Bungie Weekly Update: 9/12/08
Posted by lukems at 9/12/2008 6:17 PM PDT
TU2 Alignment

We’ve slightly rejiggered the TU2 release date as a result of some late-is-the-hour type changes we wanted to make. These changes don’t affect or augment the already much-discussed TU/patch/Autoupdate in any ways that will be visible to you guys.

TU2 will not come out on Sept. 16th and previously stated. It will come out sometime after Sept. 16th and before September 25th – when we finish the 64-man roshambo tournament to decide the release date, we'll let you know.

Ultra Ban

Last week, we mentioned some of the “Peace of Mind” changes that were coming to TU2, one of them being a new type of ban. The grin that crossed Shishka’s lips when the Database Wizards told him about the spell was almost Grinchian. This ban will completely eject you from Halo 3 online multiplayer. You’ll be able to play Campaign, but you will not be able to take part in Matchmaking or online play of any variety additionally, you’ll be banned from playing custom games over Xbox Live. That means no more sitting in lobbies chalk full of jerks recounting about how sweet it was when you boosted your way to 50 or how hilarious your Overkill was when you lagged out those “newbs” in Team Slayer.

For special folks – not the kind of special that your Mammy always said you were, the kind of “why did you lick that steel pole it’s Winter” special – we’ll be retroactively applying this ban to their accounts. You see, dear reader, whenever the Banhammer strikes, records are kept and those records are sortable, viewable and actionable en masse. M-Dub and the Wolf take great pride in the numerical sorting of massive amounts of data while Shishka languishes softly on a waterbed of e-tears.

Also, a fair warning: Don’t pester Shishka’s PM box with cries and bleats for “Mercy.” One time, while watching a replay of a Saved Film that involved me doing something you can only dream of having the skill to perform, I extolled, “GOOD LAWD, HAVE MERCY!” Shishka looked up and said “You’re welcome.”

Oh So Beautiful

In a rare spurt of value and awesome, a link was passed around internally at Bungie this week from our own Halo 3 Forums. User Jaime98 created a machinima montage to some of the more subtle elements of Halo 3’s visuals. A bunch of the things shown in the video were things I’d overlooked while steamrolling my way through Campaign before and after the game shipped.

While the video editing is awesome, I’m not going to say the same about the music. I can’t shake the image of some teen strung out on Adderall with those white headphones wrapped around his neck waving a lighter back and forth at a computer somewhere in a college library at 2 a.m.

Powerful stuff.

Bungie Invitational

Last weekend was the third annual(ish) Bungie Invitational Golf Tournament. In past years folks have paired off and played the Scramble tournament using the buddy system. This year organizer Jay Weinland blew the teams up to randomly selected four-man rosters. We fielded five teams, but 3D Artist Tom Doyle bailed out on Team O’Donnell sans Salvatori at the last minute.

Hitting his 10th teeshot of the day, my teammate CJ Cowan had a fierce rumble in his back pocket – the drive shanked left, Doyle’s faux-apologetic text was to blame.

“Bro, I over slept. Sorry.”

Expletives were dispatched as a response.

Fellow newbie Drew Shy (one of our upstart animators) and Environment Architect Mike Buelterman rounded out our lineup. I’d list the other teams in order of finish, but when you win – you don’t really need to be concerned with the order of finish. Tiger doesn’t care who finished second and neither did we on our way to shooting Even par.

It should be noted that for real golfers, as in people who play frequently shooting even par in a four man scramble is heresy. That said, our moms were all very proud of us.

Nonetheless, meet the teams who were not champions.

Team Dunn
  • Dave Dunn
  • Pat Jandro
  • Bob Glessner
  • Steve Cotton

Player notes: Dave organized his squad in a way that made the jolly starter chuckle. See, the guys all wore mint-green tight-fitting polos and sort-of matching, but equally ill-fitting gray pants. They were dedicated to “looking the part” as much as possible. Their unified front was offensive, but not nearly as offensive as the green/gray color* combination.

Team O’Donnell sans Salvatori
  • Marty O’Donnell
  • D Koeplin
  • Shawn Taylor
  • Tom Doyle

Player notes: Down a man, someone decided to let these guys take an extra putt and an extra tee shot. What kind of mansy-pansy b.s. rule is that? Oh, it’s a rule brought to this event by the same people who decided that folks who couldn’t make it to the Bungie Fantasy Football Draft (I showed up and represented hardstyle) would have their players auto-picked and a correct roster drafted for them. We even used the best-rated players according to some convoluted multi-site rating spectrum spreadsheet that someone put together so they’d get what the experts thought was the best pick. I think next year if people don’t show up for the Fantasy Football Draft they should just automatically double their money. Makes sense.

Shawn Taylor was the secret weapon on this team. He came away with longest drive (crushing the tee shot on the 18th hole 25 yards beyond my boy Mikey B’s 260 yard tee shot) and closest to the pin trophies. Jerk!

Team Gossett
  • Chris Gosset
  • Cameron Pinard
  • Curtis Creamer
  • Steve Chon

Player notes: I’ve played with Gossett once before. I barely beat him. I figured he’d still be scrubby like I am. WRONG. Team Gossett made eagle on the 9th hole and looked to be the odds-on favorite at the turn. We don’t know what happened on the back nine.

Cameron Pinard had the line of the day, when while talking to teammate Curtis Creamer asked him if he needed to actually buy balls to hit on the golf course. See, Cameron hasn’t ever played golf before anywhere other than the driving range, where you roll up put a basket under a ballhose and watch it rain.

Team Weinland
  • Jay Weinland
  • Peter O’Brien
  • Vic DeLeon
  • Graham Bartlett

Player notes: Jay’s teams have won the tournament each time the tournament has been run (there wasn’t one last summer because everyone was knee-deep in crunch). The prize that the winning team receives, in addition to a sweet set of trophies, is the privilege of organizing the following year’s outing. Jay has been relieved of those duties.

These guys complained a lot about finding marshmallows on the golf course throughout the day. We were all really shocked that anyone would suggest that a Bungie team would drop marshmallows on the golf course. Apparently the kind folks over at our “home course” knew we were coming and maybe the caddies there want the BR spread tightened.

Bungie Podcast

Senior Programmer Mat Noguchi joins Brian and friends on this episode of the Bungie Podcast. Noguchi, once known for his rage and bile spewing, is now a tamed, tempered family man. In fact, he was immediately concerned after his appearance because he forgot to thank his wife and child for their unending support.

“Thanks Wife and Child,” says Noguchi.

This podcast was originally slated for release before PAX, but then the show before that was delayed and then the sausage machine that takes the podcast from “Bungie is finished with it” to “America and the world’s ears are ready for it” broke down. Enjoy the meats.

Bungie Podcast 090408 (1:17:15) [91MB]

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*I think it was green and gray; I’m colorblind.

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