I was tempted to keep my face hole shut today, what with it being April Fool’s Day and all. But when you get paid by the page view, it’s easy to convince yourself that this community needs, no demands
weekly update. Away we go.
In the immediate wake of our latest batch of playlist upgrades, courtesy of our always attentive sustain team, I’ve been sifting through a lot of feedback this week. Every time we shake things up, new players come out of the woodwork to either thank us profusely for the long anticipated alterations, or to chide us thoroughly for tweaking the one sole variable that was, in fact, their sole source of fun in the universe.
If your tent is pitched in the former camp, you’re welcome. I try really hard to arm our sustain team with great community intelligence so they can make informed decisions on your behalf. If you’re in the latter, know that I did my absolute best for you, but in the end it wasn’t good enough. My powers of persuasion could not move Jeremiah from his ideological campaign against good times.
Jokes aside, hopefully you’re enjoying the latest round of carefully crafted updates and improvements Jeremiah and his team just made to the Halo: Reach matchmaking experience. In the coming weeks, expect to see Community BTB get some serious love, and a little further out, the Big Team Battle playlist itself (among other things) to get a nice, long-overdue pass.
One of the great things about Halo: Reach is the variety of experiences we can offer, and the new tools we have that allow our team to make significant changes to the experience on the fly. In the past, the scope of this last playlist revision would have been the stuff of Title Update material, but now we’re able to cater to an overwhelming variety of moods and player preferences through a long term commitment to honing our matchmaking metal. Of course, it’s a double edged sword we’re working with, and there’s never going to be a figurative “sweet spot” that feels just right for every single player. That said, the sustain wheel is still turning at break neck speed and we’re still committed to making more updates for as long as we’re at the helm.
If you want to sound off about the latest changes, or make your voice heard regarding our future playlist endeavors, by all means, drop by the Optimatch forum
and make some noise. Politely, please.
Outside of sucking down some sweet feedback, this week’s community travels took me to the hospitable forums over at HBO and NeoGaf, where a Jeff Steitzer YouTube video
made the rounds and reminded players of the excised “Cheneymania” multiplayer medal from Halo 3’s public beta. It also introduced some people to the talented persona behind our multiplayer flavor and reminded me that there were plenty of lines from his recording session that didn’t make the grade in Halo: Reach.
Jay Weinland, one of our harmonious Audio Guru’s, happily dug up some of the excised bits for your listening pleasure this week, but before I let you indulge your auditory desires, I want to make sure I apply the proper caveats.
First, let’s talk a little bit about how the basic process unfolded for Halo: Reach. Multiplayer medals and actions were devised well in advance of Steitzer’s recording session, of course, with one Mr. L. M. Smith in control of the “Spreadsheet of Gravitas.” Since we were recording in advance, we applied a little bit of prognostication to our prose, and even went so far as to pen some stuff we knew would never make ship just to satisfy our selfish and stupidly adolescent desires.
So, some of the lines you’ll hear were removed because the features they supported were snuffed out during the brutal process of triage, but most were simply alternate takes on medals that remain in the game, or byproducts of our desires to hear Jeff say “broner.” Others, like the rank progression announcements, were deemed too distracting during play and were purged to keep the chatter to a minimum and to keep your multiplayer experience free of auditory irritant (the meaty impact of hearing “Overkill” is dramatically reduced when it comes sandwiched between the bean sprouts of a dozen “Close Calls!”).
Now that you’re prepped on the process, and have no reason to express your disappointment in the forums, we’re ready to go. Ladies and Gentleman, without further ado I give you the man, the myth, the legend… Jeff Steitzer.
You completely buried me this week. Turns out the call for non-Forge related All Star competitions was a mass communiqué that spoke on behalf of a great many people who were sitting out in anticipation of a straight up screenshot competition. This week, I received a torrent of great submissions and I want to say that I focused mainly on images that made great wallpapers, which is a different task than finding great screenshots, of which I received hundreds.
In the spirit of the competition, I’ve divided the submission into three categories - one for unaltered screenshots, one for custom artwork, and one for wallpapers that fall right smack into the middle as hybrid blends of original work and in game assets.
Here’s the trifecta of outstanding work you once again put on display this week.
Incredible stuff. I’d change my desktop, but as good as your work is our concept artists have you beaten by a handful of pixels. Still, no doubt your work is deserving of more stars than usual. Twenty-one for your effort this week. Even though you thoroughly buried my inbox, it was my pleasure to wade through the pile of amazing submissions. Thanks for participating.
Oh, and then there were these:
Stosh tried to make pimping look easy this week, but found out that it’s much, much harder than it looks. So he’s sticking to things he’s already an expert at, like finding great videos to keep you entertained over the weekend. Enjoy.
That’s it for this week. Thanks for dropping by. Hope you stumbled onto some fun today.