Ready to Rumble: Devs prepare for the BGS Community

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It’s been about six months since the Orange Box was released, but our Team Fortress 2 experts still can’t get enough. Over the last few months, they’ve put their skills on the line against some pretty heavy hitters — including Bioware (win), EA Mythic (win), Ubisoft (loss), and the Shacknews community (loss). But tonight, they’ll take one of their greatest opponents yet: a dozen members from our very own BGS forums.

It should be interesting to see how it goes. Will it be a cordial matchup with an attitude similar to our Meet the Devs thread? Will things get ugly? We’ll find out when they meet at 7PM. If you’re not participating in the event, it sounds like there will likely be YouTube footage in the near future, and there’s sure to be some post game chat here in the forums.

Good luck to both sides!

What we’re watching: “So say we all” edition

Like many others here, I’m a big fan of Battlestar Galactica. Finally, after a long frakkin’ wait, the fourth and final season begins tonight! Who will be revealed as the 12th Cylon? Will Starbuck lead them to Earth? Will Gaius Baltar redeem himself? Here’s hoping for answers and a great final season.

Here’s what the rest of us are watching. Feel free to drop by and share what you’re watching…

Matt Grandstaff, Community Manager: Battlestar Galactica Season 4, The Final Four, In Treatment, Lost

Ashley Cheng, Producer: Lost, Battlestar, Eli Stone, Tell Me You Love Me (Season 1 on DVD), In Treatment (Season 1 – free from Amazon Unbox on Tivo!)

Pete Hines: Heroes Season 1, Battlestar Galactica Season 2, 24 Season 4 (can you tell it’s “road trip” time?)

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What we’re playing: From the home office edition

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Today’s “What we’re playing” is live from Washington, DC — where I’m sitting on my couch after a trip to the vet’s office. My cat, Chauncey Billups (named after the guy you see above), is feeling a bit under the weather. He’ll be kicking off his weekend with a sleepover with some other cats, and hopefully he’ll start feeling better tomorrow.

In the meantime, I think I’m going to get my weekend started with a few rounds of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Here’s what everyone else will be playing….feel free to let us know what you’re up to.

Chris Esko, System Programmer: Fallout 3, finally finishing Mass Effect, playing some board and card games like Race for the Galaxy.

Mike Dulany, Programmer: Smash Brothers Brawl, Professor Layton and the Curious Village.

Emil Pagliarulo: Playing this awesome educational game called “Where in the World is Emil’s Immune System?”

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Inside the Vault: Jeff Gardiner

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This week’s Inside the Vault is with producer, Jeff Gardiner. If you are a fan of Oblivion’s downloadable content, Jeff is one of the folks you can thank. Besides being the producer for our designers and level designers, Jeff is instrumental in a lot of game system tweaking and prototyping. On Thursday nights (game night here at the studio), you can find Jeff getting his tabletop wargaming on.
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What We’re Playing: Just Ash edition

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Just me today at Bethblog HQ. Pete and Matt are both on vacation. So I’ve conveniently put a hold on all Fallout 3 work so that I can focus my full energies on delivering the finest corporate blog posts in the entire blogging galaxy across the intra-webs. Fortunately, most of my work day – like most producers – revolves around the care and feeding of my iPhone, and writing my white paper on the best strategies for keeping Dogmeat alive.

Let us know what you’ll be playing this weekend, too.

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What we’re playing: Bubbles Bursting edition

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Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a sports nut (but in no way associated with nuts called Buckeyes). For me, it really doesn’t get any better than March Madness. The buzzer beaters. The upsets. The Cinderella teams. It’s AWESOME, baby!!! Awesome except for the fact that my alma mater hasn’t made the Big Dance in the past decade. You can see just how bad things have gotten by looking at the score of their final game played today.

The good news for me is that misery loves company. My fellow Bethesda Blog pals, Pete and Ashley, won’t have much to cheer for either. Pete’s Demon Deacons showed promise at times this year while battling adversity, but ultimately, they were outmatched in a very competitive conference. As for Ash, his alma mater, the Unversity of Maryland, has definitely seen better days. Their loss yesterday in the ACC Tournament pretty much sealed a trip to the NIT.

I suppose we can still hope for exciting games to watch in this year’s tournament. And if the games get boring, there’s always plenty of videogames to play.

Here’s what we’ll be playing this weekend. Let us know what you’re playing, and if you’re into college hoops, tell us who you’re rooting for.

Angela Browder, Associate Producer: Lost Odyssey, Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Transformers: The Game

Sam Bernstein, QA Tester: Carcassonne, Catan, Eternal Sonata, and Fallout 3

Orin Tresnjak, Graphics Programmer: Pata pata pata pon. Pon pon pata pon!

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Team Bethesda vs. Shacknews community

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If you’ve kept up with the blog, you’ve probably seen that some of our developers have a bit of a Team Fortress 2 obsession…so much so that they made a habit of besting developers from other studios — including BreakAway, Retro, Bioware and EA Mythic. Not too long ago, however, the Vault 101 Dwellers suffered their first loss at the hands of Ubisoft’s Montreal studio.

A competitive bunch, Team Bethesda doesn’t like losing, and they’re looking to bounce back with a victory. Tonight they’ll get their chance — competing on Dustbowl and Gravel Pit against some of the best players from the Shacknews community. Having talked with Nate Purkeypile about the matchup, he mentioned the Shack community has got some real ringers, most notably Nasty Jack, who he claims “is probably the most feared demoman in all of TF2.”

Hmm, is Purkey playing head games, or is V101 still licking its wounds from the Ubi loss? Time will tell, and I’m sure the community will be discussing the match tomorrow.

Bright Shiny Things: Zeleny Zany for Iron Dukes

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Fred Zeleny is rather a connissconna…lover of the sort of things we cover in Bright Shiny Things, so I thought this go-’round I’d let Fred tell you about one of his favorites. Mr. Zeleny, you have the floor….

Imagine Sid Meier’s Pirates!, but replace piracy on the high seas with depth-defying salvage in treacherous waters. Less swordplay and swashbuckling, and more steampunk and surrealism. But keep the minigame action and addictive qualities.

Oh, and add the occasional geyser of blood. Never forget geysers of blood.

Now you have One Ton Ghost’s hilarious, award-winning browser game, Iron Dukes.

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What we’re playing: Getting ready to Brawl!

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For those Wii owners out there, you’re probably well aware that on Saturday night at midnight, the much anticipated Super Smash Bros. Brawl goes on sale at thousands of stores across the country. Like others at the office (I’m looking at you, Mike Dulany), I’m definitely looking for forward to picking it up as soon as possible. Not sure that I’ll brave the midnight crowds though, especially since I’m already going to lose an hour of sleep because of daylight savings.

Whether you’re playing Brawl or something else, feel free to share what you’re playing this weekend as well.

Mike Lattanzia, QA: Hellgate: London (always!), Patapon, Rock Band (spending way too much money on DLC), and Super Smash Brothers Brawl finally!

Mike Dulany, Programmer: Smash Brothers Brawl

Jabarie “Pokemon Trainer” Brown, Quality Assurance: Rock Band (I challenge you to a rock off!), World of Warcraft (I wish I could quite you…no, seriously I do.), Halo 3, and SUPER SMASH BROS. BRAWL (this is going to be amazing)!!!!!!

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