Bungie Weekly Update: 04/10/09
Posted by urk at 4/10/2009 4:57 PM PDT

Mythic Map Pack Available Now

As you are probably well aware considering the barrage of Mythic Map Pack news we've been sending your way over these last few days (and weeks, and months), the Mythic Map Pack is now available for download via the Xbox LIVE Marketplace.  You can has.  If you haven't picked your copy up yet, we'll make it easy and get the salesmanship out of the way right at the top.

If you want to check out all the coverage we've already run on the Mythic Map Pack, we've whipped up a handy little guide, just for you.  This Roundup is one giant linktacular filled with just about everything you need if you're still deciding whether or not you can part with 800 Microsoft Points. Think of this as the B.net Mythic Map Pack brochure.  Why settle for a boring multiplayer?

Oh, and the Legendary Map Pack is still going strong.  To reiterate: there are still no plans to make it free.  Blackout, Ghost Town, and Avalanche are available for 600 Microsoft Points.

Bungie Pro

And as if Mythic alone wasn't sweet enough, if you act fast, we'll throw in a
Bungie Pro subscription as a limited time offer.  The quicker you act, the longer you'll have access to Bungie Pro, a File Share extension that gives you twenty-four slots to work with instead of six.  We figure you'll need the extra room to store all the new content you create.  The Bungie Pro offer expands your File Share until July of 2009.  And yup, if you obtained  the maps early, packed in with Halo Wars LCE or otherwise, you'll reap the benefits of this offer as well.

Silver and Gold

For Silver Xbox LIVE Members feeling left out of the Mythic Multiplayer experience, Microsoft is gonna hook you up this weekend.  Starting today, 04/10 at 9AM PST, and running through Monday, 04/13 at 9AM PST, Silver Xbox LIVE accounts will be able to play with everyone else in Halo 3's Matchmaking.  If you've already got Gold, make sure you drag your Silver friends online this weekend so they can throw down with you in Mythic style.  It's on Microsoft.

Make a Wish

The studio had a few visitors today, courtesy of the Make-a-Wish Foundation.  Derik and Riker stopped by to tour the studio, check out some of our super secret stuff, and to fight alongside us in Halo 3's Matchmaking.  If you ran into a pair of Buninjas and IWHBYD's, you squared off against Derik, Carney, Shishka, and Riker.  You also lost.  Our crew, led by Derik, won every match they played.

Their skills were so impressive that we went ahead and took them out for pancakes afterward (okay, we would have done it anyway), descending upon our favorite neighborhood breakfast eatery en masse, turning the diner into an impromptu Bungie fueling station. 

The list of folks in attendance is too long to list here, but tons of laughs were had, and Derik and Riker made quite the positive impression on our crew.  We'd fork flapjacks into our faces with this pair anytime.

Thanks for coming out, Derik.  And big thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation for making it happen.  If you want to help this great organization keep on keepin' on, please stop by their website.  They make it easy to donate whether your investment is time, money, or treasure.

Mythic Map Pack Q&A

We've already addressed a bunch of stuff pertaining to issues you may run into on the Mythic Map Pack, but we figured we might as well go over that ground again.  Here's a brief question and answer session that should help you out if you're running into strange things with your copy of the Mythic Map Pack.

Q. I downloaded the Mythic Map Pack at my cousin's house, but when I got home, they're not there anymore!  What gives?

A. Any content downloaded from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace is automatically licensed for use on that particular Xbox 360 and/or the Gamertag you were signed in with when you downloaded the content, not the hard drive.  Achronos touched on this issue a bit on our forums yesterday, but if you've run into this issue, the fix is to call Microsoft for support.  They offer a tool to transfer licenses, but you should really speak with them before you take any action.

Q. I purchased and downloaded the Mythic Map Pack, why aren't they showing up in my list of playable maps?

A.  You've probably hit your limit for stored Halo 3 content.  The quick solution is to delete a few Halo 3 items from your hard drive.  For those seeking a more detailed explanation, we've got you covered.  Scroll to the heading, "Mythic Map Pack Not Loading?"

Q. I was remaking Boarding Action on Sandbox's Sky Bubble and I can't place any more objects.  I still have Budget left over.  What's going on?

A.  You've run into the object limit that's "pre-baked" into every map.  For more details on what that limit is, why it exists, and what you can do to get the most out of your experience with The Forge and Sandbox, check out our Sandbox Toolkit.

Community Q&A

In the weeks leading up to the release of the Mythic Map Pack, we introduced you to some of the stuff we're going to drop into Halo 3's Matchmaking experience.  This week, via Bungie Favorites, we showed off some of the stuff our early adopters were whipping up.  While these aren't necessarily destined for Matchmaking, they are definitely good enough to grab some of your attention and your multiplayer time in Customs.  And who knows, looks like two of them might make it to ATLAS where they can be put through the paces.


Excavation requires the least explanation of the trio of maps we're going to show off today.  An extremely faithful recreation of Halo 2's Foundation, the only differences we can see appear to be due to the art palette available on Sandbox, and some small changes to the weapon and equipment layout.  Want to learn more?  Scroll for a brief interview with Excavation's creator, OctoDeath.

Q. Since we already know the concept behind Excavation, talk about how you went about the recreation process. Were you running Halo 2’s Multiplayer and Halo 3’s Forge in some kind of PIP setup?

A. I knew that if I was to remake the map, it would have to be very faithful to the map we all know and love. Unfortunately, I didn't use anything as technical as PIP, rather I fired up Halo 2, had a wander around the map, and then put pen to paper.

I sketched out all aspects of the map, right down to weapon placement. Then from studying the bird's eye view using the game viewer on Bungie.net, I was able to estimate the necessary measurements. Using the blue grid on Sandbox I was able to translate the diagrams into double blocks, walls, and tube ramps!

The forging process went relatively smoothly, a lot of the time I felt that Sandbox was just willing me on. The item palette is so much more versatile than anything we got to play with on Foundry. That said, I did start to run into problems with budget towards the end, but being resourceful, I managed to get the four rooms, and the high walls in place in the end.

Q. Looks like you’ve slapped in some equipment. Do you think that will have a dramatic effect on how the map is played?

A. I decided to place two Regenerators and two Bubble Shields as a way to counter the seemingly endless barrage of grenades that fly through both Excavation and Foundation. In playtests I enjoyed how they can gave pinned down players a little bit of breathing space. Also due to how open the middle of the map is, I thought it would be more beneficial for a traversing player to have the option of throwing down a bubble, rather than a player on the outside raining down Power Drainers on them. So I guess, yes, they do have an effect on how the map gets played, but definitely a positive one.

If you don't like them though, you've got the option of deleting them!

Q. Have you submitted this sucker to Atlas for review?

A. Not yet, but I am planning to. Is Shishka interested in remakes? I have ran the gauntlet before with Octoplex and made the cut, although to mixed feedback. But that hasn't put me off though, something tells me players would be a little more receptive to Excavation. Atlas is a great idea of Shishka's, and I'd say to anyone who thinks they've got a Matchmaking worthy map to get it submitted, but read the stickies first!

As long as the remakes don't infringe on another company's intellectual property, we're interested.


Where Excavation is all remake, Pivotal spins around and drops something new into the mix.  Suspended high above Sandbox's deadly dunes, this map offers a unique slant on both Slayer and Objective games, employing The Forge to craft something pretty unique.  We had a few questions for the map's creator, JoeSki73, and fortunately for us, he supplied the answers.

Q. What is the core concept behind Pivotal?

A. “Don’t suck.” Nah, actually it was “angled center piece.” That was the image that popped into my head one night as I was dozing off to sleep. The rest of the map fell into place around that element. The secondary concept for Pivotal was making a map to be playable as both an asymmetrical map (think High Ground – 1 flag, 1 bomb) and a symmetrical map (think The Pit – Team Slayer, Multi Flag).

Q. Why did you choose the “Sky Bubble” as the place you wanted to build?

A. I love the idea of not having “dead space” in a map. Dead space would be that little corner of the map that you really have no use for and no effective way to block off so it usually ends up getting a random piece of cover thrown in it or left as open/dead space. The only true way to accomplish that goal is to build every piece of a map from scratch. The only place to truly have that opportunity is in the Sky Bubble.

I guess it all boils down to wanting complete control over my map in lieu of forcing my idea to work in one of the other two spaces Sandbox offers.

Q. Is it finished? Thinking about submitting it to Atlas for review?

A. Barring some mass verdict of “this is terrible,” the map is complete. I absolutely am going to submit Pivotal to ATLAS.  As soon as I can get my “homies” and “homegirls” together from Halo 3 in The Work PLace, maybe as soon as tonight, I’ll get the films completed and start readying my submission.

Sandbox really is a great opportunity for forgers and I’m really looking forward to all the new hawtness this community can produce. I’ve seen a ton of fruit from early Mythic labor and it is mind-blowing the quality of content already accessible.

Thank you, Bungie. Thank you H3ITWP.

Flying Dutchman

Infection.  You know it, you love it, but you've never played it like this before.  Floating on a sea of dark and ominous air, Flying Dutchman is to Zombies what the sea is to scurvy pimps.  We're not quite sure what that means.  Forget we said it.  But pay attention to Vhfive's brief question and answer session below if you want to get some inside details on his map, Flying Dutchman.  And if words aren't your thing, stick around and check out the YouTube video of the spooky ship in action.

Q. Besides the blatant Pirates of the Caribbean IP borrowing, what’s the core concept behind Flying Dutchman?

A. The basic idea is that humans spawn on the big ship and have to defend it from the pirate zombies attacking from the smaller ship and the docks.

Q. The aesthetics are certainly carefully crafted for Infection. Do you think it would work well for any other gametypes?

A. It doesn’t really work as well. I have tried Slayer and SWAT, but both were not as fun. The map just doesn’t lend itself to other gametypes very well, but if you are looking for a sweet slayer/CTF map I suggest you check out my File Share. I have a remake of Sanctuary called Sanctum there that I’m proud of.

Q. We've definitely seen Sanctum.  It's great.  What kind of feedback have you been getting from other players? Are you going to ultimately submit this to Atlas?

A. The feedback has been tremendous (think 20+ friend requests a day tremendous). I can honestly say that I am blown away by the number of people who downloaded my map and say that they actually like it. I thought about it and I am actually in the process of remaking Flying Dutchman to make it smoother and to add a couple of tweaks, but alas Atlas does not accept infection variants. :(

Oops, that's correct, Infection maps aren't being solicited via ATLAS.  It's too bad that it doesn't work for FFA or Slayer, because the map is just pure win.  For those looking for a little more on Flying Dutchman, the link below will take you to a video of it in action.  It's a bit "framey" at times (hard drive arrays are expensive), but we'll pretend that it lends to the shock and horror of the zombie invasion.  Check it out.

YouTube - Pirates Gameplay on Flying Dutchman

If you want to get your hands on these three Map Variants (and a bunch of other sweet, custom content), they're available right now in Bungie Favorites.

We Out

That's it and that's all for us this week, folks.  We hope you get a ton of good games in on the Mythic Maps over the weekend.  We're super proud of this trio.  We can't wait to read your reactions to our latest labors of love and we're amped to see and play the Map Variants you create.

Stay safe and stay tuned.
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