A dark pestilence has descended upon the studio – a grotesque blight that has corrupted my own dear and now traitorous respiratory system into a sickly state of maximum phlegm overdrive. And yet, I type for you, here on the precipice of a feverish swoon that threatens to end me. Word is that at least twenty other of my cohorts have also fallen into suboptimal states of health.
Yesterday, in a foiled attempt to keep mind and spirit elevated, I fruitlessly scoured the kitchen for a packet of Emergen-C, only to find one of the animators happily rapping said packet across his knuckles near the water cooler. When interrogated as to the source, he claimed (quite dubiously) to have been given the precious medicine by another, whose identity he conveniently could not, or would not, produce.
We have hoarders in our midst, friends, as if the apocalypse has arrived to cast the ideals of our Bellevue commune aside in favor of baser instincts governed only by self-preservation.
Mumbling, the skulking animator darted back to his pod to sup his snake oil, leaving me to divine my own miracle cure from the large variety of non-medicinal beverages we keep stocked in the fridge. I elected to imbibe juniper berry flavored water and consume some of JimmyB’s ma’s homemade Irish soda bread. While both were indeed nutritious, and better yet, absolutely delicious, neither was able to successfully break my fever.
Perhaps I deserve this. Perhaps my sickness was carried upon the dark wings of this week’s Challenge – a LASO run of the campaign level, Tip of the Spear. I did bear witness to an unusually high volume of unbridled rage spewing out from players failing to push, prod, wedge, and jam Falcons through a merciless gauntlet of Covenant anti-aircraft fire. After reading some of the venomous post-game commentary, it’s easy to imagine someone out there deliberately pushing, prodding, wedging, and jamming long, sharp pins into the soft, unprotected underbelly of an Urk-shaped ragdoll.
Please. No more. I can bear it no longer.
In exchange for lifting the curse, I offer several fine works of art, hand-painted by Isaac Hannaford of Isaac Hannaford’s Blog fame. A week or two back, I read a post online asking where one could procure the backdrops from the various Halo: Reach in-game menus. Turns out UI Guy David Candland knew right where to look. After a quick size job courtesy of Hal, they’re ready for public consumption. (He actually whipped up some iPhone, iPad, and Android versions as well. I’ll upload them all to our gallery next week and let you know when they’re live.)
Click to super-size.
Hey, remember the time that Bungie Pro was a one year offering for 750 Microsoft Points? Yeah. That was great. But the times, they are a-changin’ and Bungie Pro has already been impacted by our brave, new transitional world.
As of right now, the Bungie Pro service has been scaled down to a 6 month offering available for 320 Microsoft points. While I’d love to chalk the change up to the kindness of our tiny, coal black hearts, the reality is that we’re nearing the phase where the technical stuff we need to Bungie Pro support will be outside of our control, and since Bungie Pro isn’t a Halo-specific feature, but rather a Bungie.net offering, we want to make sure that you aren’t sold a product we can’t properly maintain and manage.
If you’re doing math in your head right now in order to nail down some details about our official transition dates, I can save you some time and tell you that we’ll let you know all the gory details as soon as we can.
Oh, and if you already have Bungie Pro, don't worry. You're totally unaffected.
Hey, remember that time I said that you were awesome for getting behind our “Ganbare Nippon” charity efforts for Japan Quake Relief 2011
? Yeah. That was great, and it keeps on getting better.
We’re now nine days into our drive and our bright blue wristband has spent each and every one of them in the top spot on Amazon.com. Thanks for helping us help Japan and for doing your part to spread awareness for this cause. It goes without saying, but we can’t do this without your generous support.
But we’re still looking for more help. If you haven’t picked up a band yet, you can still find them in the Bungie Store
. If a wristband isn’t your style, snag a t-shirt or a hoodie. We’re donating all store proceeds to Red Cross relief earmarked for Japanese aid and support efforts through the end of April. If you’ve already picked up some merchandise, thanks a million. If you haven’t already done so, whether you plunked down some hard-earned cash or not, please make sure to help spread the word.
You are awesome!
Oh, come on! We just dropped a huge hit of upcoming matchmaking news last week
. If you missed out, now is your last chance to get up to speed before the Classic Playlist, and tons of other new hotness hits next Tuesday.
We went on the mother of all Spawn Sprees this week and asked you to submit artwork that showcased the Spawn object in Forge. As always, you made the most of the opportunity. Suck it down, Seurat!
Okay, so only some of you made the most of the opportunity.
Some of you just used the opportunity to send a message.
Or to continue your assault on my senses.
Or to attempt to get me into trouble with Human Resources.
Bad stuff out of the way, let's look at some bad ass stuff, kicked off by the epic fistsplosion shown directly above.
Pretty unique approach here. Panel 1.
When combined in the shops, they make for a nice homage to the Chief.
Of course, some of you went for the really nice homage to us. Which is nice, but won't earn you a star.
While plenty of others relied on in-game assets and iconic symbolism to get the job done. Nice work.
Characters from plenty of other games made the grade, too.
Including Space Invaders, Space Sports, and modern day Sporting Events.
Gaming characters weren't the only cast and crew of this week's All Stars, either.
And oddly enough we got a smurf, a space smurf, and more than a few spawn points with lots of space surrounding them.
We received several takes on spawns themselves. (Yo dawg, etc.)
A take on chess, and two examples of how not to be seen.
We got a submersible Chief, an immersive POV, and a stage drenched in light.
And of course, we just got a whole mess of random stuff.
Including some dude's latest tattoo, which while having nothing to do with the contest itself, is still pretty impressive for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is its permanence. You know you can't wash that off, right?
Anywho, here are my personal favorites:
Once again, I’m sad to say that there were many more submissions than I could show off without drawing even more ire from the online team (we don’t have the megabytes!). If you made your masterpiece but don’t see it hanging on our wall, I’m terribly sorry. It’s totally my fault.
Everyone else, excellent work this week. You get a star. Well, seven of you do anyway.
I wasn’t the only one to hear your frustrated battle cries ringing out from Tip of the Spear this week. Stosh thought you could use a little bit of therapy. While this video clip isn’t taken from the dreaded Falcon run itself, it does make a mockery of one of the Covenant’s most fearsome combatants. And that counts for something.
That’s it for this week. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. Don’t down a bottle of cough syrup after work, either – even though that is something I‘m definitely going to do.
See you next week.