Why I Love Bungie (Just not Halo)

Guess which one is me? |Hint: I'm not the one holding the sword. (Courtesy of Bungie.net)

One time, I was sitting not really watching the TV, and I got a craving for a burger.  I said as much, and my husband looked at me, “Babe,” he said, “There was just a Burger King ad on… get it together.” Yep, I am susceptible to marketing. At least I acknowledge and admit it. I revel in it in a way. Go ahead. Sell me your crap. If you can’t sell to me, you can’t sell to anyone.

When it comes to game developers, the one that I love the most, with respect to how they market their product, is Bungie. I really wish I loved Halo.

I have played a bit of Halo 3; it was my first FPS. I had fun with it, but I am more of a Call of Duty gal, should I choose to play an FPS, which isn’t often. But whenever a Halo games comes out, I am always a bit miffed at myself. Why can’t I just get into Halo? Cause Bungie, the company, always gets me excited for their product.

I will leave the Halo Reach reviews to people who know what they are talking about. The ladies and gents who can actually *make* a kill in Halo, those are the ones who you should be reading about map balance, weapons, gameplay and whatever.

But here you can get a perspective of the rest of the package and why Bungie  just kind of reeks of awesome.

Forge: Games Move from Social to Social Media

So, Halo really took on-line FPS and raised it a million notches. It was suddenly the go-to game in the genre that almost defines “Hard Core Gamer.” Games weren’t something that you did alone, suddenly we have clans and people making real friendships with their XBL buddies. Games became social in an on-line community. Then Halo 3 introduced Forge, and pushed this concept further.

Forge does two things. First, one can create (well, alter) maps to your own liking. Two, it allows people to share their creations with one another.

Camcorders are cheap. Get one  and viola! Combine that with YouTube and anyone to make and share a movie, and so anyone can be a director and producer. Blogs allow anyone to be a published writer. Forge allows anyone to be a game designer.

Granted, not every Forge creation is a winner, just like every blog you see isn’t gold either.  The point behind social media is not that everything out there is great, but the challenge lies in finding that diamond in the rough. Social media can also spark creative synergy. Something I write here can create an idea in a fellow blogger and so on. A map quirk can create an idea in another would be forge designer. And on and on it goes.

With Forge I can create a new map,  share it with the world. Make gaming a bit more social, and a bit better.

I like it.

Theatre: Games as Sport

The second thing Bungie did right was Theatre. Theatre allows you to record and replay games. You can invite friends to view your “film” too. It’s quick and it’s easy.

And it too has the potential to make gaming better.

Theatre allows for quick and easy “taping” of a game. Sports was revolutionized once coaches figured out that by taping games one could a) see and learn what the other guy did and b) see and learn what your own guy did. Theatre allows for the same thing.

This just isn’t for MLG players. I have used it to see what I was going wrong in my games (hint: I was dying a lot. I should try not doing that). A friend would invite me into Theatre and show me basics of Halo gameplay. By seeing the silly things I was doing, I could improve.

Theatre, once again, makes it easier for people to share what they did in their games. Did you do something awesome, funny or just kinda stupid in game? Post it up on youTube or Bungie.net share it with everyone. This, again, is using social media in game format.

Forge shared user created maps, Theatre shares gameplay.

Bungie.net : Reach out to the Fans

Forge and Theatre are in-game add ons as social media. The game itself is self promoting. Bungie has not forgotten the plain old internet either.

Bungie.net is a site that allows Halo fans to come together. While I admit to not being an expert on the ins and out of the site, I do know that Bungie features gamers and cool things that Halo fans do. I can easily find anyone’s stats. (Guess my K/D ratio and get a cookie. hint: it’s REALLY bad). I can see amazing kills of the week (courtesy of Theatre) and tons of other stuff.

To top it all off: I can always tell if I am playing with a member of Bungie: watch for flaming helmets! They have basically put a badge on themselves identifying themselves in-game as members of Bungie. This allows gamers to know that they are gaming with the people who made the game they are playing. They reached out to gamers where gamers are: in game.

Final Thoughts

Basically Bungie took a great, but standard FPS, and using the principles of social media, made it even more social. The good  news is that no matter what Bungie decides to do, they can take these principles with them.

Anything else you would like to see from Bungie that is NOT strictly gameplay? Any other ways you think developers can use social media to make the game more fun?

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Comments

  • Tim  On September 23, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Kinda like, I hate Battlefield Bad Company 2, but I love some of EA’s games. I really sucked at it, lol. The Halo series I enjoyed, but never played multi-player until Halo 3. I was pretty good at, but just found COD4 more enjoyable. I’ll probably get Halo: Reach down the road, but I’m saving my money for COD: Black Ops.

  • dianaorwonderwoman  On September 24, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Hey gal! Found ya! 😉 🙂 I’m loving Reach, I still think the first Halo game was my all time favorite but this will keep me busy just the same. Oh, and the flaming helmets are no longer reserved for Bungie players. They are awarding codes via FB I believe.

    Queenie

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