Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Bonfire Studios / Zynga Dallas’ Category


Rumor: New “Age of Empires” coming?


Cinema Blend is reporting that they have stumpled accross a new “Age of Empires” folder on Microsoft’s press server. The new folder was created on the 22nd of September and with the PAX games conference starting tomorrow they reckon it might be possible that a new Age of Empires could be announced.

No word who would be developing the title as Robot Entertainment and Bonfire Studios claim to be focussing on new IP. It is currently unknown if despite this any Ex Ensemble Studios group would be taking the series forward.

Watch this space closely! Follow for updates!

PAX begins tomorrow and it’s possible we could see a big reveal from Microsoft. Specifically, there might be a new Age of Empires unveiled.

At some point last night, a folder entitled “Age of Empires” was created in the press directory of Microsoft’s outside PR firm (via GMR FM). There’s nothing in said folder yet, though. PAX runs from September 4-6 so perhaps it’ll be filled with screenshots and movies of some glorious new AoE game during that period of time.


Fancy creating your own Halo Wars music?


Stephen Rippy has put together a selection of “stem files” which are the break up of all the parts which make a Halo Wars music file. So for example the “Best guess at best” music is made up of “pads”, “leads”, “drums” , “base” and “effects” for example. You can then put these stems into your favourite audio editing program and get mixing!

Once your done i’m sure Stephen would like to hear! Drop him a line at his website with your creations! If you want to publish your files on the web then let me know and i’ll host them for you here. You can contact me on

Heres the link to get started:

Source: The Bonfire Studios blogs!

Have fun!


Familiar faces amongst the Halo Wars developers play night


The Halo Wars developers play night has been buzzing with excitement as people from Robot Entertainment, Bonfire Studios and other Ex Ensemble people came to play with fans. One of those Ex Ensemble’s was ex community manager “Paragon”. The much missed moderator came out to play with fans as he greeted those on the message boards with:

*the cave door opens*

*a bearded figure of a man walks out blinded by the light*

*He is handed a 360 controller and grunts*

“paragon shall play”

Even though I am vastly out of practice, I will try and pop on for a few matches.  My gamer tag is ES Paragon (space between S and P no quotes)

Stick around Paragon!

Hopefully there will be more developer play nights in the future!


Stephen Rippy released new music samples


UPDATED: You can download music samples and purchase the CD by going to the official Stephen Rippy website. – Enjoy!

Stephen Rippy has released preview tracks on his official MySpace page of both new and old music from Age of Empires. Stephen is looking for feedback so feel free to comment on his MySpace what you think!

Stephen has also updated his official website and notes that he is now part of Bonfire Studios. The official MySpace blurb from Stephen follows:

“I’ve got a new “songs” CD out today: “Somewhere Close to Near.” You can hear a couple of tracks from it here on my MySpace – it’s been completely re-designed and features information on all of my game soundtracks as well as my more pop/rock-related records.

Please also check out

Hope you like what you hear!


So where are they now? Dallas Observer discusses Robot, Bonfire and Windstorm


No, thats not a picture of Ensemble Studios’ old offices. Instead it is a picture of a near by building which was demolished before the closure of Ensemble Studios as discussed in Bruce’s Blog.

You may be wondering where Robot and Bonfire are based now that they have disbanded from Ensemble. Well the Dallas Observer revealed today that Bonfire Studios has taken up the helm in Ensemble Studios old offices in Dallas. Robot Entertainment on the other hand are based in Plano.

It may be assumed that Robot have taken up offices in Plano and that these offices are the same offices that Ensemble Studios was planning to move into before its closure. One might also remember that Bruce Shelley hinted in his blog that with Microsoft shutting down the studio means that they no longer have to pay for these new offices.

With Robot moving out of the old Dallas offices and moving into Plano this may explain why its taken a little longer for them to get thier website up and running. No doubt the move involved lots of work re-creating an IT Infrastructructure for the company.

More information on this can be found here in the Dallas observer:


New Bonfire blog: “Defending the Prophet rush as Captain Cutter”



Bonfire Studios have released another developers blog focusing on Halo Wars. This time the team discusses some ways Halo Wars players can combat the Covenant leader rush particularly when playing as Cutter and your team mate is rushing with the Prophet of Regret. Check out the new blog here:


Gamespot interviews David Rippy. Talks about Ensemble’s closure and whats happening with Bonfire!


Quick update here – Gamespot have managed to hold a Q&A session with Bonfire head and ex producer at Ensemble, David Rippy. David talks about some of the things surrounding Ensemble’s closure though he much re-iterates what Bruce Shelley has said in the past that Ensemble has lost sync with the vision of its parent (Microsoft). He goes on to talk about what it is like to start an independent studio in the economic climate and how it differs from being an independent developer from an acquired developer.

A good read here:


Bonfire’s Bill Jackson talks about opening a new studio in the current economic climate


Joystiq have had a quick few words with Bill Jackson the ex Producer at Ensemble Studios who has joined the Bonfire venture. He discussed briefly the last 12 months and says that despite what has happened with Ensemble “It’s actually a great time to work on innovative game designs and think about ways to change our business models to support those games.”

The full article can be read here:




David Rippy head of Bonfire “Ensemble was a victim of its own success.” “Next game wont be an RTS; wont be published by Microsoft”


Bonfire Studios head David Rippy (ex Ensemble management) has revealed his thoughts on the Ensemble closure relating the to Microsoft never green lighting projects outside the RTS genre resulting in the studio being pigeonholed with RTS games. Rippy went on to discuss Bonfire Studios and that the first game they will make would not be an RTS game and that it would not be published by Microsoft.

This will be the first time the ex-Ensemble team will have worked together on a game outside of the RTS genre and we will finally see what else they are capable of. No doubt it its exciting times within the studio and we wish them the best of luck. Keep with us for all the updates of the upcoming “too hot to handle” game.  – any guesses on the platform?  Word on the street is that alot of Ensemble people are playing around with iPhones.. could that be the next platform?

You can read the full informative article here: and is well worth the read


Bonfire Developers blog goes live


It looks like Bonfire Studios will be continuing the Ensemble tradition of having developers blogs on the studios website. You can catch the first blogs here: which are regarding Halo Wars controls.

Stay tuned for more blog updates! Its great to see that post-Ensemble studios are continuing to provide fans with blogs and I hope they continue.