As with all new things, let me know how you like this. It's a new format. I think it provides for a far more relaxed interview. To start it off with I thought it best to try it with someone I already know and when I looked at my contact list he seemed like an appropriate choice. Bungie.net's spoken to him before, but not like this...
Bold = KP
Regular = Louis Wu
You're being conscripted.
A Bnet interview. I'm writing questions right now. We're going to do it via MSN. Trying something new.
This way I get to inject smart-ass commentary in real-time and the interviewee at least gets a rebuttal.
Wow, this is going to be a totally illegible interview.
Your mom’s illegible
Oh, well see, the idea just came to me.
I'm writing some now.
Timing... it's all timing.
You ain't got none.
I'll time my fist with your face.
Alright fine I'll wing it then.
Starters: Who are you, what do you do in real life, do you have dumb animals, etc.
Just answer it, not everyone knows the almighty Wu, your kingdom only extends so far.
Geez. Claude Errera/Web design and hosting/yes.
So that's how it's going to be, eh?
Ask real questions. I'll give you real answers.
Son of a b... alright then. What's the highlight of your Bungie fandom?
I think I'd have to say...
The first time I ever met KP.
It was in my basement.
This site is PG-13.
We had our clothes on, dammit. Wait, nof was there too. Never mind about the clothes.
Any moments, events that stick out?
One thing that stands out was the glyph puzzle...
What was that, who was involved?
We had a bunch of random glyphs on our front page; they'd been there for almost a year when someone finally noticed they might have a purpose.
How very Bungie of you.
They'd been created by Mike Watson, aka Mikey-san. We knew it was a long-term thing, so there was no pushing. He developed this incredibly fiendish set of challenges, tied them to a bunch of shapes, and set them free on the internet (well, on our front page at least).
They sat there for a bunch of months, and then someone said, hey, wait a minute... do those mean anything?
Mikey helped people as Cipher, a metro-blam!- AI... no real clues, but encouragement.
Took about 400 people a bit over a month to nail it all down.
The puzzle's prize was for the whole community - Bungie released a bunch of development papers from the Marathon days.
I just hit an awesome shot with a soda can, like 15 feet away. Gotta be careful with a shot like that, wind can catch the open top and throw it off.
Was amazing to watch - nobody had enough info to solve it alone, people HAD to work together.
And they did.
Oh, you’re still going.
Wow, you suck so much.
Like a fox.
Over the years, you've had a lot of LANs chez Wu. They've become somewhat Legendary. What do you think makes them so special and are there any that stand out to you as the best?
Two things made them legendary - neither one really fair. One: I had the front page of HBO to advertise them, and post write-ups after the fact. (Automatic captive audience.) Two: one of them got filmed for the LE DVD. (Artificial legend) They're not really any different from the LANs held all over the country (all over the world) every week... they're just better publicized.
That's not really fair to say that they're no different than other LANs. They do have worse pizza than most.
Only that one time we got Giuseppes.
All the rest of the times the pizza was good.
The one over July 4th weekend (that ran almost 4 days) was probably the craziest.
Which one was that, freedom to kill?
Yeah, Freedom to Kill
Cool beans. Blackstar's video of that was epic.
Yep. It had some awesome footage.
Mind if I hotlink it?
No, go for it.
Are you sure it wouldn't destroy your world and everything you’ve ever loved?
It's a bit early in the monthly bandwidth cycle to be gambling, sir. [He said to go for it. Footage of a 2002 HBO Halo 1 LAN: Right-click, save as.]
Damn, that LAN was in 2002.
Wow, that was a long time ago.
Yeah I know. I was sixteen.
Back in the day, as it was. Good times.
Do the extended information gaps bother you?
You mean between games?
Sort of. From H2 to H3 there was... what, a year and a half with no news on the next project (not counting H2 MP stuff)? Now, every time I post an update people count off the exact amount of days since the H3 announcement in order to convey the amount of pain I've put them through by not releasing screenshots (because that kind of thing is up to me, obviously, being the King of Bungie).
So does it bother you when Bungie falls silent, at least with regards to mind-blowing news about new features and/or visual content?
Sorry, phone rang.
I take precedent. Hang it up right now.
Um... no, not really. The information gaps don't bother me - it's the way Bungie has ALWAYS worked. What bugs me is how the fanbase HANDLES those gaps; the whole rumor-squashing aspect of running a fansite gets old.
In fact, I'll call you right now so that it doesn't happen again. If you have two lines or call-waiting, I'll call you twice.
I hate you.
The fanbase is way bigger, and way more diverse, than it used to be...
And the time between releases is also significantly longer than it used to be.
Release of games or release of information?
Information is released as it always was - sparsely.
Say you had an opportunity to bring back one feature from Halo 1 that Halo 2 either lacked or changed. What would you choose?
Hmm. The last time I was asked that, Halo 2 had just come out. I said 'fall damage'. Now that I've played Halo 2 almost exclusively for a couple of years (with respect to Halo titles), I'm sort of happy it doesn't HAVE fall damage any more. Hmm... I guess I'd have to say the ability to explore more in Campaign. The biggest weakness I see in Halo 2, looking back, is the linearity of the single-player game.
If it makes you feel better, Halo 3's all about the wide open areas and masses of enemies.
tell me about it when *I* can play it, you -blam!-.
You can play it vicariously through me. I'll get on the phone and play it while you tell me how to handle the encounters. It'll just like the real thing. Except when I shoot the bullets actually hit the enemy, so it might be quicker.
Alright, well what is it about Halo 2 that you really value above Halo 1.
I like the pace of Halo 2 multiplayer over that of Halo. No health means no focusing on healthpacks; you live or you die, you move on to the next battle. I'm surprised, in retrospect, that I like this... but I do.
Alright, I guess I'll ask it...
Do you prefer the pistol in Halo 1, the ultimate equalizer, or do you prefer the gameplay Bungie strived for in Halo 2?
Me, personally? That's easy. The team play of Halo 2... because I simply wasn't as good with the pistol as the people I played with. I like being able to focus on objectives, and let teammates focus on kills; that wasn't as easy to do in Halo.
I was far more of a liability in Halo than I am in Halo 2, to be honest.
That's true. In Halo 1 I merely felt inclined to shoot you, whereas in Halo 2, I feel somewhat obligated.
After Halo 1 LANs, did you have nightmares featuring *pop pop pop*?
That was the other half of it; all multiplay for Halo was lannage; I was playing with people next to me, or in the next room.
No matter how well Bungie's done in recreating a 'virtual couch', nothing really takes the place of punching the guy next to you who just screen-looked and sniped you as you came around a corner.
(I was never that good at screen-looking, either, so I was always jealous of folks who could do it well.)
... How can you not be good at that?
You look at their screen, find out where they are and what direction they're heading and then wait for them to walk right into your reticule.
When I focus on a different quadrant of the screen, I tend to lose track of what I'm supposed to be doing
I get killed a lot.
Don't focus, glance.
Dunno. I think it's easier for add kids like you.
You just jealous of ma skillz.
skillz with a z.
3 shotta biznitch
Now that I’m through embarrassing myself
Man... I remember the last Halo match at Mig's LAN...
I was dead way more than I was alive.
Oh, when we went back to Halo 1 as opposed to the deuce?
'Halo match' as opposed to 'Halo 2 match.'
I don't need your tone.
What's your gaming setup like?
Mostly, I play on a computer screen; I've got an Xbox wired to an X2VGA connector, with digital sound going to a 5.1 system and video going to an LCD that does double duty with my computer. (Dual inputs, so I hit a button and swap between computer and Xbox.)
There's a second Xbox in the room, connected to a 36" TV and 5.1 surround sound.
My kids mostly play on that.
... And how old are they?
(Oh yeah, we're going there.)
The boys are 11 and 12. (My 14-year-old daughter doesn't play Halo.)
It's an M-rated game.
And they're both out of Juvie now; that kid's gonna live, they say.
I have no trouble with Halo - but there are other M-rated games they aren't allowed to play
(Like GTA or Saint's Row.)
Why don't you have a problem with them playing Halo?
Killing an alien bent on the destruction of the human race is really the same as picking up a prostitute, having your way with her and then killing her to get your money back, when you think of it.
The Covenant are a lot like prostitutes, when you think about it.
No, stop that right now.
How does your wife feel about the whole Halo thing?
Mainly with respect to your involvement with the community.
Sometimes she feels like it takes too much of my time...
But we do a decent job of balancing these days.
She's amused by the media coverage.
Does "balancing" involve you telling her to get back in the kitchen? That's what the kind people on XBL would advise.
Um... hardly. That might earn me a kick in the nether regions, actually.
(Well, probably not, she's pretty non-violent.)
Does she ever get upset about all the hot chicks that swoon over you because of your status in the community?
... Wait, there are hot chicks swooning over me?
How come nobody told me?
Eskay's all over you.
Open your eyes.
(She's gonna kill me.)
That's why you're gonna cut that.
No sir. That's not how I deal with my problems. I deal with them head-on, haphazardly and recklessly.
Okay, I think I've got enough.
Eh. I'm gonna be unhappy with this at the end, aren't I?
Well, you should've laid down ground rules, yeah.
I'm gonna ruin you.
But you've known that from the start.
Alright, while I was waiting for you to answer a couple times, I booted a campaign level and played through a bit.
Here's what I've got: AR, 1 frag and 2 stickies. I’m facing a lot of grunts. and rocks. a box or two.
What would Wu do?
Well, and a CENSORED, but let's ignore that for now.
I don't play around, champ.
This is Legendary.
Mike Miller .
Stick the boxes, crush the grunts.
Stickies don't stick to inanimate objects.
You're such a norb.
So what's your point?
Did you beat Legendary on H1 or H2?
H1, not H2.
Lots of things. I'm not sure I ever had the patience to finish Cairo Station.
But yeah, Jackal snipers sucked.
I never got good enough at the noob [I think he meant “pro” -KP] combo to finish things.
I heard that Legendary Jackal snipers were Noguchi’s way of coping with his rage during H2 crunch.
Legendary really is about patience, though. So long as it's fun each time and I don't die in a cheap way (which is rare, I normally die because I bum rush with a Magnum) I'm cool with it.
I think I had more free time after Halo came out than I did after Halo 2 came out.
Plus, Halo had no online component; so if I DID have free time, I could spend it playing legendary.
Whereas when I've got free time now, I play on Live.
That's another thing about Halo.
You can play for ten minutes or you can play for two hours.
Not a lot of other games that offer that experience, for me.
Heh - I often find myself going in to play for 10 minutes, and leaving 2 hours later.
That part sucks.
K, gonna go eat something.
Alright folks, definitely need some feedback on this one. Let me know what you think.