Bungie Weekly Update: FRIDAY THE 13TH EDITION!
Man, this is a sweet gig. Working at Bungie is probably up there in dream job territory. You’re surrounded by enormous talent, have access to secrets to awe-inspiring that every day feel like a trip to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, only, instead of rivers of chocolate, we have rivers of fun! And instead of Oompa Loompas, we have Noguchis. They do caper and lark so!
Obviously I’ve seen the secret sauce. The next project. I’ve been exposed to it. If you want to know what it’s like, watch Pulp Fiction and pay careful attention to the contents of Marsellus Wallace’s suitcase. Yeah, it’s like that.
Would be nice to work here and be exposed to Marsellus Wallace’s briefcase, huh? Well, I’m glad you brought that up. Because we’re hiring. Actually, we’re always hiring, but specifically, we’re hiring a new contract writer for Bungie.net. So that means we’re looking for an excellent writer with Halo and web experience. It’s going to be a contract position, but the successful candidate will be based here, in Bungie’s custom designed Fun-Bunker.
That also means that we’re going to have more and better content on Bnet in future, with more frequent updates and lots more variety. So quit yer whining.
You can read more about the position on Monday but before you start sending resumes, this is a real job for an adult with experience and education, and as such, it may require relocation and all that jazz. So if you’re in high school, keep studying and check again several years hence. We’ll tell prospective candidates where to send resumes next week.
I asked Jay Weinland from our audio department what their schedule was like. He then rattled off some very cool information. Jay, I can’t report that, says I. If they knew you were already making sounds effects for those things, then they’d have a pretty good idea what kind of game our next project is.
Jay's studio. Pictured earlier today.
Jay did note that the studio itself is complete. They have state of the art equipment – from Genelec monitors to rack mounted super servers, and they are now mixing, recording and testing new audio and sound effects. Marty, as ever, is keeping the music close to his chest.
Often, folks will go into Marty’s office and activate the “Vegas” mode on his umpteen-thousand dollar mixer – which ostensibly is to test all the lights and switch motors on the mixer, but is really just for looking awesome. Every switch slides up and down, every light flashes and cycles through a cavalcade of color. It’s probably not even attached to anything.
Marty's mixer. In Vegas mode.
Sound tools are a big deal this time around, since there’s no dedicated audio processor in the Xbox 360, so there’s a lot more “book keeping” for our audio wizards. This time around they have to keep better track of what goes where and when – on Xbox they could rely on the hard drive for sloppy stuff, but this time around everything has got to be buttoned up real tight.
Jay is however very excited about some of the new stuff available to him, including the ability to use multiple levels of compression. “The audio range on Xbox 360 is going to be a lot better. Greater fidelity. Higher highs, lower lows. With Xbox we only had one level of compression – with 360 we can customize levels to suit the purpose at hand.”
Jay’s made audio on consoles and PCs since the Genesis. Things have come a long way since that three channel FM Yamaha chip.
You can hear Jay’s recent interview with NPR’s local Seattle affiliate here: www.kouw.org and it’s fascinating stuff, yo.
IP (intellectual property) stuff is heating up again. We’re working on a bunch of cool new items for the Bungie store, some of which may or may not make it to final production. My favorite is a sweet messenger bag that doubles as a backpack – ours will come emblazoned with Halo logos and whatnot. The one pictured below is roughly the same model.
Chad is putting the finishing touches to the Soundtrack Vol. 2 CD cover, more evidence that it’s not just the Bigfoot of Bungie release dates. That said, there is no actual release date yet.
Kuniklo, Damian and I just got out of a fascinating discussion. About fiction. If the thing we talked about happens, Bungie fans will be in for a real treat. Things change and nothing might come of it, but Damian did posit some fascinating ideas.
I was recently accused of keeping a conversion of Marathon for Xbox Live Arcade a secret. I can tell you that we are not in fact working on that. Although it would be supersweet. If you’ve never played Marathon, you should. Stosh has an EXCELLENT sticky in our forums telling Mac and PC owners what it is, where to get it and how to get it running. Get Marathon working on your PC! Do yourself a favor, it may be old school, but thanks to fans, there are some updated graphics and features that make it very approachable and fun. And hey, it runs waaaaaaaay better now than it did when it was released.
If you’re a fan of Halo and Halo 2 campaign modes, you’ll love Marathon. Try it. And finally someone asked what Mister Chief would look like with no helmet on...
...but this isn't him. This is his clone-brother, Rico Chief.