Tag Archives: halo

Reclaimer As the Question

Over at “io9”:http://io9.com/358406/5-reasons-scifi-does-better-in-movies-than-in-tv, there’s an editorial about why science fiction does better in movies than in TV. Disregarding my own opinions on which is better and more enjoyable, this quote picked out of the list touches on my approach toward my “Reclaimer”:http://comic.shamuswrites.com comic:

bq. Joss Whedon famously said that a television show is a question, but a movie is an answer. That’s why Firefly spun out tons of mysteries, like what happened to River in her special school, or what was the deal with the Reavers. And Serenity, the movie based on the TV show, had a self-contained plot and answered all your lingering questions in the course of two-ish hours. TV shows, especially in this era of arc storytelling, spin out endless plots that reward obsessive viewers — and scare away casual ones.

Comic books are a lot like TV shows in that they drag out plots and sub-plots over an extended period of time, usually raising more questions than they answer. For those whose attention spans can handle that kind of lengthy story-telling, this is a lot of fun because you can mix intense action in with intricate storylines indefinitely.

This is pretty much the way I’m hoping to approach _Reclaimer_ – a lengthy storyline that presents plenty of action while raising lots and lots of questions. In the end, I expect to have something along the lines of a graphic novel with a story arc that’s been brought to a relatively firm conclusion. Whether or not I’ll continue into another story arc with the protagonist remains to be seen. Everyone who has been following the story so far seems to be enjoying it, so I suspect that a lot of that decision will be based on how much my readers want _Reclaimer_ to continue.

Reclaimer: Secrecy

“I love this”:http://halo.bungie.org/news.html?item=20941, because it’s exactly the right question to ask here.

My Halo-based comic “Reclaimer” continues today with more expatiation from Ferial. He is continuing to fill the Reclaimer in on the Viper Project. The question asked in the link above, just “[w]hat does Ferial know?” is one of the best questions that can be asked at this point. It is certain that he is telling less than he knows and that he knows less than he implies. But just how much _does_ he know, and what implications does that knowledge have?

As the writer some of this I know; some of it- well, some of it even _I’m_ going to have to wait and feel out and see what happens. Should be a nice adventure for all.

The Joy of Halo 3

I avoided Matchmaking in Halo 2 like the plague. I played a lot of Rumble Pit early on when I first got Xbox Live, and I’m sure that certainly helped me develop a lot of the necessary skills to be a somewhat competitive player. My favorite type of match to play, however, were custom games with friends. There were two reasons for this.

The first was that Matchmaking was rife with Timmies. For the uninitiated, a Timmy is a play – usually a child or adolescent – who, regardless of skill at the game, mouth of with words that would make a sailor blush, verbally abuse anyone and everyone around them, declare themselves video game gods when they are playing well and accusing everyone else of cheating when they don’t, and spend a large portion of their time teabagging the virtual corpses of their opponents – whether they were actually the one who defeated them in battle or not. The Timmies still exist in Halo 3 Matchmaking, of course. It’s just a lot easier to put the mute on them and to stick bullets into them.

The second was that I was never quite able to match up competitively with most of my opponents. In all my games of Rumble Pit, I can count on one hand the number of games I actually won. When playing with “my fellow Gunslingers”:http://tiedtheleader.com, I always felt like the dead-weight who was more of an impediment than a help. In Halo 3, I’m _very_ competitive, having achieved skill levels so far in the 18-19 range, where I never consistently made more than a 12 or 13 in Halo 2. I’m enjoying Halo 3 much more than Halo 2 – and for those who know me, they know how much I raved about Halo 2. The games seem much more balanced now, and I feel like I still have room to go up in skill points.

The game itself is visually and audibly stunning, taking advantage of the full processing power of the Xbox 360 to provide a cornucopia of delights. Forge is a beast, allowing you to customize maps to your heart’s content, and Saved Films, Screenshots, and File Share are revolutionary pleasures. I’ve joked in the past that Halo 3 is probably the most expensive video game to date, since many of us acquired an Xbox 360 for the sole purpose of playing this game. It’s no joke now, though. Halo 3 is worth every penny, and I look forward to many more hours of enjoying this game with my friends and the Halo community.

The Story That Drives the FPS

John Scalzi “points out on his blog”:http://scalzi.com/whatever/?p=18 that the Writers Guild of America has created a new award for videogame writing. This brings into sharp relief again one of the elements that has me so hooked on the Halo series.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m really not an FPS gamer, at least not as a rule. There are only two FPS games that I play with any regularity – Halo (duh) and Rainbow Six: Vegas. Before Halo, I had played a little Duke Nukem multiplayer in college (and got smoked every time) and toyed a little with Wolfenstein. I quickly gave up on both. I never could quite manage the controls – using a keyboard and mouse in smooth coordination was always beyond my reach – and frankly, the games themselves never really inspired me to master them.

The first – and only – FPS I ever fell in love with was Halo, which surprised me as much as it did my friends who knew how much I disliked FPS games. So what made the difference? For starters, all the controls were contained in a single controller that actually had logically placed triggers for firing weapons. It took me a little time to get used to manipulating two sticks for movement, but that was actually a small hurdle.

What _really_ gripped me with Halo, however, was the story. Here finally was an FPS that actually had a fascinating storyline that gave some reason for the madness of fighting one’s way through hordes of enemies. Duke Nukem never had than a shallow story at best, and Wolfenstein’s story – well, I never played long enough with that one to know what kind of story it had.

_Halo: Combat Evolved_ grabbed your attention right from the first cutscene and held it all the way through the game as the UNSC and Master Chief explored this huge ring-link structure and uncovered some of the most ancient mysteries of the universe. This story has caused the formation of avid fan communities that continue to push Halo to the top of the bestseller and most actively played lists in the gaming industry. The storyline that powers these games is robust and lush, providing enough material for four novels. Between the story and the community that sprang up around it, not to mention the way that Bungie continues to revolutionize gaming, it should be no wonder why Halo is one of the most successful FPS series to date.

Faulty Numbers

“The real test of Halo’s power will be this fall when we see how well Halo 3 moves Xbox 360 consoles.”

No, the real test of halo’s power will be figuring out how many Xbox 360s have _already_ been moved because of Halo 3, in addition to how many are moved when it releases this fall. Because the fact is, there are many of us who have acquired 360s already in anticipation of Halo 3’s release this year. There are more numbers to look at in the statistics than just those surrounding the immediate release date of Halo 3. Apparently, they guys over at Joystiq don’t know much about statistics.

Machine Enema

Mike Rouse – a.k.a. sodaGod – is the man. He is _el capitan_ of Machine Enema, a Halo-based “machinima”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machinima group. Of all the machinima producers out there right now, Machine Enema produces the best quality movies. Mike has written a number of really solid stories and then translates those into video that, quite simply, sparkles like none other. He introduces a number of ambient effects to give his movies a very unique feel. It’s often difficult to find good voice talent for machinima, but Mike has managed to land a number of excellent voice actors. Heck, Mike even does half the voices in most of his movies himself.

spartans.gifOne of my favorite series currently is PIE. It’s about three super-enhanced warriors, one of which become possessed by a malevolent AI. It’s up to one of these warriors – ADAM – to stop him before he can destroy everything. There are four-and-a-half chapters available in this series at the moment. The chapter titled “Pestilence” falls between Chapters 2 and 3 and provides an alternate viewpoint. The… ‘half-chapter’ is titled Omicron and falls in as something of a prequel to the series. “Omicron” may actually be my favorite of the bunch, ironically _because_ it’s short yet tells a lot of story in short order. It _is_ required, however, to have seen the prior four chapters before watching Omicron; it doesn’t make quite as much sense without having that context.

I love Mike’s scripts – they’re always funny and witty while at the same time being powerful and moving. I can’t wait to see if he produces any more chapters in this series. He’s also running a series called Jungle Trigonometry, which seems to be something along the lines of a series of stream-of-consciousness explorations. It’s very, very random and strange. It’s not really my cuppatea, but I have to admit that there is a certain level of artistic beauty to the sketches that makes them enjoyable.