What a week. Bungie has been hit by the lurgy, hard style. Flu,
Bronchitis, Pneumonia and one case of Mono! Spectacularly however, all
of the sick folks continued to work irregardless, with one brave
trooper hauling home an entire Desktop rig to work on, and many others
using laptops. Nothing can stop the sexy monkey juggernaut that is
Bungie, not even viruses, bacteria or crazy stomach parasites. The
people on TV continue to claim it’s just a normal flu season, but I am
gonna go ahead and say what everyone is thinking. SPACE GERMS.
Cortana is here. Yup, her soft blue loveliness is recording dialog
today in Jay’s booth. Jen Taylor, as she’s known outside the world of
UNSC virtual AI projections, is an accomplished actress in her own
right, with dozens of game, movie and theater roles under her belt
(she’s also the voice of Princess Peach from the Mario series), but we
love her best as Master Chief’s right hand girl.
reprised role in Halo 3 will probably be a challenging one, since
Cortana’s circumstances are considerably darker and more terrifying
than in prior appearances. One thing you already know from Halo 2 –
she’s not with the Chief now, but rather, in the clutches of the
Gravemind on the ruinous High Charity. I got chills listening to some
of her dialog, but not when she said, “The damn popper-stopper ruined
everything!” Don’t worry, that’s not Cortana dialog.
Jen Taylor, actually recording Cortana dialog for Halo 3. Add it to your Wikis now!
we asked Jen what she thought of the “new” state of Cortana in Halo 3
and she said, “There’s a lot more drama and a lot less technical jargon
this time around. I actually just finished a couple of lines that
nearly had me in tears. For an actor, more drama is always good.”
Jay Weinland agrees, “We had chills.”
Marty, CJ and Jay, absorbing Jen Taylor's chilling performance.
Doyle, 3D artist and Street Fighter cheapster extraordinaire, is
finishing up work on a new weapon – a weapon which had previously
consisted of a bent green box. That was the placeholder graphic. The
new version is no longer a bent green box, and frankly is unlike any
other Halo weapon ever, both in aesthetic influence and a couple of
other ways I can’t go into yet. However, I have to say, it still looks
“correct” to the universe and perhaps more importantly, it looks scary
And an old weapon looks
significantly more powerful now, thanks to a couple of new animation
and graphic effects. The trusty rocket launcher now features a fiery
blowback from the exhaust port, and an accompanying Spartan animation
that you’ll enjoy watching (or not) in Multiplayer games. It looks
cool, as hot exhausts spews out in a cloud of flame, followed by wispy
A subtle touch, but an important one
– much like the inclusion of moving vegetation I just spotted in an
early Campaign level – walk through a low-lying leafy plant and have it
react physically to your presence. Radness.
UI is coming along beautifully. We’re meeting today about some manual
stuff, and honestly one of the big problems with making the manual this
time around will be fitting everything in. There are so many options
that explaining them all will be a tough thing to compress into a
little manual. Luckily the UI itself is incredibly self-explanatory –
like the new “A-Hole Button” as Colm Nelson jokingly describes it.
who’s played MP on Xbox Live knows the following is true: Teenagers,
plus anonymity, plus microphone = idiot. Xbox Live already gives you
powerful tools to mute, well, tools on a case by case basis.
The “A-Hole Button” in Halo 3 lets you exact instant, silent vengeance.
These kind of vocal buttmunches, as it turns out, are exactly as fun to
play against as normal people, as long as you can’t hear them. So now,
you simply press a button (back button, for the moment anyway) and up
comes the score list with everyone’s tag on it. The right stick lets
you highlight the miscreant and you can then instantly mute them for
the rest of the game. These morons continue smacktalking anyway because
they can’t help themselves, but if you don’t have to listen to it, you
can simply enjoy killing them over and over again, knowing that as
their Ritalin wears off and their frustration builds, it’s less and
less fun for them. Aaaah. So satisfying.
muted player you have selected in your Xbox Live account overrides Halo
3’s new system, but that should actually enhance the choice of maroons
you’re editing out of your gameplay. Best of all, it means fewer wasted
or frustrating gameplay sessions. We’re doing our best to come up with
lots of smart solutions for stuff like this, but honestly, we can’t be
parents to some of these poltroons. We’re much more concerned with
giving you guys the tools you need to silence them.
STORY: Alta came bounding in this morning, as perky as a dew-kissed
kitten, and starts demanding we take pictures of her in her, I HEART
MASTER CHIEF T-Shirt, and that we pimp the Valentines’ Day limited
edition tees (including a slightly more manly I HEART CORTANA tee) now
available at the Bungie Store. Click here to buy ‘em.
No caption I could come up with was SFW.
Nylund’s latest, Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, is now available in Audiobook
form. You can listen from the comfort of your own bath, rather than
bother with all of that tiresome page turning. To get the Audiobook,
We asked Eric what he thought of this new-fangled “audio” technology.
Bungie: Eric, who’s doing the narration for the Audiobook version of Ghosts of Onyx?
Eric Nylund: A mellifluously-toned chap named Jonathan Davis.
How does it “feel” to you as the author hearing it read back in a different voice?
read my own stuff aloud before (maybe the reason I don’t do many public
readings). This is very different. Having a voice professional give
life to the story is simultaneously a humbling and stratospheric
ego-boosting experience. There are a few glitches in the narrative—but
I felt patriotic in all the right spots, got goose bumps, even misted
up a few times.
How come Audiobook narrators can’t do sweet sound effects like See Threepio?
We can’t all be Joe Staten!
Where do I download this thing and how much will it cost me?
at Audible.com for $20.97 if you’re not a member. Less if you are. And
there’s a cryptic link up there: “Find out how to get this for $7.49.”
I don’t know what that’s about….
to the fans: I’m not pimping Audible.com per se; heck I don’t even get
royalties on the audio version of GHOSTS. I’m merely pointing out that
it exists for people who enjoy audio version of their books. –Eric)
Who would win in a fight, you or JK Rowling?
Rowling. No contest. Chick has mad skillzs!
PS: Big shout out to Allen on my website for pointing me to Audible.com when this came out!
Eric! And we’re going to have more news about Halo fiction coming up
soon. Or it will leak on the interwebs first as usual. But we’ll try to
tell you first, we swear.
finally, a couple of weeks ago, we mentioned that Ninja was going to be
making some significant Halo 2 matchmaking changes. Well, they’re
almost upon us. And just like you asked, Team SWAT is back. Ninja loves
you! Yay. I am personally glad, since Team SWAT is fun even when you’re
losing. Remember though that when we take out game types, it’s for good
In addition to all that, we're also
updating some gametypes to address community feedback regarding some
starting weapon changes and removing a few entries from various
playlists to optimize your gameplay experience.
Here's the lineup for the new Team SWAT playlist!
SWAT Carbines Ascension
SWAT Carbines Midship
SWAT Carbines Warlock
SWAT Classic Beaver Creek
SWAT Classic Elongation
SWAT Classic Ivory Tower
SWAT Classic Lockout
SWAT Classic Sanctuary
SWAT Classic Turf
SWAT Magnums Ascension
SWAT Magnums Beaver Creek
SWAT Magnums Elongation
SWAT Magnums Ivory Tower
SWAT Magnums Lockout
SWAT Magnums Midship
SWAT Magnums Sanctuary
SWAT Magnums Turf
SWAT CTF Classic Elongation
SWAT CTF Classic Midship
SWAT CTF Classic Warlock
SWAT Multi-Flag Beaver Creek
SWAT Multi-Flag Sanctuary
detailed information regarding other changes in this update, or to
inquire about specific issue, please visit the official discussion
thread in the Optimatch forum of Bungie.Net! This update is currently
in the test phase, as usual we are not announcing a release date, but
if all goes well we should be able to release sometime next week!
You can read more about the February 2007 H2 MM update HERE.
And then there's the reason why nobody likes my T-Shirt ideas.