7th Columnist


Red Vs Blue: The Animated Series
August 30, 2008, 2:01 pm
Filed under: Gaming, Halo, Machinima, Movies, News, PAX, Rooster Teeth

Wowser. Didn’t see this coming.

Rooster Teeth Productions, the guys behind Red Vs Blue, gave a short preview of an all new RvB during their PAX panel yesterday. Apparently set after the events of the currently running Reconstruction (though concrete details are sketchy), this is a brand new series following the exploits of Red and Blue team with a extra special twist… it’s animated!

Rooster Teeth are yet to update their website with the release, but we expect further details to follow soon. Leaving behind the traditional machinima approach and contraints of Halo 3 in favour of a more saturday morning anime style, this is a totally new direction for the RT guys. It looks incredible, and judging by the response of the crowd during the show, is set to be a sure fire hit.

What do you think? Have they gone too far, leaving behind their roots within the community, or are fully animated hand gestures just what the doctor ordered for this hapless troop of marines?

**UPDATE**

According to reports from PAX the new animated cartoon series is due to air following episode 19 of RvB: Reconstruction.

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Auto Update 2.0
August 2, 2008, 10:03 pm
Filed under: Bungie, Gaming, Halo 3, Multiplayer, News

This week’s Bungie Update lets rip all the info on the forthcoming Autoupdate heading to Halo 3, with some big changes and new functionality to the current EXP system.

First up, what’s NOT changing, just to be clear. Bungie are not resetting your “Skill”. Your Trueskill value will not change. Nor are they resetting your current EXP. Your total EXP will still be displayed in your Service Record on B.net and that Rank will still be displayed in your Service Record. Got that?

Right, so nothing’s being lost. Except maybe us during the following explanation of what actually IS changing. With that in mind then, and in the interest of KEEPING IT CLEAN, we’re gonna let Luke tell it exactly like it is:

At the Playlist level, things are changing noticeably.

While your total experience will still continue to climb in your Service Record, when AU2 goes live, we are enabling individual Experience ratings in each playlist. Playlist Ratings are based on how much experience you’ve accrued in a given Playlist. We’ll be basing your rating in a given playlist off of this value. When AU2 is released, we’ll begin tracking your experience per playlist, in that respect, everyone begins fresh. These new Playlist emblems will be familiar to Halo 3 players, but they have received a light graphical pass in game to distinguish Playlist Ratings from your Overall Rating.

In the simplest terms this means that becoming a General in Team Slayer is no longer dependent on reaching Level 50 and acquiring a certain number of total experience points. Via Playlist Ratings, players can reach General in as many playlists as they want .The currency powering these new Playlist Ratings is Experience.

Under this system, however, players will have individual Ratings in each playlist and they’ll see a graphical treatment of that here on Bungie.net and they’ll see their current status for the playlist that they are in. In custom games, the Rating on a player’s Service Record will be the icon that other players see.

Still confuzzled? Then here’s a few choice answers to some of the internet’s (that’s you) more common questions regarding the update:

Will each playlist have a seperate rank?
Yes. Ranked and Social lists each have their own ranks.

When the update goes live, when I go into a playlist, willl my rank show as a recruit?
When you enter a playlist for the first time after AU2 you will be a Recruit in that playlist. In a Ranked playlist your SKILL number will still show.

Do you still have to be a 50 to be a general?
To be a General on your service record you must still be a 50 in a playlist, that is your Overall Rank. At the playlist level you can reach General from gaining Experience. Skill number is not required.

So there you have it. Some big changes to Halo 3’s online ranking are on their way. Be sure to head over to Bungie.net for the full update – including news on August’s playlist changes and in light of recent disturbing events, the extreme wrath of the banhammer.



Believa Pinata
August 1, 2008, 12:42 am
Filed under: Gaming, Halo 3, News

Remember the Halo 3 ‘Believe’ Ads that ran during the lead up to the game’s launch last year? More specifically, the gigantic diorama created just for those ads, showing Master Chief and the UNSC in an epic final struggle?

‘Course you do. But just in case you don’t, here’s a reminder… of sorts.

Apparently made using the Viva Pinata Burger King toys currently available in the states, this faithful ‘fan-made’ recreation of Halo 3’s ad is nothing short of incredible. In fact, it’s almost too good. We wouldn’t be at all surprised if Buzzlegum01 is currently under the employment of Rare in some form, and this video is little more than a sneaky, well produced, excellent piece of viral marketing.

Either way, Viva Pinata just moved a little higher up our wishlist.



The Superintendent’s Sorrow
July 20, 2008, 7:37 pm
Filed under: Bungie, E3, Gaming, Halo, News

Following Microsoft’s shock decision last week to suddenly axe Bungie’s E3 announcement, we have to think about who really loses out. The fans? Sure. Bungie? Most certainly. But what about the Superintendent himself, unable to shine and deprived of the media spotlight he deserves?

That’s gotta have an impact on the little guy’s morale.

We were already welling up at the thought of him sitting there, bouncing a rubber ball off the wall of his cell, locked away in a dark and lonely Kirkland. This song (brilliant as it is) hasn’t exactly helped.

Hang in there little buddy. Your time will come… and what a party we’ll have when it does.

Thanks LoadingReadyRun!



Bungie update on E3 fiasco
July 16, 2008, 8:24 pm
Filed under: Bungie, E3, Gaming, Halo, News

A new top story has been posted over at Bungie.net – now that the countdown timer and letter from Harold Ryan have been taken down – detailing once again the situation regarding their missing E3 announcement.

Very little information is given as to why exactly things unfolded the way they did (we may never know the complete in’s and out’s), but the guys do clarify once and for all that the tragic events that have taken place this E3 are deadly serious, and that those still hoping for a surprise announcement from the studio before the week’s end, will be sadly disappointed.

Included in the article is a short but sweet FAQ answering some of the more common questions currently doing the rounds in the community regarding the cancellation:

1. OMG! The announce was posted at 7! This is all part of the plan.

The news was broken to us shortly before 7 p.m. and we decided to keep with tradition to make a clean break.

2. Why leave the splash page up if it’s not happening?

We left the splash page up for the folks who didn’t see the message or were planning on tuning in the following morning before the news vanished into Bungie.net’s ether.

3. But Harold Ryan is only a TESTER this has to be fake!

Harold was a tester, but assumed the position of President a while ago. Crazy Wiki’s and their misinformation.

We’re also told of a couple of Bungie-flavoured treats that were scheduled to debut alongside the announcement, in the shape of a new Bungie Podcast and a special E3 Mockumentary entitled ‘Living the Dream’. Unfortunately, while the podcast has been temporarily shelved until the studio is given the go ahead to make the planned reveal, the E3 video apparently “cannot be salvaged at this time”.

Living the dream eh? After all the Superintendent’s teasing messages telling us to ‘EXPECT DELAYS‘ and ‘REMAIN CALM‘, here at 7th Columnist we’re not sure we can handle any more irony.



Microsoft confirm Bungie working on new Halo
July 16, 2008, 11:13 am
Filed under: Bungie, Gaming, Halo, News

Adding to the chaos of E3 surrounding Bungie’s big announcement and it’s sudden cancellation by Microsoft, a recently shot MTV interview with Microsoft’s head of Xbox business, Don Mattrick, confirms the developer are in fact working on a brand new Halo game.

During the interview, Stephen Totilo of MTV’s Multiplayer blog, asked Mattrick about the lack of Halo news at E3 to which he responded stating that Microsoft’s Monday press conference was already loaded with content and they didn’t feel any announcements for the series were necessary to get gamers excited.

When pushed for more details, inquiring if fans should be worried about the no-show of Ensemble Studio’s Halo Wars, not only did Mattrick say not to worry and that announcements would be coming, but that Microsoft is currently working with Bungie on a brand new Halo game. According to Totilo, who subsequently asked for clarification, this is not Peter Jackson’s Halo project or the aforementioned Halo Wars, but something different altogether.

So there we have it, not all bad news. The last 12 hours or so have been pretty dark for Bungie fans and the Studio alike, but we now know more Halo is coming.

Whether or not this is exactly what Bungie had been setting up to announce today remains unknown – they are after all, a large enough studio to be working on multiple projects – but we’re sure we’ll find out soon enough, along with exactly what form this new Halo title will take.

**UPDATE**

Totilo had one last tidbit of information to deliver regarding the project, echoing something we’ve mentioned before here at 7th Columnist:

Before everyone gets too excited, I should say I’ve heard some people other than Mattrick use the phrase “expansion pack” so we might not be talking about a full new game. I don’t know.

Watch this space.



Bungie Announcement Cancelled!
July 16, 2008, 3:25 am
Filed under: Gaming, News

In what has to be one of the most shocking of E3 related events ever recorded, it would seem tomorrow’s Bungie reveal is no longer taking place.

A quick look over at Bungie.net – where up until a few moments ago a mysterious countdown timer had been ticking towards the announcement – shows a note from Bungie President, Harold Ryan. The note reads:

From: Harold Ryan
Sent: Tuesday, July 15th, 2008 7:00 PM
Subject: E3 Announce

For the last several months, we’ve been building toward a reveal of something exciting that Bungie is working on. We were looking forward to sharing that with our fan community during the week of E3. However, those plans were just changed by our publisher.

We realize that many of our fans are disappointed by this turn of events; members of the Bungie team share that disappointment.

When the right time comes, we look forward to sharing this exciting announcement with you. Until then, we appreciate your continued support and patience.

Harold Ryan
President
Bungie LLC

We’ve no idea what’s happened leading to this awful situation, but can CONFIRM that this is not a hoax, nor is it a media setup from Bungie. As of right now, tomorrow will see no announcement.

Stay tuned for more news.