My mom bought me Rocky’s Boots at the now dearly departed Egghead Software. I loved Egghead Software. I still get the feels when I pass the strip mall where it used to be.

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One of my favorite games of all time, and, dare I say, one of the best games ever made, Ōkami caught my heart. The entire time I played I was consumed with joy and wonder.

And this is a hard thing for me to admit. My jaded black heart recoils from whimsey and light. But Ōkami? Ōkami made me unreasonably happy.

Because this is awesome:

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Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen talks about champagne toasts, small teams, culture, and philosophy in a BAFTA talk. We are inspired by the philosophy of staying small, and how turning the traditional org chart upside-down gives teams the power to serve the players.

Small is Beautiful

Ilkka reveals the power and fun of operating with small teams. When everyone can work closely, there is virtually no communication overhead, which saves a lot of time. It also means that everyone on the team can have a big impact on the game.

Minimize Procedure

As companies scale, they tend to add more policy, procedure, and oversight. This is well-intentioned, but over time it slows things down and prevents teams from doing the right thing for themselves and their players. You want your lead designer working on combat, not justifying the game’s existence by forecasting how the game will deliver year over year growth for the next 3+ years. …

Bonfire is in a unique position — not only do we get to create a world, an IP, and a game from scratch, we get to create a company we want to work at.

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But a positive culture doesn’t just happen. We need to do a lot of hard work up front — work that may seem like a distraction from the “real” work of making a game. But you can’t create a great game without making sure your team has everything it needs to be their most creative selves.

The Book Club helps us take some time out of our normal work days to talk about our culture. We don’t expect everyone to agree with everything we read, but the discussion helps us learn about Bonfire — about who we are and where we are going, and most importantly, who we want to be when we get there. …

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott

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Care Personally

Author Kim Scott says the cold, hard, scary truth is actually a good thing, as long as it is delivered with genuine care and kindness.

While it might be easier to sugar coat everything (aka Ruinous Empathy) — that doesn’t help anyone grow and improve. On the flip side, no one is inspired to do their best work for the boss who delights in delivering criticism (Obnoxious Aggression). There is a sweet spot in the middle, Radical Candor, where you both Care Personally and Challenge Directly.

Beyond Entrepreneurship: Turning Your Business into an Enduring Great Company by James Collins and William C. Lazier

We knew we wanted to define our company values as early as possible, but we spent a lot of time going back and forth about what exactly makes a mission statement, and how is it different than a purpose…and how do you even decide on either one? We went to other companies to find examples, but they are all over the place — there’s no universal definition, and no perfect example. …

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I was too lazy to remove all the secrets from the background that day, so I just spent half an hour redacting them. Poorly.

With only one all-nighter (ahem…Min Kim) we are ready to take our 500 point armies to the field of battle. But first we had to go to Warhammer School, wherein Professor Mosqueira goes over the fundamentals of the game, and explains the difference between normal and invulnerable saves about forty times.

We still don’t quite get it. Professor Mosqueira is an extremely patient man.

School is currently in session twice a week. We are taking applications. No previous Warhammer experience is required, but we’re gonna need your work history and a cover letter.

OK fine we’re actually taking job applications, but Warhammer School is included with every job at Bonfire Studios — for free! I should probably put it as the main perk on our careers page. …

One of my favorite things to do is to play D&D on stage at PAX with Acquisitions Inc. Because you never know what is going to happen next.

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Môrgæn and Morgan share a motto: one shot one kill. Also, I do not take any credit for this image. All rights, reservations, and everything else go to Penny Arcade.

←This is my character Môrgæn. She is a ranger. She is awesome.

She gets +10 to hit and takes no disadvantage at long range. >:)

I have, until now, focused on DPS rather than any type of animal handling, but at Level 9 I took a new spell — conjure animals. It proved to be just a teensy, eensy, weensy bit overpowered. …

In the grim darkness of the far future there is only WAR…and friends! -Joshua Mosqueira

Yeah, that pretty much sums up Josh’s world view. He is Bonfire Studios’ resident GM and all around world class enabler.

But the time is almost nigh — we are getting ready to sling some dice. Finally.

Yeah, I shouldn’t say finally. I know everyone at Bonfire Studios has been waiting on me to finish painting my Warhammer army. In my defense, there have been a lot of conferences lately (DICE, GDC, PAX EAST). And while I do enjoy this hobby, Joshua Mosqueira failed to mention that it would be a 200 hour project. …

No one at Bonfire had a Warhammer habit before Joshua Mosqueira got us hooked. It started with an innocent trip to Games Workshop before a night out. “A quick stopover…while we’re in in the neighborhood.” The next thing I remember was walking out with a $74 plastic toy — that wasn’t even assembled or painted. I love him. His name is Starboy.

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The day Starboy came home, tucked safely into my purse. Look, he wants a hug…

And I was not the only one to fall. Min Kim was quick to revive his childhood obsession — he immediately bought everything necessary for a 500 point Necron army. Dominic Qwek went all-in on the Grey Knights. …


Morgan Webb

Bonfire Studios

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