Giving Thanks

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I realize in most of the rest of the free world Thanksgiving isn’t that big a deal. Here in the States, it is, and not just as a celebration of people managing to make it to the country where we now live without getting themselves killed, but as a chance to take time out to be thankful for what we have and to be with friends and family. So in that spirit, here is a list of things we are thankful for this Thanksgiving:

Mark Lampert, Sound Designer: I’m thankful to be in good health and working here on games like Fallout 3 and the Elder Scrolls series. It’s a lot of responsibility and folks here have seen fit to leave me at the wheel, so it’s an honor.

Jared Angus, QA Tester: I am thankful for my good health, my great job, my supporting family, and most of all my beautiful wonderful fiancée.

Nathan McDyer: I’m thankful that after almost 2 years I’m still on my first 360.

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Inside the Vault: Charles Harribey

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Bethesda is not just a developer but a publisher as well. So today’s Q&A is with Charles Harribey, one of our producers who handles external projects. Charles is primarily reponsible for our Star Trek games, and since we shipped his latest project today — Star Trek: Conquest — we thought it fitting to give some insight into Charles’ world.

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What we’re playing: It’s that time a year!

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For a couple of weeks now, there’s been plenty of new games hitting the market that have had the office abuzz. Last week it was Call of Duty 4, and now this week we’ve got Super Mario Galaxy and Assassin’s Creed, which you’ll see folks are pretty excited about. Not only that, Ash and a few other guys have already started digging into Bioware’s Mass Effect. Earlier this week, a bunch of members from the team headed into the theater to get a peak at the game.

Speaking of games hitting early, there’s rumors that some guys at the office will be rocking to a new game very soon…

Chris Esko, Systems Programmer: Mass Effect (thanks, Microsoft!), Super Mario Galaxy, Guitar Hero III

Ashley Cheng, Producer: Mass Effect

Jennifer Noland, QA: Super Mario Galaxy.

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What we’re playing: Duty Calls

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For a number of folks at the office, the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has been hugely anticipated. When a local GameStop got the game a little earlier than expected on Monday, I noticed plenty of guys fleeing from their desks at lunch. I hope they have plenty of time to play it this weekend, because with the holiday season in full gear, time is precious.

Here’s how we’re spending our weekend… 

Tim “Visor” Lamb, Associate Producer: Call of Duty 4

Aaron Mitschelen, QA: LotRO, Soul Nomad and the World Eaters, World in Conflict, Jean d’Arc, Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness, GrimGrimoire, Persona 3, Hellgate: London

Michael Lattanzia, QA: Way too much Hellgate: London, Team Fortress 2


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Walking the Walk

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One of our artists, Dane Olds, informed me that he and some other folks at the office (see the team photo above) played a couple of friendly matches of Team Fortress II against the developers over a Breakaway, ltd. I asked Dane to write up a little post-game wrap report. Here’s what Dane had to say:

Some of you may know that several of us here at Bethesda have been spending quite a bit of time with the Orange Box. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that a good portion of that time has been spent with Team Fortress 2. So when we received a challenge from BreakAway, ltd. (located nearby in Hunt Valley) we were more than happy to step into the ring.

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What we’re playing: Rock You Like a Hurricane edition

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Guitar Hero is back, and it looks like quite a few people are ready to rock some more. I myself picked up the game this week on 360 with the new Les Paul guitar controller. It’s so choice…if you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up. As for the guy above, I have no idea who he is, but he’s on the blog now.

Here’s what the rest of the guys are playing. We’ll start with our departing design intern, William Killeen…the Company of Heroes crew will miss you!

William Killeen, Design Intern: Team Fortress 2, Company of Heroes, and… um… Boggle… with… lasers…

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Developing in our spare time, too

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If you read our “What we’re playing” blog posts that come out on Fridays, you’ve probably caught on that people at the office are in love with playing The Orange Box. There’s plenty of value, variety of gameplay, and yes, it even promises cake…so who wouldn’t love it.

While the Orange Box is probably most associated with Half-Life, many of folks here think the darling of the box is Portal. In fact, one of our Level Designers, Daryl Brigner, has created his very own level for the PC version of Portal, entitled Ren Test2.

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New Screens from Vault 101

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I guess that was a trick rather than a treat :). Anyways, I was downstairs this afternoon, and I was told I needed to check out Ricky Gonzalez’s “Vault 101″ costume. It doesn’t look like he needed to go overboard to create a proper costume (that Pip-Boy 3000 seems even more primitive than what Istvan talking about), but nevertheless, he did a great job capturing the look of a Vault 101 inhabitant.

After the break, check out more Halloween screenshots, um, I mean photos.

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