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Edited: 10/26/2013 7:24:26 AM
Welcome back Bungie Community! It appears that we have another new [url=]Bungie Podcast[/url] on our hands and so I’m back to write up a Summary. Naturally since it’s me, by Summary, I really mean like a shortened transcript, but the point is to give you a lot of the raw information that was shared in a format that should take five or ten minutes to read as opposed to the hour it would take for you to listen. As always, I highly encourage you to listen to the real deal as there is always detail that has to be cut down on to fit the summary to a couple of 10,000 character posts, and of course I could always make an error or portray things wrong. Let me know if I've got anything wrong, and let me know if you want me to keep doing these in the future or if there's anything I can improve on! Let’s begin the 10/25/13 Mooncast! [quote][b][url=]CLICK HERE AND SCROLL UP TO READ THE FULL THREE POSTS![/url][/b][/quote] [quote][b]Introduction[/b][/quote]• Second Bungie Podcast, Deej, Urk, and Halcylon return to host the show. • Prior to the opening sequence, DeeJ openly disparages England and every other country who “Didn’t have the courage to go to the Moon themselves” • The recording of this Podcast occurred soon after the release of the Moon Trailer and the release of the Preorder Bonus, so this is early October for them. • They’re gearing up to go to Milan, Paris. • Dave Dunn just got back from Australia doing some IGN Podcasts and such. • They try to spread things out so the Team doesn’t suffer from the absence of a person for too long. • The first Podcast was pretty successful, they were #1 in Games in ITunes for a while, and that was with the majority of their downloads coming through • Both the Podcast and the Bungie Weekly Update are a great way to expose the thought processes about the game, and they have plenty of powder leftover to create some spectacular explosions by the time Destiny releases. • There is an amusing anecdote about how Halcylon, Scott Kankelborg (Skank), and some of his co-workers tried to brainstorm ways that they could say terribly inappropriate things that would slip past the filters and end up making DeeJ look silly. • They’ve been kicked out the of the room they were in last Podcast by Jay Weinland (Head of the Sound Department) because he needed to record some Voice Overs, so now they are currently recording in the Ivory Tower. • There is quite a bit of humor made at Marty’s expense. • A lot of people have been asking to see more about the Moon for quite some time. • The first guest is Sam Jones, one of the members of the Art Team who is the leader of the World Building Team for the Moon. • Everybody always says “Oh yeah, our game looks just like our concept art!” and usually it’s a lie you tell yourself, but they can put concept art for the Hellmouth next to the version in game and say “Wow it looks better”, they were giving Dorje Bellbrook props for that (I met him [url=]last night![/url]) • They also talked about another example about how the concept art for the interior of the Wall matched the E3 Demo so well with the purple cross tubing and such (That’s Jesse Van Dijk’s work by the way, I also got to meet him [url=]last night![/url]) • Sam is always eager when sharing what he’s working on, and apparently has an accent of some form which hopefully doesn’t make the process of summarizing this Podcast too difficult. [quote][b]10:30 – Beginning of the Sam Jones’ Section[/b][/quote]• Sam Jones is a Lead Environment Artist at Bungie and again is the primary architect of the Moon Destination. • He works on the Moon and is also the “High Level Proxy Overlord of Mars” and is currently working on finishing up World Art and making sure all the bugs get killed so the game can come out on time. • These Destinations are big enough to warrant their own individual teams. • What sort of spectrum are you dealing with, art, design, what does it take to get the moon off the drawing board and into the engine? • Sam is interfaced with a bunch of departments like Design. Concept, Audio, and other folks who get it in a bag completed for shipping. From inception though he is mainly working with design, they sit down with a mandate from above for a destination with some goals for that location, and they come up with a good concept like the Hellmouth from Mark (I don’t want to attempt to spell his last name from what I heard, but it sounded like Goldsburry), and that Concept Art becomes a picture postcard that sets the tone and vision for a lot of subsequent work. • These Postcards (which are detailed extensively in the [url=]GDC Presentation[/url] from earlier this year) are about one single thing and they’ll centralize a lot of their Destination Work on those concepts and they’ll make a 3D Concept. • The good thing about the Hellmouth is that is inherently has this sense of mystery completely right off the bat and it’s easy to extrapolate from that what the rest of the destination looks like. • What is the central mystery of the Moon? • “What is the Hellmouth?”, “Why is this Alien Race here, the Hive?”, “What happened to the humans who were on the moon prior?”, a bunch of themes that are all feeding into the same general concept. • You can see a lot of those themes come out in the Trailer for the Moon, the very familiar white suited astronaut with the cracked visor (The Tykonaut, is what Sam called him). You have a lot of human elements, you have the Hellmouth which begs a lot of questions like “What is that doing here, why are the Tectonic Plates cracking, what is that Miasma coming out, how deep does it go…?” • Really in that trailer you’re effectively looking at a Strike, it’s a single activity threadline; they haven’t really talked to us about Bubbles and how they presumably relate to Strikes (yes, he said Bubbles, Urk doesn’t quite elaborate what he technically means at this time). • Urk asks roughly what percentage of the Moon does the trailer represent? He’s always awed by the scale the stuff they work on, and while the postcards are very emblematic of the space they’re really like a thumbnail, there’s just so much more around it. How much more is out there on the Moon and how big is it compared to other Destinations and how do you guys go about building that much stuff? • According to Sam, from a pure numbers standpoint the Moon is actually smaller than any other destination, but from a physical real-estate and from an impact standpoint it’s very epic and it’s fairly large in terms of surface area. • The thing about the Strike (presumably talking about the “mission” shown in the trailer) is that it’s mainly depicting the interior, there’s a very small section where you are out on the surface, and in the rest of the destination in the other activities there’s far more to reveal on the surface of the moon. • This is important because they want to show players when they initially arrive on the moon regular very familiar lunar terrain and settings with all the pockmarks and craters, footprints in the dust and human architecture which serves to ground everything so then after that you can really hit players over the head with crazy alien architecture and other oddities. • The Moon trailer is a very fast burn through a very long strike, the trailer is somewhat misleading in that regard because players have only seen just a glimpse. • DeeJ shares an anecdote about how he was really intrigued by the concept art for the moon when he first came to Bungie and how mankind has always been interested by the moon and wanted to go there, and as developers they get to go there and mess the place up and fill it with surprises, he asks what that’s like to make a spinoff off of the familiar and make a new story in such a familiar setting? • When they had the original mandate of creating the moon, Sam thought in his head “Wow the Moon is a grey lifeless ball…” so from an art perspective he was worried about how it would turn out from a visual standpoint, fortunately Sam didn’t know anything about the moon and he did a ton of research and he found out that there’s a lot of interesting terrain features on the moon and it started becoming exciting to everyone and on top of that they added the magic of Destiny with the thin atmosphere, all the Hive machinations of evil and everything they do disrupting the surface of the moon, the human presence, and the proposed future human presence… all that together and a bunch of other stuff he’s not ready to talk about yet have been a wonderful creative release for the Team. • Working on Halo was a ton of fun but they were working on a pre-established franchise so there were plenty of limitations, whereas with Destiny they’ve created everything themselves from scratch so it’s really a great moment for expression. The Moon has become their canvas. • How much do you think about Story Queues or building mysteries into those spaces? How much of the world do you expect players want to explore beyond the main activity lines? People in the community ask “Is this place explorable? How much fiction will I find if I just wander?”, do you worry about that?

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  • Hylebos


    Edited: 10/26/2013 6:59:32 AM Permalink
    • Yes, he does. In terms of Story and Fiction, everything they’ve created was created to build towards the goal they have with the Story and the Fiction. Everything has a heavy fictional bias. In terms of hidden nooks and crannies, thanks to the Tectonic Cracking there are literally plenty of nooks and crannies everywhere, plenty of secret areas both on the surface and in the interior because the Hellmouth is pretty much a castle and those are always full of secret areas. • They made the Earth extra big and colorful to contrast with the grey lunar landscape, it makes the Earth feel threatened and rather ominous, you feel like you could fall right towards it. • Halcylon changes topics to Mars, and asks if the Moon was easier to work on than Mars? We have more information and knowledge about the Moon than Mars, so did they have to take more of a Fantasy Pass with Mars to make ends meet or was there enough information to solidly ground the design in the familiar? • For both destinations, neither was easier or harder from a creative standpoint, Mars has a depth and wealth of satellite imagery that they went crazy over and they discovered that Mars has all these crazy colors that you wouldn’t expect and all kinds of terrain. This made Mars relatively easy for the main emulation of what Mars is, wheras the Moon was a little more difficult because it was slightly more limited by the terrain pallet, but they got around that by focusing on the human elements that we’ve come to expect when we think of the Moon, wheras Mars is much further out in terms of settling it and colonizing it so it’s a bigger mental leap on the part of the developers and the players to imagine what it’s like to settle there but Mars is very easy to be creative with because there’s more room for fantasy. • Were there challenges in trying to paint a realistic picture in familiarity for players on the Moon given that you are breaking a lot of the rules with fictional concepts like the Traveler who has done some stuff that they haven’t quite peeled back stuff for the players; there’s also things like differences in lighting from the Moon and other places… • When you look at pictures of the moon those images have a lot of contrast between light and shade and that makes it difficult for Bungie to instill a sense of atmosphere and make it look good but it’s something they have to do so it makes it feel like a more real place. • They’ve tried to do stuff with the Moon before in Halo, and they’ve tried so many different lighting schemes to give the place atmosphere and such. • DeeJ changes the subject to Grognok, and asks how the tools and experiments have changed between the tasks of building something for Halo and building something for Destiny. • Using the old engine, the lighting is very different, one of the issues with the Halo engine is that you were locked into a specific spatial arrangement and lighting set very early on and it was difficult to go back and change it because you had to change the light maps and it wasn’t dynamic by nature, the iteration time goes from hours to days. But with the new engine the lighting has time of day built in so you have “Moon at day, Moon at night”, they can work with the light in real time which makes a huge difference. • They mentioned an Earth Demo (Urk almost let slip the name of the particular location) where you would shoot a clock and time would jump by twelve hour chunks and not just the lighting but the atmosphere would change, apparently Ryan is the next guest on the Podcast coming up and they’re going to talk more about Grognok. • Urk talks about how Halo had Mission Designers and the transition to World Designers in Destiny where you aren’t taking players from Point A to Point B but you’re thinking about Destinations inside of this location, and he asks about how easy it is to work between Design and Art. • They’ve worked closely with Design since inception, working on the Palettes together, hammering out the specifications for “Oh we want a ramp, oh we want this door” even though they aren’t so involved with the visuals, but now more so than ever they work closely together because their content gets checked off together so they are on top of each other so to speak. Each is conscious of what the other is doing all the time and it’s been immensely beneficial with more communication and less throwing things over the wall. • DeeJ brings up an amusing joke where Dan Miller (a Mission / World Designer) goes up to the art team and says “Nice space you’ve created here, you know I’m just going to fill it up with crates right?” • Has working on this game changed the way you look at your own solar system? Absolutely, Sam has never spent so much time on Wikipedia in his life. He’s learned so much about the Moon and now there’s a wealth of information he can think about when he looks at it, he’s very thankful for the amount of research they’ve put in. • In terms of Research they’ve looked at NASA research and such, but have they looked at any fictional sources like 2001: A Space Odyssey and things like that? Some of Sam’s favorite Moon movies are Moon by Sam Rockwell which depicts the Moon pretty harshly, 2001 which has the closest fictional correlation to what they are trying to do, man’s unearthing of the Alien presence, the dramatic music and really cool lighting, and Apollo 18’s visual depictions of the Moon. Halcylon facetiously references Transformers 3, and how he really liked their realistic depiction of the Moon. • Sam apparently met with members of the JPL team (Mars Rovers) to get plenty of firsthand information about Mars. There’s some amusing anecdotes and admiration for those guys. [quote][b]37:55 – Beginning of the Ryan Ellis Section[/b][/quote]• The Podcast returns a week in the future, apparently Marty came back and was mad and evicted them from the Ivory Tower, so now they are back in the Foley Lab and they are on a tight schedule because apparently it is harder to schedule time with Ryan Ellis than it is to schedule it with Jason Jones. • Ryan Ellis is a Technical Art Director at Bungie. In his own words, he does a lot of lighting stuff, he runs the Technical Art team, some random art direction stuff here and there, generally he’s a huge pest that tries to get things done. • The Technical Art Team has made a bunch of proprietary stuff specifically for this game which is super rad and gives them the control they need to create things like dynamic lighting over the course of a day. They use Grognok, they use this thing called Bonobo, Photoshop, Lightroom, Max Maya, they use everything. • What is so special about Grognok? Why did you build it? It’s exactly built to do the thing we want it to, and that makes it highly specialized. Another nice thing about making your own tools is that if something goes wrong, you can go directly to the engineer that programmed it to yell at him to get it fixed, you can’t do that when using someone else’s stuff. • What’s the difference between making a Mission in Reach and making a Destination in Destiny? There’s this thing called BSP Binary Space Partition, most 3D engines used to be that which is very restrictive, all the geometry you create has to be seamless and watertight which can be a real pain in the ass, but the new engine doesn’t care about that, you can place anything anywhere, you slam something into the ground you can place a light, it’s like Forge 3.0. They no longer have to seam everything together and that alone is a huge timesaver that is worth the price. • Both art and design staff are working in the same toolset which is a first for Bungie and it makes everything so much easier. • Some facetious jokes are made about how quickly they made the Moon Base in the GDC Presentation and how that must mean they make all of their environments in 10 minutes, giving them plenty of free time to burn. They couldn’t make the stuff they are making now with the old engine, it would be just too much work. • What does it take to ship something that is representittive of Destiny? The quality bar is really high, it takes a ton of talented people too numerous to name, it takes the lighting team the world art team the design team the character guys the effects team the Spec Ops team (apparently they work exclusively on things like doors opening and explosions, lots of one of animations that they want to put a ton of extra time into making it look sweet, it’s a new team for Bungie). • There’s a lot more communication with the teams now, what’s it like trying to build things from the ground up? It’s very much like riding a rollercoaster while you’re constructing it. The Marketing comes up to them and they’re like “Where are you guys at on the Moon? It would be nice if we could show it off in a few weeks…” and the teams are tearing out their hair and are like “-blam!- YOOOOU!” It’s both exciting and terrifying to show something to the community because we have a high bar and they have an even higher bar for themselves. • There’s a few amusing anecdotes about how the Community team would see an image and they would go “Oh wow this looks great, let’s tweet this out and show the Community!” and the image is only 40% done and they ask for another week and they give it to them and they are blown away by the results. • What’s the work process like, are you massing things out and then going back in to add details? Yeah, it’s very much a layered cake, they make a rough sketch and they work with the designers to make a grey mass out world, then they go to architecting where they pay way more attention to the form, and then there are many steps that end with lighting, color correction and polish, it’s really very similar to how you would build up a frame in a movie.
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    5 Replies
    • Destiny Updates

      Destiny Updates

      10/26/2013 11:21:34 AM Permalink
      Dude, you're insane, this is awesome! It'll definitely help me out for fact checking when I make my video breakdown of the podcast :)
      2 Replies
      • Progo
      • OPs mom
      • GreyTunic8
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