Goldfire Studios

All posts tagged Goldfire Studios

I was unable to attend the first ever Super! Bitcon recently. I really wanted to go but just couldn’t fit it into my schedule. Thankfully, the great guys with Retro Gamers Society filmed and published the highlight, at least for me, the Game Development Panel. In this panel we had James Simpson and Luke Simkins of Goldfire Studios and Matt Harmon of Bonozo Apps answering questions and discussing a number of topics revolving around game development.

Starting off the discussion, Luke and James spoke about their efforts to unify the game industry in the state. They have worked to create a game developers group found at OKGD.org. This is the group that holds the Monthly Meetups. They have been doing this because there is no big game development scene in the state. Those interested in game development are scattered across the state and it is necessary for us to have regular networking meetups.

As for what the best path is for getting into gaming, the panelists agree that the best way to start is to just make games. Matt expressed that you have to have a passion too. You can’t just approach it casually and hope to be successful. They also name drop Oklahoma Christian University, one of the top rated schools in the US for game development programs.

Super! BitCon Game Development Panelists: James Simpson, Luke Simkins, Matt HarmonThey have also expressed support for several do-it-yourself style learning opportunities such as Digital Tutors and Code Academy. You can also begin with plug and play game engines such as Unity to help you get started.

They next went into a discussion of what it takes, emotionally, to work in games. Luke and James told of their experiences trying to promote their game Casino RPG and being faced with vitriol from people who hate free to play games with a passion.

The conversation then went to Kickstarter and running a crowdfunding campaign. James and Luke both successfully funded Casino RPG through Kickstarter. In this portion, the conversation was around how you will need to really work on your marketing skills to succeed.

When it comes to game ideas, you really have to put some work into making sure it is the right one. James suggested putting your idea on the back burner for while and then revisiting it months or so later and checking if you are still excited about it. If you are, then you should go with it. Matt responded about how you shouldn’t be ambitious with your idea. You should scale back on some of the extraneous stuff and bringing it back down to something feasible.

On the topic of polish and releasing games, Matt and James had a bit of a disagreement. James is an advocate for releasing early to win fans while Matt expressed the idea that you should wait until your game is ready and perfect. This was a very interesting part of the conversation. There are certainly pros and cons to both sides of the debate.

Finally, the conversation closed with a question about building a team and how such a team should find a leader. When it comes to finding team members, it is a matter of connecting with other like minded game developers. When it comes to leading, Matt expressed a need to have a clear leader. Without one, he feels that a team might not make it. Luke on the other hand talks about how a creative process needs mutual respect among the team and that a single person or group of persons who try to build themselves up could be detrimental to the creative process.

All and all, it was a great panel and well worth watching. These are the kinds of events that are great for building the games industry in Oklahoma. We hope to see more of these panels in the future.

Goldfire Network Now Accepts Bitcoins

Bitcoin has been growing rapidly over the last few years as an alternative currency mostly used online. It has especially taken a liking by those in the tech community. So it is no surprise to learn that one of Oklahoma’s own game developers are not just using it, but accepting it as a payment option.

Goldfire Studios has made an announcement that it will now accept Bitcoin as a payment option for all its Goldfire Network games including its latest Casino RPG. Continue Reading

A couple of weeks back, James Simpson, the CEO of Goldfire Studios, had an opportunity to speak at the TEDxOU event. In his talk, James spoke about the idea of games as truly social and how some “social” games are far from it.

In his blog post featuring the video, James pictures a world in which games can help bring people the world over closer together.

I envision a future where communities are no longer constrained by their physical boundaries. Where your closest friends are scattered across the globe, not simply in your backyard. Movies, books and music are great art forms, but they don’t have the inherent power to truly connect the world in a fundamental way. Truly social games have that power, and they are going to change the world.

James certainly has a great vision of social gaming and his work on Casino RPG and other HTML5 games has been geared toward that goal. As games rely more and more on online interactions, the ability to develop friendships and other relationships with the people you meet online will grow with it.

Goldfire Studios

Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of attention paid to a mobile game going by the name Flappy Bird. This game, with its simple concept of flying a bird through a series of pipes, sprung from nowhere to the top of the iOS free game charts. It is addictive, fun and brutally difficult.

Rather than celebrate the success of the game and its creator, the larger populous vilified him and his game. They sought to find any all fault with the game and the creator and use those faults to tear down his success. This all culminated in the developer, Dong Nguyen, pulling the game. All throughout this affair, Dong would get a lot of abuse from both players and haters alike. People threatened his life, demeaned him and were overly aggressive toward him.

In response to all this abuse, James Simpson of Goldfire Studios has written a post in solidarity with Dong. Titled “Flappy Bird Reveals The Truth In Gaming“, James shares some of his own experiences with people who send him abusive emails.

In our own experience as a small indie studio (with nowhere near the reach that Flappy Bird achieved), we see all sorts of nastiness directed our way on nearly a daily basis. The sad thing is that developers are often told to just “ignore it.” This works to an extent, but developers are human too, and it is hard not to read these things. You wake up in the morning, energized and ready to work on your dream game, and by lunchtime you begin to question if the long hours are really worth it. We know how you feel, Dong, you aren’t alone in the fight.

It really is a shame that people have devolved to such behavior online, and often offline as well. While it is fair to receive harsh criticism at times, it is not fair to let those criticisms escalate to the point where the recipient fears for their life or is pushed into a state of depression.

Why is it so hard for people to celebrate the success of others? Is it simple jealousy that they have achieved a success we can only dream of? Or is it more deeply seeded than that?

We express our condolences to James and Dong for the trouble they experienced releasing video games to the public. We also express congratulations for their many successes. It is not easy to make games and publish them. It is even hard to find the right formula for success.

As for those who resort to the type of behavior expressed toward Dong and James, we ask you to seriously reconsider your actions. Put yourself into their shoes and ponder whether you would feel comfortable being on the receiving end of your own actions.

Until then, we hope that the positive people will begin to shine brighter throughout the games industry, the games media, and the gamers. This is a wonderful pastime and it would be a shame to ruin it.

Casino RPG Public Beta

Today is the day to get in on the hot casino action if you were not part of the limited Kickstarter backed closed beta of Oklahoma’s own Casino RPG by GoldFire Studios. This public launch means an end to game data resets and a preservation of the hard work you put into building your own casino empire. In an email message sent out today they lay out the announcement.

We are excited to announce that CasinoRPG is now in open beta and there will be no more resets! Over a year of development and closed beta testing has gone into this release, and we are really proud of the results.

In case you forgot, CasinoRPG is a massively multiplayer online game that merges role-playing, tycoon and city-building with casino games like poker, blackjack and slots. Like all of our games, CasinoRPG can be played for free right from your browser. Continue Reading

Goldfire Studio’s game Casino RPG has gotten itself a new and improved trailer. This trailer is based on the post Kickstarter closed beta of the game. It shows off the improved UI and world.

The game looks to be coming along quite nicely and Goldfire is working toward opening up the beta soon. We will let you know as soon as that happens.

There is also a side by side comparison of the new trailer vs the one used during the Kickstarter. This shows off nearly all the improvements to the game in the six months since the Kickstarter closed. You can read the rest of the announcements and watch the video at Goldfire’s blog.

Follow Goldfire on Twitter: @GoldFireStudios

Casino RPG by Goldfire StudiosAt the last monthly meetup, Goldfire Studios took time to share some tips for building a better Kickstarter. These are lessons they often learned the hard way and wanted share with others to save them the headaches. They have posted not only the video that was live streamed but also the slide show they used in the presentation. You can view both at their site, and we have embedded the video audio here.

Among the tips, there are sections on building a press relationship before starting your Kickstarter. This means seeking out not just games sites, but specific journalists who might be more inclined to report on your game’s Kickstarter. Additionally, social media is a powerful tool to helping build awareness and support. If you are not using Facebook and Twitter currently, you need to start now and build up a presence. There is plenty more in the video and the slide show so check them out.

With the increasing number of Oklahoma based Kickstarters popping up, I think it is important for all of us to learn from each other. Not just learning from the successes, but learning from the failures. So if you have tried to crowdfund your game but fell short, we would like to hear from you. You can post directly to our forums or you can contact us and we can chat.

Casino RPG by Goldfire StudiosComing later this month on May 30th, Goldfire Studios will be the main event in the next game developer meetup. In this meetup, James and Luke will be sharing their experience in running their successful Casino RPG Kickstarter. That Kickstarter successfully reached its $20,000 funding goal on February 5, 2013. This will be a great opportunity to learn from someone who has been there.

I have seen a couple of other crowd funding projects from Oklahoma pop up but Casino RPG has been the only fully successful one. Come prepared to learn and ask questions and if you are doing something neat in game development, please be prepared to share.

Howler.js LogoWhile developing its latest HTML5 game, Casino RPG, Goldfire Studios ran up against a severe weakness in the current technology, specifically regarding audio output. Frankly, HTML5 audio sucks when it comes to doing much of anything aside from embedding sound clips on a web page. This is a common complaint from HTML5 game developers. With that in mind, it is great to see that one game developer is looking to solve the problem, hopefully once and for all.

Enter Howler.js. Goldfire has put together a great all in one package for handling audio for cross platform playback. The library allows the game developer to assign several sound files to a single audio object and the library plays back the file that the user’s browser supports. Additionally, it has all the features you need for great game audio such as looping, mute, fade in/out, etc.

It also contains support for what are known as sound sprites. With this, you can put all your audio into a single file and play back only certain sections of the file for different sounds. This reduces the strain on bandwidth for most games as they would require numerous sounds and multiple download streams to play without this feature.

It is great to see something like this coming from a studio in Oklahoma. This certainly shows the talent this state has to offer. If you want to learn more about Howler.js, head on over to the project description. Additionally, Goldfire has open-sourced the library and has it available for download over at Github.

Finally, if you want to support Goldfire for its efforts in creating this much needed and great sound library, then head over to their Kickstarter project, Casino RPG, and pledge them a few bucks. After all, it is this game that spawned this library.

Earlier last week, Goldfire Studios announced the opening of its Kickstarter campaign for Casino RPG, the latest game from the studio. This campaign has been live for about a week and has raised over $6,500. With it funding goal of $20,000, Goldfire seems well on its way to reach and potentially exceed its target.

Casino RPG will be a free to play game that promises to offer a fair paid experience, meaning it will not be “pay to win”. The game will focus its core gameplay around building a career in the casino business starting at the bottom and working your way up to a multi-casino empire. What makes this game more than a tycoon style game is the multiplayer and social aspects. Not only can you build a casino and have players explore it and play the games, you can also visit the casinos of other players and try to win big.

Another interesting aspect of this game is the underlying technology is built on the platform commonly referred to as HTML5. According to the Kickstarter, this technology was chosen as it allows players on all compatible devices to play the same game with the same experiences. With the growing popularity of HTML5 in the game landscape, this puts Goldfire at the forefront of this new market.

CasinoRPG is built with the latest in web technologies, often grouped under the term HTML5. What this means for players is that there is no need to download the game, run Adobe Flash, open a Java applet or install a plugin like Unity Player. You simply point your browser (on virtually any modern device) to the CasinoRPG website, and you are instantly loaded into the game world, right where you left off. This allows us to do some amazing things that have never been possible before, like providing the same great game experience across devices, while being able to play with your friends in real-time, no matter what device they are playing from.

We wish Goldfire and Casino RPG the best of luck in the coming weeks and hope that this Kickstarter reaches its funding goals.