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A quick run-down of the series we're working on now, plus the new game we'll be adding next month!

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Award cites 'long-term, invaluable and unique contributions'

Over at VentureBeat, Dean Takahashi has written what is probably the best article to date on the resolution of the dispute between former Bungie composer and Audio Director Marty O'Donnell and the developer that fired him last year before the release of their latest game, Destiny. It goes into the background of how the dispute arose and resulted in O'Donnell being fired from his position as Audio Director, and how Bungie also took action to attempt to strip O'Donnell of his then-unvested shares in the developer, even going so far as to reissue shares at a secret board meeting.

What the article mostly leaves out, though, are the grounds on which the arbitrator made the award-- those details are available in the full award document, available at Scribd.

There is a tendency to view the result as a complete victory and vindication for O'Donnell, and there is no doubt that the sequence of events reflects poorly on Bungie management, especially studio president Harold Ryan. However, it is worth looking at the award itself to see what O'Donnell asked for, what he actually got, and why.

What has also gone largely uncommented-upon since O'Donnell's firing is that it presumably also means the end of the creative partnership between O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori, who remains at Bungie and is working on Destiny, while O'Donnell is moving on to found his own game company, Highwire Games, with other ex-Bungie employees. That partnership spanned multiple decades and predated both composers involvement with Bungie, with began with Myth in the mid-90s.

O'Donnell submitted several claims to arbitration, and Bungie submitted its own counter-claims. Most of these either failed, or succeeded without significant consequence.

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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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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:

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Bungie put out a new Destiny trailer for E3 2014 that lays out the game's premise in a pretty straightforward way and also shows off a bit of gameplay.

UPDATE: The audio in this version is messed up. A replacement is uploading, and when it's done, I'll replace the embedded version here with the new one.

UPDATE 2: This version should have the fixed commentary audio.

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This Destiny ViDoc was released for GamesCom in August, 2013. Most of the footage and locations still comes from the E3 demo, and the footage that doesn't features locations that have mostly been shown in screenshots, but there are a few new tidbits here and there, including new enemies and weapons.

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We've been kidnapped by the rampant AI, Durandal! With no information on where we are or what we're supposed to be doing, we have to survive and escape to continue to fight off the Pfhor invaders. It seems Leela thought that there were some weapons here to find, but Durandal says we're looking in the wrong place...

This podcast uses:

Aleph One, free and open source versions of Marathon for Windows, Mac and Linux at http://source.bungie.org

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Bungie artists give us the lowdown on the details behind the creation of the gameplay reveal of Bungie's new game, the bird simulator called Destiny.

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In order to send a message to Earth 92 light years away, Leela needs us to reactivate the Marathon's antenna array. Only one problem: the G4 Sunbathing Loading Dock has been plunged into vacuum rendering some of our weapons useless, and is teeming with Pfhor fighters, troopers, hunters and S'pht compilers. We have to make our way to the antenna while dodging enemy fire and keeping an eye on our oxygen meters. Wish us luck!

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Rampancy.net's Anger, Sadness and Envy Podcast is currently featuring a Let's Play series of Bungie's classic sci-fi shooter, Marathon.

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With the Marathon's BoB (Born On Board) crew quickly being exterminated by the titanic Hulks, Blackstar and Narcogen have to find a way to fight back, find the level's secret terminals, and find a way out.

This podcast uses:

Aleph One, free and open source versions of Marathon for Windows, Mac and Linux at http://source.bungie.org

Remixes of the Marathon soundtrack by Craig Hardgrove at http://themarathonmusic.com

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The Marathon's crew are under vicious attack from the Pfhor and their massive allies, the gargantuan Hulks! We must save as many crewmembers as possible... or not. Armed only with sticks, stones, and harsh language (redacted) Blackstar and Narcogen muddle their way through this horticulturally themed Marathon level.

This podcast uses:

Aleph One, free and open source versions of Marathon for Windows, Mac and Linux at http://source.bungie.org

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