rant

Blackstar and Narcogen take a look at the latest version of the Xbox One dashboard and wonder what went wrong. Some NSFW language.
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How I think Bungie's development history may have led to that empty feeling where Destiny's story should be. In the past this would have been a blog post, but since we're doing mostly videos these days... why not?
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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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...

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Over at Gamasutra, Shay Pierce wrote a piece entitled Game Designers and the Four Tribes of Artists, and then Sara Gross (also at Gamasutra) wrote a piece called Indie Elitism, partially in response. Response to what?

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Dark Jedi from Dark Hole Games has put up a breakdown of the Destiny ViDoc. I've added it to the Destiny section of the movies page.

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An obvious troll slings some mud at Bungie and manages to provoke a thoughtful resopnse from Achronos about Bungie's plans for deep social integration between Bungie.net and Destiny:

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While he specifically mentions Aliens: Colonial Marines and not the press coverage of Bungie's Destiny reveal, Ben Kuchera's latest piece at Penny Arcade Report is about the shortcomings of game journalism, and makes a nice bookend to Matt Soell's piece about transparency.

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Ex-Bungie Community Guy Matt Soell, who was with the company during the early Halo days, has penned a response to some of the complaints about Destiny's reveal being more "hype" than "substance". It's well worth a read, so please go take a look (Warning: little bit of NSFW language. No images, but some imagery.)

If you ask me, though, the crux of the issue is right here:

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By looking at the amount of reads on blogs posted before Narcogen's most recent blogs versus the amount of reads on those authored after, one can see that if you wish one's blog to be read, one should release it following one of Narcogen's.(Wow, that was a long sentence.)

Hoping to get the word out about this: http://rampancy.net/blog/LEGO_Allied_Forces/17/09/2011/Request_Deliver_H...

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According to Googlefight, Halo Reach IS Canon.


Rampant for over se7en years.



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The following is a crosspost from the HBO forum, in a discussion started by Cody Miller about retcons of Halo's continuity by the latest game in the series, Reach. Some fans (namely Hawaiian Pig) take exception to David "Evil Otto" Candland, Bungie UI Designer, saying canon arguments aren't important. The image is from another post of Cody's, seemingly showing that Installation 04 isn't located in the Milky Way galaxy any more.

After reading part of this thread at HBO and finding myself in agreement simultaneously with HP and Evil Otto, I had another series of thoughts about how works are viewed by their creators, as opposed to their fans.

A work like Halo is not the creation of a single person, even if some people contribute more to some aspects of it than others. It is also not a static thing. While certain key concepts may endure from the start of brainstorming until the declaration of a Golden Master, many of the details may be in flux for months or years. Listening to the commentary by Jones, Staten and O'Donnell for the cutscenes of the first two games, it becomes apparent how different the series might have been if Bungie had made different decisions.

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I would like to propose that the gaming press stop posting stories like this one:

Man Let Son Suffocate Because He Was Playing WoW

Before I go on, I'd like to say that I do not now, nor have I ever, worked in the gaming industry in any capacity.

Any number of children lose their lives each year to causes relating to parental neglect or abuse. Each one is a personal tragedy, and indeed, many may have been entirely preventable if the parents behaved differently. In many cases, there may have been circumstances relating to some other activity that led a parent to believe, temporarily, that their unjustifiable actions were justifiable, or that some other activity they were engaged in was more important than attending to the child.

However there is also no justification for the peculiar attention paid to gaming when the other activity is somehow gaming-related. I'd wager that any number of infants smother, suffocate or strangle on pillows or bedclothes all over the world each year while an inattentive parent is performing some other activity: watching television, speaking on the telephone, working out, gambling, drinking, perhaps even reading a good book. When the parent was watching TV, I'm not going to read about this tragedy in TV Guide. When the parent was watching a film, I'm not going to end up reading about it in Premiere magazine. When the parent was eating or drinking, I'm not going to read about it in Gourmet. If they were reading a book, I'm not going to read about this death in the New York Times Review of Books, along with a sidebar about whether or not reading is addictive or leads to child abuse. If an inattentive parent leaves a child locked in a hot car on a summer day, I'm not going to read about it in Road & Track.

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