The studio is actually closed for holiday today, but I figured we shouldn't just leave you high and dry without any update scraps to gnaw on over the weekend. Here's a bone. Get chewin'. Are we not merciful?
Before you answer that question, you might want to scroll down and keep on reading - today's bone has some marrow, but there's not much meat.
Leaving the food analogy behind, while there may not be a spate of words that paint a grand picture of what the studio is currently working on, it should be noted that in a way you are actually experiencing something akin to time travel. All of these words were typed out on Thursday and I've set 'em to deploy today for your viewing pleasure. Welcome to the future.
And not only are we worming our way through time together, we've also forged a mental connection across the dark expanse of space and time, as if these very words were vibrations amidst a network of loosely interconnected strings. Or something. To flesh this concept out a bit, I'd like you to conjure up a colorful beach ball using only the power of these words and your own expansive imagination. Stop reading until you have that inflatable image bouncing about inside your head. Got it? Next up, conjure a three-legged chicken. It's a little more difficult, but...oh snap, you've got that one too. Good work. We're off and wobbling. This is Extra Sensory Perception at its finest. And yes, we've done this bit before.
But what if I asked you to envision thirty-five community-crafted Map Variants, each and every one destined for the Bungie vs. The World Playlist where you can enter to win a chance to square off against four-player teams of Bungie employees in hopes of winning yourself a shiny suit of Recon armor on Bungie Day? That, my friend, would be a very tall order. I'm gonna need more than just mere words to get that many maps to materialize into your mental imagery. And you? You're gonna need your mouse wheel.
Before we begin our fantastic voyage, let's take care of some light housekeeping from the here and now.
More Johnson For Your Southern Hemisphere
If you've set up shop Down Under or in the Land of the Long White Cloud, we've now gotten word that you can pre-order your copy of Halo 3: ODST at EB Games. They'll have Johnson at the ready to spice up the Firefight experience for all our Aussie and New Zealand peeps. Didn't think we'd forget about you, did ya?
Early next week, we'll update the Sgt. Johnson Pre-order bonus info on our Halo 3: ODST Project Page
to incorporate the new additions. If you're in Australia or New Zealand, you don't have to wait. In fact, you should already be in your car, barreling at high speed toward the nearest EB Games. (Wear your seatbelt.)
All Good Things...
If you were one of the approximate two million players granted free access to Bungie Pro by picking up the Mythic Map Pack, you're now on notice. Your freeloading is over and done with as of tomorrow. We're cutting you off.
But we're not kicking you straight out on your ass. We love you too much. As with all lapsed Bungie Pro offers, we won't delete anything that's currently occupying one of your 24 File Share slots, but you shouldn't expect to be able to upload any new content until you've whittled your collection back down below the standard threshold of six items, or until you buck up and buy Bungie Pro.
Should you decide to plunk down 750 Microsoft Points and pick up Bungie Pro (it's less than eighty cents per month if you break it down!), you'll not only get access to the current server-side suite of enhancements offered by Bungie Pro - namely the File Share expansion from 6 to 24 slots, plus a bunch of extra Megabytes to help you share your content - you'll also get in on the up and coming Bungie Pro Video rendering feature, slated to go live just in time for Bungie Day.
What's Bungie Pro Video? It's the service that lets you take your Halo 3 film clips and turn them into videos you can share with the world. Like so...
Fancy, eh? Bungie Pro Video will be included in the price of Bungie Pro and you'll get five render minutes each month to show off your best (or most hilarious) clips. Next week we'll have more information about the public launch of Bungie Pro Video for you. Check back Tuesday. If you can't bear the wait, here's several thousand rendered videos our beta testers have already kicked out. Give 'em all a good watch.
The Complete Bungie Pro Video Beta Collection
Sneak a Peak
If you've been paying attention, you might have heard about little bit about this game we're whipping up called Halo 3: ODST. If not, MSNBC's Tech Watch has a three minute Nathan Fillion-filled sneak peak preview of a piece they'll be airing on Thursday next week. Since you're a VIP, you get an early look. Check it out.
Tech Watch: Halo 3: ODST and Nathan Fillion
That out of the way, let's take a look at your stable of Map Variants. Know them. Love them. Play some games on 'em.
Enter The Fab Thirty-Five
These are the maps you're going to find in the Bungie vs. The World Playlist on 7/7 next week. Clicking on each image will take you directly the the Map Variant in the author's File Share on Bungie.net where you can queue each and every one of 'em up for download to your Xbox 360. So you see, while this update might be a bit lacking in the word count department, it is decidedly packed to the brim (or would be if it had
a brim) with piping hot content.
Bungie vs. The World will run from 1:00am PDT on 7/7 until 1:00am PDT on 7/8. There is no sign up. If you want to enter, you need to have the Mythic Map Pack and you need to be able to play Halo 3's Matchmaking. If you meet those requirements, head into the Playlist that will go live on 7/7 and if you run into a four-player Bungie crew with heads aflame, defeat them and you get Recon.
Sound good? Download the maps below, dip your toes in, and get some practice before you go swimming with the sharks (that's us) on Bungie Day. These are the arenas we'll be playing on.
In alphabetical order:
Stosh is on vacation this week. If you found anything in your life lacking these past few days...anything at all, it was most certainly his fault. But hey, he found this image. Does it make it all better? Of course not, and you know exactly who to blame.
When I said last week's update was short and sweet, I lied. It was actually a monument to all your sins. I don't know exactly what that means, but what can I say, today is my day off you ungrateful jerk! And really, shouldn't you be busy downloading a giant heap of maps and getting some practice in? You definitely need it. Some of our guys were getting warmed up last night and ran into some players who thought they were pretty epic. Turns out, only sometimes. Better luck next time. Maybe try going to the body with the AR to take out the shields first, then go up top with the BR. Just sayin'.
Have a great weekend. Once we've had our fill of patriotism, fireworks, and cheap malt liquor we'll make our triumphant return. There's much more to come next week. Stay Tuned.