Frankie's Bungie Updates - June 11, 2004
Originally hosted at Forerunners
Can you feel it? Getting closer? Halo 2 is in the home stretch, just a few short (or long) months to go, and the game code is fatter, phatter and finished-er. Every week that goes by brings it closer to completion, and Bungie staff are playing it in earnest as you'll see below.
Nathan Walpole, lead poutine-wrangler, Flyers fan and all-round baldness champeen, is bursting with excitement and information. Let him inspire ye:
"Animation is abuzz with the addition of two animator mercenaries. Stacey Moore joins us from sister MS studio FASA to aid in polishing the brilliance of cinematic animations while Jeremy Fones comes to us to help in tackling remaining in-game animation with the zeal of an assassin. While their time here is short, on the force for about two months, the effects of their firepower will be felt with shock and awe.
In other animation news, all in-game animation is getting closer to complete and cinematics are revving their engines for the Rally ahead. All first person animations will be finished this week, allowing us to focus on the effects of that arsenal on the Master Chief and his supporting cast.
Harold Ryan, king of testing has been hot and bothered this week, as he imported and setup 300 Xbox kits for Halo2 automation, blew the power in several rooms of the building and raised the temperature of the earth by 5 degrees.
Brian Jarrard, Community Manager, master of your future Halo 2 stats and all round Frankie-killer, has had a cool week:
"The best part of my job, besides interacting with so many great people in our community, is obviously getting my fill of Halo 2 hands-on play.† As many of our Bungie.net members know, Frankie and I have an ongoing rivalry (of which I now lead 9 to 0).† Yesterday's highly touted match was another great battle and though the score doesn't reflect it (20-11), it was actually a closely fought†game.††And, to those of you who voted against me in the ( http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=159192 ) poll. asking who you thought would win, don't think I didn't notice that.†You're on my list.†
During the weeks surrounding E3 I've only been playing the Zanzibar build that we brought to the show.† While that level and those elements were being polished, the rest of the game continued to move forward and yesterday was the first time I got to see what I've been missing out on.††Some of the original maps that I played long ago are now barely recognizable due to a big overhaul in the graphics and design departments along with the addition of refined HUD elements, additions to the UI and even some new goodies that I dare not mention.††For months now we've been taking boxes home at night†to play and test online but now, as we†enter into the final stretch, I can really start to see†everything in its full†glory. Wow. That's all I can say. I can't wait to strap into the real deal and experience the online goodness with all of you!† In the meantime I will continue to hone my skills by beating up on Frankie. "
Mat Noguchi complained, "I got to work on yet another thing that no one outside of Bungie will ever care about, namely, improving our tag system to allow for smaller Xbox tag builds and faster load times."
Well Mat, in defense of your deal, I had the pleasure of playing a tag build last night and it loaded quickly and efficiently and in a way, Mat is my hero.
Poor Lorraine, sick as a parrot, and busy to boot:
"I got sick. Spread germs around that I chased with some disinfectant wipes and yelled "I got cooties. Nya nya." And threatened people with germs."
Lorraine continues, "But other than that, the art book is wrapping up (at least the assets dump is dwindling — until I found the STACKS of storyboards from Staten on my seat on my day off, even.)† I had to wade through the two-ton folder.† Took hours to get to my seat to check my e-mail and see if a file-transfer worked.† I put a shelf up on my desk early in the week to help me declutter and prettify my now 'cozy' desk, but only to find I'm probably moving in a couple of days. But that's okay, if I guess correctly, I can shoot spitballs out towards the environment artist pit whenever I want now (darn, I should have taken advantage of the perfect line of sight I have now at the back of Frankie's head!)
Oh!† I helped a bit with combat dialog for um... a set of characters that cannot be named, I think? And am trying to get another big project started that involves cool art and words and will probably be found at bookstores... (I'm really excited about this project!!)"
Chris Butcher is always good for some juice, and he fails to disappoint this week:
"Luke (Timmins) has our proximity voice in which is awesome. my favorite uses of it are in order:
- To thank dead foes for giving me their shotguns
- Next time I'm fighting them, to ask them if my weapon maybe looks a little familiar
- When I'm stalking someone with a shotgun, call out their name and watch them stop and look around in puzzlement
- To run up behind someone, yell "BOOM!" and then a second later pull the trigger."
Ryan Hylland's been busy too:
- We've gotten about 100 of the 300 automated boxes delivered, networked, re-imaged, re-named, live accounts created, and in automation.† We ran out of power in our room otherwise we would have had more!
- We've been running playtests every night in the multiplayer lab testing out voice (my taunting skills have elevated now that proximity voice is in), new maps and game variants and their settings.
- Take home tests have begun!
- Testing matchmaking (see above) and leaderboard ranking"
Jay says that a fan got into his head a couple of years ago that he would catalog every single piece of combat dialog, he got to 1000, before Jay took pity on him and admitted there were 6,000. Well, that guy better get his pencil sharpened, because in Halo 2, we're looking at about 15,000 lines of combat dialog. There are lines of speech for every eventuality.
C Paul's favorite line is for when other Marines are pissed at the Chief for betrayals. "Don't shoot him in the head, you might hit Cortana. She's hot. She's blue, but she's hot."
So that's it for this week. One other snippet of news is that we got our rating from the ESRB. We'll tell you what it really is later, but this is what it could have been...
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