Log from Rampancy.net Hotline question and answer session with Max Hoberman (Yeroen)June 19, 2000 5:00-7:00 PM CST
The first hour is missing; most of that time, the server was crashed, but the actual question session started a bit before this log began.
CyberBob (#4 : Question 1: :) CyberBob (#4 : Durandal (M:R) asks: CyberBob (#4 : Will Microsoft have the same policy against people trying to make Marathon ports toother engines that Bungie has had? yeroen: That wouldn't be MS policy, that would be Bungie policy. However, we've been lax in that lately, allowing Marathon ports to other engines. yeroen: I know there's an Unreal port that Doug keeps passing around, for example. CyberBob (#4 : Do thoese people have anything to fear from the deal? yeroen: I don't see why they should. yeroen: Community generated content is a huge part of what keeps the community strong, so I'd like to do everything possible to continue to support these people, as well as others. Manus Celer D: (some of us would like to know where we can get this port) yeroen: Wow, I feel like I'm swimming in peanut butter here, things are slow moving. CyberBob (#4 : I am lagged beyond recognition, please guests do not pm me in the moment, otheradmins will take the questions. yeroen: I'm not sure Manus, but I'll check with Doug for ya. Manus Celer D: from Spamboy - Will bungie be at macworld ny? CyberBob (#4 : Were there Bungie employees who contributed to the "rumor" frag-fest here and on HBO? CyberBob (#4 : from mnemesis (Tom Van Sinden) yeroen: Tamte is looking into getting funding for MW. However, it's still an unknown. However... Manus Celer D: several people have inquired as to the circumstances and motivation for Doug's departure from bungie, if you are able to comment on it. Manus Celer D: or if you are on the server CyberBob (#4 : Manus: you first - rehi Yeroen Manus Celer D: wb max Manus Celer D: Several people have inquired as to the circumstances and motivation for Doug's departure from bungie, if you are able to comment on it. CyberBob (#4 : . Manus Celer D: (for those that wondered, the link for the aforemtioned port is http://www.planetunreal.com/marathon/ ) CyberBob (#4 : Yeroen, are you still with us? I dont have a Userlist anymore.. :) Manus Celer D: doesnt look like it cb CyberBob (#4 : thanks for noticing Manus Celer D: he isnt in my user list CyberBob (#4 : ok CyberBob (#4 : It seems though our lag ha ended *** CyberBob (#4 is Hope) wonders how to entertain the 200 guests *** CyberBob (#4 is Hope) starts dancing (on demand) Jaime: heh *** Jaime goes to check on Max's health Manus Celer D: Jaime is here, we can torment him instead of max. CyberBob (#4 : OK, let us tore Jaime CyberBob (#4 : wb max yeroen: Thanks. yeroen: I figure we'll keep this going as best we can til I have to get on bungie.net. iFreewill - H: guess I missed it, eh? heh CyberBob (#4 : ok CyberBob (#4 : MCD: start again yeroen: Did you catch the bit about Macworld? CyberBob (#4 : yep CyberBob (#4 : You were talking about the funding. Manus Celer D: Several people have inquired as to the circumstances and motivation for Doug's departure from bungie, if you are able to comment on it. Manus Celer D: Manus Celer D: (for those that wondered, the link for the aforemtioned port is http://www.planetunreal.com/marathon/ ) CyberBob (#4 : Were there Bungie employees who contributed to the "rumor" frag-fest here and on HBO as a way of helping to break the news to the fan community? CyberBob (#4 : from mnemesis (Tom Van Sinden)B: yeroen: No, definitely not. Everyone here kept complete silence to avoid legal problems. CyberBob (#4 : What are some major differences that we'll see in Bungie change now that Microsoft is "in charge"? CyberBob (#4 : -"JoeDaMac (Joseph E. Haake)" yeroen: In fact, we felt horrible about having to ignore you all for so long. There were some very good legal reasons, however, that necessitated it. yeroen: The first thing that jumps to mind is publishing since we'll have a say, but no longer be in charge of things like the manuals, packaging, etc. Matt and I will do our best, however, to watch over these things. yeroen: Actually, I'm also predicting you'll see much better product web sites. This is something I'm personally looking forward to. Manus Celer D: An inquiring mind would like to know "How much did M$ pay to aquire bungie" yeroen: As far as development, I hope there won't be any negative changes. One huge plus is the development of the online team. yeroen: I'm not at liberty to discuss finances, sorry. iFreewill - H: is it my turn? Manus Celer D: (the zdnet article mentioned estimates for the buyout for those interested, take them with a grain of salt though) *** iFreewill - Hope checks the mic CyberBob (#4 : yes free iFreewill - H: ok, I'm sorry folks I lagged out a bit, but I have... iFreewill - H: some qustions froma while ago iFreewill - H: i hope they haven't already been asked iFreewill - H: S" What will happen to all the items/in at the bungie store after they are out of stock? Will production of them continue, etc?" Noctavis: From Forensic: "There's been mention of Bungie helping to 'shape' the X-box. What exactly does that mean? Can you be more specific?" *** iFreewill - Hope coughs yeroen: I'd like to continue to produce Bungie-specific items as long as there's demand for them. As for existing inventory, what's not going to Take2 is going into the online team's closet to be used to support fan gatherings. This should be cool. yeroen: I suppose that's pretty vague for good reason. Basically, being near and close to the Xbox team will allow us to influence their design. For example, we've already discussed a number of decisions they're making about online issues, and we've seen some problem areas. CyberBob (#4 : Massa asks: Is Bungie involved only in the software developement for Xbox or are you also influencing the hardware specs. For example could you say: that stupid machine needs a keyboard and they produce one? ;o) yeroen: We're in the process of figuring out what we think would work and giving them feedback. Fortunately it's still early enough for this to matter. yeroen: I believe many of the hardware specs are already decided. I'd say we have more influence on OS type issues. CyberBob (#4 : thanks, NOct your turn now iFreewill - H: ok, I'm next iFreewill - H: take this with as you will:Ques from Stryder: iFreewill - H: Because of Microsofts shady business practices I boycott all Microsoft Software. Unfortunately, this will mean Bungie@MS too. What are your feelings toward this? yeroen: We were aware that many of you would feel that way about Microsoft. Unfortunately, there's not a lot we can say except that we plan to continue to make the games we like to play. If that's not enough for you I feel bad... we enjoyed having every one of you in our community. Manus Celer D: Several people have asked why the sudden change from the former mac/pc target of halo under the privately owned bungie to the undetermined targets of halo under the new bungie$soft. They would also like to know when the solidified target information will be available. yeroen: First off, our new situation dictates new goals. We obviously can't ignore Xbox, nor do we have any reason to, as it's one of the things that drew us to Microsoft... yeroen: On the flip side, we have no desire to alienate our existing fans or force them to buy new hardware... yeroen: I suppose the reason we're unable to commit is that we're facing a ton of new issues that haven't been resolved yet. Noctavis: Okay.... here's a good question: "What is it about the X-Box that makes it an excellent platform? Many people take the specs and tend to think it's just a PC" yeroen: Hopefully when they are resolved we'll be able to give a definite answer. yeroen: Chucky, one of Halo's programmers, can answer that one... he's standing over my shoulder... yeroen: Howdy folks. yeroen: <--Chucky *** CyberBob (#4 is Hope) greets chucky Manus Celer D: Hi Chucky! *** Noctavis shakes hands with Chucky Cannibal Harr: Hey chuck iFreewill - H: notices chuck has a scar above his left ear :) yeroen: The XBox is cool mostly because it leverages the existing technology that PCs created. Nvidia's graphics cards are currently the best in the business (in my opinion obviously), the PIII is way more powerful than chips in the other consoles... yeroen: Also from a developer's point of view, it's easy to write code for because the hardware is familiar. CyberBob (#4: Are you saying that the PIII is faster than the ppc chips in the dolphin? CyberBob (#4 : (question from unnamed) yeroen: Well, I can't say yet because I don't know. Tsao: Meg asks - "how are you going to interact with your community now? will you still maintain the personal relations that you have had and community involvement such as tournaments?" Manus Celer D: (many people also wonder about the fire hazard issues involved in slipping a pIII into something the size of a console) yeroen: We plan on interacting much more with our community. We now have the time and resources to really help it become something great... yeroen: I have some interesting plans for this, but I'm going to keep them a surprise for now. One thing, however, that I plan on doing is getting a ton more fan feedback on community issues. yeroen: About the fire thing, I hadn't heard anything about that but they put PIIIs in notebooks so I don't think that should be a problem. ;) yeroen: <--Yeroen CyberBob (#4 : Several people have been asking if you are still allowed to use Open GL yeroen: We're allowed to do whatever makes the most sense for the Bungie Studio. On the XBox that's DirectX + hardware, on the Mac that's OpenGL. yeroen: (says Chucky) Merkinjata (n: Many people want to know if their Bungie store coupons will still be honored.. they will, won't they? yeroen: I haven't given much thought to the store coupons. However, we have tentative plans to keep Bungie Points. Cannibal Harr: How does Bungie feel about MacOS X? Any comment on the Macs future OS? Support? Etc. yeroen: I can't speak for Bungie on this one, and I'm sort of out of the loop myself. yeroen: Whatever Mac versions we do, we'll support the latest OS. iFreewill - H: ok next question iFreewill - H: From A-Bomb ~TMBM~: I have pre-ordered Halo from www.gamestop.com and now it is jeopardy of being published for the PC. Why would I be able to pre-order it without confirmation of what systems Halo will be produced for? yeroen: That's really out of our control. We don't give out info until we have an idea at a release date, but some of the stores like to jump the gun. iFreewill - H: understood thanks Ferrex ( bus : a question from Stryker: "You keep saying that you'll make the games you always have. How do you know that? How will you be able to prevent MS from invading you dept? To you have any guarantees?" yeroen: Bungie is people. Without the employees Microsoft wastes its money. If they don't keep their side of the bargain I don't know many of us that will stick around. Ferrex ( bus : so Bungie employees are not bound by any contracts to remain at MS if MS fails to keep their side of the deal? Regdren =PN=: My question is: will Bungie still be able to toy with its fans? We all know about Letters to the Webmaster. Will Microsoft allow that sort of thing? And will Bungie play games with us like those Covenant quotes when Halo was announced? yeroen: Ferrex: Yes, that's correct. yeroen: Yep, we've retained the Webmaster for that very purpose. Actually, isn't that the fans toying with the Webmaster? yeroen: What Covenant quotes? ;-) Regdren =PN=: I'd say that Bungie likes to keep the fans on edge with crypitc stuff. A lot of fans seem to like that. yeroen: We just like to make it as clear as possible for you all. yeroen: We shall continue to do just that. Merkinjata (n: How long is the Bungie store going to stay open? And will we still going to be able to buy all the cool memorabelia we can get now? yeroen: I don't know the long term plans for the store. I don't think it's been decided yet. I'd say stock up now, while the goods are good. Buy now! yeroen: <--Chucky: Yeroen gets a percentage of store profits you know... yeroen: <--Yeroen. Cannibal Harr: A question for the bungie guys: Cannibal Harr: (It's long but important I think, thx very much if you can get it in there!) Cannibal Harr: Cannibal Harr: There is no question that what is commonly referred to as the mod community can help make or break a game. Without question, Unreal Tournament, Myth 2, the Quake series, Halflife, etc are very much fueled by map and mod makers. A great deal of cool and innovative stuff is done in this community. It is generally regarded to be a great thing for a game to get such a following like this Cannibal Harr: Do you feel not having a simultaneous release for MacOS, Windows, and the X-Box could jeopardize this community? I've always felt much more willing to support a product that supports me. Case in point: Windows and Mac users are going to be much more willing to pay for a copy of Halo if the release date is on par with the X-Box, which frankly, is geared at a different market. Agree/Disagree? Cannibal Harr: that was from Matt Cannibal Harr: not Soell, I would hope =) yeroen: Not having a simultaneous release can't help. However, there are a number of games with successful communities that weren't released simultaneously. It's probably more important that MacOS/Win release simultaneously. yeroen: As for willingness to pay based on release date: I think, if a game is good enough, people will buy it even if it's released separately. Noctavis: "Has Bungie spoken with Apple (or specifically - Steve Jobs) on the issue of the Bungie Studios acquisition, and if so what did they/he say?" yeroen: I know Tamte spoke with a number of people from Apple. I don't know what they said. iFreewill - H: my turn iFreewill - H: Your new policy of reaching out the the fan-base... in that new 'bungie-spirit' of open-communications, will we be seeing more communiques from you? When can we expect to see these results. The fear is that, like the 'Letter to the fans', it will come too late in the day, so to speak, and without enough 'meat'. yeroen: Our "new" policy isn't really new, it's an extension of a policy we've always had, but haven't been able to fully implement. If you want an idea of the kind of things we're thinking about check out the www.bungie.net portal web site. yeroen: Chucky is mumbling something about the XBox's unified memory. We'll ignore him. Manus Celer D: Distant asks:In past games produced by bungie, version updates have played a large role. How will the xbox handle this? How will this be handled on the xbox? yeroen: I don't really know the specifics. I'd take a guess, however, that Xbox software should be extremely stable. Merkinjata (n: Dawang asks "Are Microsoft lawyers sitting there with you watching what you say?" Ferrex ( bus : heh *** Merkinjata (now accepting Qs) liked that one Meg : Pallor: =) yeroen: They won't shock us if I answer correctly. yeroen: Ow! Merkinjata (n: Unknown asks "Will the way Bungie packs their software, logos, etc, be changed? Would it say Microsoft instead of Bungie?" Cannibal Harr: heh yeroen: All Bungie products will be Bungie branded. However, we're no longer directly responsible for the packaging, though we intend to keep a hand in the pot. Cannibal Harr: Doesn't it seem that people will NOT buy a $300 or $400 console just to play one game, and if it comes out for X-Box only, people just won't play it? Cannibal Harr: that was from Noah yeroen: From what I've heard on the forums people are buying new $2K machines and $300 video cards in anticipation of Halo. Think of this as a discount ;-) Noctavis: "What is the atmosphere like in Bungie's offices today? How are you all reacting to the fans' reactions?" yeroen: It's cool, a little breezy. I think it's the AC. :-) yeroen: Honestly though, it's hard on us to hear so many people upset. At the same time there's been a lot of positive response, which we're happy about. Cannibal Harr: Darth Maul asks... yeroen: Almost everyone has been following the forums and talking about it. Believe it or not, we really do care about all of you. Cannibal Harr: Will you guys be working with Valve software at all? Cannibal Harr: Cannibal Harr: Darth Maul ~TMBM~ yeroen: Not that I know of. yeroen: Who are they again? ;-) Merkinjata (n: Panamon wants to know if you guys will still have semi-public beta tests or (and I added this part) if MS will take over /all/ of your QA. yeroen: We don't have a whole lot of QA. Mostly QA is beta and internal testing. This will obviously change, though I don't know all the specifics, nor do I know the plans for external beta testing. iFreewill - H: ok my turn iFreewill - H: Chia asks: Now that Microsoft has given you guys a load-a-dough, will you be able to buy more pizza at the fan gatherings? Ferrex ( bus : heh Merkinjata (n: lol yeroen: Absolutely. A pizza at every desk. Merkinjata (n: A lot of people want to know how the Microsoft anti-trust trial will affect Bungie. Any comments? yeroen: I don't really have an opinion on this. If the company gets divided we'll be in the non-os half. Manus Celer D: What does Bungie plan for their humor now? In the past mind control lasers, world domination, and "The Man" were amusing, now in the context of Microsoft they are frightening. Does Bungie plan to develop new, humorous jokes since the old ones dont work anymore? yeroen: They were supposed to be frightening before. Damn. Xzzy: And when is the lawsuit against rampancy.net going to be opened for giving you carpal tunnel in one sitting? CH full queue: Does Bungie realize that by moving to the Redmond MS campus they are making things very hard for us who were making plans to blow it up. Now we have to find out which building you're in and make sure not to demolish that one. and you say you love your fans...=) yeroen: We show our love by giving you new challenges. You'll have to adapt. CH full queue: in seriousness, though... CH full queue: Dozer asks CH full queue: will the games be released simutaneously? yeroen: Dozer: Read our FAQ. Merkinjata (n: Nik "Frost" Manak wants to know (question paraphrased) if it's going to be harder to use copyrighted material from your games for websites, publications, etc. because MS tends to not look upon such things so favorably. For example, will we just be able to ask you guys before using something? yeroen: I don't anticipate any changes here. We're completely responsible for our interaction with our community. Merkinjata (n: Yes, but doesn't MS own the material in question? yeroen: <--Chucky: irresponsible even. yeroen: <--Yeroen. Manus Celer D: From Woden:Bungie didn't deny the MS buyout, now that they aren't denying that Halo is XBox only, what are we supposed to think? yeroen: I don't think I can deny that one, Merk. All I can say is that the whole reason my job exists is because they believe we're the best people to interact with the community. CH full queue: Hmm, that last console one makes me want to ask: CH full queue: CH full queue: Does Bungie feel the console market is similar to the PC and Mac gamer market? Is Microsoft/Bungie's goal to convert PC and Mac gamers to an X-Box console, or is the seemingly more obvious the case (different target markets)? CH full queue: CH full queue: Big questions guys: Future of gaming over the next 5 years, console or PC? yeroen: We've always remained tight lipped about internal issues. However, in the MS case we were unable to respond for legal reasons. We've responded to the Xbox issue, it's just not the answer everyone wants to hear: it's still undecided. Merkinjata (n: Entrail is wondering: how will The Soul adjust to being moved to an even eviler place, rulled by the devil?? Ferrex ( bus : poor Soul CH full queue: heh yeroen: I think that Bungie's current position has given an indication of its view on the console vs. PC issue. Console will be big, regardless of how successful yeroen: PCs are. iFreewill - H: Mythifier asks... iFreewill - H: iFreewill - H: Anything the fans can do to help you feel at home in Redmond? Small gifts from Chicago? Good ol chicago style Pizza? iFreewill - H: ah, sorry *** Merkinjata (not accepting Qs) slaps people for going out of turn yeroen: We don't really care what the Soul thinks. It's being punished. yeroen: :) yeroen: Sweet, thanks Freewill! Jalapeno, or stuffed Spinach. Ferrex ( bus : Distant asks: "hypotheticaly, what would have to happen to prevent bungie from developing games for the Macintosh platform. Specificly, Halo, and generaly, anything." iFreewill - H: yum! yeroen: We'll make our decisions about what platform to develop for like we always have. If there's a strong business case for a particular platform, and the team wants to, we'll develop for that platform. Merkinjata (n: People seem to be concerned about how you're going to create an online community around a console. Could you possibly give us some insight into how that's going to work? yeroen: That's still a big question, but I consider it one of the biggest challenges for the online team... yeroen: The goal is to give the community a central gathering place, a place where they can communicate, and give them ways to contribute to the community. This applies to every platform. CH full queue: I'd like to ask what Bungie's stance on copyrighted material is as of the acquisition. While Bungie has been been lenient with fans and such about using copyrighted stuff on websites, newsletters, etc. as long as it's not for profit, Microsoft has been a troll about this issue on numerous occasions, which scares me since I'm still planning to do the non-profit Halothon Magazine at a later date and don't want to pay for a lawyer to screen every issue. Merkinjata (n: CH, I asked that Merkinjata (n: =) CH full queue: missed it, sorry Noctavis: "How do you look at Bungie's future, once the X-Box has become a year or more old?" yeroen: As for the copyright issue, I'll have to look into it. I fully intend to do everything in my power to avoid any sort of problem. yeroen: I'm not sure how to answer that, Noct. If we've achieved our goals we'll be in a position to develop multiple great titles simultaneously, and have a lot of fun doing it. CH full queue: If someone wanted to come work for Bungie on their next game hit after Halo, would they be employed by Bungie or MS? yeroen: Microsoft, within the Bungie Studio. Noctavis: Aye Max... I'm glad to see that Bungie appears to (for now) be keeping its options open Merkinjata (n: Unknown wants to know "What's going to happen to Jim Ruiz?" yeroen: That's our goal, Noct. We were as scared as many of you about Microsoft's influence. However, we have a lot of faith in Alex and Jason... they've been good to us, and they share the same goals. Their confidence gives us confidence. yeroen: I believe Jim is staying here in Chicago for personal reasons. CH full queue: There are a lot of people (including myself) that wouldn't buy anything coming from MS only because we don't want to help fund a company that would have everyone use "Windows." Halo piracy could be a bigger problem now that Bungie's been assimilated. Will there be a bungie.net for Halo, with only one l/p per serial #? -Erik Ferrex ( bus : Apologies to everyone, but Max is already an hour late for the chat session on b.net, so we're going to have to stop taking questions and finish what we have Merkinjata (n: 6 more questions in the queue btw Regdren =PN=: From Mumbles: Will we have to change the copyright notice attached to all Myth mods now that Take Two owns the rights to Myth? yeroen: We haven't yet decided the specifics of multiplayer Halo. There are a lot of new issues to factor in. Obviously, we don't want anyone stealing something we've put a lot of blood and sweat into, so whatever happens we'll do our best to give you reasons not to. Also, Chucky hopes that the whole court case will settle the whole Windows issue. yeroen: Thanks Ferrex. Matt is holding down the fort, but you're right, I should go help him out. One last question? Noctavis: Anonymous: "do former bungie employees now have the option to quit, and if they do, why don't they?" iFreewill - H: we're picking up some shuffled papers, excuse us :) Merkinjata (n: heh yeroen: I think you're asking about employment contracts here. Everyone has the option to quit if they don't like the way things are going. Ferrex ( bus : We'd like to thank Max and Chucky for suffering through our server problems to answer these questions, as well as everyone who joined us for it. Noctavis: Max> Everyone, including yourself, Alex and Jason? Ferrex ( bus : now quick, get out of here before the chat privs are turned back on ;) and we'll see you on b.net yeroen: Thanks for coming everyone, we appreciate your interest in our continued success. iFreewill - H: I'd like to say that I'll post up the questions that i received for maybe Max to review at a later date Noctavis: Heh yeroen: And we appreciate all of the hard work you've put in to building this community. Noctavis: Thanks for being here guys (to Max and Chucky) yeroen: Hasta la vista, baby. iFreewill - H: yeroen, go help Matt, he's drowning :)***END OF LOG***