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.
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: