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Games Entertainment

Inside Bungie - Living The Spartan Life 58

Posted by Zonk
from the cat-hats-for-all dept.
Straight from the latest issue of Edge, a great feature all about the life inside Bungie studios. The article gets into a good bit of detail on the mindset of this insular part of Microsoft's development network. Interviewed developers discuss what it is like working for Microsoft, and how hard it is not to be hard on themselves. Specifically, the developers have some surprisingly harsh criticism of their own opus - Halo 2. From the article, comments by technical lead Chris Butcher: "One of the things that stuns me when I think about it, and I can't believe this is true - we had [no time to polish] for Halo 2. Take that polish period and completely get rid of it. We miscalculated, we screwed up, we came down to the wire and we just lost all of that. So Halo 2 is far less than it could and should be in many ways because of that. It kills me to think of it. Even the multiplayer experience for Halo 2 is a pale shadow of what it could and should have been if we had gotten the timing of our schedule right. It's astounding to me. I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it. And that's why I know Halo 3 is going to be so much better."
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Inside Bungie - Living The Spartan Life

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 19, 2007 @11:09AM (#17681914)
    You can download Marathon Aleph One for free [bungie.org], the FPS predecessor of Halo.

    And you can still play Myth II online for free [playmyth.net] (serial number not needed if you forgot yours).
  • Re:Bull (Score:3, Informative)

    by Freewill (538580) <bs@bu[ ]e.org ['ngi' in gap]> on Friday January 19, 2007 @11:39AM (#17682340) Homepage
    There's *planned* polish, and there's *accidental* polish. Halo 2 had plenty of the latter, a little of the former. Make no mistake, if you're known for above-average output, then even your less-then-perfect work is still a step above the rest. What Halo 2 missed on (as repeated in the article) is agreed on by the developers themselves. This is a *good* thing. This is not 'marketing trying to hype' Halo 3. If you knew how Bungie worked, you'd know they have an adverse reaction to typical corporate 'marketing'. But you can dismiss me out of hand, since I would fall into the 'fanboi' category, I guess.
  • by jfclavette (961511) on Friday January 19, 2007 @11:43AM (#17682416)
    You're confused. Halo 2 came out for the original XBox a good while ago. You're thinking Halo 3, which is still in development.
  • by nasch (598556) on Friday January 19, 2007 @12:34PM (#17683272)
    But, set a hard deadline, and they end up complaining that there wasn't enough time to "polish" it; to add in every feature; to include x, y, and, z, and so on...
    If you RTFA (a lot to ask I know) one of them said that for Halo everything came together perfectly in the end, and basically they had exactly the right amount of time. That is to say, I'm sure there was more they would have liked to do, but his message was more "we had the right amount of time" than "we needed more time".

    "We had about four to five weeks to polish Halo at the end. No more than that. And that last five per cent is responsible for 30 per cent of the success of the game, or more. That's the period in which we really had a perfect storm. The team was all there, everything was working great, the Xbox hardware was finally there and good, and we just were able to relentlessly execute on that. The entire game came together within that four- to six-week period."

  • by Caffeinate (1031648) on Friday January 19, 2007 @12:56PM (#17683640)
    Halo 2 did OK considering it's an X-Box only title.
    I think "OK" might be a bit of an understatement. Halo 2 had the best opening night in the history of the entertainment industry, earning $125M US in the first 24 hours of its release. [wikipedia.org]
  • by FinchWorld (845331) on Saturday January 20, 2007 @07:05PM (#17697930) Homepage
    I've just been watching scrubs hence, For the of God, nooby. Halo, and soon to be Halo 2 would have been luckly to even hit the PC without M$, hell I can M$ hate with the best of them, when theres a good reason, so lets go down the bungie hall of memories. Marathon, whats that Mac games? OMFG did you not get that on your PC? Until recent open sourcing I believe there was only a very limited, LIMITED, run of Marathon 2 for PC, and that seemed more for the novelty. As for halo the orginal intention for it was to be a mac game, but you know that right? It was even a RTS, then it became a 3rd person shooter, at about which time M$ took a big interest which had the game published on a big format (no, don't smirk, no, really, Xbox gamer numbers > Mac gamer numbers).

    Moral of it all, Halo of PC, far more likely with M$ then without.

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