Archive for August, 2000

Fan Fiction page updated

August 31st, 2000
Thanks to John Boscia, who submitted a new story, The Book of Halo, to our Fan Fiction page. Check it out!

The Bench looks at helmet envy

August 31st, 2000
Thanks to Mark Levin, who found another Bench comic relating to Halo. (Xian noticed one way back in early March, on our forum.) This one's pretty old, too... it went up in early February. However, I couldn't find any record of it either in our forum archives, or in the r.net forum archives, or on our news page. Old news can be good news. ;)

New Letters to the Webmaster at Bungie

August 31st, 2000
Woohoo! Bungie's updated the Letters to the Webmaster section! Dog intestines, Tauntauns, and Joan Crawford, oh, my. (Halo's even mentioned a couple of times, which makes this post (just barely) on topic.) Go read 'em! Thanks to Tursas for the heads-up on this one.

Psyjnir Complex coming soon (again)

August 31st, 2000
Psyrixx writes to tell us that the Psyjnir Complex will be relaunched on September 10th, in all its glory. Mark your calendars!

Halo Center cranks up the staff

August 30th, 2000
Halo news is at an all-time low right now... but that didn't stop Halo Center from bringing on two new staffers, and welcoming back an old one. With a crowd like that, they should be able to make up news, when there isn't any. ;) Welcome (or welcome back), guys!

Salon looks at the Xbox

August 29th, 2000
Xbox, Xbox über alles... Wagner James Au has written a long rationalization on why the Xbox will succeed next year over at Salon.com. Lots of tasty morsels here... Kevin Bachus points out the difference between the target Xbox gamer and other console targets:

"We're going after an 18-year-old guy away at college for the first time. That's who the Xbox customer is going to be."

This piece is well-written, and while you may not agree with its conclusions, you need to acknowledge that lots of things are being done right here. Check it out! Thanks to Finn Smith for the heads-up.

xbox365 says 128 MB now

August 29th, 2000
"I can go in... I can go out. In... out. In... out." xbox365 is reporting that "a good source" is claiming that Microsoft Developers have been informed that the Xbox spec has been upgraded to 128 megs of RAM. Who really knows, with a product still 12-18 months from release? Good news, though, if it's true...

Halo SETI Team 14 day stats posted

August 28th, 2000
Due to an infusion of new blood, the Halo SETI Marines have closed the gap with the TidBITS team to just over 500 units again. At this rate, they'll pass them up by early October. The bad news is, the Austrian SETI Club has stepped up and passed the Marines! Can these new crunchers make a difference? Brain Towne takes La Crunch Honneur with an average of 13 units/day, and sam and Levi both jump over 52 competitors to tie for the Frogblast award... can the team keep up the steam? Only time will tell! Gory details can be found on the 14 day stats page.

Xbox outside liason says no keyboard

August 28th, 2000
More contradictions to the Daily Radar UK bit last week: xbox.ign.com interviewed Kevin Bacchus, Director of Third Party Relations, about how he sees outside publishers fitting into the Xbox scene. One unhappy thought:

"For some publishers though, there's a conversation we need to have about how you make use of a system that has no mouse and has no keyboard, and that really is designed as a platform for very intense, action-oriented games. "

Halo with no keyboard will NOT be the same game as Halo with a keyboard. And if the console version is built around a no-keyboard scenario, what sort of time will be added to the PC/Mac port by the need to rework the control mechanism (and indeed the gameplay)? Read the whole interview here.

MS programmer says 64, max

August 27th, 2000
More Xbox news... in contradiction to speculation by Daily Radar UK last week, MSXbox asked Michael Abrash, Microsoft programmer, about his statement that the Xbox will ship with 64 megs of RAM. Michael said

"... I would have liked to have seen 128 Mb myself. [...] Anyway, the decision is made, and it'll be interesting to watch what developers do with their 64 Mb!"

Stop by MSXbox for the full quote.

XboxFaction compares console and pc advantages

August 27th, 2000
For those still confused as to why Bungie programmers (and many others) are so excited about the Xbox, when it seems it's just a box with a bunch of PC parts that will be nowhere near cutting-edge by the time the Xbox is released, XboxFaction has put up a small feature on fixed-spec (console) vs. open-spec (pc) systems. Check it out. Thanks to Blue's News for the heads-up.

Wallpaper page updated

August 26th, 2000
Thanks to Trask, who submitted a new background for our Wallpaper page. Take a look!

Halo Center looking for News staffers

August 25th, 2000
Halo Center is currently looking for newsies... if you're interested, send Yrro some mail. Not that there's a ton to do right now... but who knows, things change.

Gamasutra’s old look at Trespasser… relevant?

August 24th, 2000
Yesterday, we posted a news item about an interview with Seamus Blackley, the Director of the Xbox Advanced Technology Team, and we got both email and a forum post lamenting the inclusion of Blackley on the Xbox team. He's best known for his involvement in the development of Trespasser, a game released in October 1998 with real problems. Last May, Gamasutra printed a postmortem of Trespasser written by one of the game's designers, that explains clearly where the game development went wrong. A sentence near the start caught my eye:

The pie-in-the-sky concept for Trespasser was an outdoor engine with no levels, a complete rigid-body physics simulation, and behaviorally-simulated and physics-modeled dinosaurs.

The article as a whole points to more similarities between Trespasser and Halo (remember that this was written before Halo was announced), and Wyckhoff's conclusion was that

"...just as there are no successful anarchic world governments there can not be any successful development teams without management."

To the best of our knowledge, the Halo team hasn't yet filled the Producer position vacated last fall by Nathan Bitner. Definitely worth a read... and feel free to add your comments to Forensic's thread on our forum!

Bungie Jumping does Hamish

August 23rd, 2000
Mojo reminded us that we'd forgotten his comic site, Bungie Jumping, in our links round-up yesterday. Heh... his latest comic pokes fun at a pillar of the fan community... stop by and take a look! (Bungie Jumping has been added to the Funnies section of our Links page, as well. Sorry, Mojo.)

Gamecenter talks to Xbox Tech Director

August 23rd, 2000
Gamecenter.com interviewed Seamus Blackley, director of the Xbox Advanced Technology Team, about where Microsoft sees themselves fitting into the console market.

GC: How confident are you about Microsoft's foray into console gaming?
S. B.: We try to put 300 percent into everything we do. We're here until 10 p.m. every night. I'm never home. We have this feeling that we're coming from behind and we have to get everything right. We're always second-guessing ourselves because we need to get everything right for the worldwide launch next year. We have a great team, a great console and a great game lineup for Xbox. We think about the gamer who walks into the store and buys an Xbox and thinks, "Why am I happy I bought an Xbox?" Then we think of it as a business model.

The HBO spin: Microsoft is aware of the tenuousness of their position... there's a lot riding on the success of this platform. For us, here, if the Xbox fails, we could care less about Microsoft's loss... but what happens to Bungie?Thanks to BGH for the heads-up.

HBO News Archive finally made functional

August 23rd, 2000
Thanks to all the folks who've told us how broken our news archive is... it's been fixed. Not only that, but searching has gotten easier. You can still use the search box on this front page... or you can jump over to the archive and grab a particular day, or a particular month. Finding old news was never so easy!

Battleground: Halo wakes up

August 22nd, 2000
Woohoo! Shame on us for not noticing sooner. Battleground: Halo, dormant for a bit, is back in the saddle, with new updates, a comic, and a new bit of fan fic. We were getting nervous there... ;)

Daily Radar UK speculates about the Xbox

August 22nd, 2000
Thanks to Haloplayers, who noticed an article at Daily Radar UK detailing the (current) specs of the Xbox. On the plus side: a scaled-down, stable version of Windows 2000, (maybe) 128 MB RAM, and a keyboard and mouse standard... This is all speculation on DR's part, but it's backed up by some educated guessing, and the current XDK. (For example... the beefed-up RAM prediction comes in part from the fact that support for virtual memory is not built in... so enough real RAM will be a priority.) One juicy rumor: nVidia, in addition to making the graphics chipset, is on board for the sound card as well. An interesting read!

SETI Halo Marines fall behind

August 22nd, 2000
Due to circumstances beyond our control, we missed our SETI update yesterday. We'll do a 2-week update next week. In the meantime, however, the SETI Halo Marines need to realize that they're falling behind the TidBITS team... after weeks of being 4-500 units behind, the gap has now grown to over 600 units, and continues to widen. How will you find the Covenant at this pace?