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Halo 2.


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#51
A Munkeys Uncle

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Broken links.

#52
A Munkeys Uncle

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The Weekly Update.

quote:



BUNGIE WEEKLY UPDATE, Feb. 6, 2004

It has been a busy week. We're going bananas building and designing the new website (more on that in the coming weeks) and generally having a ball seeing the game come together. Animation, sound, environment and gameplay are all frantically combining into a delicious soup.
The Cananimators have also been working on very subtle transitions between walking, running and sprinting, so that the movements look fluid and natural. More impressive, bizarrely, is the animation for stopping and turning. The trick is going to be finding a balance between its usefulness and playability – which is true of almost any game feature.

So basically what my take on this is that momentum will play a role in the gmaeplay. The characters animations will coincide with how the game feels basically. Cool stuff. That's just my take on it.


quote:


Joe Staten and CJ Cowan have been very busy bees. Yes, the same kind of bees that Homer's nightmare dog spits out. They've been working diligently on game-engine cutscenes and transitions between levels. Using the game engine helps keep the player anchored more firmly in the game world. There have been some tweaks and modifications however, so the cutscenes will look sharper, thanks in large part to the use of the new graphic engine's features. Specular highlighting, mad bump-mapping etc.

The cutscene I watched had been put together fairly recently, and was for timing and positioning of cameras, but looked pretty finished. The only way to know it wasn't done was the fact that none of the characters had walking animations, they just kind of glided around.

None of the actor voices (unless you count Joes Staten yelling, "I'm fighting!" in a high-pitched voice) are attached to the cutscenes at this point – more on that next week, hopefully. The cutscene in question is actually a tremendously important one. Email me months from now and ask me which of the many shockers it was and I'll tell you.
"He got the POOPS working!" You'll be relieved to know that "POOPS" is not an acronym, rather just a term Chucky, one of the programmers, uses for "instance geometry." Instance geometry is a term that covers what Chucky describes as "low level" stuff. You might describe it as bits of the Halo world. Instance geometry "objects" aren't strictly objects at all, at least as far as we define them. They're things like columns, planters, basic world objects. As far as getting the POOPS working, Chucky simply got them all to behave the way they should in terms of AI reaction, shot ricochets, player collisions – all that kind of stuff.

The beauty of instance geometries is that while they're textured, lightmapped, bump-mapped – the whole nine yards – they seldom involve much work for the level and environment guys. Often they can simply be placed in the right spot and left to do their business. Normal objects have to be sealed and carefully implemented into geometry – instance geometry is a whole lot easier to deal with.

Normally these things are pretty ho-hum, but anyone who's been in a campaign firefight, or a game of rockets on Hang 'Em High knows that POOPS are pure gameplay. They're places to run, hide, dodge and take cover, and they often breathe life into a level.

Mat Noguchi is up to something pretty special too. He just perfected a neat technique/tool/trick that allows the player to hear all the important game dialog in a completely natural way. No longer will you sprint by an event and miss a vital clue from an NPC (Non-Player-Character). We can't tell you exactly how it works, suffice it to say that when it happens, it'll make perfect sense.

Basically this was a problem in the Library while you followed 343 Guilty Spark, since when he (it) gave clues of the story (as it unfolded) he was sometimes quite a distance from you and you'd have trouble hearing 343. Especailly because of the fire fighting moreso than the distance, but both were issues. Of course everything unfolding throughout cut scenes as well. It was a real henderance trying to stay close enough to Guilty Spark to hear what was going on. Good to see (or hear in this case) this wont be an issue anymore.

quote:


Marty O'Donnell and co., have been tooling around with footsteps, trying to make sure that when Master Chief walks, runs, sprints crouches and creeps, that an appropriate footfall is heard (or not in the case of creeping). Right now, thanks to some experiments with Dolby surround, it's occasionally possible to think your own footsteps are someone else's. That little "feature" is very easy to fix – but one issue with surround sound is that there's no "down" so Marty's feeling is that footsteps should cue from the front and center speakers since they handle "close" sounds better. But you will be able to detect a subtle difference between left and right footsteps.

Basically what they are saying here is that the footsteps won't be in 5.1DD sound, only Pro Logic which is what other systems max out at. So we'll basically be able to hear where people are coming from but not as accurately as 5.1DD will be. More importantly just as in Halo, I'm sure gunfire, screams, explosions, NPC voice overs (in game and cut scenes) and what have you will still be in 5.1DD sound which is very important to gameplay. They did a GREAT job with footsteps in the first game, I'm sure this will be much better and there are now stealth elements to the game, so...

quote:


Of course, all these sounds are based on the surfaces you're moving on – so different sounds and effects are going to be applied for metal, indoor environments, echoey spaces, gravel, you name it.

This is nothing new to anyone that's played Halo.


quote:


A big meeting this week happened to get the manual process in gear. One thing you might not know about Bungie, under the auspices of Microsoft, is that this studio gets an amazing amount of control over every detail of the project. That includes action figures, poster art, Grunty Thirst mugs and of course, the game manual. The Halo 2 manual will be awesome. Maybe, dare we say it, a heck of a lot more awesome than last time? Working on a manual is pretty brutal too, since you have to cram so much information into a space small enough to fit in a DVD case. If it were up to us, it'd be 500 pages long and bound in holographic Mylar. With an LCD panel on the front. So far, the only section finished is the list of multiplayer levels which are…no wait, I can't put that here.

Finally, I would like to thank Alta, the Bungie Princess for hooking us up with food all the time – people here are putting in crazy hours at both ends of the day (except for Parsons, who rolls into the parking lot in his Ferrari around noon on a good day) and totally kicking ass. Anyhoo, enjoy the new objet d' horror and we'll see you next week! For more! Bungie! Update!
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#53
Shady

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They are really digging deep into the realm of gamer/game connection in this title. My God, this game seems like it is going to encompass everything a gamer needs.

Any word on the soundtrack? I know of a song that would be vary fitting to the game and the story. "The Noose" by A Perfect Circle. I just think it would be marketing genius(like MS usually has been) to take and utilize this songs heart for the game. It really is a fitting song.

#54
A Munkeys Uncle

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The same person responsible of the music (not song) in Halo will be doing the music in this game. There was over 750megs of music in Halo, and it all sounded great, that doesn't include sound effects so just the sound alone in Halo wouldn't have fit on a CD, and now Halo 2 is going to have over 20,000 lines of dialog, even MORE sound effects, and probably more music. Not to mention I feel the music in Halo is the best ever, of ANY videogame.

#55
Brock Sampson Kills

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The electric guitar doing the Halo Theme during the Silent Cartographer level is pretty intense. Most of my friends that play at my monthly Halo LANs seem to think Halo 2 is a myth, some marketting scam by Microsoft...

#56
A Munkeys Uncle

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Your friends be wrong. Halo coming to the PC may have been a marketing scam to get more people to buy Halo 2 though.

I like the guitar as well, on of my favorite beats are the drums as you come out of the tunnels in Assault on the Control Room, and the claironet as you are flying across the fields before the Maw.

#57
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I'm going to a tourney friday.. should be fun.

not bloating, but... i'm number 1 in my group.. i need to go to a local 'tourney HQ' and see how good i really am.. playing new ppls.

#58
A Munkeys Uncle

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Funny Comic

#59
Lord Malice

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quote:


Not to mention I feel the music in Halo is the best ever, of ANY videogame.

Ever play Homeworld?

#60
A Munkeys Uncle

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No. But I'll listen to the music if you link me to it.

Please link it here? I really don't want to turn this thread into a Homeworld vs. Halo (2) thread laugh

That said I highly doubt it will do for me what the music in Halo did for me, no other game has even come close and that includes FF VII, Time Splitters 2, Might and Magic 2, Morrowind, KOTOR, Chrono Trigger, Curse of the Azura Bonds, Golden Eye, Perfect Dark, Super Mario, and many others with GREAT music. You name it.

#61
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hey.. who draws those cartoons?

#62
Lord Malice

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They used complete orchestral pieces in Homeworld. Including some stuff I've played. Not to mention, a song written for the game by the rock group Yes.

#63
A Munkeys Uncle

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I use to listen to "yes."

The music in Halo is VERY credible, it's done by an orchestra, btw, a very well known one but I'm not much into that style of music so I can't remember the name of the group, but Halo's music moves me in a big way.

That said if you happen to come along a link then I'd appriceate it if you'd send it to the link above. I'll be looking as well and if I find it first I'll link it there and then listen to it.

#64
Joedark0

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Reality:
hey.. who draws those cartoons?

its from www.vgcats.com

btw, i bought the official Halo Soundtrak :D

#65
A Munkeys Uncle

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Joedark0:
 

Joedark0:
hey.. who draws those cartoons?

its from www.vgcats.com

btw, i bought the official Halo Soundtrak :D

Did you get it on CD? I think I'm going to buy it. I'll be playing any shooting game that supports custom soundtracks to Halo's theme. That would rock.

#66
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A Munkeys Uncle:
 

A Munkeys Uncle:
 

A Munkeys Uncle:
hey.. who draws those cartoons?

its from www.vgcats.com

btw, i bought the official Halo Soundtrak :D

Did you get it on CD? I think I'm going to buy it. I'll be playing any shooting game that supports custom soundtracks to Halo's theme. That would rock.

yhea, I did :D

on the way home from B&N, after picking it up, since it was a custom order, I listened to it on my cd player all the way home :) thumbs_u

#67
A Munkeys Uncle

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Anyone every play Bungies first game on the Mac? Marathon. Keep in mind this game came out in the very early nineties.
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#68
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Sorry about the double post had to get the weekly update in sooner or later :D

quote:



Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 00:07 Frankie -
I get a lot of mail here. Some of it asks perfectly reasonable questions, about multiplayer Halo 2 features, or what it's like working at Bungie, that kind of thing. A lot of them are explicit or implied death threats, or impossible requests to store outlandish objects in uncomfortable places. I tackle it all with gusto, like a red-faced optimistic German tour guide. "Ha, ha, I am so jolly to enjoy your correspondence!" But a lot of the letters ask things like, "Why don't you put movies in the updates?" or, "Why don't you run this column on the front page of IGN?"

Well it's simple — the weekly updates are (and always have been) designed to be a window on the process and people here at Bungie. It is not some official geyser of Halo 2 information; for that very reason, we post in occasionally obscure Halo and Bungie fan forums. [Editor's Note: Obscure? Don't make me sic Tyson on you...] If we went up on the front page of Gamespot or MSN every week, people would have warped expectations of the weekly update. Of course, the update gets mirrored immediately, and that's cool ; we want lots of people to read and enjoy the updates, but they're here for folks who're curious about the process not so much the product. Nearer the game's release, there will be fountains of really gritty Halo 2 stuff, but until then, the Bungie Weekly Updates will continue in the vein they have been.

The Web Team is entering a phase that can only be described as ballistic. Long hours and brutal deadlines are just part of the process in our plan to bring you a new-improved Bungie.net, without sacrificing any of the charm, community or functionality you've come to expect. A lot of programming work has been completed (and we're excited to unveil some cool new features in the near future) but a lot of the time consuming work at this point is graphical, as Zoe and Lorraine work hard to create pages that look fully Bungiefied.

Brian is heading out to LA on one of the biggest community events ever to happen in the Halo universe; it's the finals of the World Halo Championships, with participants from all over the world battling it out for ultimate Halo dominance. We'll bring you a full report on the events next week.


One of our readers decided to make an HOMAGE to Mister Chief, which is as I had feared, another reason to flesh out the Mister. You can check out the fully playable, 3D, Mister Chief's Mayo (do NOT want to know what Mister Chief's "mayo" actually is) and pick up ammo, blast Covenant only slightly better drawn than Mister Chief himself, and eat ribs to refill your energy bar.


The marketing guys take a lot of flak, but they really do work hard in some of the most unpleasant circumstances in the gaming world. This week for example, Cam and the guys had to make a trip to Manhattan, to choke down Martinis and steaks with ad execs on Madison Avenue, while discussing Halo 2 tie-ins: You know, like, "Viagra and Halo — the Two Biggest Things This Year" or, "Halo 2 Toilet Roll: Wiping the Galaxy Clean!"

They are actually working on some cool tie-in promotions, and later in the year you'll start to see the fruits of that labor. This time around Halo is very well known quantity, so other products want to get a piece of the marketing action.


Tyson has been working on animation and AI issues on a giant piece of geometry. Since the geometry has edges and drop-offs, the trick is getting the AI characters — in this case Grunts — to fight and dodge successfully, without actually falling off, or getting confused by the boundaries of the object.

They don't work for Bungie, but two guys are racing those Minimoto bikes around the parking lot. We're very jealous. If only there was a Miniwarthog.

Marty and the audio guys are always a wealth of information. This week they've been tuning the script; a lot of the lead voice over work is being recorded in LA next week and everything has to be super tight. There will of course be some returning favorites, like the Chief and Cortana, but there will be lots of new actors and talent too, so Marty's going to be working with a lot of new people, explaining things to them like, "No, Grunts don't sound like James Earl Jones, squeak it up more!"

He's also been trying to pin down final sounds for objects. The Warthog, for example, is being continually tuned for gameplay, so they're making teeny adjustments to acceleration and RPMs; problem is that Marty's sound effects are all tied into that, so anytime a tweak is made to gameplay, some slight overhauls of how sounds work have to be done. Marty's concerns are slightly different from gameplay — his Warthog has to sound satisfying while still accurately describing what's actually happening on screen. That's a careful balancing act.

Adrian, who I am basically related to thanks to an in-law in New Jersey, is working on lightmaps for the game. Specifically, he's fixed the "incident radiosity vector." Halo 2 has a ton of real time dynamic lighting, but a lot of basic stuff, like big stretch of open city or grass, can be lit using lightmaps — basically a way of applying "fake" light sources by coloring and shading objects rather than wasting pointless amounts of processor overhead doing it on the fly. If you know how an area is always going to be lit, there's little point doing it on the fly — especially when you want to save CPU cycles for more interesting stuff.

Lightmaps are rendered an object or an area at a time — the color and light information isn't just painted on, it's carefully and painstakingly calculated (to be real-world correct) by a bank of (currently) 20 servers. The room they're housed in is a balmy 94 degrees right this second (and under constant supervision), but Adrian's very pleased by the exponential increase in rendering speed over the original Halo. A lightmap that once took three days to render can now be calculated in a couple of hours. On the last game, that meant that if a lightmap wasn't exactly perfect, good enough would have to suffice. This time there's opportunity to redo anything that isn't perfect.

The lighting decisions also affect how bump-maps look, so Adrian's looking at what direction a bumpmap should "shadow" when the final light passes are made. In short, the lighting in Halo 2 is a heck of a lot more convincing than that seen in the first game.


Rob McLees was busy in his corner — too busy. When asked what he was up to, he looked up, barked, "More guns!" and went back to his screen.


Pete Parsons claimed that he couldn't tell me what he was doing this week because it was so top-secret. However, he later admitted it was because it was boring.


Bill O'Brien is in tunnel-vision mode, animating a new type of Covenant soldier. Can't tell you much more about what kind of Covenant it is, but you know it's alien and you know it's bad. This guy has actually been partially-complete for a long time in design and AI respects, but now Bill's challenge is to get his transitional animations, when he stops, slows down or changes direction suddenly.

This particular varmint/critter/monster is presenting a number of fairly unique challenges for animation and AI, as well as some tricky problems for the player to contend with.
So until next week, check out what it would be like if Mister Chief had his own game! Even though now technically, he does...

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#69
rogmancometh

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Well all I know is I just reserved my copy at ebworld. Yeah for me.

#70
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New Update.

WTF!!!!

quote:



* Paul Russell just showed me a hole in the ground between two parts of a level, and pointed out that thanks to the sheer scale possible in the new engine, he could literally fit all of the geometry from the first game, inside the hole. Of course, scale is relative, but that's the general idea.



quote:



Weekly Update

Feb 20, 2004


Hello, and welcome to the February 20th edition of the Bungie Weekly Update, where we open the window just a crack, on the antics and shenanigans going on at Bungie Towers. The weekly updates are designed to illuminate Bungie and Halo fans on the game development process - not the product per se.

* The team has a big milestone coming up. A milestone is a thing invented by a grown-up about twenty years ago to make sure that programmers (in those days, fragrant hippies with bits of cheese and mice in their beards) quit sucking on bongs long enough to actually finish programming a game. These days of course, a programmer is a very different animal. Taut, lean and ripped, with cat-like grace and deadly martial arts skills, they'd be Special Forces infiltration operatives were it not for their l337 haxorz skillz.

The object of a milestone is to first, prove that a team of 60 people hasn't simply been sitting around watching Spongebob and winging Twinkies at each other, and second - to produce a reasonably complete section of the game. In this instance, it's a very important level from later in the game (don't read too much or too little into that kidz, we don't always build levels in order).

The best thing about a milestone (apart from the fact that I just get to observe the process from the safe distortion of a beer glass) is that when it's done, we get to watch it and play it. Some of the biggest Halo geeks I've ever met are sitting right here, making it, and every time a milestone is complete, the guys here enjoy it every bit as much as you would.


* Poops are back.

Remember "poops" are things added to levels to give them life and strategy such as the blockades and what have you that were in Halo multiplayer levels.

quote:



Well, not that they've been anywhere, but now they're behaving properly and playing nice with the non-player character AI. Poops, if you didn't read the prior update, are pieces of "instance geometry" like columns, planters, just things you might encounter in a real space. Poops are much easier to position, edit and move around than the more complex building structures and other objects – but populating a world properly with poops can really bring it to life. Damian and the guys have been implementing them in the levels, but with little attention to how they affect AI and physics until now.

Of course properly implemented poops mean that characters now behave differently than before, and this will give both testers and designers something to think about as they see how the AI responds to the new pathfinding challenges.


* Greg and the animators have been working hard to get Dual Weapons properly implemented in Multiplayer – the problem of course isn't putting them in, it's making them balanced. Early implementations basically turn Master Chief into an unstoppable force of evil and matches can end far too quickly – as if everyone suddenly had rocket launchers. The fine tuning and balancing required to make dual weapons an advantage, but not a ridiculous advantage, is a tightrope the designers will be walking for months.

For me the coolest part is seeing how the two weapons interact – control schemes are being fiddled with there’s a whole bunch of stuff I would love to tell you here, but can’t. I can tell you that Master Chief right now holds each type of gun in a totally convincing way. The other animations – for reloading, crouching with two weapons and switching them, look buttery smooth. I want to PLAY this.

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with suddenly becoming a horrifyingly powerful superplayer…

* Gaze Tracking, or the, "What the hell are you lookin' at pal?" system is in, and it looks great. In multiplayer games, the characters will now turn their heads to follow either you, or the object in their reticule.

I have to stop here, that is freaking amazing! So wherever peoples cross hairs are pointed their characters model will look that direction. That's SICK! It also adds a gameplay element, and if you read below you'll notice that you'll see the direction they are looking by the gaze from the light on their mask, probably from far distances as well. Damn that's awesome!

quote:


That means that you can probably start to feel rightfully uncomfortable if some jerk on your team starts to stare at you. It will also have a very subtle effect in multiplayer battles, where you can see what else a multiplayer opponent or teammate is looking at, literally by following their gaze.

You may not even have noticed that in the original halo, characters simply pointed their faces straight ahead. Not a big deal until you see how it compares with this new alternative. Little things like that sound small in isolation, but put all these tiny factors together and they weave quite a tapestry. Of death. A tapestry of death.


* The scripts are finished and the first round of dialog is almost all being recorded this week. Joe Staten, the cinematics guru, lets Bungie folk pore over the scripts and make suggestions or changes – you'd be surprised how tightly thought out the Halo universe is. A staffer could for example note that a bit of military terminology is being used incorrectly, or that an Elite would never say, 'Ooh, Master Chief gave me an owie!"

Seeing the script, the writing and the dialog are among my favorite aspects of the job – but it does kinda suck knowing what happens at the end. I mean, who'd ever have suspected that Master Chief was a ghost? And a chick. A ghost chick! Seriously though, it's hard to know whether to be disappointed or excited by scripts. Part of you is like, "Holy crap, this is so amazing!" and the other part of you is like, "Aaw man, I just read 20 pages of spoilers."

Most of the dialog is being recorded in California but a couple of actors are based up here, and a couple more in Chicago so Marty and Jay and Joe are juggling that aspect too. I wanted to be a voice in the game, but my best baritone still sounds like a wasp farting through a harmonica.

* Paul Russell just showed me a hole in the ground between two parts of a level, and pointed out that thanks to the sheer scale possible in the new engine, he could literally fit all of the geometry from the first game, inside the hole. Of course, scale is relative, but that's the general idea.

* Lorraine, resident Bungie artist, has been porting over reams and reams of content from the old site to the future Bungie.net – a job as necessary as it is tedious. Lorraine actually created a lot of the art, and is very protective of Bungie's graphical assets. More interestingly, she just approved the base for the Flood Carrier Form action figure that was debuted at last week's Toy Fair in New York. We'll all get to see the action figures next week so they can be approved for production.

Lorraine has also commissioned artist Eddie Smith to create hi-res images that we'll use for "assorted promotional purposes." Eddie's stuff is fantastic and he works fast, so we can't wait to see the results.

Next Week: More of the same, plus some different stuff, plus a few things that are similar, but not identical. And naturally it'll be on a different forum. But until then, "enjoy" Mister Chief's near identical dual-wielding problems.

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It's really cool what Bungie are doing for the small websites around the internet too. They are posting the update at a different Halo forum every week.

#71
A Munkeys Uncle

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Figured I'd throw these in here as well. It's MC's armor and goes for about $1300.00, or you can win the armor at Halo LAN contests.

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#72
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New update. It was posted at the teamxbox forums this time.

[QUOTE]
Bungie Weekly Update!!! (Post #1)
About the Fake Weekly Update

Some Halo fan put up a reasonably convincing fake update this morning on a forum and caused a minor tizzy– needless to say, it wasn't us. Basically, if you're suspicious, just check out www.bungie.net – if we don't link to it from there, it's probably fake. Here's this week's short and sweet update.

Working on the lightmap farm.

Zach just told us he's been working on the lightmap farm. Maybe it's because I've had a brutal head-cold, but I suddenly imagined him, sleeves rolled up, ruddy-cheeked and up to his elbows in the dirt, reek, and good honest work of a lightmap farmer. Of course, what Zach actually does is build a utility to make some computers share a tedious workload. It allows numerous machines (mostly Compaq rack servers) working diligently, to do some boring, time-consuming, but ultimately vital lightmap rendering, so that all that geometry is properly lit when it gets spat out at the other end. Some of the better lightmaps are starting to trickle onto current Halo builds and the results are very pleasing. The biggest difference I see, apart from an overall improvement, is really convincing bright sunshine, and therefore better transition into shade. You almost want to cover your eyes when you step into the light.

So I peek into the lightmap farm, just because I'm curious and Harold, who's the cigar-chewing Teamster-type who runs all of test said that I should get the hell out of the lightmap farm; "Toasted buttercake like you wants to be careful around these here computers. Wouldn't want to get your face elctrificuted, wouldja?" He's working on porting over old Marathon web content to the new Bungie.net. We're kind of doing that in reverse order – moving Halo 2 stuff, then Halo, then Halo PC stuff, working our way back through gigabytes of ancient materials. There's some really cool old pre-Xbox Halo stuff hidden in there, that even people here hadn't seen. We'll let you look at it one of these days…

Mat's Secret Sound Stuff

Mat Noguchi says he's been having some fun with the chaingun. I gotta go find out what he's been doing…

…back. He HAS been having fun with the chaingun. Along with Jay and the other sound guys. Basically they've been tuning surround sound effects so that when debris kicks up around your feet and scatters, the sound effects are parsed correctly into 5.1. The effects will apply to any surface for ricochets and debris – dirt, snow and so on, but even cooler is the sound of flybys. In Halo, when a bullet whizzed by your head, it was actually a stereo effect, so you couldn't use the noise to tell exactly which direction it had come from – that's fully fixed for single and multiplayer this time.

There will be different effects for each weapon, and some of them are artistic rather than realistic. A real sniper bullet for example, would make a very short-sounding noise if you were lucky enough to hear it miss. In Halo 2, for the sake of gameplay – they actually chose a longer, louder noise so that you'd be able to associate that sound with that weapon. Much more detail later!

Chris Creates Life!

Chris Butcher has been tweaking and refining the controls for dual-wielding. As you can imagine, coming up with a scheme that doesn't alienate Halo players is tough, since every button was used in the original game. Suffice it to say that so far it works great and gives you plenty of options for swapping weapons, going back to single-wielding and tossing grenades. Naturally there are limitations – Master Chief can't dual-wield everything – why for example would you want to use two sniper rifles simultaneously? Anyhoo, of all the major game changes – I think this one will be the most smoothly implemented, based on what I've seen and played. It'll be second nature after one or two games.

He's also been playing around with implementing – gasp – ambient life in the new levels. And I mean ambient, you know, bugs, birds, that kind of thing. As opposed to rampaging herds of Triceratops. Small elements like that can really bring an area to life – and combined with the ambient sound effects, it'll make for a much richer environment. But as about thirty people mentioned to me, ambient life would be the first thing to get chopped if it didn't help the game, or if it became problematic for the schedule.


Lorraine in Toy Shocker!

Most of the Bungie team are perversely Halo nerds. They love Halo T-Shirts, mugs, posters, stickers and other junk. No surprise then that their favorite Halo memorabilia is the toys from Joyride. They're cool-looking and actually fun to play with. A few Halo art peeps contribute to how the toys look, but Lorraine McLees is the point person – and hse takes it very seriously, which is why it was a relief when she was delighted by the final prototypes of the new Chief, Grunts and Warthog.

The characters are the three-inch tall variants, and Chief gets to sit in a correctly scaled (and therefore giant) Warthog. Best of all, it's the LAV version, with the triple-barreled rocket launcher. The new armor is fantastic looking, and seeing it in real-life is kind of startling. Makes you realize just how imposing the Chief really is. Plus, he's carrying the battle rifle!


New Multiplayer Map!

Obviously there are lots of new multiplayer maps, but I just tooled around in a big, new, cool one that I predict will be as beloved (by me at least) as Blood Gulch. Of course, I haven't actually played against anyone in it yet, but it's my favorite kind of map – huge, and full of surprises. Just for context, my fave current maps are, Blood Gulch, Death Island (for PC) and Hang 'Em High. I think this new one has the coolest elements from each. If anyone gives a crap, I'll say which one it was after the game ships.


That's all for this week, more next, until then, here's a pastoral scene to help you relax:


Check out this vehichle.

#73
Brock Sampson Kills

Brock Sampson Kills

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That shot doesn't look like it's "in-game" for some reason...Never-the-less it would be nice to bag...

#74
soapofdurden

soapofdurden

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Water combat=fun

#75
A Munkeys Uncle

A Munkeys Uncle

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Holds five players, I just hope that this isn't the model that was taken out of Halo. I hope it makes the final version, and it'd be nice if it made it to multiplayer as well.