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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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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Friday January 19, 2007 @12:26PM (#17682116)
    Given the opportunity, a developer would keep "polishing" a game forever. It would never get released if you just gave them an "open-ended" development timeframe. 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...

    Show me a developer that's ever completely happy with the finished game and I'll show you a director that's completely happy with the final theatrical cut of his film.


  • Bull (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ObiWanStevobi ( 1030352 ) on Friday January 19, 2007 @12:29PM (#17682164) Journal
    Halo 2 is still one of the most played and most stable games. And one of the best looking for its generation. This is just marketing to try to hype up expectation for Halo 3. Halo 2 is not perfect, no game is. But to say there isn't any polish on it is just a flat out lie.
  • by d3ac0n ( 715594 ) on Friday January 19, 2007 @12:37PM (#17682288)
    But since they were bought by Microsoft, they aren't really relevant to the gaming community at large anymore (other than as a vehicle for the Roosterteeth guys). The problem is that Microsoft basically boxed them into the X-Box. (no pun intended) Those of us who are PC gamers (and we are legion) are essentially being shut out of the HALO franchise unless we meet certain Microsoft criterion. A) we must own an X-box or X-box 360, or B) we must own Vista.

    Now, that's all fine and good, Microsoft can do what it pleases with it's products. But make no mistake that this immediately relegates the HALO franchise to irrelevancy with HUGE sections of the gaming community. As noted by an earlier /. article, there are some very influential people in the gaming community that just don't see a compelling reason to drink the Microsoft DX10 koolaid. With the availabilty of inexpensive and fully compatible alternative engines, it's becoming less and less compelling to even bother with Direct X, other than as a convenience because it's what many programmers are already used to. Put all these factors together, and the PC gaming community isn't likely to be rushing to Vista any time soon.

    What does this mean for the HALO franchise? Well, since they are locked into Vista and the X-Box, that pretty much relegates them to that minority section of the market. Which means for the vast amount of gamers, Bungie might as well be non-existent for the amount of effect they have on those gamers. Halo 1 was nice. Halo 2 did OK considering it's an X-Box only title. Halo2 Vista and Halo3 should do a small amount better, but not much. Until the majority of PC's are Vista (at least 4 years, if not longer) Bungie is a non-entity in the PC gaming market.

  • Quentin Tarantino always claims to be happy with the theatrical cuts of his films.

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.