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Welcome to yet another installment of the weekly Halo Update. This week has been a difficult one for myself and the Online Team: apart from our usual responsibilities and pressing deadlines, this week we had to circumvent countless technical/legal/moral roadblocks to get the Bungie Store running, endure Mordia's blues harp after a broken pipe Poseidon Adventure destroyed his home, and deal with the ever-increasing heartache of the missing Soffish. Nevertheless, I managed to stagger over to the Halo team's room and beat the following nuggets out of them:

  • More programming cleanup work; this week it's structure-importing bugs.

  • Jason made significant changes to the structure of the scenario tag; Mat plugged this into the editor and, in his words, fixed all of Jason's bugs.

  • Bernie as usual is upping the graphical beauty capabilities of the Halo engine. He's testing the fog effects (very realistic and used only for atmosphere, not to hide draw-in like other games), working on particle systems, transparent shaders, water effects, and doing some preliminary work on mirrors - but these are not just ordinary mirrors.

  • The jeep revision is almost done. Marcus upped the res of the model itself - the wheels have more sides so they look rounder, the steering wheel no longer looks like ass and there's a lovely new chain gun (sketched out by Rob, modeled by Marcus) on top.

  • There are new poses for many of the aliens - a more aggressive combat pose and an alternate sleeping pose.

  • The Halo programmers have a small white board in their area. Written on the board are the names of all the programmers. Any time one of them breaks something in the code and does not tell the others, that programmer earns a letter. In essence they are playing a variant of the game horse although the word they are spelling out letter by letter is much cruder than horse. I believe one of them is up to K now. I'm not entirely sure what happens to the anyone who completes the entire word, but if the word itself is any indication, it won't be pretty. Matt the Agitator (no, not me) has a star by his name on the white board. It has nothing to do with coding and everything to do with what we at Bungie call sack.