Average Joe - Vociferous

Wet, mangled, and reeking of dog breath.

Another offering from the Ascendant Justice cargo hold, Vociferous has been living up to his moniker for quite some time now, lending his magnifying glass and floral prose to those looking for more insight into Halo's narrative.  Like his comrade Cocopjojo, his words are often so close to the source material that we seldom feel the need to offer up any corrections.  This man knows his Halo.  If you want to learn a little about his own non-fictional tale, read on for some information about the man behind the "Wall of Text."

Q. Who are you and what do you do?

A. I'm Jeremy, but most folks know me as Vociferous from Ascendant Justice. Outside the Jundland Wastes of the internet, I'm a fairly simple guy; I spend most of my time hanging out with my wife and son, who is easily the biggest Halo fan I know.

When I'm not reading or writing, I spend most of the time working a real job: I'm a community administrator with a leading wireless company's website. Essentially, I babysit grown adults on an internet forum and support center - about 1.6 million of them.

Q. Diaper change time must be a drag.  Where did your tag come from?

A. "Vociferous" actually came into being around the launch of Halo 2. At the time, I had tossed around a few ideas with some of the originals from Ascendant Justice and this one was the one that stuck. Anyone who knows me personally will advocate its depictive accuracy.

I'm rolling with Mr Vociferous now because I committed the cardinal sin of changing my original tag which was, in fact, "vociferous". Now some dude has that gamertag and and as internet justice would have it, the last game he played was PGR3.

Yes, that's right. PGR friggin' 3.

Q. Kudos to him for being savvy.  What forums do you drift around in when you have the spare time?

A. I originally hail from Ascendant Justice's forum, but as of late, I've been participating heavily on NeoGAF - both are good folks. I got involved in all of this by starting a small thread on a backwater forum which was really just a way to organize my own thoughts on Halo 2. A lot of helpful hands later and we had a small, fledgling group of guys who loved discussing Halo as much as they enjoyed playing it.

Q. What do you enjoy about that play experience? Do you ever invite your friends and family to share in the fun?

A. Since the advent of Halo: Combat Evolved, I rarely steer my ship far away from the port. I was a heavy gamer in earlier years, but with a family in the picture, I find myself fine tuning my gaming focus on things with guaranteed payoffs. Halo's easily one of them.

I'm really hoping that the new maps and the upcoming expansion re-energize my original base of friends at Ascendant Justice. I have fond memories of razing enemies with those dudes across the geometry of Lockout, Midship, Sanctuary, Turf and Terminal for hours on end back in 2005. I'd like to recreate that in the next few months.

Q. Ah, the future.  It will be glorious.  But what about the past?  What was the first Bungie title you played?

A. My first full Bungie experience was Halo. I had known about Bungie and their games before, but Halo caught the corner of my eye while I was on the way to pick up a GameCube and I have never looked back. There's something magical about that first game. I think what Bungie has done with Halo 2 and Halo 3 is revolutionary and to be applauded, but for me, the first Halo had this powerful draw and charisma about it that I still find myself drawn to.

Maybe it was the crisp controls and movement, maybe it was the sprawling majesty of the nonlinear environments or maybe it was just the perfect composite of sandbox and combat together -- whatever it was, I was hooked on day one. I played hours upon hours, sometimes reloading the same exact encounter repeatedly for six months in a row just so I could experience it differently each time. (Two Betrayals, you have my number. Call me some time.)

The game was friggin' brilliant.

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

A. Nah, I'm not really surprised. Relatively speaking, I've always been this involved in the Halo community since 2004. Thanks to Jironimo, nowadays I have a channel now for my writing - the blog. Before that, a lot of my stuff got tossed onto forums and then eventually passed around the internets as gospel or rumor until it came back to me, hitting my front door like a wet and mangled newspaper with the stench of dog breath.

I'd get my hopes up because someone would tell me that they had an official document chalk full of content for the next Halo game, only to realize that they were talking about something I wrote in my spare time. ULTIMATE SAD FACE! In the end, Bungie surpassed my wildest imagination in their sequels, so it made little difference. At least now I write things and there's no question where it came from.

Well, except for the -blam!- stuff. That's urk's fault.

It hurts me when you say that, Voc.  I think we better wrap up.

Thanks to Vociferous for supplying the answers to our pressing questions and for the walls of text he supplies over at Ascendant Justice.  We're looking forward to what comes next...as long as it doesn't arrive wet and mangled on our Internet doorstep.

CommunitySpotlight 2/3/2009 11:57 AM PST permalink

Average Joe - SoundEffect

Built to scale.

A week ago today, Stephen Loftus, aka SoundEffect, dropped an article examining the technical specifications of the UNSC's Halcyon-class Crusier, the SCS Pillar of Autumn.  If you aren't already familiar with his work, this exhaustive examination of the UNSC's warship is a great place to begin.  But before you head onboard and check out the Autumn's decks, stay docked at the Bungie.net Cradle for a few minutes of R&R and get familiar with the man behind the specs.

Q. Who are you and what do you do?

A. My name's Stephen Loftus and I live on the east coast of Canada.

I currently work as a quality assurance test lead for a gaming company that produces video lottery terminals and games for casinos and bars worldwide.

When I'm not in the office on the computer and playing games, I like to be at home on the computer and playing games. Wow, when you write it out… :)

My major hobby is scale model building. For decades, I've built model cars, planes and spacecraft. Not only store-bought kits, but scratchbuilt models made from odds and ends. I'm a part of a group of sci-fi modelers and our site is: http://msfm.seryan.com/

What got me noticed by the Halo community was a scratchbuilt model I was building of the Pillar of Autumn. When finished, it will be about 4ft in length. I've stalled on it, but it's on the bench as I type this, so it's never far from my mind. I was absolutely thrilled when a photo of my in-progress Autumn model made it into one of the Halo 3 documentaries included in the Legendary Edition of the game. It's on screen for about a second and a half, but it's been a highlight of my time with the Halo community.

My other hobby involves research. I love to research the hell out of whatever interests me. I'll get more into that later.

Q. What kind of research went into coming up with your gamertag?

A. Well, I guess there are two names. The name most people know me by online is SoundEffect. The name is a fictitious Autobot from The Transformers (he says as though Transformers aren't already fictitious). It's a name given to me by my wife because when we first met, I was always making sounds with my voice for ordinary things like opening doors, cupboards, driving, walking, et cetera. As a kid I had the best fun with action figures because I could make the laser sounds and engine thrust noises with my voice. I can do a few cartoon character impersonations that aren't too far off from what I've heard from people. Anyway, my wife and I initially got together over our mutual love of Transformers so SoundEffect was a character I made up, sketched, and even wrote a fanfic involving him. I've gone by the name ever since.

If you were asking about my gamertag, it's ScaleMaster117. I haven't been on Xbox Live yet, so no grandiose stats to boast about. The name is from a scale-calculating program I coded after finishing my IT education. The 117 is for the scale work I've done specifically with the Haloverse.

Q. Are there specific areas of the community that you find more interesting than others?

A. I visit HBO a lot; more than once every day. The only site I'm on as frequently is my email. I also regularly spend time at www.starshipmodeler.com on their forums. I'm on Bungie.net for the weekly updates.

My major interest in Halo is about the technology, the vehicles, the weapons. One of my first visits to HBO was to add some of my Autumn research to a discussion underway about the Pillar of Autumn. When I looked for info online about the ship and found very little, I decided to write up my own article about what came out of those discussions and why. It got posted thanks to Claude at HBO...big thanks, Claude! I was then asked about various other vehicles in Halo and became the guy to go to for finding out the actual sizes of things in the Halo universe. I wrote another article or two and then Claude graciously gave me a spot of my own (on HBO's front page, no less!) to post any other Halo articles I cared to write. I still get emails from pretty much around the world either thanking me for the research I've already done, or asking what the next article will be about.

[Editor's Note: HBO has a frontpage? - Urk]

Q. What compels you to game?

A. What compels me to game? Well, I don't actually consider myself a 'gamer' in the contemporary sense. I play a few titles to the nth degree, but I don't sample from everything that's out there. I've played the Halo series, Half-Life series, and Splinter Cell series to DEATH, but I have never bothered to play Guitar Hero or even tried out the Wii. Halo is a type of game where I can go into a level and just look around at where trees and rocks were placed. Just the ambiance of the game makes exploring so much fun and increases the replayability a hundredfold. I seriously never get tired of visiting any level because no matter how many times I've seen it, there's something new to find or discover. Some new trick to pull off.

I have a few friends that I play Halo with, and I play Halo with my wife as well. I keep telling her I'll win 15-0 on any Halo 3 map she chooses, and then the score ends up at 15-13 or sometime she wins too. We're a pretty good match and that keeps it fun. (I'll get that 15-0 someday…)
At my workplace, we have an Xbox 360. On breaks and sometimes lunch, we play Halo 2 predominantly, but Halo 3 and some other titles are on the shelf there. In the 4-player Halo 2 matches, I'm hated for my ability to plasma grenade the faces of the better players, even from across the map. I guess it's become my weapon of choice with that crowd. There's a couple there that can routinely win against me 15-0 until I get out the stickies!

Q. What was the first Bungie title you played?

A. Halo for the Xbox was the first Bungie game I played. A friend had an Xbox and played it with him and fell in love with the game. The vehicle control was top notch and the control scheme was intuitive. I was primarily playing PC games at the time so I was used to keyboard and mouse control. I bought Halo PC when that came out in 2003 and play it to this day. I watched Halo 2 play out before I ever played it myself. I didn't even care…I just wanted to watch the story unfold! I didn’t get an Xbox until late 2005. I bought the Halo Edition 360 about a week before Halo 3's release and got the Legendary Edition of that.

Q. Are you surprised by your level of involvement?

A. I'm surprised the Halo franchise has sucked me in the way it has. I tend to be an obsessive personality when it comes to things I like…I go all out. Halo has certainly give my off time focus over the better part of 7-8 years now. I get into almost every aspect of it: I have tons of Halo figures, multiple copies of the games, all the novels, soundtracks, strategy guides, art books, statues, etc. I can't get enough Halo!

Q. Are you involved with any other entertainment-based community sites?

A. There are others? I don't visit a lot of other interests online actually. I still like a lot of the shows I liked as a kid such as Star Trek, Transformers, Voltron, GI Joe, and so on, but there have been few communities that have the level of interest or the quality of forumgoer like at HBO. I know there I'm among people as interested in Halo as I am. I haven't found that kind of camaraderie with any other entertainment property.

Q. Anything you would like to add?

A. Frogblast the vent core. There. Had to be said.

Big thanks to you Urk, you're the first to interview me about Halo stuff! Thanks also to Claude at HBO for giving me an outstanding place to go everyday. And most importantly my wife, Sarah, who loves Halo as well, but probably thinks I spend a little too much time with it. And replace 'probably' with 'definitely'.

To anyone out there that may not have seen my Halo articles, they can be found here:

Speaking of spending time, it looks like we've run out of the precious commodity where SoundEffect is concerned.  Thanks for the words, Stephen - both here and in your articles.  Technically, they're pretty damn awesome.

CommunitySpotlight 1/27/2009 11:20 AM PST permalink

Average Joe - Cocopjojo

Just a man and his will to survive.

If you fancy yourself a fan of Halo 3's gameplay and mission design, there's a good chance you've already read Cocopjojo's Hindsight: Halo 3 articles.  If not, hit the link and head on over to Ascendant Justice to get familiar with the man's work.  Cocopjojo's analysis is so sweet, even one of our own designers pitched in with some insight of his own.  If you've already pored over Cocop's articles, scroll down for a short look at the man with the 20/20 hindsight.

Q. Who are you and what do you do?

A. When I'm not on the intertubes, I go by Jacob. I'm an audio engineer, which means that I mix sound for bands, hang speakers from ceilings, and explain to people why I can't “remove” the vocals from “Eye of the Tiger” so that they can sing it karaoke their wedding reception. Here in the real world, I'm known as Cocopjojo, and I help Vociferous and Jironimo manage Ascendant Justice.

Q. Your name is hard to pronounce.  We get confused easily. Explain.

A. Okay, so, it is actually pronounced “coh-cop-joe-joe.” I used to work at a community center where we played Halo on a daily basis on four Xboxes that we had lanned together. Some kid created a profile named CocoPjojo, which I promptly claimed as my own on the basis that “coh-cop-joe-joe” was superior to his pronunciation of “coh-coh-pee-joe-joe.” A lot of folks just call me “Cocop,” for short.

Q. Cocop it is.  If I wanted to call you out for stealing some poor little kid's gamertag, where's the best place to find you?

A. I used to post at HBO, but I now spend the majority of my time at GAF debating such things as which Halo game's pistol is the best, why CTF should be the only gametype in Matchmaking, and – of course – the classic AR vs. BR (although, it's pretty much been decided that the AR wins). Besides GAF, I've been a long-time fan of High Impact Halo. I'm not good enough at the game to pull off the sorts of stuff that those guys do, but I definitely enjoy watching the videos they produce of mile-high blasts to the tops of Halo's various structures.

Q. What is it about gaming that draws you in?

A. With Halo 3, I play almost entirely for the social aspect; I rarely jump into Matchmaking by myself. There's such a variety of things to do within the game, I'm not surprised at all that I still play almost nightly, even here, a year after its release. For example, I typically enjoy driving a Warthog around and getting myself and my gunner killed while trying to make awesome jumps in Matchmaking games, but I'll also jump into Team Slayer every once in a while. I pretty much live for Team Objective and BTB with a full party of friends.

Q. What was the first Bungie title you played?

A. Halo was the first Bungie game I played, and I saw it at a friend's house who had an Xbox. We played through the campaign together, and I was dumbfounded by the variety of things that Bungie had managed to pull off with the gameplay. The quality of the environments, the vehicles, and the music I had never seen before together in one game. I spent most of my junior and senior years of high school playing daily 8v8s on Sidewinder at the aforementioned community center. Also, 16-player Rockets FFA on Chiron (no, I'm not kidding).

Q. Ever feel like you've just come out of a random teleporter when you think about your level of community involvement?

A. No, as far as Ascendant Justice, I attribute it mostly to the quality of the work that Voc puts out, and the overall vision that Jironimo has for the site. In all seriousness, when you're working with folks that love what they do (and are good at it, to boot), you kind of have to give it your all, or get left behind. And it's through my involvement with Ascendant Justice that I've met a lot of good guys, and it's with these peeps that I play the game every day.

Q. Anything you wanna add before you head off into the sunset?

A. Let me just say that I'm really looking forward to seeing what you guys do with ODST and the Mythic maps (is it true that it's Luke's fault that they're taking so long to release?).  Also, I want to give a shout-out to my girl, Cocojpojo! And to my little brother, who has the best gamertag ever: xXMLGxGorillaXx. Lol.

That is a sweet tag.  Could use a few more x's though.

Thanks for the words, Jacob - both here and at Ascendant Justice.  And while something tells me you were pretty close to earning yourself an Editor's Note from L.M. Smith with your Mythic Map callout, we still love you.  We're not in love, mind you, but, well, you know what we mean.

CommunitySpotlight 1/20/2009 11:13 AM PST permalink

Point and Shoot

Say cheese.

Read Full Top Story

CommunitySpotlightHalo 3 1/19/2009 11:21 AM PST

Buddy System Gaming's Favs Updated

The boys from BSG break out of the cage.

Last week we were supplied with a sweet video of all Buddy System Gaming's offerings, but this week we're going to have to rely solely on verbiage.  We caught up with BSG Alekat and picked his brain about his Forge creation "Cagey" and solicited some insight into what he feels could help improve the Forge toolset going forward.  Scroll down for the Q&A.

Q. What was the inspiration behind Caged?

A. Originally I had this cool idea of making a zombies map where the infected would spawn above the humans that were hiding in the structure. There would be all kinds of scary places for them to jump down and yell surprise before slicing away. It sounded a lot better in my head and ended up quite a bit different.

Q. How long did you have to tinker with it before it was ready to go?

A. The main structure is pretty basic, still it took about 3 hours to get something people could actually play and have fun with. After that it was about another 3 to 4 hours of tweaking and that doesn’t include play tests.

Q. What aspect took the longest to tweak?

A. Spawns. Understanding how the zones interact and how that translates to gameplay was quite a challenge. It really was silly at times. In the very beginning I had a lone defender spawning behind the offensive team right at the start of the game and no clue why. Luckily there are some good help articles out there from people who have spent more time in Forge.

Q. How could The Forge be improved?

Anyone who’s used some sort of editing or drawing software knows that the “snap-to” feature is your friend. It would be great to have object placement in Forge be more intuitive. For instance, if I’m placing walls in Foundry I probably want them all standing straight up and down perpendicular to whatever surface I’m working with. Most of the time I don’t need to have objects floating in the air. That sort of freedom does lend to some interesting creations but it would make Forge more approachable if object placement was easier.

Easy Peasy.  So ends our time with Buddy System Gaming.  If you're looking for some good games of Halo 3 where camaraderie and cover fire take precedent over expletives and absconding with your own team's Warthog, you know where to enlist.  Bungie Favorites is now up to speed with Buddy System Gaming's second round of offerings.  Check 'em out.

CommunitySpotlightHalo 3 1/14/2009 11:34 AM PST permalink

Average Joe - Insane54

"Kind of like Sweeney Todd or something."

Though we highlighted ForgeHub.com in our Group Spotlight just before the winter break last year, Average Joe deals with individuals. The opportunity to interview one of the more rabid members of the site was too tasty to pass up.  This week we caught up with Insane54, who you might already know as a ForgeHub staffer.  But don't define him by his affiliation.  Though he's quick to give props to his online Alma Mater, he's got plenty to talk about besides blacksmithing.  Read on to to look upon Insane54 with your own eyes.

Q. Who are you and what do you do?

A. Why, hello there good sirs. I’m Aaron (Insane54 online) and I work as a web developer for my dad's company part-time. Obviously, my biggest hobby is gaming, having nearly 11,000 games played on Halo 3. I also play basketball, football, Photoshop, play my guitar, and am generally awesome. I’m also a Staff member at ForgeHub.com.

Ever since my dad introduced me to Mad Dog McCree on the Macintosh I've been playing games as a hobby, starting on the Mac and then moving on to consoles like the N64 where I got addicted to games like Super Smash Bros and Starfox 64. My friend had an original Xbox and when he got sick for about six months my two friends and I would walk over once or twice a week and play Halo 2 split screen for hours.

Eventually I bought my own Xbox 360, but not Live. When Halo 3 came out, I bought it on the first day and was hooked instantly by its community and the customization possibilities in Forge.

Q. So when you made the move to Live, how did your settle on the gamertag?

A. My first online game was “Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy” on the PC. Some friends an I thought it would be funny to group us into a fake clan called “.:MOO:.”, which we did to the reaction of people calling us 'insane'. It stuck form there.

When I got Xbox Live, I was super sadface to discover that the gamertag 'Insane' was taken, so I decided that 54 was a cool number and tacked it onto the end. Plus, it’s easy to type.

‘Insane' is also a word you could use to describe me. Kind of like, Sweeney Todd or something. Except I can’t sing for my life. Believe me, I try.

Q. All the good tags are always taken.  Someone's been squatting on "urk" for years.  If we wanted to find your squat online, what haunts should we search?

A. A month or so after Halo came out I downloaded a map containing a link to a Wordpress blog – ForgeHub - for more such maps. I stalked there for a while until ForgeHub upgraded to a .com site with a forum. I've been an active member ever since and I've gotten up to my Staff rank for my dedication, hard work, and general awesomeness. Other sites and groups I frequently visit are halo.bungie.org, Ghosts of Onyx, B5D, UNSC Dawn Under Heaven, Real7alk and all the other affiliates of ForgeHub. I'm obviously very attracted to the custom content aspect of Halo 3, so I find areas such as ForgeHub and sites alike to it more interesting than purely competitive games. But I love how the Halo community is so diversified. IT’S OVER 9000!

Or something equally cliché like that.

Q. Sounds like you spend quite a bit of your time gaming.  Do you ever game with friends and family?

A. Not much else to do around here in Detroit. Plus, I'm completely addicted to Forge and Halo. I've tried playing Halo with family, but that went nowhere, but I do play every now and again in an 8 player LAN with some friends (not very often). I usually just play with my imaginary friends over the interwebs.

Q. What was the first Bungie title you played with your crew of imaginary peeps?

A. My first Bungie title was “Halo: Combat Evolved” on the Mac. I got it for a gift or something, and it was pretty enjoyable even without the online aspect. I played the campaign a few times which definitely got me hooked. Without internet at the time, I couldn't really get into the custom content possibilities of Halo, but I've certainly gotten my fair share in H3.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think that music at the main menu of Halo is some kind of hypnotizing device that keeps you addicted to the game. I’ve had it running through my head for weeks at a time, the whole wooaaaa-oaahhaaaahaa thingy that won’t go away until you play Halo, and then it comes back when you get off! Uh…anyway…

Q. Even though you're convinced hypnosis is involved (send cash), are you still surprised by your level of engagement with the community at large?

A. Yeah, definitely. I just picked up the game to play some matchmaking and pwnz0r sum n00bz lul, but the community is so much better than any others that I've ever experienced. You feel like a part of the big Bungie machine, creating Forge maps and such. Even when starting out in the community, I never thought I'd be getting on Bungie Favorites and occasionally playing with Bungie Employees (<3 JonnyO, Achronos, and uh, Urk too).

Q. Do you get that same feeling from any other online communities?

A. I still occasionally go on Jedi Academy, though the community's pretty much dead.  Other than that, not really. No other game really compares to Halo 3's perfect balance, as much as I may yell and scream at it while losing in matchmaking.

Q. Screaming, eh? Wanna make any shout-outs?

A. Go check out ForgeHub.com, even if you’re not really into custom content. There are forums for all kinds of stuff, like Graphics & Arts, debates, screenshots, and discussions for gaming or just general stuff.

Oh man, there are a lot of people I'd like to give a shout out to. I have to give a hand to Shock Theta and Sir Toppum Hat1, who have been my Forging partners over the past year or so.  You guys are awesome. Look for mine and Toppum's new map, coming out in a few weeks, on my file share, and while you’re there, go download my stuff!

Roche178 (So there I was…), Mini Waz (CAKE TO THE FACE!), Xanon/Shan0n (NO…U!), TheYavimayan, Dom says Oi, TrueDarkFusion, darktiest and everyone else on my friend list and on ForgeHub, I love you all. Lastly, Urk and Bungie as a whole for making this whole thing happen, the interview and Halo's awesome possibilities. I’m making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS.

Thanks to Insane54 for the words this week.  And for the props.  This was a triumph.

CommunitySpotlight 1/13/2009 11:10 AM PST permalink

Average Joe - GhaleonEB

Generally pretty self-aware.

When we envisioned the "Average Joe" series for Bungie.net, it's people like GhaleonEB that were foremost in our mind.  This one-time HBO newsman, and peer-appointed, Halo-related thread curator over at NeoGaf ("You're not Ghaleon!"), has made his mark on the community not only with his love of the game, but also for his clear-thinking, honest assessments of gaming at large.  Chances are, if you've run into him, he's made a lasting impression on you too.  He's good people.  And though he's kept himself busy by donning a brilliant array of hats within the Bungie community, and though he typically chooses to keep to himself, we caught up to him and convinced him to donate a few moments of his time.  Read on to learn more about him in his own words.

Q. Who are you and what do you do?

A. I go by Ben when I’m not on the internets, and I’m a financial analyst at a tech company. Which is to say, I stare at spreadsheets all day and contemplate how $500k could possibly be considered so little that it gets rounded off.  I don’t round pennies off of my income.

Q. And the gamertag?

When I registered for my first online forum back in the day, before most of the b.net users were born, I picked Ghaleon from the old Lunar games on the Sega-CD. That was taken though, so I tacked “EB” on the end for Eternal Blue, the name of the second Lunar game and still a favorite of mine. I just kept it as I moved around the web, and people have been confused about what it meant ever since. The best theory as to the meaning was that the last three letters are my real name spelled backwards, and I just have weird thing for internal capitalization.

Q. Where does your movement around the web take you?

A. I used to post at IGN and a few other community sites, but that was gradually whittled down to just The NeoGAF, though I’ll roll into the HBO and – with trepidation – the bungie.net forums on occasion. NeoGAF has a pretty large number of industry folks swimming with the proverbial forum sharks, so so it’s not uncommon to run into someone working on the game you’re trolling there. Word is Bungie is now using posts there to hire their web team (Editor's Note: LOL - LS), so every post is an application of sorts.

The epic Halo thread I spawned over there has become its own sub-forum and community, with its own resident eccentrics and theatrics. I briefly considered starting up my own blog, but then realized I don’t have anything interesting to say. And here I am, saying it. Hi guys.
Q. Oh.  Hello.  Are there specific areas of the community that you find more interesting than others?

A. My love of Halo is tied pretty closely to the games themselves, so I’ve never paid much attention to fanfic and the like. Most fanfic is rather horrifying, and what little I’ve read left me scarred. It’s all about the game, so I look for videos of impressive or just plain wacky play. In particular, the top 10 compilations that MLG puts out usually leave my jaw on the desk.

Q. What compels you to game? Do you game with friends and family? Co-workers?

A. I’m old enough that gaming is part of my DNA at this point; I’ve been gaming for a good 25 years or more. The reasons have shifted over the years, but it comes down to a love of interactive rather than passive entertainment. I’m attracted to mediums that are malleable in some way, which means I haven’t regularly watched TV for a good 15 years now. This has the side effect of making me hopelessly out of touch with today’s popular culture outside of gaming, but let’s keep that between us.

I live in a little podunk town outside of Portland, so I don’t have many social gaming opportunities, which is where Live comes in. I have managed to get my wife hooked on some XBLA games, and my older daughter is becoming quite the little gamer. In her first ever online Halo 3 game – just messing around with some fellow GAFers – she went straight for the shotgun to “shoot someone in the face”. She does her father proud.

Q. What was the first Bungie title you played? How did you discover it? What was is specifically that sucked you in?

A. Okay, one at a time.

[Editor's Note: sorry, caffeine. -U]

The first Bungie game I saw was Marathon on the Mac, but it was on my brother’s computer, which I was forbidden to touch under pain of death. I’m still alive, which means I didn’t touch it.

The first Bungie game I actually played was Halo on the Xbox, which I bought as part of a bundle deal. I got the system for Panzer Dragoon Orta, and Halo was a freebie, one I had heard of but otherwise had no interest in. Until I played it, that is. I haven’t stopped playing the Halo games since.

I did try to play Marathon 2 on XBLA, but alas. Vomiting. [Editor's Note: The dudes at Freeverse did issue a patch that softened some of the nausea inducing elements for in this game - LS]

What initially pulled me into Halo was the art and story; it’s a pretty compelling universe, with interesting nooks and crannies throughout. What keeps me coming back is simple: is it’s a fun sandbox to play in. I can play campaign encounters over and over, trying different tactics and am still impressed with how the AI and encounter design flexes based on my approach. Usually resulting in my death regardless, but the variety is in the number of ways I can attempt to avoid it.

My multiplayer time is spent almost exclusively in the BTB hoppers, partly hoping I can find a decent team to carry me, and partly because I get a kick out of vehicular shenanigans. It’s not really Halo without a Warthog careening about. I see a lot of broad humor in Halo’s MP. My kids have been getting into Looney Tunes lately, where anvils, rockets and boulders are employed and often backfire in spectacular fashion. I find BTB to be equally hilarious, but with lasers, warthogs and trip mines. In most games there’s at least one catastrophic pile-up that just begs for a saved film. Halo 3 has set the bar for social feature sets (in console games, at least); I’m honestly surprised screenshots and saved films are not becoming a standard feature in action games.

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

A. I’m surprised that I actually have any community involvement, really. I’m generally pretty self-aware, but I didn’t realize I had become known for being such a Halo fanboy on The NeoGAF until shortly before Halo 3 launched and I inadvertently attracted some attention. It’s been an interesting experience. The craftsmanship that goes into Halo and Bungie’s community emphasis has created a diverse and lasting community; it’s fun to be a part of it.

Thanks to Ben for the time.  We agree, it is a fun to be a part of this community.  You can have a bite of my French Toast anytime.

CommunitySpotlight 1/6/2009 10:30 AM PST permalink

Average Joe - Firestream

Streaming Stats.

If you're the type of player who demands more from a Post Game Carnage Report than most - delving into the intricate numbers that serve as the detailed historical account of your Halo 3 Matchmaking experience, you're probably already familiar with HaloCharts.com.  But you may not be familiar with the man who makes the magical mathematics happen behind the scenes.  Luckily, we're going to pull back the curtain for a few brief moments and give you a peek at the mathemagician powering the pedals.  Try not to stare.  Firestream had been doing stats since before stats were cool. October 2007. Represent.

Q. Who are you and what do you do?

A. I go by Firestream online and in "real" life I'm a full-time .NET programmer for a small company. My biggest hobbies are websites and art. I have quite a few sites, including my personal art site FrontLevel.com and another site you may have heard of, HaloCharts.com.

Q. You're quite the industrious and artistic fellow.  How did you come up with your gamertag?

A. The name Firestream comes from another site that I created, Firestream.net. It's a community of Christian Music lovers, focusing on Heavy Rock & Metal. It's a pretty active niche community site that I've been a part of for five years now. I came up with the name one night and it has just stuck since then.

Q. So, you've got the charts and the arts.  Where else do you do online?

A. I'm usually lurking the Bungie.net forum, the HaloCharts forum, Hawty McBloggy's blog and a few others. I rarely post on any of them though.
I love reading about crazy stories of things that happened in online Matchmaking. I also like seeing what kinds of things the community makes, screenshots, maps, game types, etc.

Q. You seem to already have plenty of creative outlets.  What is it about gaming that compels you to invest your time?

A. I love a good storyline, so I play a lot of games for the story. I also love playing co-op games because there's just something extra fun about playing with friends. Getting the Halo 3 Annual achievement was some of the best fun I'd had online in a while. We have an Xbox 360 at work (a perk of working for a small company), so my co-workers and I game during lunch very often.

Q. Yeah?  We get 360's and pizza.  I digress.  What was the first Bungie title you played?

A. I actually played Marathon some during High School. We had a Mac lab and the game was installed on all of the computers, so after school a bunch of us would stay after and have some LAN matchups. Later on I played some Halo: CE and Halo 2 with some friends, but didn't start playing Halo regularly until Halo 3 came out. The gameplay is what really sucked me in. I've never seen such a dynamic, balanced game as Halo.

Q. Speaking of being sucked in, are you surprised by your level of community involvement?

A. I'm very surprised of it. I never imagined that my site, HaloCharts.com, would grow to the size that it is. I started the site because I enjoy working on websites and love Halo 3, so to see it grow on a daily basis has been fantastic. I've been able to play games with some of the best players out there. I've been contacted by people I never imagined getting to meet. I'm glad that I've been able to create something that people find useful, but it wouldn't have been possible without Bungie's awesomeness.

Q. Are you involved with any other awesome entertainment-related communities?

A. As I mentioned earlier, I am also involved with Firestream.net, which is a very active Christian Rock & Metal community. So if you're into that kind of music, check out the site!

Q. Anything to add? Shout-out?

A. I'd like to say that I've never been part of a better community than the Halo Community. Also, I'd like to give a big shout-out to all of the people out there that support HaloCharts.com! There are quite a few people that spend a ton of their personal time on the site, keeping it going, keeping the peace, and providing ideas. I'm looking forward to seeing where the site goes during the next year.

Thanks to Firestream for taking time away from tinkering with his websites to answer a few questions.  After spotlighting Halo3.Junk.ws we had more than a few forumgoers wondering why we weren't profiling Halocharts.com.  Well, here you go.  Don't say we never did anything for you.

CommunitySpotlight 12/30/2008 11:00 AM PST permalink

Forge Hub's Favorite Files Updated

Finding flexibility in Forge.

Week Two of Forge Hub's Community Spotlight is up a touch early this week.  We know you've been waiting to see what they have in store.

The folks over at Forge Hub have a lot to say about the tool's functionality.  This week they speak a bit about the map, Aperture, forged by member Matty, and go on to craft a short wishlist of features that they would love to see implemented in Halo 3's Forge.  In several cases they have already implemented some "new features" in some form or fashion by bending the parameters of our title to their will.  Before you take our Spotlight as a tacit admission of support for these "workarounds," stop: we can't, we don't, and we won't ever support manipulated maps and gametypes in our Matchmaking experience.  For too many reasons to list, map and gametypes that operate outside of the established Forge parameters simply can't be injected into the official Halo 3 multiplayer experience.

Crummy but necessary verbatim out of the way, let's dig into the Q&A.

Q. What inspired your creation?

A. When I designed Aperture, I wanted to create something that would be incredibly versatile, and would still use the entire space offered by Foundry. My ideas originated from other maps I had seen like Bastion, Xyience, and Industries. I wanted a map that had the varied strategies that Bastion offered, produced interactions between high and low points as Xyience did, but also had the gametype versatility that Industries supported.

Q. How long did it take to create?

A. Although the map was made relatively quickly, I spent a very long time thinking through what I wanted to achieve - something that would not only support teamwork and strategies, but promote and positively influence them. From there I began designing different areas of the map, and thought through how they would interact with each other. I needed to make sure that nowhere would players have access to the kind of permanent cover that could stall fights. I wanted people to feel they had to stay on the move to prevail, constantly re-evaluating their position and that of their team. Eventually I came up with a design that allowed for plenty of options, and maintained the traditional sense of high points offering lines of sight but sacrificing cover, and lower points offering more seclusion but restricted access to power weapons.

Q. What aspect took the longest to get right?

A. I found the middle section of the map to be the most challenging. I wanted to maintain the simplistic feel that I had tried hard to create in other areas. I wanted to provide cover against higher points of the map, but I didn't want to block lines of sight from one high point to another. One of the things I wanted most was for the towers to sight each other, most clearly at their highest points. This created some intense sniper battles at the beginning of a game, much like in The Pit. In the end I created a very simple shape, offering a 'landing pad' for each Mancannon; angled Corner Walls forming a slope to utilize as cover, and a central staircase which can be used to access both central meeting points on the map, the higher one by use of a Grenade or Gravity Hammer jump.

Q. How could The Forge be improved?

A. We'd like to see more flexibility and customization within Forge, a few enhancements to the options pallet. The ability to switch object-pathing on and off would make interlocking and geo-merging significantly easier and more versatile, allowing for more precise placement and retaining the visual guidelines of other objects. Expansion of the respawn time options would also be great, particularly the ability to set objects to spawn out as opposed to in. Being able to, say, set an object to spawn at the start of a round then disappear 30 seconds in would give more variety to timed events and increase the options with switch systems. A revision of the budget system would also increase building options a lot, since the individual item limits make building within the overall budget more prone to compromise. We'd like to be able to place as many of a given object as possible within the overall budget, it would significantly increase the options for building structures exactly the way you want them. Alongside these expansions of some glitches, we'd also like to see the removal of others. The way some objects move slightly after saving and loading up the map again hinders interlocking and the pursuit of that oh-so-smooth surface, and the tendency of objects to delete themselves when saving with more than one member in the party over Xbox Live. A similar flaw we'd like to see smoothed out is that if some of the objects are set not to spawn or have not appeared yet upon saving, they will sometimes disappear.

Thanks to Forge Hub for taking the time to visit with us.  We're not entirely sure what stuff like "object-pathing" is - the folks at Forge Hub have become so technical in their approach to Forgery that they've invented their own lexicon to describe things like Z-buffering and collision detection.  Pretty wild.  They definitely take this stuff seriously.  And so do we.  While we understand the desire to have a much more robust and detailed tool, we designed Forge with the entire player base in mind.  There's a delicate balance that has to be maintained between functionality and usability.  That said, we're excited to see Forge Hub make use of the toolset as best as they can, and we certainly hear their call for a more robust feature set.

The time for wordsmithing is over.  It's time to check out Forge Hub's sweet week two content, ready and waiting to be queued up for download from Bungie Favorites.

CommunitySpotlightHalo 3 12/16/2008 5:38 PM PST permalink

Average Joe - Tyrant

Mythical Musings.

Daniel Morris is no stranger to our digital domain - we've highlighted his Mythic Walkthroughs before.  But in the spirit of exploration, we wanted to delve a little bit deeper into the man, the myth, the legend to see if we could figure out what makes him tick.  And we figured we'd go ahead and let you in on our findings.  If you ever wanted to learn what goes on in the mind of a man who has completed Halo 3, solo, with every skull on and in full effect, put your index finger on the mouse wheel and give it a good spin.

Q. Who are you and what do you do?

A. HBO has dubbed me as Daniel “Tyrant” Morris. Its got a ring to it.  Full time I work at a law firm in Washington DC as their “tech guy”. I love building and fixing computers and have been doing it for years, but my true passion is in writing. That I’ve been doing since I was 7. Coincidence? Hmm…

Q. An IT guy for a law firm in DC?  That does sound quite tyrannical.  Where did you pick up such a relevant nickname? 

A. In high school, I was able to use the school’s studio and resources to pull together a film I had written. The Tyrant, an alien cyborg, was the villain. I played the part. Let’s face it. Being the bad guy is just plain fun, lol. With a cast of over 200 (both students & teachers), they started calling me “Tyrant” even off the set. The name has stuck with me ever since.

Q. Cybernetics help explain the Mythic Walkthrough.  When you're not systematically dissecting Halo 3 at its most difficult, where can we find you hanging out online?

A. Mainly the Halo 3 Forum. While I’m a huge fan of the PC variants of Halo, the Halo 3 forum has a very unique community attached to it. It’s awesome to be able to visit a place on a daily basis that is overwhelmed with a plethora of members who share the same passion. Despite what some may say, I’ve found the community to be very open, supportive, and full of ideas. That’s what keeps me coming back for more.

Q. And what keeps you coming back for more gaming?

A. While I do place a high value in a game’s plot, replay-factor is the trait I hold most high. Very few game titles can keep me interested for very long. While there aren’t a lot of local people I game with, my brother more than makes up for it. After seven years of hardcore training, he still kicks my butt in customs. What can I say? I like a challenge.

Q. What was the first Bungie title you took on?

A. Halo Combat Evolved was not only the first Bungie title I played, but was the whole reason I bought and Xbox and ultimately a 360. My brother turned me onto it, and the moment I set foot on the ring-world for the first time, I was hooked. The battles were totally unpredictable and gave the game so much replay value that I still play it today on the PC. The immense environments, the comical yet useful allies, and the menacing enemies all played a major role in what has come to be an addiction. I became glued to the campaign experience long before multiplayer. To this day I still believe that campaign is the true heart of Halo. Since the close of the trilogy, I’ve been dying to play Marathon. Now I just need an Apple computer.

[Editor's Note: Apple or otherwise, check the link -  http://marathon.sourceforge.net/]

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

A. To be honest, a year ago I didn’t think I’d be this involved, nor did I believe that the Mythic challenge would ever go this far. It started out as a personal challenge, just like playing the original game and its sequel on Legendary, but the feeling obtained from completing it was priceless. It surprised me that so few had actually taken the initiative to try, and I wanted others to experience it too. Sounds sappy, I know, but the only thing more fun than doing something like this is doing it with friends.

Q. Does that same sense of initiate drive you to get involved with any other online communities?

A. Since I fear the wrath of the slingshot, I’m just going to say no.

Q. Only our enemies need to be frightened, Daniel.  Anything you would like to add? Wanna make a shout-out?

A. A special shout out goes to all my friends and supporters in the community who have gone vastly out of their way to make the Mythic experience better for everyone. Louis Wu, VincentKurayama, Pahat Pojat, Ur Television, SonicJohn, DarkDEVASTAT10N, Shadowstrike, KrypticKiller, Gazas, and my brother K@os stand out in particular for making the Mythic experience better for everyone. Thank you guys for all your continuous help and support. And thank you, Bungie!

Ah, making the experience better for everyone.  That's why you're here, Daniel.  Thanks for taking time out to answer our round of questions.  For those looking for a little more challenge out of their Halo 3 campaign experience, we suggest you hit the link at the top of the article and test your mettle.  Or, if you're looking from a monthly challenge and the chance to win cash and prizes (okay, there's no cash at stake, only Microsoft Points), check out The Tyrant's Monthly Mythic Challenge.

CommunitySpotlight 12/16/2008 10:06 AM PST permalink

Community Spotlight - Forge Hub

Hammer, anvil, spark, and smoke.

Read Full Top Story

CommunitySpotlightHalo 3 12/10/2008 11:52 AM PST

Average Joe - RandomSauce

Meet the man behind the myths.

Having netted nearly 450,000 YouTube views with the first entry in the Halo 3 Mythbusters series, RandomSauce and the DTHclan have made an instant and unique mark upon the Halo community.  They've even made impressions on folks here at the studio, with watchful employees heard remarking, "Hey, you can do that in our game?"  Wild stuff.  But what does RandomSauce do when he's not busying himself with busting and confirming some of ubiquitous myths about Halo 3?  Read on to find out.

Q. Who are you and what do you do?

A. I'm Matt Portner. I'm 16 years old and currently a sophomore in high school. I work part time at a construction materials company which is a lot more fun and exciting than it sounds. My hobbies include (obviously) playing video games, skiing, skateboarding, making videos - both Halo related and IRL, and browsing the web. I created the series Halo 3 Mythbusters a few months ago with my friend TURRET BUDDY. We've created a total of seven episodes now, incorporated our friend CO0L BEANS, and we just opened our website, halo3mythbusters.com.

Q. Random tag is random.  Where did it come from?

A. A few years ago I went on a trip to Wisconsin to stay with my friend who owns a lakeside cabin there. One day we were out on a raft and we started talking about how cool it would be to create a slang term that became common, like "rad." After a few hours of brainstorming we came up with "baguette" and "randomsauce." Baguette was taken.

Q. Baguettes are delicious - of course that tag was being squatted on.  What forums do stake your own claim to?

A. I spend most of my time in the Halo 3 Forum and The Screw. Nowadays, I also frequent The Gallery forum. I love it there. There's so many amazing artists in the community! I also pop into Facility B5D every now and then.

Q. Why gaming?

A. What I love the most about video games is that when you are playing a great game and you fully immerse yourself into the story, you can experience something that even the most well made movies can't offer. I also love the relaxation. It's a great way to get your mind off things and have some fun. I am almost always playing with my friends. It's so much more entertaining to play with people that you enjoy spending time with.

Q. What was the first Bungie title you entertained yourself with?

A. The first Bungie title I ever played was Halo: Combat Evolved for the original Xbox. I received it as a gift for Christmas, a little over a month after it was released. It was the first shooter that I ever played with dual joysticks, which I'm sure made the experience that much better. What really sucked me in was the great graphics, greater game play, and amazing music. Oh the hours that I've clocked on Hang 'em High.

Q. Are you surprised by the hours you've clocked with the community?

A. Yes! I am quite surprised! I literally did not become involved with the community whatsoever until about three months ago. I hate to admit it, but the first thread I had every created on Bungie.net was the "What myths would you like to see busted in a Mythbusters style Halo video?" which I created at about two o' clock in the morning on the night that we were recording the first episode. After that I became hooked. I started visiting the Bungie.net forums very frequently as well as many other Halo community websites.

Q. So you're involved with other Halo-related communities?

A. Yep. I'm a moderator over at Real7alk, and nowadays I also frequently visit ForgeHub and Arm the Flag.

Q. Wanna make a shout-out?

A. Shout out to the Halo3Mythbusters.com Moderators, the Real7alk Staff, Toasted Ravs, and mskji…

Myth: RandomSauce is awesome.


CommunitySpotlight 12/9/2008 10:46 AM PST permalink

Mjolnir Battle Tactics' Favorite Files Updated

Getting the angles.

On the heels of a rousing screenshot performance, Mjolnir Battle Tactics is back to fire a few more rounds from their collective File Share.  This week they've dropped Guardian Hunter into the fray to get you up to speed on his Forge offering, District 49.  Read on for the mission briefing.

Q. What inspired your creation?

A. District 49 was my first serious map that I made in Forge. The original idea for the map came from a very simple layout I created for a multi-story set of stairs which would then evolve into the first building. From there, I pretty much winged it in terms of foresight for my design, but it turned out very well nonetheless. As the map changed with every edit, I leaned more and more towards making it have a Headlong feel. I liked that map a lot. With the all the walkways, the multi-level buildings, and the nice roadway, I really feel that I achieved my goal in making a nice Headlong-esque map.

Q. How long did it take to create?

A. This map took a very long time to create. I spent quite a bit of time interlocking items and adjusting things. Production hit a snag when I realized I had built the central building about one block too far over, so I had to start over on the entire map. I was going on about 15 hours when I finally reached the point where I needed to restart. After that major setback, things went relatively smoothly until the play-testing. We play-tested the map on every default game variant and as a result, I ended up having to adjust the weapon spawn points and spawn times considerably from when I started. Play testing and touches like interlocking are what set a decent map apart from a great map, and I hold my self to a high standard when it comes to releasing maps. To me, the amount of time spent on this map was worth it. The final product speaks for itself.

Q. What aspect took the longest to get right?

A. The interlocking on the central structure took the longest to do, I had to get the angles correct and make sure that when the boxes were interlocking they stayed still and did not show the wavy lines that come about if something is incorrectly interlocked. Also lining up the fence walls in the central structure so that the machine gun turret could shoot through was a big issue. I wanted the machine gun turret to have a lot of functionality or I knew it would not be used. Patience came in handy.

Q. How could The Forge be improved?

A. Forge can be improved with more landscaping effects. Scenery such as rocks, trees, and waterfalls would add a new level of customization. The ability to change the elevation of certain parts of the terrain would greatly help as well. Adding atmospheric effects would be a nice touch and being able to place death barriers and blocking barriers would be a useful addition. One particular thing people would take advantage of would be a completely blank Forge canvas that is much larger than Foundry and has no obstructions. It could be a box with a flat green grass surface and a skybox with nothing else on the level. That would allow for complete customization on the user’s end. The possibilities would be endless.

The possibilities might be endless, but our time with Mjolnir Battle Tactics is not.  In fact, this brief examination exhausts what little ammo they had left to fire off on our range.  If you don't want it to end so suddenly, check out Bungie Favorites to view their screenshots and queue up some sweet maps, gametypes, and filmclips.

CommunitySpotlightHalo 3 12/3/2008 10:40 AM PST permalink

Average Joe - XerxdeeJ

A familiar face returns.

If you spend any amount of time stepping through the various doors that lead to the disparate, multi-dimensional haunts that make up the Halo community, you've undoubtedly heard the name XerxdeeJ.  This Gunslinger is no stranger to the Bungie spotlight.  We know him.  So why, you might ask, are we shining our spotlight upon him once again?  Venture forth dear reader, and find out for yourself.  This Overlord aims to please.

Q. Hile, Gunslinger.  Introduce yourself.

A. I am XerxdeeJ, one of several Community Leaders at Tied the Leader, and one of more-than-several Overlords in our clan of Gunslingers. Over three years ago, I founded the catalyst for our “KaTet” - and became one of the lowest forms of life on the Internet - when I launched a blog devoted to gamer culture. When I am not fragging faceless strangers over the Internet, or writing about it, I am selling photography for a living. I would go into greater detail, but I must safeguard my secret identity. When I am not engaged in any of those aforementioned tasks, I am likely inspecting the taps in local taverns. I am pleased to inform everyone that they all work fine, so far…

Q. Noble work.  Someone has to take the pics and test the pipes.  And the gamertag?

A rose by any other name would be easier to pronounce. What a mess! I used to game under the handle “Xerxes”, back when a gaming alias was only relevant on a friend’s couch. This was also before the movie ‘300’ made me out to be a golden drag-queen standing at 9 feet tall. When Xbox Live required a unique gamertag, I substituted the second syllable with my nickname. All other modifiers were taken: 420, 187, 69, xx, oo, et al. I settled for the mashup in my haste to see what Bungie had wrought. If you start to stumble over the obstacle course of syllables, just call me “DeeJ” and I will push to talk.

Q. I think you may have just seared the image of you as a not-so-benevolent but oh-so-scantily clad honest-to-God King into my brain.  Thanks for that.  When you're not here providing nightmare fuel, where can we find you in cyberspace?

A. Is it too obvious to say that I spend a lot of time on my own forum? Enabling the ensemble and processing new recruits at TTL consumes many hours in the average day. I visit HBO every morning to keep tabs on allies, opponents, jesters, pundits, and new states in the Halo Nation. Some people read the New York Times. I get my national news from Halo.Bungie.Org. From time to time, I visit Bungie.net forums to stick up for y’all. Other than that, I go where the links send me. Some of my online time is spent fostering diplomacy with other clans. A hungry team needs worthy opponents, after all…

Q. You really are a benevolent king!  What compels you to offer up that kind of gaming dedication?

A. My priorities as a gamer have shifted a lot in recent years. When my only outlet was a single-player campaign in the cockpit of some spacecraft or other, my pastime was a solitary role-play. I have always loved video games for their stimulus of my imagination. Ever since Halo granted us access to each other via Xbox Live, I have gamed for the sake of community. Time away from the game means missing real people now. While I am always trying to recruit real-life friends into the TTL community, it is extremely rare that I game with family or co-workers. On those rare occasions, I entertain them under a second gamertag. Not only do I think it’s healthy to maintain a boundary between real life and second life, it’s just sad when an acquaintance on my team faces a squad of Generals in their first multiplayer game of Halo 3.

Q. Speaking of new experiences, what was the first Bungie title you played?

A. It is likely that I am in agreement with 90% of the people who will answer this question when I say: Halo CE. When I was first recruited by the UNSC, I had made the cross-over from PC gaming to console gaming. At the time, I was in the throes of a dangerous GTA addiction. Friends of mine were taking turns hosting what they called “Video Game Wednesday”, which was an invitation to play split-screen in the Master Chief simulator, and consume way too much beer for the middle of the work week. One of those friends is still a fellow Overlord in the service of the TTL Gunslingers. The mood in our community is based on the fun times that we had in sharing our passion for that game.

Q. Are you surprised by that passion and your level of commitment to TTL?

A. Yes! More like shocked, humbled, and honored on a daily basis. I didn’t build TTL, I just set it into motion. The seeds on the blog began with a rant about sportsmanship and having fun. I linked it to the H.B.O. forum on a random lark. Louis Wu front-paged me and, dozens of unexpected comments later, I was instantly hooked. That event launched me into orbit before I was ready for takeoff. Since then, a whole company of talented individuals have rushed to my aid in making Tied the Leader something more special than I could have ever created on my own. I work for them.

Q. Single tear.  Enough about you, let's get back to us.  What draws you to keep coming back to Halo 3?

A. It has to be the ease of use in creating our own content. The screenshots. The detachable machinima cameras. The freedom to forge our own maps. The free data transfer to share these things with each other. As a gamerblogger who seeks to churn out content that inspires people to stay interested in the game, the tools at my disposal are infinitely more effective than they were in Halo 2. I wouldn’t trade any of that to have my in-game clan roster back. Being a fan of Halo is so rewarding because the people in our community can use the game as a stage to express themselves in infinitely surprising ways.

Q. Remember the face of your father.  Stand true.  Give a shout out while you're at it.

A. I’d like to say “Good Game” to anyone I have ever splattered with my Warthog* on Xbox Live. Despite my quarrels with a large portion of the Halo Nation, I would take you bastards over Artificial Intelligence any day. I’d like to say “Thankya” to every single one of the TTL Gunslingers, both past and present. I’d like to say “Long days and pleasant nights” to all of our allied clans in the Good Game Network. Who says the clan system is dead? And finally, I would like to say “Bravo” to the fine men and all three of the women who work at Bungie Studios, LLC. Keep up the great work in preparing us to drop!

*contrary to frequent objections, the Warthog is [in fact] mine!

Apologies for all of The Dark Tower/300 references.  It couldn't be helped.  Thanks to Deej for once again sitting down to palaver with us.  We know his road is long and winding.  Perhaps one day we'll meet him and his ka-tet again.  Something tells me it's a sure thing.  And if you happen to catch him making his inspection rounds at the local tavern, please contact the local authorities.  They've been looking for him for.  Turns out, you need a license for that sort of work.

CommunitySpotlightHalo 3 11/18/2008 11:56 AM PST permalink

Halo3.Junk.ws Favorites Updated

Round Two ready for your inference.

Hopefully Halo3.Junk.ws holds this week.  Last time out, we added insult to injury by sending the teeming masses their way in the immediate aftermath of a data center power outage.  As their database began to rebuild, we began our assault.  Hopefully this week's salvo will be more successful - they really do have a sweet site.  Honest.

Tricksy and false, the April Fools' in November map supplied by the gang at Halo3.Junk.ws is of the "funny haha" variety.  Something tells me the fine folks at Bungie.net who've been vehemently scrutinizing the Favorites selections have begun to frighten and intimidate those who bask in our spotlight.  If you're looking for a map and gametype that puts you on the doubled-up side of the teeter-totter, this contraption fits right into your playground.  If you're craving something a bit more serious, next week might be more inline with your expectations.  For now, let's take a closer look at "Kaboom!"

Cut 'em some slack please, these folks deal in math, not cartography.

Q. What inspired your creation?

A. This map was made as a “just for laughs” purpose when the administration team played against our community competitive team. Obviously we were going to get stomped if we played fairly so we created a gametype that would give us a bit of leverage. Whenever the Admins get together and play, we usually end up with several accidental betrayals. That was the inspiration behind this gametype. Needless to say, we won that game in under a minute since we didn't bother to explain how to score a point to them. Basically this is a good "April Fools" type map to trick your friends with. All we had to do was to betray each other as fast as we could to secure the cheap win.

Q. How long did it take to create?

A. It was fairly easy to create and didn't take very long at all. It was just a matter of blocking off all of the doorways, positioning the exploding cores so that they would chain react if detonated, setting spawn points inside the bases (with one outside of the barrier so that one unlucky member of the other team would die almost instantly) and placing a single one way teleport inside of red base to teleport anybody foolish enough to go through it to outside of the barrier and to certain death.

Q. What aspect took the longest to get right?

A. Without a doubt it was the spawn points. A lot of time was spent trapping the red team inside their base so the spawn points were critical. Having one of them spawn outside the barrier was strictly for laughs as was the teleport inside their base which also carried them outside of the barrier. The mindset behind it was that they would spend a few moments trying to get out while the blue team was racking up the betrayals and points. We knew that they would figure it out soon enough but that little edge was what we needed to secure the win. As far as they knew, it was a simple Shotgun match on Snowbound. There was a suicide penalty in place so it was important to place plenty of things that explode inside their base so if they dropped a grenade, it would cause a massive explosion and deduct points because of the suicide. Obviously there were none on the blue side.

Q. How could The Forge be improved?

A. Over the past few months, we noticed quite a number of additions to Forge that make it nearly perfect. The only thing that can be thought of is adding/removing shield doors on maps like Snowbound or Epitaph. Obviously, we can save the maps that you have provided (Boundless and Epilogue); however if we wanted to have a shield door put sporadically around the map for whatever reason, it couldn't be done. It is realized though that it may be a programming issue and an addition like this may not be possible in Forge either.

Besides that, we can't really find anything that makes Forge feel incomplete.

Exactly.  Forge is pretty much perfect.  Stats never lie.

CommunitySpotlightHalo 3 11/12/2008 10:42 AM PST permalink

Average Joe - SonicJohn

Trailblazing at supersonic speed.

A few weeks back we whipped up a blog entry on The Tyrant's level-by-level SLASO tutorial project.  Well, it turns out that one of the pioneers of the process, and the progenitor of the term SLASO itself, posts right here on our own fancy forums.  For those not in the know, SLASO is an acronym: Solo Legendary All Skulls On.  It's for crazy people.

Angry messages from a bevy of SonicJohn's fans clued us in that we had been derelict in our duty.  We left John and his amazing trailblazing out of our coverage.  We're sorry.  This week, we're making amends by way of a brief interview with the man himself.

Q. What's up SonicJohn?  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

A. Hey there, I’m SonicJohn.  I’m 17 years old and live in Dundee, “The City of Discovery,” Scotland. I’ve been involved with the Bungie Community since August 2004.  You may remember me as the guy who started “Project L.A.S.O.,” The Mystery of the Gate/The Search For The Ultimate Egg (TUE), and you might have seen me posting around the forum with my “Webcam MVP” title, which I and six others were awarded for winning a Webcam Game.

I’m currently a college student studying “Apprenticeship into Computer Games Development," which sounds fancy, but is basically an introductory course into what game developers will expect out of applicants.

Q. An apprenticeship?  That does sound fancy.  So what's with the tag, "SonicJohn?"

A: “SonicJohn” is simple really. When I was nine, my family finally got the internet and my parents asked what I wanted to have for a username.  My mom suggested that I combine something I loved with my name. I’d grown up on the retro Sonic games—the better ones like Sonic 1 on the Mega Drive, err…Genesis—so my favourite thing at the time was definitely Sonic. Thus, “SonicJohn” was born.

Q. Now that you're all grown up, and no doubt an expert at the Internet, where do you spend the majority of your e-time?

A: Oh I’ve haunted a few forums, but by far it has to be here on Bungie.net in the Septagon. I’d love to throw out thousands of reasons for it, but it’s pretty self-evident once you pop in and look around. It’s the quietest board of the lot, and has topics that are the most relevant to my interests.

Q: And those interests are?

A: I’ve always gamed. Since the age of three, I’ve always been amazed by the music, the artistic design, and the story lines of great games. Those are the only three things about games that really matter to me.  I play a lot of games with my dad and little brother. My dad’s important to me being here on Bungie.net.

Q. What was the first Bungie title you and your dad tackled together?

A. Halo: Combat Evolved was the very first Bungie game I had ever come across. Totally clichéd, but that’s to be expected when it is more than certainly one of greatest games for music, art, and storyline. Like I said earlier, my dad was important for me being here on Bungie.net; it was him who introduced me to Halo. Whilst I forgive him for spoiling the appearance of “jumping popcorn” when we were still only on the third level, I really wish I could have had that surprise of encountering the Flood myself.

Q. Fathers often feel compelled to protect their offspring.  It's been that way since the Dawn of Time.  Fast-forwarding to the modern day, are you surprised by your present level of community involvement?

A. I’m not surprised that people know my name here on Bungie.net, but it’s amazing to see that people know me on other Halo forums.  I guess it’s because I put myself out there, and try my best to only do projects that can be appreciated by the masses. TUE, SLASO, Community Carnages, the Bungie Community Podcast , and Custom Campaign are just a few of the projects I’ve created and continue to create for the Community’s benefit.

Q. We're glad to have you aboard.  Final thoughts?  Wanna recognize some of your peeps?

A. I’d like to make a shout-out to some of my closest friends here in the community. They’re the ones who make me who I am. They’re not in any real order; they’ve all inspired me in some way:

CAVX – my bestest friend, who is also known as my Bnet-Twin.  He’s a really creative and interesting individual. Ultimately, he's a pretty cool guy and doesn't afraid of anything.  Additionally, one time he accidentally his armpit, it was win.

Cortana 5 – Bright, breezy girl, with her head in the clouds (and loving it).  She keeps me sane in knowing that there are individuals out there who are much crazier than I.  Interesting trivia: Cortana 5’s mum has hugged Marty O’Donnell and Shishka.

Brand220 – Brandon’s one of the original guys who helped me out with TUE.  He writes a lot of really interesting fan-fiction, mostly involving me dying…but not dying, and coming back to die again. It’s pretty confusing actually…WHY DON’T I JUST DIE ALREADY?

MightyDuckK – As mighty as the name implies.  Duck was one of my closest amigos during Project LASO; I also continue to use his epic voice for machinima and podcasts. Give him a call if you need a narrator, or announcer, or voice actor. He’s good for all of that.

Well, that’s that really. Thank you anyone who was interested enough to read about me and how I fit in, and of course, thank you Bungie for giving me the opportunity to feature here on the Blog.

For some reason I feel like saying something really intelligent and thought-provoking, but that wouldn’t be like me at all. Catch you all on the forums!

Well, that was verbose.  The man has many peeps deserving of shout outs and a talent for excess.  We should be thankful.

And there was much, much more SonicJohn wanted to relay, but in the interest in maintaining some level of succinctness, we had to reign him in.  If you feel compelled to pick the man's brain, click the discussion link and have at it.  Something tells me he'll be more than happy to entertain you.  If you've got the guts (and the skills, patience, and wherewithal), why not go ahead and give a SLASO run a try?  If you get stuck, I think SonicJohn might be willing to give you some pointers.

CommunitySpotlightHalo 11/11/2008 11:19 AM PST permalink

New Company. Veteran Artists. Explosive Theater.

urk writes:

Seattle's New Century Theater Company

If you live in the Seattle area, or need a really good reason to visit, check out Seattle's New Century Theater Company.  The newly-established Company is founded by and comprised of a core group of talented actors and actresses, including the ever illustrious, immensely talented, Jen Taylor.  If you just read over that sentence and thought to yourself, "I know you," then your cerebral cortex is in full working order.  Yup, that Jen Taylor.

“NCTC was founded by eight well-respected theater professionals who share a deep desire to reestablish our Seattle’s one-time national reputation as a vibrant force of cutting-edge, relevant, professional theater.”

The Company's inaugural main stage production, Elmer Rice's The Adding Machine, opens on November 13th and runs through December 13th.  If you fancy yourself a person of impeccable taste and preeminent culture, or if you simply want to lend your support to Seattle and the arts, tickets are on sale now.

Spotlight 11/6/2008 4:38 PM PST permalink

Community Spotlight - Halo3.Junk.ws

The data collected by these savants can hardly be considered junk.

Read Full Top Story

CommunitySpotlightHalo 3 11/5/2008 10:50 AM PST

Average Joe - Pete the Duck

What's a Mongrilled?  Step inside to find out.

If you spend any amount of time browsing the HBO forums (OMG, fix ur BBS Wu), then you've probably run into Pete the Duck.  If you haven't, maybe it's time to drop in and say hello.  And if you see him in-game, don't worry about steering your Warthog's grille in his direction - Pete will take care of that on his own.  More on that later.  For now, check out the Q&A.

Q. Hello, Pete.  Would you like to tell us intimate things about yourself?

A. Online, I go by Pete. I’d tell you my real name, but then you would be obligated to make certain jokes. I’m a recent graduate who hasn’t found a “real job” yet, but I still manage a regular paycheck working as a technician for an ISP no one has ever heard of. In my free time, which I seem to have a lot of, I scan the Internets and tinker around on the ‘360.

Q. And the tag?

A. I once had a duck named Pete. So, literally, Pete the duck. Ever since, I’ve adopted the name for my online alias. Fun fact: Pete laid a few eggs. They were delicious.

Q. Duck eggs.  Disgusting.  Where can people find you online?

A. I’m hardcore halo.bungie.org—that was the first Halo community I stumbled upon and I’ve been hooked ever since. It is a fantastic community that seems to have an overall flavor of awesome. While there are communities that focus specifically on things like tricks or speed runs, HBO features a melting pot of people making montages, fan fiction, panoramic images, music, grunt plushies, poetry, 3D art—pretty much anything you could imagine. I dig the random awesomeness.

I also like to see what other people have been doing in Forge, so Forge Hub is another frequent haunt by me, although I rarely post there. The creativity people have shown in Forge really surprises me sometimes, especially when it comes to making working switches with an obscure combination of interlocking, custom power-ups, gravity lifts and fusion coils. Want to pick up a custom power-up during a game on Foundry and start a chain reaction that drops a Warthog in the middle of the map? No problem!

Q. What compels you to game? Do you game with friends and family?

A. I think there are two aspects to gaming that make it rewarding for me. First, I like the problem solving aspect of it. It is easier to explain when you talk about a game like Portal—you can clearly see that there is a problem that you’re trying to solve. Halo 3 is the same way, it just isn’t so blatant when you look at the game on the surface.

The social aspect of gaming is really important for me as well. I used to catch up with a long-distance friend by loading a custom game on Lockout. We’d chat about what was going on in our life while we tried to kill each other (“How’s the wife?” BAM!). I usually have a small-scale LAN about every 3 months, but Halo 3 has done a good job of replicating a similar sort of environment online. And when you start talking about online communities, even single-player only games can provide a social experience.

Q. Why Bungie?

A. It all started, many years ago, when there was a certain 10-minute long trailer included with a PC gaming magazine I subscribed to…

There are things that are specific to Halo that I think really hooked me. The recharging shields are very forgiving, letting you experience each encounter fresh, without having to worry about finding med packs or armor in between. Only being able to carry two weapons lets the game be paced differently than a traditional “magic inventory” FPS, giving you access to the “cool guns” rather quickly, instead of having you wait until you’ve beaten half the game first. And I think Halo has progressively nailed vehicular combat.

There are other games with a strong Sci-Fi story that I have enjoyed, but I think these elements have given the Halo series a ridiculous amount of replayability—in my case, anyway. Then Halo 3 comes out with saved films, armor variations, and Forge. Good grief! These are things I didn’t even know I wanted.

Q. Are you frightened by your commitment to the community?

A. It worries me sometimes.

Just kidding!

For me, Halo has a community that is pretty hard NOT to get involved with. A lot of the things I’ve done, community-wise, have been things I’ve done for my own enjoyment—I just share the end result. I can do that sharing because there are places out there, like halo.bungie.org, that support a huge range of community content, and those places are full of people with a positive attitude. A community like that encourages involvement—if you find or make something cool, or have a great matchmaking experience, you’ll want to share it.  When I can look back and see I’ve been visiting that site since 2002, it can be a little surprising I guess.

Q. Do you swim around in any other online communities?

A. Erhm, …no.

Q. Final thought?  A shout out perhaps?

A. So when are we going to find out something about Sandbox? Maybe some map dimensions? Blurry screenshot? Does it have a floor? Can we toggle the floor so it is a floating environment? Is there sand? Water? Can we change the ground surface with something similar to the filters the Legendary Maps had? How about the skybox, or lighting? Huh? Huh?

I want to make a shout-out to my gorgeous fiancée, Kristy, who is the most incredible girl, ever. She is epic win.  And Erik and Calvin have better be getting ready for NovemberLAN. Yes, I named it.  Just now.

Sandbox, eh?  Can't say it rings any bells.

Well, that wraps it up for this week.  Can't think of anything else we could have covered with Pete the Duck.  Oh wait...that's right, "Mongrilled."  Check the link for Blackstar's "Extra Medals" for Halo 3.  Here's our man Pete earning one:

Sweet 'Goosing, Pete.

Thanks to Louis Wu at HBO for supplying the media.  He also generously passed along a sweet screenshot of Pete trying (with some difficulty) to take out the ball carrier with a Ghost.  Mmm....that's some delicious headstand.

CommunitySpotlightHalo 11/4/2008 10:49 AM PST permalink

NeoGAF Favorites Updated

It needs more boxes.

If you missed the opening salvo fired by NeoGAF in last week's Community Spotlight, click on these here words to wind back time and get up to speed.  If you're already good to go, read on for their parting shots, week two of NeoGAF's community favorites are locked and loaded.  Head on over to Bungie Favorites to take a peak and queue them up for download.

While you're waiting, check out some insight into how one of their Forge creations came into being:

TJ Captain Blood has poured blood, sweat, and tears into his Forge creation, Arabella. Like any seasoned yachtsman preparing his vessel for a lengthy seafaring voyage, he’s tested each and every knot, stocked the galley to the gills, and yeah, thoroughly cleaned out the head. Before he shoves off, let’s have one last check of his manifest.

Q: What was your inspiration?

A: I really didn't go into the map making progress with much of a plan. I just kinda let things develop as I went. The one thing I knew was that I wanted to use a mancannon that would work somehow in that small space, without breaking the map.

Q: How long did it take to create?

A: I am not sure if it is done. Even though it is a relatively simple layout, Arabella has been a work in progress since Foundry was released. I am sure I will even be tweaking it after this.

Q: What aspect took the longest to get right?

A: I think the longest part of the map to get right was balance. I wanted to make sure that there wasn't a completely dominate spot of the map that people could camp. So I put a lot of time into playing custom games with friends and adjusting the map based on their feedback.

Q: How could Forge be improved?

A: Highlight objects and have the ability to copy/paste and mirror
Scalable objects. Allow the user to scale scenery objects’ height, width, et cetera
Add flooring objects that have customizable shapes and sizes
Customizable curved objects which can be used as hills
Different skins for scenery objects—gives map more variety and creativity
Make non-foundry-like maps more customizable
Customizable lighting sources
Interactive scenery: gates, doors, light-bridges, et cetera
Sentient life – birds, fish, butterflies, and infection forms
Ability to place soft walls and death barriers
Scenery like that moves (for example, conveyer belts)

The NeoGAF crew also supplied an extensive list (a tome, really) of more down-to-Earth improvements they would like to see implemented in Forge. Items like like expansion or lifting of quota limitations, the addition of more destructible items, tools to facilitate interlocking, floating objects, snap-to grips, and other often discussed, often lamented omissions from the Forge sandbox. They labeled the coup de grace a pipe dream: “AI opponents with customizable spawns and triggers.”

Alas, as we’ve already stated, it just isn’t meant to be.  Read that sentence again, please.

They also attempted to sneak in a game variant for comedic effect: Two Boxes.  Designed by affable Irishman Shake Appeal, Two Boxes has a long and storied design history.  It's also total crap.  But there's a good chance it could coax a chuckle out of you.  Fair warning: if you are looking for a serious gametype and map, this is not for you.

CommunitySpotlightHalo 3 10/29/2008 11:52 AM PDT permalink

Average Joe - Bryan Simon

Average is such a relative term.

We’re not using it here to belittle or besmirch, but rather to distinguish. The people we’ll be spotlighting in this series are plucked from the community for a variety of reasons, none of which have anything to do with mediocrity. Far from it. These folks are some of the platelets flowing through the community's lifeblood—people who aren’t making the games, but rather celebrating them. These are the montage makers, the song writers, the fanfic authors, and the discerning men and women who make the forums paginate. They’re also the store clerks, the people who pull our teeth, and the men and women who make the world an interesting place.

First up, Bryan Simon, maestro of the musical tribute.

Q. Explain yourself?

A. My name is Bryan Simon and I’m an IT guy at a family owned Lumber & Hardware center. I say IT guy, but it really is a lot more complex since I’m considered part of the family. I clean the owner’s pool during the summer time (and accidentally fall in to cool myself off). I do the on-hold messages. I design the company newsletter. I organize the annual contractor dinner. Like Ron Burgandy would say, “I’m kind of a big deal.”

My hobbies consist of surfing the Internets (mainly Bungie.net, Xbox360Fanboy.com, Halo.Bungie.Org, and MLGPro.com), playing guitar, and trying to help Bungie take over the world.

Q. That's a 1337 gamertag, eh?

A. My gamertag is my actual name. Can you see it? b12y4n 51m0n. Some people can’t.  The 12 is an R. My actual name came from my mom. I love my mom. She’s a really sweet lady.

Q. What does your online schedule look like?

A. I am ALWAYS on Bungie.net. I think I would win an award for amount of time logged onto the forums. If my boss knew how much I surfed Bungie.net during the day, I would probably be excommunicated from the family and I’d have to find another job. I love the main Halo 3 forum, but there is just so much chaos in there. I’m a member of the group Halo 3 In The Workplace (H3ITWP) on Bungie.net. It’s an awesome group. Basically it consists of people who have jobs and families and balance their family life and their Halo life.

I’m a member of B5D, The General Public, and Mythbusters forums. I just recently joined http://www.real7alk.com and that’s a neat place as well. Lots of cool people to talk to. I just really enjoy talking to people. The Internet has given us such a huge opportunity to make friends with people and build relationships. Even though we may never physically meet the person on the other end, we can form bonds and speak into each other’s lives.

Q. What compels you to game? Do you game with friends and family? Co-workers?

A. I just love the satisfaction of seeing that 1st place standing. Nothing gives me more of a chubby (if I’m allowed to say that) than logging on to Bungie.net in the morning and seeing my game history full of 1st place finishes. I normally play with anyone who is willing to play Social Slayer or Skirmish. Those are my two favorite playlists. If you want to play them, I’ll play with you.

I tried to get my wife to play with me once. I showed her where the Needler was on Snowbound. I showed her how to pick it up and fire it. She killed me once and said, “This game is dumb. I’m going to go watch Friends on TV instead.” That was the end of her Halo gaming.

Q. What was the first Bungie title you played? How did you discover it? What was is specifically that sucked you in?

A. I played Halo CE for the PC a few months before Halo 3 came out. My buddy and I were in Wal-Mart and he told me to buy it because it was only $20 and it was awesome. I played it and really enjoyed it. Oddball on RatRace for the win!! I’ve always loved FPS games. Duke Nukem 3D, Doom, Shadow Warrior, they were all my favorites back in the day. Halo just seemed to be the best FPS I ever played.

Anyways Halo 3 came out, I went to Wal-Mart that night and bought an Xbox and Halo 3. I’ve logged hundreds of hours ever since and am very glad I made that decision. It’s the only game I own. If Bungie’s future games are as exciting and contain the same multiplayer experience, I’ll buy every one of them.

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

A. Not really. People who are passionate about something will always tell others because of that passion. I really enjoy playing Halo. I’m pretty passionate about music. I fused the two together and wrote some tribute songs. I’ve written 10 songs about Halo and Bungie so far and as of 10/24/08 have reached 50,000 views on YouTube.

The thought first came to me to write a Halo song when I saw a video someone recorded about Geometry Wars on www.xbox360fanboy.com. I wrote “Thank You, Bungie” and it was pretty successful so I wrote another called “Teabag Me,” “I Bought My General,” “One Shot On My X,” and others. I’ve gotten a lot of positive response. I’ll probably write a few more cause there is always something to talk about. “I Just Can’t Kill That Banshee” will probably be one in the future.

Q. Are you involved with any other entertainment-related communities?

A. No. Not really. I used to play music at a church for a Saturday night service. You may be able to find the promo video on YouTube along with the songs if you search for my name! I had my first daughter and took a step down from certain commitments to spend more time with her. It’s been a while since I recorded tunes so I needed an outlet. Thus, the Halo 3/Bungie videos.

Q. Anything you would like to add? Wanna make a shout-out?

A. I just want to say that I really appreciate everything Bungie has done. I have no reason to suck up, really. I’ve been hooked up with the Mark VI MJOLNIR Armor /R variant, so that’s not why I’m thanking them publicly. They deal with a lot of crap from snotty nosed little kids about how their game sux0rz and how the BR is broken. Bungie really works hard to be involved in the Halo community and I think that they do a great job listening to everyone’s opinion and making things work for the best. Keep up the good work.

Shout’s out to H3ITWP on Bungie.net for helping me get the music into the public eye as well as Facility B5D. I appreciate everyone who has left me a comment on Youtube and everyone who sends me messages on Bungie.net and Xbox LIVE.

Lastly, I want to encourage everyone to become more positive and respectful on LIVE. There’s enough chaos and hate in the world. Getting online and gaming with each other should be like a vacation away from all that hate. Sure we get frustrated when headshots don’t land or maybe we’re teabagged, but let’s start a revolution to make online gameplay more enjoyable. KEEP IT CLEAN. Say good game. Pass it on.


Mad props to Bryan for taking time out to answer our questions.  Make sure you return the favor and subscribe to his video channel.  It's the least you can do.

CommunitySpotlightHaloHalo 3 10/28/2008 1:05 PM PDT permalink