Bungie Weekly Update: 04/08/2011
Posted by urk at 4/8/2011 1:39 PM PDT
If you were paying close attention last Friday, you probably picked up on a short clip that Rooster Teeth’s Achievement Hunters, Jack and Geoff, slipped into their latest Fails of the Weak webseries. Hearkening back to last year’s Zugzwang Evolved, the dynamic duo chided DeepBlue6969 and Kaspar0wned for totally sucking big time at the gentleman’s game. Soon after it was discovered that these two suspect players – who were obviously crafted specifically for the stunt – had the foundations of working Chess variant stuffed into their File Shares.

I say obviously, but apparently we should have been way more transparent. On Monday, Burnie notified us that the files had been reported by enough vigilant users to engage Bungie.net’s automated content watchdog system, which subsequently warned people to be wary of downloading Chess, as if the Royal Game was on par with extreme close ups of Kat’s “soft side” and elaborately Forged (and inexplicably nude) anime characters. (Thanks, Bungie.net. That’s way over nine thousand and now I’ll never be able to look at Goku in the same way again.)

Well, Chess is real and it is really official. We hope you so excited (so excited) because Bungie Engineer, Ben Thompson, pushed Megalo – our internal game mode scripting engine – to its absolute limits at last year’s Hackfest (our annual engineering challenge), and Ainsworth resurrected it this year to give birth to the working version of Chess you now have access to. If you’ve yet to check it out, and you’re ready for some intellectual gymnastics (or mental torture), grab it at the link below and keep reading for some step-by-step instructions.

How to Play Chess in Halo: Reach

Once you have the Game Variant, here’s how you make it work, courtesy once again of Rooster Teeth.

Jack and Geoff’s speculation is partially correct. You can play Chess on any map that contains the necessary Forge objects. That means Tempest is in, and oddly enough Anchor 9 also makes the grade, making Space Chess a certified Space Reality. That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for…well, you know the rest.

"Chess on the Beach"

Space Chess

(Special thanks to the ever thorough HBOer FyreWulff for the screenshots.)

Though Ben was able to get nearly every aspect of Chess up and running, several key aspects of the game either do not function, or require honor rules, which is why you won’t find this game mode in matchmaking. He hopes you enjoy it, regardless. If not, maybe Rock, Paper, Scissors is more your speed.

Matchmaking Updates

Apparently Jeremiah didn’t get the memo that April Fool’s was only a single day affair and he’s been spawning some of you directly into a kill volume in Community BTB. Not funny, Jeremiah. Not funny at all. I spoke to him earlier in the week and he wanted you to know that the “Quality Maps” were en route.


Jokes aside, sincere apologies to players who are running into issues in Community BTB. We’ll clean it up as quickly as possible. Until then, Jeremiah is being forced to sit just outside the men’s room where he will practice holding his breath for 188 seconds at a time. A lot of people have been saying it’s an impossible feat, but I believe in him. He’s gotten really close a couple of times before passing out, but a few more tries and I’m sure he’ll have it.

Double :|

From here on out, all Forge Variants that we incorporate into Matchmaking will be mined from the rich vein that is Community Cartographers. I can’t tell you how to get in touch with them – they each have their own unique collection process – but if you have a great map you think is matchmaking worthy, you should be on the lookout in one of several major community mainstays. In fact, I might have seen someone over in HBO’s forums just this morning lining people up for map submissions, but I can’t be certain.

No Other Choice Has He

There was also some unusually strange chatter in the community this week, owed to our lovely new frontpage banner ad and the eleven PlayStation 3 positions we recently posted to our careers page. We’ve already said that we’re developing our next action game for multiple platforms and devices, but apparently plenty of people didn’t get that memo. Some were even deeply offended that we’d abandon the Xbox brand and leave so many of our loyal fans in the lurch.

While we respect and appreciate this frighteningly powerful level of brand loyalty, it should be noted that we’re not leaving anyone behind. We’re simply expanding our coverage area. So, if you’ve got an Xbox 360 tattoo stamped onto your lower back, don’t worry, you’re still on our friends and family plan.

On this same note, Lars thinks we might doing ourselves a disservice by using Dave Dunn’s face to entice PS3 developers into the fold.

“Is this image really supposed to attract talent?”

Well, what would you suggest, Lars?

Works for me…ship it!

Bungie All Stars – Week 13

I feel like a broken record a scratched CD an MP3 on loop. I ask for kick ass content and for thirteen weeks without fail, you’ve delivered. This week, I put out the call for Covenant-themed screenshots. The inbox invasion began immediately thereafter.

Along with the folks who followed the rules to the letter and put themselves in star contention we also, as always, got some interesting fare shipped our way.

What is this, I don't even.


Everybody gets an at bat.



Oh, wow. This is actually really nice. Good work.

Oh, wow.

This last one is actually pretty impressive, no?

Here’s what the creator, Finnish Spartan, had to say about the sculpture.

“I spend a full night with bloodshot eyes working on this project, and star or no star, I got a kick ass model to put on my bookshelf!

I sculpted a Covenant Seraph Fighter. I thought it would be appropriate considering that they are clearly in a key role throughout this mission, all the way from bombarding the launch facility to fighting you in an epic space battle!”

Epic, indeed. You get a star along with seven other standouts from the list above. If you won, your new nameplate is already active. If you didn’t win, thanks for sending me an email. My corner of the studio can get awfully lonely and it was a pleasure to sift and sort through all of your submissions.

Ganbare Nippon Update

I’ve been informed that you’ve pushed our wristband sales count into five figure territory and sales are still going strong. I’ve also been informed that we’re still grappling with Amazon’s support engine in an attempt to get International shipping up and running. It’s a seemingly endless chain of annoyance. I’m annoyed that you’re annoyed, which in turn drives me to annoy Christine, our Queen of Coordination, who has been annoying anyone she can get on the phone over at Amazon several times a day.


We were hoping for a positive update on this front today, but so far we’ve had no luck. If you’re outside the States, we apologize. Christine actually hatched a plan that would have had her manually fielding and mailing out all international orders by hand, but we talked her down from the ledge. As much as we want to extend our program out to as many participants as possible, we can't commit her to endless hours in the mail room. If you're overseas, or just over the border, hopefully you've already found another outlet to satisfy your charitable urges.

If you're in the U.S. you can still hit up the Bungie Store to snag a wristband, or any other item, and we'll donate the proceeds to the Red Cross. Every little bit helps and our drive doesn't end until April 30th.

Bungie Store

Blame Stosh

Stosh is feeling charitable, too.

Thanks for reading. No codes this week. No Jeff Steitzer, either. I’m slippin’. I hope you find it in your heart to give me another chance next week. See you soon.
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Posted by urk at 6/10/2011 2:57 PM PDT

The night is always darkest...

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

It's not you, it's us.

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

We will show thee things which must be hereafter.

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

Seis de Mayo!

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

A Garden of Earthly Delights!

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