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Most content at rampancy.net is tagged with an association with one or more games; usually a game by Bungie Studios (formerly Bungie Software Inc.) or by another developer with connections to Bungie (Wideload, A Certain Affinity, Wingnut).
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We've had Destiny awhile now, and I've been playing it as much as I can. I've finished the story, and I'm enjoying leveling up my three Guardians quite a bit. I'm having fun and I feel I've gotten my money's worth, but there are still a lot of things about the game that I think are worth notice-- things that may challenge the expectations of gamers coming from shooters, those coming from MMOs and RPGs, and those coming to the game straight from Halo.
One of these is how Destiny throws so many names at you in such a short time it feels like we've been hit in the face with Bungie' little black book of aliens. In comparison, here are all of the times that the aliens that comprise the Covenant are mentioned within the transcripts of Halo 1, taken from HBO:
Truth and Reconciliation
CORTANA: Captain! Hunters!
CORTANA: Chief, Bravo 22 was bringing us some heavy weapons. After I saw we were up against Hunters, I thought you could use them.
343 Guilty Spark
SARGE: Looks like a Covenant patrol. Badass elite units, all KIA.
That is it. All the mentions of Halo's iconic enemy types that occur within the game's official transcript. The player encounters Elites, Grunts, and Jackals all before any character ever names them, and it's arguable that Sniper Sergeant's reference to "elite" is as an adjective and not a proper noun-- after all, at this point even he doesn't have a name. Hunters, for some reason, get special attention from Cortana, as they are called out by name at the end of their first appearance in Truth and Reconciliation, and then namechecked again midway through the next level, Silent Cartographer.
If players knew the names of these units, it came from the manual, from Bungie's website or fan websites, from gaming press, or Bungie's own PR. The game itself is practically silent on the subject. And why shouldn't it be? The Master Chief has been at war with the Covenant for quite awhile. The UNSC has been at war with them for four decades. The player doesn't know either of those things, either, without reading external material like the novels, but the point is that no time is wasted telling the characters things they already know just for the benefit of the player, especially when it is relevant to the greater context but not immediately relevant to the action at hand.
Contrast that to Destiny, which tosses out both names of enemy factions (Fallen, Hive, Vex and Cabal) as well as subfactions (House of Winter, House of Devils, Hezen Corrective, Virgo Prohibition, Hidden Swarm, Dust Giants, Blind Legion) and the names of individual enemies (Sepiks Prime, Draksis, Riksis, Aksor, Bracus Tho'ourg, Bracus Tha'aurn, Valus Ta'Aurc, and many others. It's not so much assumed that we already know these (they are mentioned in briefings as well as in the Grimoire) as it is assumed that it means something. It's even harder to make these enemies and their defeats mean something when they can be repeated infinitely-- and not just the way Halo missions are repeated. Campaign levels in Halo are repeated by looping the same moment in time. Each time you choose a level, you're returning to a fixed point within a linear story and repeating the general events, while changing only the details.
This is not the case in Destiny. In Destiny, you can defeat a boss, pick up some loot he drops, like boots or a gun, and then put on those boots and use that gun to fight the same guy a second time. You're not repeating a fixed point within the story, the moment when that boss character was finally defeated, even though the intro and outro sequences of story missions try to treat it that way. You're performing similar actions at a different time, as evidenced by the fact that you still have the boots and the gun from the first fight when you start the second. Like it or not, Destiny's loot stream enforces continuity on the coop nature of the campaign. It makes we wonder why Bungie didn't stop naming things with types, instead of individual names. It invites heckling to hear the Vanguard talk about how Sepiks Prime cast a shadow over the city and now it's great he's gone when I know he'll be back in five minutes. If it was just a Prime Servitor, a thing the Fallen keep bringing back into position because it's important and necessary for them, then I could get behind it. Same for all the other leaders-- I'll buy that promotion from within means that for every target we take out, eventually someone else will take his place.
It wasn't until Halo 2 that we knew the name of any individual enemies in the Covenant, and that was when he became a playable character-- the Arbiter. Later, we grew familiar with two boss characters, Truth and Tartarus, and another NPC, Gravemind. Before that, the game was basically the Master Chief, Cortana, 343 Guilty Spark, Captain Keyes, and a crowd of semi-anonymous marines and targets. Individual enemies in Destiny have no role within the story except as targets, unlike the Arbiter, the Prophet of Truth, and Tartarus. Why do they have names? Why do we need to know what those names are, especially when the factional similiarities between individual names is so strong, as well as the nature of each name so arbitrary, that it becomes difficult to tell them apart even after several plays?
Players in Destiny spend as much time with their Ghost as the Master Chief does with Cortana, but while the part got big-name casting, the character itself doesn't have a name, unlike many of the enemies he helps us fight. This is another area where the coop nature of the Destiny experience collides with the needs of a traditional linear narrative. Is the Ghost voiced by Peter Dinklage "our" Ghost or everybody's Ghost? NPCs in the Tower also have their own Ghosts, but we never hear them speak. Would they also sound like Peter Dinklage? This is complicated by the fact that Destiny cutscenes, even when playing story mode with a fireteam of four, only show the avatar of the current player. So each guardian appears to be interacting with their own Ghost and NPCs alone during cutscenes-- fireteam members disappear and reappear magically for reasons I don't think can be justified technically or narratively. This is a big step backwards from Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST, where squadmates function together both as part of the story and as part of the action.
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Fans of previous Bungie franchises like Halo and Myth were surprised earlier this year by the termination of the employment of composer Martin O'Donnell as the studio's Audio Department director, and the subsequent lawsuit he brought against the studio's president, Harold Ryan, for unpaid vacation and penalties. That lawsuit was recently settled.
What remained unresolved was the musical future of Bungie's newest franchise, Destiny, the soundtrack for which was the product of O'Donnell and longtime collaborator Michael Salvatori. The two worked together at Bungie on the soundtrack for five Halo games, and before joining Bungie also did the soundtrack for Bungie's RTS series, Myth, as Total Audio.
No official statement came either from Bungie or from O'Donnell regarding Salvatori. Fans wondered whether he would remain at Bungie and continue working on Destiny, or would he also depart, perhaps to join O'Donnell on some new project.
Contacted through his official website, his representative Lisa Ramirez responded to our inquiry about Salvatori's plans:
Dumping on Story
I've seen this for Destiny as well as Halo before it... accusations of being silly, derivative, and obscure, and I don't really understand it. Some of it seems to come from those who either don't want any story in their shooters and so don't pay attention to it, or those who are used to the kind of depth you get in an RPG and are put off by things drawn with a broad brush. The Halo series supplemented its backstory with the novelizations, whereas Marathon and Myth used the in-game terminals and journal entries, respectively. I have high hopes that the Grimoire cards you get in-game and then view on Bungie.net will be the best of both worlds here, allowing those who want to explore the world in-depth a chance to do so without overburdening the game with backstory during gameplay or through traditional cutscenes.
Can someone do a halo song 117 band score
Shangri-La easter egg song from COD:BO zombies.
I arranged my favorite Halo 3: ODST song!
This Let's Play goes through the levels of Bungie's RTS game, Myth, as rebuilt to be played in the Myth II engine by the community in the Fallen Levels project. Sevron started way back in December 2012, and now it's hit the LP Archive. Sevron has YouTube playlists for his Fallen Levels playthrough as well as an older playthrough of Myth II and even a Chimera LP.
So this has Behold A Pale Horse, Reconciled, Wage, and Leonidas.
Farthest Outpost from Roll Call- (Halo 3)
Mercy Plea from Special Delivery -(Halo 3:ODST)
A shortened version of Earth City - (Halo 2)
Leonidas from Delta Halo Suite - (Halo 2)
This is an arrangement I did of Finale for the concert band. Enjoy!
...at least that's what Bungie's lead investment designer on Destiny, Tyson "Ferrex" Green, is counting on. Watch this GameInformer interview to see him talk about what Bungie has learned from other games and where they are striking out on their own.
For years now I've speculated that Bungie became independent from Microsoft in 2007 because the studio wanted to make games that weren't Halo but Microsoft wanted no part of that. This conclusion seemed (to me, anyway) to be strongly supported by the spinoff deal that set Bungie free in exchange (at least in part) for Microsoft keeping the Halo franchise. Any lingering doubts I'd suggest were expunged by Jason Jones in his last interview with Game Informer:
GI: Before Destiny, your team had been working on Halo for a long time. What prompted the move?
JJ: You already answered your own question.
There you have it. Incidentally, the interview has some other good information about Destiny, the difference between story and world-building, and other stuff. I'm waiting to see if they ask him about whether Destiny will have a Body Count... I mean, Slayer mode.
I think any site that allows you to set up an account should allow you to delete it as well.
After lying dormant for years, Bungie has once again unleashed a "snarling, ferocious beast." Thank goodness for us it is the Bungie Weekly Update and not Luke Smith after all.
(If that could continue to be the case, it'd be great. Thanks.)
Arrangement of Rain for Piano and Tenor Sax by me.
Well, I have to say this comes as somewhat of a shocking surprise. Of course Bungie undergoes turnover like any other organization-- the bigger it is, the more churn it has.
Fan community members I've known have gone to work for Bungie. Some have moved on, others are still there. Some Bungie employees, even founders, moved on when the studio was bought by Microsoft. Some moved on when it became independent. For the most part, Bungie maintains the "Bungie Way" even as old faces leave and new ones arrive.
Still, this one stings. Joseph Staten is leaving Bungie after fifteen years. He's been with Bungie since the Myth days. He will be Mythed.
Staten's last four years at Bungie have been spent working on Destiny, so no doubt his influence will be felt there, not only by those playing the first installment next year, but by those who play in that world over the next decade. What then?
I think it's a perfect time for Bungie to find out what Greg Kirkpatrick has been up to-- just in time to tool up for making a new Marathon game.
I looked through the music files to check for piano. I saw a lot of instruments but was wondering if there was a setting where you could choose 1 instrument. if someone could help me, I send my thanks, but if it isn't there, it would be a nice touch to add...
I will post some transcriptions when I'm done
quite simply, i would like the Halo Legends version of the High Charity Suite 2, and the High Charity String Quartet, preferrably as a .MUS for Finale or a MIDI would work just fine.
Urk from Bungie tells IGN that everything Bungie does on the backend for Destiny is platform agnostic, but the company still has not definitively announced, nor definitively denied, versions of the game for other platforms like PC or Mac.
Can someone write/transpose "finish the fight" to cello notes(f-key). That would be great!
This is my transcription for 'Requiem' from Halo 4 (the track that plays when you see the tall Forerunner structures as you leave the wreckage of 'Forward Unto Dawn'). The chords were difficult to figure out, so I did my best to stay accurate to the piece.
String arrangement for Halo 4: Lasky's Theme.
Through the efforts of Man Up Time Studios, Bruce "Hippieman" Morrison and Mark "Have Blue" Levin, the classic Bungie FPS game Pathways Into Darkness lives again, available for free in the Apple App Store for computers running version 10.6 or higher of OS X.
For their work in making this ancient artifact available to modern audiences, Bungie's Community Focus this week is on Man Up Studios.
Originally released in 1993, the game predated the Marathon series and tasked a lone soldier with transporting an atomic weapon deep into an abandoned jungle pyramid in order to prevent a sleeping god from awaking. For the game, go here. For information on the game, go here to the excellent fansite, pid.bungie.org.
Craig Hardgrove, who is a planetary scientist working for JPL and also a Bungie fan from quite aways back, has written an article for Guardians of Destiny, talking about why he loves Halo, why he hates Call of Duty, and what he hopes to see in Destiny. (Hardgrove is also a fan of Bungie's Marathon series and even did some remakes of the game's music.)
Here's my arrangement of the Halo Theme for plucked orchestra.
The file includes:
- mandolin 1
- mandolin 2
I hope you'll enjoy!
Ask me if you have any questions about my sheets
This is my piano transcription for 'To Galaxy' from Halo 4.
It seems there were some uploading issues last time so I've reposted this.
I've added a gallery of screen captures from Bungie's GDC 2013 presentation. Whenever possible I've left out concept art and other images that have previously been released, focusing on presentation slides and other materials that have not been seen before. Keep in mind that a good deal of what is shown is from various points of Destiny's development over the past few years and may not represent the final shipping game. Translation: No Tiger Man for you.
Bungie's latest Community Focus features the Guardians of Destiny, makers of the excellent Guardian Radio podcast. Bungie also points out that the latest Guardian Radio episode features JPL scientist and Bungie fan Craig Hardgrove, whose work is also going to feature in a future episode of Anger, Sadness and Envy, coming up (hopefully) soon...
In the Bungie Mail Sack this week, Deej addresses the burning question: Is there bacon in Destiny?
I can neither confirm nor deny if swine survived the collapse of the Golden Age. Humanity’s luxury for consuming pork is a mystery that you will have to unlock as a player of the game.
That and many other deep and philosophical questions are answered in the Mail Sack.
This is my transcription of 'Belly of the Beast' (from the Halo 4 soundtrack) for piano.
Umbra Software, makers of Umbra 3, have put up a blog post about how their middleware is being used for world creation and rendering in Bungie's Destiny. They'll be doing a presentation on it at GDC this year as well.
Nope, not doing one.
Bungie's latest Mail Sack is up. Here's a highlight:
MastaSin In Destiny, can we play as the aliens or are we locked to the human race? And if we are, why are we locked to the human race? What's the reason?
Deej Not all of the aliens in Destiny are evil, just like not all humans are good. We’ve barely scratched the surface on the character and customization options you’ll have access to in Destiny, but we’re not going to dig in any deeper today.
I believe one of the early IGN stories seemed to indicate that players would only be humans, but this seems to cast a bit of doubt.
Kapowaz over in the DBO forum summarized the feature on Destiny from Edge Magazine. It seems the game will feature named weapon drops, like Borderlands, as well as weapon models generated procedurally from ingredients, perhaps like the weapon mod system from Mass Effect.
The article seems to soft pedal the possibility for solo play, kapowaz says, even though it has been recently confirmed that players will not be forced to play coop if they don't want to.
Dean Takahashi over at VentureBeat has posted a walkthrough essay and some photos of Bungie's studio where Destiny is now being made. Not a lot of new material, but until Bungie speaks at GDC there might not be too much more.
You can never truly know a game until you play it.
Seraph, from Matrix Reloaded
Okay, so I'm paraphrasing, but the point stands. Right now we don't know much about Destiny, but it might be pretty difficult to say we know anything at all. I'm starting to get a sort of pleasant feeling of deja vu, and wondering what it was we thought we knew about Halo when it was first revealed. Our first glance at the game back then was more substantial back in the summer of 1999, when Steve Jobs welcomed Jason Jones on stage to show Halo running live, in real time, using OpenGL, on a Macintosh. He then said it was coming out on PCs and Macs next year.
The rest is history.
Perhaps Bungie showed more of Halo back then than of Destiny now because they honestly thought they were closer to releasing Halo than they really were. Possibly they felt they had to generate some hype for the game. Despite being an award-winning cross-platform developer, it's hard to say that Bungie commanded the kind of attention before that game's release in the Macintosh gaming market that they have occupied in the console world ever since. Now, independent from Microsoft, without the need to serve the well being of the Xbox platform over and above all else, the players on Sony's platform may now be their thrall as well, and after that, who knows, perhaps those on Macs, Windows, and even Linux, iOS and Android. Bungie would appear to have big plans for Destiny.
It's not the first time Bungie's had big plans, though, and things have a way of taking on a life of their own. In particular, some of Bungie's plans for Destiny remind me of what I always guessed were Bungie's original plans for Halo...