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10/10/2010 4:59:48 PM

Bungie's Next Project - Evidence and Analysis - Update 02/11/10

[u][b]UPDATE 2[/b][/u]: Certain aspects of Halo: Reach, particularly the Space Combat sequence in [i]Long Night of Solace[/i], may provide an indication of what could possibly feature in Bungie's next project. Therefore will be covered in Version 2. [u][b]UPDATE[/b][/u]: Version 2 (V2) is currently under construction. It will include new evidence, as well as some old evidence which fell under the radar. It will also include a more in-depth analysis. Over the past year, Bungie and their partners have dropped several hints, as to what their next project consists of. I've scourged the Internet for nearly every hint, and attempted to deconstruct its meaning. Hope you enjoy. [b][u]Evidence:[/b][/u] 1. [url=]Now, in a recent interview with IGN, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft Game Studios Phil Spencer stopped just short of confirming the speculation that it would be an MMO. When asked about whether Microsoft looked at the MMO and free-to-play markets as something it would like to bring to the console, Spencer replied with an unprompted mention of Bungie: [b][u]"On the MMO point, I think that's really a business model question of how many can you support on one platform. I think MMOs do have a future on consoles and TV. I know my friends at Bungie -- I don't know if theirs' is an MMO or not - but I know they're pushing with Activision to do something interesting in the online space which is good.[/b][/u] I think you'll see that come to TV in a more interesting way than it has in the past."[/url] 2. [url=]After lamenting that Bungie spent ten years creating a mega-universe that players only experienced for six to eight hours at a time (he's only talking about the single-player campaign here, of course), he dropped this wonderfully cryptic springboard for debate: [b][u]"Wouldn't it be great if we could make a world that was always there for you?"[/b][/u][/url] 3. - Senior Engine Programmer - [url=]Required Skills * Professional experience programming in the game industry (3+ years) * Experience building and maintaining a game framework for generalized simulation * Strong working knowledge of C/C++ * Proven ability to independently design and maintain large software systems * Good understanding of the fundamentals of a modern game engine * Experience working on a team and excellent communication skills * Passion for great games and great technology Nice-to-have Skills * Experience as a senior engineer on a large team * Experience working with modern console architecture * Double points for PlayStation 3 experience * Experience with any interpreted scripting language integrated into a game engine * [b][u]A love of close quarters combat[/b][/u] [/url] 4. [url=]During an interview with IGN this afternoon, Activision COO Thomas Tippl dropped a few hints about when the studio will pull the curtain back on its game. "We are super excited about the project that [Bungie] is working on, which they will start talking about once Halo: Reach is out the door," Tippl said. "It's a very ambitious and phenomenal project, and in our view, matches very well with what gamers expect these days and where the industry is going." [b][u]"Bungie wouldn't have signed if they didn't come to the conclusion that we have by far the best online capability between what we've be doing in Call of Duty and the expertise and institutional knowledge that sits at Blizzard."[/b][/u] When asked if Bungie fans should expect an announcement next year, Tippl teased the game will likely be revealed at E3 2011. "Probably next E3, I would guess," he said. "You'll hear more about it."[/url] 5. - Senior Server Programmer - [url=]Create, champion, and control some of the most load-intensive server-side game features the world has ever witnessed by taking on the role of a Senior Server Programmer at Bungie. [b][u]Previous experience might include platform-wide Matchmaking services that successfully dispatched hundreds of thousands of concurrent combatants or massive back-ends that cut a brutal swath through a merciless horde of high-load multiplayer features[/b][/u]. If you accept our challenge, you WILL be responsible for design and implementation of multiple large, awesomely innovative features. Proven ability to work in code and databases of your own design is essential. Godspeed. Bungie's Senior Server Programmers work across disciplines to determine the desired behavior of server-side game features. They also design highly scalable systems with the flexibility to adapt to evolving game design, write clean C# code to implement these original designs, design and implement databases that scale without predetermined limit, investigate and keep up with new technology to identify where our projects can benefit from its use and work with the Operations team to ensure stable performance of your features in the datacenter. Required Skills * 6+ years game development experience required. * 4+ years experience with C# and SQL Server. * Experience with .Net Web Services or WCF. [b][u]* Experience writing and shipping production server code for a large-scale online game or platform.[/b][/u] * Solid understanding of database performance and tuning. * Strong familiarity with Windows server platforms. * Ability to do self-directed work as well as work alongside a team of other developers. * Working knowledge of C++. * Passion for making great games. * Bachelors Degree in CS or related field. [/url] 6. - Player Investment Designer - [url=][b][u]Do you dream about creating worlds imbued with real value and consequence?[/b][/u] Can you find the fine line between a reward that encourages players to have fun and an incentive that enslaves them? Can you devise a way for a player to grow while preserving the delicate balance of an action game? If you answered yes to these questions (and you are a passionate work-a-holic game-o-phile) you might want to polish up your resume and apply to be Bungie's next Player Investment Designer. A Player Investment Designer develops a robust and rewarding investment path, supported by consistent, rich and secure incentives that drives player behavior toward having fun and investing in their characters, and then validates those systems through intense simulation, testing and iteration.[b][u] At Bungie, you'll design mechanics which drive in-game player reward and incentives, give players long-term goals to invest them in the world and their character[/b][/u], prevent by design griefing or exploiting any of the above systems, run simulations of these mechanics based on expected player behavior and test these simulated results against actual player behavior and tuning the live system. Required Skills [b][u]* Experience with many modes of online play. * Experience with online incentives (achievements, rewards, economic, etc) and a passion for understanding what drives player behavior within them.[/b][/u][/url] 7. Then of course [url=]Bungie Aerospace...[/url] [b][u]Analysis:[/b][/u] 1. Phil Spencer refers to Bungie, while he just so happens to be on the subject of MMOs. If not referring to Bungie's next project as a strict MMO, he could be implying that Bungie are building a Multiplayer component to allow an unparalleled amount of players in one game. 2. Joseph Staten infers that it would be wonderful to have a world that is always there. Something of which defines an MMO. 3. Close Quarters Combat. This could be indicating an entirely new melee system - on the level of Halo: Reach's Assassination mechanic. 4. Thomas Tippl refers that Bungie have the institutional knowledge that resides at Blizzard Entertainment. Blizzard are, of course, famous for World of Warcraft, among other titles. World of Warcraft is considered the absolute definitve Massive-Multiplayer Online game. 5. Not entirely sure what the first section is implying. However, the second section, which states "large-scale online game", could be implying something along the lines of an MMO. Or possibly delivering 100-player matches - of which Battlefield Online has already achieved. 6. "Creating worlds with real value and consequence", is stating the players will be given choices - and will have consequences depending on your actions - throughout the game, something akin to the Fable series but in a strict Multiplayer environment. "Give players long-term goals to invest in the world and their character", this is implying of a Role-Playing Game esque investment feature, allowing players to upgrade their in-game characters. Also, the inclusion of "invest in the world" seems to imply something greater than simply upgrading your own character. 7. By Aerospace, this is implying that the project will focus around Aerial and Space combat. By the sentence "Per Audacia As Astra", meaning "To Boldly Reach the Stars". [b][u]Conclusion:[/b][/u] Bungie seems to be developing a project of which is heavily focused on delivering large-scale online gameplay. There is a clear focus on delivering a huge and expansive world, of which the player can influence, and whose choices can change the planet itself. Players can invest significantly in their characters, along the lines of a Role-Playing Game. Gameplay will include a distinct Close Quarters Combat mechanic, of which will feature prominently throughout the game. [i](Originally posted on SPARTANxBLUE 1 Topic "The Future of Halo and Bungie".)[/i] [Edited on 11.02.2010 12:42 PM PDT]

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