Bungie Weekly Update: 03/13/09
Posted by urk at 3/13/2009 3:16 PM PDT
Coming off of last week's towering wall o' text, we're returning to something a bit more manageable.  Lighter on words, we hope you understand that though we like to keep you filled in on what's going down, there are a number of things we just can't talk about.  As we've said all along, when we can, we will. 

And really, who are we kidding?  Most of you have already scrambled to check the URL, right-clicked the inline images, and called up the source code, scanning for Mythic Map Pack codes like Cipher staring deeply into the scrolling lines of verdant code.

You remember what happened to Cipher, right?  No?  Well, what about Cypher then?

Mythic Map Pack

There's not much news on the Mythic Map Pack front.  Word on the streets is that the Halo Wars LCE is, in fact, in limited supply.  If you haven't managed to pick it up or snag an early code through some other means, chances are you're in a holding pattern until the Mythic Map Pack is available for purchase on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace.

If you want something to distract yourself with in the meantime, might we suggest Halo 3's campaign?  Not to toot our own horn or anything, but we hear it's pretty sweet (toot, toot).  Tell you what, fire it up, snap some screenshots of Scarabs in action, slap 'em in your File Share tagged with "Scarab," and we'll take a look come Monday morning.  We'll sift through, pick a good number of favorites, and if your snaps are on the short list of our favorites, we'll let you have a good, close-up look at Covenant Scarabs being assembled.  Deal?


Leap of Faith

If you still demand another distraction to bide the time between now and the release of the Mythic Map Pack, we're continuing our examination of some of the custom content that will eventually make its way into Halo 3's Matchmaking experience sometime in the not-so-distant future.  Up this week? Spooky House. 

Oddly enough, the name fits the map.  This haunted house, mysteriously hovering in the sky over Sandbox, was made for those looking to sink their teeth into some delicious brains.  To help us flesh out the description, we've asked the map's creator, Shay, to provide us with some answers to a few brief questions.

Spooky House


Nowhere to Run

Q. What was the core concept behind Spooky House?

A. I wanted to make a Zombie map on Sandbox that would keep everyone in the same area and encourage the defenders to work together. While testing Sandbox we played quite a few Zombie games on the default layout and one of the biggest problems we encountered was that all the defenders would leave the middle area and hang out on the outer edge. If any of the Zombies got too close they could easily backpedal and kill the Zombies before they’d get anywhere near them. With Spooky House that’s not an option.

Q. Any special things you did to make it live up to its “spooky” moniker?

A. Using the different objects in Sandbox I tried to make it look as much like a haunted house as I could. I used wood bridges to board up the windows and the gloomy effect to give it a spookier feel. In the gametype I created, the Zombies are forced to the color white and I believe a 25% transparency to give them a ghostly look.

Q. Why did you choose the “Sky Bubble” as the space you wanted to build in?

A. I really didn’t want the defenders to have any reason to leave the Spooky House. If you do leave, you’ll soon find that there isn’t anywhere to go but down, plus you’re just going to make it easier for the Zombies to get you. This was also the best way I could get the Zombie spawning to work with the mancannons.

Q. Is this only a Zombies variant, or do you envision it could be utilized for other gametypes?

A. I guess you could potentially play a King of the Hill game on it with each floor being its own hill. One gametype I wasn’t able to do was Ghostbusters. I wanted to switch the spawning so the Zombies started in the house and the defenders had Sentinel Beams. Sadly the Sentinel Beam isn’t an option for starting weapons.

Q. One of the prominent features of Spooky House is its multiple vertical layers. Why did you decide to build upward instead of outward?

A. I wanted to give the players as much play area as possible in such a confined space and making the house multiple stories just made sense. I also wanted the defenders to be able to set up defense on any floor, so as the defense breaks down they can move to higher ground. Finally, the roof is meant to be a sort of “last stand” area where you can have the option to abandon ship and jump to the ground floor, but then you’ve got a house full of zombies and nowhere to go.

Q. What about the Mancannons?  Seems some fling Zombies to the tip top and others send them to the base and force them to make the climb through the more dangerous inner sanctum. Was that intentional?

A. The mancannon thing came from another map I made, Cubed. I had them on opposite sides and they would send the player up to the top level but I found that if you hit them wrong you’d be sent flying into a wall. When I started making Spooky House I thought it would be cool to make the Zombies fly in from different directions. The mancannons at the back of house were a replacement for some tunnels I originally had there. As far as having Zombies be able to reach the roof, that part wasn’t planned but I decided to leave them in. While testing the map we found that for some reason we didn’t respawn there as much as we would at the other two, so consider yourself lucky if you spawn there.

Q. What would you say sets Sandbox apart from its warehouse predecessor, Foundry?

A. Well, after discussing this with the rest of the ForeArm team, we came up with a pretty simple answer: EVERYTHING. It’s bigger, it’s better, and it’s nearly limitless.



We don't know who or what the ForeArm team is, but we suspect you might be hearing more from them in the near future.  We know you'll be hearing more from Shay - another one of his maps, Cubed, is also slated for some Matchmaking play.  We'll corner him one more time to give you the goods on it's playable perches before this ride is over. 

But those questions and answers are for another week in the not-so-distant future.

From the Feed

Despite warnings and extended bans, people continue to muck around in our news feed.  Like pigs in the slop, some of you just aren't satisfied with the other venues we provide for you to communicate with us and instead choose to roll around in the mud until we notice you.  Well, you've been noticed, you stinky little oinkers.

halo 3 MYTHIC MAP PACK
Nosey 100 writes: WHEN WILL THE MYTHC MAP PACK WILL COME OUT FOR THE XBOX LIVE MARKET PLACE AS A STAND ALOND DLC PLEASE ANSWER AS FAST AS POSSIBLE

As you can surmise from the absence of an official, personal reply to your query, we were not swayed by your demands.  Nor were we goaded into supplying an answer under the crushing weight of your capitalized assault upon our news submission feed.  But we do appreciate the "please."  Traditional manners are lost upon so many these days.

The truth is - and we've relayed this same info over and over again - that we can't clue you into the date just yet.  When will we?  Soon™.  Maybe next week if all goes to plan.  Still, something tells us that plenty of you will skip right past this section of the update to ask about the date anyway.  Prove us wrong.  Please.

Jonas Brothers Hits an all time Worst!
Britney Fan X10 writes: Pity da fools.
Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience has receive the #1 worst movie on IMDb. Voted by users.

You know what else hit an all time Worst?  The news submission feed when it was saddled with your submission.  Okay, that's probably a bit harsh (and definitely unfair to the really ugly stuff that shows up in the news feed), but you should really leave the Jonas Brothers alone - they're just a trio of wholesome young lads with silken shocks trying to positively shape the soundscape of pop music.  Plus, they're dreamy.  And they donate ten percent of their income to charity.

DON'T YOU DARE SAY ANYTHING BAD ABOUT OUR JONAS BROTHERS.

What is this?
Confused 1137 writes: Why has this appeared?

The question is not one of why "this" has appeared, or even what this is, but rather, it's one of how. Materialization of objects into one's perceived reality, whether they are tangible, mystical, or completely imagined, can be, and often are, born out from an infinitude of mental machinations, including hallucination, mental illness, and actual physical manifestations detected and described by our sensory perceptions.  Even the latter, while seemingly the most concrete and universally accepted evidence of the defined "real" state of matter, has been explored and questioned by ages of philosophers to no avail and with no definitive answer.

"Why has this appeared?," you ask.  Friend, the only confident answer we can supply in response to your query is simply, because.

Working for the Weekend

If you've made it this far, congrats, take a few days off from your hectic work week.  Relax.  Fire up your Xbox 360.  You've earned it.  We have too.  Enjoy your weekend, stay safe, and Stay Tuned.  We out.
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A Garden of Earthly Delights!

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