Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Halo 4 Info blowout for employees, surface for fans.

Today, Little English Halo Blog was lucky enough to get it's hands on some game retailer employee information and screens. Below, you can see the screens for yourself (click for bigger versions) But, if you don't wanna go through the stuff, here's a rundown:
-10 weeks= season one of Spartan Ops= 50 missions= 12 hours of content. A second campaign.
-2 new vehicles
-10 new weapons
-Darker Campaign
-10 Multiplayer maps at launch
-speculation of a clan type support. (more on the bottom.)



So, I wanted to talk about a theory that has been popping up since this morning. The idea of a group feature could work like this; say that TRU7H has a group in Halo 4 and there are so many people in that group. We see that there are X out of Y players online and we hit the invite button which sends an invite to all of those players, basically making community playdates a whole lot better.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

We Are TRU7H: Part 3


So how bout that ride in ha?.. I'm not very good at coming up with masterpieces right of the bat, so don't expect greatness out of me. I'm Bycoon343, but it really agitates me to be called that, so call me Phil. Phil was taken at the start or otherwise, yeah I don't need to explain myself. I've only been at this community thing a couple of days and I'm really starting to dig it. I've tried it in the past, but my unique attention span really got in my way. Thats all over now though. Kri77ical, or Dustin, invited me back into the community world just a couple of days ago, two to be exact, whilst playing Minecraft. I handle the Twitter of Tru7h and I'm a moderator for the blog. I'm nothing too special, just Austin and Dustin's website slave. 

On a more personal note, I'm Phillip LeMere from Gulfport, MS who plays Xbox and plucks the guitar. Thanks

Saturday, June 23, 2012

We Are TRU7H: Part 2


Well, how to start this off... Im Kri77ical, one of the founders of a growing community called Tru7h. It all started with me joining a community playdate hosted by Mixmasterchief in Halo 3! We got to talkin' and out popped the idea of an all gaming news site! What is it I do in this community you ask? Well, I am in charge of our Community Star contest and filming/editing the videos for the group! The Community Star contest is where people in the community use there special talents to create something awesome, in which we get them noticed in the community for! The videos I make for the community are usually for the Community Star or community playdates.

The reason I take so much pride in this community is because it is simply for everyone! It doesn't just focus on one game or game console, its for everything. Its a great way to connect with all your gaming buddies and have a lot of fun! Tru7h is a community where you can get the most out of your gaming experience. We have contests and community playdates pretty much every week! We may be small now, but I know we will grow to be one of the biggest and best communities out there! 

Oh, by the way, Im Dustin Williams. Im 17 and live in Gulfport, MS. Im interested in doing animation for films and gaming. 

We Are TRU7H: Part 1

AKA: Mix

I am supposed to be writing this. Unfortunately, this is going to be one of my last Planned posts, besides the Halo Bulletin every week, but that's just a repost. I'm gonna stop myself from ranting and just tell you who I am, so here we go.
My name is Mixmasterchief. My gamertag is MIXMASTERCHlEF, where the i in chief is an L, just lowercase. I have been a fan of and playing Halo since day one. When I started I was unaware of a growing community that was kind of behind this great thing, driving it forward. I didn't actually find out about it until right before halo 3 came out. I did miss Iris, I did miss Bees I had missed any and all ARG marketing. But, after 3 came out, I became a community man. I mostly lurked in the beginning but now I am all over the place. 
I started/founded this Site and Community Hub about two years ago, when the rumors of a Halo Combat Evolved remake were starting to pop up more and more and I decided that I could create a central hub of these rumors and official news once it got started. And on June 1st, 2011, we finally got a trailer for Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. I was ecstatic. I posted any and everything I could find. 
Once Anniversary came out, I didn't want to stop posting because I loved seeing that people where actually reading my posts and were interested in what I had to say, so I switched it over from the bland Re-Halo to Installation 343, a full Halo news site. Anything I could find (mainly Halo 4 stuff) went on the site. 
I had started to do playdates, well, I say that, I only did two. The first one was a success, I had a turn out of about 12 people, and we had a ball. Then, I planned a second one, which was actually only about 2 months ago. I posted it on twitter and a pretty cool dude named Kri77ical decided that he thought it would be worth his time to come and play with my gimpy community and myself. He was the only one that came out to play. He asked me if I had ever thought of turning the site into a full on gaming community site, as apposed to the normal Halo only set I'd lived with of a little over a year. I told him I had thought of it but not seriously enough to do it just yet. He was able to accelerate that decision. After about a week of soul searching, and name choosing we came up with TRU7H.
Now, TRU7H is a Hub for all things that have to do with gaming, including hosting an incredibly awesome community. I am trilled with my decision. I love pushing the tru7h unto all who will accept it. ;)
Hi. My name is Austin Douglas Ford. I am 17, I live in New Braunfels, Texas. I am going to go to college to major in Theatre so that I can one day be a film director. I love my community. I love my team. I hope we can snipe eachother in a match of Halo soon!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Community Star of the Month!

Congrats to our first Community Star, Carnage A51! To show your madness, here are some questions to answer so you can tell the community what you're all about!

How did you get the idea to make this amazing map? 
Well, on the day that Minecraft came out for 360 one of my friends invited me to his world and said I could build whatever I wanted. I noticed a big area of water and for some reason thought it would be the perfect place to build a castle. When I started on the castle it was very small(probably the size of just one pillar of my castle now), and I quickly realized that I needed to start my own world and make it like a thousand times larger; so, I did.

When you aren't being a Minecraft genius what other games do you play?
I'm a big Halo fan, so mostly Halo. In fact, before Minecraft came out, all I played was Halo. So, Halo and Minecraft are my two games of choice.

What are some future plans you have for this map?
Right now I'm focusing on the castle, but after the castle is done I plan to level the land around it for as far as the eye can see and build an extremely awesome village with all sorts of things in it. On the out-skirts of the village, I definitely plan on having some fishing docks with huge ships and probably a submarine and other cool things like that. Also, there will be cool things such as Zeppelins and other cool 18th century architecture. So, yeah, the castle is just the start; I have so much awesomeness planned for the future of this world.

Thank you SO much for your time, Carnage! We look forward to seeing you at community playdates!

Now, heres the map we've been ranting about....

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Halo Bulletin: 6.20.12

Meat, Meat, and Moar Meat

So we meat again

Yesterday, as the sun began its customary descent, the savory smell of perfectly seared steaks wafted through the studio. Amidst the watering of mouths and rumbling of stomachs, a steady stream of 343-ers followed the smell of smoke and grilled meat out the back door and into the warm summer evening to enjoy a feast of meatacular proportions.

You see, every Tuesday evening one of the many teams that comprise 343 cooks dinner for the entire studio, and last night it was the producers’ turn. While it could be the haze from the beef-induced coma talking, I’d just like to take a second to say their meat gave me great pleasure. So much pleasure, in fact, that I’m not sure there’s anything next week’s team can do to top it. Well, I can think of one thing, actually: moar meat.

While I could easily craft 9,001 words about steak alone, Frankie just informed me I should throw you a few Halo-related bones. So, I have two rather tantalizing offerings for you this week: the return of the Halo: Reach File Share system and a cursory introduction to Crawlers. Let’s tackle the latter first, shall we?

Halo 4 Crawler

Meet Your Halo 4 Enemies– Part 2: Crawlers

The Prometheans are a powerful and mysterious element of the ancient Forerunner Warrior-Servants whose forebears fell from power following the Human-Forerunner War. Some of the remaining Prometheans appear to be tasked with defending the mysterious alien world we’ve recently shown you, along with its payload of terrifying secrets and emerging threats. Much like the Covenant, the Prometheans feature a variety of different unit types, each one utilizing unique tactics, technology, and abilities to create dynamic combat scenarios unlike anything you have ever encountered in Halo before.

One of those unit types is the Crawlers.

Promethean Crawlers are impressively armed Forerunner machines, capable of both close-quarters and long-range combat. They generally travel in large packs, are engineered to ferociously hunt down and eliminate any foreign threats, and represent the most extensive and abundant “native” enemy on Requiem.

Crawlers can be spawned by Watchers, who literally conjure the Crawlers’ raw forms from the material of the planet beneath their four little feet. While Watchers protect Crawlers, Knights treat them as fodder, relentlessly spawning them at a rapid-fire rate. Crawlers act like a skirmishing unit, harassing the player at the Knight’s bidding.

Halo 4 Crawler

While they often fulfill the role of Promethean fodder, not taking a group of Crawlers seriously would be a mistake as they work together in strategic coordination to overwhelm enemies from every possible direction. As Frankie so eloquently said at E3, killing them is like popping bubble wrap... until there’s a thousand of them. Then it’s deadly bubble wrap.

Individual Crawler types include the basic unit, a more heavily armed unit, and a deadly, long-range unit. The heavily armed variant is tougher than the basic unit and is more likely to charge in and melee attack. As far as the long-range unit goes, imagine a sniper round tearing through your visor, and you’ve got the basic notion.

The initial idea for the Crawler came from a desire to add something fresh to the Halo sandbox. We hit upon the quadruped design early on, and that visual design drove their behavior. Their movement is based off familiar quadrupeds like wolves, with a little bit of insect mixed in.

To get the Crawlers’ movement style nailed down on walls as well as on the ground, we did a fair bit of prototyping (as seen in the above video). The goal was to have something that felt recognizable at first look but quickly went in unexpected directions with its motion and abilities. Crawlers are fast on the ground, often bounding in as a pack. When they move around on wall-like structures, their legs spread out and they skitter on the surface like angry glowing laser-bugs.

When you see a Crawler, there is an initial sense of familiarity. Once they scurry up a tree, open their mouths, and release bullet-filled howls that pierce your soul along with your face, though, familiarity turns to fright as you realize these are alien creatures. And deadly ones, at that...

If you'd like to hear more from two of the people that had a hand in designing the Crawlers, check out the newest Sparkast where Systems Designer Matt Findley and Lead Animator Stephen Dyck chat with your velvet-voiced host, David Ellis, about bringing the Promethean enemy class to life.

Download Here (Right Click and Save As)


Halo: Reach File Browser

Halo: Reach File Share

Three months ago, we announced that Halo: Reach File Share access was coming to the web version of Halo Waypoint this summer. Sometimes, though, things don’t go according to plan, which was the case with this particular endeavor. We gently released it into the wild yesterday, not realizing it was 24 hours before the first official day of summer. We’d like to sincerely apologize for not sticking to the original plan. We’ll be out back, anxiously (and perhaps excitedly) awaiting our lashing.

For now, let’s go over the basics of how to use the Halo: Reach File Browser.

Halo: Reach File Browser

To access your personal Halo: Reach File Share, log into Halo Waypoint and click the down arrow at the top of the screen (the one just to the right of your super 1337 gamertag). After pulling down your Career menu, select the third box, titled File Share. There you will find the screenshots, game types, films and map variants you’ve uploaded to your File Share.

Halo: Reach File Browser

From your personal Halo: Reach File Share page, you can also view your File Sets, download history, and tag history by selecting the applicable options from the drop-down menu.

Halo: Reach File Browser

To access the general Halo: Reach File Browser, hover over Community on the top navigation bar, and then click File Browserfrom the drop-down menu. There you can browse the screenshots, game types, films and map variants created by the collective Halo: Reach community.

Halo: Reach File Browser

Within each file type, you can search by tag, and filter by file type, map, game mode, time, and relevancy. You can also choose to view the files in a grid, list, or gallery.

Halo: Reach File Browser

When you select an individual file, you can see the name of the file, along with the rest of its metadata (description, author, and date taken). There are several actions you can take from this page, depending on the file type: Send to Xbox, Download/View Full, Add File to your File Share, Report as Offensive (cue Rule 34), and Like. You can also email, Tweet, and Facebook the file, should you so desire (I know people totally dig seeing their feeds full of Halo: Reach files. True story).

Halo: Reach File Browser

My favorite feature of the Halo: Reach File Browser is being able to view a full-size screenshot, and then using my keyboard arrows to surf other files. To do this, click the Companion Cube-like box under the “View” choices, and then tab left and right through the files via the arrows on your keyboard.

The Halo: Reach File Browser and File Share are available on mobile, tablet, and desktop, just like the rest of the website. Comments were not carried over from, as that was not part of the transition, and there are no comments available for Files in this iteration of Waypoint. Recent screenshots are also not currently available, although we hope to add them in a future release.

To provide feedback or report bugs, please visit the Halo Waypoint section of our forums.

Halo: Reach Screenshot

Custom Challenge of the Week

Last week, while a Custom Challenge of the Week was active, Frankie wouldn’t stop talking long enough for me to announce it in the Bulletin. Thus, I have decided to keep the same one going for another seven days so everybody can have a shot at killing their favorite confetti-filled cannon fodder.

So, from last week (cough) until next Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time, setting up a Custom Challenge with Grunts as the type of kill will result in five times the usual multiplier. Between that and this week’s Weekly Challenge, that means you can get (does math quickly in head) a heckuvalotuv credits in a not-heckuvalotuv amount of time. Hooray!

Halo: Reach Screenshot

Super Jackpot Weekend

If bipedal vertebrates are not your thing, fret not because we also have a Super Jackpot weekend coming up. Starting on Friday, hopping into the Anniversary FFA and Rumble Pit playlists will present you with the chance to receive a 34,300-credit bonus. The festivities end on Sunday, so if you’re the independent, Lone Wolf type, make sure you play June 22-24. Your armory thanks you in advance.

And that wraps up yet another edition of your Halo Bulletin. Until next week, or RTX. As long as you choose one of those, I’m perfectly fine with either decision…

bs angel

P.S. I can neither confirm nor deny that I owe you several Friday Caption Fun pictures. I can tell you, however, that I happen to have several Friday Caption Fun pictures for you. Select your favorite, then hit the latest installment to contribute your witty quip. Off you go!

Friday Caption Fun Friday Caption Fun
Friday Caption Fun Friday Caption Fun

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Vlogs: of the TRU7Hful variety

So, I, Mix, have decided when I find soething out that is cool, or if I feel like sharing my opinion, I am going to do a Vlog on my Android. I don't know how well it's going to work but it's worth a shot!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Halo Bulletin: 6.13.12

Halo 4 E3

E3 Q&A

Over the past year, we’ve doled out breadcrumb-sized bits of Halo 4-related information, giving you just enough to chew on but not enough to fully satiate your super-soldier-sized appetite. That changed the second E3 started, when we proceeded to release a massive amount of Campaign, Spartan Ops, and War Games news at a fast and furious rate.

Now that you’ve had a chance to digest all the videos, interviews, and articles that came out of that rather chaotic week, we know you have some questions. That’s why I politely asked Frankie to answer as many of your inquiries as his multi-fingered appendages could handle. (Turns out that’s 34, assuming I counted correctly. David Ellis was too busy flirting to take off his shoes, though, so potential errors should be attributed to him.)

Before you start reading the words of your favorite Scottish Franchise Development Director, I thought it would be helpful to explain a few of his more cryptic phrases. “Bench press contest” means “pillow fight”, “some” means “Mammoth”, and “there are lots of surprises to come” means “Kiki has a new boyfriend". It's worth noting said boyfriend is not aware of this relationship.

Now that I’ve successfully muddied the previously clear waters, you’re free to start reading the following Q&A - the “Q” of which was provided by you, the Halo Waypoint community. Off you go!

Halo 4 E3

How will we acquire the Spartan Ops missions every week? Will they take up a large amount of room on the hard drive? –Spartan King

It will require storage and, more importantly, an Xbox Live Gold account – for online play and downloadable content. Folks should definitely consider this when purchasing Halo 4. Although I would note that it doesn’t matter which version of the game – LE or Standard, since it is included in the price of Halo 4.

Demon and Fury are two names of War Games squads. Will we be able to pick the name for our squad? Will it be from a list of pre-selected names compiled by 343? Also, why are there different names for Spartan Ops squads (Majestic and Crimson)? –HaloFanForLife1

Those were temp names for the E3 build. The final game will ship with variants aplenty, but these will not be user customizable, nor should they be confused with clans, groups or other social modes of team identification. Effectively these are fictional constructs that we will give the player some choice options for.

Apart from Master Chief and Cortana, will there be any characters from past Halo games returning? –AKG Range

It’s important to the plot that we not actually give this way. It would be equally important from either side of that coin. So I will say that Sgt. Johnson, while sexy and epic, will NOT be back. But our story will extend beyond the events of Halo 4, so we have to be careful how we frame this.

Will Halo 4's Forge have themed forge maps with a greater forge palette as to prevent the problem that Halo: Reach had with all of its maps looking like gray Forerunner buildings? –Majatek

Halo 4 Forge, like all aspects of the game, will have significant improvements, changes and/or overhauls. We will be talking about those later this summer. I will, however, ask people to retain some semblance of dignity when imagining infinite tools that allow them to build a universe from scratch. To be clear, this will be a significant improvement in functionality and results, but it will continue the tradition of Forge’s ease of use, scale and scope. But I also won’t be a buzzkill. It will be cool.

How many vehicles are in the game? –Rtas9


On a scale of 0 to Epic, how would you rate the feedback you got from E3, and how will it be utilized in future builds? –Eco Maiden

E3 was actually a really compelling experience for us. A team of over 200 men, women and in my case, children, have been working slavishly just trying to make a Halo game that lived up to the series’ legacy and our own tightly-strung expectations of ourselves and the Halo legend’s appeal, quality and nature. To get anywhere near that, to have people pay the slightest interest in our effort, was an honor and a privilege. The people who work here LOVE Halo, and to collaborate and cooperate with folks of this talent level, passion, intensity and focus has been a privilege. To try to create something this righteously demanding audience can relate to is something else entirely. We will work and grind until the last possible moment to live up to your expectations and your patience.

What can we expect on the control schemes side of things? Can we change Sprint and AA behavior like we can with crouch (click or hold)? How many layouts will there be? Will they be based off of layouts from previous games? Will I be able to go back and forth between Halo 4 and previous titles with ease? –JDHarbs19

Control schemes right now are plentiful, but this is also the area of laser-like focus and concentration. The addition of Sprint on a controller you’ve become accustomed to over seven years is a challenge we take extremely seriously. We have lots of data, lots of ideas, and lots of options.

Will the armor you wear in multiplayer affect your gameplay, or will it be completely cosmetic? –MobiusBlue121

The appearance of the front of your armor is cosmetic, to a degree. However, Armor Abilities will affect your silhouette, and silhouettes, however trivially, do affect gameplay. Not a “back of Elite head in SWAT” effect, but we are also not naive enough to ignore aesthetics as they affect gameplay.

Will there be Spectator Mode in Halo 4? –CyReN CE

There will be some changes to post-death camera, but full spectator mode is a bandwidth hog that we would not introduce into a competitive arena.

What are the exact kill times of the DMR, Carbine, and BR? –Unsaf3st

These are almost-but-not-quite fixed. Some tweaks, tunes and changes will happen between now and launch.

Will the medals remain as they are now, or will they be changed to the original Halo medal color style? –TBearrr

All UI elements are early complete, but undergoing final passes on art and design. Expect the game to look somewhat like the E3 build, but don’t be surprised by alterations and tweaks.

How long does a season of Spartan Ops last? And also, how many seasons will there be? –MeCauseIShotYou

A season of Spartan Ops will be months, rather than mere weeks. Each mission should take about 15 minutes or more, depending on number of players and difficulty rating. Fiction will be incorporated into gameplay via vignettes, voiceover, and other methods, and compounded by episodes of straight drama, around seven minutes in length. And there will be five MISSIONS per week and one episode of naked fiction, which roughly equals well over an hour of content per episode. Between Spartan Ops and Campaign, you're basically getting two campaign equivalents for one price.

How limited is the Limited Edition? –Guywired

We are producing significantly less copies of the Halo 4 LE than previous Halo releases. So, a small percentage of total manufactured units.

If you had the opportunity to hang out with Master Chief for a day, what activities would you do? –Kalamari

Obviously me personally, I would do a bench press contest, or wrestle. But you guys? Chess.

How exactly will the custom loadouts be balanced, as well as the upgrades received by ordnance? Is there anything to prevent veteran players from spawning with rocket launchers and shotguns and outright dominating everybody else, or will power weapons be limited in some way? –Retr0Gamer64

Matchmaking will account for skill level, experience, equipment and more.

How similar is the Thrustpack ability to Reach's Evade? Can it be used in all directions? How many times can it be used before being depleted? –Nuclear Taco 42

It is very different. It will be used in different scenarios.

Is Spartan Ops strictly co-op, or can you play it solo? –iTz Lazerz

Spartan Ops is hard, but achievable in solo. However, you can also Matchmake on a per-mission basis. It should be relatively trivial to find help on tougher missions if your friends are all lame or dead.

Will Bumper Jumper be changed to LT to Grenade, or will another button layout based on the "Halo 3/Halo: Reach" Bumper Jumper be made for Halo 4? –coca mola

Control schemes are not yet final.

Do the War Games and Spartan Ops take place before, during, or after the events of Halo 4? –Astrogenesis

War Games, and by extension Spartan Ops, ostensibly take place starting about six months after the Halo 4 Campaign. That’s a very light spoiler.

We saw Frankie rank up to A-7 in a video clip. Is that just some random placeholder, or is that hinting at a new type of ranking system? –Degeneratlon

If I made it to 7, then assume it’s placeholder.

In both impressions and gameplay footage, some players seem to be lowering their aim sensitivity. Has the overall look mechanic speed been increased? i.e. the new 10 is faster than the old 10? *insert it goes to 11 joke* –Wyld3 KNFr

Look sensitivity in E3 builds is NOT final. By any stretch of the imagination.

Is Infinity Slayer a replacement for normal Slayer? –pedrocs21

No. Infinity Slayer is an added, but vital mode.

Will there be a place for people who prefer a more stripped-down type of Halo game in Matchmaking at launch? –Overdoz1z

Yes. And Halo 4 Matchmaking modes will be more streamlined.

Will Halo 4 have a little more cowbell? –Coux73

Cowbell is set to 11, globally.

I noticed that friendly fire was off during the E3 demo. Was that solely to stop people from ruining the fun for others in the demo, or will it remain off in the default game types once the full game hits? –Loscocco

Friendly fire is set at a Matchmaking level. Imagine variants.

Will the ordnance drops always guarantee a weapon and power-up, or will the drops be completely random when earned? –Solis Argentum

Ordnance drops can and will vary based on Matchmaking parameters.

How does the Join In Progress feature work in Halo 4 multiplayer? If we join in during the game, will everyone's screen go black? Or will the game stop in any way to compensate the change? Are there certain restrictions as to how the new feature works? At what point in the game do we enter in? Beginning? Middle? Or the end? –CypressSmurf

You will enter Join In Progress based on playlist parameters, which will vary from DO NOT JOIN IN PROGRESS to JOIN AT ANY TIME.

How final in terms of graphics and AI is the Campaign demo we saw? –SON OF JUREL

Nothing we have shown so far is final; but most of what we have shown is at least representative.

What is that new mech in the E3 trailer? Many believe it to be the Cyclops, and I know it isn't, so some clarification would be nice. –M0aHerder

What is a Mech?

Are we going to be seeing any enemies other than the ones shown in the E3 Stage Demo? –Negative 9

The new enemy class has been unveiled, but we haven’t revealed all of the enemy types yet, or the ancient evil...

If I miss a week or more of the Spartan Ops, because of military duties or other unfortunate reasons, will I be able to make up previous weekly mission installments? Including watching the cinematography videos that are to be released with each weekly mission installment? –eLantern

Relax. Your 360 will act like a DVR with a Season Pass. Play when you want. Replay when you want.

We already know Elites are not in, which means no Invasion as we know it in Halo 4. Have you considered releasing a game type (both at launch and after launch) which relied on some of the aspects which made Invasion great? –Gabotron ES

Elites are in Campaign. Elites are not playable MP types. We will, however, add some interesting variety to MP which will scratch that itch.

How far through the campaign is the E3 Campaign demo? –DirtyRepublican

About a third of the way through. Give or take.

Will 343i be showing basically everything before release, like with Halo CEA? I, like many others, want to get the game and be surprised. Basically, is it a good time to go dark? –randomrosso93

In some ways, we’ve shown a lot, but ultimately the story has more content than the sandbox, so it’s a mixed bag. Don’t worry. There are lots of surprises to come.

And with that, Frankie is out. As am I. Oh wait, one last thing: just in case you were wondering when the next opportunity is going to be to get your hands on Halo 4, that would be an upcoming conference in its second year, hosted by a company whose name rhymes with Schmooster Schmeeth.

Now if you’ll excuse you, RTX - I mean work - is calling. I’ll meet you back here, same time, same place, next week. Until then…

bs angel

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wii U is a wee Awesome

We got to look at the Wii U during E3 2012 and, I gotta say, I'm lovin' it. The touch pad isn't multitouch, but it works well. The Pro controller is awesome and very comfortable, and Achievement Support! Also, there is and Online/ Playstation Home type feature. All in all it looks awesome.
No official release date yet, but we expect it to launch in November. Some launch titles are:
Assassin's Creed III
Batman: Arkham City
Super Mario Bro.s U
and a lot others!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Halo Bulletin: 6.9.12 (Abridged)


There’s no place like E3

Thursday night, after the curtain fell on E3 2012, one of our videographers asked if I would do a quick interview. I said no, he thanked me for being my usual (un)cooperative self, and then began grilling me. After I did the tired version of my now infamous jazz hands move (which, for the record, was actually an excited double wave), he asked me what I was going to do next, now that E3 was officially over. I said, “Wash my feet.” After kicking one of my sparkly sneakers toward the camera, I spun around and defiantly marched off, back to my hotel room, to begin dealing with the distracting odors emitting from my shoes.

What happened after that interview was not very exciting, but what happened before it was really quite the experience. So let’s rewind a bit and go back to the day it all began.

Halo 4 E3 Halo 4 E3
Halo 4 E3 Halo 4 E3

As the clock struck seven Monday morning, people started gathering in front of the Galen Center for the Xbox E312 Media Briefing. It wasn’t slated to start until 9:30AM, but fans, press, and industry folk alike were already lining up, all in hope of securing the best possible seat. Inside the Galen Center, organized chaos quietly ensued as the event staff did their last minute sound, light, and camera checks (interesting side note: Part of the preparations included sending a message to the USC seismic center because, as we learned from our rehearsals, the audio from our presentation registered on their seismic counters!).

343-ers took their seats in the designated Halo section, some showing their excitement through giddy small talk, others sitting quietly, but all anxiously awaiting our portion of the presentation. We’ve been working on Halo 4 for over three years, and knowing our biggest reveal yet was only minutes away was terrifying and exciting, all at the same time.

When the lights started to dim, an expectant hush fell over the crowd. Every 343-er, from those in attendance to those watching back home, unconsciously held their breath. The moment had finally arrived. We were going to show the world Halo 4.

Our live-action trailer, a standalone piece entitled “The Commissioning” (which was filmed in Bucharest, Romania and was directed by award-winning director Nicolai Fuglsig), opened up our presentation. Some people recognized it as Halo the second it started. For others, enlightenment came later. As people became engrossed in what they were watching, tension filled the room. The scan that swept the ship on the screen simultaneously swept the audience in the theater, and our seats began to rumble as the terror unfolded on screen.

Halo 4 E3 Halo 4 E3
Halo 4 E3 Halo 4 E3

Then, the live action trailer transitioned into a Campaign demo with Cortana (voice actor: Jen Taylor, cinematic performance capture actor: MacKenzie Mason) calling out to Master Chief (voice actor: Steve Downes, cinematic performance capture actor: Bruce Thomas) in a new alien world called Requiem, a mysterious place that harbors dangerous threats and secrets. For those that haven't been following our news closely, the demo was a glimpse into the art, graphics, and gameplay of Halo 4. For those that devour every morsel of news numerous times over, it was full of weapon, storyline, vehicle and enemy reveals.

Among other things, the Campaign demo introduced a brand-new enemy class – the Prometheans. The Prometheans are an elite Forerunner warrior class tasked with defending Requiem. Similar to the Covenant, the Prometheans feature a vast variety of different species with sophisticated tactics, technology and unique abilities. The demo also revealed a first look at three Promethean weapons: the Light Rifle, Repeater, and Scattershot, all of which will be available in campaign and multiplayer.

Even though I had watched Josh rehearse that demo multiple times (yes, the Campaign portion was entirely in-engine and actual gameplay), I still jumped when the Knight’s howl penetrated my eardrums; I still cringed when Cortana’s ability to function began to deteriorate; and I still got goose bumps upon the delivery of the final, foreboding line, made by an overpowering new adversary who will become Master Chief’s first true nemesis.

After the conclusion of the Xbox E312 Media Briefing, it was time to head over to the Los Angeles Convention Center to make sure our booth was ready. Along with the live-action trailer and Campaign demo revealed at the briefing, we were also offering a complete Halo 4 floor experience, including a theater presentation about Halo 4’s Campaign, War Games, and Spartan Ops modes, hands-on time with Multiplayer, and two different ogling opportunities in the form of a life-sized Warthog and everybody’s favorite Spartan super-soldier, the Master Chief himself.

We loaded the builds on the boxes, arranged the seats in the theater, did some dry runs of the walkthroughs and then called it a day. And by “called it a day”, I mean we ate sushi, drank sake, and attempted to get a few hours of sleep before the doors of E3 officially opened.

Halo 4 E3 Halo 4 E3
Halo 4 E3 Halo 4 E3

Tuesday morning, we assembled at our booth, some of us well rested, and the others well caffeinated. After confirming nothing had abruptly stopped working overnight, we deemed ourselves ready for the masses.

We knew they had started letting people in when a fast-moving stampede took over our section of the floor. What was previously a pristinely empty waiting area was suddenly a four-to-six-hour line. While people waited to enter the behind-closed-doors area of our booth, they watched numerous Halo 4 videos running on a loop on the nearby big screen.

E3 attendees had the opportunity to get hands-on with three of the ten competitive multiplayer maps that will ship with the game. On the first day, they played Haven (formerly Wraparound). On the second day, they explored Adrift (formerly Warhouse). And on the third day, we introduced them to Longbow, a snowy expanse suitable for vehicular and Big Team-esque combat.

Halo 4 E3 Halo 4 E3
Halo 4 E3 Halo 4 E3

Along with our daytime booth activities, we also hosted a few different after-hours events. One was geared towards the press, where they were able to interview various members of the team, check out two new multiplayer game types (Infinity Slayer and Regicide), and play a Spartan Ops mission (the fifth mission of the first week’s episode). The other was geared towards the community, where they got to do all of the aforementioned festivities, along with watching some bad-ass, Battle Rifle-loving pros duke it out on the virtual battlefields of Halo 4. If you want to go behind the scenes for the latter event, check out MLG’s exclusive Halo 4 multiplayer coverage where they play a five-game series, showcasing a variety of maps, game modes, and game types.

As we rinsed and repeated our way through days one, two, and three, we were excited to see people go through the entrance of our booth, then out the exit, and then later back through the entrance again. That was one of the highlights of E3, knowing that people enjoyed their hands-on time with the game so much that they were willing to wait in the line again, just to get an additional 10-15 minutes on the controller.

Several different media outlets, both community and press alike, covered Halo 4’s E3 presence. There are numerous articles and videos available for your viewing pleasure, but instead of linking them all, we’re going to guess you can find everything you could ever want to know about what we showed at E3 and more by utilizing your favorite search engine.

E3 was a very important event for us, not just because of the news we revealed, but because we were finally able to show you more of our game. Now that it’s all said and done, we’re left with just one thought: we hope you loved what you saw.

bs angel

P.S. Oh, and one more thing. We’re not saying this person deserves the Best Hair of Show award, but we would like to officially go on record as saying we totally think this person deserves the Best Hair of Show award. And no, we’re not at all biased…