OKC Native's Game Design Studio Pushing The Right Buttons

Thursday, April 8th 2021, 5:04 pm
By: Brian Mueller


James Simpson didn’t play video games much as a kid, but when he did, he didn’t play them like you or me. 

“I just sort of noticed as I was playing the games, I was always trying to figure out how they worked, instead of trying to beat the game," said Simpson, GoldFire Studios founder.

So instead of trying to beat the boss, James became his own boss when he started GoldFire Studios in 2008. 

His world-building game design is like art. Think pixels instead of paint. 

“I always say that games are the ultimate art form. It is the intersection of all the different art forms in one sort of unique medium," said Simpson.

GoldFire’s fourth game could be considered their fifth symphony. 

Their just-released trailer for Artic Awakening is their most ambitious game yet, an episodic adventure that had the gaming community fired up during its international reveal at the Future Games Show. 

Simpson says, “It’s sort of like a TV drama in video game format. Film was something I was really interested in growing up and thought I might go into that. This is sort of a cross section of that.” 

James says as far as he knows, GoldFire is the only full-time game studio in Oklahoma City, and this OKC native hopes GoldFire’s success will inspire the local game design scene to level up. 

“We try to promote that we’re doing this from Oklahoma City. We get messages all the time from students or other people that are just interested in game development that are excited that there are people doing this here.” 

James says they're hoping to launch Artic Awakening in a little over a year, and it will be available on PC, PlayStation and Xbox.