Bungie Weekly Update: 01/28/2011
Posted by urk at 1/28/2011 1:26 PM PST
Make the weekly challenges harder! Make the weekly challenges harder!



Make the weekly challenges easier! Make the weekly challenges easier!

Filed under “Be careful what you wish for.” The good news this week is that plenty of players have already bucked up and made a mockery of Winter Contingency on its most difficult setting. Even better, there’s still time to complete the weekly if you haven’t done so already. Don’t worry, it’s really not as hard as it seems.

(That’s what she said.)

If you need some Pro Tips, we recommend checking in with the Tyrant. Not only is he extremely adept at making our most difficult missions look like child’s play, he records all his mischief and puts on a mighty fine show to help you get your Mythic difficulty DIY on.

Halo: Reach Mythic Difficulty Guide – Winter Contingency

If I were you, I’d bone up on the other campaign levels while you’re at it. Winter Contingency is just the tip of this here iceberg.

Michael Williams informs me that 103,421 players have already completed the challenge as of 10:12am PT, earning a whopping combined total of 1.29 Billion Credits. Well done. Go ahead and buy yourselves something nice from the Armory.

Matchmaking Updates

Jeremiah is still throwing me nothing but scraps on the matchmaking front. Yesterday, I caught him right smack in the middle of constructing the next Community Slayer Grab Bag and he reluctantly agreed to give me a few scant details about the next round of Forgetacular-fueled carnage. While our initial inclination was to showcase the maps exactly as they were submitted, warts and all, Jeremiah and his crew have decided to put their greasy hands all over your creations to make sure that weapons, spawns, and kill volumes all get a good scrubbing before any maps make their way back into this recurring playlist.

Though I couldn’t get even a partial list of the next round’s offerings out of him, I did shoot a sideways glance over his shoulder and I didn’t recognize any of the maps he had on the list. That doesn’t mean some of the maps won’t make their triumphant return, but it’s clear that the sustain team is committed to adding more of your maps to the Community Slayer rotation, and to updating the maps that do return. I hear Community Big Team Slayer is revving its engines, as well.

Aside from that scant bit of info, Jeremiah also hinted at a sizable update for February and another in March. Expect some significant salvos over the next 60 days, which should also include a quality payload from our Community Cartographers. Lars has been at my desk as well to talk about some interesting changes he has in the works (as well as the Crysis 2 demo, which he totally loves), including a permanent version of, wait for it…Firefight Arcade. As soon as he’s ready to delve into the latest and greatest Firefight news, he promised to write up some sweet prose for our reading pleasure.

In anticipation of these changes, there’s no Grab Bag going live next week. Which is lame, I know, but you’ll just have to make do with the umpteen other playlists you have at your disposal. But as you can see, we promise to make it all up to you in the short term future. And promises are our specialty.

These Are the Droids You’re Looking For

Halcylon noted that he saw some request for wallpapers suitable for Droid phones. Looks like your mind trick worked wonders. If you were upset that iPhone acolytes got all the goodies, dry your eyes and download your new mobile hotness using the thumbs below.




Upgrades

Speaking of our mobile web browsing friends, the online team is wrapping up the latest round of mobile Bungie.net upgrades and they plan on deploying the latest and greatest package sometime next week. You won’t have to do anything on your end. Just point your mobile browser in the right direction and our megabits will make all the magic happen, free of charge.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Updated mobile pages to use AJAX (This should speed up the experience and make navigation feel much more like an application, as opposed to a standard website)
  • New Mobile Features
    • Search for your Challenge and Commendation progress.
    • View Commendation cR tier rewards.
    • View Active Playlists
    • Blame Stosh page (list of Blame Stosh videos on YouTube).
    • Save searches using SQLite Database on client.

Bungie All Stars – Week 3

This week’s All Star challenge asked you to ponder what you thought Master Chief looked like under all that armor (well, at least under all that helmet). Thankfully nobody sent in nudes, but to be honest, this week did provide some of the most bizarre All Star submissions to date. Not one, but two dictators, a certified serial killer, a philosopher, and the iconic cover boy for MAD magazine were all depicted as the never before helmet-less hero of the Halo trilogy. And that’s just for starters.

I would venture to guess that nearly half of all submissions involved Chuck Norris.



Most of those applied liberal amounts of MS Paint. While I can’t say that most of these were any good, I can call special attention to the player who went above and beyond, relying not just on basic compositing skills, but instead dropping in an advanced lens flare like a blinding roundhouse kick to the face.



Coming in a close second in terms of overall abundance was an image snapped years ago depicting MC sitting in the Longsword cockpit at the end of Halo: CE, helmet in hand and helmet on head. Most fans assume this was a devious trick designed to hoist the middle digit at anyone with the ingenuity to break the camera free of its cinematic restraints and see what’s doing in the cockpit, but the reality is that the Halo: CE team had just decided to mask the standard model by using a shot from a clever angle. No new model required.




The Sage beard was a nice touch, if not a touch overused, and yup, once again Marty was a touching fan favorite.





Other common entries included Troll Face (not depicted), industry insider memes...



...memes for everyone...



...and straight up head transplants featuring some pretty strange subject material.











































Some went for the metaphor.





And plenty of others produced some truly astounding work. In no particular order:















































Tough calls this week, but there can be only one winner. And that winner is:



(Actually though this is my personal favorite, I did promise more than one star winner this week and since I always hold to my promises, seven of the artists above have been identified and granted access to the star nameplate. Which kinda sucks, because they probably won't participate in the future. Sadface.)

If you want to see some more, Bungie.net user, Alex, started up a collection and made a community collage. Check it out here.
Get Busy, It’s Your Birthday

Once again, great work this week, but there's no time to celebrate. We’re going to get you started early for the next round - I have a special request incoming from our Visual Design team. Each year, it’s on them to painstakingly craft some Halo or Bungie-themed Birthday cards to give out to our team members on their very special day. This year, we figured why not let you take a crack crafting our studio’s birthday cards.

Just like the previous weeks you’ll need to follow some strict guidelines, but since we’re working in a fixed format, you’ll need to pay a little more attention to detail this time around. Here are the specifics:

  • The card must be Reach-specific.
  • Ideal dimensions are 1500 x 3500 pixels.
  • File format should be .jpg, .tif, or .psd.
  • RGB is fine to keep file size small. We will convert to CMYK when the time comes. (CMYK files would be great, however.)
  • If it makes sense for your card, include your own custom copy (aka, words).
  • One submission per person.
  • Please include your Bungie.net profile and gamertag in your email.

You have from this very second until Thursday, February 3rd at 11:59pm PT to submit your entry for consideration to contest@bungie.com. Use the subject line “Bungie All Star Birthday Party” without the quotation marks to help me keep nice and organized. The size limit is 10MB and you should use your best judgment and discretion in terms of the nature of the content you choose to submit. After all, our mothers visit this site (yours too!).

If you simply cannot constrain your boundless idea within such meager size restrictions, you may host the file yourself and deliver a URL along with an attached preview image.

The winner will receive the star nameplate, a special gift, and a stack of birthday cards featuring their winning design. Oh, and you’ll make every single Bungie employee’s birthday that much more memorable.

To get your creative juices flowing, here are a couple of samples:


Front Side


Back Side


Front


Front

Do your worst.

Blank Canvas

To get their own juices flowing, our artists co-opted a large, empty conference room in our new studio and transmogrified it into a studio for studying life drawing. Sussman says that they’re doing it for their own personal empowerment. He also said that last week’s male model had a powerful personal problem. He didn’t get any pictures of that, but sometimes it’s better to let your mind imagine the possibilities (I think I just stumbled onto the subject matter for Bungie All Stars – Week 5!).



Blame Stosh

Stosh returns this week with a video featuring high-flying felony acts of theft and murder. It should be a crime to pull something like this off.





That’s it for this week, suckers. See you online.
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