Outlaws may not get as much retro-love as games like Half-Life, but the setting, story, and atmosphere make this shooter one of the best of its era.

The 2.5D game came out in 1997, right before full 3D took off for shooters. It’s a Spaghetti Western done in a cartooney style, with hand drawn cut-scenes. The music is amazing, the story-line is great, and it has a cohesive sense of place and atmosphere. They paid attention to all the details — even the title sequences were stylish and innovative.

Outlaws is my favorite classic shooter, even above Half-Life. It so expertly marries the medium, the art, the gameplay, and the story. As a package it was very tightly put together. It wasn’t quite as innovative as Half-Life, but in terms of execution, it knew exactly what it wanted to do. There’s a purity to it, and it executed at a really high level within some crazy technical constraints. …

We don’t use titles at Bonfire. There are no EPs, no VPs, no Directors of Stuff.

Core to our culture is the belief that if you hire the right people and give them the autonomy to drive decisions forward, then titles are not a necessity but in fact a distraction.

This philosophy is a reaction to the individual journeys that brought each of us to Bonfire. We have seen first hand how titles create barriers between teams, box people in, and result in fiefdoms. I’ve seen creative people unable to contribute because they lacked a title before their name. I’ve also seen a team of dozens of directors unwilling to compromise on a project. I have seen brilliant developers chase a title for the prestige and get promoted into position where they are ineffectual. …

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This picture was my original bio pic…but Nick said it was to low res for the actual website.

Even before I knew game design existed as a profession, it was something I was drawn to. Whether it was running epic D&D campaigns or hosting Warhammer 40K games, I frequently found myself in the role of game master. This time forged my identity as a designer and my player-first philosophy:

It didn’t matter how clever my adventures were if my friends weren’t having fun.

I also realized that games are more than rolling dice and slaying dragons — they create experiences more powerful than movies or books. D&D and Warhammer lead to a job writing for White Wolf’s Vampire the Masquerade. From there, my dream took me to Relic Entertainment, Ubisoft and eventually Blizzard Entertainment where I was able to contribute to my favorite franchise — Diablo. Having a strong belief in collaboration, it’s not the games I’m most proud of, but the teams I’ve had the privilege to lead and the friendships forged from trying to make the best games possible. …


Joshua Mosqueira

Design and Game Master in residence at Bonfire Studios

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