If you haven’t noticed, week over week we’ve been slowly, but surely conditioning your mind to subsist on fewer and fewer nourishing updates. My bad. It’s for your own good, though. During the last decade, we’ve all put on a thick, silky layer of fat by sucking back a steady diet of rich and creamy content straight from the Bungie.net teat. But as we rapidly approach our upcoming transition away from supporting Halo – which we will describe in explicit detail very, very soon – we want you to be prepared for what could be a fairly radical paradigm shift.
Some of my colleagues have proposed that I utilize the tried and true “Band-Aid” method, ripping you away from our lovingly hairy embrace in one swift and terrible motion. I worry that this Friday custom has become too permanent a part of your weekly regiment, and I definitely don’t want to leave an angry red bald spot on your heart. I simply couldn’t live with myself.
So, there’s just a little bit of light reading this week – a few, tasty morsels to keep you from starvation. But just remember, it’s all for the best. It’s all for you. And it’ll all make way more sense soon.
Several months back we added John Hopson to our team, tasking him with heading up our shiny new internal User Research division. You might have already answered some survey questions for him as part of our Bungie Beta Testers
program, and if you cast your mind back to the run up to Halo 3 and the Wired article, Halo 3: How Microsoft Labs Invented a New Science of Play
, you probably already have a very basic understanding of what Hopson does on a day-to-day basis. He’s basically our own personal, post-resurrection Neo (minus the trench coat, shades, and dated mobile phone) swimming through our very real matrix of player data to arm our team with the revolutionary information that they need to build better games.
Of course, presented with the opportunity to harness the power offered up by billions of points of player data, I’ve decided to steer Hopson towards more pressing, personal matters of my own. The response I’ve quoted below, from Hopson himself, might be a little bit odd without the proper context. Unfortunately, the query I sent him is Top Secret and it has to remain classified for a few more weeks. However, his answer is meaty enough that I think you should have a look at it. Today’s update may be light fare, but there just might be a smorgasbord of sizzling, bacon-wrapped celebration looming on the horizon.
“Average length of a game in the Team Slayer hopper is 8 minutes.
If we round that up to 10 minutes to account for postgame time and matchmaking time, that’s 144 games in a 24 hour period for one team. The average cow yields about 84 lbs. of steak, assuming 8 oz. steaks...we’ll need 1.7 cows.
This is the best data request ever.
You think that’s air you’re breathing? Stay tuned.
On the subject of mind-bending alternate realities, Optimatch
– our forum for matchmaking feedback – is always bristling with barbed questions, stinging accusations, and indignant inquiries aimed at figuring out our approach to matchmaking hopper settings, but none are as probing as those that attempt to peer into our frightening Fungineer’s bitter and callous soul. Assessing a man’s motives is a complex proposition. Many eminent science-type dudes and ladies have proposed countless methods to get the job done. But assessing Jeremiah’s motives is like venturing through the House of Leaves
where each new twist and turn leads you further into the inky black, and where each new door opens a gateway that leads not to escape or understanding, but further and deeper into madness.
Even Alder would have refused to plumb these depths. Behold!
The man is toying with you, feigning affection and using illegitimate facts to extract information from you. I stopped by his desk yesterday to figure out why he was employing mind tricks on our beloved community, and as he began to rattle off a reasonable sounding explanation I felt a warm, calming sensation begin to wash over me. Then a wry smile began to form across his face, and I knew that I too was merely a pawn in his dastardly psychological machinations.
Later in the day, he returned to taunt me with another “sweet idea he had for matchmaking,” but I refused to listen to his sweet nothings. It was all likely just another ploy intended to elicit an emotional response that he can chart inside of his grand matchmaking experiment. No dice, Jeremiah. Get behind me!
Besides, your idea totally sucked.
Friends, I wanted to tell you that Objective game variants in Team Classic would feature DMR starts, not Assault Rifles, as Jeremiah had loudly proclaimed last week. I wanted to ease your short range pain and suffering, turning thoughts of spraying and praying toward dreams of long range, cross-map donging. Now I don’t know what to believe. I don’t even know what's real. Come early May, anything
And apparently "anything" Includes "Super Jackpots." But you won't have to wait until next week to see if this is just another one of Jeremiah's devilish promises. You can go get yourself a heaping helping of extra credits right now
Welcome to Super Jackpot Weekend #1!
This weekend, for every game you complete in the Defiant Map Pack
playlist you will have a chance to win an extra 7,000
credits from a Super Jackpot! You can win the Super Jackpot once a day, so you have the next 3 days to win up to 21,000
in extra credits. The Super Jackpot Weekend will end on Sunday at midnight (Pacific Standard Time). Super Jackpot rewards do not count against your daily credit limit.
While we're on the charitable tip, our constantly coordinating and continuously cheerful Christine notified us on Wednesday that Amazon.com finally caved to her ceaseless support calls, providing a solution that will allow us to ship our charity wristbands to international shores. Yay!
Just in time for our drive for Japan Quake Relief to end on April 30th. Boo!
Normally, I’d chalk the timing up to pure coincidence, but it’s not the only run in we’ve had with Amazon.com this week. Apparently, we also use their AmazonFresh services to keep our kitchen pantry topped off with delicious fresh fruits, and yesterday morning I entered the building to discover that they’d chopped the stems off of every last banana they’d just delivered.
Uh, I’d like to take a moment to thank Amazon.com for their fast, responsive technical support. Without their diligent efforts, we’d have ended our own efforts still excluding our international friends. And that would have sucked. And these bananas are delicious - an excellent source of potassium. (Please don’t kill us, Amazon.)
If you were waiting (and waiting) for us to get our act together and offer international shipping for our wristbands you don’t have to wait any longer. Since we took so long to get everything sorted out, we’re going to extend the wristband portion of our offer past the end date of April 30th, shipping wristbands until we totally run out of our recently restocked shelves. Christine tells me there are about 2,000 left, all told.
Take our wristbands, please
The Bungie Store
Please note that we still can’t ship other store items internationally. This special shipping offer won’t work for anything but the wristband. If you add unauthorized items to the cart, Amazon.com will give you a big, fat error when you go to check out. They might even send you bananas with the stems sliced off. (You’ve been warned.)
I got asked this week how long I was going to run these All Star competitions for. Truth is I don’t know. While I stare at my calendar considering an end date, you should stare at this week’s submissions and consider how cool some of these would be as helmets in game, or on your face.
Once again, I’m going to slap the already in-game stuff in a Flickr gallery for ease of viewing and jam the rest inline below, so I can provide the necessary commentary.
Mobilized readers, click here
Stosh demanded cardboard this week, and cardboard he got. Considering the short notice, some were actually really impressive. Some...not so much. (I’ll let you figure out which is which and spare some hurt feelings.) But let’s be honest, if you actually took the time to fashion something out of cardboard, you are special
no matter what anybody else says.
My buddy and me!
It's not easy being green.
Take me to your leader.
I heard you like helmets.
You can haz!
By the numbers.
Step 1. Cut a hole in a box...
(Sorry, Harrison. Employees are not eligible.)
You can haz, too.
None shall pass!
Don't try this at home!
Of course, we received a lot of other custom content, too. Including some submissions that clearly took longer than a week to create. Some of you were really honest (‘sup, 405th
Others tried to play me like a fool. Well, I might be a fool, but I’m the fool who hands out the stars.Here’s the rest of the custom, non-cardboard submissions we received this week, in no particular order.
No shoes. No shirt. No star.
Above and beyond.
This is madness!
This is amazing.
It's reflective, too. Imagine that skull coming at you in the dark at 60mph.
One, final effort.
Put it underwater.
...and watch it grow!
Sorry, I ran out of "Fine Art" censor strips.
Free Fire Zone.
That's short for "skunk," right?
Smoke 'em if you got 'em.
Little late, but I'll accept it.
Needs more PimpsVille.
Mr. Incognito. In-cog-nito.
Terrorists, your game is through...
That's it for this week. If you see a shot of your work hanging on our wall, you might have won yourself a shiny star. Let's make it an even twenty eight for your efforts. If you didn't win, I hope you enjoyed crafting your own cardboard helmet.
Wear it with pride.
Though my updates might be inconsistent, Stosh is always at the top of his game. Check out two kick ass videos he found this week that are both sure to impress.
If you’re in the Seattle area and you’re not an uncultured ignoramus, you should probably check out New Century Theatre Company’s “O LOVELY GLOWWORM or Scenes of Great Beauty.” Tickets are on sale now
, and the production stars, among others, the very beautiful and extremely talented Jen Taylor. And a goat.
Don't trust me? Here's one of the many glowing reviews:
“Glowworm is a dreamy trip through time and space as seen through the eyes of a….goat. A dead, stuffed goat. New Century’s skillful staging of the play manages to be charming, thoughtful, profound, deeply moving and frequently very, very funny under the smart direction of Roger Benington and with the usual highly skilled New Century cast, it’s the best thing on a Seattle theater stage right now.”
See you next week.