Five Years of FarBridge
We’re celebrating FarBridge’s five-year anniversary. For the past five years, FarBridge has been our business venture, our community, and our game-development home away from home. And well, for these last two years FarBridge has been our game-development home while we’re at home, which has been pretty wild. We’re eternally grateful to everyone who’s made these past five years possible — our team, our clients, our advisors, our business partners, and our families. Without your passion, creativity, team-spirit, support, and at times patience, we definitely would not have made it through these five years intact.
We’ve grown from all fitting around one small cafe table to needing a spacious office — to an even larger digital footprint as a completely distributed team that spans most of the US. FarBridge has grown so much it’s sometimes hard to believe, even though we saw it happen right in front of our own eyes.
Putting people first has been our most important value since before we formally created the company. With that as our Northstar, we’ve built a team like no other. The people we’ve had the privilege to work with, most of whom we’re still working with, are incredibly smart, creative, talented, and just great people. We come from all corners of life and experience, and our creations and perspectives are richer for it. We work together, solve problems together, play games together, and jam together to keep trying new things and learning together.
Through these years we’ve seen the team grow, the members of the team flex and grow their skills, and most importantly, seen them take care of themselves and each other. We’re beyond fortunate to work with folks who share our caring and community-minded values, as well as a deep expertise and passion for making games and new worlds you can get lost in.
How Far We’ve Come
Shipping games is hard, and back when we started in 2017, we knew how important it was to get over that hurdle as a team — as early as possible. We ended up shipping two projects together in our first year, and it helped set the table for the years to come!
We kept that momentum going, and since then, we’ve made and shipped a ton of software — some for the gaming public, some secret R&D proof-of-concepts only seen behind closed doors, and some for exclusive one-time use at events. We’ve made games for virtually every type of game console, computer, mobile platform, and VR/AR devices — shipping 12 projects across 30 SKUs on 10+ platforms thus far.
We were thrilled to show off some of our earliest projects to the public — like “Jar Wars” at Fantastic Arcade (one of our favorite local Austin, TX events), and our educational game projects like “MasterWorks: Journey Through History” were shown at multiple festivals and events. Even the president of Armenia got to personally play “My Virtual Armenia” at the Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival!
More recently, we’re working with some of our favorite franchises — classics like Battlefield and RWBY, and new up-and-coming franchises like Walkabout Mini Golf and Political Arena. A wonderful part of being a game developer is that we also get to be a fan, and we’re excited to bring our passion for some of our favorite games (including others we can’t talk about) to work every day. And we’re just starting to talk with partners about the new original games we’ve been incubating. We probably won’t share any details online for a bit, but if you run into us at a conference, we’ll likely give you a demo!
All New Worlds and All New Tools
With each new project and challenge, we have also grown our internal toolkit, FarBridge Worlds. This technology is the culmination of all the software we’ve had to make for ourselves over the last five years — making the development and ports of games for PC, console, mobile, and VR/AR easier for ourselves and our partners. Pulling from our earliest goals to remain adaptive and flexible in a market where hardware and software are always outpacing each other, FarBridge Worlds has become our secret weapon to easily meet the different needs of all of these platforms.
Our passion for tool creation comes from our desire to help support each other. When we see a way to use software to make someone else’s job easier, it’s difficult to not want to make that our next top priority. And we’re always finding new ways to use and reuse the software we create, both for our partners, and also for our own internal projects and new IP. Some of our partners are even using FarBridge Worlds on their own, after we’ve wrapped up our work with them. And that’s super rewarding to see!
Getting Through Hard Times
The last five years have not been without their challenges, from the mundane problems every company faces — like moving offices in the middle of Texas summer — to living through extreme weather and political strife. And that’s not to mention the global pandemic that we’ve all been dealing with for the past two years.
Pivoting our team to a fully-distributed model was definitely not in our initial company plans, but in broadening our horizons we’re able to work with even more fantastic people. We’re grateful for every person we’ve connected and collaborated with — from folks who’ve been with us since day one, to folks who joined us for a project or two before moving on to their next amazing adventure.
Every time we’ve had to wish someone well on their career journey has been bittersweet — choosing to work with fantastic people makes saying goodbye-for-now even harder, even if we like to hope we’ll all get a chance to make awesome things together again in this very small world and even smaller industry of ours.
We also want to extend our hearts and thoughts to everyone who has lost someone close to them during these last trying years. Loss is never easy to navigate, and we hold you in our hopes for calmer and brighter days ahead.
Friends, family, and collaborators make our community what it is, and just as every loss is felt, every happy moment is remembered and treasured. We are beyond grateful for our team, who continue to support each other and make space for us to get through our industry’s and real-life’s challenges with our humanity intact.
Taking stock of our company’s journey thus far is humbling, especially when you consider everyone we’ve worked, partnered, broken-bread, and made software with. Together, we have not only made some amazing games, but also a community network that is dedicated to doing and being the best we can be. We’ve had the honor to sponsor and otherwise support some truly fantastic organizations.
If you’re looking for awesome groups to support, please check out our friends at E4 Youth, TAME, Latinitas, UT’s School of Design and Creative Technologies, Texas A&M’s ASTRO Center, ATX Game Makers, VR Austin, Gay Gaming Professionals, Mozilla Foundation, Fantastic Arcade, The Museum of Human Achievement, Game Devs of Color Expo, BitBash, Austin Forum, Austin Tech Alliance, Thinkery, The Smithsonian, CyArk, and Code Coven!
Game development is a team sport — a multiplayer co-op game at its most extreme, and we want to thank the entire FarBridge team and our extended community of collaborators, advisors, and partners for being a part of what we’re building. Thank you for believing in us, in what we’re creating, and in each other. Your support is what makes this possible, and your passion, creativity, collaboration, and talents make each day a joy!
These last five years have been incredible in every sense of the word — with life throwing us our fair share of both challenges and rewards. As the future unfolds, one thing is certain: we couldn’t be more excited to see where we go and what we do next — together as a team, a community, and a company. It will be thrilling to share the new secret games we’re creating with the public and to see how the world responds to everything we have in the works. We know there will be more surprises, more twists-and-turns, and definitely some more challenges. But we’ll face them together, and after all… it’s often the surprises that make something fun!
Here’s to our next five years together!