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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What we’re playing: Holiday Party Edition

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Tomorrow we’ll be celebrating 2008 with our annual holiday party. Good eats, casino games, prizes, and fun times with friends — should be a blast! When we’re not partying (or recovering), we’ll be playing the following games.

Have a great weekend!

Ryan Lea, Programmer: Stubbs The Zombie: Rebel Without a Pulse, Animal Crossing: City Folk, Kid Icarus, Castle Crashers (Insane Mode).

Jay Woodward, AI Programmer: Dead Space, Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia.

Sam Bernstein, Quality Assurance: Left 4 Dead and a wonderful game called Auditorium.

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What we’re reading….

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Maybe it’s that I spend too much time playing games, or the fact that I’m not a teenage girl — I’d never heard of the whole Twilight phenomenon until after the movie came out. I’m sure there are guys here that have read the books, but looking at the list below — it doesn’t appear anyone was lured in by the hype surrounding the film.

Here are the books, websites, and magazine WE ARE reading. Feel free to let us know what you’re reading, and if you’ve read Twilight, I’m curious to hear what you thought of it.

Kurt Kuhlmann, Designer: KJ Parker’s Engineer Trilogy, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (again), Captain Alatriste series.

Nate Ellis, QA: Forest Mage (by Robin Hobb), (re-reading) A Game Of Thrones. Also reading Kotaku and Penny Arcade.

Gary Noonan, Creature Animator: Just finished Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain and getting ready to start The I.R.A. by Tim Pat Coogan. Can you tell I am a non-fiction guy?

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What we’re playing: Zombies have invaded the building

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As I expected, the release of Left 4 Dead has taken the office by storm. Our crack team of Team Fortress 2 experts are trading in their roles as Medics, Engineers, and Medics for the thrill of playing as disturbingly awesome zombies — like Boomers, Smokers, Hunters, and Tanks.

Of course not everyone is spending every possible hour playing Left 4 Dead — team members continue to play through Far Cry 2, Fable 2, Gears of War 2, and more.

Here’s our rundown of everything we’re playing. Have a great weekend!

Jesse Tucker: Left 4 Dead, TF2, Dominion (Board game, very nice).

Joel Burgess: L4D, Far Cry 2, Netflix on NXE!

Daryl Brigner: Left 4 Dead (PC) all weekend.

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What we’re playing: Horde Edition

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While there are plenty of games out there to be played, Gears of War 2 is getting a lot of talk around the office — particularly for its incredibly addictive Horde mode. This week I lost a fair amount of sleep time battling the horde late into the night with fellow co-workers. 

In addition to Gears 2, many are preparing to be zombified by Left 4 Dead — playing the demo over and over. Coming from Valve, this game could become the biggest craze at the office since Team Fortress 2.

Here’s the full rundown of what we’re playing…

Ryan Lea:  Fallout 3 or Gears of War 2.

Chris Esko, Gameplay Programmer: Fallout 3, Gears of War 2, Castle Crashers, Dead Rising, Wii Sports.

Fred Zeleny, Dogmeat Wrangler: Enjoying Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, Rock Band 2, Left 4 Dead demo, but somehow finding all of my time going into Incredibots.

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What we’re playing: Gaming Overload!!!

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It’s getting hard to keep up with all the games coming out. “Wait, what…how are we already in November…how do I keep up?” is what I’m hearing from the devs. This week alone, both Gears of War 2 and Resistance 2 hit shelves. Things get even busier with Mirror’s Edge, Call of Duty: World at War, Wrath of the Lich King, and Left 4 Dead around the corner.

Here’s the games we’re keeping up with this weekend. Let us know what you’re playing.

Sam Bernstein, Quality Assurance: Fallout 3, Fable 2, Dead Space, and the Left 4 Dead demo.  Sooooooooooooo much fun.

Pete Hines: Fallout 3.

Kurt Kuhlmann, Designer: Far Cry 2. Fable 2.

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