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Submitted by Alex@Firemint (not verified) on Fri, 21/01/11 - 8:10 PM Permalink

This position has now been filled, thanks to everyone for your interest!

- Alex

We're looking for a talented and enthusiastic Writer / Media Liaison to join our team. This is a new position located in our Melbourne, Australia studio, due to the growth of the self-publishing side of our business and commencing ASAP.

What you'll be doing

  • Create content for the general public as well as our media contacts. Our audience is predominantly (90%+) overseas.
  • Research, write and publish content for our web site/blog and other online channels, as well as press releases and media kits.
  • Work with our development teams to write game descriptions and related text.
  • Maintain close relationships with journalists and bloggers. Manage and grow our media contact list.
  • Distribute review copies of games to selected contacts.
  • Represent Firemint in interviews and at events – some overseas travel required.
  • Game launches and special events will require some evening, early morning and weekend work.
  • Miscellaneous research, writing, editing and publicity tasks as necessary from time to time.
  • This position is based in our studio – offsite, contract or casual work is not available.

Who we're looking for:

  • Outstanding writing skills and the ability to critique your own work.
  • Ability to strike the appropriate tone for a range of writing requirements, from very casual to formal.
  • Exemplary time management skills and a proven track record of delivering to deadlines.
  • Extremely conscientious and detail oriented. Able to edit for accuracy as well as correct spelling and grammar.
  • Able to work autonomously to achieve broad goals.
  • Excellent computer and Internet skills and a high level of familiarity with social media.
  • Comfortable presenting to a large audience and live via video/radio.
  • Genuine interest in games, in particular on iPhone, is a must.
  • Current or past journalist experience will be very highly regarded.
  • Tertiary degree in journalism or communications preferred.

What we can offer you:

  • The opportunity to work with a true world leader and Australian success story, on fantastic products that media and the public are already genuinely interested in.
  • A great, professional but laid back team environment with some of the smartest and most talented game makers anywhere.
  • Light, modern studio environment in central Richmond location, awesome coffee immediately across the road. Many local cafes, restaurants and shops.
  • Close to public transport with various train and tram stops within walking distance. Car park as well as bike parking available.
  • Lots of small perks – fresh fruit, book and game library, Friday drinks.
  • Great camaraderie – everyone shares an interest in games, gadgets and technology.
  • The opportunity to do your best work yet!

About Firemint

Firemint is one of the most highly regarded iPhone and iPad game development studios in the world. We have just acquired well-known developer Infinite Interactive (Puzzle Quest and Warlords series) to further expand our creative and development capabilities.

Firemint was established in 1999. In 2009, our break-out hits Flight Control and Real Racing enabled us to switch from working on commissioned titles for international game publishers, to creating our own original IP. We are extremely consumer-focused, and have an irrational obsession with polish and creating a fun entertainment experience. Our track record is proof of our “quality over quantity” approach – we genuinely care about the games we make.

We are currently expanding to numerous new hardware platforms with recent releases on PlayStation 3 and PC/Mac via Steam. Some of our awards include two prestigious Apple Design Awards in 2010 (unprecedented for two apps from one developer in one year), the Australian government's 2009 Export Award for Art & Entertainment, and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Southern Region/Technology category for our CEO and founder, Rob Murray.

Interested?

Please apply through SEEK only and include:

A cover letter telling us why you'd like to work for Firemint and why you're perfect for the role. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.
Your CV, including at least 5 relevant samples of your writing

You must be available to attend an interview in Richmond if short-listed. Firemint does not work with recruiters so please apply direct.

Read more: http://firemint.com/2011/job-writer-media-liaison/#ixzz1AhZjBqg8

News
Submitted by souri on Wed, 05/01/11 - 1:18 AM Permalink

Just a bit of curiosity, does anyone know if Infinite Interactive retained the rights / ip of Puzzle Quest, or was that handed over to D3 (and later Namco Bandai) as part of the initial publisher agreement? D3 had the publishing rights to Puzzle Quest, and when they were bought out by Namco Bandai, Namco took over the rights to distribute Puzzle Quest 2, didn't they? Did these publishers take over the duty of doing all the ports?

It's certainly an interesting alliance of two well known Melbourne games studios, and as the graphic art from Firemint suggests, there's great potential for some really interesting types of games to come out of this.

What is interesting is the differing paths that both these studios took. Firemint started off primarily doing work-for-hire licensed games dev in the handset space (of which they really excelled at) and fortunately with the monumental success of their own original ip, Flight Control, Firemint have been able to move on from work-for-hire dependency and into self publishing their own games from 2009. Had they stayed as hired guns and doing licensed handset games for the likes of EA, it's a possibility that they could have been left in a position for acquisition like IronMonkey Studios.

The rewards of self publishing for Firemint are obvious, and it was extremely timely too since the bottom fell out for work-for-hire around the time Flight Control was released.

Infinite Interactive leapt right off the bat with Puzzle Quest which was an awesome and original idea that garnered a whole lot of critical acclaim. Infinite did what was common then and shopped the game around to find a publisher to fund and distribute the title, and as publishing deals like these usually go, the ip is handed over. This was in 2007, well before the Appstore and the self-publishing phenomenon, and the target platform was initially the DS and PSP.

Of course, I'm talking hypotheticals here, but one wonders where Infinite Interactive could have taken the Puzzle Quest ip themselves if they had the opportunity to self published years later on the appstore the way Firemint did with Flight Control, and follow through with the porting / outsourcing onto the myriad of other platforms out there. I'm sure following up with Galactrix and Puzzle Quest 2 would have propelled Infinite Interactive to the heights that we see Firemint and Halfbrick at. But hey, this is why this acquisition is so interesting, as it means they could do a Puzzle Quest-like game with the full support and vigor of Firemint's marketing abilities and Firemint's brand power behind it.

Submitted by souri on Wed, 05/01/11 - 3:59 PM Permalink

That's actually really great to hear. It's a really valuable ip to have, and here's hoping they can exploit it the way Pop Cap have managed to exploit Bejewelled for $500+ million :)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 06/01/11 - 1:38 PM Permalink

Should be interesting. I'm a big Puzzle Quest fan, and Firemint has been doing some really interesting things lately too.

I think the thing that makes me happiest about this story is that the people involved sound like they're actually excited to be working together, instead of the usual 'it's just good business sense' angle we usually get.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 06/01/11 - 1:52 PM Permalink

When I worked at II, Steve and Rob always had a good working relationship so it was one of those matches made in heaven really. I am curious if Steve sold his IP or not, he'll no doubt license it in any case to the Firemint guys.

My only concern with it, is Steve is used to being the boss so hopefully he'll be managing his own team.

Games studio Firemint today announced that it has acquired fellow Australian studio, Infinite Interactive. The move further boosts Firemint’s strength in designing and developing original games, while providing the Infinite Interactive team with a channel for independent publishing.

Firemint was founded by Rob Murray in 1999. It became a highly regarded work-for-hire mobile games studio before shooting to fame with iPhone hits “Flight Control” and “Real Racing” in 2009. Firemint has recently expanded to additional platforms including Nintendo DSiWare, Sony PlayStation Network, and Steam (PC and Mac). The studio now works exclusively on self-published original games.

Infinite Interactive was founded by Steve Fawkner in 1989, and is best known for the “Warlords” and “Puzzle Quest” series of games, both designed by Fawkner. Fawkner is one of the games industry’s pre-eminent innovators, and has created more than 30 games in a career spanning more than 25 years. He takes on a product management position at Firemint, and will continue to work with his current team on a game already under development.

Murray said “I’m incredibly pleased to welcome Steve and his team to Firemint. Steve is an outstanding game designer and our two studios evolved very similar philosophies of developing addictive, fun and polished original games. By bringing our studios’ talents together, we will be able to create even more awesome games – and more of them.”

Fawkner commented, “Firemint has had huge success designing, developing and publishing great original games. By joining forces, we now have a way to further develop some of the exciting new concepts we’ve been working on. This new position really frees me up to focus on game design and I can’t wait to get stuck into it!”

Murray and Fawkner first met in 2003 and in early 2006, Fawkner showed Murray an early version of Puzzle Quest, which he had prototyped over his Christmas holiday. Murray explained, “Steve and I have been talking about working together for a long time, and I remember him showing me an early version of Puzzle Quest. This inspired me to make a game during my own holidays two years later, which was Flight Control – and now, another two years later, we’ve finally found a way to work together!”

Both studios are based in Melbourne, and will be consolidated in one location at Firemint’s recently expanded offices. All games developed by the studio will be released under the Firemint name. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

About Firemint

Firemint creates fun, addictive games. Founded in 1999 by CEO Robert Murray, Firemint is located in Melbourne, Australia’s games development hub, and employs 60 people. Firemint is the only developer to have been awarded Apple Design Awards for two different apps in one year, for Real Racing on iPhone and Flight Control HD on iPad (2010). Firemint’s accolades also include the Independent Games Festival Mobile award for Technical Achievement, International Mobile Gaming Award for Excellence in Connectivity, Pocket Gamer Best iPhone Developer, IGN’s Best of E3 Award and IGN Editor’s Choice Award.

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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 17/12/10 - 10:50 AM Permalink

It's been a long, long road, but Real Racing 2 is finally out and we couldn't be happier with the reception is getting :D Pocket Gamer gave us a Platinum Award and 10/10 rating, we're doing really well in the top grossing charts (in the top 5 in US, Aus, UK, France, Germany, Japan, Canada and Italy) - and to top it all off, Apple has just picked Real Racing 2 as its Game of the Week! Everyone at Firemint has worked incredibly hard to make this happen, it's an amazing game and an absolute credit to the guys. I reckon it was also a pretty damn gutsy move from Rob to fund a title this big. Well done, everyone :)

If you want to check it out, you can get Real Racing 2 from http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/real-racing-2/id386568787?mt=8 ;)

Alex
(Comms Mgr @ Firemint)

The success of Firemint's Flight Control afforded the Melbourne games developer the funds and the time to develop and polish Real Racing for the iPhone. Real Racing featured social connectivity and offered gamers the ability to upload their replays to youtube, functionality that had not appeared in handheld gaming yet. It took a years worth of development and was known to be one of the most expensive iPhone titles made at the time. It was released in June 2009 for $9.99 a pop in a market saturated by 99 cent games. Only one other game demanded such a price in the appstore, and that was The Sims 3, which incidentally was developed by IronMonkey Studios who are located just down the road from Firemint. It was an extremely risky endeavour and made "no business sense at all" admitted Firemint CEO, Rob Murray, who commented that he had second thoughts about Real Racing...
(Rob Murray) It was very ambitious and there were plenty of times when I wished I hadn't started the game. It wasn't just that we were developing this incredibly rich game, developing Cloudcell [Firemint's online platform] at the same time made everything even bigger and more complex. It's a very hard decision to spend so much money on one game, so you really have to find something to believe in and believe in strongly.
Of course, this was before all the acclaim, and the incredible effort by Firemint of updates and promotion of Real Racing resulting in some extraordinary exposure throughout internet media and even on TV. It's no question that they were able to recoup the costs of Real Racing development, and then some. This week, Firemint will be releasing the follow up, Real Racing 2. The budget for Real Racing 2 is double that of its predecessor, costing 2 million dollars to make, and it took Firemint 18 months to develop. It boasts 16 online multiplayer, licensed cars, destructable vehicles and damage modelling, car upgrades and decals, and yet, it will only cost the same as Real Racing did last year. Here's the feature list: * 30 officially licensed cars * 16 car grid against AI, and 16 player online racing – an iOS first * Career mode with well over 10 hours gameplay and a range of event types * Earn in-game currency to buy and sell cars, and buy upgrades * 5 game modes: Career Mode, Quick Race, Time Trial, Local Multiplayer (8 players), Online Multiplayer (16 players) * 15 locations with 40 miles of highly detailed race track * Vehicle damage * Online Save Game * Game Center and Cloudcell integration, multiple profiles * Wide range of control options * HUD with minimap that can be turned on or off * 5 camera angles including fully 3D cockpit view, and TV style replays * Powered by Firemint’s exclusive Mint3D™ engine From PocketGamer...
(Rob Murray) I think our fans will be very pleased with the game. We have done everything we can to take the Real Racing experience to a whole new level and the game is more fun, more engaging, better looking and larger than ever. We have built upon strong foundations with Real Racing, so all the way along the mantra was "don’t lose the magic". I think we have found a whole new kind of "magic" in Real Racing 2.
Real Racing 2 will be available from 16th December, this week, for just $9.99.
Company
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It's not too often a game company opens up and reports on the current state of their studio and responds to any concerns relating to their titles. It's even more rarer for the CEO of the company to take on the duty, so it's a special treat to read a personal post from CEO and founder, Rob Murray, on the Firemint blog doing just that. On the plus side, it gives us a great chance to see some development details on their games.

It's certainly a busy time at Firemint. The Melbourne games studio has been working on frequent updates (a total of 30 updates in just 20 months) and ports for their flagship title, Flight Control. Flight Control is now available on Steam for the Mac and PC. The announcement of Real Racer 2 and the release of the preview trailer has brought on some concerns from eagle eyed fans who were quick to spot a few issues in the preview gameplay footage. This was the perfect opportunity for the Firemint CEO to respond directly to some of those concerns.

In response to the lack of car physics in the gameplay footage, Rob explains why specifically in-game replays do not display the full physics system. The reason being is that physics information is not captured for replays, since replay information has to be transferred and stored on the Firemint servers and for further processing for youtube footage. Considering that there can be millions of replay files, replay files have to be optimised and kept down to a reasonable size. Physics data is a sure way of blowing all that out of the water. There were other issues raised concerning the preview footage, but they can all be explained by the early development stage of the game or details lost due to video compression.

One of the issues that many appstore developers have to face is how to cater to the older generation of iPhone/iPod touch handsets while taking full advantage of the extra speed and capabilities that the newer models offer. Rob describes how Real Racing 2 caters to the various spec handsets out there...

(Rob Murray)... there are two major sets of code and assets within the game, there is one for earlier generations and one for iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4. There are a few combinations that sit in between these two, for example the 3GS uses the iPhone 4 build as a base, and the iPod touch 2 build is based on the 1st generation build but with higher framerates. I cannot adequately express how much work it has been to support these older devices at the same time as a great iPhone 4 build, but simplifying our task and only dealing with one build would have felt like an unacceptable compromise. Everything is stored in one app – if you upgrade your iPhone or iPod touch you will already have everything you need for the retina display.

While Firemint has done an extraordinary job of updating and porting Flight Control to a lot of gaming platforms out there, the issue of whether Firemint are working on any other "new" games has been in the back of many gamers minds. It's an understandable query since Firemint have only released two original games since the launch of Flight Control in March, 2009. Rob has responded that Firemint has always been prototyping new ideas and will only announce titles once they're ready to go full steam ahead with them...

(Rob Murray)...our answer is always yes, we are working on new games and we have been for a long time, but no, we will not tell you what they are! What you probably aren't so aware of is just how many prototypes we have built and discarded or put to the side because they just didn’t feel right yet. We want to create games that mean something, that are fresh and innovate in some key way. When we have a keeper, and when we have gotten it to the stage where it is close to finished and we are really loving it, we will let you know.

Firemint is now at 50 employees, the latest addition to the team is a new Customer Support Coordinator to lead the community effort. The studio has a dedicated team to look after the important aspects of marketing and customer support which has become such a huge part for developers who self-publish their own games. For the full post, head on over to the Firemint blog!

Company
Location
Job Position
News

Firemint is one of the most highly regarded iPhone and iPad game development studios in the world. Our best-known games are iPhone hits Flight Control and Real Racing.

We primarily market our games to an international audience through a mix of PR and online/social media campaigns, and are looking for an outstanding Marketing Manager to join our team.

This is a new position due to the growth of the self-publishing side of our business and will be a key role within the company, commencing ASAP.

  • Manage and deliver marketing projects, brand management and positioning of Flight Control, Real Racing and upcoming games currently in development.
  • Support our company-wide efforts to engage with our customers and online communities through our games and other channels.
  • Ensure all our marketing activities and collateral are executed to the highest possible standard.
  • Manage relationships with a small number of selected external companies whom we may agree to work with from time to time (for example, our iPhone game Real Racing GTI was used to launch the 2010 VW GTI in North America).
  • Work with our executive team to set high-level communications and marketing strategies and goals.
  • Report to the CEO, manage and grow a small marketing team.
  • This is a start-up department within an established and prospering studio, so you will need to take a proactive and hands-on approach to getting things done.
  • Be at the cutting edge of games as well as marketing techniques.

Who we're looking for

  • You have at least 3 years experience in a similar senior marketing role, including leading small teams and working closely with other departments.
  • Proven track-record with high quality consumer-facing products, ideally in discretionary spending areas such as entertainment or digital content.
  • Excellent understanding of PR as well as online and social media marketing and analytics, understanding of long tail sales and building ongoing relationships with consumers via online communities. Experience drawing actionable conclusions from data.
  • Pro-active and self-motivated with a laser focus, great drive and energy and a demonstrated ability to knuckle down and execute.
  • Outstanding organisational skills and ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously. Obsessive attention to detail and exceptional judgement.
  • Clear, concise, effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong interest in games as well as internet and tech trends is essential.
  • Tertiary degree in marketing or business.

What we can offer you:

  • The opportunity to work with a true world leader and Australian success story, marketing fantastic products that media and the public are genuinely interested in.
  • A great, professional but laid back team environment with some of the smartest and most talented game makers anywhere.
  • Light, modern studio environment in central Richmond location, awesome coffee immediately across the road. Many local cafes, restaurants and shops.
  • Close to public transport with various train and tram stops within walking distance. Reserved car park as well as bike parking available.
  • Lots of small perks – fresh fruit, game library, Friday drinks.
  • Great camaraderie – everyone shares an interest in games, gadgets and technology.
  • The opportunity to do your best work yet!

About Firemint

Firemint was established in 1999. In 2009, our break-out hits Flight Control and Real Racing enabled us to switch from working on commissioned titles for international game publishers, to creating our own original IP. We are extremely consumer-focused, and have an irrational obsession with polish and creating a fun entertainment experience. Our track record is proof of our "quality over quantity" approach – we genuinely care about the games we make. We are currently expanding to numerous new hardware platforms with recent releases on PlayStation 3 and PC/Mac via Steam. Some of our awards include two prestigious Apple Design Awards (unprecedented for two apps from one developer in one year), the Australian government’s 2009 Export Award for Art & Entertainment, and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Southern Region/Technology category for our CEO and founder, Rob Murray.

Interested?

Please apply through SEEK only and include:

  • A cover letter telling us why you’d like to work for Firemint and why you're perfect for the role. Applications wihtout a cover letter will not be considered.
  • Your CV

You must be available to attend an interview in Richmond if short-listed. Firemint does not work with recruiters so please apply direct.

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