Bungie Nixes Apple's Info, More
12:10 PM | Charles George | Comment on this story
How would we stay informed without Matt Soell of Bungie Studios and his ubiquitous presence on the Web? Recently he posted numerous messages the Halo.bungie.org and Rampancy .net. forums. His messages provide new and provocative information about Halo and Bungie itself. Mac gamers may be most interested in his response to the latest Apple eNews update, which reads:
Yes, Microsoft certainly will release Halo for the Mac. In fact, it will be released for the Mac at the same time it is released for X-Box, Microsoft’s new videogame console.Matt had this to say about the apple Enews report at Halo.bungie.org :
I think this "announcement" is the product of some overzealous copywriting over at Apple, or at least someone with only vague memories of what was said on stage at the Expo.
As far as I know, we can't guarantee a simultaneous release on all platforms right now. I wish it were otherwise. If it happens, you'll hear it from us, not from Apple eNews.
On a lighter note he made some very interesting comments to the H.B.O forums about the lack of blood in the stunning E3 Halo movie. He divided his message between unoffical and professional answers. Here are both remarks:
Given America's current socio-political climate, where talking head pundits who've never played a computer game in their lives blather endlessly about their destructive qualities, and the negligent parents who never question anything the TV says snivel in unison that the government isn't doing enough to control the games they buy for their own kids, it would probably be a bad idea to show up at E3 with a movie emphasizing the realism of our virtual blood.
And now, the professional, non-hostile reason:
The primary goal of that E3 movie was to dramatize what gameplay would be like. All the slick technology was put in service of that "substance-over-style" goal. We'd already done one trailer that made people ooh and ahh, but people were wondering what gameplay would be like; we knew we wouldn't have a good, solid, playable build for E3 but we wanted to give people a taste of that. If we'd just wanted to do another engine demo the programmers and artists would have worked on other stuff and the whole thing would have been markedly different, with even more eye candy. My point being: things that were not as refined in that movie as they could have been will change for the better before release.
Last but not least Matt provided some explanations as to what Inverse Kinematics (IK) really is and what it does. He goes on to explain about some of the deaths in the previously mentioned Halo E3 trailer and how the can be improved:
IK is basically the process through which a character's body reacts appropriately to environmental constraints. The position of a player's hands on the jeep's steering wheel, for example, or the player's hands taking the appropriate position on a gun. Presently it's a subtle effect; you don't play Halo and shout "Dude, check out that IK!" Well, obviously YOU don't...but even those of us with access to builds don't. ;-)
Work has been done on applying IK to player deaths but none of it has made it into a build yet. So those of you who dissed the deaths in the E3 trailer can chill. ;-)
Forums are a valuable source of information on the long-delayed Oni as well; Chris Butcher, Bungie Fan turned Bungie employee, dropped some hints about Oni's artificial intelligence on the Oni.bungie.org forums. This ought to answer some of the questions about Oni's AI raised after its AI programmer, Quinn Dunki left:
one of the most important things about our AIs is that they don't cheat. unlike the majority of games out there, our characters move by actually simulating keypresses; so they run, jump, sidestep and execute shoulder rolls using exactly the same world-class animation system that we developed to model konoko. basically, there is no visual difference between the opponents you're fighting and another human. of course, I can't say the same for all of their behavior patterns, but they're pretty convincing most of the time.Halo for Mac OS will probably be published by Peter Tamte's Microsoft new company some time after the X-box version ships . Oni is coming this October to Mac, PC and Playstation 2, if all goes as planned; the Mac version will be published by Gathering of Developers. Many thanks go out to the fine people at Bungie for taking the time to answer gamer's questions and those who dedicate their time to running those exellent fanpages.
Chris Butcher on Oni AI
Matt Soell on Halo Rumors
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