Know Your Ninja - The Slayer

Tidying the place up, one slaying swing at a time.

The Average Joe contingent once again takes a brief backseat for a week as we introduce you to another one of our awesome Forum Ninjas.  If you want to learn a little about what makes The Slayer tick, what you can do to keep yourself off the "naughty" list, or whether or not that iceburn PM you fired off right after he revoked your posting privileges had any effect on his attitude, scroll down and get an eyeful.  Just make sure you shut them tight when you get to the part about Stosh.  Because, gross.

Q. Who are you and what do you do?

A. I am a junior in high school. When away from the computer, I try to dabble in the arts and get a bit rowdy with the friends. I am a pretty normal dude who enjoys driving his Mazda 3 and picking up the babes. You can usually catch me around town, pillaging and plundering.

When at school I attend the art academy, VADA. It’s a cool little thing, getting to stick with pretty much the same students for nearly every class (sounds boring, but when you are with the same people, things can get way rowdy). This year we have been focusing on photography and the use of Photoshop along with a lovely painting course. I am the suck at painting.

I now live in an apartment with my father, the apartment being right across from the school awesomely enough. (Not that I love living near the school, but that lunch breaks are now as easy as pie.) We both had to move into this fine establishment because of the California Tea Fire.  It ended up burning our lovely casa in the mountains to the ground. Aside from that mess, life could not be going any better. School has become more manageable for me, I have some wonderful friends, and a family that smells nice.

Q. What did you do with your time on before you took up Banhammer duty?

A. Before pulling the mighty hammer out of the stone, I was a dude posting in groups and occasionally in the Septagon.. You could catch me in the Bungie Jumpers, a group I would call home. I would also be heavily involved in the group For Carnage Apply Within, focusing on and playing some of Bungie’s older multiplayer games. I would also pal around with evilcam in the group WHTI (We Hate The Internet).

Q. Speaking of hating the Internet, do you ever want to just drop offline and take a break for a bit?

A. Less wanting, more doing. If the job of moderating ever turns out to be just a bit too hectic I can always stop, which very well does happen. It’s just as easy as logging out and venturing back a couple of hours/days later. Though this isn’t a sign of the forums getting to me, it is merely the sign of a man needing to take his occasional break.

Q. When you do take your occasional breaks, what other online places do you check out?

A. I venture into my online home, The Frozen Minority (Nearly the same group of dudes from the Bungie Jumpers). I also visit For Carnage Apply Within, the most welcoming group I am a part of. There are not many other sites that I visit really, though I do love the occasional #moap. #moap, pronounced moh app, is an incredible chat server where tons of wonky talk goes down.

Q. Once you've recharged, what compels you to return to

The nudes of stosh, mostly.

[Editor's Note: No.  Just, no. -urk]

I don’t know really, the place is just fun! The front page gets plenty of action that I get to witness. The groups are great, always being able to organize games with your friends. The stats on this site are amazing, always a fun thing to check out. There are just too many features on this website to ignore. I could never leave this place, it being my first online community of sorts. I have also met a few friends that I can safely say are, in actuality, friends.

Q. Aside from meeting a few friends, how has your view of the community changed during your tenure?

A. It hasn’t really. If anything, I simply see the moderators in a bit of a different light and am able to view the forums with a whole new perspective. When seeing a naughty thread/post I am now able to do something about it.  I like that. Though I suppose my times on the forums now have gotten a tad hectic, I am no longer on the forums just to post, but also to moderate. So, I suppose things have changed.

Q. Be honest, how awesome is it to swing the Banhammer and take care of those "naughty" posters?

A. It’s pretty damned awesome. It feels nice to have someone trust me in helping out the forums. It also feels very nice in knowing that I do have the ability to help the community and tidy the place up. Some may view the terrible PMs as a bad thing, but I look at it as being hilarious. Anyone over the Internet who has never met me before, but insists that I go play in traffic deserves my thanks, without you I would not be laughing nearly as hard every day.

Pretty awesome, indeed.  Big thanks to The Slayer for taking some time out to provide us with a few details about who he is and what he does when he's not banning fools and laughing at the response PM's.  Huge thanks for picking up the mantle of the Banhammer and keeping our forums clean.  Immeasurable admonishment for bringing up Stosh candids, even though we hope and pray such things do not exist in this world.  Considering everything else, we'll let it slide.

CommunitySpotlight 5/5/2009 11:14 AM PDT permalink

Community Spotlight - PraetoriaGuard

Fair play, good sportsmanship, and family values.

Read Full Top Story

CommunitySpotlight 4/29/2009 11:01 AM PDT

Average Joe - BigCountry1369

We're pretty sure it's a five second rule.

You might not recognize this week's Average Joe.  BigCountry1369 tends to spend the majority of his time inside the safe confines of Halo 3 in the Work PLace, a homegrown group of slackers that spend the most of their on-the-clock moments posting on the Internet.  They're getting paid to surf, so to speak.  (We kid, we kid.) 

And no worries about the familiarity issue - we're facilitators.  All you have to do to get to acquainted with the guy who'll eat fast food right off the floor is scroll and read.  You like to read, don't you?  Let's get started.

Q. Who are you and what do you do?

A. Hi.  My name is David (Dave, for short).  I’m 26 years old and what many would describe as a BUH-BUHM (Big Unusually Hairy But Unequivocally Handsome Man).  Sorry urk, wrong form.

[Editor's note: Gross. - urk]

My best friends just call me Country (along with most of my matchmaking compatriots). I work at a company that my best friend owns doing work for a few “they shall remain unnamed” cable companies in a number of cities across the US. The official title on my card is “Office -blam!-.”  I’ve got my hand in a lot of different pies.

For fun I like playing video games, long walks on the beach, watching chick flicks and trying not to cry, teaching myself how to video edit, and finding unique items on eBay to add to my extensive Barbie collection (if anyone has a bead on the 1994 Forrest Gump Special Edition Ken doll, please shoot me a PM).

On occasion, I also enjoy being a sarcastic ass.

Q. Oh, you aren't really looking for the '94 Gump?  Guess we'll take our dolls elsewhere, Country.  Since you're not here to do business, maybe we should chat a little about your gamertag.  Where did you drum it up?

A. Big Country originated from the job I had when I was sixteen working at Men’s Wearhouse. I was eating McDonald’s during break and dropped some fries on the ground. I enacted the relatively well known ten-second rule, picked up the fries from the floor, and ate them. An older co-worker saw that and said that I was “Big” and such a “Country Boy."   Then he just said he was going to start calling me Big Country.  It stuck. I now have "Big Country" tattooed on my right arm.

13 is well known as the “unlucky” number, but it has won me a decent chunk of coin in roulette and was my number during a few high school sports. 69 comes from…well, if I have to explain that then you should just know it is a fun number.

Q. When you're not playing roulette or otherwise having fun with numbers, what forums do you hang out in and what keeps you coming back to the community?

A. I’m really active on B.Net in the private group Halo 3 In The Workplace (H3ITWP). By really active I mean that’s where I spend ninety percent of my time. I love checking out Hawty McBloggy on a daily basis, there is always great fun being had there. I also haven’t found an article on the Tied The Leader blog that I haven’t liked.

The number of Halo videos available blows my mind, but I have always gravitated towards videos that do something in a unique way. There are a lot of areas of the Community that I have poked my nose into (RvB, blogging, etc.) and it’s not the fact that I didn’t like what I saw…I just have a full-time job and a serious girlfriend, so most of my free time is spent playing online and in our private group forum. 

There is definitely great work out there that I just haven’t had the time to look at.  Bungie has done an awesome job of providing the tools for the Community, and in turn the Community has responded with full creative force.

Q. What compels you to game with full force? Do you ever drag your friends and family online?

A. Simply put, I love video games. I’ve gone from playing Moon Patrol to Super Mario Bros. to Goldeneye to all the pieces of the Halo series.  It’s amazing to see the progress that games have made from generation to generation. I have a few friends that game, my brother has always been a computer guy and not a console gamer. I do have a co-worker that has turned me onto a number of games that I wouldn’t have tried myself and ended up liking. (Braid anyone?)

I love playing online and used to be very competitive (even though I wasn’t that good). If you hear profanity in proximity chat, I’m just swearing at myself…seriously! I used to be the guy that talked trash back if someone said something to me, but realized it was pointless and that I was just egging them on. If you have been lucky enough to match up against people that realize that sportsmanship still lives on (though we seem to be in the minority), there’s nothing like playing a hard fought game and offering up a “Good Game” afterward…even in defeat.

Q. What was the first Bungie title you got familiar with?

A. Like most others, Halo: CE is the Bungie title that started whittling away at my free time. My three best friends and I had literally moved to California with not much money and lived in a hotel for two and a half months while we were waiting to find a place that would rent to four nineteen year old guys.  While in the hotel we grew tired of the mini 19-inch crappy TV. So in our youthful wisdom, we all signed up for credit cards at Circuit City and pooled our collective credit together to buy this mammoth $2500 56” TV that we had delivered to our hotel room.

When we finally found a willing landlord and a townhouse, our family room had a TV in it and nothing else. We were bored with cable, went to Blockbuster and saw that the new Xbox was out, so we rented Madden, Halo: CE, and Fusion Frenzy. Needless to say, right after we returned the Xbox and the games we went back to Circuit City and bought an Xbox with Halo and three extra controllers.  The rest is history.

I don’t think I need to explain what made Halo a game that sucked me in.  If you’re reading this, you understand.  Halo is the game that does everything well while innovating the FPS genre. For that, I say “Thank you, Bungie and all the people that make it happen.”

Q. From hotels to Halo.  What about modern day?  Are you surprised at all by your level of community involvement?

A. To an extent…yes.

I was in a clan in Halo 2 and initially played Halo 3 with a number of my Halo 2 clan friends. As time went on my friends started playing other games and weren’t on as often, so I hopped around with randoms for a while. That was only cool for about two weeks, so my playtime diminished.

Then one week I went to post on the B.Net forums and saw the Halo 3 In The Work Place weekly Friday thread. It was the first thread I actually read all the way through and enjoyed, so I requested to join and my community involvement has only increased since then. I humbly say that I’m proud to currently be the CEO of H3ITWP and thank all of our group members for making it the best place on B.Net, IMHO. I have met a number of the members and have never played with a better group of people.

Q. Have you branched out and become involved in any other online communities?

A. Not sure if this counts but I also run a Ty Pennington Fan Club. I was introduced to the 4-chan random boards a few months ago and haven’t gone back because I’m still scared.

Q. Oops, mention of Ty Pennington means this interview has come to a close, Country.  There's only one thing left to say.  "Welcome home, Big Country.  Welcome home."  Wait, that's not right.  We meant to ask if you have any parting shots or shout outs you wanted to get in.

A. Halo 3 In The Work Place is the reason I’m here, still involved, and loving the Community. I could name and say something for just about everybody in the group.  I will instead opt to throw out a generic but heartfelt "thank you" to all members of the Workplace. I have to specifically name and comment on a few of them (few being a completely subjective term).  If I ever win an Oscar or a Grammy, this is where the band would start to play to tell me to shut up and get off the stage.

My GF – She puts up with me & gaming and loves me without question….I couldn’t ask for anything better. Love you babe!
Krewl Intent – I don’t care what anybody else says, I ate more at the buffet =P
Rhymetactics –A bromance that rivals Lance Armstrong & Matthew McConaughey (My most played with Halo 3 friend)
Piercingtiger – I can see the blue rock on Google Earth and where did the drunken messages go?!?
xTxVx Casualty – The man in the turret
dmg – No more video chat/pr0n/torrents = No more red bar ;)
masterchieffer1 – Send me a model truck man
db0l – I can haz laser??
Der – Have you set a wedding date with Sheila yet?
VENOM – The Work PLace founder and forever my homeslice
Liz / Froggie – My H3ITWP Angels
DH – I’m not in the club yet =P
JoeSki + Whiskey & Coke = Funnier than normal matchmaking
DaWhistlesGoWoo – I’m getting Whistle Tips on my car
Jared – For having gamertags that I don’t even want to type in public
Angel – Are those birds chirping?? Marathon all-night sessions FTW
??? ??? – For taking my sovereignty
HOSTILE – It took me two months to realize you were BANANA CLIPS
HITMAN – My best friend & boss
abacus – The most 1337 co-worker evar!
Knucks/Pat – Menudo FTW
Deej/Bullet/Los/Quanti/L/Tort – Good Game my friends
Fo – Hanging with Brangelina
Mike / Jebus / Pimpanator / Morpheus918 / The DADDYCAIN’s – It’s always been some good games
What the hell is A Ghuta???
Urk – +1
Bungie – I really just am an “Average Joe”…thanks for being you
The Community – You rock
To all those I have played and to those I will play….Good Game!

We hate to be the ones to play the music, but Country is correct, we're all out of time.  Thanks to Dave for dropping in and being open and honest about his disgusting food habits, his favorite forum haunts, and how he spends some of his own free time online.  If you happen to run into him and his band of merry workplacers online, make sure you tell 'em "good game," even if they do mop the floor with you or mutter curse words under their breath if they lose.

CommunitySpotlight 4/28/2009 10:51 AM PDT permalink

The Spartan I Project Favorites Updated

Helping provide a memorable, medal filled experience.

The Spartan I Project returns for a second week in our spotlight, bringing with them a whole new set of files for Bungie Favorites, some general answers that address their overall map design philosophy, and some suggestions for how the Forge could have been improved.  If you liked what you saw in week one, scroll down and get a second helping.

Q. What inspired your creations?

A. We wanted to create maps that were balanced, playable, and above all, fun! Halo 3 is a game meant for enjoyment and to be played with other people! When we set out to create maps to best represent our group, we decided to focus on creating maps that would be fun for everyone and provide a memorable experience.

Q. How long did they take to create?

A. The maps we created were made with love and pride, so most of the maps took a few days to complete. When we were all done with the creation process, the next step was to play test the maps to ensure that they were playable and enjoyable.

Q. What aspects took the longest to get right?

A. While play testing the maps, the biggest problem we ran into was playability with various game types. Most of the maps were great from the start, but there is always one slight imperfection if you look hard enough. After having multiple people review, sample, and play test our maps, we finally got everything worked out.

Q. How could The Forge be improved?

Some of the biggest needs or improvements for Forge are an Edit/Undo option and a Snatch/Attach tool. With an Edit/Undo option you would have the ability to correct those accidental errors such as deleting a crucial object or setting, and with a Snatch/Attach tool you would have the ability to properly arrange objects or items so that they are attached, snatched, or at a perpendicular angle for example. Both of these tools would help save time and improve on the quality of Forge creations.

Thanks once again to the members of The Spartan I Project for paving the way toward helping other players achieve accolades in Halo 3.  And thanks for the time and effort they put into compiling their list of favorites and answering some of our questions.  If you want to see what they have on offer, be our guest.  Everything is queued up and ready to go for this week's Bungie Favorites.

CommunitySpotlight 4/22/2009 11:09 AM PDT permalink

Know Your Ninja - Skibur

Focused on the cool stuff.

Know Your Ninja returns this week, with Forum Ninja, Skibur, appearing out of nowhere with blade and hammer safely sheathed.  Don't get too excited - his weapons may be stowed, but they can be drawn in a flash.  Those thinking about rushing into the forums in his absence to make a mess of things be warned, he's only let his guard down for our brief question and answer session.  Spam at your own risk.

What were we here for?  Oh, yes.  If you're interested in getting to know a little bit about the man behind the mask, then you've come to the right place.  Scroll down for a brief bio and some interesting factoids about one of our own Forum Ninjas.  You like factoids, don't you?

Q. Who are you and what do you do?

A. I’m a guy, in my early, girlfriend, two dogs, mac user, et cetera. I live in Australia.  I lived in Japan for a year on exchange straight after high school, and then for another six months while working at a ski resort. I go back every year to snowboard. 

Big Xbox and Halo fan. Some people may remember my "Halo stuff" collection that I posted up a while back. 

I quit my full time job at the beginning of this year to go to university and study Animation.  Best. Decision. Ever.  It’s so much fun. Sure, I have assignments coming out of my ears, but I’m learning a lot and enjoying every second of it!

Q. How did you enjoy your time on before you switched roles and took up the mantle of Forum Ninja?

A. Back when I first joined I used to just read up on all the crazy Halo 2 theories in New Mombasa. Then I left for a while. I got into glitches and tricks in Halo 2, so found a home over at HIH.  One day I realized that Halo 2 had been all tricked out (it wasn’t, but I’d seen enough), so I came back to to see what had been going on.

I don’t think I posted all that much. I just enjoyed reading. The Septagon became my home on

One day I read that Bungie was going to be at some Penny Arcade Expo or something.  My job that I had at the time was leaving me with a fair bit of spending money, so I thought, "why not!?," and jumped on a plane to Seattle.  I got to meet heaps of Bungie employees, moderators and community members. It was a great trip. Totally worth it.

Came back, had a PM from someone asking me to join some group, and then THE CHIEF 87 was no more.

Q. Do you ever want to just drop off, making your presence at "no more" (at least for a few brief moments)?

A. Well sometimes I have to for short amounts of time, due to these assignments…stupid assignments.  But otherwise, not really.  Real life does have priority, but I give what time I can.

Q. When you do take your short breaks, what other online spaces do you check into for rest and relaxation?

A. Well, I’m always tending to my villages in Tribal Wars. It’s a browser-based game I’m a little addicted to. I regularly check to see what craziness she has discovered that day.

I love my Mythic Members group here on The guys (and girl) in there are a lot of fun.

Q. Why do you keep coming back to for more?

  • Stupid people. I love a good laugh.
  • Smart people. I love a good read.
  • My groups.
  • I’m just addicted to this place.

Q. How has the time you've spent as a Forum Ninja changed how you view

A. It hasn’t changed that much. It’s a fun place.  I guess it would be the same for me as any other member who has been around for a while.  We get sick of seeing the same topics all the time, the same trolling tactics being tried, stupid memes being used way too much.  The one thing I don’t like is the amount of whining there is on the forums.

People are all “bad bad bad” instead of “good good good.” I wish people could focus more on all the cool stuff that and Halo has to offer, instead of all the negatives.  People need to get out of their own little world and see how good they have it.  That goes for and everything else.

Q. Be honest, how good does it feel to swing the Banhammer at the people trying those same trolling tactics time and time again?

A. It’s satisfying. I’m happy that I can do something about all the crap I come across.

Q. Any positive parting shots before you disappear into the shadows?

A. I’d like to say hi to everyone in the Mythic group. Hey to my GameMakers group. Hi HFCS, you’re cool too. ;)

Everyone who was playing those crazy custom games with me the other night. That was the most fun I have had on Halo 3 in a long time. Thanks!

Thanks Bungie.  I’ll be seeing you in two years for an interview.

Oh, that almost sounds like a threat.  Many a ninja have tried to infiltrate our compound.  Most quite unsuccessfully.  However, we always welcome new challengers.  We'll be waiting. 

Thanks to Skibur for taking a few moments to help everyone get a little more familiar.  And of course, thanks for keeping our forums clean.  You can swing our Banhammer anytime.  And no, that's not a euphemism.

CommunitySpotlight 4/21/2009 10:18 AM PDT permalink

Aesthetic Artist Spotlight: Dusty Boy T

No Marines were hurt while taking these screenshots...

...But they were blown to shreds.

Jdars brings back the Aesthetic Artist Spotlight for a second week of Halo 3 Screenshot goodness.  If you've ever wondered how Dusty Boy T does what he do when he do what he does, skip on over to HBO and check out the interview.  There's also more than a few examples of Dusty Boy T's work to satisfy those looking for eye candy.

Aesthetic Artist Spotlight: Dusty Boy T

CommunitySpotlight 4/17/2009 10:45 AM PDT permalink

Community Spotlight - The Spartan I Project

Spirit, courage, and snagging achievements.

Read Full Top Story

CommunitySpotlight 4/15/2009 11:02 AM PDT

Average Joe - IgnitedProphecy

Needs to do his homework.

From drinking milk to wearing out his welcome at the neighborhood Costco, the tale of IgnitedProphecy, also known as ArrivedLactose, is full of zany twists and turns.  Chances are you've already run into him if you spend any of your free time here at  If not, it's about time you became acquainted.  Read on to learn more about the man who relies on chance, happenstance, and a dictionary to choose his gamertag.

Q. Who are you and what do you do?

A. The names Mark, but most people know me by my tag, IgnitedProphecy. I’m a student at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) majoring in Aerospace Engineering. I also love Halo as if it were my unborn child. It’s the only reason I ever bought an Xbox.

As for my hobbies, they consist of surfing, driving, and hanging out in my friends garage - a garage that can only be described as man heaven.

Q. How was the milk delivered?  Or, what's with your original (and current) gamertag?

A. My first tag, ArrivedLactose, was a mixture of impatience and stupidity. I was fresh out of ideas, but luckily I had a gallon of milk to see me through. Then a few months into my gaming life, an old friend from Halo 2 came to me with a problem: he couldn’t think of a new tag. It was then that I reached for my trusty dictionary and decided that the only way to make a sweet tag was to find two random words and put them together, turning said words into a magical gamertag. It worked, and the fruits of our labor led to his new tag. Growing tired of my old name I did the same thing, with the same dictionary. Page 435, “Ignited” and page 718, “Prophecy.”

Q. Where do you hang out at when you're not paging through the dictionary and instead spending some time on

A. Mostly private groups, but I have been known to scout the public forums. I’m very selective when it comes to private groups, I need to be compelled to throw in my two cents. Not that everything I write is meaningful - that’s just crazy.

There was no question about Halo 3 In The Work Place, I had to join those freaks. I help run The Mishaps founded by my old buddy Mini Waz after his montages became so famous. Oh, and I can’t forget Black Water Ops.  That place is hoppin' with over 4,000 cool people. I joined BWO back in the day when an old friend Ironskull3016 invited me.

Q. Speaking of old friends, do you drag your family, friends, or coworkers into the online battlefield with you?  And what makes gaming so appealing to you?

A. Well my roommates don’t play much, and as for family, the only one that plays is my uncle who’s one of the big dogs at NASA.  As for compulsions, I’d have to say it is much better than differential equations. I don’t remember where I heard this but somewhere it says, “Kill Your Enemies, Kill Your Friend's Enemies, Kill Your Friends.” That cracked me up big time.

Q. We don't know what that means.  Um, what was the first Bungie game you played?

A. First time I heard of Halo was way back in the very early days of high school when someone told me to compare Master Chief to Samus Aran from Metroid Prime. I didn’t know who or what the Master Chief was at the time, and I wouldn’t know till years later in a special Costco warehouse. I walked in and saw this sweet game on display, so I went to try it out and was instantly hooked.  It was an addiction. 

I would try my hardest to go to Costco everyday to play Halo 2 so much that the membership checker at the front door knew me and the electronics guys would come over to see me play. Once the display was taken down I knew what I had to do. I had to put my social life on hold, save some money, and get myself an Xbox. Well I did, one thing led to another, and here I am now living on Halo 3. A friend of mine let me borrow his Halo 1 for PC years ago and I played it to death. (I also still have it.)

Q. Addiction, eh? Are you surprised by your level involvement?

A. Oh yes, very. I wasn’t much of a gamer until Halo ran headfirst into my life, grabbed me by the groin and made me play it over and over until now, where I can’t pry myself away to do homework. With such a great community backing the game up I honestly don’t plan on ever stopping.

Q. Are you involved with any other online communities outside of

A. Arm The Flag, The Mishaps, Machinima, ForgeHub, and much more. Everything Halo has to offer, I’ve tried. The MLG is 1337 faze. Even the HLG period. Don’t get me started on Rocket Race. Boy, do I love me some of that.

I can’t forget all of those crazy screenshots I’ve taken, here is a taste:

"Hey Guys!"
"Right On"

Q. Tasty. Wanna make a shout-out?

A. For sure, shout out to the bros and gals at H3ITWP and BWO. My best friends on LIVE Mini Waz, FierceCheckBook, Legendary Blue, CB What, CannonBallWilly, Generalocity, PunkPirateAFO, DarkTiest, and Hash. Also to some new friends Ode Tu Nu, YellowBrickRoad, Brownie, and anyone else I’ve missed. Oh, and I love you, Urk.

Editor's Note: It's not you, it's me. -Urk]

Congrats Insane54 on being one of the new administrators for Forgehub.

Extended List:

Egodude, ABigRedRocket3, Dark Navi, Gutsy Oscar, Tri Draggon, Joeski73, Achilles1108, FoMan123, Mr Milk, Duardooooo, BWO Iron, Cheerful Dub, dirty senor, evilcam, Immortal, guitarplyr123, chucklez, Flowers, Inharmony, Ivory, ScArReD, Major, Spyda, Verachi, Liz and anyone else I've missed.

And with quite an extensive (and extended) list of names, we wrap up our own digital display for the week.  Like Costco before us, we're taking IgnitedProphecy's display down.  But only in the figurative sense, of course.  He's free to stick around and shop our aisles anytime.  You should feel free to do the same.  Scroll back up, hit the discussion link, and stick around.

Thanks to IgnitedProphecy for the time, words, and interesting back story for this week's Average Joe, and as the subject suggests, don't forget to do your homework!

CommunitySpotlight 4/14/2009 10:43 AM PDT permalink

Mythic Community Content Spotlight

Our early favorites and a complimentary offer.

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CommunitySpotlightHalo 3 Mythic Map Pack 4/8/2009 2:09 PM PDT

Know Your Ninja - El Roboto

More machine than man now.

Tuesday's on have become the day we spotlight some of our sweet community players who throw down with you here on the site, or mix it up in some of the more prolific external community venues.  That's not going to change.  We'll still use the second day of the week to introduce you to our not-so-average Average Joe's.  But today, we're adding a new twist to the current program.

Starting this week, we'll begin shuffling in some brief interviews with the salmon-texted friends that make up the moderator crew.  You know 'em, you love 'em, you spam their Private Message inboxes when they ban you into the Stone Age for NO RAISON! 

Up first, El Robot.  He's not as verbose as some, but you'll have to forgive him - wielding the Banhammer may come with unintended side effects.  Scroll down to find out what in the world we're on about.

Q. Without lifting the mask, tell us who you are?

A. Just an Internet being with a multi-personality disorder who has a different face and name for every community I stumble across. As for my away time when I put my Banhammer down, it's to put on another mask and taking it to one of the many games I play constantly.

Q. What do you do with your time on when you're not running Banhammer duty?

A. I usually stop in to see if anything sticks out as interesting, or at least find topics to laugh at. Otherwise just a quick skim of topics here and there till I get bored.

Q. Laughter is the best medicine.  I read that once.  Boredom?  Not so much.  Do you ever feel like you want to drop a smoke bomb and take a break for a bit?

A. Nah, probably not for a long time. Most of my time isn't spent on in the first place, so I don't have a real reason to take a break.

Q. Since you're spending a lot of time at other online venues, mind cluing us in to the other online places you've been checking out?

A. Games, games, and more games. If I'm not on Halo 3 with some good friends, I'm more than likely playing Team Fortress 2. Most of the time though I'm head deep in Final Fantasy XI.  Maybe some of you folk out there who play as well might see me on the Ragnarok server.

Q. Other than signing on to do work on the sire, what keeps you coming back to for more?

A. Friends, and mostly to get a good laugh before I bring down the hammer.

Q. How has your view of the community changed during your time on the Moderator side of the fence?

A. Less over analyzing, more psych analyzing.

Q. Be honest, how awesome is it to swing the Banhammer?

A. Awesome enough that after dealing many fatal blows I can shrink back into the shadows without a knowledge that I did it.

Ah, short term memory loss.  We've heard of that effect before, but we've never run the proper test cases to see how prominent the symptoms can become in subjects.  I wouldn't worry too much, El Roboto.  Thanks for dropping by to introduce yourself.  And for everyone else, should you get caught in the effect of this Moderator's hammer, don't bother sending a Private Message to beg for forgiveness or to demand a review, he's not going to have any clue what you're on about.

CommunitySpotlight 4/7/2009 10:44 AM PDT permalink

Ready Up Live's Favorite Files Updated

Back up, not quite live, but definitely ready to go for week two.

Ready Up Live is back to spend their second week in the Community Spotlight's light that, uh, spots things.  This week Sarge525 offers a brief Q&A on his Map Variant Pong and it's companion Game Variant, Paddle.  Check it out.

Q. What inspired your creation?

A. I suppose the inspiration came from my experience with the original Pong. But I really made this because of the drive to do something unique to Halo, which is what I strive for in all my maps.

Q. How long did it take to create Pong?

A. Well timelines for maps really are hard to give. If you mean actual build time, then 10-12 hours, if you mean start date to finish date, then three weeks, and if you mean from the beginning of the concept to the post date, then two months. So, hopefully that fulfills your question.

Q. Not only the question, but our wildest dreams. Which aspect took the longest to get just right?

A. The one aspect that took up most the build time was the scoring/anti-cheating system. This part involved a lot of tweaking to prevent ball jams, teleporter breaks, and the like. But ultimately I managed to get it up to a highly respectable degree of efficiency.

Q. "Ball jams," eh?  We're really glad you worked those out.  What do you think we work out a little bit better on The Forge?

A. The one thing that could really save time in Forge would be a setting to turn on 90º/45º snapping for static (unmovable) items. No longer would one need to use guides or braces to make square corners or upright walls.

Ah, time savers.  We're always looking for those.  In fact, we could use one right now considering our time with Ready Up Live has come to a close.  But no worries, there website is still up and if you want something a bit more tangible than the memory of their time here, you can download the stuff they've uploaded to Bungie Favorites and play them any time you want.  Thanks to the RUL guys for being good sports.

CommunitySpotlight 4/2/2009 10:22 AM PDT permalink

Community Spotlight - Ready Up Live

Warning: Contains large amounts of win.

Read Full Top Story

CommunitySpotlight 3/25/2009 11:00 AM PDT

Average Joe - dazarobbo

"Full of oddities."

We didn't supply the subject line, "Full of oddities."  It was dazarobbo himself who penned the phrase, attaching it to his brief question and answer below to describe what you're about to read.  If you're not familiar with this popular patron of our very own forums, the mad scribblings below should get you formally introduced.  Enter the daz.

Q. Who are you and what do you do?

A. Let’s see, where to begin?  Ah, well as you know, my name here is dazarobbo. Out in the real world I go by the name of Daniel, but you can call me, daz, daza, or the-person-whose-name-no-one-can-ever-spell-right (remember, it’s one "z" and two "b"s)!  I live in Victoria, Australia (yep, the place with all the bushfires).

Right now I’m about to start (eeek! next week actually) my Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology at University, which should keep me occupied for the next few years. Hopefully it will allow me to gain some advantage when applying for a job too, but the main reason I’m going is because I like to learn, and keep learning about “stuff” in general. Maybe I’ll finally be able to figure out how to make a text box in VB! (Jokes! I can do that, but that’s pretty much about it).

Other than that, I thoroughly enjoy riding my trailbike* around (no major injuries apart from a few scraped and bloody elbows), which reminds me that I’ll have to go and get my motorbike license soon too. Similarly, driving my paddock-bombs* around in my backyard is a LOT of fun as well.

Rollin' on Dubs

This was my very first one. It was a 1967 Toyota Corolla.  No seat belts, no working lights, basically no steering. The only thing that did work properly on it was the horn. Beep-Beep! It has since passed on. Here’s another one that I affectionately laid claim to at some stage:

Phat Whip

P.S. Don’t put a car in neutral, place a brick on the accelerator and walk away. You’ll never get it to work again.

Besides the above Vehicular Manslaughter-esque driving and riding above, teaching myself to play guitar is something that keeps me extremely entertained and enthralled. I’ve never had a music lesson in my entire life and refuse offers for tuition simply because I’d rather figure things out for myself.  The idea of being able to do something without being taught is one of the things that keeps me going.

Song of the day: Norwegian Wood – The Beatles.

Backgammon and Chess would be my ‘other’ favourite things to do as well.

Q. Where did “dazarobbo” come from? And what’s with the whole “: )” thing?

A. It’s basically a mixture of two things, created nearly nine years ago when I signed up for Hotmail. You can probably guess where the first half comes from, but the latter comes from a certain geographical location that shall remain a mystery.

Now, as for the use of my username, pretty much any time you see it, you can guarantee that it’s me. I certainly use other pseudonyms on "the net," but rest assured that this is my primary one. Send me a message if you find one of them one day.

Ah yes, the “: )”. I think I’d better address that.  Actually nah. Keep guessing everyone. However, I will tell you this though.

The Rules

  1. Only one smiley per thread, not after each post.
  2. The smiley must be left after one blank line at the bottom, and must consist of a colon, space, and parenthesis.
  3. If something really is sad, then it gets a “: (“
  4. If something is funny enough for it to be done again, then it supersedes rule one.
  5. There are two types. One that’s left at the very bottom of a post after a blank line, or one that’s left in the body like this, : ). The one that’s left in the body indicates that whatever was said beforehand, wasn’t meant to be taken seriously.

Yep, so now you can stop sending me messages with just a smiley in them. You know who you are. : )

Q. Since they won't be sending messages, which forums should everyone check if they want to catch up with you?

A. As you can probably guess, is one that I frequent most often; sifting through the Halo 3, The Septagon, and occasionally The Flood forums will be where you find me the most.

Othwerwise, the and CNET forums are somewhat of an interest to me as well.

Q. Why are you interested in games?

A. I think it’s just the entertainment factor of games, plus the fact that it’s much more enjoyable to play games than to do your homework. (Don’t listen to me though! I’m a bad influence!)

Although I’ve never considered myself to be a "gamer," I’ve always showed an interest in them. The absolute very first video game I ever played was Bubsy on the SNES, and it got me hooked. I bought a whole bunch of games for the SNES too, including King Arthur’s World, Donkey Kong Country, and Super Metroid. Here’s the best part though: I still have the SNES and all the games I ever bought, and it still works.

Apart from console-based games, I’ve never really gotten into any PC/MAC-based games. Never played World of Warcraft either (Achronos will ban me for that). Through the years I managed to eventually buy a PS1 too, lots of fun was had with that. Time Crisis with the Light-Guns was always enjoyable.

Q. Don't worry, Achronos is too busy leveling up to ban you over this.  What was the first Bungie game you played?

A. As with many other people, it was Halo: Combat Evolved. For me, it was the use of the two thumbsticks for moving and looking. I’d never played a game like that before. The closest I’d come to something like it was Quake: II, but I only used the d-pad for movement and the R1, R2 buttons for “look-up, look-down”. Oh, what a pain that was. Plus, the visual stimuli in Halo: CE was simply amazing for its time.

I’d like to add right now that Halo: CE is the best Halo game in the series.

However, I did have a go at Marathon 2: Durandal not too long ago as a download from the Marketplace. Survival mode was fun. “Frog Blast the Vent Core.”

Q. Ah, yes.  We're not surprised you had some fun with Durandal.  Are you surprised by your level of community involvement?

A. Yep, sure am.  But what I’m more surprised about is the amount of people who recognise me. Seriously, I get messages on the Xbox from people asking if I work for Bungie.

Q. Do they ask you to 1v1 for Recon?  Wait.  You know what, don't answer that.  Anything else you want to add?

Here’s a list:

  • Hello to everyone in my ANZAC group.
  • Hello to everyone in my Index group.
  • Hello to everyone whose group I’m in.
  • Ford > Holden.
  • Whiskey & Coke > everything else.
  • Led Zeppelin + The Beatles > every other band.
  • I like my Steak well-done.
  • Tommy Emmanuel > every other guitarist.
  • Lasagna is the best food in the world.
  • The script guys are awesome.
  • The “Mythic” guys deserve a medal.


: )

* A paddock-bomb is a car that is no longer used on the road (due to whatever reasons), which has become somewhat of a “play-thing”.
* A trailbike is basically a dirt bike that you take out into the bush to ride along the trails. Quite bumpy.

Thanks for the time, words, and explanatory asterisks, daz.  We hope you enjoyed your time on the front page.  Thanks for not treating our forums as violently as you do your automobiles.  And for what it's worth, it's always the oddities that make this place the interesting space it is.  Thanks for hanging out with us.

: )

CommunitySpotlight 3/24/2009 10:54 AM PDT permalink

Halo 3 Wheelmen's Favorite Files Updated

Swinging back around to pick you up.

Engines still rumbling, the Halo 3 Wheelmen are back for another pass.  This week they're offering up thoughts on Forge in general and talking a little bit about what when into their custom map, Rolling Thunder, a variant designed to give the Hog a little more love.

Q. What inspired Speedway, aka Rolling Thunder?

A. I’ve seen a lot of racetrack maps using the Mongoose but not its older brother, the Warthog, which made me want to create a racetrack which would work with the Hog.

Q. How long did it take before it was ready for wheels?

A. The first version took a weekend to make, but I had to put in some extra hours ironing out the kinks in the previous version to make everything smooth so that it could work with the Mongoose too.

Q. What element took the longest amount of time to get just right?

A. I would have to say the main bridge where the Mancannons are placed. Trying to interlock everything was very difficult as it took multiple attempts to get everything level. I would say it was more tedious than anything, with ending and starting new rounds, as well as making scaffolding to hold those objects in place.

Q. How could The Forge be improved?

A. Death barriers would be pretty cool, as hinted at in the Sandbox interview. Now players can decide where the boundaries are. Players should be able to use portions of a map without having to construct walls or makeshift barriers that are fool proof. We would also like to see the shield doors from campaign which can be destroyed to let vehicles through.

Something which would also help would be the ability to freeze an object in the air and setting a fixed angle without the angle changing when you try and place it against another object. Interlocking is used a lot in the Forging world, so having the option to move another object into another would be great instead of ending and starting new rounds.

Speaking of rounds, looks like this one is over.  Another week, another awesome set of Bungie Favorites to check out, no "Interlocking" required.  You don't even have to save and quit.  If you want to see what the Halo 3 Wheelmen have to offer, all you need to do is queue their files for download, fire up Halo 3, and take their stuff for a spin.

CommunitySpotlight 3/18/2009 11:09 AM PDT permalink

Average Joe - Helveck

Major League Serious.

Today's Average Joe is pretty well known around these parts.  His work has been featured on our website more than once, and he's even been showcased in a more formal format, stowed away in the extras aboard the Halo 3 Legendary Edition Bonus Disc.  How cool is that?

If you want to learn more about Helveck, scroll down and get acquainted, he's got a lot on his mind.

Q. Who are you and what do you do?

A. Most of the folks around here know me as Helveck. Some don’t know me at all, which is odd, because, well, I’m kind of a big deal.  If you don’t know me by now, you’re obviously a sheltered hermit.  But I say that with love, obviously.

Currently I have two occupations. One would be a Security Guard Site Supervisor, which unfortunately does not allow Gravity Hammers on the property to be used along with daily enforcement. The other is By-law enforcement, which I do part-time. I can almost guarantee that most of you have been ticketed at one time or another in your life and cursed that By-law enforcement officer as he walked away chuckling at your misery.

We get yelled at, chased down, and argued with all the time - same as with my Security Job. It’s a pain in the rear sometimes, but I’m a pretty relaxed person usually willing to compromise with sensible people, which actually makes my job that much easier when the other person realizes I’m not just some idiot who is trying to make their life more difficult.

For years I’ve drawn and I still do to this day. I like to just sketch things with pencil most of the time, and one time I actually decided to pick up a paint brush and go to town with a concept I had in mind shortly after the Halo 3 E3 announcement. The painting of the Master Chief ended up on the Legendary Edition Bonus disc of Halo 3, which was probably one of the greatest honors I’ve had towards my artwork.  Ironically enough, it was also featured on the Bungie front page back in 2006, I believe.

Otherwise, I’ve always been a gamer.  I work about fifty-eight hours a week (hoping to cut that down soon).  Somehow, I still manage to lead a personal life, a social life, and a nerd life. Once a week I usually make note to stay up late and play some Halo 3 Matchmaking and Customs for a few hours.  It’s always a great time.

Q. We'll talk later about get-out-of-jail-free cards.  For now, how about you clue us into where you came up with your gamertag?

A. I came up with the name Helveck several years ago while I was writing a novel that still has not been finished, unfortunately. Regardless, the actual character I’d created was just something I was really fond of because it was basically the essence of all my creative juices and brainstorming mashed into one amazing character designed to be the epitome of badassery (made up words, FTW!).  I just figured it was only suitable to use the name as my tag, considering all the pwning of n00bz wit ma 4 shotz MLG BR I would be doing. Okay that’s a lie - I suck with the Battle Rifle. Sadface.

Q. When you're not busy four-shotting scrubs, where do you hang out online and how do you spend your spare time?

A. Typically, I’m here on at least once a day. Sometimes I just flip through a lot of the threads, read what others have to say, and see what insight people have to offer on Halo 3 or Bungie stuff in general. I’ve been lurking here since around 2002, because right after I beat Halo: Combat Evolved, I literally googled "Bungie," found this site, and have been coming here ever since.

Finally in 2006 when Bungie held its first art contest, I made an account to put in my submission. I didn’t post a lot after that, because at the time I had my own little nest in the interwebz over at as moderator for a site which no longer exists…because I was the moderator. So I spent most of my time delving into Halo-related topics there, then I came here, and oh yes, how could I forget HBO?! I found that site right around the same time as I did Bungie. I don’t post there as often but I visit once a day, because Louis Wu is a monster when it comes to keeping people up to date.

To be honest, Achronos and the Web Team know how crazy the forums can be. Sometimes we can make things a nightmare for them, but after settling in here for the past couple of years, I’ve really found it to be a unique place. I would take this site as my home for Halo 3 over any other.

In terms of what I prefer most out of the Community, such as fan art, montages, and so on, I’m really open to them all. I love watching people's montages, or machinima, and even just creeping art sites for Halo related art.  I considering myself a creative person, I suppose, so I’m extremely interested in every creative aspect the Community has to offer.

Q. So we know what you prefer in terms of community.  What about in terms of gaming?  Do you play with friends and family?

A. I always played video games as a kid, but after I beat Halo: Combat Evolved, I realized by that time it was more than just "fun."  It literally became a full time hobby and a passion of mine. I would spend hours playing on campaign, and I would never tire or get bored. Whereas any other game before then, or even now, cannot even come close to entertaining my brain for as long. I still game to this day because Bungie has continued to improve consistently throughout.  And every single sequel, add-on, or whatever, only draws me in that much more. So I guess in a very odd way, Bungie forces its own mighty hand on me and compels me to play their own game.  Is that even legal?

[Editor's Note: We will make it legal - urk]

When it comes to actually playing with other people I know, typically that makes Matchmaking a lot more fun. I usually party up with some of the super cool popular kids I met on these forums, and we usually always end up having a blast...or I end up going A.D.D and betraying everyone if we’re not having enough fun.  Hahaha!  

Another odd ritual I have is playing a custom every night with my buddy, RaDekk7. I met him online over a year ago and added him, but never played with him much. Then I posted in the forums here one time, quoted him saying "nice post," and I expanded on his words.  I realized afterward that he was the guy I’d randomly met in Matchmaking and added to my friends list! So, after awhile of playing we just became really good friends, and because he sucks serious cow udders, I 1v1 him every night to show him my ultimate and true MLS skillz. (For you BK’s who don’t know, MLS stands for Major League Serious. Yeah, it’s above MLG, no big deal.)

But really, he’s pretty slick, so it’s nice to have a fair challenge and take a game seriously, while at the same time have intelligent and interesting conversations.

Q. What was the first Bungie title you played?

A. The first Bungie title I played was Halo: Combat Evolved. When I was thirteen or fourteen, my older brother had seen how much I wanted an Xbox, and so for my birthday he got one for me.

I remember it clear as day, all wrapped up in a black garbage bag.  He handed it to me saying it was just some old clothes he was handing down to me. I ripped the black garbage bag open, and found the Xbox box inside. He tried to run with the façade that the clothes we just stuffed in the Xbox box, and told me not to get my hopes up. Regardless, I believe I began to urinate in excitement ever so slightly.


Anyway. I pulled out the box from the bag along with a controller and this odd looking game with this weird looking green robot dude on the front of the case, called “Halo.” "Do I get to shoot angels?" I’m not even kidding, that’s what I pictured!

Needless to say I was pumped, but I had no clue what to expect. One thing I remember very clearly was seeing Captain Keyes’ jaw actually move as he spoke, which was a graphical feat of epic proportions at that time, and very rare to see in a game. It was one of those thing that if you saw, you knew the game was bound to be good.

And oh yes, killing my first three grunts with my pistol – hella hilarious, and hella fun.

As I played on, the actual storyline is what sucked me in. The mystery of who the Master Chief was, and what the Halo’s were all about, the Covenant suddenly running scared, blood splatters on the wall. It just got better and better.

Q. Are you surprised by how involved you are with the Bungie Community?

A. Um, I really don’t know how to answer this question to be honest. I like to involve myself in the Community, and as many people as I can within it, because it’s really a lot of fun to be involved with something that surrounds one of your favorite passions or hobbies. But I will never say I’m a top dog. I post quite a bit around, and sometimes over at, and when I create something that is, well Halo related, I post it up or submit it places where other people from the Community can view it.

I have fan art stuff up on Deviant art (my favorite sketch), and I’ve had videos I’ve created that have been put up on here in the Bungie blog and on HBO. I don’t know how or why any of my material is deemed worthy, but I am forever grateful that the work I put into things because I enjoy it, and because its Halo related, it has the opportunity to be shown to the rest of the Community.

Q. Are you involved with other entertainment-related hangouts?

A. I’m not really involved with other places on the internet when it comes to gaming. is the only other site besides that I suggest every fan of Halo visit. I post there every now and then and the site itself has some great people on it. Louis Wu does a great job of organizing the site and constantly updating is front page so it seems as though there is always some new Halo-related material to look at every day.

Q. Anything you would like to add?

A. Anything I’d like to add, eh? Hm, well I don’t know if the guys even read this, but why the hell not? Thanks to all you hard working peeps over at Bungie, and thank you Urk for giving me the spotlight today and showing off some of my funtages.

A shout out to the guys over at the Intel-Agency! I know I’m never going to live THIS one down.

A super wicked awesome cool amazing thanks to RaDekk for making my Halo experience all the better. Cheers, buddy.

And to everyone in the Community, employees, mods, members, whoever…for making the past seven years of my life extremely interesting and super fun. I would have no clue where I would be right now in terms of my interests and hobbies if it weren’t for Bungie and the Community, but I can tell you for sure it probably wouldn’t have been as cool as this.


The man is nothing if not verbose.  Cheers, indeed.

Thanks for the time, the answers to our questions, and the praise, Helveck.  It's all very much appreciated.  We're still not sure what this HBO thing you keep mentioning is, but maybe we'll get bored one day and check it out.

CommunitySpotlight 3/17/2009 10:46 AM PDT permalink

Community Spotlight - Halo 3 Wheelmen

The wheels on the 'Hog go round and round.

Read Full Top Story

CommunitySpotlight 3/11/2009 11:09 AM PDT

Average Joe - LouieBlack

He drives the Hog.

Once again the subject of this week's Average Joe is anything but.  Have you noticed the theme yet?  Up today we have LouieBlack, white-knuckled with both hands on the Warthog steering wheel.  If you see this guy swing around the back of the base, roostertail of dirt spraying out from under his spinning wheels, chances are you're already dead.  And if you see him hanging out in our forums or over at, say hello, he's far less dangerous when he's rolling without his gunner.  If you're interested in what makes one of Halo 3's most prolific Warthog drivers push the pedal to the metal, check out the brief question and answer below.

Q. Who are you and what do you do?

A. Hey, my name is LouieBlack and I drive the Warthog (sometimes I feel like I'm standing up at an AA meeting when I say that).

I'm currently involved with a little corner of the interweb known as - it's pretty much a Warthog lover's nirvana. It also just happens to be the best place to learn how to take out Warthogs. Map walkthroughs, player spotlight interviews, videos, pictures...we've got it all. We even have a ranking system set up for both drivers and gunners and are currently building a system for “ground pounders.” Our goal is to be a Big Team Battle “one stop shop.”

Q. Sounds pretty spiritual.  So where did you drum up the gamertag?

A. My gamertag has been around long before the days of Xbox LIVE. Childhood friends used to call me Louie, 'cause I reminded them of the character from the show, "Life with Louie." I wasn't a big fan of the nickname at first, but it grew on me. The last name of my gamertag comes from my actual last name. It's not black, but it is a color. Louie Black was born. On a more personal note, I also used to do a little pro wrestling under the same alias. I only wrestled for a few months though, as there was way too much traveling involved.

Q. What forums do you travel to now that your time in no longer consumed with elbow drops and diving off the top rope?

A. sucks up most of my internet time, like morning biscuits suck up gravy. During those few moments in a day when I can sneak away from the site, I do enjoy visiting a few other stomping grounds. is where it all started, along with the Wheelman Group Forums, it’s still a once a day MUST!  I try to hit about once a week. I’ve been a fan of theirs since day one. I'm also a GGN Delegate over at Tied the Leader.

Q. Obviously, you're into the four-wheeled aspects of Halo, are there other areas of the community that you're interested in?

A. I really appreciate the video saving and picture taking aspect of Halo. It allows others to relive your excitement over and over again (sorry, Joe). Sharing what you love most is only a click away. It’s what keeps me playing Halo 3. Other games just feel “lacking” now.

Q. Sharing is caring.  Do you game with friends and family?

A. When Halo 3 was released I mainly played with personal friends. I loved getting in a Hog and taking map control uncontested. Once the wheelman medals started flowing, I started a thread to keep track of the best Warthog drivers in the game. It was mainly to keep myself competitive, to be honest. I’d keep track of the Top 20 drivers, documenting how many medals they’ve earned. I updated the list daily, making sure no one was nipping on my heels, trying to take the top spot.

Once I saw that so many others loved driving and collecting these addictive assist medals, my focus changed. It started to be about bringing these like-minded individuals together so that we could share war stories and any tips/tricks that may have been uncovered along the way. From these new “Hoggers” I filled my friends list to the brim. Now I find that I’d rather wait for a spot to open up on an existing team instead of going into match making solo.

Q. What was the first Bungie title you took for a spin?

A. I remember seeing Halo: CE for the first time while my brother-in-law played (thanks, Rich!). I was amazed at how well the first person shooter played. I was new to both the Xbox and the first person shooter, only playing Golden Eye for the Nintendo64 previously. He plugged in a second controller for me and we were off, laying waste to every alien in our path as we marched. Then it happened.

My first time driving a Warthog. Words can’t describe the feeling. I remember saying, "This game has an all-terrain vehicle with a mounted 50cal? How much does an Xbox cost?”

We finished the campaign several times over before we even went into custom matches. Playing each other 1v1 was entertaining, but when we hooked up two or three boxes and had friends over we really found out what makes Halo great. Endless hours of flag steals and suicide frags.  Those were the days.

Q. How about these days - are you surprised by your current level of community involvement?

A. Yeah, I am. I knew the tracking threads where mildly popular, but I could have never guessed it would have turned into a thriving community of unbelievably awesome people from every corner of the world. It’s quite humbling to be honest. It is pretty cool to be recognized in Matchmaking. 

Heh, on a related note: When I told my main gunner and good buddy Rabbit Lettuce about this Average Joe interview, he was quite shocked.

“Really!?! You?!?”

Thanks for that vote of confidence, Rabbit. Words hurt man!

Q. Silly Rabbit.  How about other non-Bungie related sites?  What do you check out when Halo isn't Hogging all of your online time away?

A. YouTube (cheap plug) and - one of our forum admins started this site for video and picture hosting. VERY useful!

We have quite a few communities we stay affiliated with, hit our front page up to view them all.

Q. YouTube, eh?  Never heard of 'em.  Anything you wanna add?

A. Sometimes the Warthog gets a bad reputation. Players tend to view it as a "n00b" weapon that takes little to no skill. This puts a huge smile on my face. The Warthog is a TEAM weapon. It’s most effective when two players work together on a common goal (feeding 50cal rounds to the masses). I see nothing "noobish" about it. It has however recently been "abused." Our community takes great pride in the power that the Hog gives to a team. We have a Code of Conduct in place that outlines what we feel makes a good team player. One of the things it points out is that holding a flag, or not attempting to arm the bomb to extend the playtime in-game is not cool. Players use this method to pad their stats (Wheelman medal boosting). This, in-turn points out how truly powerful the Hog can be. Don’t abuse her like that, she means too much to me.

Q. Wanna make a shout-out?

A. Yup. I'd like to take a moment to say a few thanks.

First I have to thank my wife. For suffering through all these years of late night Halo screaming, or as she would say ,"for putting up with all your 'stickie this' and 'BR that' horse -blam!-." - love ya, babe!

My first main gunner: TeXaS WoRDoR66 - He's a personal friend of mine that actually got me started on's forums. About a week after Halo 3's release, I drove him to an invincible. While he searched for threads explaining what an invincible was, he found some guys talking about earning wheelman medals. So, thanks Clint. This is kinda your fault. lol

XDG Deaf Smith - Competition is the spice of life, and our battle for the #1 in the early days forged a lasting friendship that makes Xbox LIVE worth the monthly charge. You’re a good man, Mr. Smitty.

Rabbit Lettuce - "The Gunner." Right about the time the “Top 20” threads started getting heavy traffic, TeXaS stopped playing Halo 3 for other games. This Rabbit guy submitted his name to be added on the drivers list (I think he made it in as 18th or something). I sent him a friend request and played a few games with him. I told him I needed someone to gun for me so I could continue to hold the #1 spot. He agreed to “switch seats" and the rest is Warthog history.

Certain things in life just make sense. 2+2=4, yellow + blue = green, & LouieBlack + Rabbit Lettuce in a Warthog = The Perfect Storm.

Zorn507R & brickfungus - For matching my drive and desire to share the joys of Hogging and having the web-skillz to take it to the next level.

LARSONnine - For being born, you sexy monster!!!! Oh, and making all the EPIC banners, rank icons, and sigs for everyone.

For picking up the slack, thanks go to:

F Bobby
H3WM Zer0 Vis
H3WM TsengMao
H3WM WillyPete
x black kn1ght

For all the good games, thanks go to:

Redbull 50TR
H3WM Pennywise

So yeah, after rattling off half my friends list I think the only other thanks need to go to Foman, urk, and the rest of the Bungie family for everything! And thanks to all the Halo 3 fans for signing on and playing. Keep on 'Hoggin!

Thanks also need to go to LouieBlack for hitting the brakes for a few brief moments and answering some of our questions.  We're just glad we caught up with him while the turret wasn't spinning.  Keep on 'Hogging, indeed.

CommunitySpotlight 3/10/2009 10:20 AM PDT permalink

Black Water Ops Favorite Files Updated

Get some more face to face time with BWO.

Black Water Ops is back for week two of they Community Spotlight.  Before you check out their latest Bungie Favorites ammunition resupply, read up on the creation of the BWO Headquarters, straight from the group's Commander-in-Chief, Ironskull.

Q. What inspired your creation, BWO Headquarters?

Gametype: BWO Headquarters

A. The BWO Headquarters was created for moderators to converge and talk "face to face" on how to improve aspects of the BWO organization. Discuss future contests as well as possible promotions.

There is a secret way to enter the HQ that only a true ODST Soldier would know, but we will leave it to you guys to find out and we hope you "Drop in" for yourself.

Remember, the map wasn't made for warfare, it's our Headquarters for meetings. Below are a few pictures of our Headquarters. We have everything from a prison, to weapons storage, vehicle storage as well as our all important conference room.

Here is the entrance into the BWO HQ once you figure out how to get inside. Head up the front main stairs for a quick mod meeting!

This is the Conference Room where the mods of BWO gather to conduct "business."

Q. How long did it take to create?

A. The BWO Headquarters took approximately four days of hard work to make it from scratch. This was only the second map I have ever forged and before I knew how to interlock objects, but I have a better understanding of Forge today and look to improve it once the new maps are released.

Q. What aspect took the longest to get right?

A. Actually working within the "budget" and confines that has been given to us. Having the ability to Forge on a limitless budget as well as a larger map would be a godsend.

Q. How could The Forge be improved?

A. I personally am excited to reply to this question. I am one that likes to pay attention to detail and trying to make the map "feel" right, sometimes even a form over function guy to a fault. Doing so with limited objects can make that very hard to do.

One thing I would like to see is more forgeable "decorative" objects, such as trees and rocks and more UNSC items. I think Bungie's Forge needs to modeled more like the Far Cry map editor if possible in the future. I would even enjoy buying a $60 FORGE map pack where you have access to possibly a 1,000 forgeable items and various blank canvases to build on. Almost like selling a completely other game for people like myself that enjoy to forge just as much as actually love to play Halo. You could create a map from scratch and save it to your hard drive and then be able to upload it into Halo for custom games and possibly that social "user created content" idea I had above.

A simpler request would be having the ability to turn gravity on or off. This would vastly aid in the placement of some or most objects. Being able to precisely align objects without struggling against the game's artificial gravity.

Thank you Bungie for giving BWO this great opportunity! It is greatly appreciated!

If you're looking for more decorative objects to beautify your Halo 3 online experience, fire up your Xbox 360 and check out what Black Water Ops has to offer for their second week of selections.  Bungie Favorites has now been updated.  Check 'em out.

CommunitySpotlight 3/4/2009 11:08 AM PST permalink

Average Joe - Predator5791

Gargoyles aren't always grotesque.

Average Joe sits down with a familiar face this week, snagging an interview with Predator5791.  If you don't recognize the name, then you haven't spent much time looking at Bungie Favorites or sorting our screenshot collection for "Best Rated."  This guy's screenshots are the stuff of legend.  If you're interested in learning a little bit about the man behind the awesome work, we've shot some questions his way designed to figure out what makes him tick.  Check out his answers below.

Q. Who are you and what do you do?

A. When not on the internet, people call me Dan. I'm eighteen years old and I live in Upstate New York. I am currently unemployed, hire me? I spend most of my time at my college, my major is Multimedia. When I am not sleeping in class, I 'm home glued to my Xbox or drawing. I love art, is it obvious? Once I am finished with college I plan on moving down to Seattle so that I my show a certain company my portfolio.

Q. Microsoft, I bet.  Why did you pick your current gamertag?

A. Ah my gamertag, well a couple of years ago I meet a nice fellow by the name of Chris Hansen. He asked me if I liked the "Predator" movies. I replied with, "Yes, I love them. My favorite Predator movie was the second one." After that day I decided to make my gamertag "Predator5791".

As for the numbers, they mean nothing. They are just a random assortment of numbers.

Q. What forums do you hang out in when you're not chatting in the kitchen with Chris Hansen?

A. Of course I stalk, but I usually stay in the Community Forum. Often I might lurk in the Halo or Flood Forums but I don't post there very often. The FIle Forums was my place until it was transformed into something so beautiful that words cannot describe. If I am not on directing all the private messages I get about Recon to FoMan, I am at or Hawty Mcbloggy reading up on some blogs.

Q. Why did you choose video games as an outlet to express your creativity?

A. I have been gaming ever since I was in diapers. I was never much of a computer gamer, although I loved "The Sims". Before Xbox LIVE I would have all of my friends over and we would host massive LAN parties. Those were the good days, pizza boxes stacked to the ceiling, screen cheating and constant yelling. This does not mean I don't love Xbox LIVE. Were it not for online gaming I would have never been involved in such a kick ass community.

Q. What was the first Bungie title you ever screen-peaked at?

A. The first Bungie title I ever played was Halo. I am a little disappointed that I did not discover Bungie earlier. I know I would have had a blast with Oni. I discovered Halo at my cousin's house. They had the Xbox, I had the Nintendo64.  Needless to say, I spent most of my time at their house until I got my own. Halo was also the first game I played for the Xbox. I started playing it and to this day I am still hooked. I can honestly say that I have never been into Halo as much as I am now. I was one of the nerds in the front of the line during the Halo 3 midnight launch.

Q. Are you surprised by that level of involvement?

A. I can say that I never expected that I would be in the position I am now. My involvement in the community cannot compare to how much the community has given me. This is the first place on the internet that I called "home". Although I had made an account here during the time of Halo 2, it was only until the release of Halo 3 did I start becoming an active member. I, like most people, just made an account for the Seventh Column symbol, oblivious to how awesome this site and it's community really is.

It is an honor to be a part of such an incredible community. I have meet some of the best people. Playing with people in the community like Achilles, Obi, Duardo, Immortal, FoMan, Ryan, bs angel and Bungie themselves...a guy couldn't ask for more. These are some of my greatest friends, I <3 this community. I couldn't see myself more involved with any other.

Q. So, you're not involved with any other online communities?

A. It would seem that every online community I am a part of, is connected to I am extremely active down at That is the only other community I'm involved in.

Q. Anything you would like to add?

A. Well seeing as how my good friend Obi Wan Stevobi decided to tell everyone a certain story in a recent blog, I think I owe him some pay back. Sadly there are no embarrassing stories I have about this man. I will have to seek my revenge by driving him off the cliff on Standoff during Matchmaking...again.

Big thanks to Dan for this week's question and answer and for his contributions to our screenshot gallery.  The set of files we have to offer are made much better due to his submissions and influence.  Mad props.  We're still in awe looking back over the body of work Predator5791 was able to create.

CommunitySpotlight 3/3/2009 10:33 AM PST permalink

Community Spotlight - Black Water Ops

No need to test these waters.

Read Full Top Story

CommunitySpotlight 2/25/2009 11:01 AM PST

Average Joe - Obi Wan Stevobi

He wants you to wet yourself in fear.

This week's Average Joe came highly recommended.  And his interview fails to disappoint.  Scroll down to learn more about the man who makes his online home, and keep going to get your fill of some of the more absurd moments he's experienced with some other Bungie notables.

Q. Who are you and what do you do?

A. Well, my GT is Obi Wan Stevobi. My name, as you likely guessed, is Steve. I'm dangerously close to twenty-eight years old. I'm married with no kids and three dogs. I live in Northern Minnesota, where we spend half the year in sub-zero temps and three feet of snow, so gaming is a very warm and convenient hobby for me. During the three months of summer, I like to make it out fishing when I can, and play Airsoft every Sunday.

My official job title is R&D Applications Programmer. I won't bore you with what that entails.

Q. Minnesota, eh?  See what I did there with the "eh" and whatnot?  No?  Uh, new subject.  Explain your tag?

A. Well, being the nerd that I am, I thought that a super cool Star Wars Jedi name would strike fear into the hearts of my online foes. Obi Wan Kenobi was taken (huge shock, I know!), so I just personalized it a bit. Unfortunately, no one has wet themselves in fear in any of the pregame lobbies. I recently upgraded myself (with a lot of help from friends with big backpacks) to Force Colonel. I thought the rank would make make me stronger with the force, but I have yet to master my new powers.

Q. Don't give up, Steve.  If you end your training now - if you choose the quick and easy path - as boosters do, you will become an agent of evil.  When you're not facing your fears in the swamps of matchmaking, where could other players find you?

A. I'm pretty much a junkie and spend time in most of the forums here, trolling BerserkerBarage whenever I sense Foman isn't around. I also frequent Halocharts and HawtyMcBloggy, though I don't jump in and post as much there.

At first, I came here just looking to get that cool logo next to my gamertag in Halo 2. Then I noticed the website kept track of how miserable I was doing, which was pretty cool. As playlists started changing and maps started coming out, I started coming more often to see what the news was. By the time Halo 3 was announced, I started getting into posting and groups and generally enjoying the buildup and anticipation.

When Halo 3 finally came out, the first thing I focused on was theater and screenshots. I've always dabbled a bit in trying to be artistic, and Theater kind of gave me a medium to play with. There were always threads popping up with people's Halo 3 wallpapers and creations, so I got into editing screenshots and making annoying threads. I made lots of wallpapers, and got into a lot of what others were doing. I became a fan of Halcylon, CAUS7IC, SniperStealth, Hobogrunt, Predator, and others.

I started talking to them via PM, and started getting involved with artistic groups. When stosh announced he needed skins, wallpapers, and themes for the site is when I really got heavily into fan art. I founded a group dedicated to producing avatars and skins. We bombarded stosh's inbox mercilessly. Most of the avatars and skins added during the last couple updates came from us. stosh also attempted to hold a monthly wallpaper contest in foto, promising prizes. Our group ramped up efforts and again bombarded stosh's inbox. So much so he had to create a separate entry page over at Unfortunately, the first month of his contest took 3 months to judge. PFK, CAUS7IC, and myself (all from our group) were the three winners. A second "month" of the contest never happened and prizes were never awarded, I blame stosh.

But during that time, I made a lot of really cool friends in the community. As we played together online, I made even more. A very interesting (to say the least) pair I ended up befriending was Achilles1108 and Impuri7y. Their Halo video work is the best I've ever seen, which made me get a capture card and start getting into making videos. I'm still a novice, but I've been having a lot of fun with it. I have a YouTube channel up and running.

Q. So, why gaming?

A. Well, I grew up with gaming and setting up a LAN to play Command and Conquer and modding old RTS games is what got me interested in computers to begin with. I pretty much owe my career in programming to my passion for gaming. That passion continues today, any time I spend gaming I consider "interface research".

I do have several coworkers and friends that play, and I've even brought some of them into the Bungie community. My oldest Halo friend is I Am the Dark, who I have real life ties to. We used to play the heck out of snipers and SWAT in Halo 2, though we were never really good at it.

Q. What was the first Bungie title you played?

A. The first Bungie title I played was Halo. I never had a Mac, so I missed out on much of Bungie's early days. I had shifted to mostly playing PC RTS games, and I wasn't an early adopter of the Xbox. A friend sold his to me with all the games for like $75. The first game I played was Halo because everyone seemed to know about it.

I popped in the Halo disc and never looked back. I was then found waiting in line for each subsequent Halo series release. I don't know what got to me so hooked. The first think I noticed was the sounds. The music and effects drew you right in. The story was awesome, the flood was creepy, and the gameplay was just plain old fun.

What really, really hooked me is the people I met up with through the community.

Q. Are you surprised by how hooked into the community you are?

A. No, not really, especially not by comparison to the previously featured gamers. I'm surprised someone thinks I'm that involved. This is where my friends are, so this is where I hang out.

I will say I am surprised at the amount the community has given me. People I've never talked to comment on my wallpapers, send me Friend Requests, and some of the really good artists around the site even make stuff for me. Even before I was notified of this Average Joe honor, sniperstealth was whipping up this epic pic of me.  I've had the pleasure of hanging out with a lot of the best the community has to offer, and even Bungie themselves. They've also been incredibly good to me over at halocharts.

I've had the chance to meet and have fun with guys I respect as both entertainment icons and industry professionals. I have new friends I can reach pretty much whenever I want or need. I have a lot of people that I've come to know and enjoy a lot, real friends. Quite frankly, I have not put in a fraction of the effort into the community as it has put into me.

Q. Are you putting in effort at any other online communities?

A. I am an occasional poster at, and frequent the games section at slashdot. That's about it.

Well, I did have a brief stay at the Nintendo forums, but we'll just leave it at that.

Q. Wanna make a shout-out?

A. Certainly. I have a full friends list of people that make playing Halo and hanging around the community fun. I can't very well name them all, but you guys and girls out there know who you are. You guys and girls are the best group of friends a person could hope to have. Thanks for the good times, there are more to come. And of course, thanks to Bungie for making it all happen, and the treatment you have given me and others in the community.

I do have to give a very special shout-out to my three most faithful teammates. immortal eNeME, Hawkeye543, and Achilles1108. Those guys should be in the spotlight, they are infinitely more worthy than myself.

Last but not least, I have to say hi to my lovely wife, Heather, who has shown infinite patience with my "research." My family at home, dealing with a lot. My nephew Miles, the next MLG superstar. My dad, who has given me all the tools in life to succeed, and who has been fighting like a true pro this last year. I love you guys.

Ah, the love.  We can feel it.  Hope you can too, Steve.  Thanks for dropping in to answer some of our questions and thanks for the kind words.  For those wanting more outta Obi Wan Stevobi, he's obliged and provided some fun stories from his time on and his romps in Matchmaking.  If you came for the interview, why not stay for the lols, and scroll down for the Director's Cut, with commentary from Steve himself.

Meeting Achronos

I was very accustomed to seeing Bungie employees floating around in friends' parties, but had never actually met or played with one. One night while playing with Achilles, Achronos popped into the party. We filled the room with 16 guys and headed into Big Team. Not wanting to be a spaz and freak out, I didn't really say much. Neither did Achronos. In fact, he didn't say anything in the pregame. The first game, I got split and was on the other team. After that, game, he was still silent in the pre-game. Then next game, I was on his team, but he had a call and went afk the entire time. He didn't return until the third game, when he was on the other team again.

The game was a very close game of CTF on Standoff. Unfortunately, they were up 1-0 in the closing minutes of the game. Curiously enough, I hadn't seen the flaming head all game. In desperation, our team made one final push for the flag. After clearing their rocks and most their defenders, three of us were clear to rush the flag. We went in single file, I was last in line. To my horror, I saw both the tags in front of me turn into red Xs. Not having a choice, I rushed in to see a flaming head standing on top of the flag with the shotgun. Like the two before me, I ate buckshot and laid down for a nap. As the respawn timer started, I heard a voice over proximity proudly proclaim "Triple Kill....Bi7ches!". And that was my introduction to Achronos.

Fun With Messages

One night after playing, I sat around in the lobby talking to Achilles and Predator for hours. As 3:00 AM rolled around, the tiredness started to affect us in weird ways. Seeing that Achronos was playing with Foman, evilcam, and their crew, and they were all still up too, we decided that we would pester them with messages. It started with Achilles saying "lololololol" into the mic until you could here him about to pass out. Then predator with a Wilford Brimley diabetes commercial. Then Achilles spammed them with a barrel roll remix. Then, Achilles sent them a voice message entitled "A minute in the life of Helen Keller". It was thirty seconds of recorded silence. To that, Achronos replied "KEEP IT CLEAN", during the height of the SI's countdown to the ODST announcement. It was followed shortly by another message "What, are you guys drunk?"

Meet Predator

One night while playing, I get a message from Predator. It read, "M2AF: Im drunk". I sent him an invite, and sure enough, he was right. We played a couple games, but all we got from him is incomprehensible mumbling. He is a highly recognizable person, and this really confused the opposing team in the pregame lobby. Around the third or fourth game, He started running in tiny circles, looking straight up into the sky. Shortly following was the sound of snoring over the mic. We let him go for a couple games like that and betrayed and tea-bagged the crap out of him. When his controller shut off, our fun was over and we had to boot him.

I'm Not Playing This

While playing Big Team Battle with Foman, we had that glitch occur where it splits people off into a bunch of tiny games. Foman was split off into a game all by himself. After our game was over, he was warped back into our post game lobby. While discussing what happened, he told us he got put into his own game by himself and he won as soon as it started. We asked him if he got Sandtrap just like we did. He said he did, then we told him we vetoed, got Valhalla and won. He said, he had done the same. Now, if you know Foman, he's a sharp guy. Now think of him sitting in a lobby all by himself, vetoing games he's not going to play anyway.

You Guys Suck!

We've played with Achronos quite a bit lately, and if you've seen any of our videos, you'd know we tend to bump into him a lot with our warthogs. In fact, the game loves to choose to always spawn him in front of a speeding friendly truck. This weekend, he finally started to take it personally. One of us accidentally crushed him as he was bringing the laser on Valhalla back to base. He finally broke down and started frantically fumbling for words for words, "dammit!...I had laser!...why would you?...YOU GUYS SUCK AT DRIVING!"

CommunitySpotlight 2/24/2009 10:45 AM PST permalink

Facility B5D's Favorite Files Updated

Raising the soft barrier.

Fresh off their first week of Bungie Favorites, Facility B5D returns to our front page with reinforcements.  Into the fold this week is Mini Waz, the creator of Highway B.  If you want to learn more about what influenced the design and what Mini Waz thinks should be incorporated into Forge, the quick question and answer is on your six.

Q. What inspired your creation, Highway B?

A. I started to build this map from an idea i had drawn out. I tend to sketch out base structures or key areas of the map before i actually make them so that i know where to start. I started making the map and it just didn't feel right so i soon scrapped the idea and came up with the thought that a giant arch which stretched across the map would be really cool and different. I had the idea of people being able to go over the top as well as through the structure.

Q. After the sketch-up, how long did it take to finish up?

A. This map took me around seven to eight hours of forging which equates to roughly two days. That includes everything from all of the objects, weapons, spawn points, spawn areas and objectives. I then test played the map with a bunch of friends and got advice on what needed to be changed. I fixed up the problems and continued to test play until everything seemed to play the way i wanted it to.

Q. Hmm, fuzzy math.  What aspect took the longest to get right?

A. Surprisingly, it wasn't the arching centre piece. One of the side wall structures looked very dull and so i basically remade the whole structure and got it as clean as possible. That took several hours and it was actually remade twice. Balancing the weapons on the map actually took a long time as well. After a month of testing though, i was pretty confident that no more improvements could be made for the time being.

Q. Speaking of improvements, how could The Forge be made better?

A. One of the main things that i think is missing is the ability to set a play area. You could set several points around your map as though your placing down a hill point, once you have looped all of the points back to the original point, the area inside would be the playable area. Anyone who strays outside would simply get killed by the guardians.

Another thought was to have a soft barrier which would prevent people from jumping out of the top of your maps. The way this could work would be that you are given a height option which lets you raise or lower the soft barrier. It would eliminate the need to use lots of objects to stop people jumping out of your maps.

Well, looks like Mini Waz wandered out through our own soft barrier.  Time's up for Facility B5D.  But not to worry, their favorite files have just been uploaded to Bungie Favorites, ready for you to browse and download.

CommunitySpotlight 2/18/2009 1:21 PM PST permalink

Average Joe - DeepCee

Football, free internet, and animated aspirations.

If you've spent any amount of time over at Hawty McBloggy's saucy little, um, McBlog, you've no doubt run into DeepCee, either by way of his comic, Chronicles of ODS Steve, or simply by way of the community.  If not, you should hit the inline links above and get yourself briefed before you drop feet first into the interview below.  Go on, we'll wait for you.  When you're ready, come on back and dig right in.

Back so soon?  Good.  Now let's spend of few minutes getting to know a little bit more about the man behind the Chronicles of ODS Steve.

Q. Who are you and what do you do?

A. My name's Deepak and I'm from southern India. I'm an aspiring animator trying to work my way up to being involved in something as big as Halo someday.

When I'm not busy trying to reach that goal I'm working part time in a gaming lounge. Work and class usually keeps me busy, but in the free time that I do get, I'm either drawing or catching up on the latest gaming news. I also build a lot of scale models. Mostly from kits. I'm not that creative to build them from scratch.

My other passion would be football, or soccer, as you call it. I'm a big supporter of Manchester United.

Q. Where did you tag come from?  Is it some kind of 1337 speak you picked up in the lounge?

A. I wish I had an interesting story for this but it's pretty simple. Some of my friends call me Deep, and "C" is the first letter of my last name. DeepCee was born. I don't have a gamertag as I am yet to get an Xbox 360 of my own. Most of my Xbox LIVE gaming is done from the store I work at where I have access to an Xbox 360, Halo 3 and free internet.

I'm pretty new to the wonderful world that is Halo 3 matchmaking. I'm loving every part of it.

Q. Free internet, eh? What sites are you checking out in your "free" time?

A. I used to be a regular on the Bungie forums, though I never posted much. Now I usually drop by to check the Bungie Blog and the Weekly Updates. I do tend to check the job openings page now and then too. :)

I don't remember how I discovered HBO, but I have found a lot of wonderful sites like Ascendant Justice and Hawty Mcbloggy through HBO. I go to the HBO forums pretty regularly. I was always a visitor rather than being directly involved in the discussions over there. You can usually find me on HBO or on Hawty Mcbloggy.

I started getting more interested in the community around the same time I discovered Halo Machinima, namely Red vs. Blue. I remember the feature posted on Bungie way back about the series and I just had to check it out. I was hooked and that lead to me slowly discovering the wonderful world that is the Halo community. I don't think I can pinpoint a specific area of the community that draws me in. It's just a melting pot of awesome.

Q. Is it that melting pot of awesome that compels you to game?

A. My love for gaming started at a very young age. I remember sitting for hours with my Atari 2600 and playing Berzerk. That was one of my favourite games. Other fond memories include me sitting and watching my uncle play the original Prince Of Persia on the PC. I wasn't very coordinated to play that game back then, so I preferred to watch instead.

Coming to more recent times. There was plenty of fun to be had with my friends playing splitscreen on Halo 2. Rockets on Coagulation or Zanzibar was a personal favourite of ours. At work it's a different story. I'm surrounded by Gears Of War 2 fans, so I sometimes have no choice but to play with them when I would rather be playing Halo 3 to be honest.

That's what I love about games. It could be a personal experience or you could share in the fun with your friends. That's what has kept me gaming for all these years.

Q. Gears of Huh?  Let's get back to talking about us.  What was the first Bungie title you played?

A. The first Bungie title I played was Halo: Combat Evolved. I played it on a PC. I remember reading about it sometime in 2002 when it was originally released on the Xbox. This new game where you play a super soldier and you fight aliens which also introduced very interesting vehicular combat, as the magazine put it. I was intrigued. But it wasn't until a year and a half later that I actually got a chance to play it. After the Atari 2600 I didn't get another console so all of my gaming was on the PC. Except for when I went to a friends place for some Contra or Street Fighter. Good times!

Coming back to Halo. It was when I was visiting a friend that I noticed he had Halo for the PC so we decided to play it for a while. I was finally going to the play the game I had heard so much about. I was not disappointed. The monks chanting really set the mood! I remember the first time I got out of that escape pod and walked around the surface of Halo. That was the first time I felt a level of freedom I had not felt in any game before. Truly is one of my all time favourites.

But I never really got the chance to finish the game. The ending of Halo was in limbo for me. Though I knew the ending, I wanted to experience it for myself. That led me to get the original Xbox and play Halo 2. It was after that that I finally got to finish the game that started it all.

Q. Are you surprised by your level of community involvement?

A. Actually, I am. I remember the first time when I found all the community created content right from machinima to the comics on HBO. I was drawn to the community but I never thought I would end up creating a Halo based webcomic.

It was a conversation with Mendicantbias00 about how we miss Mister Chief and that maybe someone should come up with a mascot for Halo3: ODST. The thought stuck in my head for a few days and I eventually decided to try coming up with something. ODS Steve was born. People seemed to like him and a few requests for comics were posted. So I figured, why not?

It was before this that I found out the wonderful community over at Hawty Mcbloggy. I am regular on the forums there. That was when bs Angel offered to host my comic on her blog. So now I truly do feel like a part of the community rather than a spectator.

Q. So, do you confine yourself to the Halo community then, or do you drop in to some other entertainment sites from time to time?

A. No. The only community I am a part of is the Halo community. Of course, I do have an interest in a lot of other things. But I usually find myself discussing that with members of Hawty Mcbloggy.

Q. Time's up.  Anything you want to add before we stick you in the pod and hurl you into the atmosphere, feet first?

A. Well I guess I should confess. I haven't played Halo 3 campaign yet. Sure I could play it at work where I have access to an Xbox 360 and Halo 3 but I'm holding of on that till I get my own console. I'd like to experience the campaign at my own pace at home. Call me crazy but I feel there is a certain joy to be had in experiencing the game at your own leisure. But that hasn't stopped me from seeing the ending. Sure you could say I spoiled it for myself, but I know I'll still be as excited as I was when I first took a stroll outside that drop pod back in Halo: CE.

I promise I'll try and keep this short. Shout out to everyone at Hawty Mcbloggy. You guys are awesome. I have to thank bs Angel for being so kind to host my comic. Mendicantbias00 for inspiring me to draw Steve. SonofMacphisto, Jim028 and Davyboy94 for being good sports and letting me put them in the comic.

Everyone from the community for doing what they do. It's the people that make this community what it is. Let's not forget Frankie for coming up with Mister Chief. Thanks to you too, Urk.

No need to thank us, Deepak.  Thank you for spending some of your free time away from your free internet time.  We're glad you dropped by.  And seriously, get your hands on your own Xbox 360 and copy of Halo 3.  Finish the Fight.  I mean, seriously.

CommunitySpotlight 2/17/2009 10:46 AM PST permalink

Community Spotlight - Facility B5D

Just having fun with it all.

Read Full Top Story

CommunitySpotlight 2/11/2009 2:13 PM PST

ODST 4th Battalion's Favorites Updated


ODST 4th Battalion is back on the battlefield this week  with a new round of content for Bungie Favorites and a short and sharp question and answer session that takes a look at the map Sanctum.  Sanctum was crafted by ODST 4th Battalion tactician, Cheeto666.  Here's the brief briefing on what went into his map and what he thinks Forge could use to make it a little bit better.

Q. What inspired your creation?

A. Nothing, really. Like most maps, I just start throwing stuff around, and have fun with it.

Q. How long did it take to create?

A. A week.

Q. What aspect took the longest to get right?

A. To this day I'm not sure if I got it right, but just getting a good balance of vehicles and weapons and base area was hard to make it equal.

Q. How could The Forge be improved?

A. Forge is pretty much good as is, but the one thing that could be fixed is when you bring in items. It brings in an item from somewhere else, like you grab it off a shelf. I would like it if the object spawned directly in front of you, so you don't get that "Could not create object. Not enough room" stuff.

Well, it looks like though this week's Q&A is short and sweet, it's pretty much good as is.  As always, if you want to see what the group on display has to offer, check out the links above to enlist or queue up some content for Halo 3.  Ordnance has been deployed.

CommunitySpotlight 2/4/2009 11:35 AM PST permalink