Bungie Weekly Update: 07/17/09
Posted by urk at 7/17/2009 3:47 PM PDT

Dear Harrison’s Mom,

It has come to our attention that the debauchery we put on display last week showcasing the Bungie Day festivities left you with a less than favorable impression of our studio and the people who work within its walls. Further, our glamorization of alcoholic beverages, reportedly imbibed in binge fashion, served to sour your personal opinion of us. For that, we are deeply sorry.

We tend to get carried away.

Please rest assured that regardless of the immaturity revealed in last week’s update, we do not condone the excessive consumption of alcohol. Such behavior often leads to man hugs, vomiting, karaoke, and in certain extreme cases (such as the one that we are discussing now), a latent and unshakable sense of overwhelming shame and embarrassment.

Please know that we drink only in moderation. The embellishments offered up with our words were only that – embellishments—and the Doctrine of the Mean is always adhered to inside the confines of our studio. The claims of supreme inebriation were part of a fabrication designed to belittle our opponents’ ineffectual efforts to spoil our sojourn into the Bungie vs. The World competition and we would never suggest than anyone should be proud of drinking themselves into a stupor in which they ultimately donned clothing suited for the opposite sex.

We recognize that words can be powerful things. They can often hold sway over young minds. I want to assure you, Harrison's mom, that your own words have not fallen upon deaf ears. Given that many in our readership could be considered highly impressionable, we would like to acknowledge that your concerns are legitimate and that our behavior was ill-advised. We regret that someone might have read our summation of the events that occurred this past Bungie Day and come away with the impression that we condone, promote, and even celebrate the excessive drinking of alcohol.

So, if you followed along with us at home and think you would like to also follow along in our footsteps, we ask that you please reconsider. Alcohol is not a toy, kids. It’s for trained professionals.

(In all seriousness, looking back our coverage did make it look like all we did was sat in a room and got supremely pie-faced. While we do enjoy a good slice of pie from time to time, we definitely didn’t take it anywhere near as far as we let on. Just a few drinks shared between some adult friends to celebrate the joyous occasion.  We'd also like to note that we're all very proud of Harrison.  He's all growed up and really coming into his own.  We can only imagine that you are so very proud of him.  We're pretty sure he's been hitting the gym on the regular too. He's getting bigger and stronger by the minute!)

While we’re on the subject of sage advice…


“I’ve been hacked!”

Actually, you’ve probably been socially engineered. After dropping a thousand new sets of Recon into the matchmaking mix, we’ve found our inboxes subjected to more than a few hastily crafted messages from panicked players freaking out over the fact that their accounts have been stolen. It’s a stinkin’ shame that some “people” would stoop so low to acquire something that’ll net them a pretty nasty ban and little to no notoriety. Still, in plenty of cases we’ve seen victims fall prey to some absurdly obvious stuff.

To wit:

Bungie will never ask you to supply any of your personal information in exchange for Recon. We won’t ask you for Microsoft Points, “one months,” or your mother’s maiden name. And we’re definitely not operating incognito, with flames extinguished under the cover of night, so you can be one hundred percent sure that the dude telling you he works for Bungie but just doesn’t want to tell anyone about it, doesn’t.

In the same pyrite vein, if another player offers to recover your account to their own Xbox 360 to help you achieve that elusive General’s wreath that’s been taunting you since September of 2007, and you willfully hand over your email address and password, the only thing you’re going to achieve is a sense of foolishness. Life lesson, unlocked. Zero points.

A good rule of thumb is to treat all messages you receive as suspect, no matter how harmless they may seem. Observe a small example of this phenomenon, from my own personal experience:

Urk’s Voicemail, 07/12/2009

My Brother (Caller): Can you say hi to Eric?
His Daughter, My Niece (Background): Hi, Eric!
Bro: Say hi to Uncle Eric.
Niece: Hi, Unco Eric!
Bro: What did Uncle Eric do? Did he tickle you?
Niece: Ya.
Bro: Do you remember that?
Niece: Ya.
Bro: Yeah. Uncle Eric is your friend, isn’t he?
Niece: Hi, Unco Eric!
Bro: Is Uncle Eric your friend?
Niece: Ya.
Bro: Yeah?
Niece: Daddy…I’m done.
Bro: Are you done pooping?
Niece: Ya.


This small literary allusion serves up a two-fold lesson: you should always suspect that the people contacting you have ulterior motives (even those who claim to be your friends) and you should always keep your personal information private. That birth date you’ve decided to display on your favorite message board? Some jerk can use it to aid in his impersonate of you. That player contacting you, telling you he’s with Bungie and wants to give you Recon if only you’ll hand over a one-month Xbox LIVE trial or a small pile of Microsoft Points? He’s just a low down dirty jerk with too many personal issues for us to cover in this space.

And really, these aren’t just valuable tips for those rocking Recon. If you’re bouncing around the World Wide Web on a regular basis, you should make it your business to keep all of your personal information and credentials as secret and safe as possible. As with all webs, there are creepy multi-legged things lurking in the peripheral waiting to feed on the hapless victims that happen to stumble into the snare.

Besides, all of this should be common sense by now. Don’t talk to strangers and definitely don’t call people while you or anyone else within arm’s length is using the bathroom. If you do run into a security issue with your Xbox LIVE account, contact their customer support agents at 1-800-4-MY-XBOX instead of sending a PM to your friend asking him to send a PM to Shishka to get it all sorted out.

Moving on.

Challenging Times

Look, we know that the lumps we doled out in the Bungie Day Playlist have been hard to take. You’re still nursing the bumps and bruises. You wanted to win and it’s no surprise to us that now you want a rematch more than anything in the world.

Unfortunately, you’re going to have to get over that bout of post-partum. The ass whoopin’ we delivered isn’t ever going to go away. And while we do have plans to bring the playlist itself back into your Halo 3 experience sometime in the near future, it won’t be set up as a mechanism to make it rain Recon. That magical weather machine’s time has passed. The clouds have dissipated and the sun is shining.

On the Road Again

If you’re looking to sample our wares, get some information about our titles, or you’re just a creepy stalker who likes to hang out in the back row of a crowd typing cryptic updates to your Twitter feed, you should mark your calendar and check out the upcoming events we'll be attending, outlined by Brian below.

"The final road to ODST is upon us and the Bungie promotion machine is about to kick into overdrive. We’re mobilizing our squad and preparing to drop into cities around the world in the name of community outreach and of course, the benjamins. Here’s the intel on a few of the hot spots you can find some Bungie peeps in the coming weeks, along with various opportunities to see and play ODST.

  • San Diego Comic-Con – I’ll be there along with ODST Design Director, Paul Bertone, offering hands-on Firefight play in the Microsoft booth all day on Thursday, 7/23. You can find us way in the back, booth #5225. Come by, check out the game, say hello and you may even get some swag out of us. Then on Saturday, 7/25, Paul will be participating in a Xbox 360 game development panel at 1:00 PM in room 6DE. He’ll be joined by a few other developers for some riveting discussion about making games for 360, moderated by world famous Major Nelson.
  • Gamescon (Cologne, Germany) – This massive game show is open the public and takes place from 8/20 through 8/23. A few Bungie people, dozens of stations of hands-on Firefight, German beer… what could be better?
  • Penny Arcade Expo (Seattle, WA) – PAX is back this year, running from 9/4 through 9/6, and should be bigger and better than ever. Sadly we won’t have our own booth but that doesn’t mean we won’t be representin’. There’s a very strong chance we’ll be hanging out in the Xbox booth and offering more hands-on ODST opportunities. In addition, members of the ODST development team will be part of a panel on Friday 9/4 from 3:30 to 4:30 where they will show off bits of the game, talk about development and field questions from the audience.

It’s highly likely that more stops will materialize for the road show between now and launch and once we have those details we’ll be sure to pass them along. If you live near San Diego, Cologne or Seattle, please stop by to say hello and get acquainted with ODST. In the meantime, the flood gates will be opening soon with a barrage of multimedia goodness headed your way."

Of course, as Brian alludes to we’ll have plenty more info on Bungie.net as we approach the release of Halo 3: ODST.  67 Days. Stay Tuned.

You Like Nuggets, Right?

We posted this in Ken Taya’s Broken In interview yesterday, but just in case you missed it, here it is again. Though it might not appear to be Halo-related, it’s actually a choice piece of environment art that Ken crafted for the Halo 3 multiplayer map, Longshore.

Click for Tons More Pixels

Some of you may have seen this artwork going back as last year – Ken was on hand at PAX ’08, signing prints of this particular image for those who waited in line to power up their memorabilia. If you couldn’t attend, or simply didn’t stand in line, now you have a nice digital copy.

Blame Stosh

Stosh uploaded some new stuff he found while scouring your File Shares. I’d say if it’s terrible, you have no one to blame but yourself, but as you may have observed, I’m not so big on the personal responsibility front. If it sucks, it’s totally and completely Stosh’s fault.

King of the Hill


Special thanks to Harrison's mom for coming correct and keeping us in check this week. The sun is out over Seattle and we’re kicking off to enjoy a frosty lemonade and to make some sound nutritional food choices. Make sure you do the same. See you next week.

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