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Posts tagged ‘Dave Pottinger’


Official Robot Entertainment blogs go live!

New Robot Website

The Robots at the spacepod like office in Plano have launched their official company blogs with Dave Pottinger and David Kubalak. Dave Pottinger shares with us his dream of having the Robot Entertainment logo in Lego form much like the Google logo shown below:


It is infact a deadly serious project and Mr Pottinger has been spending his free time experimenting with Lego base boards to get them a suitable size for the Lego Robot logo – here he is, in action!

Lego Dave

One might wonder if Mr Pottinger spent too much of his childhood playing with Lego! It does seem like a fun project though and if Google can do it why not Robot? You can stand by for updates on this by following this website or by subscribing to the Robot Blog RSS feed.

In other non Lego news..

David Kubalak lifts the curtain on the faces behind Robot’s art team:


Please note: The above picture may not accurately represent entire appearance!

You can click the image to enlarge and from left to right you will find:

Bryan Hehmann – Environment Artist, Nathan Stefan – Concept Artist, Gene Kohler (bottom) – Character Artist, Dion Hopkins – Visual Effects Artist, David Kubalak- Art Director, Charles Tinney (bottom) – Animator, Rob Walden – Hard Surface Modeler, Juan Martinez Technical Artist and Animator, Brad Crow (bottom) – Art Director, Paul Slusser – Environment Artist, Duane Santos – Hard Surface Modeler, Won Choi (bottom) – Concept Artist, Chris Moffitt – Character Artist, and Bart Tiongson – Concept Artist.

All of those people are Ex-Ensemblites! Its interesting to read about the individual roles each artists has. David Kubalak is the Art Director and has his own blog where you can find some of his artwork at:

Clearer Robot Art picture discovered!

You may remember a previous post where I mentioned Age Community were studying Robot Entertainment pictures closely for any hints on a new Age of Empires game. David Kubalak’s blog contains an image extract from a news article which shows a picture of Gene Kohler working on some textures. Check out the image below and be sure to enlarge!

Gene working on textures

Discussion on this can be found on the Age Community forums.

Further reading..

I encourage all fans to check out the Robot website to read the full blog posts from the two Robot Daves! Looking forward to seeing more posts from them soon!

Lets see how this Lego logo develops!!


Lead Designer talks Halo Wars bases


Lead Halo Wars designer at Robot Entertainment Dave Pottinger today blogs about the reasoning behind the socket based bases found in Halo Wars. The forums have often had questions like “How come I cant place buildings anywhere on the map” and “How come the game doesn’t look like it did at E3 2007?” Halo Wars was completed in 2009 so its inevitable there would be some differences between the released version and the E3 2007 demo. However it is always interesting to know how ideas and changes developed and the reasoning behind the changes.

Think of it as a look into a Robots head, here’s Dave Pottinger with the low down and a link to the full blog post at the bottom:

“Most strategy games are noted for their deep city building and economic elements. WTF Halo Wars??? Why don’t you have an Age of Empires-like infrastructure game where the truly skilled players can “out econ” the newbies? The fairly un-sexy answer is that we just wanted a faster game with a larger focus on combat. Okay, fair enough. Let’s look at the iterations that base building went through to achieve those goals.”


Dave Pottinger responds to Halo Wars fans about DLC pricing


There is alot of talk amongst the community of unhappiness with the DLC pricing at 800 MS points for three brand new game modes. I thought I would quickly add my thoughts on the matter. I think the game modes are alot of fun espcially re-inforcements mode which is great fun online. Its also good to see a change from the rushing trend online with these new modes which require new thinking on ways to win. For 800 MS points its certainly alot of sustained entertainment. You can play lots of games of Halo Wars DLC, but you can only complete say Fable 2 DLC once.

But anyway, enough of me and more of the Lead Designer at Robot. Here’s Dave Pottinger’s light statement on the matter as posted on the Halo Wars forums. Ive added some emphasis as well. 

“MS asked us to make some DLC.  We chose to do that.  We made a proposal back to them with what the DLC contents would be.  After some back and forth, they agreed.  They set the priceThey alone control this.  HW is a MS franchise and they have guidelines for how much stuff costs.  That said, yes, we knew what the price would be.

Personally, I think the price is fair.  It’s clear that you guys do not (overall).  We can disagree on that, particularly since no one is forcing you to buy it:)  It’s worth pointing out that map packs are easy to figure out.  They’re easy to make.  They’re especially easy to price.  Game modes for a strategy game on the console are less clear-cut.  We knew there would be some consternation over the modes coming out as the first pack, but we thought it was something that would be very popular.  Time will tell.  If there was a mistake made with the pricing, then I’m confident that will bubble up in the pricing analysis.

Overall, the based on what folks are playing right now, I’d say a) the DLC is popular and b) the DLC is doing its “job” in refreshing the feel/community for the game. Someone made the comparison to Horse Armor.  That’s an ironic comparison given that, to date, the Horse Armor remains in the top 5 or top 10 “most purchased DLC items” (at least based on the last numbers I saw).

Anyhow, we (and MS, I imagine) have clearly got the feedback on the pricing.”


Halo Wars Strategic Options


In case you haven’t already noticed.. Halo Wars strategic options DLC has been released! The community is buzzing at the community and you can check out all the action in the official thread. Be on the lookout for comments from Robot developers and rest assured they are watching, gathering feedback.

My thoughts? The DLC is fun and is entertaining, its very enjoyable to play for fans of the game and introduces some new play styles which really make you think about new tactics and strategies in order to win.

Unfortunately though there is no multiplayer online except for party games for a majority of the new modes. Alot of players have expressed some sadness about this so I wanted to highlight comments made by Dave Pottinger about the issue:

“None of the DLC was on the disc when it shipped.  The game modes are a small download because they are rules.  There is some new content, but it’s obviously a different type of content compared to a map.  Also, the recent patch added a bunch of missing support/engine groundwork for both DLCs.

We are limited in the number of matchmaking buckets we can use due to Live.  We left a bunch of buckets available for the DLC, but perhaps we made too many team oriented buckets.  We’ll evaluate changing/modifying that as we get feedback.  FWIW, since the DLC modes are generally more team-based than the default game, we skewed the new hoppers to be team-focused as well.” – Dave Pottinger.

Hopefully Microsoft might be able to extend the number of multi player buckets available for their first party game. If not it is possible based on feedback that Robot will be able to mix and match modes as per gamer feedback.

So.. if you want to make your voice heard head over to the thread!


Robot Entertainment website goes live!


New Robot Website

Robot Entertainment has (finally) launched its website! The studio is responsible for Age of Empires and Halo Wars support along with developing thier own new game. Robot is headed up by Ex Ensemble Studios CEO Tony Goodman. 

The website has a news section and a detailed studio information section. Similar to the independent days of Ensemble Studios the website lists all staff members and thier role along with a pretty humours description of each! The brand is actually quite a wild change from the brand of Ensemble, Robot is young and youthful, despite having the talent of Ensemble Veterans.

Be sure to check out some pictures of the studio, the office looks very funky just take a look at some of these:


Its a meeting, not dinnerrobot_office_2

Some funky chairsrobot_office_3

Thats a rather fancy desk! What are you working on? A new game? :ORobot_office_5

Mr Pottinger demoing the new conference room features. Is that Jerome on an iPhone?! What is with the Ensemble vets and iPhones?!?

Want to work here? I can understand why you would, but you cant as Robot isnt hiring at the moment.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Robot Entertainment website here:

A list of Robot employees (bots) can be found on the website but also on the new “Robot Entertainment” page on this blog.


Robots at work; Halo gets re-branded and DLC coming


Halo Wars fans who often visit the official Halo Wars community website may have noticed that as of yesterday the site had been re-branded from Ensemble Studios to Robot Entertainment. Whilst I am pleased that Robot get to make their mark its somewhat sad that the Ensemble name has been removed.

Robot Entertainment folk are working on Halo Wars DLC which I imagine will be announced in the next few weeks. It is unknown whether the DLC will completely or partially re-brand the game to Robot Entertainment. Tony Goodman’s crew are staying zipped about what the DLC is going to include. Good news is however in traditional Ensemble fashion they are actively listening to fans and players on the forums. You can catch people like Dave Pottinger and Jerome Jones who were both leads on Halo Wars browsing  the forums. Just look for the Robot logo under their names.

Of course another thing we can expect soon is the launch of the Robot Entertainment website which has been displaying a splash screen for quite a while; keep checking back here by adding us to your RSS feed and we’ll let you know when it goes live.

A few other updates…

I know I’ve promised updates to the Bruce Shelley and Ben Donges blogs, I’ll try to get them up soon. 

Oh, and, I’m sorry to report that ES_Paragon and ES_Solus are no longer with the Ensemble crew at Robot or Bonfire, but are pursuing other opportunities. We wish them good luck with that. 🙂


Official Xbox Magazine talks to Dave Pottinger about Halo Wars and Robot Entertainment


Official Xbox Magazine (OXM) has interviewed Dave Pottinger who was the lead designer at Ensemble Studios and who has now joined the Robot Entertainment entity of ex-Ensemble employees as lead designer.

You can  listen to the podcast here: Dave is on at 40:00 onwards. Discussing things like the fatality system and Y-abilities that didnt make it to the final Halo Wars build and why there was no Covenant campaign.


Halo Wars Universe expanded part 2 now online

This time focusing on the Halo Wars characters and the role they play in the Halo Wars expierence. Check it out here on



Halo Wars Universe expanded – video 1


The first Halo Wars Universe expanded video is no online at it discusses the storyline of Halo Wars and how it relates to some of the novels and the Halo FPS games.

Check it out here:


Halo Wars Vid Doc 3 is up


A quick post from me to let you know that the third Halo Wars vid doc can now be viewed here: