The Beards of Bethesda

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Last week at Kotaku, Luke Plunkett saluted the in-game beards of Fallout 3. After reading it, I found it only fitting to pay homage to Beards of the Bethesda Game Studios. Earlier in the year, devs at the office competed in a “beard off” between the months of February and May. Like hockey players refusing to shave during the playoffs, many of our team members were able to fight through the itch and keep the beards on.  While not pictured, I tried to go without shaving for about two weeks, but my scraggly mess was driving me mad.

Anyways, above is the before, and below is the after…

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Someone grab the Gillette Fusion!

What we’re playing: So much awesomeness!


As we near the end of the October, the list of games we want to play continues to grow. Devs are frenetically playing through the likes of Dead Space, Fable 2, Far Cry 2, and more — so they can move onto games like Wrath of the Lich King, Resistance 2, and Call of Duty: World at War when they arrive. Too much awesome!

Have a great weekend!

Cory Dornbusch, QA: Burning the Serengeti dry grass in Far Cry 2, running around Albion with my dog in Fable 2(I named him Dogma, get it! har har har.), and Dead Space to see how many ways Isaac can die in the most gruesome way. Kudos to all the dev teams that made these truly awesome games!

Joel Burgess: So much Fable 2.

Ryan Sears, World Artist, Zombie Aficionado: Fallout 3, Fable 2, a (hopefully) epic session of Fury of Dracula tonight, and maybe some Last Night on Earth this weekend.

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What we’re playing: Beta testing Sack Boy


Last week I felt very lucky to be one of the few folks with a LittleBigPlanet beta key. While I created very little, I’ve had a blast playing the game. This week I’ve got company, as a few devs were able to track down a beta key. I can’t wait to see these guys come up with. Will Daryl create his next RenTest? He better get cracking, the beta ends this weekend.

Here’s the rundown of the other games we’re playing.

Daryl Brigner, Level Designer: Mount & Blade, Brothers in Arms: HH, and Little Big Planet Beta.

Larry Waldman, QA: LittleBigPlanet Beta (thanks Nghi), Fable 1.

Craig Lafferty: LittleBigPlanet Beta, Fallout 3.

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What we’re playing: Going retro edition


The Blue Bomber is back! Several guys at the office are gaming like it’s 1989 with Mega Man 9 — a retrofied awesomefest for the ages. Are those real words? Doesn’t’s just that good.

Here’s a list of what what we’re playing. Have a great weekend!

Dan Ross, QA: WipeOut HD, Megaman 9, Warhammer Online.

Tim “Visor” Lamb, Producer: CoD4, Mega Man 9, trying to find a fairway.

Matt Grandstaff: LittleBigPlanet Beta, Metal Gear Solid 4, Mega Man 9.

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What we’re playing returns


As promised, this week we’re talking about the games we’re playing. No sports, no movies…just games. This weeks most popular titles? Seems like a good chunk of the team is devoting their time to Rock Band 2 and Warhammer Online, or both.

Here’s the rundown. Let us know what you’ll be playing…

John Pisano, QA: Warhammer Online, Rock Band 2, Warhammer Online, Spore, Warhammer Online, Condemned 2.

Michael Lattanzia, QA: Warhammer Online, SPORE!, Call of Duty 4, and maybe some actual tabletop games (read: Mordheim) this weekend.

Shannon Bailey, Programmer: Rock Band 2, Lost Odyssey DLC.

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Fallout 3 Speed Run: It was that close


In what’s become a tradition here at the office, the development team holds a speed run competition near the launch time. With Fallout 3 readying for release in October, the Fallout 3 Speed Run final was held on Friday, September 5th. To the winner: a pie of their choosing.

Back at E3, Todd talked some game — claiming that when it came for the speed run, he’d be the one coming out victorious. Umm…not quite. The finals came down to level designer Jeff “Live the Dream” Browne and QA Tester (and the most recent cover boy for Inside the Vault) Sam”I Am” Bernstein.

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What we’re watching

This week we’re letting you know what we’re watching, since it’s a good time to be watching the tube. Summer is nearly over, Fall TV is coming back, football is on, and well, there’s this show called Hole in the Wall. I watched it last night, and all I can say is…wow.

Let us know what you’re watching on TV these days. Have a great weekend.

Fred Zeleny, Designer/Writer: Arrested Development, 30 Rock, and the Steelers on Sunday.

Erik J. Caponi: I’m watching the stupid “acquiring channels” spinning wheel on my Tivo while I wait for the cable company to come fix it.

Ruben Brown , QA Certification Lead: Remainder of Heroes 2, Righteous Kill, Football on Sunday.

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What we’re playing: NFL kickoff edition


The NFL season kicked off last night to the delight of many here at the office…at least until the Redskins showed they were still playing like it was still pre-season (Claff’s comments pretty much sum it up). Even with the NFL, there’s still plenty of time to play games on Saturday. Personally, I’m jealous of all the folks that managed to get an early copy of Spore.

Here’s what we’ll be playing.  Let us know what you’re playing, who you’re rooting for, or just your weekend plans.

Craig Lafferty, Producer: Fallout3, Madden 09 so I can have the Redskins run plays that actually get the ball to the 1st down marker!!

Matt Grandstaff, Community Manager: Metal Gear Solid 4, cheering on the Lions and Wolverines.

Megan Sawyer, Artist: Fallout 3, some zombie related board games, and a slight chance of squeezing in some Spore or Soul Calibur.

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What we’re playing: Plenty of Fallout 3


As you now know, we’re planning the release of Fallout 3 for the end of October (the 28th in North America, 31st in Europe), so our guys (and gals) are spending plenty of their time playing the game and getting it ready to ship. Of course that doesn’t mean we don’t make time for playing other games (like Purkey was ever going to stop playing TF 2). 🙂

Here’s a rundown of what members on the team are playing:

Ashley Cheng, Production Director: Fallout 3.

Sam Bernstein, Speed Runner Extraordinaire: Hopefully trying out the new TF2 update, fending off my Fallout 3 Speedrun time from Brownie, and trying to keep my Pacifism score in Geometry Wars 2 before Gstaff utterly destroys it.  It’s a defensive week.

Larry Waldman, QA: Fallout 3, Seeing myself get beat up many times in Super Tromette Action Movie Go!

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What we’re playing: Downloadable games dominate


In recent memory, I can’t think a 1-month period that had a greater number of awesome downloadable releases. If you look at the list below, almost everyone is playing something from STEAM, Xbox Live, PSN, and even WiiWare (the new Strong Bad Game).

Here’s the list of games we’re playing this weekend:

Brent Krische: Braid, Patapon, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People Episode 1.

Matt Grandstaff, Community Manager: NCAA 2009, PixelJunk Eden, Bionic Commando: Rearmed, Siren: Blood Curse, and trying to keep my high scores in Geometry Wars 2.

Orin Tresnjak, Graphics Programmer: Planning a D&D game.  Painting some Warhammer figs.  Beating Matt’s high scores in Geometry Wars 2. Continue reading full article ›