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WU thumb19 October 2007
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Bungie Weekly Update: 10/19/07

Posted by lukems at 10/19/2007 5:22 PM PDT

Just like Santa, there are two lists. The Naughty and Nice - there's something for folks on each list.

Harbinger of Doom

There are those of you doing things you shouldn't be in Halo 3. Some of you have gotten a little too famous for your own good. This ain't a church and there is no redemption or salvation once you have been judged. Apologies are now officially to late to save you.

The storm approaches.

Love, Bungie

And now for the Nice Folks (which means almost everyone).

Most of the time, Bungie.net readers only hear from Frankie, myself or Sketch. Occasionally one of the web devs pops in and we'll talk to folks from the studio on the site, we gathered a bunch of quotes, quips, memories and thanks from members of the Bungie team and put them together for your perusal and hopefully, enjoyment. We're eternally grateful for your support. Now, on to the letters.

"Thanks to my family and friends for all of your support during this wild ride.

Thanks to everyone at the ETC for helping me realize my dream of making games, but most of all to Randy Pausch. Randy, you've done some amazing things and inspired more people than you'll ever know. I'm honored to know you, and I'll miss you when you're gone. Thank you. (If you haven't heard Randy's 'Last Lecture', search for 'Randy Pausch' on Google Video. It's worth it.)

Finally, thanks to all of the fans. Your passion never ceases to inspire me."

-David Allen, Associate Producer

"I just want to thank all of the Bungie fans that support our games so fanatically. I was a Bungie fan long before working here, but now I actually get to MAKE the games too. HELLZ JEAH!"

-Lars Bakken, Multiplayer Designer

"Your 100 word message goes here, but with more words."

-Christopher Barrett (aka Barry), Art Lead

"I hope you enjoy the game. Turn up the sound and don't skip the credits!"

-Matthew Burns, Producer

"So long, Master Chief, we'll miss you. It's been a fun journey - now get some rest.

Thanks to everyone who has played, created and explored the heck out of this trilogy. I remember back in 1999 after finishing up the Myth World Cup, looking in from the outside and thinking 'How can Bungie possibly make a community for Halo that's as great as the one that grew up around Myth?' But I needn't have worried; the people are what makes the community, and we're lucky to have such a group of talented and inventive fans. Hope you guys like what comes next."

-Chris Butcher, Engineering Lead

"My sincerest apologies to the spouses or girlfriends of my buddies Witch King69, Wickedwassup, Copman6971, InegoMontoya98, Yaters, Secord 20, and the rest of the usual suspects. I'm sorry we made the game so darn good. "

-Dave Candland, Interface Design

"After working our asses off for so long, you'd think we'd resent Halo 3 (and each other). But I just want to say that this period in the process... this "launch window"... reminds me why we do this. To see you: THE FANS with such joy on your faces and glee in your voices as you play this game you truly love. Few artists experience what you are giving us right now. Thanks for making it all worthwhile. "

-C.J. Cowan, Cinematics Director

"It wasn't easy making an entire level look like the inside of my large intestine but I think I pulled it off nicely. I just wish people would stop calling it the goatse level."

On the day we locked all Halo 3 content I seem to recall having phoned several prominent game developers, chuckling and then hanging up on them. Looking back it seems so juvenile an act, and I'd like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to them in advance for the next time I crank-call them.

I remember the first time our regular "3pm coffee clique" ran into the Google gang at our local Starbucks. You could feel a palpable tension in the air as the stink eyes were cast. I don't think they like us much but I'd like to change that.

There was this one incident involving one of the mission designers, an empty pizza box, and a voluntary bowel movement into said pizza box. After that everything gets blurry."

-Vic DeLeon, Campaign Environment Artist

"Thank you to all you fans out there who have shown so much appreciation for Halo 3. It's really great to see such passion exhibited by others for something you worked so hard on. It is my opinion that the fans of Bungie's games are the most passionate video-game fans there are. Thank you!"

-Dave Dunn, Environment Artist Lead

"Ship it.

Spending over a decade in awe of Bungie and everything she does has taught me two things; Bungie makes the best games, and Bungie has the best fans. To HBO, Rampancy, IBO, RvB, and the dozens of smaller sites who give us their unyielding support: thank you, none of this would be worth it without you."

-Max Dyckhoff, AI Engineer

"Working on Halo 3 has been an amazing experience. Working with all the talented people at Bungie has been phenomenal, and the response from the fans has been overwhelming. To me, this game is a monument to the talent, passion, and dedication that we have at Bungie. World domination, here we come. "

-Bob Glessner, Tools Engineer

Top 10 things heard during the development of Bungie.net:

  • "Tom, could you look at your screen and tell me what you see?"
  • "It's going to be glorious."
  • Actual Bug Title: "Layout is seriously Screwed"
  • Chris: "Check this out!" Colm: "huh..."
  • "I thought we were going to make the site look better."
  • "Stosh, check your gamma."
  • "This is the page that will make everything perfectly clear.
  • "No one will use screen shots, cut it."
  • "We're going to rule the internets."
  • "Zach, I need more hard drives."
-Chris Gosset, Bungie.net Lead Web Developer

"Last December, Bungie worked with the USO to hold a Fanfest in REDACTED . We loaded up 36 Devkits, 36 flatscreen TVs, several crates of controllers, power supplies, and cables, and five Bungie volunteers and shipped them across the world to REDACTED . And then we held a massive LAN party right in the middle of the REDACTED . Being chosen to represent Bungie and bring Halo 3 (and a reminder of home) to some of our biggest fans, the deployed servicemen and women of the US Military, was a great honor and one of the high-points of my career. It was a small amount of thanks, considering the amazing sacrifices they choose to make on our behalf, but they were so humble and appreciative, it was worth every bit of risk and expense. (Plus, we got to ride in REDACTED !)

So, I want to thank all the members of the US Armed Services, and I hope they enjoy playing the final game as much as we enjoyed the opportunity to play with them last year."

-Jaime Griesemer, Sandbox Design Lead

As a complete noob to both Halo and Bungie, and coming from many years of small team development, stepping into the Halo development world was a bit intimidating. The dedication of the fans, and the sheer volume of their passion for Halo was something I'd never experienced on any game I'd worked on before. The passion of the fans and how everywhere we turned there was another Halo story being told in print, TV, burger shops, and suburban dive bars was simply astounding. Thanks to Bungie and the Fans for making a game like this possible, there's really nothing like it anywhere else!

-John Gronquist, Effects Artist

"To all you good people out there grenade-jumping, head-shotting, Warthog-driving, shotgun-camping, flag-capping, corpse-hugging, controller-tossing, and folks generally enjoying the fruits of our blood, sweat, and tears: Remember to always recycle. Future generations will love you for it. And so will Bungie. Forever."

-Justin Hayward, Environment Artist

"One of my best memories of working on Halo 3 came half way through the mission creation of the 'Tsavo Highway'. For a long time, I was working away on the environment art of the level itself and was enjoying how it was coming together in terms of game play and aesthetics. However, something was lacking and I couldn't really put a finger on it. One day, I loaded up the level and was checking out my own geometry when I noticed that our sky artist had added in his sky asset. Looking at the new, huge cool-looking vistas really made me feel I was playing a Halo level for the first time during the creation of this environment."

-Samuel Jones, Campaign Environment Artist

"Writing the terminals was as maddening as it was fulfilling. There wasn't enough room and not enough time to pour into it—there never is—with everything else that was going on. We still had to keep in mind that there were people who were going to be looking at these things on a tiny CRT. They should be able to read these things too—and that means a very limited number of words per page. Even with HD resolution there is only so much damage we are willing to do to your eyes—meaning none. And so our mantra became 'brevity is the soul of wit."

-Robt McLees, Writer

"Memories: Months spent in the early story committee, hashing out the broad strokes of the Halo 3 arc. Coming near to blows over the exact timing of the Gravemind's introduction. Hatching the secret terminal plan. Sitting in on way more dialogue recording sessions than I needed to. Jumping from AI to UI (aren't they close to the same thing???) in the final days of development. Trying to plan a wedding and crunch at the same time! Pride to have worked on one for the books. (And I still hear the environment artists' "BOOooo—ooOOP!" ringing in my head ...)"

-Damian Isla, Campaign Engineer / Additional Writing - Terminals

"Around 2:15am the day we launched the Halo 3 Beta via Crackdown and Jamie and I realizing something was wrong [it was supposed to release at 2am PST]. Talk about an 'oh crap' moment. To this day we still laugh and ask each other 'did you remember to test the download button?' since so many forum posters thought the ball had totally been dropped."

-Domenic Koeplin, Test Lead

"Memories: Happy yelling in multiplayer. Big Battle Coagulation. Crazy Time. Playing campaign co-op with Creamer. Bugging Marty about music. Working with Dunn, Pinard and Jones on the last part of the game. 4 player co-op in Korean! Late night Top Gun on the big screen on the last days of production. Coffee with Bertone, Jaime, Sois and Luke Smith. Carpool with Abe and Greg. Subway with Lee. Frisbee fun in the park! Tree City!"

-Dan Miller, Mission Designer

"Before I forget, I have to say thanks to my wife and kids who dealt with my extended absence and supported me all along. It was a tough decision moving from film to games, but I haven't regretted the decision since. I'm extremely proud of what we accomplished, and even happier to hear from the fans how much they like what we've done. But most importantly, I can finally justify to my family how many hours I spent playing video games while growing up. Thanks Mom, Dad, and Mitch for your support through the years; I finally 'made it back to town'."

-Kurt Nellis, Cinematic Designer

"To Patti- Thank you for not divorcing me after yet another Halo crunch.
To Isaac- Thank you for remembering who Daddy is and congratulations on surviving a Halo crunch.
To my parents- Thank you for whatever you did to become the person I am today.
To Bungie- Thank you for not killing me for all that caching stuff.
To the Fans, young and old- Thank you for ignoring the M rating and making Halo 3 the biggest thing evar."

-Mat Noguchi, Lead Production Engineer (Ship-it developer)

"I'm proudest of the million little things (and a few bigger things) that almost didn't happen but did because of me. Bertone rules for fighting for the Metagame. Hao/Chris rule for providing such a splendorous home for my precomputed lightprobes. Aaron/Marcus rule for guiding me through making the loading screen Real. CJ rules for taking my Cortana effect and making it sing 3 minutes before curtain up. DaveCan rules for making the HUD dance. Our fans rule for making our pedantic obsessions relevant. My wife rules for holding me together. Be real, be easy, find happy."

-Adrian Perez, Campaign Engineer

"Big thanks to Greg Kirkhope and Rare for loaning us the perfect sound to go with the Grunt Birthday Party effect; it never gets old. If you haven't played Viva Pi-ata yet please do so immediately. It's awesome. Go on, we'll wait.

Sorry to Evil Avatar for dropping an S-bomb live on your radio show. I get excited when I talk about Halo.

Finally, thanks to all my coworkers, friends, family, and especially Sherry for putting up with 7 months of the 'Crunchstache'. I promise I will never do it again unless I get hired as Burt Reynolds' stunt double."

-Steve Scott, Pyrotechnician

"I would like to thank the fans that I got to meet the night of the release. Being there and seeing their excitement and the dedication to stand in line on a cold night waiting for something that I had the privilege to work on made my dream come true."

-Jason Sussman, Artist

"I'm glad to say the Halo we've always wanted to make is finally here. It has been a blast to see the game evolve from Blam to Halo3. And I attribute all the success to the fans out there, I want a give a hearty THANK YOU to everyone, from the folks that were with us from the beginning to new converts. Enjoy, and we'll see your ass online!"

-Shiek Wang (Tom Foolery Expert)

"One time we ordered pizza for the whole office and I was the only one not on crunch. Mat Noguchi told me that I should get all veggie pizza or he would break my legs. So I ordered 18 extra large tofu, pineapple and broccolini pizzas with wholewheat crust and white garlic sauce instead of tomato. Mat was happy but Harold yelled something about bacon and Sparta and kicked me down the stairs. I was only in a cast for a month but the team said that my hilarious fall was the only thing that got them through crunch."

-Skip Weasel