Brian is in Leipzig, demonstrating Campaign Saved Films, among other things. Obviously folks who’ve played the beta have tried the really simple version of Saved Films, and folks lucky enough to make it to our recent IMAX screening got to see the full feature set. Leipzig, however, was the first time we’ve really demonstrated how the feature works in Campaign.
In most respects, it’s identical. You can pause, detach the camera, fly anywhere you like, slo-mo, frame advance and so on. The only real differences between the feature in Campaign and in Multiplayer relate to the way Campaign loads. Since it’s streamed from a DVD, the “Chapter Back” function doesn’t work. However, the Screenshot function does work and makes for some epic captures.
Our graphics guys were playing around with the feature now that its Bungie.net component is working, and uploaded a few files to our internal test version of the site. The process really is amazing to watch. Freeze a film, snap a shot, and go to Bnet. There it is! Right in your screenshot gallery, at very high resolution (1920x1080 jpegs at last check).
The file share is really neatly organized – and all you have to do is look up a Gamertag to see all their public facing stuff, and of course flag it for download. The fact that these items will have descriptions and a forum area devoted to them means that community-created content is going to be a HUGE part of why you visit Bungie.net in the future. It doesn’t hurt that you can flag any of this content for automatic download to your 360.
When this goes live in September, it’s going to become an essential part of your Halo 3 experience. More so than Halo 2’s then-revolutionary stuff. It’s going to become a point of entry for all facets of the Halo universe – from machinima to competitive gaming. We completely expect your home page to replace your desire to read the front page.
And speaking of competitive gaming, I am going to give you two examples of Forge, and why it’s going to change the way you play Custom games forever. One is subtle and cruel, the other, not so subtle.
Joe and I were going to play against Luke on Guardian (formerly Jub Jub and known by Luke to himself alone as “Lukeout”) which is probably his “best” map. He really does rule its rarefied roosts. Fearing his cackles, I opened Forge. In thirty seconds I deleted the invisibility power up, the overshield, replaced the Sniper with a Plasma Pistol (insult to injury, old chap) and hid two rocket launchers in some foliage – one for me and one for Joe. I renamed the map subtly to “Guardian.” Complete with that near invisible period. Luke didn’t suspect a thing. He quit after the third rocket to the face. A loss for him, and a victory for humanity and morality.
The second example is more, well, mental. There are antics afoot in Forge, but lest you “break” it on day one, I won’t give you specific examples. Suffice it to say that it’s possible and in fact, easy, to place objects in mid-air. Result? Super Mario Madness with guns.
The mere fact that say, an MLG player can instantly turn their favorite level of Halo 3 (which we haven’t revealed yet, but I am betting money on it) into a pared down, zen-like BR zone with custom-chosen spawns, will be a huge deal. At the opposite end of this extreme will be surreal landscapes created by wildly imaginative hobbyists, with presumably, the end result being that everyone is super happy. Haha, like that would ever happen.
I am off to NY next week, Luke will be in the UK (for some Anarchy, no doubt) and Brian will probably be going to space or something. A new Podcast should be arriving too, with even more Forge talk. Poor old Forge, you have to play it to “get” it. But hopefully you will. Play it, and get it.
We’re getting ready for review events for Halo 3. In preparations, Luke and I have been taking scads of money and carefully folding it into hats to fit on journalists’ heads. Skull sizes vary wildly, but we feel pretty good about finding the right cap for each journalist’s scalp.
All apologies for the Worst Weekly Update ever, but we’ve been entertaining various media outlets and prepping for travel all week long. Oh, and playing Halo 3. My bad.