What we’re playing: No Football Weekend

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Like millions of others, many of us here are caught up in the excitement of the NFL Playoffs. Sure the Redskins are long gone, and some of us are sad to see Brett Favre’s run fall short (just look how sad he is), but that won’t stop us from having a good time watching the Patriots put up their 18-0 mark against Eli “The Other” Manning and the rest of the Giants. But, all that excitement has to wait…for another week. So with no football, we’ve got a whole weekend to play games before the Super Bowl parties next week.

Here’s what we’ll be playing…

Dan Geske, QA: Maybe some WoW if I get the time, or College Football 2008 (I can’t believe there’s only one more football game left in the whole season! What do I do now??)

Erin Losi, Marketing: Portal, Call of Duty 4, Chocolate Chip Meltdown

Todd Howard, Executive Producer: Fallout 3!

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Bethesda vs. Mythic: TF2 Roundup

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Last week, we reported that our Team Fortress 2 specialists, Team Bethesda (aka the Vault 101 Dwellers aka [V101]), were putting their undefeated record on the line against EA Mythic. I asked Matthew Ouzounian (aka Matt Headroom) to recap the match and Daryl put together a recap video you can watch here.

Salve discipuli et discipulae! M-M-Matt Headroom, faithful m-m-m-mmmmedic and cheerleader for team Bethesda a.k.a. [V101], here to tell you a little story. You may have marked our match of mettle with Mythic in a Team Fortress 2. It is possible to present the pettifog using a plethora of playful phrases or prose, perchance, I was persuaded to portray it…but that’ll do it for the a-a-alliteration. Did we win? Well, you’ll just have to keep reading to f-f-f-find out.

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Bright Shiny Things: Desktop Tower Defense

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Between all of us here, there’s very little that stirs in the gaming universe that doesn’t pop up on somebody’s radar. Whether it’s the simple genius of Peggle or some random freeware project somebody stumbles across, we go to great lengths to entertain and amuse ourselves. Simple, hopefully free (or at least very close to it), and entirely worth looking into. Freeware, shareware, cool demo,thing you have to try out. Bright, Shiny Things.

I thought perhaps we could start sharing some of these nuggets that folks may or may not be aware of. These are not going to be earth-shattering new things, but I often find that what one person has been playing for two years, someone else just found out about yesterday.

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What we’re playing: Friday Night Fight vs. EA Mythic

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As many have noticed, we definitely have plenty of folks that take Team Fortress 2 very seriously. In matches against developers from other companies, the Vault 101 Dwellers have amassed a record of 3-0 — beating the likes of Breakaway, Retro and Bioware. Tonight, the boys from Bethesda are aiming their sites on another win, this time against EA Mythic (makers of Dark Age of Camelot). Rumor has it a match against Blizzard…err…Activision Blizzard is being negotiated by Don King…keep an eye out for that.

So will the office team move to 4-0, or will this blog post serve as a jinx? Stay tuned!

Here’s what the Vault 101 Dwellers and everyone else are playing this weekend…

Cory Dornbusch, An Unwashed Villager… err QA Tester: The Witcher, and TF2 – Bethsoft vs. Mythic Friday night…place your bets!

Nate Purkeypile, Uber Pyro: TF2 match against Mythic to hopefully maintain our undefeated streak, Mario Galaxy and sending back my busted Rock Band drums and guitar.

Mike Lattanzia, QA: Hellgate: London (testing out new Blademaster builds), Rock Band, Team Fortress 2, Call of Duty 4 (I finally gave in), Savage 2, Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness (getting close to finishing the main story!), Super Mario Galaxy; way too many games right now, I’m almost glad that Smash Bros was delayed.

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Nuclear Winter

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It was bound to happen at some point…today we were hit with our first snowstorm of the year. While nowhere near as bad as what my Michigan blood is accustomed to, the storm was bad enough to cause our internet to be on the fritz today. With some extra downtime, we decided to have a little fun in the snow. We were going to try to make snow angels using this Vault Boy mock up display…but it didn’t turn out well. So instead, we just let Vault Boy hang out while we threw some snow balls at each other.

Alas, the internet is back up, so it’s back to work!

Post-Nuclear Football

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So in my travels to London last week I was fortunate enough to get my fill of football in the span of a few short days. First, my colleague Sean was nice enough to take me to see Arsenal host bitter rivals Tottenham in the first leg of the Carling Cup semifinals. Much like my visit to Emirates Stadium last year, Arsenal played pretty poorly but still managed to eek out a tie thanks to a timely goal from my favorite Gunner Theo Walcott (from whom I got a signed soccer card thanks to my another colleague, Greg).

THEN, my buddies Kat and Chris at Lunch PR had a surprise for me as they’d gotten me an Arsenal jersey (if I haven’t mentioned, I’m a big football/soccer fan in general and an Arsenal fan and have several older jerseys, but not the new one). And this was no ordinary Arsenal jersey, but one that they had gotten personalized with my name on the back and the number they felt was most appropriate for me.

Someone email Arsene Wenger and tell him I’d ready to fill in for my boy Theo if needed!

What we’re watching: writer’s strike edition

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This week we’re doing things a little differently since sometimes people get tired of saying the same thing over and over. Mass Effect, Orange Box, The Witcher…yada, yada…always the same! So with the writers’ strike going on, we thought it would be interesting to share what we’re actually watching…whether it be reality TV, movies that that were written months/years ago, or just watching the grass grow instead.

So what are you watching? Hellga demands you tell us!

Here’s our run down…

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What we’re playing: Playoffs!? Edition

The holidays have come and gone. Farewell egg nog, holiday parties, and wonderful time off. So what do folks have to look forward to now? Well, since the Redskins had a strong finish, plenty of folks around the office are jacked up for this weekend’s matchup against the Seahawks. Other than that, well…the weekend is always a good time to catch up with the latest games we’re playing…

Orin Tresnjak, Installshield Wrangler: Super Mario Galaxy, Geometry Wars Galaxies (Wii version), Crysis. Maybe breaking out Just Cause for 360 again (such a wonderful, underrated game).

Dan Lee, Environment Artist: Sonic Rush Adventure (DS), Crackdown (360), and Virtua Tennis 3 (360).

Gary Noonan, Character Animator: Was playing and enjoying Mass Effect, but sadly only took me 15 hours to beat. Sooooo, playing Bard’s Tale 360 for old time’s sake.

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What we’re playing: Home for the Holidays edition

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With Christmas being early next week, folks at the office have a little extra time to play some games. For those with plenty of vacation time (including folks who already left for the remainder of the year….BTW, I’m jealous), it’s the perfect time to catch up on all the year’s best games.

Since I’m heading out to Las Vegas tonight, I’ll be playing Phantom Hourglass on the plane. After that, I’ll be playing plenty of games, but not ones that require a console. C’mon big money!

Here’s what other folks will be playing…

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Bethesda and Bioware Brawl

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As mentioned before, many of our devs take Team Fortress II pretty seriously when playing against other studios. This past week was a big one, as the Vault 101 Dwellers took on the boys from Bioware. Check out our very own Nate Purkeypile’s summary of the victory. It’ll be remembered here at the office as “Mass Beatdown.”

Last night, two titanic forces met in a battle of epic proportions. A prophet foretold of the match ages ago and said that two studios would have a battle to decide once and for all, who was the best RPG studio…well, or who was better at a multiplayer shooter. The day… was a Thursday. The maps would be Dustbowl and 2fort.

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