In case you didn't notice, Bungie.net took a cologne bath and now sports the fresh musk of change. The technically-adroit folks (read: Chris, Tom, Stosh, Michael, Roger and a cadre of testers) powering Bungie.net have put together a bucket of new features to hopefully help you spend even more time at work, school or in your "thriving" relationship on Bungie.net.
Topically, a few things have changed up front. The Top News section remains intact and will continue to be your official source for information about Bungie, our current projects and upcoming projects. The design of each Top Story landing page has changed into something more pleasing and at the bottom of each “Top Story” is a new section, “Related News.”
One of the chief concerns with Bungie.net in months and years past is that once a piece of content, albeit a story, a video, an .mp3 is published it vanishes quickly into the site’s ether, ne’er or rarely to be heard from again. A major overhaul to the way files and stories are handled will implement a “tag” system into Bungie.net stories and features. We hope that “Related News” will help glue the somewhat disparate pieces of Bungie.net’s content stream together in a way that makes the site easier to navigate.
Also below each story, you’ll see a new “Search All News” area with a series of drop-down menus (just like our Jobs page) where users can sort Content either “By Date” or “By Tag.” Using these tags should lead you to a bunch of content that you may or may not have seen before. Poke around a lil' bit, it won’t bite back.
Additionally, a simple Archives page has been built if you want to see a page loaded with recent Top News stories.
Another new feature to Bungie.net is the relaunch of the area formerly known as Regular News ( I wanted it to be more like Prince and just be a symbol, but Chris said "No"). Frankly, Regular News was a bit too formal (think of the Blog like summer shorts, where Regular News was pleated Dockers) for what we want out of that part of the site, so it’s been rebranded, retooled and relaunched as The Bungie Blog. Users can still attempt to submit news, but what we’re really interested in populating the Bungie Blog with, aside from notes about what’s going on here or if Shishka is going to be in Matchmaking anxiously awaiting your Game Invite, is a collection of information and bulletins from the Community about what is going on in your respective corners of the Internet as it pertains to Bungie or to Halo or to some chocolate-y peanut buttery mash-up of the two. Whether it's something neat at Halo3screenshots.com or the next installment of Ascendant Justice’s Hindsight series, we want to hear about it and gently relay it to Bungie.net users.
Next, Bungie.net is rolling out the Bungie Media Player – this Silverlight-powered tool (you’ll need to download a small plug-in to get it up and running and for best results you should make sure your Quicktime and WMV apps are up to date) will be an expanding and growing collection of audio and video as they pertain to Bungie and Halo. In the coming weeks we’ll continue adding files to the player database and will let folks know via the Bungie Blog as things surface.
Below the Media Player is a short content descriptor explaining what it is you’re seeing and to the right of the player is another tab-style breakdown where you can sift through files and thumb through ViDOCs, Trailers, voice recording session clips and some assorted other Bungie-related chicanery.
When you’re perusing a section like Audio Outtakes, the general description for that content is what you’ll see under the tabs, but there are usually bunch of files associated with each general category. So for a file like “Memories” (which you NEED to hear), you can see the other files in the group by clicking the “Playlist” button in the lower right hand corner of the media player and scrolling through the different files there. Of course, we’ll add the Podcasts to the media player – and yes, we’ll absolutely be recording more of them.
From time to time we’ll update the “Now Playing” tab to feature different content, some of it specific to Halo 3, some of it looking back into the past and hopefully some glimpses into what’s next.
As you’re making your way around the Media Player library, there might be some stuff you haven’t seen or heard before there – here’s an abbreviated list of things you simply must see or listen to here.
- Memories: “Scottish Lilt” – Listen to Jason Jones desperately trying to get the accent just right.
- Inside Bungie: “Warthog Crash” – Shaky cam version of Production wizard Curtis Creamer crashing WETA’s then-brand new Warthog into a garage. Oops! (requires Quicktime plug-in for browser)
- Inside Bungie:” MS Studio Tour” – The dearly departed BroConnor takes viewers on a fantastic voyage through our stuffy Microsoft digs from the Halo 2 era.
- Outtakes: Halo 2 Audio Outtakes (click Playlist and choose “Betcha Can’t What It?”) – Sometimes it’s hard to get that critical line just right. Jen Taylor, the voice of Cortana illuminates this fact.
- Halo: CE: “Halo: Combat Evolved Trailer” – Some of you were probably in diapers when this game shipped; check out the trailer that you missed while you slurped on pacifiers.
The Forums here at Bungie.net have seen some changes, as well. The “Report” function continues to evolve, now frequently reported posts will be hidden from view (they won’t be deleted, but users will have to click to reveal their content). Additionally, both the File Forums and the Classified sections have had their sorting mechanisms changed. Instead of the most recent reply moving a thread to the top of a page, these threads will be sorted by when the original poster made the thread – the most recently created threads being sorted to the top of a given page.
In the Groups section of the site, News has been refreshed to function more like the Bungie blog.