Halo animation


And so it began...


July 21, 1999

Update #1 (5.00 pm Eastern Time)

Today's the Big day! We'll be bringing you news updates throughout the day. Stay tuned!

Chris Camacho <chrispynacho@earthlink.net> writes:

This may be a little late, but go to the Bungie Events page (http://www.bungie.com/inside/Events.html). Historical Monument No.7? What's that?

The full text on Bungie's Events page reads:

MacWorld Expo
July 21-23, New York, NY
We'll be stompin' around the show floor screaming obscenities and yelling "Blam! Blam! Blam!" so be sure not to miss it. Plus you can get your hands on our Sack for the first time-we're selling the Mac Action Sack directly from our booth. Six of our best selling action titles, including the entire Marathon trilogy, for under $20 bucks! Of course we'll also be showing off Oni, hosting thrilling deathmatches over our network. Come to the show... fight vicous 3rd-person battles... worship Historical Monument No. 7... cower in awe of our sack!


Mac OS Rumors has some speculation as to what Steve Jobs's keynote address might contain. They write:

Major Apple partners like Microsoft, Adobe, Palm Computing, and at least one major game maker (id Software?) will appear during the keynote to preview their upcoming Mac releases and talk about why they choose the platform.


According to Macweek major game companies are lining up behind Apple's new consumer focus at this week's Macworld Expo/New York '99. You can read the full news item at http://macweek.zdnet.com/1999/07/18/expogames.html


Update #2 (10.10 am Eastern Time)

Jason Jones (Bungie Software) announces Halo at Macworld Expo keynote address.

More details to follow...


Update #3 (10.25 am Eastern Time)

Matt Soell (Bungie Software) passes on the following information!

www.bungie.com/halo


Update #4 (10.50 am Eastern Time)

Steve Jobs introduces Bungie Software.


A screenshot from the Halo demo.


Jason Jones takes the applause at the end of the Halo demo.


Update #5 (12.00 pm Eastern Time)

Halo mail is flooding in!

Here are a number of the sayings that appear at random on Bungie's main Halo page:

Our conviction is like an arrow already in flight.
Your life will only last until it reaches you.

"... He says I came not to send Peace but a Sword ..."

You live without discipline and will die without honor.

This world will be ruled in blood.

You slave, toil, bleed and sweat for your food. And we shall eat it.

It is said remorse is the pain of sin. We feel no remorse.

"These are the tygers of wrath."

You will not know where we have struck until you have fallen.


Thanks to Gary Simmons <gsimmons@earthlink.net> and Randy Reddig <root@ydnar.co.uk> for both pointing out the Marathon symbol buried in the Halo logo. See below.


Harry Al-Shakarchi <harry.al-shakarchi@teleweb.at> writes concerning Bungie's Halo page:

The left frame which has an animated line of 3 strings seems to be for decoration, but that is untrue. If the frame is opened in a new window, you notice the page is called "HALO: Incoming Transmission". So the purple strings scrolling and fading away.... is it text? A message? Is it in English?

The source of that 'hidden' page contains a huge css script. There wasn't any effort put into this for nothing!!!! :)


Aaron Davies <agd12@columbia.edu> writes:

I think I've located the first reference to Cortana in the new HALO page at bungie. In the press release, it says

Using everything from composite swords to orbital bombardment, driving everything from giant tanks to agile combat aircraft, players wage intense warfare over and under the surface of this world.

One of the Cortana messages made mention of orbital bombardment.


Update #6 (1.40 pm Eastern Time)

Matt Soell (Bungie Software) points out that the Halo demonstration at Macworld was not a movie but a self running demo. A Halo movie will appear later though. Secondly Halo is pronounced "Hay-low" just in case you didn't know. ;-)

Ben Semmler <ben@torquerod.com> writes:

...the Halo screenshot looked really cool. The main figure look oddly similiar to the Craig Mullins picture of the marine standing by the term. Heh. But, in my mind, the press release clinches it all. It mentions a "military recon unit," being chased by alien ships, and orbital bombardment.


Steve Campbell, maintainer of www.bungie.org, informs me that halo.bungie.org is up and running. Expect a major overhaul of the site soon.


Update #7 (2.15 pm Eastern Time)

More shots of the Halo demo at Macworld.

Jason introduces the Halo demo.


Nice water shot.


Stefan Stadlberger <stadlberger@yadur.com> writes:

The hughe CSS Script is not just for nothing. It animates the the strings. Without the script the strings would't move.


Timm Mason <tmason@andrew.cmu.edu> writes:

just wanted to point out that there is a much more obvious cortana reference on bungie's halo page. if you get the front page that reads "He says i come not to send Peace but a Sword..." there is a line above it which reads:

(process owner Cortana)

Tim goes onto say:

another quote:

when no single human brick lies atop another, then will we be satisfied with your destruction.

for this one, process owner is "EXALTED (?)"

okay...here's another:

when the quote is:

through war we will teach your heresy
through battle we will teach your frailty
through death we will teach your fate

the process owner is listed as "GR - AI - Class II"
notice the reference to fate aka destiny?

when the quote is

you slave, toil, blah blah blah it's already posted...

the process owner is "EW - AI - Class III"

same class 3 AI as from the cortana mail?

For details on Cortana see The Cortana Letters.


Update #8 (2.50 pm Eastern Time)

Timm Mason <tmason@andrew.cmu.edu> passes on two more quotes from the Halo page:

"what you have begun in anger you shall end in shame"

and

"you have brought nothing to this world, and we will ensure you bring nothing out"

both of these, along with "this world will be ruled in blood" or whatever, are attributed to the same "EW - AI - Class III"

That makes 12. :-)


Finn Smith <finn_smith@brown.edu> writes:

Bungie's press release reads:

"The player is a military recon unit of the human race's fledgling planetary empire. Pursued by alien warships to a massive and ancient ring construct deep in the void, the player must single-handedly improvise a guerilla war over land sea and air, using the arsenals and vehicles of three distinct cultures."

as we know from Greg Kirkpatrick's post to a.g.m :

GregKpostagm.html

"We were just sitting around talking about things, and i blabbin on and on about Larry Niven : "ringworld", Man-Kzin wars, etc. I read all those many years ago, but i still remember them... Take any well known sci-fi writer and there's a good chance that someone who's worked on Marathon has read (read:all) his works."

So there's an obvious link between Niven's Ringworld books and the "ring construct" of Halo. The Ringworld was also "massive and ancient" (and one of sf's most famous Big Dumb Objects). Its origins were unknown in the first book, but later revealed in "The Ringworld Engineers". It's a good bet that the name "Halo" is a reference to this ring.

You can read more about the Ringworld here:

http://husted.com/hgsf/Ringworld_entry.htm

And see some renderings of what it might look like here:

http://www.rahul.net/rootbear/graphics/ringworld/rw0.html

The reference in the press release to a war between humans and aliens reminded me of two things. The first sticks with the Ringworld parallel - humans battled the Kzin in the Known Space universe of the Ringworld (although those wars were long over by the time the events in "Ringworld" took place). Also, as the protagonists explored the Ringworld they came across many different cultures and technologies - similar to the "arsenals and vehicles of three distinct cultures" mentioned in the press release. The other sf reference I thought of was David Brin's Uplift series, specifically, "Startide Rising". This book features a human "fledgling planetary empire", a "recon unit" and pursuit by hostile aliens to a strange world (a water planet).

It is interesting to note that both the Ringworld and the Uplift books feature alien races who practice meddling and selective breeding/evolution with other races. In Ringworld, the Pierson's Puppeteers have secretly been playing humans against Kzin and manipulating human breeding. In the Uplift series Patron races "uplift" Client races to full sentience and civilization via genetic modifications.

It seems likely that, collectively, Bungie employees have read all of these books and we may see similar themes emerge in the Halo plot.


Timm Mason <tmason@andrew.cmu.edu> writes again:

"you will know not where we have struck until you have fallen" is also from the class 3 AI. curiously, the line from the cortana mail "our conviction is like an arrow in flight"... is attributed not to the AI but to "redirected". here's another quote from the class 3 AI

none will exist to say whether you were defeated by valor or cruelty

this ai is quite the bully.

the press release mentions "the human race's fledgling planetary empire" this would seem to imply that halo takes place AFTER the events in the marathon series?

what i really want to know is what the "pillar of autumn" is...

the quote from the class 2 ai has an SCS line of "Hermes II". hermes if i recall was the messenger god who had winged boots. sounds like the name of a ship. as far as i can recall, every other SCS line was "pillar of autumn". is SCS the source or destination of these messages (if that's what they are...)?

the other line is labeled CCS or CPV in every case (i believe but could be wrong. i haven't been keeping track of this one). it seems to be a subject line of sorts.


July 22, 1999

Update #1 (2.30 pm Eastern Time)

Welcome to a new world... a world called Halo.

The Story page was overwhelmed with Halo mail yesterday. Thanks to all those who wrote in. Over the course of today we'll be bringing you regular updates on some of the many comments and speculations received. Let's get the ball rolling.

The full "streaming" keynote address is available at Apple's site at

http://www.apple.com/quicktime/showcase/live/mwny99/nykenotevod.mov

The Halo demonstration begins at 54 minutes and runs for just over 5 minutes. A full downloadable version will be available soon.


Thanks to Peter Hinson <protozoa@pond.net> for pointing out that Gamespot has posted the Halo part of the keynote address (12.8MB)

http://headline.gamespot.com/news/99_07/21_pc_halo/index.html

Peter also writes:

Just mailing in to let you know that Bungie has updated their Halo page once again, and also sent (or perhaps they are just very well captured images from the keynote -- I haven't watched it yet) quite a few screenshots to a few gaming news sites. Is it just me, or do the aliens look like that guy from Abuse? Anyways.. http://halo.bungie.com/press.html has links to the previews with the goods.


A number of fan sites now have Gamespot's Halo "movie" and screenshots. Here are the main ones:

halo.bungie.org

core.gamestats.com

http://townhall.clanplaid.net

Steve Campbell's bungie.org Hotline server has a ton of Halo stuff... including items for the Halo press CD.


Mac Action Sack news. Aaron Davies <agd12@columbia.edu> writes:

My Sack runneth over! It has indeed arrived, and I have for you the invisible file report we've all been waiting for. There are only four hidden files, but they're good ones! Here they are:

Mac Action Sack:Oni Preview: Movie, Images & Music:big brains=huge game.jpeg
Mac Action Sack:Minotaur:Minotaur 7:grndsprtcrft.jpeg
Mac Action Sack:Minotaur:Minotaur 7:transport.jpeg
Mac Action Sack:Minotaur:Minotaur 7:trooper.jpeg

The first is the Bungie West employee pic from BungieVision Summer 1999 (included w/the Sack) with everyone's heads stretched to give them the *appearance* of bigger brains. Very cute.

The other three, however, are much more interesting: they appear to be Halo concept art. trooper.jpeg is a sketch of the Halo Marine (possible Marathon symbols hidden, at least to my eyes), while transport.jpeg and grndsprtcrft.jpeg both appear to be early versions of the vehicles seen in the MWNY presentation. (transport.jpeg comes complete with a somewhat reptilian alien in the driver's seat.) Finally, all three pics have the caption "HALO-ARTIST: SHIKAI WANG (C) 1999 BUNGIE SOFTWARE PRODUCTS CORP." Looks like Halo's gonna be anime-styled too. ;-)


Bungie sent out the following News letter with some Halo info in it:

X-Authentication-Warning: mail.bungie.com: majordomo set sender to owner-bungie-news@bungie.com using -f
From: "Bungie News" <list-owner@bungie.com>
To: <bungie-news@bungie.com>
Subject: Haaaaaa-lo there!
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 10:14:15 -0500
X-Priority: 3
Sender: owner-bungie-news@bungie.com
Reply-To: owner-bungie-news@mail.bungie.com

Haaaaaa-lo there!

This mailing list was set up for the purpose of conveying news to our fans. Today, there is a fistful. This morning at the Macworld Expo in New York we unveiled two new products!

The time has come to announce Halo. Halo is the next product from the team that created the Marathon and Myth series and is likely the most ambitious computer game ever devised.

Halo is a third-person perspective sci-fi action epic that for the first time puts the player in a single, complete and realistic world, without boundaries or breaks between levels. The player is a military recon unit of the human race's fledgling planetary empire. Pursued by alien warships to an ancient ring structure deep in the void, the player must single-handedly improvise a guerilla war over ground, sea and air, using the arsenals and vehicles of three distinct cultures.

Halo is being developed for Macintosh and Windows. Already two years in development, it is expected to ship in the year 2000.

But wait! There's more...

Perhaps you missed one of our first games, Minotaur. Perhaps your significant other smashed your Marathon 2 CD. Perhaps you have a friend or relative with a new Mac who wants to know where to get the Good games. For you we've compiled a collection of six of our classic Mac action games. We tried to fit them in a box, but they were too huge, so we put them all together in the Mac Action Sack.

Upon opening the Sack, you'll find it full to bursting with timeless, classic Bungie games:

Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete - Multiplayer swords and sorcery action in randomly-generated dungeons.

Pathways Into Darkness - Single-player only first-person adventure, combing the shadowed halls of an ancient temple, doing battle with nightmarish creatures.

Abuse - 360 degrees of blazing side-scrolling action against hordes of ravening mutants.

Marathon, Marathon 2: Durandal, Marathon Infinity - Our classic series of sci-fi first-person shooters for the Mac. Altogether over 100 levels of high-speed single-player and multiplayer action.

If you're a member of this list, chances are good that you have one or more of these games-perhaps all of them-but do you have the Sack? The Mac Action Sack is available now for only $19.95 at the Bungie Store, https://www.bungie.com/store.


More updates to come...


Update #2 (4.30 am Eastern Time)

Halo quotes... we got 'em

Michael Trinder <mike.trinder@arct.cam.ac.uk> writes:

if you want the definitive Halo quote list download the following:

http://halo.bungie.com/quote.js

.. a simple JavaScript that returns one of 25 quotes. This might simplify your archiving procedures :)


Omer Shenker <oshenker@iname.com> kindly sent in the full list of quotes. Omer writes:

That's not CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), that's JavaScript. And here's the complete list, with the defaults commented in loudly by me:


Ringworld references... and now The Culture! Episkopos Pushkin <pushkin@disinfo.net> writes concerning the ship names used in the Halo quotes:

Those names are awfully reminiscent of a number of Iain M. Banks novels (the Culture ones - I don't know how many people have read them).

CCS Truth and Reconciliation
CCS Sacred Promise
SCS Pillar of Autumn
CAR Contrition

these all seem very similar to ones like:

GSV Wisdom Like Silence
GCU Gray Area
GSV Sweet and Full of Grace
ROU Attitude Adjuster
GSV Sleeper Service

are among the least strange...

(The acronyms stand for General Systems Vehicle, General Contact Unit and Rapid Offensive Unit, respectively, which may allow people to try a guess at the Bungie acronyms)

However, what strikes me the most beyond the simple similarity of the names is that the way the text is set is eerily similar to the way the text is set in Banks novels in conversations between AIs. I sincerely think that those Bungie guys have been reading a lot more than Ringworld over there.

Iain M. Banks' Culture has been mentioned on the Story page before. Back in Aug 8, 1996 David Coufal <dcoufal@MIT.EDU> wrote concerning a possible influence on the Marathon Story pointing out that the novels of sf writer Iain M. Banks were set in a universe known as The Culture; where civilization is run by thousands of ship-sized AIs known as Minds. These Minds are generally very sarcastic, and name their ships whimsicaly. Back then David asked - "does this remind you of any A.I.'s of your aquaintance?"


Update #3 (9.00 am Eastern Time)

Covenants! They're Everywhere!

A large number of people have written in pointing out that the aliens seen in the Halo "movie" are probably called Covenants. This is based on the names given to images files on Bungie's Halo site.


Jonathan Andrews <vidboi@bellsouth.net> writes concerning the Covenants pics on Bungie's Halo site.

The three images are

covenant_top.gif
covenant_bottom.gif
covenant_arm.gif

The arm gif reminds me alot of the hand at the end of Infinity.


Steve Campbell <midwest@bungie.org> writes concerning some of the weapons seen in the Halo "movie"

in the movie right before the Covenants get into their sled mobile looking things... they are each holding a weapon.

it was brought to my attention "notice anything about those weapons?" by {name deleted] earlier... don't use his name by the way.

well one alien is holding a fusion pistol and the other a rocket launcher.

Steve is referring to this scene in the movie. And yes they do look Marathon-like.

The right alien is carrying a weapon somewhat similar to a Fusion Pistol and the left alien has a short-stemmed shoulder-mounted rocket launcher similar to that seen only in the first Marathon.


Tom Bridge <Tom_Bridge@edelman.com> writes:

Just something to notice: the parallels to A Fire Upon the Deep. Great book by Vernor Vinge. Deals in human extinction with orbital weapons at one point. If you've read it, you know what I mean, if not, go borrow a copy and read it. The transmissions we're seeing (if that's what they are on the website) look distractingly familiar to the posts of a certain group in _A Fire Upon the Deep_. Worth investigating.

A Fire Upon The Deep concerns itself with an ancient entity that is awakened by some researchers on a remote colony. A family manages to escape the entity, taking with them something that is capable of destroying the entity. When their ship lands on a distant planet, the parents are killed, and the two surviving children are captured by warring factions of an alien race. It then becomes a race between all of humanity and agents of the entity to get to the alien world and recover whatever was put on the spacecraft.

As Tom points out an interesting aspect of the book is some of the tale is told in excerpts from a computer messaging system that looks like a descendent of Usenet. While the various conversations move the plot along, they also accurately reflect most computer messaging systems, with most of the writing consisting of unsubstantiated rumors, flames, or both.


Update #4 (12.00 pm Eastern Time)

As reported earlier today by Episkopos Pushkin <pushkin@disinfo.net> the names from the Halo Transmissions on Bungie's Halo page seem very similar to the ship AI names used in Iain M Banks' sci-fi Culture series. The full list of names in the Halo text are as follows:

CCS Purity of Spirit
CCS Truth and Reconciliation
CAR Penance
CPV Reverence
CPV Esteem
SCS Pillar of Autumn
CCS Sacred Promise
CAR Contrition

For a full canonical listing of every Ship mentioned in the Culture novels you should go to Robert Keogh's Culture Shock site - the unofficial Iain M Banks WWW Site. The ships page is at http://www.schmeul.com/text/ships.html.

Each Culture ship has a three letter descriptor before its name. The descriptors are as follows:

GCU = General Contact Unit
GOU = General Offensive Unit
GSV = General System Vehicle
LOU = Limited Offensive Unit
LSV = Limited System Vehicle
MSV = Medium Systems Vehicle
ROU = Rapid Offensive Unit

So what do the Halo ones stand for? :-)


Iain M Banks describes his Culture ships as follows:

Culture starships - that is all classes of ship above inter-planetary - are sentient; their Minds (sophisticated AIs working largely in hyperspace to take advantage of the higher lightspeed there) bear the same relation to the fabric of the ship as a human brain does to the human body; the Mind is the important bit, and the rest is a life-support and transport system. Humans and independent drones (the Culture's non-android individual AIs of roughly human-equivalent intelligence) are unnecessary for the running of the starships, and have a status somewhere between passengers, pets and parasites.

The Culture's largest vessels - apart from certain art-works and a few Eccentrics - are the General Systems Vehicles of the Contact section. (Contact is the part of the Culture concerned with discovering, cataloguing, investigating, evaluating and - if thought prudent - interacting with other civilisations; its rationale and activities are covered elsewhere, in the stories.) The GSVs are fast and very large craft, measured in kilometres and inhabited by millions of people and machines. The idea behind them is that they represent the Culture, fully. All that the Culture knows, each GSV knows; anything that can be done anywhere in the Culture can be done within or by any GSV. In terms of both information and technology, they represent a last resort, and act like holographic fragments of the Culture itself, the whole contained within each part.

The full text can be found at http://www.schmeul.com/text/cultnote.html.


Update #5 (2.30 pm Eastern Time)

Max Etchemendy <mxetch@yahoo.com> writes:

I just wanted to comment on the prominence of religious themes in Bungie's new game. The most obvious, of course, is the name, "Halo." Halos are rings of light found around the heads of angels, Jesus, Mary and other religious figures in paintings.

Also, in the Halo demo presented at MacWorld, the background music was distinctly religious. The monks in the background are singing in a style called Gregorian Chant, the chanting of Latin religious prayers/hymns as practiced by Catholic monks in medieval times. It is a very primitive form of music, without rhythm or dynamics. Brown-robed monks in a monastery come to mind when one listens to it.

There were also several references to the New Testament in the Cortana e-mails, most notably Revelations, or Apocalypse in Greek. This is quite appropriate, actually: Revelations is the account of the end of the world, including the destruction of one-third of about everything, and people dancing atop mountains of the dead.

By the way, Revelations also includes a lot of mentions of the number seven. These include a lamb with seven horns and sevens eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God (Revelations 5:6), seven angels with seven trumpets (Revelations 8:2), seven "thunders" (Revelations 10:3), seven thousand men killed in an earthquake (Revelations 11:13), a dragon with seven heads and seven crowns (Revelations 12:3), and seven plagues (Revelations 15:8), to name only a few.

(Couldn't resist a quick "seven" romp!)

These religious themes seem to show up too often to be a coincidence. Maybe it's a style thing, or maybe more. In any event, I've never seen this many religious themes in any major computer game before, let alone one a year away from being released!

Religious themes in Halo? The atmospheric Gregorian chant sound (by TotalAudio) certainly makes a difference to current game music offerings.


Geoffrey Barnett <gbarnett@firsttech.com> writes concerning the Halo names:

Upon looking thru the ship names and designations, it hit me that there seem to be two different naming schemes for the ships. All of the ship names that have codes beginning with C (CCS, etc) have names that reflect a penitential/spiritual outlook of some sort (Esteem, Purity of Spirit), while the others (SCS, etc) have more poetic or mythological names (Pillar of Autumn, Hermes). Could it be that the leading C somehow designates a Covenant ship, while the others are Human ships? All the messages seem to be threats; could this be the respective AIs trying to bluff or intimidate each other or the crews of the respective species?

Interesting point.


Thanks to Jane Vardaro <jvardaro@erols.com>, Dalan Galma <dalangalma@tmbg.org>, Stefan Stadlberger <stadlberger@yadur.com> and a host of others for pointing out that the Soul is a little more informative when you ask it about "Halo" and "Blam".


Update #6 (4.30 pm Eastern Time)

Timm Mason <tmason@andrew.cmu.edu> provides some speculation on the Halo ship names:

CAR ships have the names "contrition" and "penance". both mean sorrow and regret for past conduct. contrition has a second meaning: the act of grinding to powder. CAR Penance says "...you will die without honor" CAR Contrition says "...through death we will teach your fate" in other words both make direct death threats. one is sent by the class 2 AI (i assume a lesser AI) and one by "Pr Govern".

CPV ships have the names "esteem" and "reverence". both mean to fear and respect something. CPV Reverence says "you slave...for your food. and we shall eat it". CPV Esteem says "you will not know where we have struck...". both are more philosophical threats than those received from the CARs. they imply (to me at least) the CPVs are planning at a higher level. and both are controlled by the "BW Class 3 AI". i'm curious as to whether BW is a classification of AIs or if it denotes a single AI.

finally we have the CCSs. they are named "Purity of Spirit", "Truth and Reconciliation", and "Sacred Promise". some of their transmissions are more figurative and vaguer still. their transmissions originate variously from "BW Class 3 AI", "EXALTED", "REDIRECTED", and a corrupt string.

based on this i might guess that CARs are attack vehicles, CPVs are tactical and CCSs are strategic. or something vaguely reminiscent of this. i at least think the command chains is like CCS > CPV > CAR from highest rank to lowest.


Timm continues:

in the cortana mail before that, cortana says "this sanctuary, this unbroken circle, has effectively concealed its power for how long?" notice "circle", like the "massive and ancient ring construct" mentioned in the press release.

"unbroken circle..."? "massive and ancient ring construct"? Yesterday Finn Smith noted the similarities between Halo and Larry Niven's Ringworld books. Many people have also noted the curved appearance of the Halo world. Kenny Kay <ken@avara.net> writes:

After looking over most of the material out at the present time, looks to me like the game is based around fighting on one *huge* inwardly curved battleground (suggested by the Eiffel tower shot). The main gravitational pull of the area must be with the halo itself, because the planet is obviously too weak to pull the characters out from the surface of the halo. Perhaps the halo's centrifugal force serves as "gravity?" This is of course suggested through the lines in the bungie.com webpage. If the halo revolved, wouldn't those three lines theoretically be the -planetary- of it? :)


The following is some background to Larry Niven's Ringworld:

Over half a million years ago, 248 light-years from Earth, an unimaginably advanced civilization built itself a new home. A ring a million miles high, the new habitat stretched in a vast 600-million-mile circle around a stable sun-type star. Its 600 trillion square miles of surface area were the equivalent of three million Earths, and centrifugal force provided the new world with the equivalent of one gravity. Rim walls a thousand miles high prevented the atmosphere from spilling out, and orbiting sunshades brought day and night to an immense variety of lands and seas, mountains and valleys that lined the inner surface of the ring and provided a home to myriad species of humanoid.

And then, long before humans began recording their own history on Earth, the builders vanished, leaving behind the most astonishing feat of engineering ever encountered...the Ringworld.

The builders were called the...


Update #7 (6.00 pm Eastern Time)

Inside Mac Games have their Macworld Expo report up. It includes some nice comments about Halo:

We were floored. Everyone was floored. Even Jobs himself was floored, since he hadn't heard the music that accompanied the demo. My faith in innovative gaming as been renewed, with a vengeance.


Timm Mason <tmason@andrew.cmu.edu> writes:

Two of Cortana's transmissions seem to be literary references. i found these with search engines:

"The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction"
William Blake, 1790, _The_Marriage_of_Heaven_and_Hell_

looks like it relates to the quote "These are the tygers of wrath"

and here's a biblical quote:

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword."
Matthew 10:34

an explanation of this quote can be found at http://home.hiwaay.net/~cochrgl/articles/peaceswd.htm

to summarize: Jesus is speaking here. "the word of god is a sword and to those who will not accept it, there is no peace."


July 23, 1999

Update #1 (3.00 am Eastern Time)

Thanks to Geoff Hutchison <ghutchis@wso.williams.edu> and Mark Levin <mglevin@uiuc.edu> for pointing out that there is an interesting Maccentral article on Halo which reveals some story details. The full article can be found here:

http://www.maccentral.com/news/9907/22.halodetail.shtml

Part of the text reads:

In Halo, you assume the role of an armored cyborg scouring the surface of a gigantic alien artifact- a habitable ring in space 10,000 miles in diameter. The artifact contains alien weaponry and technology that you can use to help save the human race from extinction at the hands of the Covenant, an intermingling of three different alien species bent on preventing mankind's conquest of space.

The Covenant... an intermingling of three different alien species?

The Maccentral article continues...

There's one other interesting aspect of Halo, as well. In the center of the Halo logo, there's the clearly defined outline of the logo from Marathon, Bungie's landmark first person action game. Halo certainly appears to have a lot in common with the game, perhaps more than just the logo.

Musing on the Marathon logo's presence in the Halo design, Staten says, "There may be things in the story I haven't told you that might be familiar."

You can see the Marathon symbol in the Halo logo further down the page.


Cam Pinard <cunbelin@geocities.com> writes:

I have compiled a list of 14 quotes and have kept them as close to the bungie formating as I could...

You can see the list here. Cam wishes to acknowledge the assistance of Jenova in organising this list. Cam continues:

I actually have them set in order according to the recieved time and it yields some interesting results that fit very well with the story and in my opinion 2 or 3 ships that are "yours" and receive messages from several others you seem to be on board a "SCS" ship as that is the only ship other that the "ESP 8 Reach" that is contacted by the (presumably) alien vessels (I believe the ALLCH (SC) is a broadcast to both the Hermes II and the Pillar of Autumn) the other thing is the Pillar of Autumn internal communication implying that you are aboard that ship as well as Cortana. It seems that these are the communications of the pursuing zealots spoken of in the Cortana letters (I assume that the aliens are the covenants due to the C preceding all ship designations) I am at a loss for what "ESP 8 Reach" is but the only identifiable contact to it is "Pr Govern via Reach PSN node 21". Another anomaly is that Cortana quotes all her responses except for one:

I have governed the unwilling.
I have walked the edge of the Abyss.

that is all I can do for now I will be working more on the quotes soon but it is mind boggling at this point so here is somthing to chew on


Update #2 (8.00 am Eastern Time)

halo.bungie.org has had a site revamp. It seems that they are even posting news now. Some news items from their page include a MacGamer's Ledge interview with Bungie Software's Peter Tamte and a cleaned up Halo logo which shows more clearly the Marathon symbol designed into it. Worth a look.


Possible size errors? Mark Bassett <markb@iisc.co.uk> writes:

The latest information from MacCentral is very interesting: it says the setting of Halo is "a gigantic alien artifact - a habitable ring in space 10,000 miles in diameter."

10,000 miles is nothing *like* gigantic!

For comparison, the Ringworld's size is the same as Earth's orbit, roughly 100,000,000 miles across or 10,000 times bigger than the Halo. Nothing as small as the Halo could fit round a sun and be habitable.

In Ian Bank's "Culture" books he invents Orbitals - rings which orbit a sun but don't actually go around it. These are like space stations big enough to have their own atmosphere, but they're still roughly 2,000,000 miles in diameter.

As MacCentral reports it the Halo is only a little bit wider than the Earth, and as it's a ring not a sphere it couldn't even house a population as big as our planet - rather unambitious for an advanced, super-technological species!

So maybe we should regard the Halo not as an artificial world, as it's far too small, but as a very big *spaceship*. Of course, that would mean there could be whole fleets of the things out there..

Further details on the size of Larry Niven's Ringworld can be found at http://hellcrown.interspeed.net/ringworld.html.


Aaron Davies <agd12@columbia.edu> writes:

since nobody else seems to have pointed it out: the "zealots" mentioned repeatedly by Cortana must be the Covenant culture, given their name, their messages, and the names of their ships.


David Cornwell <goldragonne@earthlink.net> writes:

The first thing that smacked me in the face was... well, look at the human characters of Halo. Now look at the chapter screen of Marathon Infinity where the player is huddled next to a dead S'Pht'Kr.

See below for a pic.

David continues:

As for Cortana's references to the end of the world: isn't Halo supposed to be about a powerful race of aliens who've come to destroy humanity? Plus, go to halo.bungie.com enough and eventually it'll say "Our conviction is like an arrow already in flight. Your life will only last until it reaches you." Perhaps Cortana is the fourth, an AI of make similar to Tycho, Durandal and Leela, and he's working with the Halo aliens. It won't be the first time one of humanity's AIs decided they liked the bad guys better.


Update #3 (2.15 pm Eastern Time)

Joel Page <jpage@excell.com> writes concerning the size of the 'ring' in Halo:

I believe that since Larry Niven's "RingWorld" series is the definitive bit of imagination on the subject, everybody's assuming that Halo's is of the same size and purpose. I myself am going on what Bungie has stated, that it's 10,000 miles in diameter, and more so I believe that it's in orbit around a planet, not a sun.

The reason? Take a close look at the Halo movie, and you'll notice that shadows cast at angles other than perpendicular, meaning that the sun is not at the zenith, meaning that this particular ringworld does not in fact orbit a sun. There is also in evidence a large planetary body visible just above the horizon, menaing that at least at the point in time that the game is played, the ring isn't exactly in orbit around a planet (or at least THAT planet). Perhaps it once was, but is now being moved for whatever reason (orbital bombardment?).

On a side note: Seeing that Bungie is purposely setting this environment NOT around a sun but elsewhere in order to facilitate dynamic shadowing effects speaks volumes about the care they put into their games. If in fact, this ringworld orbited a sun with the sun continually at the zenith, developing the game and its engine would have been much easier, only having to worry about shadows cast at the base of the player's feet, ala Quake 3.


A Marathon Reading List? Trevor Ettenborough <tetten@macconnect.com> writes:

Reading the sixth update to the Story page today made me wonder if maybe you had time for another Story Page project (I wouldn't - I'm busy reading the Story Page). There should be a Marathon Reading list. Books mentioned on the Story list that bear striking resemblances to the Marathon Story. After all, I read The Diamond Age after seeing it mentioned on your page. Just a thought.

It must say something about the intellect of Marathon players if their game needs a reading list...


Anyone for Marathon 1204: Language and Logic, Graduate Course - Fall 1999? ;-)


Update #4 (5.25 pm Eastern Time)

Some big Halo news items in the last few hours.

halo.bungie.org reports a high quality MP3 of the Halo soundtrack available from TotalAudio's site. The Gregorian chant sound is really really beautiful. Go get it at www.odsmusic.com/halo.htm

halo.bungie.org also reports a site which apparently has the secret Halo concept art sketches from the Mac Action Sack CD. Aaron Davies mentioned these on the Story page yesterday. They were hidden in a folder called Minotaur 7 (no kidding!). The three images are

grndsprtcrft.jpeg
transport.jpeg
trooper.jpeg

The art work is by Shikai Wang (flatliner at Bungie Software). Some of you may recognise the name since he was one of the people who sent in a Cortana email during the so-called "cover up" period following the second Cortana letter. Yes these things come back to haunt you guys. ;-)


Two versions of the Halo movie? Clem Freeman <clemf@humboldt1.com> writes:

I just downloaded the new verion of the Halo demo from Gamespot. The new filename is haloqt4.mov and it's 14 megs as opposed to 12. The only notable difference between the 2 is that in the new one there's a Bungie logo in the beginning. Probably Bungie wanted them to put it on there. One interesting thing to note:

halo1.mov: 2:37

haloqt4.mov: 2:44

2:37 - 2:44 = 7!

The tru7h is out there...

Seven seconds difference? Coincidence or... ;-)


Yesterday Timm Mason pointed out that the Halo line "...I came not to send Peace but a Sword." was a biblical quote from Matthew 10:34. Now Ben Gamboa <bgamboa@uclink4.berkeley.edu> writes:

I don't know if this has been brought to your attention already, but the quote "...He says, "I came not to send Peace but a Sword" is also found in William Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell (plate 17). If you don't mind lengthy urls, you can check out a few etext versions at:

http://dazzle.village.virginia.edu:8888/blake/Illuminated-Book/MHH/@Generic__CollectionView

Yet another William Blake reference. :-)


Michael O'Brien <roanoke@tnol.com> writes:

This has probably already been noticed by dozens, but several of the news postings at halo.bungie.org are credited to "Louis Wu" - the main character of the Ringworld novels.

This may be a spoiler if you haven't read them, but Louis is already 200 years old at the time of the first novel - and, if he avoids accident, my live as long as Durandal


July 24, 1999

Update #1 (3.30 am Eastern Time)

More Halo news. Tom Bridge <Tom_Bridge@edelman.com> writes:

Found this on C|Net URL is below.


-=-=-=-=-=-

Celebrity endorsements are certainly a boon, but when a renowned industry guru touts your product, you know you're onto something.

That's exactly what happened at this year's Macworld Expo held in New York. None other than Steve Jobs used his keynote address to unveil a game called Halo to thousands of eager onlookers. Developed by Bungie Software and designed by Jason Jones, Halo is an awesome-looking third-person-perspective sci-fi shooter that looks to set new standards for both the PC and Mac gaming communities.

Inspired by Larry Niven's Ringworld tale, Halo contains some of the most breathtaking indoor and outdoor environments yet seen in a 3D shooter. Not only will Halo have a fully deformable terrain set, but it will also boast a wide variety of flora and fauna, as well as some of the strangest-looking indigenous life-forms this side of the galaxy. What's more, Halo contains a dazzling array of real-time lighting and shadowing effects and some of the most impressive multipass texture-mapping effects ever created for a squad-based shooter.

However, what really sets Halo apart from all of the other third-person-perspective shooters is its gameplay. According to company officials, Halo will have an open-ended architecture that won't contain any levels, side quests, or interruptions typically found in games of this nature. As such, it will be up to the player to determine his short- and long-term objectives; this decision is based in large part on the AI's actions and reactions during the course of play.

As for the game's story line, the player is cast in the role of a futuristic soldier, a member of an elite military reconnaissance unit that is trying to flee from a technologically superior alien armada. After landing on a huge ring construct located deep in outer space, the player must work in conjunction with other members of his team to defeat the alien onslaught and secure the all-important construct. At this point, it is sufficient to say that Halo looks as though it'll be one of the most sought-after titles for the year 2000.


______________________________ Forward Header __________________________________
Subject: check it out - halo on cnet
Author: Robert Thomson at SANFRAN
Date: 07/23/1999 3:41 PM

http://www.gamecenter.com/News/Item/0,3,0-3002,00.html


Inspired by Larry Niven's Ringworld! And note the following details:

"...the player is cast in the role of a futuristic soldier, a member of an elite military reconnaissance unit that is trying to flee from a technologically superior alien armada. After landing on a huge ring construct located deep in outer space, the player must work in conjunction with other members of his team to defeat the alien onslaught and secure the all-important construct."


More religious references in Halo? Bradley Attfield <trsurmap@spots.ab.ca> writes:

I don't know if this has been mentioned, but the message of the CCS Truth and Reconcilliation, "When no single human brick lies atop another, then will we be satisfied with your destruction." is yet another allusion to the Bible. Matthew 24:2 states (KJV):

"And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

Make of it what you will, but I certainly think the connection is iron clad. On the historical side of this, when Jerusalem was sacked by the Romans about 30 years after the crucifixion of Christ, the Roman commander -if memory serves- sent in his praetorian guard to deconstruct the temple of Herod, stone for stone.


Update #2 (12.15 pm Eastern Time)

If you took the trouble to download that "new" Halo movie from Gamespot mentioned by Clem Freeman yesterday you'll have noticed that while the picture quality is slightly better the sound quality is worse than the previous version. The slight improvement in picture quality might explain the differences in size - 14.7MB compared to 12.8MB. The older smaller version of the movie is still up at halo.bungie.org I gather.

Given that TotalAudio have now released a high quality MP3 of the Halo movie soundtrack it shouldn't be long be before some aspiring film guy puts together an even higher quality movie with great sound and no distracting advertising logo.


David Cornwell <goldragonne@earthlink.net> writes:

If you look closely at the beginning of the preview of Halo, where the Marine is messing with the holographic computer in the big room, you notice that in the middle of the room is a holo-planet being orbited by a holo-moon. Well, look closer still, and you see that at the edges of the room, for brief shots, you can see a holo-ring world around the planet. That would explain the size difference, if Larry Niven's world was built in a planet's orbit around a star, whilst Bungie's world was built in a moon's orbit around a planet.

Interesting to note that in the second Halo movie released by Gamespot the opening scene reveals more of the "ringworld". In the first movie the beginning was cut off by a second or two.


Update #3 (5.30 pm Eastern Time)

Back in June Michael Watson <mikey-sanSPAMMERS@AREbungieSPAZEROIDS.org> (MGL Contributing Writer) pointed out that he had just posted an interview with Lorraine Reyes (Art Director/Creative Director of Marketing at Bungie Software). While the interview focused primarily on Lorraine's Oni work she indicated that her next project would be Blam!
Now Jens king <fototek@dircon.co.uk> writes:

Found this on Lorraine Reyes page, she is an artist working on oni:

the latest books I've read were...
Ringworld by Larry Niven
Ringworld Engineers by Larry Niven
Wizard and Glass by Stephen King
Blackgod by Gregory Keyes

trying to finish/start reading...
Larry Niven's Ringworld Throne and
Protector

How interesting... given the current Ringworld references in Halo. :-)


Finn Smith <finn_smith@brown.edu> writes:

First, a correction:

Mark Bassett noted that the MacCentral article describes the ring of Halo as 10,000 miles in diameter. However, there's also a small factual error in his message. He states "the Ringworld's size is the same as Earth's orbit, roughly 100,000,000 miles across". Earth is about 93,000,000 miles from the sun, so it's diameter would be around 190,000,000 miles, not 100,000,000. This gives the Ringworld about 20,000 times the diameter of Halo.

He is right that if Halo were this size it would only be slightly larger than Earth's 7,926 mile diameter.

It will be interesting to see if this numbers is correct. 10,000 seems awful small to me.

Finn continues:

I've been watching the Gamespot QuickTime movie of the Halo presentation quite a bit over the past few days. I believe that from this one movie much can be deduced about the structure of Halo. The trick is to step through the movie slowly, paying attention not to the flashy vehicles and characters, but to the landscape, horizon and celestial objects.

There are three main "big" objects that we can see in the movie. They are the ring, a sun and a planet. By the ring I mean the shots of the ring rising up above the horizon in the distance. These three objects can be seen at the following times in the movie:

Ring - 0:39, 0:56, 1:14, 1:31, 1:37, 2:04(?), 2:15(?), 2:21 (question marks refer to shots where the ring _may_ be visible behind clouds)

Sun - 1:13, 1:37, 1:40, 1:45, 2:05, 2:18

Planet - 0:58, 2:35

From these shots several things become clear. The first is that the size cited in the MacCentral article (10,000 mile diameter) is probably correct or at least close to correct. Why? because the planet that is visible is quite close to the ring. It may be that the ring is actually around the planet. You might think that the ring is around the sun and the planet happens to be in an orbit near the ring. However, this seems unlikely for two reasons. The first is that the planet and the ring would surely have some sort of adverse gravitational effect on each other if they were that close together. The second is the positioning of the sun. In all the shots where it is visible it is quite close to the horizon. If the ring were around the sun it would always be at "high noon", straight above, which it is not. The shadows seen in the game also are telling. If the ring were around the sun all the shadows would be straight below the objects casting them, which they are not. Alternately, the ring could be around one sun in a two sun system, but then we'd have two shadows, which doesn't appear to be the case either.

It is interesting to note that this shift in perception of the "ground" is sometimes difficult to adjust to. On the Clain Plaid page and the halo.bungie.org forums, for instance, there is discussion of an "Eiffel-Tower-like structure". In actuality, this "structure" is the ring itself, curving up into the distance. We're all too used to living on the outside of a round ball...


July 25, 1999

Update #1 (7.50 am Eastern Time)

Hey it's a Sunday don't people ever rest?


Aaron Davies <agd12@columbia.edu> writes to say that the Halo concept art from the Mac Action Sack CD can be downloaded from his site at:

http://www.columbia.edu/~agd12/bborgarch/

Aaron found these hidden in the Minotaur folder. Well worth the download.

They can also be obtained from halo.bungie.org and bungie.org's Hotline server [164.58.172.181].


David Simon <midnight@pnc.com.au> writes:

A little bit of background for you on Covenants, I can supply you with relevant Bible passages if you like (from a more reliable version than the KJV).

Covenants in the Bible are everywhere - the first is the Covenant between God and Adam (which Adam promptly breaks so God makes a new one). Then there is the covenant between God and Abraham, then God and Israel (which Israel breaks even as Moses and God are signing the deal). The next significant Covenent (well they're all significant really) was between God and David during the peak of Israel's Kingdom. God said that a son of David would rule Israel forever - of course David broke this Covenant (Bathsheeba) but God kept up his end, though not in the way everybody expected.

Jesus was a descendant of David and fulfilled the Covenant made with Adam after he sinned. Hence the terms "Old Covenant" and "New Covenant", which these days are incorrectly referred to as "Old Testament" and "New Testament".

Covenants are the backbone of any relationship - whether it be the covenant between God and his people, or the Marriage Covenant between a Husband and Wife.

It is curious that the Halo Covenant is the intermingling of three Aliens. Three is of course a very important number in the Bible, for no other reason than it appears a great deal (just like 7). This relationship closely ties in with the concept of the Trinity - three different forms of the one God.


Devin O'Reilly <QuasiDevin@aol.com> writes:

Concerning the new 7 seconds in Haloqt4.mov...

The new seconds clearly show the Halo orbiting the star [?] like some kind of demented Space Cheerio...I've upped 2 pictures of it on bungie.org's Hotline server [164.58.172.181].

The Halo seems to be on an orbit seperate from the planet, which we also see going around the star, albiet at a slightly farther distance. The Halo is also noticably smaller than the planet, which would make the planet [maybe we should give it a working title. I submit "Jonesworld".] quite large...[assuming the 10K diameter figure for the Halo is right].

You can see the two pics Devin is referring to here.


Update #2 (11.00 am Eastern Time)

For those who have asked about event #2 Matt Soell (Bungie Sofware) informs me that this is still on the cards. No date yet though. If you remember Matt said back in mid-April (see The Cortana Letters section):

I will reiterate one of my points from last time:

#1 will probably not be too impressive to you guys: the few/proud/etc.
#2 will be.
And #3 is, in the words of my friend Jim Ruiz: "The coolest thing I've ever seen on a computer."

#1 is the Mac Action Sack, #3 is Halo, and #2 is... well we will just have to find out.

Bungie are also likely to release an Official Halo Movie which will be different from the unofficial movie of the Halo preview at Macworld Expo New York. No date for this as yet either.


I've received a number of requests from PC users looking for a synopsis of the back-stories to Marathon and Marathon Infinity. Seems Halo has piqued their interest. :-)
Anyway apart from reading all the terminals at least seven times and then spending most of the summer reading the rest of the Story page (100+MBs) I can only recommend Ben Reiter's Marathon Page which has a condensed version of the story behind Marathon and Marathon 2.


Which of the eight Iain M Banks sci-fi books should you read first? There are five in the Culture series:

Consider Phlebas (1987)
The Player of Game (1988)
Use of Weapons (1990)
The State of the Art (1991)
Inversion (1998)

The other three are non-Culture:

Against a Dark Background (1993)
Feersum Endjinn (1994)
Excession (1996)

One that Bungie certainly seems to have been influenced by (re.Halo Transmissions) is Excession. It's actually one of the more accessible of his Culture novels. It involves the proverbial big dumb object, a well used theme in science fiction. The biggest is probably Larry Niven's "Ringworld". The back cover blurb reads:

Two and a half millennia ago, the artifact appeared in a remote corner of space, beside a trillion-year old dying sun from a different universe. It was a perfect black body sphere and it did nothing. Then it disappeared. Now it is back.

You'll find plenty of Culture ship AI conversations going on throughout the book. Highly recommended.


Made some formatting changes to the Halo Transmissions page. It should now read more like Bungie's Halo web page.


July 26, 1999

Update #1 (6.00 am Eastern Time)

Halo news continues to flood in and more updates appear on the web.

First off halo.bungie.org seems to have gone rampant. Over the course of the weekend they added concept art, more movies, a music page, logos, press page, revamped Forums, etc etc... and even a Story section. So I'm going to rob a few things off their site without giving them any credit. ;-)

Matthew Vaughan has put up an amazing amount of Halo movie screenshots at http://www.best.com/~matthewv/halo/. It's basically a walkthrough. Very nice if you don't have the movie or just want to see selected shots.

There's also an interesting Halo news article at www.cdmag.com. The URL to the article is http://www.cdmag.com/articles/021/126/halo_preview.html. It contains additional Story details. Part of the text reads:

Bungie describes the game as a "third-person perspective sci-fi action epic," and in this age of genre blending that is probably as fair an assessment as you will find. The story is set in the far future, where humankind is waging a losing battle with a race of strange alien invaders. The discovery of a massive ring in deep space offers an opportunity to tip the balance of the war in favor of the race that manages to lay claim to it. The inside of the ring is an entire world (fans of Larry Niven's Ringworld books will recognize the influence immediately), an ancient artificial environment constructed by a superior race, and the primary battleground in Halo.

and further down...

One feature of Halo that is not found in most other team games is a single-player mode. "One thing that I have noticed is that the multiplayer focus in Quake III Arena and Team Fortress 2 robs the game of so much personality," Jones explains. "We have a story to tell, and you just can't do that in a net game." Unlike most 3D-action games, Halo will not offer a linear series of missions. Instead the environment will be largely open and continuous—more like a role-playing game than a traditional shooter. The goal is to create a world without breaks in gameplay. "Half-Life was almost there, but you were still on a railroad of linear missions." Bungie plans to allow the player to discover things to do through exploration, or be given mission objectives by a sentient computer on board their mother ship, and the player will generally have several courses of action to choose from at any given time. Non-player character AI's will assist the player at times in the solo game (to pilot certain vehicles, for instance), but for the most part it will stick to a "player against the world" approach.


Note the part:

"Bungie plans to allow the player to discover things to do through exploration, or be given mission objectives by a sentient computer on board their mother ship"

Now doesn't that sound familiar. :-)


Tyson Green <ferrex@gamestats.com> (aka Ferrex) writes:

I've revamped and re-posted our Blam/Halo FAQ at the Core, taking into account most of the information that came out of MWNY, and a bit from other sources. I'm on the watch for new questions to answer, but for the moment it's as complete as I could get it, without going into exacting detail... anyway, that's basically it.


Update #2 (7.30 am Eastern Time)

Many thanks to M.C. Avistetto <nijhazer@dpnation.com> for drawing my attention to two interesting posts on alt.games.marathon. I reprint them here. in case you haven't seen them. I have no reason to doubt the veracity of these.

From: jwct@magma.ca (J.W. Corey Tamas)
Subject: What I leared about the Marathon source code
Date: 25 Jul 1999
Message-ID: <jwct-2507991041140001@x2port34.magma.ca>
Organization: Ace Biscuit Web Solutions
NNTP-Posting-Date: Sun, 25 Jul 1999 10:39:33 EDT
Newsgroups: alt.games.marathon

I asked Jason Jones and Tuncer Deniz about the Marathon source code, and (with the permission of Bungie) I'd like to share a bit of it with you.

The main concern with the source code is that there is a serial number generator which is also used in Myth. This is the main reason why they don't want to release it at the moment. They do intend to go in and take that out and then release the code. It's just that no-one has had the time to do so (and can you blame them?). The bottom line, however, is that Bungie doesn't seem set on clinging the Marathon source close to their chest for eternity. The sense I got was that they think releasing it is a neat idea. They may still decide for other reasons that they don't want to, but everyone should rest assured that they're positive on the idea.

C


From: jwct@magma.ca (J.W. Corey Tamas)
Subject: What I learned about Halo
Date: 25 Jul 1999
Message-ID: <jwct-2507991041270001@x2port34.magma.ca>
Organization: Ace Biscuit Web Solutions
NNTP-Posting-Date: Sun, 25 Jul 1999 10:39:46 EDT
Newsgroups: alt.games.marathon

I'm going to say this stuff pretty carefully because I don't want to make Jason Jones sorry he spoke to me. Therfore, forgive me if there are omissions or questions I don't want to answer about this stuff because he did ask me not to make a thing out of it yet.

While I was at MWNY, I asked Jason about the Marathon logo in the HALO logo, and he laughed, but wouldn't respond. I asked further, saying that mistakes like that don't just happen, and he laughed some more, saying "Yes. That would be a pretty expensive mistake". I tried not to pressure him too much, but I explained that Marathon fans are concerned they will never see anything new in Marathon because 1. Bungie has put the kibosh on conversion projects, 2. Bungie has said they'll do no more Marathon titles, and 3. Bungie won't release the source code. He told me that he couldn't say anything more, but he did say that Marathon fans didn't have to worry; something very special is going to happen.

Hope you found this interesting :)

C


Update #3 (9.00 am Eastern Time)

Michael Lake <beorn@thegrid.net> writes:

Ever since Bungie announced Halo, I have been getting as much information on the game as I possibly can. I have also been watching the movie quite a bit, and that is what this message concerns. (One thing, I am going to be talking about different frames in the movie, and therefore I have taken many screen shots, 14 to be exact, to help you with what I am talking about. See here. I am writing concerning the ring-like world that is Halo (hence the name), and I am supporting evidence towards that theory, as well as some interesting observations.

First of all, in picture 1, we see in the background an Eiffel tower-like structure beyond the atmosphere. This could be the ground sloping upwards in a circle shape. In picture 2, we see a pretty much identical structure in the background. If you were to put the two pictures together, we can see how this would be the second slope of the ring that was behind the camera in picture 1. This second part concerns the first section of the movie, when the human is at a holographic control board of sorts. It appears as if beyond the control board there is a holographic projection of a large ring surrounding a planet (pictures 3, 4, and 5)... Notice the large orb that is in the background in a couple shots during the movie (6 and 7). This could be the same planet that is being projected in the hologram.

More appearances of the ring curving skyward show up in pictures 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 14. However, in picture 10, we see a dark line going across the sky. Since it is not an effect of the plane (foreground), this could very well be the opposite side of the ring, from a ground view. We can also see the planet in the bottom left corner of this picture (not marked), which further supports this theory.


Jake Bromberg <core2020@hotmail.com> writes:

...check out the name of the HTML file of the sidebar on the halo.bungie.com page. It's titled "splat[1]". Interesting, isn't it? Blam? Splat? Both very onomatop¤ic in nature. Hmmm...


Update #4 (12.30 pm Eastern Time)

Marathon's Story Page Exclusive

Miguel Chavez's "The Jason Jones Macworld Expo NY Interview"


Miguel Chavez <JMChavez@aol.com> writes:

Miguel's wacky, uncensored, free-wheelin' stream-of-conciousness 10 minute interview with Jason Jones. 20mb of NOT high quality video. Hey, I slapped the compression in about an hour at 5AM, gimme a break! :-)

Come gather around as we wax poetically about all things Bungie:

What led up to the Halo demo at the keynote
How cool is Steve Jobs?
The problems with being such a 'small' company
Watch as someone offers network help on *1* condition
How Halo is going to be different from past Bungie games
Will Halo have Body Count?
Is Jason already at work on something else?
Anecdotes about the Bungie.net server
Surprise walk-on by Doug Zartman!


Go watch it here or here or here


Harry Al-Shakarchi <harry.al-shakarchi@teleweb.at> kindly sent in these URLs to two pics of Jason Jones playing Marathon at Macworld Expo NY.

www.imgmagazine.com/features/07_99/mwny/shots/jones3.html

www.maccentral.com/news/9907/mwny99/image/dsc00106.jpg


July 27, 1999

Update #1 (8.30 am Eastern Time)

All three Marathon's Story page servers got hammered yesterday but coped under the strain. Thanks to Nicholas Esborn <nick@flatLAN.net> and Steve Campbell <midwest@bungie.org> for the server space and the bandwidth. The Jason Jones Macworld Expo NY Interview movie is now also at

http://townhall.clanplaid.net/

and the following Hotline servers:

Bungie.org hotline server (164.58.172.181)
Clan Plaid hotline server (165.82.104.162)


A transcript of the full interview courtesy of Chris Butcher <cbutcher@hermes.otago.ac.nz> and Miguel Chavez <JMChavez@aol.com> is now available here.


Halo.bungie.org have posted a sound-only QT4 movie (1.4 MB) of the interview. You'll find it in their movies page.


Eylon Caspi <eylon@cs.berkeley.edu> writes concerning the Jason Jones interview:

Just saw Miguel's MacWorld interview. Small world! The guy on the right (Jason Jones' left) who runs a counter-interview throughout the video is an old friend of mine from University of Maryland. Sandro Fouche. I have not seen him for 5 or 6 years. He's quite the hard-core computer guy. Used to preach Unix, Apple, and gaming at UMD. I should send him a pointer to the video ;-)


Update #2 (11.10 am Eastern Time)

Nathan Bitner (Bungie Software) writes:

From: "Nathan" <nathan@bungie.com>
To: "Hamish Sinclair" <Hamish.Sinclair@tcd.ie>
Subject: Human Trip To Water-Rich Asteroid Possible By 2015
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 17:08:41 -0500
Organization: Bungie Software
X-Priority: 3

Thought for some reason you might enjoy this Hamish. :-)

Nathan
Producer and Creative Developer - halo
Bungie Software

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/ts/story.html?s=v/nm/19990726/ts/space_asteroid_1.html

Note the Producer and Creative Developer - halo!!! Hands up all those who remember the Cortana "cover-up" emails? ;-)


Thanks to Brymen Mendoza <brymen@inficad.com> for pointing out that there is Halo news article at http://www.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9907/26/halo.idg/ which contains further Halo story details. Part of the text reads:

Halo takes place on an artificial Ringworld-style planet orbiting a gas giant in another system, much like the vision of Larry Niven's Ringworld universe. The setting is part of the core mystery of the game, with the creators and builders of this world -- and its accompanying wonders -- long gone. While exploring the planet, humans have found new technology that we just have to have, even at the cost of lives. To complicate matters, another alien race is bent on obtaining this technology, and both races must fight to achieve dominance in this system.

The Halo mystery deepens. :-)


Raul Bonilla <lassonde@hotmail.com> writes:

I downloaded the Halo concept art images included in Bungie's Mac Action Sack following the link you provided in the Marathon Story page. One of them, the trooper.jpg, have a resemblance with one of the concept art images I found in Craig Mullin's site. Although Shikai Wang is the author of the "easter-egg" sketches, looks like the cyborg soldier of the upcoming game is the result of a mix between the Marathon player and this Craig Mullin's robot. You be the judge.


Update #3 (1.35 pm Eastern Time)

Ok here we go folks. Hang on to your hats... tighten your belts.

Thanks to Miguel Chavez <JMChavez@aol.com> we now have two additional films on offer. A 60+MB high quality version of his interview with Jason Jones. It's EXACTLY the same as the smaller 20MB movie but the picture and sound quality is better.

And in addition there is a small (<1MB) movie of Jason Jones playing Marathon.

You can get both via ftp at:

ftp://ftp.marathon.org/pub/marathon/story/jjonesmwny99-hi.mov

ftp://ftp.marathon.org/pub/marathon/story/jjonesplaysmara.mov

Special thanks to Nicholas Esborn <nick@flatLAN.net> of Marathon Central for the server space and bandwidth. I know he's going to kill me tomorrow!

If you do upload these movies to other sites please state that they were filmed by Miguel Chavez <JMChavez@aol.com> and you got them from the Marathon's Story page. Many thanks.


July 28, 1999

Update #1 (8.00 am Eastern Time)

halo.bungie.org have a questions and answers session with Marty O'Donnell of TotalAudio. TotalAudio did the music for the Halo demo at Macworld Expo. In one answer TotalAudio state:

We decided it needed to be big, exciting, and unusual with a classical orchestra touch to give it some weight and stature. We also wanted it to have some sort of "ancient" feel to it. We worked on it over the weekend and did the final recording on Monday morning. It went to NY that night. No one at Bungie had heard it until Monday afternoon - I'm glad they liked it.

So am I. The music is outstanding.


A Halo blueprint! Peter Streicker <momar@home.com> writes:

I've attached 2 pictures I made in photoshop. With Control room I just thought I'd put together 3 frames of the movie to give you a bigger picture of the room and a better idea of the orbiting planet and ring.

With Blueprints I was hoping to get some ideas about what this map is of, perhaps the building you're in or the starsystem. If it is infact the starsystem, then you'll notice that the yellow ring would probably be the halo but it cuts through a big red ball/planet, and if you look at the Controlroom pic, the only thing the ring cuts through is that purple thing at the top, so it could either be a planet or the room's ceiling..


Joey Hoffman <talon@zebra.net> writes concerning Raul Bonilla's submission yesterday:

I recognized instantly that the first picture (Mullins' from http://www.goodbrush.com/hirez_pgs/concept/concept4/robot.htm) is, without a single doubt, an identical twin of the AV-98 Ingram from the popular anime series Patlabor--minus some bits of its shielding, and seemingly a few times taller than the usual 8.02 meters. I've attached a pic from the opening sequence of Patlabor on Television, as well as a scan from the Patlabor manga. Find out more about Patlabor at http://www.tomobiki.com/patlabor/


Update #3 (11.45 am Eastern Time)

The Halo world... "demented Space Cheerio" or something bigger? Mark Bassett <markb@iisc.co.uk> writes:

I felt I just had to write when I saw Peter Streicker's message, because I have this eery feeling that when we look at the pic's from the Halo movie we're not all seeing the same thing!

Peter says:

"if you look at the Controlroom pic, the only thing the ring cuts through is that purple thing at the top"

which sounds to me as though he thinks the ring is the big arch that goes behind the Bungie logo. But when I look at the picture that's not the ring at all, I see the ring as floating between the Sun and the planet. (This is how Devin O'Reilly saw it too, when he called the Halo a "demented Space Cheerio")

As I wrote you earlier, this is appropriate because the alien artifact is in what astronomers call a "halo orbit", suspended between two larger bodies. I wonder at what point in the game's design Bungie hit upon this term - did it provide a good name for something they'd already thought of, or did it inspire the whole setting?

In case you are confused take a look at Devin O'Reilly's Halo submission, Peter Streicker's Halo submission and Michael Lake's Halo submission. Then make your own mind up!

What's a Halo orbit? A point in space between two planetary bodies where the gravitational attractions of these two bodies are in balance against one another is called a Lagrangian point, and it is possible for an object to be in stable orbit around this point. Such an orbit is called a halo orbit. The plane of the halo orbit is perpendicular to the axis between the centers of the two planetary bodies.


July 29, 1999

Update #1 (8.45 am Eastern Time)

Well the Story page received a large number of mails over the last 24 hours concerning the "demented Space Cheerio or something bigger?" report yesterday. There is certainly some confusion out there about what the holograms in Halo control room are showing. Hopefully today's submissions will clear this confusion up. Here are just a few of the many explanatory posts received. Thanks to all those who wrote in.

James Lanfear <jclanfear@presys.com> writes:

Regarding the ring mystery, I think everyone may be correct. There is a ring orbiting between the sun and the planet (though that 'sun' still looks more like a gas giant to me), and there is also a ring wrapped around the room. I believe they are the same ring from different perspectives.

The larger ring displays the surface in detail; if you look closely you can see water and islands/continents on the inner surface, and the entire ring is rotating fairly quickly. Within that ring is a view of the star system, planet, etc.


Chris Butcher <cbutcher@hermes.otago.ac.nz> writes:

Couldn't help noticing Mark Bassett pointing out that we're not all seeing the same thing when we look at the pics from the Halo movie. He's quite right, for a very simple reason.

The thing is, the Halo / the ring / Big Dumb Object appears _twice_ in the control room. It seems pretty obvious to me that there are two separate holograms in that control room. You can see this best by looking at Peter Streicker's submission (the Control Room picture).

First, in the middle there's a scale model of the planetary system that the Halo is part of. There's a big grey planetoid, with a much smaller blue-grey planetoid orbiting it (the simulation is moving very fast, as you can see if you watch the first few seconds of the movie). The Halo is present roughly halfway between the two, in what looks like the stable L1 Lagrangian point.

Secondly, there's a much closer view of the Halo. This hologram is about eight or ten marine-heights across, and is wrapped around the outside of the planetary simulation. You can see the top section of the ring at the top of the picture, behind the Bungie logo... it goes all the way around below the platform that the Marine's standing on, and is slowly rotating clockwise with a period of about 90 seconds, I'd estimate.

Another point... Brymen pointed out the article at CNN which says

"Halo takes place on an artificial Ringworld-style planet orbiting a gas giant in another system" ...

so the greyish-orange object in the middle of the planetary-system must be this gas giant. The rough 10,000 mile diameter estimate of the Halo may not square with this, because if the simulation's to scale then that would make the gas giant (which is depicted as roughly 20 times the size of the Halo) 200,000 miles in diameter or roughly twice the diameter of Jupiter (140,000km). But then again, who says gas giants can't be bigger than Jupiter? Plus there are a lot of fudge factor calculations in this guesstimate. :)


Martin Thorne <mthorne@gpu.srv.ualberta.ca> writes:

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the hologram in the control room of the Halo trailer/demo, so I thought I'd just add my two cents to the huge inundation of email you must be getting these days.

The control room has a large rotating ring with detailed features that *might* be terrain. This ring surrounds what is apparently a star and an orbiting planet. Between the star and the planet is a small ring, at a Lagrange point. Various people have expressed the opinion that the Halo is either the large ring around the star and planet, or the small ring in orbit between the star and planet.

Why can't it be both?

If you were designing a map for a ringworld, It would make sense to present it on a ring, right? It's not exactly something that lends itself well to a flat representation. (neither does a spherical world, but hey) In the middle of such a map, however, there would be a great deal of empty, leftover space. Why not fill this area with a small diagram of the ring's position in a star system? That's what I think this is. Two maps in one. A large, detailed map of the ring's terrain and major features, running around a smaller map of the surrounding star system.

Nice elucidations. If the Halo control room is an example of the type of environments we can expect in Halo then this game is going to one beautiful experience. :-)


The game news site Sharkey Extreme posted this yesterday:

Halo is a third person combat game where you are a military recon unit of the fledgling human empire. Chased by aliens, you land on a gigantic alien-made ring world much like that of Larry Niven's Ringworld novels. The construct encircles a star with a gravity effect gained through centripetal force pushing you into the inside of the spinning ring.

"The construct encircles a star..." Oh well... ;-)


Tyson Green (aka Ferrex) has posted a higher quality Halo movie at his Halo page. It weighs in at just over 18MBs. While it's the same movie that Gamespot offers it's a larger screen format and the sound is infinitely better. Apparently the original soundtrack has been overwritten with TotalAudio's recently released Halo MP3. You can grab it at

http://core.gamestats.com/files/Halo_Big.mov

Well worth downloading folks.


Update #2 (3.20 pm Eastern Time)

Joshua Inglima <jinglima@thinkpos.com> writes concerning the position of the ring construct:

If you watch the shadows [outside] , you will notice that the star is definitively on one side of the ring, otherwise, as previously mentioned, the shadows would be at "high noon." The kicker is when you see the planet in the sky. It's on the other side of the ring! The final few second of the clip with the Marine waving the Bungie flag shows this the best. You can see his shadow going towards the planet, and clearly see the ring's continuing surface is between star and planet.


Mark Levin <mglevin@students.uiuc.edu< writes:

The estimate of the ring's rotational period is probably not accurate for the ring as a whole. Assuming I remember the formulae correctly, if the ring is really rotating once every 90 seconds and is really 10,000 miles wide, it will produce a centripetal force of over 4,000 gravities, which is ludicrous for a life-sustaining world. If the Halo really rotates every 90 seconds and has a centripetal gravity of 1G (9.8 m/s) then it's only about 4 kilometers wide. A 10,000-mile ring would have to rotate once every 96 minutes to maintain 1G of centripetal force. Therefore, all components of the simulation are greatly accelerated.


July 30, 1999


Update #1 (8.20 am Eastern Time)

Halo's world horizontal or vertical? Peter Streicker <momar@home.com> sent in a very elaborate description of the "ancient ring construct". Check out Peter's second Halo submission.


Centrifugal or centripetal? Kenny Kay <ken@avara.net> writes concerning Mark Levin's submission yesterday.

If the action takes place on the *inner ring* with the sky towards the "center" of the halo, then it's -centrifugal- force that's keeping the feet of our characters on the ground. Centripetal force in the halo (impossible) would draw all the characters upwards toward the center rather than away. Remember, in a centrifuge the samples are spun down until the particles are at the bottom.


Update #2 (2.00 pm Eastern Time)

Centrifugal or centripetal? Great response to this one! Here are just a few. Bill Moore <moorew@aii.edu> writes:

Mark Levin posted to your page that with the ring spinning at 1rot/90seconds, there would be a ludicrous amount of gravity produced through the centripetal force... Was he taking into consideration the immense gravitational effect of the gas giant, which is supposedly twice as massive as jupiter?? Jupiter has a solid core of about 15-20 earth masses, with jupiter itself being twice as massive as all the planets in our solar system combined, who's to say that this gas giant doesn't have a 4,000 earth mass core?

BTW: Halo's force IS indeed centripetal not centrifugal, since, centrifugal force is an imaginary psuedo-force, and is just the feeling of being pulled down because of centripetal forces. The only real force here is the ring pushing up on the people in the ring which is centripetal.


Mark Bassett <markb@iisc.co.uk> writes:

I'm really enjoying the current discussion of Halo's physics; with luck this will turn put to be a useful contribution.

Looking at Peter Streicker's diagrams, I'd say that the Halo is vertical. In the figure labelled "Ring Axis 2" you can see that from a horizontal Halo you would never be able to see the equator of the planet, as the ring itself would be in the way. But if the Halo were vertical you could see from below the planets equator all the way to the pole on the other side - which is pretty much what you get in the movie.

Although you can see through the centre of the Halo in the control room, I think that's because we're looking down on the system from an angle; if the resolution were slightly better the Halo would look elliptical in that shot, not circular.

Not that I'm completely happy with the control room sequence though - shouldn't the Lagrangian point be much nearer the moon? Either that, or the moon is really heavy!

The centrifugal/centripetal debate is amusing, and I'm sure Mark Levin will defend himself. But the force applied to the Halo's inhabitants really is centripetal. If it wasn't, they'd crash through the Halo and out into space in a straight line! (Remember things don't like to move in orbits - it takes a force to pull, or in this case push, them into it.)


Mark Levin <mlevin@giss.nasa.gov> writes:

Kenny Kay is correct that the Halo would pull objects towards its center, however this is done by centripetal force. Centrifugal force is the reaction to centripetal force, the force used by rotational gravity. When an object is spun in a circle (or an object stands on a rotating ring), its velocity is always at a tangent to the circle, along the edge. If let go, it would fly out in a straight line, so something must hold it in the circle. This is centripetal force, the force aimed towards the center of the circle to keep the spinning object in a circular path. On the Halo, the force is applied by the inside of the ring towards the center. Centrifugal force is the equal and opposite reaction of the spinning object against the centripetal force, a force aimed away from the center as the object resists the centripetal force's altering of its velocity. As the Halo rotates, a human on the inner surface would feel as if the centrifugal force or gravity was trying to pull him into the ground, but what's actually happening is that centripetal force is trying to pull the ground up through him and his mass is resisting.


Tom Bridge <Tom_Bridge@edelman.com> writes:

I don't know if it's my public school education betraying me, or just my bad memory, but I think that the force that would hold someone to the inside of the ring would be Centripetal. My physics teacher would always say "just cause they call it a centrifuge doesn't mean any motion like that is centrifugal." Might be worth a call to a real physicist.


Patrick Gierke <gierkeNOSPAM@delaware.infi.net> writes:

It seems that some people are getting confused between centripedal and centrifugal forces. With the hope of clearing a few things up, I'd like to throw my two cents in. I hope it's accurate, otherwise my AP Physics course was for nothing.

The big problem with centrifugal force is that it has no source. Forces must have sources. As I stand on the Halo, which is spinning at 28,000 mph, there isn't anything to deliver a center-hating force. Sure, the air is pushing on you, but I don't really think that this would account for the 1g-like effect that we are dealing with. So, without anything to apply a centrifugal force, we are left with the centripedal force. This is a very real and important force when dealing with rotational kinematics. But what is the source of the centripedal force, and why doesn't it feel like I'm being pulled away from the surface of the halo? Well, the source is the ground you are standing on. It is actually pushing you up, towards the center of the Halo. If it didn't, you would fall right through, and be ejected out into space. As for why it doesn't feel like you are being pulled up into the center of motion, well, you can thank Newton for that. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, unless acted upon by an outside force. Your body *really* wants to stay in its current vector of motion, which is a strait line tangental to the Halo at about 28,000 mph. The only reason why you don't go flying off is because the Halo is fighting that motion.If the Halo were to all of a sudden dissappear from beneath your feet, you would instantly go flying away, much like a slingshot. So, what's happening is a lot like what happens when you jump off of a table.When you hit the ground, it applies a force against you. This force fights your vector of motion, compresses you, and gives the impression of "g force". On the Halo, this sort of reaction happens continously, as the vector of motion and the vector that the force is applied in are always perpendicular to each other (this is actually what accounts for the rotational motion). This means that they can never "cancel" each other out.

This all may seem very complex, and it actually is (it took about a month and a half for my class to cover the chapter on it!). The explanation would work a lot better with diagrams and Q&A, but, what can you do. This is but a lowly text-only email.

To sum it all up: Centrifugal Force doesn't really apply to rotational motion, and it is more like a description of a force that just happens to vector away from the center. Centripedal Force is the force that keeps us in a rotational motion, and it also gives us that feeling of g force.


Update #3 (6.00 pm Eastern Time)

Some hard facts just in from the man who knows! Nathan Bitner (Producer and Creative Developer of Halo) writes concerning Mark Bassett's comments earlier today:

From: "Nathan" <nathan@bungie.com>
To: <markb@iisc.co.uk>
Cc: "Hamish Sinclair" <Hamish.Sinclair@tcd.ie>
Subject: Lagrange points
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 16:35:42 -0500
Organization: Bungie Software
X-Priority: 3

Mark,

I was reading your comment on the story page - and, yes, unless the moon is very heavy as compared to the planet, IN THE SET-UP THAT HAS BEEN SUGGESTED (I am neither denying nor confirming that this is the game's actual set-up), the "demented space cheerio" should be much closer to the moon and trailing it a 60 degree angle (between the planet's central axis and the moon's central axis).

A little further reading on the subject will also reveal that the cheerio itself, as you guys are fond of calling it ;) should be perpendicular to the line that would connect the axes of the planet and moon. It's unclear to me whether in Mr. Streicker's diagrams, that would be represented as either horizontal or vertical.

Nathan Bitner
Producer, Creative Developer, and Part-Time Astronomer - halo
Bungie Software

Looks like we're all going to have to do some reading. If people can come up with a good list of web pages on this whole subject I'll post them here. For example here is a page on Lagrangian Points.


July 31, 1999


Update #1 (3.50 am Eastern Time)

Timothy Collett <tcollett@hamilton.edu> writes:

I know everyone has been going on about centripetal force (a force pulling in towards the center) and centrifugal force (a silly name given to one manifestation of the law of inertia) keeping people on the Halo, but why can't it just be gravity keeping them there? I mean, if it's got an atmosphere, it's surely got enough mass to have enough gravitational force to keep people on it it could keep people on even without atmosphere (see the Moon, for instance). The only problem could come in the middle, where the gravity from the other side might counteract the gravity from your side somewhat. In this case, if the ring is spinning, then inertia (or centrifugal force) could keep people from floating off if it was spinning fast enough. If this analysis is not correct, then I'm really in trouble, being the son of a physics professor :-)


Kevin Goetz <Kgmoome@aol.com> has posted a short interview with Matt Soell (Bungie's Director of Customer Support). You can read it here. Not easy to get answers out of Matt. ;-)


Jesse Tribby <JesterIl@aol.com> writes concerning the Halo movie:

...as our friend flies off in the alien vessel ( about 2:22 into the trailer ) One can see a bridge and a ridge in the backround. Guess who's back there still driving around? The guy in the jeep (though he is only a few pixels), but where is he going???


Joseph Bartlett <avcomlab@paradise.net.nz> also writes concerning the Halo movie:

If you look carefully at the background as the marine is stealing the aircraft (2:13 until 2:15(2:20-2:23 for you people with the extra 7 seconds)) you can see an object falling from the 'sky' towards the ring. As to what is could be? I have no idea :)


Update #2 (10.00 am Eastern Time)

David Cornwell <goldragonne@earthlink.net> writes:

The W'rcacnter groans under his slab.
<Aye Mak Sicur (Terminal 1: 1st Message)>

[I was there with the Angel at the tomb]
<First Cortana email>

"There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it."
<Matthew 28:2>

Question: doesn't the reference to the W'rkncacnter sound like it is in a grave, or tomb?


Update #3 (2.20 pm Eastern Time)

Dan Rudolph <7thFace@bungie.net> writes:

The following comes from a post by Mitch Crane to comp.sys.mac.games.action. It is attributed to a recent Gamespot article, which is at their website at http://www.gamespot.com/features/macworld/index.html ** Interesting quote:

"'Once you're comfortable with a PC, there's no reason to use a Mac,' said a top member of Bungie, who asked that the quote not be attributed."

That's exactly what I'm getting at when I say the ease of use difference between Macs and PCs is not that great. If it were as bad as some Mac fanatics believe you'd never get comfortable with it. Anyone who is capable of reading this is capable of using a PC quite happily.

Also interesting that he didn't want to be identified. I know how he feels. The heretic. The blasphemer.

They referred to halo as Bungie's first PC to Mac port (as opposed to Mac to PC). Does anyone know if this is correct?

**

Can you confirm/deny this? It seems to me any top employee of Bungie would have to have been there before Myth, making them a long-time Mac user.

I note some discussion about this on the halo.bungie.org forums. See the thread entitled "Can we get some confirmation on this?".


Mark Levin <mglevin@uiuc.edu> writes:

Timothy Collett doesn't have to hide from his father, he's completely right, except he's using the wrong facts. Gravity would be acceptable if people were standing on the outside of the Halo (and the Halo was a lot more massive), but if we're standing on the *inside* then we have to take into account the little-known fact that gravity inside a hollow sphere (or a ring) is zero. The strong gravity from whatever point on the edge is nearest to you is canceled out by the combined weak gravity of the other side of the ring. So the only force acting on objects on the inside of the ring is centripetal.

For your list of relevant pages, basic proof of this can be found here:

http://www.unb.ca/physics/1940/numerical.object.inside.earth.htm


Halo submissions for Aug - Sept 1999


Copyright & Other Legal Information

The names Pathways Into Darkness, Marathon, Marathon 2: Durandal, Marathon Infinity, Myth: The Fallen Lords, Myth 2: Soulblighter, Halo and Bungie are property of Bungie Software Products Corporation, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999. All uses of these names within this document are assumed to be trademarked.

This page is Copyright © 1999, 2000 by Hamish Sinclair. All Rights Reserved. You may duplicate, transmit, and save this document as long as it remains intact with this copyright notice.

Page created and maintained by Hamish Sinclair <Hamish.Sinclair@tcd.ie>

Halo animation graphic courtesy of Matthew Lewis Carroll Smith <matthew>

Last updated Mar 22, 2000


Marathon's Story Page