Frankie's Bungie Updates - May 28, 2004
Originally hosted at bungie.net
Smallest, lamest update in weeks, thanks to missing staff, deadlines and the crazy 3D shot we put up today. Sorry.
The community team has been swamped this week - the net guys put up some new forums, and expanded the number of avatars available and basically got dragged into anything that wasn't related to actually programming or designing the game!
- One cool thing that I got to do was look at Joe Staten's awesome dialog for single player "events" like what characters say when they get in and out of vehicles, or when they retreat from Covenant, or even, sniff, die. Gripping stuff, but going over Joe's scripts also serves to illustrate how complex the AI reaction to events is. There are like six different possible lines for a character getting into the passenger seat of a vehicle! Crazy!
Joe's dialog is very cool too, and just skimming over the scripts gives you a sense of how epic some of these encounters are going to be. Joe's researched this stuff pretty intensively, and let me borrow one of his research tomes - a fat book devoted entirely to war slang. My favorite line? DILLIGAF which is an acronym for, "Do I Look Like I Give A..." and I got cut off before I read the last word...although I'm pretty sure it was probably "fudge."
- Parsons' Crazy Theory
OK everyone. Deep breath. Studio manager Parsons has a theory, that the unkind might refer to as crackpot, but he's thought it out, so we'll go along with it for a bit. So his theory boils down to this fundamental premise: "If you want a flying car, you must buy a Roomba." Now it gets more complex than that. Parsons thinks that the Roomba's tech is cool, but relatively inconsequential, but its social impact is of paramount importance.
Now a Roomba, for the uninitiated, is that robotic vacuum cleaner. He thinks that if you're cool with leaving a Robot, or SuckBot as I call it for short, to rampage around your house while you're out, then you'll be cool with all sorts of AI in your house and life. Like a fly-by-wire robot-driven car.
I'm sure there's a lot more to it than that, but that's the gist of it. I would counter that obviously Robots are good at one thing: Rampaging. And there are further problems. For starters, they never have hands, always claws, gaping sucking maws, or lasers. None of these implements is useful for hugging, massaging or any other things you think you might want in your house.
- Nathan and John's Tower of Tweening
Not much from animation this week...but Nathan reports from the side of animation with the best hair situation, saying that John Butkus has started the first cinematic! Which also means that the animation team will move to cinematics very soon, collectively! Which means that most of the regular character animation is done! Kinda. They'll be going back and forth for sure, but obviously this indicates that the bulk of that work is over. Cinematics of course require lots of NEW animation - often more complex too, since the cinematic scenarios are different from the gameplay ones. That said - the cinematics don't have the same capacity for cluster***** that game animations do.
John's first cinematic features everyone's favorite angry officer, Sgt. Johnson - who delivers a very powerful line in this scene, and it has nothing to do with "God's own anti-sonofabitch machine"
Nathan also mentioned that Mike is beavering away on animation for one of the secret characters, and will be bringing a fun, and previously unmentioned weapon to life next week. Bill is finishing up on the Grunt...his food nipple is laden with steroids, whey powder and Creatine now...
Nathan himself, has been working on Brute animations and listening to the horrible sounds from the local country music station to get in the proper rage mindset and transferring those feelings on over to the Brute. Nathan angry! Nathan smash!
Bigger news should happen next week...
- John's Perspective on the same thing....
"This week I was working on the Earth City intro cinematic with Chief, Johnson, and a couple of marines. It's going pretty well, and it's a big effing help to have CJ lay out the characters in the scene and lock down the camera moves before we even touch it. I was on another project where I had to do all that stuff and it was really time-consuming, so the cinematics guys are my heroes right about now. Other than that, I'm working on bug fixes and miscellaneous elite moves that I haven't had time to do because making unique animations for vehicle seats for five different weapon classes on the same character sure is exciting stuff compared to cinematics work....but it needs to get done, so here I am."
Carney, while not hiding Carneyholes in multiplayer maps, has been doing some very cool stuff to everyone's favorite sequel. Well, my favorite sequel at least. He's currently working on an Earth City-based multiplayer level with cool geometry, lots of hiding places and plenty of tall, futuristic architecture. It's part of a group of four maps that Chris is concentrating on right now. In addition to that, Steve Cotton, the new multiplayer artist, has been working on what Carney calls a "small Team CTF-type map" that has much more of a Covenant feel.
Here's Mister Chief. Fearing progress:
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