From The Vault: 15-Year Anniversary Edition

by IG.Ratana on June 7 2012

22 comments

We were so excited to be able to celebrate our 15th birthday with cupcakes along with all the fans at this year’s PAX East. We’d like to continue the celebration by sharing this special 15-Year Anniversary edition of From the Vault with you.

Fifteen years ago, Ken Levine, Jon Chey, and Robert Fermier left their mothership at Looking Glass Studios to open up a video game development studio to call their own. Together, they forged what we all know today as Irrational Games. Join us as we take a little trip down memory lane, would you kindly?

When looking back 15 years, sharing photos is a must. Fortunately, we were able to dig up some wicked-retro photos of the studio’s first home base in Southie (South Boston for you non-locals).

There’s a ‘90s Ken Levine in the background, and just check out those CRT displays! Easter egg: Can you spot the stack of cassette tapes?

This is a rare group shot of the original team. (Photo courtesy of Jon Chey via Gamasutra)

First row: Steve Kimura/Artist, Jonathan Chey/Project Director, Justin Waks/Multiplayer Programmer, Mauricio Tejerina/Artist, Rob “Xemu” Fermier/Lead Programmer, Dorian Hart/Designer, Lulu LaMer/QA Lead.
Second row: Ian Vogel/Level Designer, Scott Blinn/Level Designer, Michael Swiderek/Artist, Rob Caminos/Motion Editor, Nate Wells/Artist.
Third row: Mike Ryan/Level Designer, Ken Levine/Lead Designer, Mathias Boynton/Level Designer.

Mauricio is super focused while rocking dual CRT displays.

Life inside a CRT with Matt Boynton and Andy Meuse

Scott Sinclair about to club Nate Wells while Bryn Bennett pantomimes the shape of a melon.  Also note the coffee cups on Nate’s desk.  He still consumes large amounts of iced coffee.

Ian Vogel demonstrates to Ken why he was Irrationals’ best dressed employee of all time.  The dreamcatcher above is awash in Ken’s daydreams of one day surpassing Vogel in fashion sense.

Someone should have warned Rob Fermier about the plaid Grimace sneaking up behind him.

Oh look, a phone book!

Avatar Image Posted this June 7 2012 11:59 am, under From the Vault,
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From the Vault
  • japester | June 7, 2012 1:03 pm

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    Oh, man! This may be my favorite Insider blog yet. LOL

    You’re a brave group to be sharing all these old photos. Good lord, I forgot how much space a monster *FIFTEEN INCH* CRT took up! (Do I see a Kaypro in there….? Naaaah.)

    I was reading the latest Game Informer and thinking about how complex modern game development has become–what with console, PC, mobile platforms, Facebook, various control schemes, etc, etc, etc. How much simpler it must have been back then. Instead of dealing with a million design variables, you just had to slog through a project using primitive tools.

    Please follow this up with a look at the current office setup for comparison.
    :smile:

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  • icegrove | June 7, 2012 1:38 pm

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    Good old memories is always nice and old classic games.

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  • vsharres | June 7, 2012 2:36 pm

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    That is definitely awesome!! and by the way, congratulation on your 15 years!! hope you guys stay around for even more 15 years delivering more awesomeness into the world! Thanks guys!

    (agree with Japester, I would be nice to see a comparison with the present Irrational Games

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  • 1srkarkan | June 7, 2012 3:12 pm

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    Happy Birthday : D

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  • knightcarver | June 7, 2012 4:49 pm

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    lol love it – so awesome guys! And I still dress like that :P

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  • preypacer | June 7, 2012 10:18 pm

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    Happy 15th! Here’s to another 15, and many more beyond that (hopefully.. yes, it’s a selfish request. I know).

    Love these old, “behind the scenes” type photos. Post more!

    Also, I believe the stack of casettes is next to the ancient CRT on the left side of that pic, stacked up in front of that blue box. I used to have stacks of those things all over the place, so it’s an all-too-familiar sight.

    Anyway, Happy Anniversary once again. Thank You for sharing your talent, imaginationi and insanity with all of us gamers, and may the future bring more of the best to you!

    Now where’s my damn bottle of wine.

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  • dannysal | June 8, 2012 7:33 am

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    Congrats to IG and here’s to another 15 years!

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  • Rye0077r | June 8, 2012 6:38 pm

    Awesome glimpse of the early days! *raises champagne glass* Here’s to many ore good years!

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  • quancro | June 9, 2012 2:06 pm

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    great year so far four all of you.. happy blessing

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  • 1019ice | June 11, 2012 1:18 am

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    As the huge comic book dork, I’m diggin’ the Witchblade/Tombraider and Dave Finch posters on the wall.

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  • juan29zapata | June 13, 2012 5:20 pm

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    Awesome to read this blog entry!

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  • borrego | June 22, 2012 7:17 pm

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    Oh my God, this is awesome. Good times! I used to sport some sweet sideburns like Nate Wells did. I kind of wish someone would’ve hit me with a club too, because I didn’t have the cheekbones for them.

    Anyway, this was great to see! Cool post, guys!

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  • bono | June 23, 2012 1:58 pm

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    There are Thief boxes on the pic with Rob, and there is DromEd opened on the last pic. Hell yeah!

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  • adaaja | July 6, 2012 3:42 am

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    woow fantastic love it

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  • adaaja | July 6, 2012 4:39 am

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    woow fantastic love it hahha

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  • adaaja | July 6, 2012 4:47 am

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    woow fantastic love it lol

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  • adaaja | July 6, 2012 4:49 am

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    woow fantastic love it lol hehehe

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  • x360small29 | July 10, 2012 11:41 am

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    Wow this is totally awesome!! I love seeing the beginnings of this major studios. To see when they where small and just hoping to survive.

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  • evans0305 | July 16, 2012 2:20 pm

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    Its so nostalgic to see Irrational Games from its 1999 beginnings. I’m glad that it developed into such an amazing company. Happy 15th anniversary, Irrational Games! Here’s to more years of glorious games!

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  • joshimarston | August 9, 2013 5:31 pm

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    You’re UNDERAGE!!

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