April 14 th 2006
Snoozeworthy update this week, so avoid it if you're waiting for big news, mmkay?
Jeremiah was a bullfrog. No wait! That's just dead wrong. Now that I think about it, Jeremiah, AKA Black Mamba, AKA Ninja on Fire, was a mash-up playlist mixmasta. In plain English, he designs, tests and implements the various matchmaking playlists you hate or enjoy. Mostly you enjoy them and remain silent. But when you hate them, you sure do let us know. Ninja is the only person on staff who absorbs anything like as much teenage rage as I do.
Since arriving back a couple of weeks ago, he's been implementing his long-thought-out changes to the existing playlists. This is just a small selection of the changes he has in mind.
Backwash is being removed from playlists where appropriate. Rumble Armory is being removed. It was cool, but it was temporary. RIP Rumble Armory - we hardly knew ye.
Rumble Hardcore is being added - think Rumble Pit with Battle Rifles, Carbines, and the occasional sniper rifle. Motion sensors will be ON for most, but not all game types in this list. Remember, these aren't team games, so nobody can watch your back except you. In team games, we usually turn it off. In free for all, that prevents the game from turning into a sneaky melee-festival.
In Rumble Pit, all objective games are being removed per your many, many requests. Personally I enjoyed the occasional change in pace, but this makes the list more "pure" if you like. Rumble Rockets is being removed from the Rumble Pit which I am dead set against, but whatever, nobody ever listens to me. Rumble Duals is being changed to Rumble Slayer on Midship and Beaver Creek
In Rumble Training, objective games are being given an increased weight - which means they basically show up more. Rumble Duals is being changed to Rumble Slayer on Midship and Beaver Creek. There are a ton of changes coming, and Ninja is talking about them in way more detail in the Optimatch forums which you can read about HERE .
Timing on all of this is yet to be decided. Basically we've entered the test phase and with any luck, you should see this update in a few weeks.
Joe heard some news about the movie this week, but he's contractually obligated to not discuss it. What a tease. He and studio manager Harold Ryan are heading down to New Zealand in a week or two though, so hopefully they'll return with some news we can use. Or better yet, a full-sized, drivable Warthog for me to cruise around in.
Speaking of Halo-related licensing, one of our staffers came over and said, "I got two words for you - "Halo. Pinball." Well dur. Of COURSE Halo Pinball. The game practically designs itself! Plasma charge for the ball launch, multiplayer voice over for half the achievements, "Flag Captured!" Halo sound effects everywhere, and LED minigames on the marquis board. Sniping? And if you lock a ball somewhere, it's a "Betcha can't stick it!" Roll a ball over the New Mombasa bridge! The list goes on and on.
Anyway, just to be clear, there's no pinball game actually planned. It would just rule if there were. The only company still making pinball games is the mighty Stern. Unless you count Pa-chin-ko, which you shouldn't, because it's not the same thing at all.
We installed a Heavy Bag in the office, over by the kitchen, so that we can enact our rage on it when the stress of a narrow Street Fighter III: Third Strike loss (Hugo's throw is soooo cheap) gets to be too much. It was funny watching people walk past it today. Folks cannot walk by a heavy bag without pummeling it.
We had a company meeting today where we showed the team a couple of things on the big projection screen. There were lots of oohs and aahs. Hopefully we can share those oohs and aahs in the next few months. It's amazing to see some of the progress on the next project. And these little snippets will be a lot less vague and pointless after we announce it. At that point, I'll get back into giving you specific updates on the progress.
Oh and some OXM readers spotted a Mister Chief they'd never seen before, so I included it here. It's one I did especially for them and it took like, 12 days to paint.