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Dust and Echoes

The world of video game music has blossomed in recent years, enough to support live concert tours and bestselling albums. But while most such work is licensed or contracted out to third-party composers, a rare breed make their living at a single company, imbuing entire franchises with their unique sound. And apart from Nintendo's venerable Koji Kondo, there is perhaps no dedicated gaming composer more renowned than Martin O'Donnell. From humble beginnings writing the jingle for Flintstones Vitamins, O'Donnell and longtime collaborator Michael Salvatori joined developer Bungie in 1997, penning music for Myth, Oni, and most notably the Halo trilogy -- an iconic blend of sweeping orchestral bombast, haunting choirs, and electronic ambience that became one of the most acclaimed and successful gaming soundtracks of all time. O'Donnell also helmed Bungie's audio department, managing voice actors, sound effects, and an innovative dynamic music engine, and was most recently working with Paul McCartney on the score for the upcoming Destiny. So it came as a surprise today when it was announced MartyTheElder was being terminated without cause (flabbergasted reaction: HBO/DBO - NeoGAF - Reddit). With O'Donnell following Joseph Staten, Frank O'Connor, Marcus Lehto, and other Bungie veterans out the door, what might this mean for the company and its decade-long plan for Destiny? [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Apr 16, 2014 - 19 comments

 

Nuke 'em till they glow, shoot 'em in the dark

The Littlest Boy - Twenty years after Hiroshima, elite American troops trained to stop a Soviet invasion -- with nuclear weapons strapped to their backs. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 3, 2014 - 39 comments

Something is going to happen ... tomorrow.

As previously discussed on MetaFilter, the countdown has now reached one day. Halo? Battlestar Galactica? A new album by Bros? Or something more sinister, as hinted at (perhaps) by the spectograph of the end-video silences?
posted by Wordshore on Sep 23, 2013 - 450 comments

It's Better Up There

District 9 director Neil Blomkamp talks to WIRED about Elysium, District 10, Halo, his desire to buy a skyscraper and almost casting Eminem or Ninja from Die Antwood in Elysium's Matt Damon role.
posted by Artw on Jul 18, 2013 - 50 comments

Fixed

"This was never meant to be so easy to watch" NIN art director Rob Sheridan on the controversial Broken video which surfaced briefly on Vimeo this week.
posted by Artw on May 7, 2013 - 45 comments

"It doesn’t matter how good you are"

"Meanwhile, on the LASO setup, Cody and Rob could not defeat a group of two or three grunts. I asked the students to compare each other’s experiences. “What’s the problem?” I asked Cody and Rob, “Caitlin isn’t having any trouble staying alive and she’s fighting even more grunts than you.” This moment taught us that different people approach similar obstacles with certain preexisting advantages and disadvantages that radically alter the probability of their success." -- Samantha Allen teaches intersectionality through the use of Halo's difficulty settings, as inspired by John Scalzi's essay Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is.
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 29, 2013 - 78 comments

Dibs!

The Glitch [slyt]
posted by cthuljew on Dec 17, 2012 - 17 comments

EPIC RAP BATTLES OF HISTORY! ...RHAOMI! ...VERSUS... RHYTHM! ...BEGIN!!!

Since it debuted on the blue in '11 // Epic Rap Battles of History preppin' // to score itself more than a billion views // and become TopDog of the pack YouTube
Made by NicePeter and EpicLloyd // (two improv comics by Maker employed) // The series pits icons of legend renowned // in a slick-wit freestyle rap throwdown
With snappier writing, and better FX // online celebs (and Google Ad checks) // The Epic Rap crew's halfway done with the brew // that is Epic Rap Battles of History Part Deux
The midseason's close? It comes out today. // In one corner: Santa Claus, fresh from his sleigh
And his prophet o' doom? "He ain't Mayan," ERBoH sez.
It's Snoop Dogg -- Snoop Lion -- as mothafuckin' Moses
[WHO WON?][WHO'S NEXT?][more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 10, 2012 - 27 comments

With each part I got a small piece of myself back

Guy buys engagement ring. Guy gets dumped. Guy sells engagement ring and buys a fully armored Master Chief suit. [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Nov 18, 2011 - 115 comments

When the armor no longer needs us - what happens?

The Weaponized Transhuman: Halo, Deus Ex, Crysis, Bioshock, Warhammer, and the Future of Wetware (Us). Related: New Deus Ex: Human Revolution trailer.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Jul 21, 2011 - 37 comments

It's like ILM, but on a realistic budget.

Shawn Thorsson makes costumes for his friends Shawn Thorsson, self-professed busiest man alive, uses a laptop, a printer, a carving machine, and a mad scientist's lab of home-made tools to make costumes based on Star Wars, Halo, LEGO, and other appropriately nerdy, sci-fi related media artifacts. He shares them with his friends, and they have the best Halloween ever!
posted by willhopkins on Jul 6, 2011 - 28 comments

The future of television?

Warp Prism is a slickly-designed website that makes it easier for you to watch 'eSports'. With streams for all the popular spectator games, including Major League Gaming (broadcasting live from Columbus today), it makes it easy to switch between streams, and even includes picture-in-picture and embedded chat support.
posted by empath on Jun 4, 2011 - 15 comments

Thus did Man become the Architect of his own demise...

"Welcome to the Zion Archive. You have selected Historical File #12-1: The Second Renaissance." So begins the short film of the same name by Mahiro Maeda [Flash: 1 2 - QuickTime: 1 2] -- a devastating yet beautiful work of animation. Originally produced to explain the backstory behind the Matrix trilogy, Maeda's project ended up telling a story far darker and more affecting than any blockbuster. Using a blend of faux documentary footage and visual metaphor, his serene Instructor relates in biblical tones the saga of Man and Machine, how age-old cruelty and hatred birthed a horrifying, apocalyptic struggle that consumed the world. Packed with striking imagery and historical allusions galore, this dark allegory easily transcends the films it was made for. But while "The Second Renaissance" is arguably the best work to come from the Matrix franchise, it's hardly alone -- it's just one of the projects made for The Animatrix, a collection of nine superb anime films in a wide variety of styles designed to explore the universe and broaden its scope beyond the usual sci-fi action of the movies. Click inside for a guide to these films with links to where they can be watched online, along with a look at The Matrix Comics, a free series of comics, art, and short fiction created for the same purpose by some of the best talent in the business. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 14, 2011 - 54 comments

Halo: Fandom Evolved

Contrary to a lot of idle criticism, Bungie's Halo series of video games has a surprisingly rich backstory -- a universe complex enough to support seven bestselling novels, a wiki with over 7,000 articles, and one of the most successful ARGs in history (including a full-fledged radio drama). The series has also turned out sweeping audiovisual work, from the games' cinematic cutscenes and epic music (lots of free previews) to top-shelf anime and the Hollywood-quality short films -- ODST, Believe, Deliver Hope, Landfall -- that were made to promote the games (the latter of which, produced by Neil Blomkamp, inspired District 9). And that's apart from all the material produced by Bungie's dedicated fan base: genuinely hilarious machinima from Red vs. Blue, professional-level graphic novels (table of contents at the top), gorgeous artwork, hours of recorded dialogue, complete transcripts of hidden apocrypha, and more factual analysis, story speculation, and casual discussion than you can shake an energy sword at. But most of these pale in comparison to the latest and greatest exercise in Halo beanplating: the Svmma Canonica, a 40-page, 17,000-word formal treatise on the nature of canon in the world that Bungie built, and how it will fare once Bungie moves on and the franchise is managed by 343 Industries. Discussion over at Bungie's official site, or at decade-old fan forum Halo.Bungie.Org.
posted by Rhaomi on Jan 31, 2011 - 71 comments

The Proposal

The Proposal. "After a decade of being together, I finally proposed to my long time love Sara. [This] movie trailer was shown on December 12th, 2010 at 4pm at the Red River Theater in Concord, NH. Sara had no idea." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 17, 2010 - 60 comments

"Halo 2600: It Only Looks Old"

What would Microsoft's Halo have looked like if it had been written years ago for the Atari 2600? "Ed Fries, former vice president of Microsoft’s Game Publishing Division, programmed an old-school version of the beloved game that features blocky graphics, deliberately basic sound effects, and simplified movements. And yet it's still recognizable as 'Halo.'" You can play it online here. [more inside]
posted by Daddy-O on Aug 5, 2010 - 27 comments

First!

"Wow, a new user... That's Great! We'd be happy to show you the ropes!" a PSA on conversation starters in forums and comment threads online that have never been heard or used before. Brought to you by Red Vs. Blue.
posted by Del Far on Jun 25, 2008 - 18 comments

GrifBall

GrifBall! Red Vs. Blue's Sarge and Caboose introduce the rules. A sample match: Bungie Vs. RvB. Context: Since the release of online multiplayer first-person shooter Halo 3, Bungie have allowed players to customise maps with the placement of objects, weapons, spawn points etc. using the Forge feature. Combined with customisable rule sets, unusually innovative custom games are possible. [more inside]
posted by nthdegx on Jun 17, 2008 - 4 comments

Super Epic Video Game News

Super Epic Video Game News. Several Channel 101 alumni are bringing their own distinctive style to game and tech journalism. Perfect for those who love video games, but hate the people that play them. The YouTube comments are an even split between impotent rage and people who get the joke. [more inside]
posted by BartFargo on Apr 3, 2008 - 14 comments

"Report a la bug. (That's French for bug report)." Halo 3 Linkorama.

Halo 3: Easter eggs, including the excellent Red Vs Blue in-game dialog easter egg; the RvB Halo 3 beta initiation; 3D images and how-to (dig out your glasses); achievements, ranks, armor, skulls, and campaign scoring explained; Bungie's favorites (videos, pics, maps, game variants to download to your 360)... and that grenade stick.
posted by nthdegx on Nov 28, 2007 - 22 comments

Homophobia in Halo 3

"I want to hang you because you're gay." [nsfw audio]
"That's not very nice." But that is what player xxx GayBoy xxx heard on while playing Halo 3 on Xbox Live. Gaygamer.net explains that other than his provoking name, he did nothing to call for the prejudice attacks. As most gamers will tell you, this sort of language is common in game. [more nsfw audio] Thank god for the mute button. It's nice to know there are still heroes. [Previously: 1, 2, 3]
posted by patr1ck on Nov 27, 2007 - 144 comments

Marathon - Halo's predecessor

Halo 3? Phooey! Sure, Bungie's latest title in greatest series for the Xbox is released tomorrow, but for some perspective, take a look at Marathon: Aleph One — the free, open source engine to Bungie's first achievement, the Marathon Trilogy. [more inside]
posted by Down10 on Sep 24, 2007 - 57 comments

Halo 3: play-testing evolved

Halo 3: Play-testing evolved.
posted by nthdegx on Aug 26, 2007 - 56 comments

We cannot see Mrs. B.J. Smegma

Halo meets Monty Python (youtube). Monty Python's "How not to be seen" done in Halo. Or try, The Codex for more fun with the Halo engine. Previous Halo machinima post.
posted by papakwanz on Nov 29, 2006 - 8 comments

Finally, a good video game movie?

Neill Blomkamp the director for the Halo movie does his first interview regarding the film. Tempbot, Tetra Vaal, Alive in Joburg discussed previously. New links for Tempbot, Alive in Joburg. A showreel that has Tetra Vaal, a 4 minute adidas "movie" called Yellow, his citroen ad which revived the possibility of live action Transformers (for good or ill) and 3 commercials. Also 3 videos he's done (apparently he doesn't have much taste in music, but likes hot girls in bands). Fluffy Starr Bif Naked LiveonRelease. Uwe Boll he is not (I hope).
posted by jmarq on Sep 25, 2006 - 21 comments

Photoshop Artist Craig Mullins

Craig Mullins is a commercial photoshop artist & videogame fan. In the mid 90s, after a couple amateur pieces of fan art he created for the game Marathon made their way to the folks at Bungie, he was hired to create a series of Halo themed art for the company. His full portfolio of commercial & personal work is interesting.
posted by jonson on Aug 24, 2006 - 14 comments

Yes. This ring...it's Forerunner.

Halo Zero. The Fall of Reach, old-school style. Some plucky French coders have borrowed a page from Codename: Gordon, the side-scrolling homage to Half-Life. As a result, Master Chief and his cohorts are now fighting the Covenant in 16-bit, 2D graphics. PC download only - though Mac owners at least have Boot Camp to avoid waiting for an OS X port. via Aeropause
posted by Smart Dalek on Jul 7, 2006 - 9 comments

The frogurt is also cursed...

So, there will be a movie made from the video game Halo , which is bad. But it's being Exec. Produced by Peter Jackson, which is good.
posted by jonson on Oct 4, 2005 - 72 comments

"Warthog is the colloquial name for the M12 light reconnaissance vehicle"

Lego Puma Warthog.
posted by nthdegx on Sep 26, 2005 - 9 comments

We aren't always fighting

This Spartan Life, a Halo talk show. A nice example of Machinima, using game engines in unexpected ways. Some, like the folks behind Red vs. Blue or The Strangerhood, make long running series, others recreate movie scenes, and some people just like playing with the environment.
posted by Gamblor on Aug 22, 2005 - 10 comments

Son of Bees or Bees Knees?

Son of Bees or Bees Knees? Looks like the Halo crowd may have uncovered another I Love Bees or maybe just the Bees Knees?
posted by metameme on Jan 10, 2005 - 25 comments

Less than five people in the world know where this is.

How far can a video-game champ go? Ask Matt Leto.
posted by xowie on Jan 7, 2005 - 24 comments

Bungie's up to its old tricks...

More viral marketing? Move over, BK chicken. I love bees is teh rox0r.
posted by cohappy on Aug 2, 2004 - 7 comments

pepsi blue buzzzzzz

I love bees (via slashdot)
posted by seanyboy on Jul 25, 2004 - 23 comments

BOO-YAA!

Yes, that Lincoln Center. So we've briefly noted the clever hack by way of which game engines, in this case, Halo's, can be used to make movies. The best-known of these is the bleakly humorous Red vs. Blue - which, if it isn't exactly this generation's "M*A*S*H" or "Catch-22," rather manages to capture something of the futility of postmodern warfare. Still: is this an opus you'd have pegged to premiere at New York City's vaunted high-culture mecca?
posted by adamgreenfield on Dec 19, 2003 - 12 comments

Movies with a Halo

Halo is probably the most well known and successful of games for the Xbox, but less well known are the scores of Halo movies that take advantage of its excellent graphics and physics engines. From the classic Warthog Jump to the cover of Asshole and the Red vs Blue series, the movies are sometimes breaktaking and almost always hilarious. Videogame geeks with a sense of humour? Say it ain't so!
posted by adrianhon on May 1, 2003 - 10 comments

Ah, skydiving. The air around a dropzone, especially a big one like SkyDive Chicago, is pretty rarefied: a newcomer to the sport like myself is entirely lacking in cool, even if normal people think having made even one solo jump is pretty impressive. I'm certainly nowhere near the cool-level of the Golden Knights, the Army's team of crack parachutists. Speaking of them and SDC, they were of course there when this year's national championships were held in August. I especially liked the video of them showcasing their excellent HALO technique.
posted by kavasa on Sep 23, 2002 - 20 comments

NYT is realizing

NYT is realizing that computer games can be relevent, and not just a silly fad that only kids and the uneducated can enjoy. In this review (albeit very belated), Thursday's 'Circuits' section reviews both Operation Flashpoint, the widely acclaimed, disturbingly realistic combat simulation, and Halo, the shooter du jour on the XBox.
posted by GriffX on Mar 22, 2002 - 9 comments

Did Bungie Software release their April Fool's joke

Did Bungie Software release their April Fool's joke ahead of schedule and under budget?
posted by machaus on Jan 26, 2002 - 11 comments

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