Busy Busy Busy.
First things first. We have a new screenshot. It's one we didn't release last week. You should check it out, and go get a bigger version, and make it your desktop pattern. It is also available in our Screenshot Gallery.
Secondly, we have a new guy. His name is KP, which is short for Kevin Paul. He joins us from Connecticut, and from the HBO Halo fandom community. KP, why don't you introduce yourself?
What's your backstory KP, and how did you land this gig?
I got into the Bungie community when Halo was released back in 2001. I spotted the Se7enth Column link in the manual and used it to find a local LAN at Louis Wu’s house. As most of us know, Louis Wu runs HBO, but at the time all I knew was that he had a very nice house with lots of computers in the basement. After getting to know him and the purpose of those servers I became an active member of the HBO community. I’m currently active on the HBO forums while lurking on several others. I’m also frequently found on irc.bungie.org, a chat server where a bunch of other Halo sites from around the community, such as High Impact Halo, Halo Babies the HBO Clans and even a Bungie.net group - MOAP - come to spam in real-time.
I got this job by sending in my resume when you guys posted the job. After a few months of waiting and interviewing I got word that I’d be heading out here. I finished off the semester at UConn and then headed out to LA for a few days to hit E3 and Deanero’s LAN. Both were awesome and I had a pretty great time. I left LA on Saturday afternoon and got to Seattle that night to meet sorahn, an HIH guy whose place I’m crashing at until mine is ready.
What do you think you're going to bring to the Bungie community?
I plan to bring more Bungie.net content, more community involvement and I also hope, on occasion, to bring in da funk.
What's your favorite Halo 2 map?
Lockout is my favorite by far. It’s just the perfect size for 10 or less players and it’s very well-balanced. I like all the standard slayer gametypes on that map the best. Though in my experience, a perverted oddball gametype called FAE fulfills the true potential of that map.
When did you first see the Halo 3 trailer and what did you think?
I first saw it a few hours after it came out. I was still in Connecticut, but since I’d already shipped all of my computer stuff out here I had to watch it on my 500Mhz laptop with crackly laptop sound, so at first I thought, “Halo 3’s frame rate sucks” and, “Wow, Marty’s really lowered his standards.” Then I went downstairs and checked it out on the awesome computer with awesome surround sound and an awesome monitor. It was incredible.
Have you seen anything cool in the 48 hours you've been at Bungie and if so, how much was your mind blown, out of 10?
Yeah, I’ve seen a few things over the past few days that absolutely blew my mind, all in the good way. It’s tough to describe, you have all this speculation in your mind about all these different facets of the story and game play that you conceive of and it all comes to a head in that one moment. No introductions, no official announcements, no formalities; it’s just there in front of you. It took all of my effort to wipe that stupid grin off of my face for the first day.
Apart from our game, what did you see at E3 that blew your mind?
Not a whole lot, I was just there getting the experience and meeting a bunch of cool people. The new Splinter Cell looks pretty cool, the people playing Spore were interesting to watch and there were a few trailers, such as Assassin’s Creed and MGS4, which were pretty impressive.
What are your favorite games other than Halo right now?
I procrastinated with Need for Speed: Most Wanted quite a bit before and during finals a few weeks ago. Aside from that GRAW has been a favorite and I played through DOA4 a little while ago. At Deanero’s LAN I played a lot of Fight Night Round 3 whenever we weren’t playing Halo and I got hooked. That’s definitely next on my list of games to buy.
To test him out, we set him a challenge, kind of a Humpday challenge if you will, only on a Friday. It was KP against Shishka, AgdTinman, NinjaOnFire and a few of our other test and web guys, all of whom have good to awesome Halo 2 skills. After some significant smack-talk the day before from our guys, the results were interesting, to say the least…
The Inaugural KP Frumpday Challenge
On my first day at Bungie Studios, there was a bit of smack-talking between some of the contractors about who amongst us was the best at Halo 2. Sketchfactor and Frankie decided that we should settle the debate with a contractor rumble. Three standard gametypes on maps everyone should be familiar with. The smack really started flying that night, when Ninja_0n_Fire could even be heard asking, “Why don’t Shishka and I just fight each other and get this over with?” The answer would soon be overwhelmingly clear.
The first game was standard weapons, SMG start on Lockout. It was pretty obvious that HeySiskaGoSiska (sing it aloud) and bruudfodder, Bungie.net testers, aren’t too familiar with the game. Ranfauq and Napole0wned (better known as agdTinMan) knew what they were doing but in the end it seemed mostly a competition between skiska poacher (Ninja_0n_Fire), Shishka and myself. The highlight of the match was Shishka hucking a plasma grenade into skiska poacher’s face as he came up the grav lift. I tried to stay up as high as I could and haord the good weapons, which seemed to work. Beginner’s luck prevailed and I came out on top.
The second game was rifles only, Battle Rifle start on Burial Mounds. It was an interesting match as skiska poacher held the lead for the majority of the time with Shishka and I rarely more than five behind. The strategies varied, bruudfodder and HeySiskaGoSiska both caught me off-guard a few times by hiding in dark places and ambushing while the top three sought the sniper rifles when at all possible. The most spectacular part of the match was when I stuck a Ghost from afar and after it exploded - it came spiraling into my face, my loud reaction to which earned me a stern reminder that this is in fact a place of business.
It was a closer match than the postgame report would seem to imply, but I scavenged a couple kills and then went on a spawn-killing spree right at the end to seal the deal. Beginner’s luck strikes… again?
The final game was another standard weapons set with SMG start on Sanctuary. It was a pretty good match and skiska poacher got off to a sizable lead. However, Napole0wnd felt it necessary to point out that he was beating me, at which point I decided I needed to turn on the mad skillz. My explosion of mad skillz had nothing to do with the fact that I happened upon the sword at that precise moment in time. I walked away with that game too, proving Ninja_0n_Fire’s prediction that it would indeed be a battle between him and Shishka… for second place.
-KP is teh winnar!
Paul Bertone, one of our lead designers, let us play something that blew our minds. That was single player, and from a mission very early in the game. And one that takes place before the events seen in the E3 trailer, but Lars, one of the new(er) multiplayer designers, has a regular multiplayer test in session now - that happens every day - and with surprisingly polished-looking graphics, although I'm told a lot of the textures and decorator objects are just placeholder at the moment. Could have fooled me.
The multiplayer test lab is still packed full of old-school 4:3 480i NTSC TV sets, which tells you two things. One is that we're making sure this game looks awesome on non HD sets, and two, that there is always a crazy rush to get to the sets that are HD during those sessions.
And as a new guy enters, another one leaves. AdgTinMan's contract has come to an end and he's headed off on a beach vacation. Andrew is a tremendously talented artist and we'll miss his abilities. Will he ever return? That's up to him. I even let him beat me at Halo 2 today so he wasn't soured on the idea. Don't tell him though, since he thinks he won fair and square. Also, they brought his sushi late, and he thinks the new X-Men movie is going to suck.
As part of his last day bizniss, Andrew made perhaps the best Mister Chief ever (at least until my top secret Mister Chief project emerges). Not only is it cool, but it's 3D, since he successfully homage-d somebody else's 3D origami-style template. Anyway, we used it to make a Mister Chief photo love story, and if you click on the diagram at the bottom here, you can make your own one, and pose your own adventures.
Disgusting, yes. Pointless? Perhaps. That said, you can now make your own Mister Chief toy/doll and make a more tasteful vignette, no? Click on the image below and print out the big one at 100% if you dare!