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Subject: This Week's Halo Update
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000 18:40:04 -0700
x-sender: matt@mail.bungie.com
From: Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com>
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Matt's Halo Report - October 27, 2000

Once again the Halo update bounces over to bungie.org.  Apologies for the
transient nature of these updates.  At least they're on schedule.  And
their new home gets a little closer every day.

So what's new?

- As discussed last week, there's a lot of reconstructive coding going
on, getting the new engine up to speed.  That will keep going for a while.

- Yet another new guy!  Rick Ryan.  He's a producer.  He's some sort of
organizational mastermind.  The Halo team has needed someone like this
for a LONG time.

- We're nailing down the final elements of the game - lists of
characters, weapons, net game types and options.  The weapon list is
pretty extensive; players should have fun finding their favorites.
Things are still uncertain enough that giving out an actual number would
be premature, but I think it's safe to say you'll have a nice friendly
double-digit figure when you add them all up.  And those are just the
ones players can use.

- Jaime is speccing out the various net games as completely as possible.
Again, we can't say too much here because who knows how many of them will
actually end up in the game.  We're trying to cover all the usual bases
but there may be some unusual (read: brand new) game types as well.
There are also some interesting ideas being tossed around for how to
scale net games up for larger numbers of players, though exactly how many
players we're talking about is still entirely up in the air.

- Incredible detail on the weaponry.  Rob showed me one of the guns he's
working on and it looks absolutely glorious, right down to the scratches
on the barrel.  Rob says the scratches are glaring and he'll be toning
them down a bit; the effect will be the same, but subtler.  The process
of repainting this one gun will take him two full days.  And he wants the
readout on the gun to be just as detailed, with a working compass and a
screensaver animation when the player idles too long (though I must
remind you that this is not a perfect world and we don't always get
around to everything we want to do).  It's been said before but it bears
repeating: people who think Halo will pale in comparison to other games
when it comes out obviously haven't seen it lately.

- While I'm on the topic of art, I must note that I saw one of Paul
Russel's new models and was utterly blown away.  I can't talk about it in
any degree of detail because to do so would give away key plot points,
but what struck me most forcefully (apart from the perfect replication of
the detailed and goosebump-inspiring concept art) was the amount of
thought and backstory behind each alien race.  Things look the way they
do for a reason, not just because it looks cool.  When the game is done
we could publish a Halo bestiary with tons of cool background info.  I'm
not saying we necessarily will...just that we COULD. ;-)

- In the midst of the month-long bacchanalian orgy that accompanied
Chucky's birthday, and the spontaneous eruption of love for Stefan that
occurred last week when he aged another year, it somehow slipped past us
all that The Man Himself has lasted another 365 days.  Happy belated
birthday, Alex.

- I'm not one for telling tales out of school but Chucky and Jason were
spotted poring over the new D&D manuals in the cafeteria.  How this will
affect Halo is difficult to gauge.  Perhaps Jason is trying to improve
his saving roll against marinara stains.

Matthew Soell
Community Leader / Keeper of the Bungie Way
Bungie Studios