This week at Bungie, we played some Destiny.
“You always say that!”
Guilty as charged, friends. The path that leads to a great day-one Destiny experience – one that vaults our bar and yours – is cleared by many playtests. If it makes you feel any better, many of the early runs feel a bit like hacking our way through dense brush. It’s dark, but still sweltering. We’re wildly swinging the machete, carving a new path. And the bugs!
This week was different. We played in a more hospitable environment: Our own game rooms. Almost as if all the trailblazing had paved the way to a bright and hopeful future, we sat on our couches and played. We even brought some highly trusted allies along for this top-secret mission of stealth and science.
What is it we’re always saying about something that is fun to do?
It’s always more fun to do with your friends.
We’ve entered an exciting phase. The action and adventure of our brave new world can be experienced on our consoles at home – at least a few small slices of it. That slight change in scenery changes everything. It feels more real to us than it ever has before. The sun is coming up. Our path is clear.
There’s still work to be done, mind you. Don’t let our elation fool you. The last time we heard from Bungie’s Senior Producer, Matt Priestly, he was leveraging the Pentathlon as proving grounds for Destiny. This week, he’s on tap to make sure our Pre-Alpha paves the way to a better Beta.
“It’s a cross-section of the game that’s technically interesting to our engineers and testers,” he says. “Destinations, weapons, and abilities are sliced and diced in whatever way is sensible for testing.”
For that reason, what we’re playing is far from something we’d release to the public. It’s a technical experiment, stripped down to make it lightweight and nimble. “To most players, it would seem like a strange assortment,” says Matt. “It’s not the seamless adventure they’ll get from the Alpha or Beta.”
To translate into gamer-speak: the Destiny Pre-Alpha is not the party. It’s more like those early evening moments when the host lures friends over to help move the sofas out of the way. We’re clearing the dance floor, picking the perfect mix tapes, and making sure the ice will be cold and the food hot when you knock on the door.
“Since this build is mainly for our benefit instead yours, we wouldn’t feel right asking you to help us test. That’s why we start small with personal friends and business partners who owe us a solid.”
That said, it’s already making us smile. It would be great to show some of it off. That reminds us…
Eight Weeks Later
Remember that time when Luke Smith talked to us about his favorite part of the development process? With a simple observation, we inadvertently kicked off a countdown timer of the mind.
“What will we see in eight weeks?” you’ve been pondering.
We learned long ago that you never make the Internet a promise if you know you can’t keep it. We were talking about our own milestones – about the ever-evolving mood in the studio.
Fortunately, sometimes the planets align – almost as if our Destiny were written in the stars.
We’ve said a lot about what we think Destiny is. The time has come for us to let the game speak for itself. We hope you love what it has to say. For us, for Destiny, and for you, the conversation is only beginning. We’re anxious to listen.
Normal mail service has been compromised by the storm that’s brewing just outside our peripheral vision. Your understanding of the adventures that await you are about to expand with explosive force. Most of what you asked will be fed by the downpour, so we’ll not steal any of the thunder that’s about to crack. Nevertheless, let’s open the Sack.
OsiRis VeX: Will other guardians recognize my skill in competitive PvP?
Only if you earn it, Guardian. No one will be spoon-fed their glory in the competitive activities in Destiny. You’ll need to seize it your gauntleted fists. If you’re brave, we’ll have ways for you to relive your finest moments. If you’re victorious, we’ll enable you to strut your stuff. You’ll even be able to carry those war trophies in your back pocket, if you are so equipped.
wolfking2010: If a Fireteam member has to leave can another player seamlessly join my game?
Certainly, your Highness. How and why and under what circumstances will be better experienced than explained. The social connections that you’ll enjoy on your travels are just one of the ways that Destiny will surprise you.
Roo: Halo had its own announcer in multiplayer to inform players of the events in the matches. Will there be a new announcer in Destiny, or will all the information be on-screen?
Let’s just say that you’ll always understand your motivations as a Guardian, and there will always be people to motivate you.
Neo xxx1: Will you guys give a nod to your Xbox fan base or just keep ignoring them?
Who’s ignoring you? We’re right here; making a game we hope you’ll love. We’re listening to your questions, and answering the ones we can. If you’re a gamer who wants to play a Bungie game, you’re very much on our mind – every day.
Hatima: Does Bungie have a “think-tank” dedicated to Destiny?
The whole studio thinks about this game. Let’s hope our welds hold. No one wants a leaky tank.
Xyphoid: In the open world area, what is the maximum number of Guardians that can play cooperatively together at the same time?
A lot of the scribes we talked to last week answered this question. Hold that thought, and we’ll see which of them captured the best answer. If you’re not satisfied, ask us again sometime.
The weekend is upon us. We hope yours is good. Rest up. We’ll talk more on Monday.