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Inside Bungie - Living The Spartan Life 58

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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  • Nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Friday January 19, 2007 @12:09PM (#17681908)
    I liked the first half of Halo 1. The parts where you could jump on a jeep (whatever) and a guy would climb in and drive, or gun, or whatever you didn't do. It really felt like a war game where there was some tactics and such.

    The last half completely dropped that and was boring.

    Halo 2... I never bothered with it. My nephews played it, and I heard a little on the web about it, but not much. So I left it alone.

    I'm hoping Halo 3 really DOES have the 'polish time' they need to make it right and fun in single player. (I don't give a rat's ass about multi, despite liking the 'work together' stuff with the NPCs.) I'm not really holding my breath, though.
  • Re:Bull (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ObiWanStevobi ( 1030352 ) on Friday January 19, 2007 @12:45PM (#17682442) Journal
    Well, I would find it believable that they are perfectionists and hypercritical of their own work, however, when they all of a sudden now say that Halo 2 was not polished and Halo 3 is, doesn't that suggest a bit of a marketing job?
  • by bunions ( 970377 ) on Friday January 19, 2007 @12:51PM (#17682570)
    > Those of us who are PC gamers (and we are legion)

    PC games are about 1/6th of the console market. It's still significant, but decreasingly so every day. Don't get me wrong, I'm a PC gamer too, but I don't have any illusions of it's importance in the grand scheme of things.

    > But make no mistake that this immediately relegates the HALO franchise to irrelevancy with HUGE sections of the gaming community.

    PC gamers are sort of notorious for upgrading at the drop of a hat. I think you're vastly underestimating the willingness of people to move to vista if there's something makes it worth their while to move.
  • by GeckoX ( 259575 ) on Friday January 19, 2007 @01:01PM (#17682738)
    PC gamers follow the games and the tech. They're traditionally on the (relative) bleeding edge of the industry.

    If the industry isn't going there, the gamers won't be either. It's that simple.

    Until the moment there's a must have DX10 game, and the must have hardware to match, there simply won't be mass upgrading. Actually, there's a heck of a lot of room at the top of the DX9 stack still. Most people that look into this stuff KNOW that the best cards right now are DX9. And for the foreseeable future those cards will be getting cheaper as well as better. Now is the time to build that smokin rig. There is simply no point whatsoever in jumping on to the DX10/Vista bandwagon as it's completely empty, and headed out into the desert for the next couple years.
  • by GeckoX ( 259575 ) on Friday January 19, 2007 @01:09PM (#17682872)
    Sorry, forgot to mention one more important thing. The PC gamer market may be small percentage wise, but that segment drives just about the entire market.

    Think of it this way: Most people don't drive expensive high-tech vehicles. Those vehicles are only a very small part of the vehicle market. However, just about ALL of the tech in the vehicle you DO drive started out on those vehicles.

    So we may be (relatively) small in numbers, but we created the market, and we're still the driving force behind it.

    Think of it another way: Why does the Halo franchise exist? Simply because the console market had had FPS envy for over a decade. It took that long for consoles to be able to do FPS's well enough to be viable.

    And last, just another point about the impact of PC Gamers on the industry. WoW is a juggernaut in the industry. And it's PC only. Not just a hiccup. Not just a blip on the radar. It's huge, it's massive, it's changed the gaming market across the board. All this from a _subset_ of 1/6th of the console market.

    We're a LOT more important than you give credit for.
  • Re:Bull (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Golias ( 176380 ) on Friday January 19, 2007 @02:35PM (#17684292)
    It's classic Microsoft speak.

    Bash your current product to show how "honest" and humble you are about your past errors, while creating demand for the much "better" the next one will be because you have learned from your horrific mistakes.

    Rinse, repeat.

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced -- even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it. -- John Keats