interview

Bungie.net has an interview with Bungie's new programming intern, Jon Cable, who cut his teeth by replacing the Pfhor in Marathon with images of Barney. We love you, Jon. Do you love us?

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Two separate articles on the port of Halo 2 to Windows Vista today. Kevin Unangst (no jokes please) talks to GamePro. Word is that Halo 2 for Vista will come out a bit after the OS' release, currently slated for early in 2007, and that the game most likely will not be cross-platform compatible with Halo 2 on the Xbox, as it would require changes on the Xbox version to work.

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The London Free Press (of Canada, not Great Britain) is running a piece on Halo 3's announcement at E3 this year. They got to talk to several Bungie staffers about the trailer and the game.

CJ Cowan's quote specifically references the question about whether or not this is the last Halo game:

This is the final game in the Master Chief's story, this is the end of our trilogy.

That still doesn't quite answer the question, though.

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Douglass C. Perry at IGN has posted a blow by blow description of the Halo 3 trailer. It's awkwardly worded at points-- the reference to "two remaining Spartan soldiers" has some fans scratching their heads, but I think it's just an oblique reference to Kelly, who obviously does not appear in the trailer, and the Master Chief, who does.

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CVG has a recap of some of Microsoft's E3 goings-on, focusing primarily on the advantage that Shane Kim believes Xbox Live gives to the 360, as compared to Sony's upcoming PlayStation 3.

Of course, some recently announced games also got mentioned:

"Hopefully we've put to bed any concerns or confusion about what Bungie is doing with the Halo universe. They're very focused on Halo 3 and they're going to make it bigger and better and everything everyone expects."

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Louis Wu at HBO pointed out a short video interview that Xbox Live's Larry "Major Nelson" Hyrb did, presumably for his unofficial Xbox blog, MajorNelson.com.

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Major Nelson of Xbox Live did a short video interview with Bungie's Audio Director, Marty O'Donnell, at E3 in 2006. This DivX version is transcoded from the QuickTime version courtesy of HBO's Louis Wu.

For those who don't want to bother with the download there is a transcript available.

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At E3 in 2006, Xbox Live's Major Nelson, who runs the unofficial Xbox blog MajorNelson.com, interviewed Bungie's Audio Director Marty O'Donnell about the Halo 3 announcement trailer.

Below is an unofficial transcript of that interview.


Major Nelson: All right, Major Nelson, here, in Hollywood, with the man himself, Marty O'Donnell. Hi, Marty.

Marty O'Donnell: Hi, how are you doing?

Major Nelson: I'm doing well, how are you doing?

Marty O'Donnell: I'm doing really good.

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We may have neglected it to mention it before, but Wideload Games was nominated for the New Studio award at the Game Developer Choice Awards. The competition certainly seems stiff; ArenaNet is up for Guild Wars, DoubleFine Productions up for Psychonauts, and TellTale Games up for Bone: Out From Boneville. The last nominee in the category is New Crayon Games up for Bonnie's Bookstore.

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This has gone beyond amusing into the realm of annoying. Shane Kim, GM of Microsoft Game Studios, responded to a question about Halo 3 thusly:

Shane Kim: I call it The Mythical Halo 3 - we haven't announced any such game yet! Obviously the Halo franchise is very important to us. When you have Bill Gates being quoted fairly constantly, talking about a game, you know it's important to the company. But his recent comments reflect the position accurately. Which is that, if there were a Halo 3 we would be careful about how we announce and introduce it.

Does anybody honestly believe that Microsoft's chairman doesn't know what's going on with a product like Halo and has to be reminded before repeatedly making public statements? Does anyone honestly not believe that what actually went on here is that Gates spilled the beans-- more than once-- and then had to be reined in to respect the right of Bungie Studios to control their own announcements about what games are under development?

Of course Bungie should jealously protect whatever rights for self-determination they received in terms of the buyout; but for everyone else, this game isn't fun anymore. If there is actually a Halo 3 under development, then the final revelation that it does, in fact, exist, is going to evoke universal reactions of "no kidding". If it isn't, then Microsoft has been playing coy all this time when it could have just said it was giving the Halo franchise a rest for awhile to let Bungie work on something else. They haven't said that. In fact, at this time, if it were announced that Halo 3 was NOT under development for the Xbox 360, you'd probably see Microsoft's stock take a hit, as if there's no system-selling game coming out once the supply problems are taken care of, there'll be little reason that all the Halo and Halo 2 fans have to upgrade. They might have survived such negative consequences had they made such an announcement right after the launch of Halo 2. But everyone is expecting Halo 3 now.

Either Halo 3 is currently in development for the Xbox 360, or we've all been so fooled by Microsoft's application of reverse psychology that our brain matter has turned to mush.

Incidentally, Bungie knew that people would be scrutinizing their last update-- a video tour of their offices which for reasons of secrecy doesn't actually feature much of their offices, unless you count Starbuck's, the alley outside, a storage area and the air conditioners part of the office-- for clues about the next project, so the titles "Pimps At Sea" and even "Marathon 4" were prominently featured on whiteboards for our amusement.

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Online gaming magazine The Escapist has a nice piece on Stubbs the Zombie; Escapist writer Joe Blancato talks with Wideload's "writer guy" Matt Soell about the grisly genesis of Stubbs; Soell also gets to talk about one of the underlying themes of the game:

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Eurogamer is carrying an interview with film director Uwe Boll about videogame movies. The thrust is basically that when his videogame adaptations have failed to succeed critically or to make good theatrical box-office numbers, the reasons have largely been a lack of support from the developers of the original game and an unfairly hostile press.

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Richard 'MrE' Elliott over at the Global Gaming League has an interview with Doug Zartman, now of Wideload Games and formerly of Microsoft Game Studios and Bungie Software.

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NewCityChicago's Mike Schramm has produced a nicely researched little feature on Alex "The Man" Seropian; it includes a brief history of Bungie, with a proper tip of the hat to Marathon as the genesis of Halo, and an introduction to Wideload and their brainchild, Stubbs the Zombie.

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Cats, jello, pink shirts, fist-ass-extreme and IRC figure prominently in Stingraid's interview of IBO admin Kevin "KP" Paul over at High Impact Halo.

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