Take a tour through ArenaNet's studio
I wanted to hide in there and never leave.
When ArenaNet invited me out to experience the first expansion for Guild Wars 2, I expected that I would only be getting my hands on PvE and PvP in Heart of Thorns -- not a tour of the entire studio. The studio itself is set in Bellvue, Washington and is (from what I saw) two floors of awesome. The main floor, where the lobby is (as seen in the main image of this article) currently housed computers and various teams of game development.
The studio itself is rather fluid, the teams switch locations every once and a while as game development progresses. The tour of the studio brought me into the kitchen, the ArenaNet game room and the audio recording room, where the studio's Audio Director, James Ackley, gave us an impromptu look at where all of the sounds in Guild Wars 2 are created (except for when they set fire to things -- that's done outside).
Fun fact: A majority of the sounds in-game are developed and crafted meticulously in-house. You can find the audio studio in the gallery below the main image at the top of this article. As for everything else in the main studio halls, you can see them below:
This is one of the first areas you see once entering the lobby.
This mural lead to to where the artists were currently housed.
Concept art for Guild Wars being shown off with all of its glory.
If you wondered where the signed t-shirts came from, it was probably off of this very table. Items are left here to be signed for various events, it's said that no matter what you leave in this spot...it will be signed.
This is the glorious kitchen with eight microwaves, two refrigerators, five snack dispensers, five cereal dispensers, five candy dispensers, chinese food and tons of other things. I ate Chex-Mix and Cheerios.
This is the ArenaNet game room, I thought they only played Guild Wars there...but it turns out Ping Pong, board games, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 4 games housed here (as well as various classic games).
You see that, that's BioShock - they have good taste.