Bungie Weekly Update: 03.05.10
Posted by urk at 3/5/2010 3:59 PM PST
Oh, it’s you. Hello and welcome to the post Halo: Reach multiplayer trailer Weekly Update. I know exactly what you want. You want me to scribe a painstakingly detailed tome demystifying all the big beats and fine minutiae you’ve just witnessed. You want layers peeled back. You want answers. You want the truth.

And I would love nothing more than to burp this Bungie Tupperware and let you get much more than a little whiff of our crazy sausage. I really would. I’ve been in your shoes. I know what it’s like to salivate over all that tasty looking jet pack through the lonely lens of the outsider’s Vaseline smeared looking glass. I want to give you more.

Were it so easy.
Step into My Office
“Hey,” Urk said, romantically leaning back in his luxurious office chair, “I totally think we should at least give the good natured members of our community some tasty tidbits in the update. They’ve been really patient. What do you think, Brian?”

“We’re dark, bro,” replied Brian darkly, a dark cloud of cloudy dark anger casting a dark shadowy cloud across his darkly furrowed brow.
“Well,” replied Urk meekly, “I can at least explain Headhunter, right?”

“Dark, bro!” Brian snapped sharply. Thunder crashed.

Urk gulped. “Maybe clear up the speculation surrounding Invasion?”

“Dark!” Brian roared, ropes of slick spittle lashing out from his angry, down-turned frown of anger.

Urk, silently and stoically, struggled to hold fast against the rising tide of his gently welling tears.

So, yeah. We’re dark. For now. All I can tell you is that sometime between now and May 3rd, we’ll systematically produce answers to a whole mess of pressing questions and concerns. You should definitely stay tuned if you want more.

And if you’ve yet to set eyes on our latest multiplayer trailer, you’ll find it embedded below. (If you already watched and rewatched, go ahead and hit it again. You know you want to.)

For the ultimate viewing experience, you should snag the highest quality stuff from our Reach project page or hit Xbox LIVE Marketplace. Comfortable couch, large High Definition television, surround sound system…you know the deal.

Halo: Reach Project Page - Multimedia
When I Was Your Age…
Oh yeah, though we’re not opening up just yet on the every last detail front, there is this:

Uphill, Both Ways (Multiplayer Madness Remix)!

We’ve had a lot of questions about the trailer’s soundtrack. Originally, C Paul scored “Uphill, Both Ways” for the Halo 3: ODST Soundtrack. If you have the disk (and you should), you’ll find it occupying the third slot inside the “Office of Naval Intelligence” Suite. This version’s unique, though. C Paul and Ivan Ives slathered on some extra thick bass and added some tasty new arrangements to bring the energy up to match the high intensity action in the trailer.

I think it’s pretty sweet. Snag it for yourself by clicking on the link below. Get somebody to turn your headphones up.

Uphill, Both Ways (Multiplayer Madness Remix)
Starting Small
Though the trailer’s reception has been really energizing, the Reach team isn’t resting on its laurels. Nope. They don’t even know what laurels are. Alpha went live this week to a few thousand fortunate folks and we’re watching with feverish focus and intent to make sure that everything continues to shape up just right as we plunge into Beta and beyond.

Maps are being explored, gunfire is being exchanged, and bugs are being filed and reviewed as we speak. Like this gem, for example:

Title: Teabagging / humiliation moves impossible

Type: Bug

Opened: 3/4/2010 8:53:13 AM

“The respawn camera flies back to the spawn location immediately after dying, so your opponents can't teabag / shoot / melee your body and have a possibility of you seeing it.”

Shishka’s Note:
There’s a bug in the Alpha regarding how brief the “death cam” focuses on the player’s body that is being resolved for Beta/Delta. As with previous Halos, players should have a couple seconds to look around and locate where they were shot from. The fringe benefit of this is that the enemy that killed you (or the nearest passerby) can ravish your helpless corpse as you bear witness from beyond the veil.

Ultimately, the Alpha experience will help make your Beta run that much better, so if you’re envious over the prospect of some folks getting in on the action a little bit early, keep in mind that they’re doing it all for you. Doesn’t help a bit, does it? Yeah, didn’t think it would.

At least they can’t teabag each other.
Big Timing Start
But having a solid build is great for more than just internal testing. On Wednesday night, Brian, Shishka, and I headed down into the city to chaperone eight Alpha builds so some Very Important People could get their heads systematically hunted by our terribly unmerciful and unkhaki’d threesome.

The beatings were so vicious that we eventually forced Shishka to invert his controls and roll with assassinations only. Didn’t help. Anyone and everyone who stepped up who also happened to be stuffed into a pair of impeccably pressed pair of slacks walked away like they’d been sitting on an overturned stool.

Okay, that’s not the whole truth and nothing but. Though Shishka did go all Eye of the Tiger Serious Business Face for the majority of our session, there were some players on hand who were already well-versed in Halo play. And while there’s a bit of a learning curve when you strap a jet pack on a player’s back and you’ve relocated some of the buttons they’ve committed to memory, we still saw our fair share of good, seasoned players. You’ll probably run into them in the public Beta come May.

Hopefully they won’t be out for revenge on account of our shameless, impromptu Humpday.
Gauntlet, Thrown Downeth
We’re not just looking to beat up on external newcomers, either. Soon, the time will come where we once again pit our own gaming prowess, not in trivial parlor games featuring such nonsensical accouterments as pings, pongs, and rubber-lined paddles, but in true tests of twitch skill and manly man prowess, meted out on gaming pads from the comfort of our own digs, sans short shorts and sweaty sweatbands.

But first, we must face our darkest and most cliché fears and throw down against ourselves. Enter the Two-Man Multiplayer Tournament.

Shishka helped get us in the mood.


There are playtests, and there are Playtests. A playtest demonstrates the strengths of a multiplayer map, reveals its weaknesses, and helps designers and artists improve the map to the benefit of everyone. A Playtest does all that as well, but also demonstrates the strength of a team, the weaknesses of the other team, and gives the winners something to gloat about, to the benefit of… Well, the winners.

Ladies and Gentlemen: Let’s Playtest. In honor of Harold’s application to the Vatican for the position of Patron Saint of Pacifism and Abstinence, I present to you:

The Halo Reach Two-Man Multiplayer Tournament”

Brian and I have put our dispute aside. Even if he refuses to allow me to supply you, dear fan, with all the insightful information you so desperately crave, we are still bound by the common cause and our community bro-ness.

Many teams will try to wrest sure and righteous victory from our Kung Fu Grip grasp, but none will pry loose what is rightfully ours. Know this: Team Sizzle will emerge victorious, if not in reality then at least in our hearts. And everybody knows that’s the most precious victory of all.

Editor’s Note: And remember, we control the flow of outbound information! – sketch

The tournament begins at the end of the month. Stay tuned for coverage of Team Sizzle’s pending domination.
Been There, Done That…
…get the t-shirt.

Head to the Bungie Store right now and you’ll discover that plenty of items on discount as part of a limited time offer through Wednesday, March 17th. If you’ve yet to drape your hot body in our cool apparel, now’s the time to get branded and show off your undying loyalty to our cause.

Buy Our T-shirts.
Gone Gamma Gone
Last week I tried to uncover the mysterious lapse in Bungie’s build progress. The missing link, Gamma, appears to be even more elusive than I initially thought. After resident Engineering Expert, Chris Butcher, read the update, he decided to take a whack at filling in the gaps:

“Back during the development of Marathon (I think it was Marathon 2? Don’t remember) there was a Gamma build and something bad happened to it. I think it got leaked, or something like that. I heard the story many years ago back when I was a Bungie fanboy. So when we were doing the public beta for Halo 2 I thought it would be funny for Marathon fans if we skipped Gamma out of superstition. And it’s stuck since then.”

But even he questioned his own tale. A few minutes later, a second email volley landed in my email bin.

“You might want to check facts on that one before you post it. I’ve been told since then that I was wrong about the Marathon Gamma. Jason would know.”

So, what does Jones have to say about it?

“That’s like ten thousand game developer years ago. A lot of crazy -blam!- happened. Used to be we only had powdered Gatorade to drink at the office, which you mixed with the tap water because it was so foul. But I don’t remember most of that now.



High rise buildings don’t have a 13th floor, Cheops still stands after four millennia, and Bungie’s games don’t ever go Gamma.
Adventures in VO Recording
News reaches us from the front in Los Angeles this week. And the news is good.

“Ladies and Gentlemen,

You may have found yourself saying, over the last week, “Hey, where are Marty and Lieber?” Well, we’ve been in Los Angeles, recording hours and hours of Voiceover for Reach’s Mission and Combat dialog with our final cast of actors.

We’ve got one more session this Sunday, but after that’s complete, we will have recorded dialog for every single combat dialog trooper in the game, with one single exception. That’s well over 7,500 lines of dialog in just over five days.

The best news is we’ve been feeding it all back up to Bungie after every session for editing, which is keeping up at an insane rate. At last report on Thursday, all the actors we had recorded up to that day were already in progress and almost done with editing, and by the end of the weekend, Jay and the boys expect to be able to have some portion of all the edited combat dialog integrated into the game.

We’ve also completed recording with our first full Covenant combat character this week, recording an entire Grunt in the Sangheili language. I’d share the content with you guys, but it hasn’t yet been designed and processed as it will eventually end up in the game. Suffice it to say, the Grunts will sound nice and alien with plenty of feral yips and growls mixed in with their Covenant Language lines. As a side result, Marty and I now have a new toast: ‘Pi Rutsu!’

This next week, Lee Wilson joins us as we record all the mission and combat dialog for the main story Spartan characters and our male/female Noble Six voices. Once that’s done, it’s just a few stragglers left up at Bungie’s internal voice booth, and all dialog recording for Reach will be complete and in the process of Editing, implementation, and Localization! Crazy!

We can’t wait to hear all this edited dialog finally being fired by the characters in the game, Reach is going to come to life in a whole new way once all this audio is integrated. Let the VO-pocalypse continue!

Pi Rutsu!,

Dave Lieber”
Emblem Results
Yesterday, I found Candland hunched over his desk in agony, trying desperately to zero in on just one winner for his Halo: Reach emblem contest. In between melodramatic sighs he flipped back and forth through the small pool of potentials, painstakingly revisiting his reasoning for each. His careful consideration only seemed to lead him deeper into his inner conflict and turmoil.
But he did what we needed him to do. He’s made his final selection. Sort of.

1st place: S. Kaplan

“Notes: I love the simplicity of this one, the way it feels like a true military insignia. I like how the dynamic changes when the secondary is toggled off while retaining a relevant image.”

2nd place: Sk Crisis

“Notes: I received several cone emblems, but this was by far the cleanest, most elegant design. This will look great over a blam background.”

3rd Place: K. LeBlanc

“Comments: Clean, simple and will probably look great on armor.”

If you submitted and didn’t win, suck it. Candland thinks your artwork stinks. You should give up on your dreams. See:

“I’m sure there will be many that wonder why I didn’t pick their emblem. Most were ruled out because they didn’t follow the instructions – 2 colors only. I just couldn’t use them. Some were way too detailed to work, some had odd proportions, and, yes, some were just plain ugly – like they were drawn in paint by a 5 year old with his left hand and a 1998 trackball mouse. When it all comes down to it though, it’s all personal opinion. I’m sure many will disagree. Oh well, life isn’t fair. Some of us have talent, and some don’t. I will never win a gold medal in women’s gymnastics either.”

If you see your emblem up there in lights, then you should expect to be getting an email from me shortly.

Great stuff all around. Impressive, even.
Folks Need Heroes
The final tally is in for our “Be a Hero” charity efforts. A check’s been cut and the money is on its way. The final total is downright staggering:

We already thanked you numerous times, but we’d be remiss not to deliver our thanks again. Thanks, Seventh Column! You’re as generous as you are cantankerous and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

You complete us.

We’d also like to thank our partner in charity, Sunrise Identity, for stepping up once again to help us make this as successful as possible. Good show.
Team Wang
To close out our own weekly show, feast your eyes on resident Tomfoolery Expert, Shiek, doing some incredibly important “research” for the top secret project our “other” team has been cranking away on. We’d like to tell you he’s doing work for the sake of science, but the pictorial evidence below clearly reveals that his work is being fueled by far more base motivations. Namely, fun and games.

Don’t even ask about the fistful of tissue.

Blame Stosh
Stosh has been working on some really cool stuff in his little den of digital design upstairs, but he still finds the time to dig up some sweet screenshots for your viewing pleasure. He loves you so.

See you next week.
Bungie Weekly Update: 06/10/2011 

Posted by urk at 6/10/2011 2:57 PM PDT

The night is always darkest...

Read Full Top Story

Bungie Weekly Update: 06/03/2011 

Posted by urk at 6/3/2011 1:50 PM PDT

It's not you, it's us.

Read Full Top Story

Bungie Weekly Update: 05/27/2011 

Posted by urk at 5/27/2011 1:19 PM PDT

We will show thee things which must be hereafter.

Read Full Top Story

Bungie Weekly Update: 05/06/2011 

Posted by urk at 5/6/2011 4:26 PM PDT

Seis de Mayo!

Read Full Top Story

Bungie Weekly Update: 04/29/2011 

Posted by urk at 4/29/2011 2:29 PM PDT

A Garden of Earthly Delights!

Read Full Top Story


  • Careers

    Help us achieve World Domination.

  • Breaking In

    Find out more about Bungie’s Top Men and Women.

  • Publications

    Insight into building games the Bungie way.

  • Community

    Juicy gossip from or about the Bungie Community.

  • FAQs and Info

    You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.