Bungie Weekly Update: 08/28/09
Posted by urk at 8/28/2009 4:33 PM PDT
Twenty-five days out from launch, every engine in the studio powering the Halo 3: ODST machine is running at peak performance.  As mentioned last week, you’re more than welcome to sit shotgun alongside us as we speed towards 9/22, but if you’re looking to go into ODST with fresh eyes, armed only with your own swelling anticipation, this mile marker is where you might want to just shut your eyes, hang on tight, and wait until we arrive at our final destination.

If you do decide to take in the scenery, don’t blame us if you see some stuff that skirts the edges of Spoiler Country.

This Just In and This Just Out

Brian, who you may or may not recall had just returned from his Gamescom tour in Cologne, Germany, is now down in Dallas.  Tonight some pro players will get a chance to see how they make out when they try their BR-less hands against the Covenant invasion and tomorrow, Brian and Shishka will open it up for all in attendance and see how everyone in the crowd takes to Firefight, Citadel, and Heretic.  Pretty sure if you're checking out the broadcast this weekend, you'll get to check out the gameplay as well.

And just like last week, looks like as I'm typing, Brian is sending in some shots directly from the event...



The Stage is Set


Tons Dudez


Certified Pro Player


Enamored


Certified Pro Playa

Visitors and Views

We also entertained some more visitors here at the studio earlier this week, some from distant shores. You’ve seen most but not quite all of the content our press visitors from previous week's cooked up (if not, you can check out it here), and of course, there’s much more on the way. Stay tuned for continued coverage over the coming weeks.

All Shiny and New

If you stopped by the site yesterday, you should have noticed that our web team is readying a whole host of upgrades to make Bungie.net even better. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re saying to yourself, “That’s just not possible. Bungie.net is already the most spectacular spectacle of web design, community support, and game integration the world has ever seen!”

We hear you.  And we totally agree with the latter part of your sentiment, but the upgrades we're promising are not a clever ruse.  They're real.  And if you have no clue what we're going on about, here's a link:

Return of the New Hotness

Bip. Bap. Bam.

The latest Halo 3: ODST ViDoc came in hot early this week. If you’ve yet to have a good look, you can digest it in a variety of delicious flavors right from our Halo 3: ODST Project Page. We’ve got multiple resolutions in both Windows and Mac-friendly formats on hand, and for the first time we’ve prepped some subtitled versions for the hard of hearing and deaf folks in the audience.

Bungie.net – “Bip. Bap. Bam. Welcome to Firefight.”

If you just want a quick and dirty version to watch right now, here’s the embedded YouTube from our official channel:



And of course, if you want to watch Sgt. Johnson in all his stupendous glory, you can grab the ViDoc on Marketplace and watch it in style on your very own, so totally danceable A/V system.

What’s New?

We’ve already deployed two ODST ViDocs for your viewing pleasure, but we’re definitely not done with them yet. There is another, but you’re gonna have to wait a brief spell before you get to see it. Sorry.

You’re definitely going to like what’s up next though. Those clamoring for a more official ViDoc – the more traditional developer documentary-style stuff – are going to get exactly what they’re looking for.  ViDoc Triple is once again a star-studded affair and it’s coming soon. (You can go to bed early tonight and sleep in late tomorrow, though.  It's not coming that soon.)

Speaking of Stars

The pre-PAX Podcast is recorded and almost in the can. Steve Lopez, being the fine upstanding man that he is, is gonna be mixing it over the weekend and making everything sound sweet. He works so hard for you.

Without giving too much away, we think you’ll like this one. It opens with a pretty lengthy section discussion bodily functions and goes downhill from there. In fact, it’s gets so down and dirty we had to record a “mature audiences only” warning for this sucka. Get your parent’s permission before you listen. 

We're hoping to have it live next week to tickle your ears.  No promises.  You know the deal.

Expositional Affairs

Oh yeah, that reminds me. Penny Arcade Expo is just around the corner. Just a week away to be exact. Did you get tickets?  We’re gonna be there and we’re bringing Halo 3: ODST with us.  Who wants to play some Firefight?

Aside from having Halo 3: ODST playable on the show floor, we have some other stuff in the works as well:

Prepare to Drop

Friday, 3:30pm - 4:30pm, Serpent Theatre

Join members of the Bungie team for an in-depth look at the soon to be released Halo 3: ODST and discussions around the game's development. Project leads will guide you through a demo showing off the game's key features and what makes playing as an ODST different from prior Halo games. Learn how the game went from conception to completion with a small team and a very short development cycle.

Panelists Include: Joseph Staten (Creative Director, Halo 3 : ODST, Bungie), Paul Bertone (Design Director, Halo 3 : ODST, Bungie), Curtis Creamer (Bungie), Brian Jarrard (Community & PR Director, Bungie)

"Bonus Round" LIVE

Friday, 10:00am - 11:00am, Raven Theatre

You’ve watched it every week on GameTrailers.com, and now you get to come to a historic live taping of The Bonus Round at PAX! Featuring host Geoff Keighley, N’Gai Croal, Brian Jarrard from Bungie and another surprise guest, The Bonus Round always raises the questions that matter most to the game industry. Plus, get your chance to ask a question LIVE on camera to our panel.

If you’re going to be at PAX, stop in and see what’s up with Halo 3: ODST and make sure you swing by the panels and get your edutainment on.

O Canada

Not to be forgotten, we’ve done some conversion and determined that it’s now economically beneficial for us to let Canada in our Halo 3: ODST Sgt. Johnson pre-order bonus. Actually, we didn’t do any conversion at all (I suck at math), but we did just recently confirm that these Canadian outlets are in on the offer. Some of you have already figured that much out on your own, but if you’re not among said industrious folks, here’s the official list:

EB Games
Wal-Mart
Future Shop
Best Buy
Amazon.ca
Blockbuster
Toys R Us
HMV

And again, no matter where you are, if you want to know if your favorite retailer is in on the pre-order bonus, simply give them a ring.

Double Dose of Matchmaking Updates

September’s Matchmaking shifts are coming in two separate waves. The first round will be the monthly stuff you’re already accustomed to while the second shot will be aimed directly at supporting Halo 3: ODST’s retail launch.  Folks with the shiny Halo 3: Mythic disc should have plenty of places to play the brand-spankin’ new Heretic, Citadel, and Longshore hotness.

Update the First: Beginning of September

General

All core gametypes with AR starts will now be AR/Magnum starts.

Ranked

Playlist order modified. This will not affect Trueskill or EXP rank:

  • Lone Wolves
  • Team Slayer
  • Team SWAT
  • Team Snipers
  • Team Doubles
  • Squad Battle
  • MLG

Team Snipers – Shotty Snipers is now Skip After Veto

Team Doubles – Cubed, Plurality, removed

MLG – Construct, Guardian, and Narrows updated to MLG 6.1 spec

Social

Rumble Pit – Cubed removed

Update the Second: September 21st in the Year of Our Lord, 2009

General

Mythic 2 maps added to all hoppers as optional, except as listed below.

Ranked

Team Throwback – New Ranked Objective playlist. 1 Flag, 2 Flag, and Oddball with BR/AR starts. Halo 3: Mythic disk required.

Social

Team Mythic – 4v4 Slayer and Objective. Vetoing in this playlist will result in a Mythic 2 map. Halo 3: Mythic disk required.

Big Team Mythic – 8v8 Slayer and Objective. Vetoing in this playlist will result in a Mythic 1 or 2 map. Halo 3: Mythic disk required.

Double EXP Weekends (In Order)

  • Grifball – Now Mythic 1 required
  • Team Flag
  • Rocket Race
  • Prepare to Drop – 4v4 Slayer and Objective loosely inspired by Halo 3: ODST. Halo 3: Mythic disk required
  • Mythic Brawl – Halo 3: Mythic disk required.

7 on the 7th

New Community Maps added:

  • Sentiment, Nocticulent added to Slayer
  • Undulation, Coup d’Etat added to Team Slayer BRs
  • Rat Trap added to 2 Flag

Blame Stosh

Stosh went digging in the community files collection again. He came up with this. Is it treasure or is it a stinky and steaming turd? You get to make the call, but either way Stosh gets all the blame.


Watch Your Step

We Out

This is the end of the update. You can keep scrolling, but you won’t find much aside from the navigation pane down at the bottom of the page.  Actually, if you’re really, really bored, why not dig into the wall of links down there and see what you can find?  See you next week.

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