Report article RSS Feed In memory of Mitchell “Engineer” Keesee

It’s with a sad heart that I have to report that the Ham and Jam team has suffered the loss of one of our earliest and long serving team members.

Posted by Wunderboy on Sep 29th, 2011

Mitchell Curtis Keesee known by the team by his nickname, "Engineer", passed away at home on Monday 26th September at the age of 23.

Mitchell was our sound engineer and joined the team in early 2006 not long after the game got started proper. He has created almost all of the games sound effects and was passionate and dedicated in his work.

Mitchell's obsession with tweaking and getting things perfect was often a blessing and a curse as he could never stop fiddling no matter how much we told him he didn’t need too. He would often disappear for a month at a time only to come back with a massive update.

He was a tireless perfectionist when it came to his craft. To quote the log entry of his last submission to our SVN server:

"New sten sound, superior to previous incarnations.”

He was creative in his work not just aiming to clone a sound but to engineer it to give a specific effect or impact within the scope of the game. He saw the soundscape as something that is experienced rather than just heard. Something we're sure came from his love of classical music.

Mitchell worked on other games, most notably Firearms:Source, but was always considered a core member of our team and was a staunch supporter of the game who would promote and praise it whenever asked about it. He was a true team player.

Apart from his work as a sound artist we’ll also remember him for his bizarre, absurd and often irreverent sense of humour which has lightened the mood on various bad times during Ham and Jams development.

On a personal note, I first met Mitchell on-line as far back as 2003 when he was a 15 year old kid interested in making 3D models. I shared many tips and tricks with him and watched him tackle new weapon models, textures and even dabble with the odd character model.

Around 2005 he started to become more focused in sound production and was already making sound effects for game such as Day of Defeat, Duke Nukem 3D and was working on The Trenches when I approached him to help with our then new venture Ham and Jam.

He had worked on a number of games that failed to see the light of day but his dedication to Ham and Jam I take as a sign in his belief that something great will eventually come out of all this.

He’ll be missed by all of us but he’ll live on with every grunt, groan, boom and bang you hear in Ham and Jam.

Our thoughts are with him and his family.

Post comment Comments
Hayst
Hayst Sep 29 2011, 8:20pm says:

23 is to soon...

+13 votes     reply to comment
Meat-Popsicle
Meat-Popsicle Oct 1 2011, 2:44am buried:

(buried)

Too*

-7 votes     reply to comment
sab0t
sab0t Oct 3 2011, 12:26pm replied:

Although I never met engi, he quickly became a very close friend of mine; I talked with him almost daily and gamed with him constantly. I know he had many friends in many communities such as this one, so I also come bearing a request. His parents are extremely traumatized by his passing and only up until recently thought he was alone in life as he did not have many in-person friends, as he suffered from Asperger's and had some trouble with social interaction. I'd like to show them that this is not the case.

I am composing a letter to his parents that will contain any and all eulogies, paragraphs and any other memories that anyone who had the honor of knowing this great guy are comfortable putting forth. I want them to know that he had many friends in many places, and I believe this will put them at some ease knowing that he wasn't alone, and was a happy, devoted and admirable character. Please send any eulogies, sentences, comments, paragraphs or other memories to cf.15094@gmail.com and I will be sure to include them.

I only have two requests...One, to try to keep the writing as positive as possible, as I think it will help them more hearing about the great things we enjoyed about the guy, and all the good times we had and all of his hard work. Two, if at all possible, please avoid the mention of anything related to his passing; I imagine being reminded of anything related to such would bring them more grief, and I really don't want to accidentally upset anyone that is already going through so much grief.

To any administrators: I am not sure if this is the best forum to post this in, and if there is a more appropriate place, it would be greatly appreciated if it could be moved there. If this could be stickied somewhere, I would really appreciate it; I want to make sure that anyone who would like to help in their small way are able to do so.

In any case, thanks for your time, and best of luck to you all!

rest in peace engi!

+4 votes     reply to comment
xXMaNiAcXx
xXMaNiAcXx Sep 29 2011, 8:28pm says:

I... I just have no words. If I said "I know what you are feeling" I would be lying, but i'm pretty sure that when something like this happens it will stay on your memories forever, and wow, I can't think of myself playing Ham and Jam and remembering about this article, because this also will stay on my head.

The guy was really really young too, 23... I can't even imagine how his family is right now, I can't help thinking that they are shocked and so on, and as I saw on the article, the guy really had sweet skills on what he did...

Well i'm bad with words when such things happens, you probably realised this for now, but I want this guy rest in peace wherever he is, and that that you from the team never forget him.

Hope you guys get through this messy world we live in, my sincere condolence, Gabriel.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Rukus_
Rukus_ Sep 29 2011, 8:40pm says:

Thats...really soon. Was it cancer?....

-2 votes     reply to comment
Spooboy
Spooboy Sep 29 2011, 10:23pm replied:

They're probably not going to say, and I don't blame them. My bet would be on that, or some kind of accident. My thoughts with the team, and Mitchell's family.

+5 votes     reply to comment
Vcc2cc
Vcc2cc Sep 30 2011, 1:23am says:

So sorry to hear Mitchell died. But as previously asked, I would like to know the cause of death.

RIP Mitchell. But may your work be long lived.

My sympathy's to the family.

+5 votes     reply to comment
MARiN3
MARiN3 Sep 30 2011, 6:23am says:

Rip engineer

+2 votes     reply to comment
Wunderboy
Wunderboy Sep 30 2011, 7:01am says:

I don't know why so many people here and elsewhere want to know the details of how he died. It's a bit disturbing really. :/

All I will say is that it was a tragic accident that happened at home that wasn't entirely his fault.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Swaggletooth
Swaggletooth Sep 30 2011, 8:31am replied:

That's a real shame. Man this is a downer, I knew Engineer back in the days of the DOD forums and worked with him on a mod a few years ago, he was a really nice guy.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Jaggardz
Jaggardz Sep 30 2011, 10:29am says:

I never knew this guy but too die at that age is a real tragedy. RIP.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Slothy
Slothy Sep 30 2011, 11:32am says:

Rip

+1 vote     reply to comment
parhana
parhana Sep 30 2011, 12:30pm says:

it really is sad to see someone die at that age.. rip Mitchell :(

+1 vote     reply to comment
Tedi47
Tedi47 Sep 30 2011, 1:49pm says:

condoleances

+1 vote     reply to comment
megafat
megafat Sep 30 2011, 3:42pm says:

No one should die this young. I feel sorry to all of the team members and the guys friends and family.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Newbez
Newbez Sep 30 2011, 4:48pm says:

my good collogue. you'll be missed.

+1 vote     reply to comment
killermonkey01
killermonkey01 Sep 30 2011, 5:57pm says:

RIP Engineer. He worked with us on GoldenEye: Source as well :(

+2 votes     reply to comment
LuchadorDev
LuchadorDev Sep 30 2011, 6:00pm says:

This is so sad. RIP Mitchell

+2 votes     reply to comment
major 
major  Sep 30 2011, 7:15pm says:

RIP. Was a honor working with him.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Enzo.Matrix
Enzo.Matrix Sep 30 2011, 8:32pm says:

We will all miss your great passion!

+2 votes     reply to comment
thatmangleybloke
thatmangleybloke Sep 30 2011, 8:37pm says:

Rest in peace Mitchell. Your talents and contributions to the mod commmunity will not be forgotten.

+1 vote     reply to comment
wake[of]thebunt
wake[of]thebunt Sep 30 2011, 8:57pm says:

R.I.P Mitch.

Anyone curious to hear his work in our mod, GoldenEye: Source, if you've played it you've heard his weapon sounds! He created half of them in the dropped beta product. He was a talent always thinking outside the box to making his passion realized, I liked working with him to get the best sounds for the goals we had for sound design. Good times =D

Engineer, here's to you! Barely right to call this a shame, much more a tragedy. :(

+1 vote     reply to comment
Cypher05
Cypher05 Sep 30 2011, 9:50pm says:

Crazy how many mods he worked on and I didn't even know him. I've play just about every single one. RIP to him... and all the different teams he worked with and his family sorry for your lose... :( Sad.

+1 vote     reply to comment
WNxKraid
WNxKraid Oct 1 2011, 6:17am says:

R.I.P. Mitchell. You'll be missed for sure.

+1 vote     reply to comment
WinterRain
WinterRain Oct 2 2011, 2:11am says:

23 is so young. Clearly he was a talented young man with much to offer. My prayers are with him and his family.

+1 vote     reply to comment
UKcharlie
UKcharlie Oct 2 2011, 4:52am says:

My condoleances

+1 vote     reply to comment
hate4uall
hate4uall Oct 2 2011, 8:42pm says:

RIP

+1 vote     reply to comment
SPY-maps
SPY-maps Oct 3 2011, 8:29am says:

we had a similar experience when our friend and team member Jasper died not so long ago, so i know a little bit what you are going through.
and it will take quit some time before you can get modding again on your mod without thinking about that team member.
personally i didn't know this guy but it seems he was a great team member,

and it's great that you let us all know with this article, he clearly deserves that.

leon

+2 votes     reply to comment
Vunsunta
Vunsunta Oct 3 2011, 1:58pm says:

We love you Engy. True passion for game development, and an example and reminder of why we make games, and that is to enjoy the process all along the way. I know your still helping us out with completing the games you work on, and your higher perspective shines light on the right actions to take. Thank you for caring like you do.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ShinobiNFC
ShinobiNFC Oct 3 2011, 2:50pm says:

Can't believe he's gone. Seriously.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dr.Goupyl
Dr.Goupyl Oct 30 2011, 2:53pm says:

You hope you will finish this mod, do it for him !

+2 votes     reply to comment
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