Bonfire is a new studio founded by an experienced team of dreamers, architects, storytellers, and dungeon masters. We are united in the belief that games are best when shared with friends, and we are dedicated to creating games and immersive worlds that bring players closer together. Skill and experience are only part of our puzzle – an adventurous spirit, a commitment to excellence and a passion for iteration unite and drive us all at Bonfire.
Aaron grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He spent his early life exploring the wilderness, which inspired his love of mystical fantasy. His passion for drawing was honed in art school, and he ended up at Fullsail University in Florida. He started his gaming career working on Lord of the Rings Online, but was glad to find his way back to Oregon to work on characters for Tomb Raider and Army of Two at Buzzmonkey Software. His proudest accomplishment was landing the job of his dreams working on the Diablo and Overwatch franchises. After 11 years the call of adventure beckoned him to start a new chapter, and he set up camp at Bonfire Studios.
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.
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 of being a technical artist - before he left to join Blizzard Entertainment. There he focused on rigging, simulation, previsualization, artist tools, and leadership. He is a hardcore gamer and has worked on multiplayer balance on StarCraft 2 as well as running company-wide internal tournaments. Billy 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
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 12 years into her career, she has created fantastical characters and creatures for clients such as 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!
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. At Bonfire, Charlie is excited to work with our team of talented and excited nerds who are eager to tell an all-new story of their own.
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.
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. At Bonfire, Dave is excited to create levels for our new IP, and to make us listen to his playlist - Davesneylandworld.
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 could be a bonafide job, she left home to attend Vancouver Film School for classical and 3D character animation. Des has worked on Bob's Burgers, Mortal Kombat X, Dead Rising 4 and FIFA 16 through 20. When she isn't working, you can find her hiking with her dog, drinking delicious beer, and obsessively playing Dota 2. Desiree is thrilled to be part of the Bonfire family, and is looking forward to bringing art to life!
Dominic’s passion for art began at a young age, when he started an extensive visual exploration of his favorite subject - monsters. With a lot of practice and hard work, he got his big break as a 3D artist on Killzone 2. From there he went to Blizzard, where worked on a number of franchises, including StarCraft, Hearthstone, WoW, and Overwatch. He also contributed to the Overwatch collectible series, working on the teams that created Reaper and Genji, among others. Dom has a passion for creating haunting and evocative sculptural art, and looks forward to creating art that breathes life into the stories we tell at Bonfire.
When she was very little, she would fall asleep to the sounds of her brother and cousins playing D&D late into the night. When she was old enough to join in, she was obsessed with building the campaigns and shaping entire worlds. Her epiphany came while watching the credits to Link to the Past - she thought “This is it! I want to make videogames so I can share stories and build worlds with everyone!” She started her journey in game design school and found her first job as Level Designer at Ubisoft on Splinter Cell. Her path took her to incredible places such as EA/DICE, Naughty Dog, and Blizzard. Now she is super excited to be part of Bonfire and bring more stories to life.
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.
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.
Jenny has been a fan of all things geeky from a tender age and still plays with her Star Wars toys! After a brief stint in puppet adjacent theater, she decided to apply for a customer service job, unexpectedly kicking off a career at Blizzard Entertainment that would span over 15 years. At Blizzard, she collaborated with their world-class Cinematic team to help build what would become the In-Game Cinematics Department.She then moved to game teams, serving as Producer on StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void and in the mysterious Incubation Department on unannounced projects. When she isn't riding the high of a perfectly orchestrated spreadsheet, she is cuddling her cats, practicing her lightsaber moves and reading cheesy fantasy novels.
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 grew up in San Francisco, surrounded by the vivid street art of the Bay Area, so maybe it’s no surprise he got his degree in illustration. But he didn’t want to create book covers or editorial pieces - he wanted to share the visions in his head with others, in the most detail possible. Joe’s first industry job was in Blizzard Cinematics, where he got to do just that, but in the service of powerful IPs like Starcraft, Warcraft and Diablo. Joe then went to work at Red5 Studios, where he relished the challenge of working at a start-up. As a freelance concept artist, Joe’s done work for id Software, Insomniac, and Lightstorm Entertainment, but now he has happily joined Bonfire, where he can forge new visions for players.
John is a Texas born Canadian who lived on a boat and came to California to attend art school. After dropping out a year later to join Blizzard's newly formed Cinematics group, he gradually took on a technical bent and eventually led tool development within the department. Incapable of choosing between art, tech, movies, and video games, he's come to terms with just being bad at everything but intensely curious about it all.
He always loved GMing for tabletop RPGs, and seeing his players' reactions in real time had a huge impact on his player-first design philosophy. He got his start writing for White Wolf’s Vampire: The Masquerade, but then moved to designing games across multiple genres, from strategy games like Company of Heroes and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 2, to open-world shooters like Far Cry 3. He returned to RPGs on his last gig as Game Director on Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. Josh GMs our weekly D&D games. Read more about his tabletop design philosophy.
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.
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!
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. Learn why Matthew's favorite food is beets.
Megan had one major career aspiration as a 5 year old: to be a butler. While she never attained the title officially, it exemplified her desire to forge strong bonds with others and help them succeed. Her operational kung-fu was developed as the right hand of numerous dynamic and creative leaders, most recently during her nine year role at Blizzard Entertainment, where she designed the administrative organization and supported several executives including the CEO. This is how Megan’s journey shaped her for a spot at the Bonfire.
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.
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. Find out what Min loves most about the 80's.
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. Follow her path to Bonfire.
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. Learn about Nick's origin story.
His first step into the game industry was in high school at GameZone - a small mom and pop game store with an almost mystical selection of imported Japanese games. Fate intervened when a customer invited him to a presentation about 3D animation at a local university, and he never looked back. Nick worked on Ghost Recon - Advanced Warfighter, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2, and Ghostbusters before pushing every pixel to the highest possible quality on the God of War franchise. He was at Riot Games before coming to Bonfire, where he’s excited to work with top industry talent in a small team environment. Nick is also an instructor at Gnomon.
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, which focused her attention to Technical Art. Shortly after she joined the Diablo 3 team, Rachel became enamored with Real Time Visual Effects and set her sights on epic sparkles and explosions with a focus on gameplay readability. She helped get the style and processes of Overwatch’s dynamic VFX off the ground, but now she’s excited to create epic gaming experiences and build new worlds with the passionate team at Bonfire.
Rachel is fascinated with problems at the intersection of the technical and the creative, and has been obsessed with all games digital, physical, and conversational since before she can remember. She studied computer science and creative writing at the University of Chicago before snagging a masters in computer graphics at the University of Pennsylvania - where she also taught a course on procedural graphics and creative coding techniques. Rachel can most often be found daydreaming about games, asking questions, doodling on whiteboards, or obsessively folding origami. See more of her creations, and learn about her journey to Bonfire.
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’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. Learn more about Rob's path to Bonfire Studios.
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.
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. Learn more about Sam's journey.
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. You can learn more about his journey to Bonfire in his origin story.
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.
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.