Via @Wikibruce on Twitter: (Mar 19 3:10pm)
Posts Tagged ‘halo’
On September 4, Toronto became ground zero for a Covenant attack on a UNSC control point, just as was warned in the Xbox News video series (which has since come to a disturbing end).
Teams of 6 troops marched onto the (laser) battlefield to ward off Covenant attackers and defend the UNSC obelisk. Presented with a Halo: Reach t-shirt and lanyard, they were then ushered into a tent where they could train on Halo: Reach’s multiplayer firefight.
People who had pre-ordered their copy of Halo: Reach were granted the privilege to switch sides on the field and play as an enemy Covenant again the UNSC onslaught.
- Halo: Reach drops September 14, 2010.
- For more high quality photos from the events, visit Flickr.
- For more details about the viral components leading up to the Toronto and Vancouver UNSC events, visit halo.wikibruce.com.
Halo: Reach Toronto Control Point Defense community event from Xbox Canada
Don’t forget – Remember Reach…
Via @Wikibruce on Twitter: (Sep 1 3:16pm)
Perhaps this article would be better entitled: Why I love Halo: An Epic Analysis.
I’m not a Halo fanatic…relatively speaking. I’m not shy about being an enormous fan of the Halo franchise, but I don’t own a Master Chief costume, nor have I ever worn one. I don’t know every little intricate detail of the Halo universe. I can’t ramble off stats, ID numbers, the name and rank of every known character. I don’t play the video game most of the day, every day, and it’s a fat chance I’d “pwn” anyone in multiplayer these days if I did. At all. I’m what you might consider a discoverer, or a story enthusiast.
I was an early adopter of the original Xbox back in 2001, due solely to previews of Halo: Combat Evolved. At that point, I was a gamer. My friends at first were annoyed with my constant raving about Halo, yet many eventually caved and began playing as well – and soon, much more than me. My game-playing fanaticism and multiplayer skill slowly faded as I was drawn further into the mystery, the story world that had been created by Bungie Studios.
I would not hesitate in the slightest to refer to the Halo franchise as “Epic”.
Quite often I compare the potential scope of this universe to that of Star Trek or Star Wars. To me, for a story to be epic, it must have potential to become a ‘part of the whole’, a story told within what feels to be a much, much larger untold story. For an epic to be successful in my opinion, it needs to employ a certain formula. It needs first to be told from the perspective of an individual, or providing only a very small portion of the larger picture, and still make a personal connection with the audience. If done right, this story alone would capture its audience.
Consider recent entertainment franchises like Terminator, The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, or even the Chronicles of Riddick. Each begins by telling a self-contained story from a single perspective, while leaving many questions unanswered in the end. Sarah Connor has to survive against a deadly killing machine from the future. Neo strives desperately to discover and understand what the Matrix is. The little hobbits in peaceful Hobbiton have their worlds turned upside by an unknown, evil force. Harry potter learns about a strange, magical, hidden world. The convict Riddick uses his extreme skills to survive and escape a deadly planet. Each of these tease at a larger universe with untold stories, but begin with an engaging tale of discovery or exploration of something unknown.
Enter Master Chief, Spartan John-117.
Presuming one knows nothing of the previous, indirectly related Marathon titles – with Halo, we begin from the Chief’s perspective, opening up not only in the middle of a war we know nothing about, but making that first, eerie discovery of a foe that threatens much more than we could imagine (I will never forget watching for the first time the cinematic cutscene in which the Chief discovers the Flood). Already, the premise is clear that this isn’t just a self-contained video game story, but actually only a very small window into a universe filled with history and a future, conflict, and characters that truly feel as if they have backstories and full lives.
In an attempt to cover quite a number of running projects and games, here are a few launches, news items, and announcements to pore over.
Akoha – Come play it forward!
Self-labeled as a “social reality game”, Akoha is physical card-based game with ‘act-of-kindness’ missions to carry out on or with friends. You can get cards by buying decks, or by being given a card by someone who just completed a task. The visual explanation explains how players registered at akoha.com can see each card’s history of good deeds (including video blogs, testimonies, etc), who’s done what, when and where, and players can also earn karma points for carrying out these tasks. With enough karma you can begin creating other missions for people to carry out. Akoha is currently in a beta testing phase, but it’s a “big, bold and crazy kind of idea”, and it’s Canadian!
Ruby’s Bequest is a new game from Institute for the Future telling the story of the (fictional) town Deepwell and its residents, and providing “a unique immersive experience in which thousands of people will help forecast the future of caring in the United States.”. Sponsored by United Cerebral Palsy and AARP, the game will play similarly to World Without Oil, where 7 years will pass between the month starting from launch, March 9th to the April 10th conclusion. Find out more information and join in at RubysBequest.org
Terminator: Connor Chronicles or Salvation?
Who’s Watching the Watchmen?
Much has been revealed since TheNewFrontiersman.net was discovered and its contents opened. The New Frontiersman, reporting on ‘hero’-related news in a very mid-20th century manner, also has a twitter account you can follow, a Youtube channel to watch, a Flickr account to view, and a newsfeed to read. Content galore! A true alternate reality – Nixon on Mt. Rushmore?
Watchmen is slated for release March 6.
FEAR 2 Level III Testing
FEAR 2′s viral campaign recently executed a live event in New York City, with the Armacham Mobile FEAR Lab experience. Silver case recipient J.C Hutchins was on the scene to record the report the entire experience. Read about and watch his test and experience at JCHutchins.net. Visit Armacham.com (don’t be afraid!) and see what upcoming dates are listed on the calendar… FEAR 2: Project Origin is slated for release on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, February 10th.
Russian spies, conspiracies, sci-fi, gorgeous women, it’s all here: visit MIR-12.com to find out what happened to Natasha Norvikov, and follow the ongoing investigations. If you can read Russian, you’ll have a much easier time! Raven software is releasing their first person shooter Singularity on Xbox360, PS3, and PC soon.
Halo Mysteries Return:
Mbaraki.2552 – Reported yesterday here at Wikibruce, new mysterious content has appeared in Bungie’s weekly updates in the Halo 3: ODST sections. The latest insert: “IDENT PROC 13262.0 MBARAKI.2552″ appeared in Jan 30th’s news.
* B.Net group Compound Intelligence discussion (membership req’d)
The Way Their World Ended – a twitter account named intimation, believed to be run by a form of AI, made contact with some people earlier this year. A dream-style puzzle was solved leading to the website thewaytheirworldended.com with weekly updates. Explicit references have been made to Halo, and past ARGs Iris, and I Love Bees. Speculation is mixed as to whether this is official or a grassroots ARG.
* Unfiction discussion
More Mirror’s Edge?
Hot on the heals of EA’s release of Mirror’s Edge, a new mystery has arisen hinting at an upcoming Mirror’s Edge 2 (confirmed to eventually become a trilogy). Pirandello/Kruger teases a red door… which soon after led to Newstream Energy. The investigation is ongoing!
Grassroots / other
Are you 23?
Disney’s launched a countdown of their own, located at Disney.com/23, for March 10, 2009. What’s so special about the number 23? (Besides Jim Carrey’s movie of the same name) Speculation, as it pertains to Disney, makes note of points such as Disney’s founding in 1923, or Steve Jobs’ purchase of Pixar in 1986 (23 years ago). The leading speculation which seems to be gaining ground is that it’s related to the March launch of Disney’s “Club 23″ (or D-23?) program. A revealing post on a Disney site has since been removed, but you can read the message here.
Ice Shock – Descendant
M.G.Harris was fairly open and public about an upcoming ARG for her book “Ice Shock“, which I reported on via ARGN.com back in November. She has now revealed the name: The Descendant, in a recent blog post. You can watch a 60-second trailer for the upcoming ARG at TheMGHarris.com fan site. Harris has slated its launch for March this year.
- Unfiction discussion (are things already under way?)
Yellow Curtain returns!
The Yellowcurtain wiki was recently updated with the news: “ATTENTION: Countdown for Yellow Curtain Episode 3 is ON!” While Episode 3 was apparently scheduled for launch January 15th, it may have been pushed a few weeks. Visit Yellowcurtain.com, watch anashel’s channel, or join the Facebook group for updates.
Suspicious content in two of Bungie’s recent news updates have started the rumour mill turning once again.
January 24 Update
First line in the section titled “Halo 3: ODST”:
IDENT PROC 13217.0 MBARAKI.2552
January 31 Update
Again, in the section titled “Halo 3: ODST”:
IDENT PROC 13262.0 MBARAKI.2552
What’s going down in Mbaraki, and what do 13217.0 and 13262.0 represent?
These updates are much in line with Bungie’s style. Other instances similar to this occurred surrounding ‘The Superintendent’ (a series of posts by a mysterious username on B.Net, and Weekly Update news inserts by the AI seen in the full ODST trailer) and ‘The Smuggler’ (Weekly Update news inserts before the release of the Halo 3 map Cold Storage)
- Visit the Bungie/Halo 3/viral wiki at halo.wikibruce.com
- Join in ARG specific community discussion at args.bungie.org
- Members of the Bungie.net group Compound Intelligence can join the discussion here.
A mysterious Bungie.net user named IIIIlll or otherwise known as “The Superintendent” posted two news article recently, including segments of audio log transcripts from ONI (UNSC Office of Naval Intelligence). Of course, the community analyzed the logs to no end. But this latest update had everyone refreshing bungie.net’s homepage seconds before the counter hit zero.
The Superintendent has a history of cryptic, vague posts at Bungie.net’s forums. Recently, Bungie had planned to unveil an annoucement, but Microsoft, being their publisher, pulled the plug on their plans just before it was to happen at E3. That didn’t set too well. So this countdown was eagerly anticipated, to say the least.
On hitting zero, a news article was posted including links to a teaser trailer for what is believed to be a new Bungie game. Not a very ARGish result in itself, but the trailer does contain many, many, many scenes and frames with text and numbers for people to document and analyze. Speculation and theories are already running rampant about the time period and the visual content of the trailer. Suffice to say, The Superintendent AI has the starring role in the trailer.
The trailers can be downloaded here:
I also managed to export a full frame-by-frame compilation from the high definition trailer, and uploaded the significant frames with visual/transcribable content to flickr, available here
Of significant note are a few frames bearing resemblance to some teaser images posted to bungie.net over the past months of the Superintendent. Mainly, one phrase has been kicking up a dust storm. Reported at ComputerAndVideoGames.com, the phrase “Maddie, where are you?” appears to be possibly be connected to the (very real) search for a (very real) missing girl. A post by Shishka, a Bungie.net “overlord”, indicates it’s “an unfortunate coincidence, but a coincidence nonetheless“, confirmed by Sketchfactor of Bungie. The phrase was connected to a bebo.com profile with a title of the same phrase, raising awareness for Maddie.
Quite a coincidence it is!
Current speculation is that the trailer is taking place between Halo 2 and Halo 3, from the perspective of New Mombasa as the Covenant Prophet Regret opens his slipstream portal in its skies (recall in the game, the Covenant ship exited slipspace bringing with it tatters of New Mombasa buildings and general destruction – her we get to see how that immediately left the city). It appears that the Superintendent is an Urban AI located at New Mombasa – perhaps much like a Halo Wall-E!
A date also appears in mangled text in later frames – 01/06/09 – which may refer to January 6, or June 1, 2009. There’s also a set of numbers that resembles a 1-800 number that appears, but it resolves to a real bank and may likely also just be a coincidence.
Who, or what, is “Vergil”?
And what’s special about “Level 9″?
With so much content, much of it random and undoubtedly insignificant, there’s probably going to be a lot more coincidental connections reported while the trailer is ripped to shreads by the community. That said, if you still haven’t watched the trailer, GO NOW
So this is in all likelihood not another ARG promotion, but for any Halo fan, there’s certainly more Haloverse campaign goodness on its way… PREPARE TO DROP
- Frame-by-frame discussion can be found at carnage.bungie.org or at args.bungie.org
- A detailed analysis by Pailkilla05 is readable at podtacular
- An easier Youtube version of the trailer is available
- Visit halo.wikibruce.com to read up on Iris and other recent ARGish/viral campaigns in the Haloverse.
Reports of new content have been spreading over the webz like wildfire. As far as I can tell, the spark was lit when a news article was posted at bungie.net’s Compound Intelligence group, reporting that ilovebees.com content had been updated. It was redacted quickly, once it had been noted that the content was in fact the same. But the flame had already caught, and discussion continues, and news is spreading.
Hate to break it to everyone, but ilovebees.com hasn’t changed.
Now, there may truth to the rumour that Bungie may be doing something on July 14th, the beginning of the E3 Expo, as per this exchange between Brian and Luke of Bungie in their latest podcast:
Brian: Isn’t there something going on on July 14th or something like that?
Luke: Yeah, around then.
Brian: Somehow that’s sticking in my head for some reason. Guess we’ll have to see.
Luke: Yep, we’ll just have to be patient. Who could say?
However, even after all this, no – ilovebees.com hasn’t changed. WAV files, audio, images, all are just as they’d been left – and still counting down to November 9th, 2552.
(now just my luck, 42 will come along and update the website :P)
That said, mark off July 14th (and July 17th, for that matter), and watch for… something.
UPDATE: The 1019Foxfm.net countdown has been adjusted to August 7th, and is no longer indicating July 14th.
The 2008 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival began Monday in France, and awards have already been announced in many categories. Yesterday, the Cyber Lions category was addressed, and some familiar faces were rewarded with some hefty recognition!
The Halo 3 “Believe” site is the interactive companion to the global advertising campaign which positioned Master Chief as the greatest of Earth’s heroes. Utilizing sophisticated motion control cameras and digital compositing, the 1200 square foot diorama was transformed into a fully immersive experience, giving users the ability to interact with and explore the elaborate monument to humanity’s greatest battle as well as a wealth of other content.
(Halo 3: Believe – view the site)
Secondly, 42 Entertainment (www.42entertainment.com) received two awards for their Year Zero Alternate Reality Game with Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails: the Grand Prix for ”Viral Advertising” and a Silver for “Interactive Campaigns”
The ambitious Year Zero alternate reality game (ARG), a work of cross-media art involving websites, emails, phone calls, album packaging, tour t-shirts, thumb drives, music videos, murals, and live concert events with the new music of Nine Inch Nails at its core. Playing out over 10 weeks, the Year Zero ARG engaged over 2.5M participants. It started with a message hidden in the back of a concert t-shirt that lead to online websites – ultimately over 29 websites discovered over several months, 7.5M page views, 7M forum postings, 2M phone calls and thousands of original art submissions.
(NIN: Year Zero – see the overview)
Congratulations 42 Entertainment and AKQA!