misc

Jordan117 has put up a nice bit of analysis in the HBO forum alleging that various artistic and design choices in Halo 2, specifically those made in the Outskirts and Metropolis levels, indicate that Bungie is postulating increasing global warming in Earth's future.

While probably not essential to the plot, if it's true it does demonstrate the insane attention to detail that Bungie puts into its games.

category: 
game: 
topic: 
i had made this very accurate dead grunt figure out of clay. it took me like 5 hours and it was my first model ever! (pls email me at ironsnipr@yahoo.com and tell me what you think of my model!) click download to see picture
category: 
game: 
platform: 
topic: 

Xbox.com yesterday put up an item apparently naming South African director of commercials and short films Neill Blomkamp as director of the Halo film. Several other sites, including HBO and GameDailyBiz, picked up on the item before Xbox.com pulled it.

category: 
game: 
topic: 

Sometimes it happens; politics gets mixed up in our gaming, much like that clumsy oaf at the amusement park bumped into us and got his peanut butter all over our chocolate.

Below are articles about politics and social issues of the day that seep into the world of gaming.

game: 
topic: 

dork @ ZeroPing – LANapalooza 2006! June 24-25 - 24+ hours - Aurora

The dorkARMY will be returning to do battle alongside our old allies at ZeroPing Events, bringing the dork brand of Xbox gaming to this years upcoming PC LAN party event!

6 Intermediate, 3 Pro H2 & 2 WCG Qualifying tournaments!!

  • Xbox Halo 2 - 1v1, 2v2, 4v4 & FFA
  • Xbox - Halo CE - 1v1 & FFA
  • Playstation 2 - Guitar Hero
  • Xbox 360 WCG Regional Qualifiers - PGR3 & DOA4

Intermediate & PRO CA$H POT H2 tournaments!

game: 
platform: 
topic: 

dork @ EXIM CON ’06 – Internet Culture Convention Sat. June 24 - Toronto
Videos | Gaming | Comics | Prizes | Anime | RPGs | Manga | Swag

The dorkARMY will be hosting all the action in the Gaming Room at EXIM CON.
Join the dork crew downtown @ 89 Chestnut St., Toronto on Saturday, June 24th!
Admission is only $10 in advance or $15 @ door (bring a PSP or DS & save $2!)

Games & tournaments to be played include:

game: 
platform: 
topic: 

This is just an idea that I came up with when I was re-reading the Halo3 articles and looking at the E3 pictures. Since the covenant are religious and all i thought that i should relate the bible to the Halo3 announcement trailer and the other Halo games.

Halo = Bible

game: 
topic: 

The Escapist has the third part in a series by Warren Spector of Deus Ex fame, currently heading up Junction Point Studios. It's not about any specific title, but about trends in the gaming industry; specifically increasing costs. Near the end, there's a bit about Wideload Games:

category: 

Can someone send me sheet music for On A Pale Horse for Piano and Peril for Piano at doctaknocka@hotmail.com? thanks.

category: 
game: 
platform: 
topic: 

Hi! I'm new here, and I'm just DYING to get the Halo 2 sheet music for any and all instruments, so that me and my friends can play it. If you have it, please send it to my email at Jmb301530@aol.com, because I'm going to be out of town for a bit. Thanks!

game: 
platform: 
topic: 

Joe Keiser at Next Generation has written an article statying why he agrees with Roger Ebert with regards to computer games being an inferior mode of storytelling. Ebert, in response to a letter from a reader, expounded on his comment, saying that:

Yours is the most civil of countless messages I have received after writing that I did indeed consider video games inherently inferior to film and literature. There is a structural reason for that: Video games by their nature require player choices, which is the opposite of the strategy of serious film and literature, which requires authorial control.

I am prepared to believe that video games can be elegant, subtle, sophisticated, challenging and visually wonderful. But I believe the nature of the medium prevents it from moving beyond craftsmanship to the stature of art. To my knowledge, no one in or out of the field has ever been able to cite a game worthy of comparison with the great dramatists, poets, filmmakers, novelists and composers. That a game can aspire to artistic importance as a visual experience, I accept. But for most gamers, video games represent a loss of those precious hours we have available to make ourselves more cultured, civilized and empathetic.

Keiser rightly refutes one of Ebert's central points by saying that authorial control in most cases is never really relinquished at all, because the portions of the game in which the player has control does not normally impact the story. Think about Halo 2's story: how you play it has no impact whatsoever. If you survive, you advance to the next level, see another cutscene, and keep playing. If you die, you respawn and try again. Halo 2's story, for the most part, can be experienced in its entirety by watching the cutscenes that bookend each level, with only a few quotes from key characters missing here or there. The major difference between such a sequence of cutscenes and a computer-generated feature such as Toy Story is the quality of the graphics, as well as the quality of the performances by voice actors. But these are specifics relating to individual works, not an inferiority inherent to a medium.

However, this refutation does not go far enough. Keiser asserts that games can preserve their ability to tell a story well by creating the illusion of choice: "A storytelling game should give the illusion of control, the idea that you can do anything, while at the same time putting the idea in the player’s mind that they want to do a specific thing."

I think this is a cop-out. This is, in fact, what most current games do. It creates the illusion that you're participating in a story while in reality you're just along for the ride, and the only choice you really have is to proceed as expected, stop playing, or die. When you play the game as the developers expected, you unfold the story as the developers wrote it. Hurray for us.

topic: 

[image:9927 left hspace=5 vspace=5 border=0] Two more tidbits from the Halo script today. One features the Master Chief doing what he does best (killing Covenant) while the other features Cortana doing what she does best.

Talking, of course.

In the initial moments of Halo 1, between the Cryo bay and the Bridge, the Chief is unarmed and essentially cannot be harmed by Covenant units, all of which are separated from him by invisible walls except one. This portion of the game was essentially designed as a bit of a tutorial, as the game shows you how to do things like jump and crouch to make your way around obstacles.

The film, of course, has no such need for doing that; so before the Chief ever makes it to the bridge, he's picked up a couple of weapons and already started taking his toll on Covenant boarding forces.

That first Elite you see when you play Halo 1 the first time, that surprises you from behind a door and then quickly disappears down the corridor? Well, in the film script, the Chief comes up from behind him, takes out his shields with a melee strike from the assault rifle, and then finishes the job with half a clip (30 rounds). Even the number of rounds mentioned in the script here is correct.

Of course, in the game it wouldn't have been necessary to fire a shot had the melee strike come from behind. And on any difficulty other than easy, a single melee shot from the front would not have taken out the shields entirely.

Within the game, the silent melee kill mechanic works well-- it's about the only stealth option available in a game that is most decidedly not about stealth. However, perhaps it was worried that such an easy takedown wouldn't be believable on the big screen; so the Chief pumps the Elite full of lead just to make sure. Makes sense.

[image:9928 right hspace=5 vspace=5 border=0]After leaving the Bridge with Cortana onboard, there's a new exchange between the two that is not in the game, seemingly to establish for the audience the fact that most of the time, Cortana is a disembodied voice that only the Chief can hear. (There is a stage direction later in the script that reinforces the same concept.) The author even manages to make a humorous little scene out of it, a Taxi Driver moment where the Chief gets to ask, "Are you talking to me?"

This, and other touches throughout the script, seem to indicate that the film is being prepared for a wide audience, not just fans of the game who don't need this concept explained for them. While that seems like a good idea, it's also a road that just about every terrible, failed videogame adaptation-- I'm looking at you, Doom-- has tried to go down.

If there's a saving grace for the project here, it will be the involvment of Peter Jackson. He was able to produce a trilogy of movies that did a remarkably good job at pleasing hardcore fans of Tolkien's works as well as attracting a broad audience. It seems clear that Microsoft would want the Halo movie to do the same; they would want to expand the audience for the film to include nongamers without unnecessarily alienating the franchise's core fans. A nice little scene like this I think is a step in the right direction; it's short, unobtrusive, doesn't conflict with any known facts in the Halo story, gives a touch of humor and a helping hand to those not that familiar with the story.

What do you think? Post a comment below!

category: 
game: 
topic: 
"MASTER CHIEF taps the side of his head, as if checking his hearing. CORTANA: ... What are you doing? MASTER CHIEF: Are you talking to me? CORTANA: Who else would I be talking to?" A moment that isn't really necessary for hardcore gamers or for those familiar with the plot, the writer manages to make a nice "Master Chief - Cortana Moment" out of an exchange that explains why the Chief is going to spend the next two hours listening to a (mostly) disembodied voice.


Rampant for over se7en years.



Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

[image:9922 left hspace=5 vspace=5 border=0] Just recently, Rampancy.net had an opportunity to acquire a copy of a document, in PDF format, that purports to be a version of the script for the Halo film, written by Alex Garland and dated February 6, 2005.

While there is no way to be absolutely certain, prior to the release of the film, whether or not this is real, it bears a close enough resemblance in its opening portions to the Halo script reviewed by El Mayimbe at LatinoReview and that we posted a link to back on November 8. El Mayimbe rated the script five stars.

While the two scripts might not be exactly the same, and either version might not be the one that ends up being shot, the review and the script itself have convinced me, solely by their content, that at the very least they are working versions of the script for the Halo film.

The script itself has actually quite impressed me as an adaptation of the first game, the plot of which it closely follows. Before anyone asks, it is not my intention to distribute the file widely, nor to "spoil" the film-- although I hardly think that is possible for this audience.

However, recent discussions about casting, about whether or not we'll see the Master Chief's face in the film, and whether the game's original voice cast will be used have proven interesting. So what I propose to do is periodically post small details from the scripts as discussion-starters; points of comparison where the film diverges (even if only slightly) from the games and the novels, to see how the community feels about them. Who knows-- if this script is, in fact, legitimate, and anyone involved in actually making the film sees these discussions, it might serve as food for thought.

[image:9923 left hspace=5 vspace=5 border=0] The first such point I'll post is a short part of an exchange that takes place during the Pillar of Autumn cutscene, as it has been rewritten in this version of the film script. In the game, Cortana points out to Keyes that the ship would be better off with her piloting it down to the surface of Halo. Keyes replies that since the Cole Protocol prohibits the capture or destruction of the onboard AI to protect sensitive information such as the location of Earth, that is not an option.

In the script version, Cortana is more insistent on this point, and Keyes' response seems to indicate that at times it has been necessary to use an "override command" on an advanced AI in order to get it to obey. This isn't necessarily a big change from the way AIs behave in the novels, but it is a change in the way Cortana is presented in the first game, where her trustworthiness isn't really called into question until she comes into contact with Halo's systems in the Control Room.

What do you think? Is the film version of Cortana going to be less reliable, perhaps more rampant, than the one in the original game? If so, what payoff can there be for doing this within the context of the first film? Is this setting up something that happens later-- in other words, are there already plans for sequels to the Halo film? Would those cover the sequence of events in the games, or in the novels?

What do you think? Add a comment below!

category: 
game: 
topic: 
One of the favorite topics of discussion among Halo story obsessives has always been Cortana. Old school Bungie fans remember that advanced artificial intelligences aren't always the most reliable or trustworthy allies. Although I've always argued that Rampancy, as such, doesn't literally exist in the Halo universe, I think there are still reasons to doubt Cortana's character. One of the first noticeable changes that the script introduces, compared to the comparable cutscenes in the first game, is making her borderline subordinate in the exchange over who should pilot the Autumn on its way down to the surface of Halo.


Rampant for over se7en years.



Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Pages