website is now in archive mode. visit blog.subnova.com for information.
i added amazon context links... just because i can... if they're not too obtrusive... i'll leave them
enabled mod_deflate on andromeda. the site is now seeing an estimated 80% reduction in overall size for clients to download
added an rss 2.0 feed for the news at http://www.subnova.com/news/rss/. it will show the 14 most recent posts
updated cq calculations so that if a member doesn't login to the website in the past 77 days, the contribution points start vanishing in a hurry... tanking the irank
I also just took a close look at a Prophet for the first time. I didn't realize it was a Covenant deal. I just glanced at it and I thought it was HotTubGuy*. I even invented a whole mythology around him. Like, that maybe he'd knocked an 8-Track stereo into his hot tub and traveled through time. Shows what I know.
Oh, you're going to be trouble. I can tell.
The whole web thing is getting crazy. We're relaunching Bungie.net soon-ish, and we're trying to assemble, create and collate all the content for it. It looks super cool. Brian is taking point on a lot of that stuff, and he's also been rounding up the n00bz for today's pentathlon. We'll let you know the results on Monday, but basically it's a contest between various layers of the Bungie hierarchy. Grizzled Ancients, Old Skool, Middle Skool and Noobz. We won the Summer Pentathlon last year but I reckon the grizzled ancients are planning to cheat this time around. The events include EyeToy and Mario Kart, but we're all pretty psyched to play Halo 2. That's right. Different multiplayer maps and different game styles, including CTF and Slayer, of course. We're trying to learn one of the more complex maps, provisionally called Burial Mounds. Favorite new Halo 2 expression? "He's goin' Ribs!"
Gah! Real info! Someone, tackle him quick!
Lorraine, our artist, has been incredibly busy. Some of what she's doing is punch-in-the-face secret, but she has also been working on the Halo 2 logo. It looks SWEET. It rocks harder than meat-flavored toothpaste at a British dental convention, but Lorraine isn't quite satisfied and has been tuning it. She reckons the next version has a 50-50 chance of being the final one, which means there's a 50-50 chance you'll see it soon. She's also been finishing a Gold Elite action figure, which will be available soon, and an amazingly detailed special edition Master Chief, which will only be available in one exclusive place (details to be released soon).
Greg Snook and the animators are doing some really cool stuff with the Chief's walking and running animation. Right now he sidesteps convincingly, has a real walk animation (instead of just a slow version of the default run set) and even cooler, he crouches and crouch-walks much more convincingly. It sounds like a small thing, but if you go back and look at Halo compared to this new stuff, the difference is astonishing.
Walking, crouch-walking, side-stepping; these things are like, hard information. Are you sure you're supposed to tell us this stuff? ;-)
The coolest stuff going on this week though has got to be the way the animation and AI are coming together. You watch demos of the technologies interacting with each other and you're thinking, "This LOOKS incredible." Then you take a step back and realize, "Oooh. This is GAMEPLAY." The demo we watched was running in realtime, basically a huge warehouse filled with objects, obstacles and Covenant. The AI sends a mixture of grunts, Elites and more, charging across the cluttered map to see how they deal with obstacles and each other. Grunts typically sprint around fallen beams and boxes, but Elites are frighteningly smart, making fast, natural and athletic maneuvers and Hunters will simply charge through the map. We watched this happen from a Chief's-eye perspective and it's pretty frightening.