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Can you tell us a little about your office environment?

Whether its "Goofy Hat Day" or just a run of the mill martini night there's always something interesting going on.

I love it. A bunch of us sit in a very large room (it has cubicle walls, but it is so big, I hesitate to call it a cubicle) working on our own bits of the project. People talk to each other about pretty much anything (Thief, other computer games, interesting things that happened on someone's trip to Japan), and generally get along pretty well. We are somewhat segregated by job type. The programmers are off on one side, the designers are in the middle, and the artists have their own area off to the side. But we're all friends and we're all working towards the same goal, so it's great.

There are desks and computers and phones. There are lots of toys and a lot of books around and about 1000 broken computer monitors and keyboards. There are soda cans all over the place and a really cool ping pong table.

The whole "pit" atmosphere is an interesting one. Conversations dash madly about the room, when someone is demonstrating something interesting everyone gravitates over to look. Not nearly enough lamps (see previous gripe).

Sure. I have a tiny office next to the big swirling pit of Thief 2 team members who actually get sunlight. A stuffed Parappa the Rapper doll smiles down at me from atop my monitor, thinking no doubt to himself, "I gotta believe!" Behind him, Cloud Strife races a chocobo on the wall. I have a year's supply of Pocky, and my Godzilla piggy bank is never far away. It only now occurs to me that these things are all Japanese.

It's very cluttered, a little cramped, and perfect for making games.

Think of the dorms in the movie Real Genius. High anxiety, high stress, high intelligence, high jinx, and sometimes just plain high.

>Well, we work in a "pit." It’s sort of like a giant cubicle, with a bunch of desks. The setup is remarkably like that of a Star Destroyer bridge - there are desks lined up on two sides, facing an inward isle. Steve Pearsall likes to walk up and down the isle like Darth Vader, glowering sternly at the designers. He once "Force choked" Mike Chrzanowski - that was pretty scary stuff.

Here’s an good anecdote. Whenever someone downloads a new game demo, we all gather around and pick it apart – complementing and criticizing the design and implementation – depending on our discipline: the programmers talk about the AI and the renderer, the designers talk about the architecture and level design, the artists talk about the textures, creatures, etc., etc..

I wasn't responsible for building it, I swear. We used a random map generator to build it. We promise the artists who textured it have been canned.

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