Over at bungie.net, SketchFactor has announced the three finalists in the America's Biggest Halo Fan contest Bungie were running in the lead up to the FanFest. The eventual winner will be announced at E3 where the videos will also be shown to FanFest attendees.
The Pillar of Art is an art contest in the traditional sense. There's some cold hard cash to be won as well as some very cool Bungie swag. So break out that sculptor's knife/paintbrush/modeler's knife/potter's wheel and get cracking!
I'm leaving in a few minutes to visit a friend who's turning 50 and is having a big party. He has his own Xbox but has never played Multiplayer, so I told him I'd bring mine along with some extra controllers and see if a bunch of us old male geeks could get into the swing of things.
From my point of view, Halo should absolutely be the surprise hit of the evening. We'll see though. When we were emailng back and forth about the party, I offer to bring my video projector, but he put the kibosh on that, implying it was overboard. OMG! :)
OK, here's a quickie report on what transpired:
First off, it was fun to see my friend who I hadn't seen in a few years, though we had stayed in touch via email and cellphone. He loves Halo, but only had one controller. He didn't even realize you could do coop play. The multiplayer option on the main screen implied to him standard LAN play, not coop play. Well, after playing a few rounds of Coop on T&R, he promised to buy another controller for either of his two boys to play with him next time.
He first showed me a savespot on T&R/Legendary that he himself has been stuck on for the longest time. It's right before you approach the transporter to the covie ship. The thing is, he checkpointed just as he was running between the two areas, as fresh elites and grunts had landed one side, and the battalion of covies were waiting on the other. He was down to 2 bars of health, and was carrying an empty sniper rifle and AR, and he had just picked up invisibility. Before I even saw the situation I told him I was sure that I could finish it for him.
Me and my big mouth...
About an hour later I was nowhere closer to finishing off the level, or even triggering the next checkpoint, which would be right before the 2 hunters come down from the ship! I tried everything, but it was one tough mutha of a situation to be in! The thing is, I knew it could be done, it would just take alot of patience and careful planning. Man, that was fun though... I love trying to beat the unbeatable.
Anyway, multiplayer was fun, although we never bothered to unpack my own Xbox. He has his house wired but there was never more than 4 folks interested in playing MP, and the other TV was upstairs, so it would've been a little frustrating since all these newbies needed tips on what to do. So we all played on a big Sony Wega TV he had.
Simply stated, I owned them over and over again. 2 of the players were my friend's sons. But one player was another adult that was an avid gamer. Had never played Halo but had heard alot about it. He did his best, and was getting into the swing of things. Actually came up with some good counter strats to mine on Blood Gulch CTF. I noticed that he would go straight for the sniper rifle, so I think he was trying to play like CS or Wolf: role-based FPS, but he quickly learned you could adopt any role you wanted. I think he was impressed at the end, though I could not help but school them all.
My friend and I kept playing coops, even after his party guests had left, so he was definitely gun-ho about the whole thing. I think I left around 2AM.
I had a great time, and even if all I contributed was a bunch of extra controllers, it was fun to watch someone else's addiction to Halo take hold again. :)
Some of the more hardcore Bungie fans down under have been putting out some very cool videos lately. Our brother site, HBO, has already highlighted their recent "Speed" video (Halo Done Quick style) but I noticed a few days ago that they had previously put out a Myth video that is equally as stunning. A blast of wight and satchel charges set to the tune of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture!
Their Crocodile Myth movie is listed here and is available in a 20mb and 9mb file size. You'll notice that there are plenty of other fine films available as well. I'm not sure which individuals are responsible for the movie, they did a fantastic job though.
Inky, the guy that runs the Crocodile Bungie website and 7th Column fanclub, has been instrumental in getting alot of Aussie Bungie fans to come together. I've also had the pleasure of meeting him and his family many moons ago when he visited the states here to attend a Macworld Expo. He's a great guy and I hope he and his mates down under continue to hoist the Bungie flag upside-down as it were. :)