Inside the Vault: Ashley Cheng

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I’m working on getting more Inside the Vaults. They’re a-coming! I promise! To get things rolling again, I thought I would go ahead and do one. So, this is me.

What’s your job at Bethesda?
I’m the Production Director (fancy name for producer) for Bethesda Game Studios. I’m responsible for the day to day of the development team, scheduling and budgets, QA and testing, localization, running team meetings when Todd Howard is traveling, game library procurement, weekend and evening catering, commissioner of our Madden online franchise league, purchaser of buckets to collect rain water leaking from our ceiling. I’m the last one who touches our games before they go out into the world to be replicated, boxed and shipped out to stores and/or downloaded via Steam/Xbox LIVE/PlayStation Network, etc… My office is full of gold masters of every version of every game we’ve shipped since 2001. I have one of the best jobs anybody could ever wish for.

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What we’re playing

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If you look at this week’s “what we’re playing” — there’s games you’d expect to see (like Uncharted 2, Borderlands, Forza 3, and Brütal Legend), but the game that’s taken the office by storm this week is Runic Games’ Torchlight. For more details on the game, visit Runic Games’ website.

Below is the rest of the games we’re playing. Feel free to share the games you’re playing. Have a great weekend!

John Pisano: Torchlight, Borderlands, Brütal Legend, and Tropico III.

Nate “Red Spy” Purkeypile: Uncharted 2, Brütal Legend, Torchlight, L4D2 demo and most importantly, the TF2 Halloween Weekend Special.

Jay Woodward: Red Faction: Guerrilla, Brütal Legend, and Race for the Galaxy.

Daryl Brigner: Borderlands and Torchlight.

Orin Tresnjak: Forza 3, Borderlands, and Demon’s Souls. Maybe trying out Torchlight.

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New Splash Damage Developer Profile

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Over at Splash Damage’s site, you can check out a new developer profile with Gameplay/Physics Programmer Pierre ‘trega’ Tregaro. Here’s a sampling from the interview…

What games have you worked on?
Brink is the first ‘real’ game I’ve worked on. My last project before starting here was PuppIT, on which I was the project lead. In a nutshell, it’s a large digital puppet theatre entirely controlled using a multi-touch surface.

Head to Splash Damage’s official site to read the rest, as well as the other developer profiles they’ve done.

Movies we’re looking forward to

This week I asked the team to share the movies they’re looking forward to seeing — whether it’s already out, coming soon, or coming not-so-soon. Before seeing Where The Wild Things Are last night, I saw the trailer for Wes Anderson’s lastest film, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and now that tops my list. Check out the trailer above.

While you’re at it, let us know what movies you’re looking forward to…

Michael Wagner: Fantastic Mr. Fox, Toy Story 3, Astro Boy, and The Book of Eli.

Emily Sears: The Road, The Lovely Bones, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Daybreakers, The Wolfman, Shutter Island, Inception, and Alice in Wonderland.

Sean Palomino: Avatar, Ninja Assassin, The Wolfman, Where the Wild Things Are, and Until The Light Takes Us.

Brent Krische: X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Transformers 2, GI Joe, District 9, and Paranormal Activity.

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Beyond the id: Meet Peter Sokal

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This week we introduce a new segment to Bethesda Blog, Beyond the id, to highlight our friends and colleagues at id Software. This week we’re kicking things off with Peter Sokal — the Community Manager for id.

How long have you worked as the Community Manager at id Software?
I’ve been working at id for about 10 months now, and it has been quite the ride.

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Todd’s favorite games

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Over at Industry Gamers, Todd Howard shared a list of his 10 favorite games of all-time. This isn’t the first time Todd’s claimed Ultima VII as his favorite game — among other places, he noted it in a feature on D&D for 1Up

Looking through his list, there’s definitely some games in there I’d consider for my top 10. I’ll post my At-The-Moment Top 10 in the comments section, and encourage you to do the same.

Where we’re dining: Craving Five Guys

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This week I thought I’d ask everyone to share their favorite places to eat (good suggestion, Ash). As you can expect, there’s plenty of variety in the places where folks from our office go out to eat.

One of the most common responses was Five Guys. Like In-N-Out Burger on the west coast, Five Guys is one of those burger places where you just assume they’ve put some addictive chemical in the burgers that make you crave it. If you haven’t checked it out, there’s a good chance one will pop up in your area sometime soon. While the restaurants began in the DC Area (Arlington, to be exact), there are now more than 400 locations in the US.

Below are more of the places we enjoy eating…you might even recognize some of the areas from Fallout 3.

Pete Hines: Five Guys, Valentino’s, Chick-Fil-A.

Gary Powell, QA Tester: Viet Gourmet (Fredrick), El Charro (Dale City), Panera Bread, Five Guys, Grotto’s Pizza (Bethany Beach, DE) and House Of Dynasty (Alexandria).

Dane Olds, Artist: Dogfishhead Alehouse, Roy’s Place, Cava, and Sushi House (Rockville).

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New Splash Damage Dev Profile

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In more Splash Damage news, a new developer profile is up on their official site. This time around, they’ve got with Brink Character Artist (and Aussie-native) Ben ‘Mantegra’ Davis. Since folks always ask me how to get into the industry, I’ve chosen this snippet from the interview to share…

Do you have any tips for people wanting to break in?

Ben: You have got to have passion and love games if you want to work in this industry. If you want to be an artist but you don’t like playing games then this business is not for you. Practice, practice and practice some more. Learn as much as you can about the industry and above all else be persistent. Become a member of the online gaming community and get your name out there. Post your work on forums regularly and get constructive feedback. Always keep improving your skills in your spare time and keep up to date with the latest games technology. Presentation is key to a good portfolio.

Head here to read the rest. We’ll be sure to let you know when the next one goes up.

What we’re watching: Heading to District 9

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Later tonight, I’ll be heading to see District 9. Looking at the list below (and having seen others’ Facebook updates), I’m guessing that I’m one of the last at the office to see it.

In addition to District 9, find out the movies and shows are developers are watching below.

Max Cameron: District 9, Funny People, and catching up on How I Met Your Mother.

Andrew Scharf: Catching up on Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Dexter Season 3, and watching District 9 over the weekend.

Ryan Lea, Programmer: District 9 and Psych.

Matt Killmon, Video Producer: I keep watching the videos on this site over and over, and now my dreams are haunted and my soul tortured… and yet I cannot look away! Abandon all hope, ye who enter here!

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