A Word About Chris Mullender

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We lost a good friend last week. Chris Mullender, a programmer at 4J Studios, passed away suddenly last Monday morning. Chris was instrumental in development of the PS3 version of Oblivion and also worked on Star Trek: Conquest. Everyone here at Bethesda respected Chris and his work tremendously.

Paddy Burns, who worked with Chris at 4J, summed up Chris for us:

“He was a brilliant programmer who loved making games and bringing up his three young sons. He was very involved in his local community, where he was proud of his work in getting Dunbar’s Christmas lights up, and setting up a few websites for local schools and charities.”

As I said, we were saddened to find out this great guy, programmer, and father of three had passed away so suddenly. Our thoughts go out to Chris’ family and friends.

What we’re playing: Helghast edition

 

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There’s plenty of great new games being played these days — Dawn of War 2, Puzzle Quest: Galactrix, Street Fighter IV or more — but after seeing the above photo at 1Up — I figured we had to feature Killzone 2. I’ve heard a lot of great things about the game, and I look forward to sitting down with it.

Here’s the rest of the games we’re playing this weekend…

Craig Lafferty, Senior Producer: Killzone 2, Zen Bound, World of Warcraft.

Jay Woodward, AI Programmer: GTA IV: The Lost and Damned, iDracula, and more of the Battlestar Galactica boardgame.

Chris Esko, Gameplay Programmer: Puzzle Quest: Galactrix, Rock Band 2, trying to resist buying a new computer to play Dawn of War II.

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What we’re playing: Shoryuken Edition

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There’s plenty of great new games to be played this week (Dawn of War II, Halo Wars, GTA IV: The Lost and Damned), but the office was certainly a buzz over the release of Street Fighter IV. Talking with others at the office, it definitely feels like an arcade experience when you’re playing against other guys online. As I type, I’m nursing some pretty severe thumb blisters.Here’s hoping we can generate some interest for an office tournament played within our theater. That would be amazing.

We hope you’re all having a great weekend. Let us know what games you’ve been playing…

Dan Lee, Artist: Retro Game Challenge (DS), Street Fighter IV (360), Rockband 2 (360), Valkyria Chronicles (PS3)

Joel Burgess: GTAIV, Gears of War 2, Morrowind.

Liz Beetem: Dawn of War 2 and House of the Dead: Overkill, which is awesome and anyone who likes horror anything should buy it! It is the Dead Alive of videogames.

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What we’re playing: Flower(s) for Valentine’s Edition

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It’s Valentine’s weekend, so several guys at the office are giving some love to Flower — a new downloadable game out on PlayStation 3 this week. if you’re looking for something different, I highly recommend it.

Here’s the rest of what we’re playing. Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend.

Mike Dulany, Programmer: Flower, House of the Dead: Overkill.

Aaron Mitschelen, QA: LotRO, WoW, Persona 4, Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad (wait, what?).

Gary Noonan, Animator: Working on a top secret MW mod project. ;)

Liz Beetem, Tortured Artiste: House of the Dead Overkill while blasting the psychobilly outta my ITunes in loving memory of Lux Interior.

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What we’re playing: Going back to old favorites edition

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Taking a glance at the emails developers sent me for “What we’re playing” this week, I noticed that many players are going back to some of their old favorites. With oodles of new content coming to Burnout Paradise, I’ve noticed a couple guys are playing that — including myself. There’s also folks playing games they never got around to — like Chrono Trigger and Grim Fandango. Then there are guys going back to play our games: whether it’s Gary’s checking Morrowind mods or other members of the team catching up on Fallout 3 and Oblivion.

And while Tim Lamb didn’t send a submission in, I can only guess that he’s still playing Call of Duty 4.

Here’s the rundown of what we’re playing. Have a great weekend.

Gary Noonan, Animator: Morrowind and a world of plugins. Special shout out to the MGE gang. Fantastic addition to Morrowind.

Ryan Ashford, Programmer: TF2, Grim Fandango (yes!), and potentially something from my collection of unopened games.

Craig “Claff” Lafferty, Producer: Burnout Paradise, World of Warcraft, COD: World at War.

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What we’re listening to: Podcast edition

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This week we’re discussing the podcasts we listen to keep us entertained during down time. With a 60-70 minutes commute each day, podcasts like 1Up Yours (R.I.P.), Pardon the Interruption, and now Rebel FM have become life savers for me.

Speaking of podcasts, OXM is celebrating their 150th podcast today…congrats guys! You’ll want to give this one a listen, as there’s a new interview with Todd Howard.

From the folks here at Bethesda, we hope you all have a great weekend. We leave you with our favorite podcasts to listen to…

Matt Grandstaff, Community Manager: Rebel FM, 1Up Yours (RIP), A Life Well Wasted, Full Moon Podcast, Bungie Podcast, PTI.

Jay Woodward, AI Programmer: Rebel FM, the Geekbox, the Gamers With Jobs Conference Call, the Joystiq Podcast, the Rachel Maddow Show, the Non-Prophets, the Official Lost Podcast, the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, Real Time with Bill Maher, misc. gaming sessions from RPGMP3.com, Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me, This American Life.

Michael Lattanzia, QA: Check Your Hud.

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What we’re playing: Dawn of War 2 Beta

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The weekend’s most popular new title to play is Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – with a number of guys at the office playing the beta. Other newer titles being played include Puzzle Quest: Galactrix, The Maw, Skate 2, and even the Quake Live beta, which I’m really anxious to play.

Here’s the rest of what we’re playing…have a great weekend.

Louis Riley: Dawn of War 2 Beta, Left 4 Dead, Saints Row 2.

Andrew Scharf, QA: Persona 4, Prince of Persia, Fallout 3, and playing the Quake Live beta (it’s browser based!).

Fred Zeleny, Game Designer: Puzzle Quest: Galactrix Demo, Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll dip my toes back into World of Warcraft.

Dan Ross, QA: 40K Weekend – Dawn of War 2 Beta between bouts of model painting.

Jesse Tucker, Level Design: TF2, L4D, Desktop Tower Defense, trying to get into Civ IV, looking forward to DoW 2 public beta.

Gary Noonan, Animation: Oblivion PC with all official expansions and DLC…. send me all your favorite mods so I can play them!!!!

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What we’re playing: Super-Cold-Football-Inauguration Weekend Edition

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Crazy times here in the Capital region. First, it’s insanely cold. Checking out  Weather Channel, right now it “feels like 1 degree.” BRRRRR! To add to the fun, we’re expecting 2-3 million visitors coming to the area for President-Elect Obama’s inauguration next week. Exciting times…but it’s going to be hectic too.

On top of all that, the stage for this year’s Super Bowl will be determined this weekend. While we’re in Redskins country, I would have expected some rooting for the Baltimore Ravens. But from the list below, it’s all about the Stillerz. Hmm, maybe we should make some downloadble content in the Pittsburgh area??? :)

Anyways, while we stay inside to avoid the cold and all the tourists, here’s the games we’ll be playing when we’re not watching football.

Have a great weekend!

Fred Zeleny, Steel City Expatriate: X-Com Interceptor, Rock Band 2 (with my new cymbal set!), and starting my second campaign in Fall From Heaven 2. I think I’ll make a black and gold Steeler empire to crush the world. Oh yes.

Megan Sawyer, Environment Artist: Animal Crossing City Folk. Also,  rooting for the Steelers. GO STILLERZ!

Chris Rodriguez, Systems Programmer: Twilight Princess, Bully.  Go Steelers!

Erik J. Steelersponi: World of Steelercraft, Steeler Quest, giving Steelers of War 2 another try.

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What we’re playing

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Because of the holidays, this was the first week back at the office for many folks, and boy, did it feel like a long week. This week’s “What we’re playing” is coming a little late, because as soon as I got home on Friday, all I wanted to do is relax and play games — finishing Dead Space and finally getting to Left 4 Dead.

Here’s this week’s rundown. Tell us what you’ve been playing this weekend.

Emil Pagliarulo, Fallout 3 Lead Designer & Writer: King’s Bounty (pictured above), Dead Space, World of Warcraft, Mount and Blade, and Tomb Raider: Underworld.

Craig Lafferty, Producer: Kings Bounty, LittleBigPlanet, Midnight Club: LA, iPhone.

Ryan Lea, Programmer: Valkaryia Chronicles!

Orin Tresnjak, Graphics Programmer: Ninja Gaiden 2, Red Alert 3, Prince of Persia.

Andrew Scharf: Fable 2, Beyond Good and Evil, and just started playing Persona 4… which will probably take up all of my time the next month or so.

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What we played: Our 2008 favorites

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Well, we’ve reached the end of 2008, and what a great year it’s been for playing games. Like many other sites out there, we thought we’d share our favorites. Because we might have a little bit of a bias as to what our favorite game was, you’ll find no mention of Fallout 3 below.

Looking through the list, there’s definitely some differing opinions on what game was best. If you look at the #1 picks, Dead Space and Left 4 Dead appear to be amongst the favorites. I guess we’ve got a thing for games with severed hands on the cover.

After reading our list, be sure to let us know which games topped your list.

Happy New Year!

Cory Dornbusch, QA Tester: 10) Ninja Town, 9) Fable 2, 8 ) World of Goo, 7) Boom Blox, 6) Prince of Persia, 5) Far Cry 2, 4)Fracture , 3) Left 4 Dead, 2) Persona 4, 1) Dead Space.

Liz Beetem: 5) No More Heroes, 4) King’s Bounty: The Legend, 3) Fable 2, 2) Dead Space, and 1) Left 4 Dead.

Jonathan Bilodeau: 5) Fable II, 4) GTA IV, 3) Braid, 2) The Last Remnant, and 1) Tales of Vesperia.

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