05132006 Halo 3 Weekly Update, Frankie Answers Fan Questions About The Trailer

Hey guys, a Q&A about the trailer which answers a lot of the questions we can freely address.

First up - Bad news for about 200 of the most serious bridgers, standbyers and boosters yesterday - we banned them. Better, newer tools allow us to spot network throttlers and other CRETINS more easily. There will be plenty more bannings before we're through. It's not hard to detect, but we like to be careful about who we ban. So if you're boosting with a modder, or a bridger, stop. Stop because it's stupid to cheat at a video game, and stop because you will get banned and yes, we can tell. I don't understand people who will cheat to get a rank number they know they didn't deserve. Clowns. Anyway, enjoy being banned.

Secondly, you should go download this beautiful new wallpaper right now. Remember, if you have a 360, stick this on a USB drive or an iPod and you can make it the wallpaper on your 360 too.






Drakan asks,

Why does Marty's music make me want to cry and smile at the same time?

Because he has Ninja Music Skillz.


Meeper asks,

Why is the Assault Rifle in there?

Who says it's the standard Assault Rifle? Doesn't look identical to me…


Aust Grunt asks,

Hey Frankie, Loved the Trailer... Can Marty release the MP3?...

I have asked Marty to look into it. There's some complications surrounding that which mean it isn't as straightforward as it sounds, but Marty hasn't ruled it out either.


UberHaxor asks,

What is your personal favorite feature (graphics or otherwise) in Halo 3 so far?

And for Mister Chief this week: can we see mister chief with HDR lighting? :)

Personally I am fond of the draw distance and the detail PRT lighting on the Chief. But then I'm party to some graphical features that you haven't seen yet, that sort of blow that stuff away.


xTr1GGeR HaPPYx asks,

I'm guessing those ruins in the back are Old New Mombasa, so, whereabouts is the Chief and this Forerunner structure?

That is indeed the ruins of New Mombasa. The artifact and the Chief are where they appear to be, on the desert outskirts of New Mombasa, and many miles inland. The mountain behind him is Kilimanjaro.


ThreeShot asks,

Seriously though, how long have the covenant had control of Earth before the cutscene started? Days? Weeks?

The Covenant have basically been in control of Earth since the final events of Halo 2. What was left of the human forces was either distracted by Delta Halo, or already overwhelmed by the sheer force of the Covenant onslaught.


MarkoM asks,

Does the canyon / hole in the trailer have something to do with New Mombasa and that spacejump the Covenant Capital Ship made at Halo 2?

That's an excellent question. A Slipspace jump in-atmosphere would have a devastating effect on an environment, don't you think?


llDwells55Xll asks,

What's the polygon count on the characters and environments in comparison to Halo 2?

Not as high as it looks. A lot of detail is achieved using a combination of lighting, textures, normals and bump-maps. We're saving our polygon budget for other things…


Choas Knight X asks,

Why does the sign post in the trailer have a grunt on it?

The final answer in our Halo 3 FAQ may answer that question.


Jmac_21 asks,


Is the plan to release the game at the same time as the movie? Or does the movie release have no effect on when the game is released?

The two will not affect each other in terms of release dates.


Just Another Fan asks,

In the trailer I'm only seeing capital ships, what happened to the old covenant cruisers, will they make an appearance in the final product?

What you're seeing is an excavation force. Its makeup is purely practical.


Twin Jedi asks,


The Trailer seems to have a different "feel" to it. Darker, more desperate. The music seems to play an important role as it always has, but this trailer really showcases it well. Is this a good example of what the soundtracks theme will be like?

According to Marty, very much so. As the game has a darker feel, so will the soundtrack.


Sin308 asks,

Are you considering using this in conjunction with Live Anywhere as Bill Gates was talking about at E3. If so can you give us details?

Halo 3 will utilize features and technologies that Bungie thinks are cool and appropriate to our game. No more, no less.


MC Montrose asks,

Hi,

I was wondering if you could elaborate on what you did for the select press members after the showing...

I hear you flew them around the environment of the trailer...

how was the framerate? how did the press react?

We flew them around the environment, flew out over the Forerunner structure, did a close-up of the Chief to show the realtime reflection of the visor (you could see the ammo counter running down in his faceplate) and showed off the unified lighting model we're using - particularly how other surfaces, such as sand, reflect light back up onto his armor. Frame rate was silky smooth, but to be fair, that was basically an empty environment with the Chief in it. However, we're obviously trying to make our finished game silky smooth too. I don't know how they reacted, but one journalist asked me if I had gotten any death threats.


StupidNinja asks,

Should we expect to see blowing sand and other particle effects during gameplay, or only during cut scenes?

For the "level" shown in the trailer, is the massive size of the surrounding area something that is tangible? Does it really seem like you are on a huge, wide open plain?

The sand, dust, smoke and other effects are all from the game engine. They will be used in the game. The landscape you saw is real geometry - the mountains and city in the distance are not a skybox - they are actual geometry that you can go to. Our cut scenes and our gameplay will be very comparable. Also, CJ Cowan, our director of cinematics, says that the texture "pop" seen in Halo 2's cinematics has already gone bye-bye for Halo 3.


Chown asks,

Is there any point in posting in the now rampant "Halo 3 wishlist" threads? and if so will anything we say make any impact on the game?

You will be shocked to learn that Bungie does not in fact design its games based on the "specs" found in the forums. That said, we're not blind to the concerns, criticisms and desires of our fans either.


Fimiki asks,

Why do the clouds do the swirly thing?

Fictionally: Tremendous, never-before-encountered, seething subatomic energies.

Factually: Parallax mapping and other techniques.


Placebo182 asks,

Is that actually Earth?

Yes.


Nf Snapzilla asks,

-sometimes trumpets are blaring to celebrate success and jubilation, sometimes they are blaring in a defeated mourning manner, any thoughts?

-if you can answer this, could you also answer whether the Chief 's mindset in the trailer is in accordance of, or in defiance of these trumpets.

Trumpets have also been used to signal a charge to war or a call to arms. It could mean many things. You'll know in 2007.


Sycomunkee asks,

Can we get a 3D screen shot of the chief in quicktime? That would be awesome and would show the haters that it is indeed realtime.

We'll think about it, but that wouldn't prove anything. In fact, 3D screenshots are basically movies. So in fact, that would be way more fake than our realtime trailer.


SlimJim0045 asks,

Please have Cortana's lines pronounced so that I don't see 36 threads about it.

"I have defied gods and demons."

"I am your shield, I am your SWORD."

"I know you, your past, your future."

"This is the way the world ends."

But there's obviously something terribly wrong…


Ap4che asks,

Are most people reading too deep into this short trailer? I've seen some crazy theories, frame by frame analyzations and people crying.

They are teh emo. But that's cool. Also, they're probably not reading too much into it - there are some wrong theories, but none are too deep. There's a universe of drama in that trailer if you know what to look for.


Scheddonardus asks,

Also, are those rings sticking up in the background remnants of the space elevator?

When did work on Halo 3 actually begin.


Yes, that is the wreckage of a fallen "tether."

Work on Halo 3 began immediately after Halo 2.


Eva Ribs asks,


Is the geometry you can draw at 13 miles just big triangles or other basic geometry? Or is it like recognizable things like buildings, mountains, or secret Forerunner monuments?

The geometry is basically the real geometry you're flying, walking or running to, although LOD (Level Of Detail) saves the programmers (in this case us) RAM and processing horsepower by simplifying what's actually being drawn at distance. The trick is to simplify things enough so you get that saving, but without turning a once-recognizable object into a dumb triangle


Jonrap asks,

My wife didn't recognize Cortana when she watched the announcement. I thought Cortana looked exactly the same. But my wife is smarter than me. So, I better ask.

Is Cortana any different? She seems somehow different. My wife didn't recognize Cortana when she watched the announcement. I thought Cortana looked exactly the same. But my wife is smarter than me. So, I better ask.

Is Cortana any different? She seems somehow different..

Women know things John. I don't know how they do, they just do.


The Analizer asks,

Is the Spartan in the teaser trailer, John 117?

Yes.


117 Masterchief asks,

Will there be a trailer for the HALO movie on the last day of E3?

Nope.


Barbaric Rage asks,

This has already been asked, but what's up with the dope new hand-armor for Chief?

You'll find out in due course. Maybe.




One last thing - somebody asked me to do a Mister Chief with HDR lighting and I thought, hey, why not.





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Comments

are there any new characters you can tell us about? and are there any
new weapons? what are the levels like? can you give us a clue?

wots with the grunt crossing sign easter egg??

Not sure what you're asking. It's a sign that shows a grunt crossing the road. It's an easter egg; an inside joke.


Rampant for over se7en years.

in the halo 2 special edition they show vehicles that wern't used is the human equivalent of the banshee in halo 3? (i no the pelican is)

Short answer: nobody but Bungie knows.

Longer answer: Nobody but Bungie knows about anything that is in Halo 3 except what was in the trailer and the making of the trailer videos-- and even those don't show much new.

All that is "confirmed" for now is a release date sometime in 2007.


Rampant for over se7en years.