Halo PC Weekly Update
Posted by Sketch at 8/22/2003 8:53 PM PDT
Another week has gone by and we’re that much closer to the retail release of Halo for PC. As we progress down the final stretch, last minute efforts have reached a fevered pitch as an army of testers and programmers smooth out the remaining wrinkles. Of course no Halo PC update would be complete without a front line report from our Producer, Michel, who’s practically a resident of Texas by now. Here’s his latest report:

Sketch is determined – he won’t let another week go by without violently harassing me until I give into writing an update for Bungie.net. Truth is, I love doing this! (when I get to it...)

Another very intense week has gone by. By now, most of you are aware that this past weekend, a sweet FanStock event took place over at Gearbox. It was a blast! There are a bunch of write-ups available around the net. (like this one at halo.bungie.org) For us, the developers, it’s very cool to see some of our most loyal and hardcore Halo players having fun with the game on the PC , doing cool things such as flying a Banshee in Blood Gulch and discovering the new multiplayer maps for the first time. I’m so looking forward to the game being widely available and eing able to pick up a multiplayer game anytime of the day. Lack of sleep is expected.

Lately, I’ve been playing a bunch of online games with a few Microsoft testers and Gearbox developers. Here are some of the coolest game types that are emerging (in my opinion):

KOTH on Gephyrophobia . This is completely crazy. It’s total mayhem in the center of the map and various elements come together in some explosive ways. Whether it’s because someone jumps in with a Flamethrower or because 3 Ghosts are assaulting it simultaneously, things definitely get chaotic. One can emerge victorious from this chaos, should he use the elements right. Hum... That sounds like a lame marketing pitch but it’s true, believe me! There’s a health pack lying around nearby – fight over it. There are plenty of plasma grenades – don’t stop throwing them. Arm yourself with a pistol and a shotgun... That’s what I call "using the elements".

CTF on Timblerland . That’s not necessarily surprising. I think it’ll be a favorite online. There have been a few descriptions of Timberland in the FanStock write-ups this week. One of the things I love about Timberland is that I can play it in many different ways. Ha, I’ll let you find out for yourself.

I was also involved in some magnificent Rockets on Blood Gulch. While this could definitely happen on the Xbox, Banshees add a completely new dimension to Blood Gulch... and blowing one up with a rocket launcher is so rewarding.

On the development side, more things are getting wrapped up every day. Our powerful army of testers is tirelessly going through the game over and over again, informing us of everything that is wrong in every area (think graphics, sounds, networking, UI, NATs, setup and everything else). This weekend, Sketch will be joining the Penny Arcade gang for their Lanwerx Gaming Day. All the details are here. Both the PC and Xbox version of Halo will be on-site. Stop by if you’re local!


A big thanks to Michel once again for taking a few minutes to bring us all up to speed with what’s been happening out in Texas. Back at the home front, there are also plenty of people working overtime to polish and fine tune the game.

This week the "Beta 2" discs were sent out to our beta testers, which marks the first time we can start playing with large numbers of players across the internet. Before you ask, sorry, it’s a closed beta test only for people who are registered as part of Microsoft’s beta program. But, the good news is that the game will soon be available for anyone and everyone to enjoy.

Many of us have been playing every night and the trash talk is really flying around the office. Just last night myself, Achronos, Evil Otto, Danger Boy and Lance all took part in a few "friendly" matches of CTF. My personal favorite new map so far is Timberland. I’m sure you’ve seen and heard plenty about it already but as Michel mentioned, it’s a ton of fun because of all the different tactics and methods you can use on it. Lately I’ve been enjoying taking my sniper rifle out for a spin. With wide open angles yet plenty of cover, Timberland really is a sniper’s paradise and nothing beats the satisfaction of a headshot from all the way across the map.

Stay tuned to Bungie.net over the next few weeks as I’ll do my best to keep everyone up to date with the latest developments up until the game is released. Also, be sure to visit the Gearbox site as they continue to upload new screenshots each week. Over at Microsoft’s Halo PC site they are featuring new screens and info on a new map each week. Timberland was covered last week and Gephyrophobia is on tap this week.

We're almost there... just a little bit longer!
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