Bungie Weekly Update, October 21, 2005
A short, empty update this week, but there’s a couple of snippets in here. If you’re the kind of reader who gets mad when I don’t reveal movies of our new game every week, and then emails me to complain about it, then you can bail now. Go enjoy the weekend!
In preparation for my impending Xbox 360 – and I really am counting the days, I sat cross-legged in my game room building a media center. I am still nowhere near done. I am definitely getting there, but I am finally nearing my dream of turning my house into a wireless media super-gaming heaven. First thing I am going to do is play Halo one on my HDTV. I might go through the whole campaign again.
There is a very slight possibility I might play PGR3 or Perfect Dark Zero first. But then, straight onto Halo one. We’re going to have more to tell you about how Halo one and two look on 360, and it’s all good news.
Speaking of Tree-Sitty, the kids are all atwitter over the hi-res versions of the DOA screenshots featuring a certain female Spartan called Spartan 458. We still, for various reasons, can’t talk about it, but the shots are apparently all over the European websites. We promise we’ll tell you more about that in the future.
But here’s what I will tell you now. She is indeed a female Spartan called Spartan 458. Those shots are real. They are taken from an early iteration of the character by Team Ninja. The shots ran in this month’s Game Informer magazine, where there’s a bit more info. We’ve seen her in action, and she rocks.
It’s hard not to tell you about it. I want to, for example, describe her awesome fighting style, or how detailed the model looks (the shots don’t do it justice) or how cool it is to have a Spartan fighting a Ninja (you would be amazed how many complaints I’ve gotten about her seeming out of place, given that it’s all done with a wry nod and a wink.) But Team Ninja has really done her justice. And no, she doesn’t jiggle. But she does, as I’ve already mentioned, rock.
The weirdest thing about it is seeing a fully animated Spartan without a gun. After a second though, she looks totally natural. Or as natural as a seven foot tall Spartan killing machine can look. And wait until you see her special moves and counters. And yes, we know what her back-story is, because we created it. We’ll tell you about it soon.
This Monday Xbox Live goes offline for maintenance and improvements. Part of this is upgrading its systems for the advent of Xbox 360, but when it comes alive again on Tuesday, it will look and feel exactly the same for present-gen Xbox owners. I will probably forget, try to go play some matchmaking, freak out and not realize why it’s down. So it’s ironic that it falls to me to pass on this news.
Speaking of Live, we did some fascinating stats in a story earlier this week, but one stat we forgot to mention, and that you might be interested in, is the number of banhammers we dropped. As of today, we’ve banned 53,982 accounts. That’s a LOT of jerks. There are also about 662 active temporary suspensions for less horrible offenses. These are bans Bungie has initiated, for Halo 2 specific party fouls. Obviously a chunk of those were two month accounts. But we mention this number to defuse the oft-leveled accusation that we don’t ban enough people.
Nothing to report on the movie this week. Joe Staten is still giddily smiling about his recent visit to WETA, and our guys are busily sending WETA all the reference material and detail they can handle. Sooner or later, WETA is going to make a Covenant Plasma Rifle, and I’m going to faint.
Mat has been working on sound for our next project. He says he is breaking hardware. He wouldn’t say which hardware. He wouldn’t tell me what Bob, his assistant was working on, but then finally admitted he didn’t really know what Bob was working on.
The coffee in our old building was horrible. Luckily the coffee in the new building is just as bad. It tastes like a hobo died in a bathtub full of ashtrays. There’s a Starbucks around the corner but randomly, it is the busiest one in all of creation. So getting a coffee around here is not as simple as you’d think. Noguchi hasn’t set up his LadyBoy Coffee/Perfumery yet, so we haven’t been assailed by the noxious blend of marshmallows and macadamia nut, or whatever the hell flavored brew he’s chugging these days. I like my coffee like I like my women: Strong, angry, blustering, illogical, obsessive and grimy.
Our Fight the Flood campaign has finally closed, and our (I should say YOUR) fund-raising activity has been an epic, tremendous, fantastic success. The final tally (the amount actually donated) was just a shade over $175,000. Which is awesome. We drove to the American Red Cross center in Seattle and handed off the check (along with our friends from Sunrise Identity, the folks who handled all the T-shirt printing online ordering and so on) and felt pretty damned good about ourselves, but more importantly, pretty damned good about you guys. We’ll tell you all the details next week, show you th comedy-sized check and let you know where the money is going.
You donated all the money. All we did was create an outlet for your generosity and kindness.
Jeremiah has been gathering feedback for the next matchmaking playlist update, monitoring the current list for potential problems. He’s checking to see how the new variant is affecting the popularity of other game types. That’s one of the things we look for when we’re deciding which playlists to keep, and which to remove. In fact, I’m off to “research” Team Hardcore with them right now.
One more thing, somebody PM’d me and asked what Mister Chief would look like if he were painted by the Japanese artist Hokusai. I reckon it would be something like this.