Bonfire
Building Our Bonfire

We value and celebrate the different perspectives, inspiration and experience each new person adds to our team. We know individuals can bring a lot to the table that doesn’t necessarily fit neatly into a box, and many of our team members have roles that are a unique blend of disciplines and skill sets.

At Bonfire, we tap into a person’s unique passions and superpowers to allow impact to take different shapes and sizes, giving everyone an opportunity to contribute their personal touch to help us create something that captures the imagination and stands the test of time.

Andrew Hackathorn
Sight
Andrew Hackathorn
  • Art
  • World Building
  • Sportsball

Born and raised in Kansas, Andrew moved to California to attend art school for game art and design. And did he see California - he’s lived in Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, and San Diego. His first industry job was at Sony Santa Monica as an artist on God of War: Ascension. He continued his journey at Respawn working on Titanfall 1 and 2, and then went to Bungie. He’s excited to now be creating new worlds with a small team at Bonfire. When Andrew isn’t watching his two crazy monkeys, he enjoys playing video games, stressing over the Chiefs, and drooling over new food.

Beni Elgueta
Beni Elgueta
Beni Elgueta
  • Experiences
  • Connection
  • Well-Caffeinated

Video games have always been a way for Beni to connect with others. The game development process fascinated him from an early age, and he took any chance he could get to learn more about it. This led to an incredible opportunity interning in Blizzard’s QA department, then becoming a full-time member of the team. Though he spent six years in QA, Beni found his true passion in joining the Events team, which combined his love of artistic expression, connecting with community and enjoyment of organization and process. For the last 15 years he has produced experiences of all shapes and sizes. Regardless of the event, whether it’s a small, intimate dinner or large custom event for thousands, Beni is driven to make each one better than the last!

Beni Elgueta
Billy Shih
Billy Shih
Billy Shih
  • Tech Art
  • Production
  • Growth

Billy has had a lifelong interest in gaming, art, technology, and helping others. Starting out as an animator at Electronic Arts, he quickly discovered his true calling as a technical artist. He then spent nearly 13 years working as a tech artist, game developer, and leader at Blizzard Entertainment before joining Bonfire. Still a hardcore gamer, here Billy is also heavily engaged in giving feedback to Design. He has a fascination for improving one's self and the inner game: the mental aspect of competitive sports and gaming.

"Work harder, better. Make faster, stronger... Evolution never over." --Abathur

Billy Shih
Braden Parkes
Braden Parkes
Braden Parkes
  • Audio
  • Design
  • Druid

Braden is a Los Angeles native who grew up surrounded by creativity. His parents instilled a love of music in Braden from an early age. After interning with local recording studios, he discovered game audio and honed his craft in his backyard shed with a laptop and a pair of headphones. Now, after almost a decade of professional experience and training from some of the world's most prolific game sound designers, Braden is an expert. When he's not working, he can be found playing video games, rock climbing, or playing with his two dogs. At Bonfire, Braden continues to put his audio skills to the test to bring our game to life in new and exciting ways.

Braden Parkes
Carlyn Lim
Heart
Carlyn Lim
  • Art
  • World Building
  • Cats

Carlyn always loved drawing and exploring imaginary worlds - it was her way of fitting into and understanding the world. Games are a natural extension of that landscape, a beautiful space to let the kid within roam free and put complex emotions into manageable boxes. Fast forward 15 years into her career, she has created fantastical characters and creatures for companies including Blizzard, EA, Riot, Gearbox, ProbablyMonsters, and ArenaNet, where she was also the Lead Concept artist. Now at Bonfire, she looks forward to expanding new worlds with the amazing team!

Charlie Hauser
Charlie Hauser
Charlie Hauser
  • Publishing
  • Marketing
  • Aspiring Muppet

Originating from small-town Missouri, video games & stories were Charlie’s doorway to a wider world. Whether it was growing up playing Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego or coming up with an entirely unique backstory for each new character build in Diablo II, chasing a deeper narrative is where he finds the most fun. After his stint in advertising trying to get people to care about potato chips, cars, and online banking, Charlie found his way into the game industry where he shaped the stories that launched titles like Apex Legends, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and Medal of Honor. Charlie joined Bonfire’s team of talented and passionate nerds to help us tell an all-new story of our own.

Chris Wyatt
Chris Wyatt
Chris Wyatt
  • Publishing
  • Community
  • Tamer of Pugs

Chris spent most of his early years trying to escape his small town in rural Kansas by grinding levels in MMOs and playing entirely too much CS 1.6. The in-game friendships were life changing - they ignited his curiosity around how players and developers forge communities and culture together. Since then, he’s spent 10 years working on League of Legends and helped launch TFT, Legends of Runeterra, VALORANT, and more. When he’s not locked in battle, Chris spends his time exploring the trails of Southern California with his trusty pug. Chris is hyped to be at Bonfire where he hopes to bring opportunities for players everywhere to build and connect together.

Chris Wyatt
Christina Lee
Christina Lee
Christina Lee
  • Studio Brand
  • Culture
  • Dance Floor Initiator

Christina's love for Super Smash Bros. N64 sparked her lifelong gaming passion. The magical feeling of finding her own close-knit gaming group inspired her mission to create spaces of belonging for others. After nine years at Supercell, where she built the Clash of Clans' brand, orchestrated its Super Bowl debut, established a storytelling team, and shaped new game IPs, Christina joined Bonfire to nurture a company culture where everyone feels seen and valued. When she’s not steering our culture, you’ll find Christina at a karaoke bar or lighting up the dance floor.

Christina Lee
Dave Adams
Mask
Dave Adams
  • Level Design
  • Narrative Design
  • Disney

Dave got his start by doing QA, set building, and movie editing for the claymation games The Neverhood and Skullmonkeys. He built levels for Metal Arms: Glitch in the System before he started at Blizzard on WoW - working on zones like Howling Fjord and Grizzly Hills. He moved to Diablo III, where he designed exterior zones, dungeons, boss fights, and events. On Overwatch, he created Hollywood, based on inspiration from a visit to the Warner Bros. backlot, Watchpoint: Gibraltar, Horizon Lunar Colony, and Illios among others. Here at Bonfire, Dave creates intricate levels and lore for our new IP, though he also considers making us listen to his playlist, Davesneylandworld, a top priority.

Desiree Cassidy
Desiree Cassidy
Desiree Cassidy
  • Design
  • Combat
  • Gameplay

Desiree would watch her parents play video games till she was old enough to take a kick at the can herself, immersing herself in Zelda, Gauntlet Legends, Golden Eye and more. When she discovered animation and art could be a bonafide job, she left home to attend Vancouver Film School for classical and 3D character animation. Now, Des combines her passion for games with her previous experience to bring Bonfire’s first game to life! When she isn't working, you can find her hiking with her dog, drinking delicious beer, and obsessively playing Dota 2.

Desiree Cassidy
Dominic Qwek
Dominic Qwek
Dominic Qwek
  • Art
  • World Building
  • Sculpting

Dom's artistic journey ignited in his youth, immersed in the worlds of gaming, comics, and movies. The pivotal moment came when he watched "Toy Story," which inspired him to embark on a career in 3D art. Fueled by a profound passion for crafting iconic character art, Dom has left his mark on titles like Killzone 2 and Starcraft 2. Presently, he channels his creativity into shaping compelling character art for Bonfire, continuing to push the boundaries of visual storytelling in games.

Greg Prior
Greg Prior
Greg Prior
  • Art
  • World Building
  • Hobbit Head

Growing up the youngest of four boys, Greg spent his formative years simultaneously falling in love with video games and trying his best to get a turn to play them. When he couldn't get his hands on a controller, he'd spend his time drawing out game ideas onto his trusty pad of grid paper. After taking "Intro to Computer Animation" in high school, he was hooked on turning those ideas into realities. Greg eventually landed his first industry gig at Sony working on God of War: Ascension. Since then he's bounced around LA working on projects big and small; from Respawn's Jedi Fallen Order to Giant Sparrow's What Remains of Edith Finch. He now happily finds himself at Bonfire, ready to bring more big ideas to life for players everywhere.

Greg Prior
Jason Cho
Jason Cho
Jason Cho
  • Operations
  • Finance
  • Aspiring Happy Warrior

Jason’s connection to business, food and games started early. He helped his immigrant parents build a successful life for the family - while enjoying their video rental store (free videogames!) and Baskin Robbins (Pralines 'n Cream is his fav). This is where he learned that money - when earned and used correctly - is a symbol of freedom and opportunity. He started his career working for Goldman Sachs and TPG Capital, then earned his degree at Harvard Business School. Finally he was able to apply his knowledge to his passion for food and games. He worked at Riot helping build the finance team, and at Butterfly Capital helping food companies with operations. Now he is at Bonfire starting a new adventure with a team of amazing human beings.

Jeremy Craig
eye
Jeremy Craig
  • Design
  • Systems
  • UX

Jeremy started his career on the web, focused on graphic design and user experience. He fulfilled his lifelong dream of working in the games industry when he got a job on Battle.net working on front end social systems for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. He moved to the nascent Overwatch team as a game designer focused on UX, and then became a systems designer. He also loved working on branding, merchandise, and graphic design - even creating the Overwatch logo. At Bonfire, he’s excited to go back to the small team environment of early Overwatch, and have a big impact on our game (and our merch).

Joe Peterson
Joe Peterson
Joe Peterson
  • Concept Art
  • Ip Exploration
  • Visual Storytelling

Joe has been a concept artist in the games industry for about 20 years. In that time he's worked at multiple studios, including Blizzard Entertainment and contracted for the likes of Riot Games, Id Software, and Lightstorm Entertainment to name a few. While not expecting to join another company full-time, discovering and bonding with Bonfire changed his mind. He joined Bonfire to try and make games a new way, with more concern for teams and the people on them.

Izzy Benavente
Izzy Benavente
Izzy Benavente
  • Engineering
  • Features
  • Archery

Originally from Guam, Izzy's family moved to the mainland US when she was seven years old. Throughout her childhood she played many games, but it was the Final Fantasy series that really hooked her and left an indelible impression. Inspired, she wrote her first program at 13 years old and from then on knew that making games was meant for her. Honing her skills on smaller game projects and competing in hackathons, Izzy would go on to work on such franchises as Call of Duty and Apex Legends. A builder at heart, she still finds time to build custom mechanical keyboards, construct Gundam model kits, and she’s always in search of the perfect boba milk tea. She’s excited to join Bonfire’s small but mighty team and see what amazing things they can all create.

Izzy Benavente
Kristin Christopher
Ship
Kristin Christopher
  • People
  • Talent
  • Culture

Kristin grew up creating art, making music, and playing every point-and-click adventure her parents let her install on their PC. Once she had enough of her own money, she bought her first console and the grand doors of the video gaming world opened wide. Kristin’s lifelong interest in the human mind led to her study Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and it was clearly her destiny to meld games with business psychology. She spent 15 years providing team building, coaching, hiring, and leadership at studios such as Respawn Entertainment, Infinity Ward, and NCsoft. This path brought her to her latest adventure at Bonfire, where she’s excited to help our teams grow and succeed.

Kyle Heisler
wave
Kyle Heisler
  • Engineering
  • Gameplay
  • Paladin

Whether tinkering with PC games with his friends or playing D&D and Magic the Gathering with his cousins, Kyle loved to share games with others. While completing his Software Engineering degree at the University of Alberta, Kyle landed an internship with Electronic Arts working on the not yet announced Skate game. As a casual skater himself, the experience got him hooked on a career in game development. He returned to EA after graduating and spent the next 14 years as a gameplay engineer on franchises including Skate, Need for Speed, and Plants vs Zombies. Having the opportunity to work with the small group of amazing folks at Bonfire was something Kyle couldn't turn down and he's stoked to help bring the creative ideas at Bonfire to life!

Kyle Heisler
Matthew Versluys
Mask
Matthew Versluys
  • Engineering
  • People
  • Warp Core Maintenance

A win in a Tetris programming contest landed him his first industry job handling multi-player and networking for Dark Reign: The Future of War. He never suspected that would bring him to the US for a 16 year career leading the engineering team for Battle.net, connecting players on every Blizzard game from Diablo II to Overwatch. At Bonfire, he’s looking forward to finding new ways to connect players and create communities.

Megan Wallace
Doughnut
Megan Wallace
  • Culture
  • Strategy
  • Inclusion

Megan has built her career on a desire to forge strong bonds with others and help them succeed. Her operational expertise was developed as the right hand of numerous dynamic and creative leaders in the games industry and Bonfire has honed her collaborative and creative problem solving in the strategy space with a lens for diversity, equity, and inclusion. She takes food and eating quite seriously, is a horror movie aficionado, a dedicated board game rule follower, and an amplifier of voices big, small, soft, hard and in between.

Megan Wallace
Michael Biancalana
Michael Biancalana
Michael Biancalana
  • Animation

Don’t let the last name fool you, this guy is as American as deep-fried Twinkies. Mesmerized by video games since the age of 5, Michael has had a long, fortuitous game development career - from QBasic ASCII dungeon crawlers in highschool, to AAA titles like God of War, Overwatch and Valorant. When he’s not binging on the latest game releases, Michael enjoys baking desserts, pretending to be a martial artist, and trying to convince coworkers to join his D&D campaigns.

Michelle Duffie
Michelle Duffie
Michelle Duffie
  • People
  • Inclusion
  • Wrangler of Cats

Michelle’s first exposure to gaming was when she bartered her car washing and weed pulling skills in exchange for a SHARP 19SV111 television with a built in NES - it was worth every bee sting and sunburn, and unlocked her life-long passion for games. She bridged her love of video games into her role of helping others find their place in the industry, hiring at companies including Riot Games, Netflix, Microsoft and Phoenix Labs. Michelle is excited to now bring her people-first approach to building teams to Bonfire. As someone who doesn’t have a college degree, she recognizes the challenges that come from navigating a “non-traditional” career path and is passionate about making space for those historically excluded from making games. When she isn’t geeking out about all things hiring, you can find her fostering kittens, hiking, and eating popcorn.

Michelle Duffie
Min Kim
Butterfly
Min Kim
  • Operations
  • Community
  • The Enabler

Min immigrated to NYC from Seoul in 1984 where he developed his love for all things 80s - including cartoons, music, long hair, and games. When it came time to grow up, Min chopped his hair and suited up for Wall Street. Fortunately, the universe intervened and Min began his colorful career at Nexon - working on MapleStory and eventually serving as Nexon America’s CEO. Now he’s bringing his experience and passion to our small, close knit teams at Bonfire. Needless to say, he has grown his hair back.

Morgan Webb
Spiders
Morgan Webb
  • Community
  • Culture
  • King of Spiders

Morgan grew up loving games, and was lucky enough to turn this interest into a 15 year career in the industry. She started out covering tech, but spent most of her career as a reviewer, journalist, and television producer covering the world of video games. She also hosted the long running television show X-Play, where she was able to learn about the industry from the developers themselves. She is excited to bring her production experience, her love of games, and her high-elf ranger to Bonfire Studios.

Morgan Webb
Nick Carpenter
Crown
Nick Carpenter
  • Art
  • World Building

Growing up, Nick went to see Star Wars - and was immediately obsessed with the detailed worlds created by nothing but the human imagination. When he started at Blizzard at 20, he brought this love to the art, characters, and worlds of Warcraft III, StarCraft: Brood War, World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Diablo III. As VP of Art and Cinematics, he moved his craft to the big screen in the World of Warcraft movie. At Bonfire Studios, he will help define our vision with the detailed worlds he’s known for.

Nick Eberle
Nick Eberle
Nick Eberle
  • FX
  • Lighting
  • Fermentation
Born and raised in Orange County, Nick was yelled at a lot by teachers for always drawing in class. His love of drawing collided with his second love on a fateful day in 1985, when Christmas provided a Nintendo Entertainment System. Thus, the world of video games was revealed. Nick’s first (and very humbling) career experience was at Quicksilver Software creating art for Master of Orion III. He learned a lot from that experience and was happy to find a much better one working with amazing humans on Diablo 3 and, his favorite experience, as Lead VFX Artist on Overwatch. When not brewing beer he is experimenting in the kitchen, woodworking, or hanging out with friends (as well as dog Sirius and cat Abbey).

Nick Eberle
Nick Reynolds
heart
Nick Reynolds
  • Art
  • World Building
  • Slack Emojis

Nick Reynolds' path into the gaming world has been a collaborative adventure. Fate played its part when a serendipitous encounter led him to a presentation on 3D animation at a local university, sparking his passion for digital art. Throughout his career, Nick has been a part of numerous projects, including God of War, Mercenaries, Ghost Recon - Advanced Warfighter, Darksiders, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2, Ghostbusters, and early stages of Riot’s Valorant and Project L, always with a focus on achieving the highest level of quality. Sharing knowledge and fostering learning were integral to his journey, and he spent several years teaching and creating instructional videos at the Gnomon School of VFX. Nick has now found a new creative haven at Bonfire, where he's eager to collaborate with a talented team in a close-knit environment.

Rachel Day
Crown
Rachel Day
  • Production
  • Art
  • Activator

When it came time to choose a career path, Rachel looked to the one consistent inspiration in her life, video games! Her career started in QA at Blizzard and quickly evolved to Technical Art and eventually VFX. Through her career, Rachel has had the privilege of working on such titles as Diablo III, Overwatch and Warcraft Rumble as a VFX artists. She then moved to Bonfire to be their founding VFX artist and has since grown her career and expanded into Production. Now, Rachel is excited to help the team realize their vision by helping to create amazing games with amazing people.

Rachel Day
Rachelle Davis
Candle
Rachelle Davis
  • Production
  • Engineering
  • Culture

Rachelle fell in love with immersive entertainment experiences and transformative storytelling at the age of 2, when she'd force her parents to sit through full reenactments of The Wizard of Oz on the elevated fireplace "stage". Several twists, turns, and years of musical theatre performances later, she's found that same joy in creating worlds and player stories in games. Her first industry job was at Blizzard slinging cards and code on the Hearthstone team, where she learned that behind every truly great game is an even greater team of passionate people collaborating with one another. Rachelle is beyond excited to return to that small-team, close-knit group vibe at Bonfire to help craft incredible team and player experiences.

Rob Pardo
Bonfire
Rob Pardo
  • Game Developer
  • Talent Alchemist
  • Guild Leader

Rob’s love of game design started when he was introduced to D&D with his elementary school friends. Designing campaigns for his friends showed him the power of games to bring people closer together. During his professional career, he led the design of Starcraft: Brood War, World of Warcraft and Warcraft III. As Chief Creative Officer at Blizzard, he served as the Executive Producer for Diablo III and Hearthstone. Bonfire is the next phase of his journey to deepen and enrich friendships through gameplay.

Rob Pardo
Roph Loch
Candle
Roph Loch
  • Design
  • UI
  • Sneakers

Roph was inspired to become a designer by the imaginative minds behind his favorite childhood heroes and villains. He adds color and energy whenever he can - in his work, his apparel, and in his home decor. Roph started his career in app design and UX on the east coast, but he soon moved to California to pursue his calling in game development. He spent 7+ years designing interface systems and visual styles for big franchises like Overwatch and VALORANT - but now Roph is thrilled to be a part of Bonfire, where he'll help create compelling player experiences for our brand new IP.

Sam Christiansen
Heart
Sam Christiansen
  • Engineering
  • Design
  • SoulCycle

He was that kid who took everything apart to see how it worked, so it was inevitable that he would try to figure out how to make the video games he loved. When he took his first computer programming course, his career path was set. He has worked as a game, tools, and engine programmer at Insomniac Games, Blizzard Entertainment, and Riot Games on titles such as Ratchet & Clank and Diablo 3. Sam was also a co-founder of Booyah, creator of several top iOS and Facebook games.

Sam Christiansen
Szymon Swistun
Heart
Szymon Swistun
  • Engineering
  • Graphics
  • SIMD

While his first games were rendered in all the graphical glory ASCII could muster, his industry start was on Madden NFL 06 with a focus on real-time graphics. He worked on several EA titles before joining LucasArts to work on the graphics engine for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 1 and 2. When Szymon was ready for start-up life, he and three colleagues founded a company making a high-end game engine for mobile. They got acquired by Zynga and put out a game called Battlestone using their custom engine. He then became CTO of Telltale before finding his way to Bonfire Studios.

Zahra Shah
Butterfly
Zahra Shah
  • Operations
  • Culture
  • Bookworm

Born and raised in London - where walking through Piccadilly Circus is slightly less preferable than walking through Mordor - Zahra switched grey clouds for sunshine and moved to California. She honed her operational experience by working with leading entertainment executives at Blizzard and Netflix, implementing ideas to make them a reality. When she is not taming the lions at work, Zahra enjoys binge watching horror movies and reality television, doing daily crossword puzzles, and reading. Zahra is excited to be at Bonfire Studios where she is able to support our teams.

Zaven Ali
wave
Zaven Ali
  • Engineering
  • Design
  • Production

The first time he wrote a multiplayer game in his school computer lab, he fell in love with making games. He started his career as a gameplay engineer on a series of open-world action games including The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction and Prototype. Zaven then worked on some of gaming's biggest multiplayer franchises - Destiny & Battlefield. As a Technical Director at EA, Zaven helped lead technology development on new IP projects. Now, his passion for games, technology, and team building have brought him from Vancouver to Bonfire to help create amazing games and build amazing teams.

Zaven Ali