Bungie Weekly Update: 08/21/09
Posted by urk at 8/21/2009 4:05 PM PDT
Easy stuff first:

Bustin’ Recaps

If this is the first time you’ve dropped into Bungie.net this week to check out what’s going on, take a second to get yourself up to speed. We dropped a pair of Rally Point screenshots from ODST’s Firefight and a trio of In-Depth articles into the mix. The latter dig into the second half of the Mythic Map Pack for Halo 3 and actually aren’t quite a trio just yet. Heretic is still on approach. Less speed, more luxury.

First Look: Rally Point

Citadel In-Depth

Longshore In-Depth

Hear No, See No

We’re just barely over a month away from Halo 3: ODST’s street date. If you’re struggling to keep every last bit of information under wraps so you can experience everything from a fresh perspective when you finally get to play, tread lightly. Press previews are starting to roll out and some folks just don’t get why you wouldn’t want all the tasty tidbits forced upon you the moment you load up the forums.

Since we have no way to police every darkened Internet alley you squat in, it’s up to you to pick and choose where you get your information and how much risk you’re willing to take.

Transforming Transport Truck Tour

Beefy 13-ton truck looking for Firefight-loving fan to spend some quality time with. Promises thrills and a sneak peak at Halo 3: ODST. Adults only.

You hear about this? Twenty-two cities, eight Xbox 360’s, and a whole truckload of Halo swag courtesy of Microsoft and GameStop. They say this bad boy clocks in at a “beefy” thirteen tons, which is like ten times larger than thirteen standard tons and over a hundred times more meaty.

Our Visual Design team coated this sucker, inside and out, with some eye-candy you’ll need to see to believe. In fact, check out some shots of what you’ll see if you happen to catch up with it when it comes to your area (or you go on a great journey of your own):


The Payload

Room With a View

If you want to track down the truck and play some Firefight, here’s the list of stops along with some more details:

Can’t wait for “Halo 3: ODST” to drop on September 22? Then suit up and get set for the “Halo 3: ODST” GameStop Tour! Microsoft and Bungie have created a massive, transforming “Halo 3: ODST” Transport Vehicle to take the game directly to players at GameStop locations across the United States, providing a hands-on sneak peak at one of this year’s most anticipated games.

The action begins this Saturday, Aug. 22, in Redmond, Washington when Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson and Bungie kick off the nationwide “Halo 3: ODST” GameStop Tour outside the Redmond Town Center GameStop (17128 Redmond Way, Redmond, WA). The “Halo 3: ODST” Transport Vehicle deploys at noon and will remain active until 8:00 p.m.

Fans in each city of the tour will have the opportunity to experience the all new Firefight multiplayer mode in “Halo 3: ODST” and score “Halo” swag for proving their skills (all participants must be age 17 or older).

Built from a modified M820A2 expandable truck, the “Halo 3: ODST” Transport Vehicle provides a fully customized mobile gaming experience. Measuring 27 feet long and 14 feet wide when fully expanded, and weighing a beefy 13 tons, the “Halo 3: ODST” Transport Vehicle is a “Halo” party on wheels, outfitted with eight Xbox 360 console rigs featuring “Halo 3: ODST.”

For the most up to date list of tour cities, times and locations, visit http://www.gamestop.com/halo.

In Cologne

Little word reaches our stateside bunker from Brian’s Gamescom excursion. Only a few scatter shot relays here and there to let us know that he’s still alive. No doubt he’s been ultra busy (overdosing on Sauerbraten and Reissdorf) showing off the Firefight goods and giving exclusive, first look screenings of our latest ViDoc, which has been properly localized for a German audience. Alien Schweine!

Last I heard Brian was still in the throes of the abrupt time zone shift, but still kicking all kinds of...hold on, incoming transmission from Cologne. Looks like Brian’s gonna personally deliver the word from Gamescom after all:

Willkommen Bei Feuergefecht

Team Bungie is on the ground in Cologne, Germany to promote ODST at the gigantic Gamescom show. This huge gathering puts E3 to shame in terms of crowds and scale, a fact clearly evident with our whopping 32 stations of hands-on Firefight ("Feuergefecht") compared to the mere 8 we had in Los Angeles. We have five different maps available for play including the world premier of the latest map, Rally Point. So far the game has proven to be a hit with consistent crowds and lines for the duration of the show.

Upstairs we've been doing round-the-clock campaign demos for over 200 worldwide media. We're showing the same demo we did at E3 which includes the opening cut-scene, a bit of exploration through New Mombasa and start of the Oni Alpha Site campaign mission. As a grand finale, we're giving a sneak peak at the next ODST ViDoc which is slated for worldwide release on Xbox LIVE marketplace next week. So far it's been a big hit including the special German language addition that was made just in time for the show.

It's been a long day here in Cologne with two more full days of the show to go. So if you'll excuse me, it's time to log off and go hunt down a few biers before we drop back in tomorrow. Auf Wiedersehen!”

Getting Set

Getting Carded

Getting Hands-On

Getting Awkward

Getting Briefed

As Brian notes, the new ViDoc we keep unmercifully teasing you with should be ready for public consumption next week. Time to refresh the site like there’s no tomorrow. (Or just use the RSS feed. Whichever works.)

In Seattle

Stateside we’ve been kept busy by some visitors. We booked a small, in-studio room for our guests to set up shop in for a couple of days, fired up the release build of Halo 3: ODST, and sealed them inside so they could spend some alone time with Campaign and Firefight.

My original plan was to do a brief interview with some of these folks after they wrapped up their play sessions. I thought it would be pretty interesting to talk about the process from their perspective. What it’s like coming into the studio, playing through the title before anyone else gets to, getting locked into a room with no food, water, or human contact for 48-hours straight. That sort of thing.

Alas, two work days reserved to complete the Halo 3: ODST Campaign and dig into the Firefight missions didn’t afford our captives much down time. Once we realized it was going to be a bit of a stretch, we even agreed to extended their time both days in an effort to accommodate. In the end, they still ran out of time. When the cab pulled out of the lot at the end of day two, my dreams of a insider’s look into game journalism vanished in a cough of charcoal exhaust.

Maybe next time.

Loose Ends from Overhead

The two Mythic Map Pack articles we linked to above were missing a pretty key element: overhead shots. We didn’t have them prepped when the rest of the content ready to go, so we decided to run them and pop back in later with some updated assets. These top down takes include weapon, equipment, and vehicle layout on each map. And while Heretic’s write-up has yet to materialize, we do have the overhead ready for inspection. Indulge:

When Comfort, Function, and Elastic Waistbands Collide, David Allen’s Tale

Producers David Allen and Matt Richenburg were browsing Amazon.com last week when they came across the ever present phrase: “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought…” The recommended item on display: Zubaz.

This, of course, is where the story should end. David Allen, in all his naivete, forged on ahead.

A Reenactment

“I would procure this absurd article of clothing – this pantlike mockery – if only, come week’s end, you would dare dress yourself as a fool for the full duration of the work day!” Matt said, devilishly twisting an invisible, yet richly waxed mustache.

“Do not doubt that I would agree to your terms, sir, but I must confess I would only do so assured by my belief that you would not be capable of acquiring this ridiculous garb in sufficient time. To satisfy the terms of such an arrangement, I would demand delivery on the morrow!!!” David replied fool-heartedly, extending an overeager hand in confidence; pumping Matt’s own appendage in a hearty and businesslike fashion that belied the Devil’s bargain which had now been struck.

And the physical act itself – two hands clasped and shaken – loosed some shred of sense and understanding within David Allen. Upon completing the gentleman’s arrangement, he instantly recoiled.

“I must not and will not don the Zubaz!” David declared.

But there were many a witness.  The promise was made. The bargain, binding.

Matt hearkened directly to the distributor of the Zubaz.

“Good sir, I require that a delivery of your clown’s accouterments be sent by parcel immediately,” Matt excitedly demanded, “The price bears no consequence!”

Only now, with hindsight and horror, must we all bear witness to how incomprehensibly wrong he was. There is always a consequence, my dear friends.  A price that must be paid.

And yup, someone took pics.

Thinking Man

Worst.  Camo.  Ever.

Maxin' Relaxin'

Blame Stosh

Stosh dun good this week. Blame him for finding this:

Step 7

We Out

We’re bouncing. You can stick around if you want. Just make sure to hit the lights when you leave.

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