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Bungie Weekly Update: 07/31/09

Posted by urk at 7/31/2009 9:21 AM PDT

Happy Friday folks. Today's update is coming at you extra early on account of our entire team heading into an ultra top-secret World Domination strategic planning symposium. Not to worry, Urk took some time yesterday to cobble together a few snippets and go back to the well for an additional wall of text to bolster what would've otherwise been a fairly light outting. As you know by now, some weeks we have quite a lot of new stuff to talk about, some weeks we focus more on general housekeeping and when things get really dire, we go back and find Bunige.net content from years ago and re-publish it in hopes most of you haven't ever seen it before. And that my friends, is the update this week in a nutshell. Enjoy! Now I'm off to join my comrades for a day of covert operations followed by some drinking. - Sketch

It's Gettin Hot in Here

The news around Sea-Town is that some pitiable fool in the Pacific Northwest angered our typically benevolent and ever brilliant Daystar. It now looms overhead, casting a burning gaze down upon us, radiating anyone who dares venture outside to stand defiantly beneath its insufferable eye of fire. Air conditioners and fans are few and far between in this typically temperate zone and just about every conversation being had (just like this one) begins and ends with something along the lines of, "So, how 'bout that weather?"

So...how 'bout it? It's so stinkin' hot that I had the pleasure of enduring a conversation at the office that concluded with the phrase, "...and it's even worse if you're hairy." So hot that when I slogged slowly to lunch on Wednesday, the sunlight actually traveled through the tops of my feet, penetrated the flesh and bone, and raised the forsaken souls of my sandals by something like a thousand degrees. Celsius. Each and every step felt like it was taken over hot coals. So -blam!- hot that the low impact, clearly un-aerobic act of simply typing these few brief sentences has left me saturated by my own sweat and roiling in a feverish malaise.

Point of fact: Last night I stripped off all of my clothing, soaked a bath towel in tap water, and draped the wet cloth all ova my nekkid bawdee in a failed attempt to stay cool. I know. Even I was disgusted. Being sleepless in Seattle this week has been a bit like staying overnight in a Turkish bathhouse while some very hair and very mustachioed man tries to make me his "girlfriend." And he's got a sweat-soaked towel too.

And yup, it is even worse if he's hairy.

It's that kind of uncomfortable.

Turns out our own CJ Cowan, a fresh addition to our Cinematic Team way back in August of 2003 wasn't digging the weather during his first summer stay in Seattle either. Writing for what was then known as the "Soapbox," he offered up his own, unique take on Seattle's weather stereotypes. Since it has some new found relevance for us this week, we figured we'd run it again.

"The Seattle Myth" - a Play in One Act

"Seattle. You can't read the word without thinking of rain. Well, rain and coffee. Rain, coffee, and grunge. Rain, coffee, grunge, and Frasier. Well anyway, rain is definitely one of the top five things that come to mind when you think of Seattle. At least that was the case with me before I moved here.

When I received my offer letter from Bungie in March of this year, I had been to the Seattle area exactly twice. Both times were for the interview process here, and they occurred in January and February. On both of these trips, it rained from the moment I got off the plane to the moment I left the state. Many of you may say that sucks, but after living in Southern California for three years where I saw the sun more often than my wife, it was a nice respite.

When I accepted Bungie's offer and started the relocation process, my wife and I were very excited about moving to a cool climate where it rains more often. Every time it came up in conversation that we were about to move to Seattle, invariably the next thing we heard was "Get ready for a lot of rain!"...usually accompanied by jeering, finger pointing, and occasionally some comment about Noah. Honestly, we became tired of explaining to people that no, we aren't crazy...we happen to LIKE the rain, and we can't wait to get away from crazy people like you that talk endlessly about how nice the weather is in SoCal. I mean, the sun is nice and all, but who doesn't like the sound of a good thunderstorm rolling in? I remember a conversation I had with my wife on the plane ride up where we were so thankful to be leaving the harsh sun of the desert of California for a place with real SEASONS and WEATHER PATTERNS. We might even get to wear COATS!

Then we arrived.

In the four months we've been in the Seattle area, it has rained six times. In fact, it has been sunny and on the upper side of 90 degrees more often than it has rained. And if it isn't 90, it's pretty darn close to it.

"Oh but CJ," you say, "It's just the Summer time! It will rain plenty in the winter, and you can enjoy it then! Just be thankful the weather is nice and you have a window office where you can see it!"

Ordinarily, I would do just that. I mean, I'm an easy going guy. I can roll with the punches. I'm typically not demanding. Unfortunately, not only are Seattle residents less wet than I anticipated, they are stupid. They are stupid because even though the temps have been in the upper 80s and 90s pretty consistently over the past few months, nobody has air conditioning in their homes.

Don't get me wrong, I grew up in Texas. I understand that high 80s and 90s can't compete with the 110s of Texas Augusts. I lived through them. I know. I worked outside during my summers in high school. I completely accept that it could be worse.

But I also realize it is the 21st friggin Century. And given the fact that air conditioning has been around for years and years, I expect to be able to go home at night to a house that is at a temperature I am comfortable with. And since my wife is starting her own business from home, I expect to be able to give her a place to live where she doesn't have to spend the days working in her underwear. And I expect to have a home where my cats aren't passed out and panting and laying in their water bowl at 3 in the afternoon.

This isn't much to ask, people. If the weather is this warm for a noticeable percentage of the year, you would think most people are putting air conditioners in their homes. However, not one apartment community that we looked at had air conditioning. There are NEW homes being built that start in the 400,000 dollar range near our place that don't offer air conditioning. They don't even offer it as an upgrade!

The reason? Seattle people are stupid. The most common response I've had so far is: "It's only hot for a little while out of the year...it's no big deal."

Well I only eat for a little bit out of the day, but I BUY FOOD! I only sleep for a little while out of the night, but I HAVE A BED! I only clean house twice a month, but I HAVE A VACUUM! This has got to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Just because an inconvenience only happens a few months out of the year doesn't mean you can't DO anything about it! And the way they talk about it, you would think it hits 75 for 3 minutes on July 14th, and then it goes back to below freezing. I just cannot understand.

So I submit this to the soapbox in the vague hope that if any of you are moving to Seattle and are afraid of the rain, you will realize there are much greater fears to be had from the weather of Puget Sound. And if anyone wants to stand in line with me at Home Depot for the one window unit AC they get in next week, let me know."

Props to Tim Williams for digging this hot little piece of history out of his cool memory banks so we could deliver it to you. Again.

Fortunately for us, the studio's AC has held up so far, a gentle breeze is steadily spilling upward from the multitude of metal ducts, and there are plenty of well chilled beverages on hand. Non-alcoholic, of course.

Halo 3: ODST ViDoc - "Desperate Measures"

Also offering up a touch of serenity from the searing heat that swept through Seattle this week, we've got a new Halo 3: ODST ViDoc prepped and ready to drop (see what I did there?). It went live in the early hours of Thursday morning, so if this is the first you've heard of it you're already plenty late to our party. It's cool—we've still got room for you. Air conditioning, too. Now that you've arrived, allow us check your coat, fix you a drink, and introduce you to Sgt. Buck.

"Gunnery Sergeant Eddie Buck has witnessed more war than any Marine should. He fought alongside Cole at Harvest—somehow managed to make it off of Reach alive. The fact that Buck is still on his feet says more about his mettle than his military dossier ever could. Now the Covenant have found Earth. Devastated her defenses. Anyone who could have stopped the invasion is dead or gone. But Buck and his squad of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers aren't going to let Earth fall without a fight. These ODSTs may be headed feet first into hell, but they're going to make damn sure it's crowded with Covenant when they get there."

Click the link below to check out the ViDoc in all kinds of delicious flavors.

Halo 3: ODST Field Guide

Firefightin' in Alpha Site

We've shown off some of the exterior spaces that surround ONI's Alpha Site with our Security Zone coverage, but more recently we shipped some new intel off to external press parties that detailed the blueprints of the ONI building's secure interior.

This Firefight mission goes by the name Alpha Site. The building's security measures seem to have been breached, the quarters are tight, and there's no place for you and your squad to run or hide. Good thing running and hiding isn't what ODST do. It'll be your job to drop in, dig in, and drive the Covenant out (or kill 'em dead, if they don't oblige).

Safety First

Slinging Chum

For Carnage, Drop In

Safety First

Seeing Red and Scoring Points

Prepare for Launch

Keep 'em Coming

And Alpha Site wasn't the only space to get some fresh press lovin', either. We're also prepping some new screenshots taken from spaces you've already become marginally acquainted with. Those, along with the Alpha Site images above, will soon pop into the Halo 3: ODST Field Guide for your viewing pleasure.

Your Annual Eye Exam and You

Robt came back from the optometrist earlier in the week with pupils like two black pools. Today, he's a-okay. You should think about having your own eyes checked too. Your vision isn't something you want to take for granted. It's important.

Why am I bringing this up? Well, that "Elite" you seem to have spotted in the Firefight coverage coming out of Comic-Con? It was a Jackal.
Oh, now don't tear up on me. We've already talked about this. Everything's gonna be just fine. I promise.

We Ain't Tweetin'

Just a quick note on our Twitter presence: we don't have one...yet. Sure, there are plenty of Tweets out their tapping into our RSS feed, pretending to be Jason Jones, and generally just squattin' on names you'd typically associate with our studio. Again, none of them are legit.

When we do start getting our Tweetin' on (and we will soon) we'll clue you so you know it's us.

A Stiff Warning

Some of you thought it would be hilarious to upload some modded shots into your File Shares over the weekend. That very same some of you are now hilariously banned. Weird how that happens, isn't it? If you were caught up in the thousand member march, you have no one to blame but yourself.

If you simply sneaked a peek, your secret is safe with us. Maybe you just wanted to have a little look-see. Find out what was going on down under. It's cool. It's only natural to be curious. And the Banhammer only hammered home if you were foolish enough to stick the unspeakable snapshot into your File Share so you could hang out with your wang out in front of all your friends.

For future reference, please keep it in your pants. If someone sends you a link to modded content, run away and tell an adult. If you decide stuff it in your File Share, especially if it's pornographic, you're going to get your account slammed pretty hard.

Consider this a tip from your Uncle Eric.


In other implement news, there have been some minor modifications made to the Banhammer. This new justice has already struck fast, hard, and shown no mercy as evidenced by the near instantaneous influx of posters filing into the forums to inform everyone about that one time when they've were improperly identified as players who did dumb stuff and then got banned and are so totally freakin' mad right now about it. Some of you spin some pretty good stories, but your tales of woe only serve to sate the Banhammer's thirst.

In your new found spare time, may we suggest you read a book? Preferably one covering grammar and punctuation. We strongly feel that this may be a wise and valuable investment of your resources. There will be extra credit awarded if you can identify the incomplete sentence in this paragraph and provide me with written corrections.

Boxtical Illusion

Though most of you probably think M.C. Escher spins records and drops phat beats, we found something worthy of the artist's legacy in our community files collection. The more I stare at this thing, the more forcibly my brain tells me that this Forge feat is impossible. It's like a cube, but then again, it's like so totally not.

serwoein ncuwic eeue!

Blame Stosh

This is what Stosh came up with this week. He's got a hard act to follow what with Boxtical Illusion being all illusiony and whatnot.

Rocket Moosin'

Hasta la Vista, Jerks

That's it for this week. If you're in our neck of the Northwest woods, stay indoors and keep yourself cool. It's hot out there. If not, just stay out of trouble and stay tuned.