Bungie’s Presence at MacWorld

Bungie was actually present at MacWorld–but you had to wait until the final Friday of the show, and walk down to the gaming shop “Neutral Ground” on 26th. Bungie was received at a fanfest .

hosted by www.bungie.org, and attended by Hamish of the Marathon Story Page, flown in from Ireland for the occasion. Bungie was represented by Alex Seropian, Max Hoberman, and Matt Soell.

The attendance at the event exceeded the organizer’s expectations–160 guests registered, but unofficial counts put the numbers into the 200s. I’ve never seen 50 pizzas devoured so quickly.

A great time was had by all; check the Story Page for more info. Of special note: Bungie showed two Very Funny movies rendered in the Halo engine; although they declaimed that they could not be released, several members of the audience had camcorders and the rest is digital history. The “Wazzup” movie is especially worth the download. You can get the camcorder screen captures here, and you can get an unofficial official version here. (I shudder to think of the sacrifices to Unholy Gods that were required to secure an actual copy.)

Some information was acquired on future plans. More details were released about the port of Microsoft titles to the Mac platform. One of the founders of MacSoft joined Bungie pre-Microsoft sale. He wasn’t happy with the sale to MS, so quit Bungie to stay in Chicago; now he is heading up the Microsoft Mac Port Unit that was announced during the keynote. (I believe that’s all accurate; let me know if you’ve heard otherwise.) The first three titles that are expected to come over are “Flight Sim,” “Links,” and “Age of Empires 2.” No date for their release was given.

Oni is deep in beta, and expected well before the end of the year, with a fall release more likely; it was mentioned that “it would be released for the PS 2 when the PS 2 becomes available domestically”, implying that it will be out for the PC and Mac before the PS 2 is in the US.

And you heard it here first: the next game after Halo will be a game based on the Halo engine, but “not sci fi.” You can speculate what you want about the genre, but since Halo will be on the Mac, if Bungie’s next game is based on the same engine that can only be good news for future Mac releases…

Bungie affirmed their commitment to the Mac. In particular, they feel that the inclusion of Bungie, with Mac partisans, is good for the PC community at Microsoft–they have a chance to demonstrate Macs in action, running good games. This is a good point–Microsoft does a pretty good job with the Office for Mac products; if the PC gamers can also be acquainted with the Mac by competent Mac developers, maybe, just maybe, we will see the same level of support for Mac/Microsoft games. As long as the Mac isn’t a threat, why not throw us some bones, even with some meat on them?

It was good to talk with the Bungie folks, and share their human interest stuff–not many knew of the impending sale, and have had to make some pretty dramatic life changes in the last month or so. Buying a house is never a lot of fun, and Seattle’s housing market doesn’t make it any easier; some are disconcerted about Seattle’s size, compared to what they are used to in Chicago. Many are looking forward to getting out of the cold, but are they really ready for two weeks of non-stop rain? Only time will tell–but if Bungie games get more gloomy and introspective, you only have Seattle’s September to May to blame…