Bungie Weekly Update: 05/29/09
Posted by urk at 5/29/2009 4:07 PM PDT
This is gonna seem kinda strange, but indulge me.  I want you to picture a fishbowl.  Goldfish, party of one.  If it helps, go ahead and shut your eyes.  Maybe take a few deep breaths, but don’t go snoozing on me, we've got a little bit of ground to cover. Got the fishbowl in mind? Good.

I think it might have already been established that I'm a fairly simple man.  Though I'm not eleven years old, when I use my mind’s beady little eye to conjure up a fishbowl, I might as well be.  Where the more right-brained among us (freaks of nature, as they are) might be able to craft a flawless representation of a fishbowl, capturing the subtle motion of the crystal clear ripples playing at the water's surface and each small aquamarine pebble's perfect placement at the bottom of the glass, I see little more than a cartoon. 

My water is represented by a lackluster stand-in, the scalloped line.  My goldfish is the kind of crude approximation you might find on the back of a mid 90's Tercel, either proclaiming the existence of God, or offering a challenge via Darwinism.  The only bit of dramatic flair my brain is willing to offer comes by way of three small circles in stasis.  These de-oxygenated triplets, my cortex assures me, more than sufficiently convey the physiological complexities that exist to extract and excrete gases, thereby providing the goldfish with both life and buoyancy. Like I said, fairly simple.

Whether or not your own bears a striking resemblance to mine and we're now forever bonded as shame brothers, or you concocted something that's now giving you an unbridled sense of creative superiority doesn't matter all that much.  You can go ahead and stow that memory.  We're going to spend the next few paragraphs adding a new definition to the word "fishbowl."  Here's the figurative from my own dictionary (I'm not claiming to have written or published a dictionary, mind you, I just happen to own one).

"Fishbowl - a place open to public view and criticism : there was no privacy in his office; it was a fishbowl."

That's the kind of fishbowl I'm talking about.  Of course by this definition, nearly every office at Bungie fits the bill.  Typically when you take your seat inside the studio, everybody can see in, and everybody can see out.  If you're a person prone to being distracted by shiny objects onscreen, you'd probably bump into a lot of folks while you were making your way around the study.  That's why we don't do public tours.  Insurance, see.

But though the analogy could be stretched to encompass most of the studio, the proper noun, "Fishbowl," belongs to the joint occupying a pretty sizable chunk of the corner near the studio's front entrance. In fact were it not for the soundproofing, someone with a keen sense of hearing might be able to make out, say, the ratchet of the front door’s handle being tested by potential perpetrators.  Perpetrators whose fathers help them get in on the act.  Where was I?  Ah yes, aside from its proximity to the main entrance, the Fishbowl also boasts some serious hardware that other, more traditional fishbowls don’t.  There's a latticework of heavy wrought iron beams with a handful of enormous bolts to moor the room's framework to the exterior walls, and thick, heavy-looking panes of virtually soundproof, green opaque glass that serve as both wall and work surface for some stuff you more than likely won’t ever see. Super secret type stuff.

Inside you won’t find any fish, seaweed, or sand, but you might spot more than one tiny Master Chief figurine riding one of several, even smaller scale vehicles.  I think the whole scene is meant to be commentary or metaphor of some kind, but there's a good chance someone just likes to play with toys.  Not sure.  Oh, and there’s also a buttery leather couch, which my ass tells me is well renowned for its lounge-worthiness, positioned directly in front of a sizable plasma screen television.  If you happen to find yourself parked there, nine times out of ten, you're about to see something pretty damned awesome.  This is where our ViDocs are fashioned and our trailers, forged.  It's from the bowels of this Fishbowl that Bungie's multimedia assault is staged.  It's even where our B.U.N.G.L.E. Pro™ trailer took flight before it soared into the wild.

It's been a little while since I got a glimpse of something inside the Fishbowl.  For the most part this week, the door's been shut tight.  No big deal, it turns out that “virtually soundproof” is not the same thing as “ completely soundproof.” Nope. That four-syllable word really does quite a bit of heavy-lifting when it comes to the meaning modification department. While I can’t see directly into the fishbowl, no matter how aggressively I press my face against the glass and fruitlessly pray for x-ray vision, it turns out that my desk is parked about three feet from one of the FishbowI's glass walls. 

Not only has the audio been seeping through the "soundproof" walls to meet up with my ear canals, lovingly caressing the delicate tympanic membranes nestled deep in the darkness (and amidst disgusting mounds of filthy wax, no doubt), it's also been surging its way upward and outward through the adjacent wall and along the ventilation beneath the tiled floor, giving my desk, chair, and unspeakable nether regions (you’ll learn about these when you’re older) a good, healthy shake.  When I said the fishbowl boasts some serious hardware, I wasn’t just talking about the materials used for construction. It has a pretty rumbling A/V system to boot.  (Don't judge me.)

At the outset of this past week, those reverberations were busy manifesting themselves into a primal pulse. From outside the Fishbowl, I couldn't really make out much more detail than that. I only got to hear the heart of it – the low register beating its way out of its corner office confines, slow and steady.

Doesn’t matter much, the sounds that were pouring out earlier this week have gone silent.  Someone must have turned a knob and dialed it down.  But just before the music stopped, it was briefly replaced by something altogether different - broken by a series of violent thuds.  It triggered something kind of odd while I was sitting at my desk: a memory.

It’s June of 1993. Two children are waiting inside a parked SUV. It’s night. Rain is coming down in sheets. Out of nowhere, there’s a single, ominous thud. The boy in the SUV immediately stops fidgeting and crawls over the back seat to look out of the glass windshield. His face has gone stark white. There’s a glass of water in the cup holder. The surface ripples when the next thud sounds. The boy turns slowly to his sister and asks a simple question he doesn’t really want her to answer.

Did you feel that?

This update space has always been a place open to public view and criticism, a fishbowl of a sort.  Admittedly in recent months, we haven't given you all that much to look at, no matter how loudly you've tapped at the glass.  We know, at times the updates have been a lackluster stand-in for the news you crave - a crude approximation with only small bubbles to add a little bit of dramatic flair.  Don't worry, next week you'll be able to stow that memory too.

Feet First Into Los Angeles


Our E3 Strike Team is being deployed and confirmed fully operational.  Some of the more astute among you have already had eyes on some of the groundwork that's already been laid to set the stage for their arrival.  If you're scratching your helmet-less little head right now, head over to GameTrailers and get yourself briefed.  You'll find a brief shot of some of the booth assets that frame what we'll be putting on display and a little nugget of information dropped by Tricia Helfer, the actress who plays Dare in Halo 3: ODST. (Actually, that is the nugget of information.)

For those who can't make it to Los Angeles to check out the coverage in person, don't worry, we'll save you a seat right here at Bungie.net.  See you on Monday.

Are Video Games Art?

It’s become a frequently asked question as electronic entertainment begins to blur the line between pure exhilaration and delves ever deeper into more evocative emotional spaces. But whether or not Roger Ebert believes that today’s crop of excellent gaming experiences are fit to bear the moniker of “art” makes little difference to us. In fact, there’s no need to even discuss it.

If you want to turn Halo 3 into art, you can ditch the pretension.  From this moment forward all you need is Haloscreenshots.com.

“In collaboration with Bungie and Microsoft we are bringing the artistry and almost infinite content of the Halo 3 world into your world. For the first time ever, custom screenshot images created on the Xbox 360 console during Halo 3 gameplay are available as remastered fine art products, and delivered ready to hang on your wall.”

And when they say fine art, they definitely mean it.  They also publish art for some esteemed venues you may have heard of, namely The Guggenheim and the Vatican Library.  But since not all of us can set foot in such hallowed sanctuaries of fine art, Haloscreenshots.com is going to bring the very same expertise and impeccable attention to detail they offer all of their clientele, right into the comfort of your own home.

As of right now, Haloscreenshots.com has integrated their advanced technology into our own, turning every single screenshot in our vast Bungie.net collection (yes, including all of your own snapshots) into a potential work of art. And the process couldn’t be easier– there’s no paint to mix or painstaking apprenticeship required.  All you need to do in order to turn any Halo 3 screenshot into a work of fine art is click on the link included with any of screenshot in our collection and follow some simple instructions.


Find the screenshot you like and click on either of the links depicted by the arrows in this screen.


From the Haloscreenshots.com website, select the type of product you're interested in.


Choose the appropriate size.


Select a Framing option.


Verify your order details and checkout.


Pretty easy, eh?  The service is already up and running, so go ahead and dig right in.  If you have any questions or require any technical support, you can get check out Haloscreenshots.com for answers to all of your questions.  They've even taken it upon themselves to gather up some of the "best of the best" from the entire collection should you rather just choose from a smaller offering of featured screenshots.

Haloscreenshots.com Screenshot Gallery: Best of the Best

Out of Control

Looks like the Team Control Recon contest we ran last weekend inspired you to churn out a few thousand screenshots.  As always, there was way too much awesome stuff to choose from.  Of course, there was some really awful, terrible, no good stuff too.  But hey, as long as you had fun playing that's all that matters, right?  In fact, to illustrate that very point, we're not going to give out Recon to anyone this week.  Your reward was the good times you had in Team Control.  Eat it.

Just kidding.  If your screenshot was selected as part of this week's winning class, then you've already been set up with your new suit of armor.  Enjoy it, but remember to play nice.  As good as it might feel to slip into your new duds, it'll be equally embarrassing to have us reclaim the set and digitally depants you in front of all your online friends.

Everyone else who participated and didn't come away with cash or prizes, thanks for playing.  We'll have a new contest up and running this weekend.  Check the blog tomorrow for more details.  To make it even more interesting, Haloscreenshots.com is going to be putting up some awesome prizes of their own.  Check back for more details.

Blame Stosh


The weather turned gorgeous in Seattle and it seems Stosh has found himself some sun-soaked inspiration.  There are some pretty large gulls circling the shores of the Puget Sound, but I don't think we've ever seen one make off with anything larger than a toddler.  This is just downright absurd.  Of course, if you're not fooled by this simple illusion and you want to vent about it, when you shout into the heavens the name on your lips that follows the expletive is of course, Stosh.


Snatched

Stats Like Phat Stacks

If your mother is anything like mine, she's probably swigging whiskey and and soaking her feet right now.  Wait, that's not right.

If your mother is anything like mine, she probably told you one or twice that you're as unique as a delicate snowflake.  Well, turns out she was lying to you and we have the stats to back it up, courtesy of our own database artist extraordinaire, Michael Williams.  If you ever wondered how many other players have chosen the same visual settings as you have for Halo 3, here's the rundown on some of the more obvious expressions of individuality you'll find on our digital battleground.  In the case of each list, with the exception of the least favorite Service Tags, they're all ordered from most to least used.

Silence!

1,609,689 players have enabled the option to Mute All.  Was it something we said?

Xenophobic Much?
Nine out of ten players elect to keep their humanity intact and choose to play as SPARTANS rather than Elites.

What's Your Favorite Color?
I'm not a big fan of the pastels either.  It really accentuates my unnatural pallor.

Steel
White
Blue
Green
Red
Sage
Brown
Silver
Violet
Orange
Cobalt
Teal
Rubine
Gold
Pink
Yellow
Crimson
Tan
Sapphire
Aqua
Orchid
Cyan
Khaki
Lavender
Olive
Salmon
Coral
Pale
Mauve
Peach

Slippin' Into Some SPARTAN Duds
Shoulda worn Hayabusa?

SPARTAN Helmet

Mark VI
Rogue
ODST
Hayabusa
C.Q.B.
Mark V
Scout
E.O.D.
E.V.A.
Security
Recon

SPARTAN Body

Mark VI
C.Q.B.
Hayabusa
E.V.A.
Katana
E.O.D.
Scout
Recon

SPARTAN Shoulder Right

Mark VI
C.Q.B.
Hayabusa
E.V.A.
Security
Scout
E.O.D.
Recon

SPARTAN Shoulder Left

Mark VI
Hayabusa
C.Q.B
E.V.A.
Security
Scout
E.O.D.
Recon

And They're All Playing SWAT
Just like their human counterparts, our Elites tend to stick with the default.

Elite Head

Combat
Assault
Ascetic
Flight
Commando

Elite Body

Combat
Assault
Flight
Ascetic
Commando

Elite Shoulder Right

Combat
Commando
Assault
Flight
Ascetic

Elite Shoulder Left

Combat
Commando
Assault
Flight
Ascetic

How Ya Lookin'?
2% of you are way too sensitive, but 54% percent of you find our porridge just right.

3 Default (54%)
4
5 Medium (10.1%)
2
1 Low (4.5%)
6
7 High (3.6%)
10 Insane (2%)
8
9

Favorite Call Outs
B0nd.  James B0nd.

O07
M16
I69
H20
H03
I87
P26
D13
L01
S80
B08
G66
X69
P90
J69
S69
M37
G13
A69
B52

Bottom of the Bunch
Not a 69 in the bunch, these are your least favorite Service Tags.

E00
C00
D00
N64
N84
N34
A55
P52
A01
C17
V50
F46
E74
P00
F43
U50
F49
E51
F48
N19

Emblematic
The ten most iconic emblems...

Phoenix
Jolly Roger
Valkyrie
Champion
Skull King
Crossed Swords
Crosshairs
Runes
Hawk
Spartan Helmet

Behind the Scenes
...and the backgrounds that love them.

Blank
Circle
Shield
4 Diamonds
Dreamcatcher
Ball O’ Fire
Display
Buzzsaw
Gradient
Sprocket

We Out

And we're done here.  We've got some pressing stuff to take care of.  Though we're going to slow things down a bit on the Bungie Blog for a brief spell, you'll still want to fire up your browser and drop in to see what's up.

Enjoy the weekend.  We hope it's sunny wherever you are.  Stay safe.  And as always, Stay Tuned.
Bungie Weekly Update: 06/10/2011 

Posted by urk at 6/10/2011 2:57 PM PDT

The night is always darkest...

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Bungie Weekly Update: 06/03/2011 

Posted by urk at 6/3/2011 1:50 PM PDT

It's not you, it's us.

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Bungie Weekly Update: 05/27/2011 

Posted by urk at 5/27/2011 1:19 PM PDT

We will show thee things which must be hereafter.

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Bungie Weekly Update: 05/06/2011 

Posted by urk at 5/6/2011 4:26 PM PDT

Seis de Mayo!

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Bungie Weekly Update: 04/29/2011 

Posted by urk at 4/29/2011 2:29 PM PDT

A Garden of Earthly Delights!

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