frightening castle to try and get them back but is turned into Frankenstein. Its now up to you to help Frankie recover his cards from within the ghostly castle. Read more
Hot on the heels of spooky Halloween, Bonus XP have now launched their first action packed game on iOS – Monster Crew! A perfect game for the season, Monster Crew launches with its first episode which sees Frankie complete his collection of cards, only for them to be accidentally sold in garage sale by the typical local crazy scientist. In the first episode Frankie takes charge to get his cards back and travels to the scientists castle where things end up not going quite to plan… Frankie ends up being turned into Frankenstein! Here beings Monster Crews strategy-platforming gameplay as Frankie sets about recovering his cards from the many levels in the castle. Read more
Hot on the heels of PeopleFun the latest mobile video game studio to form from Ex Ensemble talent is “BonusXP” formed by Dave Pottinger, John Evanson and Jason Sallenbach all of whom are Ex Ensembler’s. A little while ago they lifted the lid on their first soon to be launched mobile title “Monster Crew”. The game is a strategic platformer game featuring combat and RPG elements. The story resolves around the young “Frankie” a boy who enjoys playing his “Monster Crew” card game. After having collecting numerous cards his collection is unfortunately sold by accident after a yard / car boot sale. Keen to get his cards back Frankie sets out on a mission to recover them. Turns out his cards are held by a mad scientist in a creepy castle. After setting about trying to get his cards back Frankie accidentally presses a button in the castle which turns him into Frankenstine, and here the adventure begins! Read more
Two new ex-Ensemble studios form: BonusXP and PeopleFun. Word Chums expected as launch title (Part 1)
VentureBeat has reported this week on two new studios forming from Ensemble Studios veterans. The first studio to be announced was “PeopleFun” a new venture from one of the key founders and CEO of Ensemble Studios, Tony Goodman. The other announcement was also from one of Ensemble’s long serving employees, Dave Pottinger who lifted the lid off his new studio “BonusXP”. These new studios are both small studios focussing on mobile gaming and join the line of many other ex Ensemble formed studios to enter the mobile market including the very successful “NewToy” and “Bonfire Studios” who were acquired by Zynga. So lets take a look at these exciting new announcements in more detail! Read more
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!