Bungie signing off....

The Infinity project was started back in January, a few months after Marathon 2 was completed. Eric Klein, Bungie's Director of New Business Development and Alexander Seropian (the Prez) came up with the idea for Infinity. It was supposed to be a slam dunk. In other words, it was supposed to take just a few months. But as time went on, the complexity of the project became evident. When the project got started, I began visiting Bungie on a regular basis. At that time I was running a successful CD-ROM magazine called Inside Mac Games. Anyway, I began sitting in on meetings about Infinity and before I knew it, I became heavily involved. I knew I couldn't work for Bungie and on my magazine, so I handed over the magazine to friend and on March 15th, 1996, became a Bungie employee.

When I took over the project, Infinity was coming along, albeit slowly. Greg Kirkpatrick (who used to work for Bungie and had a hand in creating Marathon 1 and Marathon 2) was contracted to do the 20 level scenario for Marathon Infinity. Jason Regier, one of Bungie's new programmers, was given the task of making Vulcan, our internal map making tool, a makeover. Michael Hanson was also contracted to create Anvil, a shapes, sounds, and physics editor.

Infinity originally was slated to be an add-on to Marathon 2. But soon we all came to realize that Marathon Infinity should stand on its own, so the add-on idea was scrapped. One of the first things I did when I came on board was to meet with all the members involved with Infinity. I soon realized that Vulcan would be our biggest problem. Ryan Martell wrote Vulcan for Marathon 1 and 2 but it was never intended to be commercially available. Although it worked, it was nasty. It had a lot of bugs, crashed a lot, did stupid things, and was visually very ugly. So, Jason R, Jonas, and I sat down and formulated a plan to make Vulcan.....presentable. We redesigned just about everything from an interface standpoint. We knew right then and there that Infinity would take longer than we expected. At this point I was hoping for a June release.

Soon after I began, Greg called me and was worried about Infinity. Both of us had been reading the newsgroups and it seemed everyone and their mother had an idea about how to make Infinity the next Quake killer. Well, that just wasn't going to happen. All the original programmers were working on the "next" game. Infinity did not have a programmer to its name, so we couldn't make any dramatic changes like bridges, etc. It was frustrating. We all wanted to make Infinity the best Marathon yet, but from a programming standpoint, we couldn't do it. Anyway, Greg and I decided we should try to do the best with what we had. With Rob's help, we came up with an idea for a new gun. Rob quickly made the new gun and it rocked! Now we were cooking!

Right around May things started to come together. Vulcan, now called Forge, was getting better by the day, but it still had a long way to go. Alex Rosenberg started working on fixing some bugs for Marathon Infinity like the microphone bug and adding resolution switching. In the meantime, Greg was still working on the scenario and Michael Hanson on Anvil, another complicated tool. May and June dragged on. Come July things began to look better. Forge was coming farther along but still had a few fatal bugs. Greg was still working on the scenario, trying to finish the maps. He originally planned on 20 but ended up with about 30 levels. Randy Reddig, one of Greg's co-workers, decided one night in July to redo the water texture collection. We all thought the original water collection in M2 sucked, so he worked on it. The end result was great, Randy did a great job.

Toward the end of July, we started to work on the demo. We wanted to get one out for Macworld Expo in Boston in early August, so we worked feverishly on it. Unfortunately, we missed Macworld but we did ship the demo on the last day of Macworld. The response to the demo was great. A lot of people like the M1-like levels and the new textures.

Soon after Randy decided to redo all the textures in Marathon Infinity. By early August, Forge was about done. Thanks to the Forge beta testers, we caught just about every bug.

Toward the end of August, all the pieces were finally coming together. Anvil was just about done. But we soon decided we needed to add a few features to Anvil, so Michael went to work on those. Greg was done with all the maps, but it had to go through rigorous testing. This took more time.

About the only problem we ran into was the Infinity box. As you can see, it uses this metallic paper that's extremely difficult to print on. Although we were done with the box in late August, it took a few weeks to get the film right. This bought us some time to fix a few more things with Infinity. Michael worked during the last week to add a patcher to Anvil so you could create patchers to distribute on the net. Greg worked on fixing the last few map bugs and I worked on fixing any problems with the net levels. Alex Rosenberg fixed the last remaining bugs in the Marathon Infinity app.

So, here we are. It's been a long road but we finally made it. So what do I think of Infinity? To be honest, I think it's the best marathon yet. The levels in the scenario rock. The net levels (all 20 or so of them) are a lot of fun and Forge and Anvil are awesome. I hope you enjoy this last Marathon as much as I have in creating it.

I'd like to close by saying thanks to a few people:

Greg Kirkpatrick for always listening to my suggestions. You did a great job!
Randy Reddig for redoing the textures and creating some kick ass levels.
Jason Regier for doing an incredible job on Forge.
Michael Hanson for working overtime on Anvil
Jason Jones and Alex Seropian for having faith
Eric Klein for his undivided support
Alex Rosenberg for teaching me a few thing here and there
Doug Zartman for helping me out with the manual and just about everything else. You rule dude!
Mark and Rob for their artistic insight
Jonas Eneroth for doing the Forge and Strategy Guide
Jay Barry for helping with the beta testers
Matt Soell for the Troubleshooting stuff
Ryan Martell for THE BOAT
Pam Klier for keeping us sane
...and all the hard-working beta testers, we couldn't have done it without you!

- Tuncer Deniz, Chicago, IL, September 17, 1996


i hate pagers. yes, they might be one of those wonderful modern conveniences that makes our pedestrian lives just that much easier, but they do cause problems. take this morning for instance; only 5 minutes ago. the pager desk dance. a nihilistic drone twice as annoying as any alarm clock could ever be. it woke me from a dream. in my blind stumble to kill it i stepped on a leg that was not quite as awake as i was. thank goodness for piles of clothes.

but enough about that. if it wasn't for that random page from the upper west side in january, i would have never had the chance to work on marathon. a big thanks to my friend emily for hitting me over the head with the proverbial frying pan by saying "212 is new york. not dc, man!"

pfhat props to all the pfhac kids who sent me mail. thanks. :)

a little note about route 66: its name has several connotations. it was made entirely on a powerbook, in a car, on a train, in a lodge recovering from snowboarding.

its name has nothing to do with the highway. it's named after a coffee. route 66 is a slightly bitter blend of coffee beans, a french roast. mmm, caffeine.

speaking of caffeine (sp? it's far too early for me), i must go find some.

thanks to jason titus, ken arneson, charles woolverton, dan avery, chris geisel, david longo, tuncer deniz, and greg kirkpatrick. you give new life to the word "patience."


ydnar :)

randy reddig washington, dc september 17, 1996 11:22 am



So you found the secret message, eh? Congratulations. Remember, if the calendar on the wall says it's 1997 or later, zillions of people have already seen this, so don't post it all over AOL or the usual newsgroups, or you'll look silly. Just looking out for your interests again. We realize you have a rep to protect.

Thanks to Sean Cummings, Amy Dew, Lauren Gonzalez and Hector Magaña for favors best left unmentioned until the various statutes of limitations expire.

Thanks also to my family and all the cool people I work with. (Yeah, this whole file is a big self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing ego trip. Big deal.)

And howdy-do to you, you little ResEdit wizards.


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