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A Rare Interview

rareinterview

Some time ago I did a “day in the life of” for the Rare website. It was just after Viva Pinata released, which should date it suitably, and I spoke of my time bug fixing, the fresh VP community and my general duties.

Time for an update and after the Rare Editor approached me I refreshed things.

Plus it’s a great excuse for that photo to reappear.

 

May you live in interesting times

My first impressions of Hawx will have to wait. Many of you saw the news yesterday and I would personally like to say thank you for all your kind words of support. Whether it be through text, email, Facebook, Twitter, carrier pudgeon or semaphore, they were all appreciated.

As you’d probably expect, I’m not going to say anything else on the topic at the moment but consider my fingers crossed for a positive outcome.

Moving in with Rashberry

During my time at Rare I believe I’ve called six seperate offices my own, and am on the verge of claiming a seventh. During the development cycle, teams will grow and grow until the point of completition and then rapidly shrink as other projects plunder the resources that all of a sudden have a distinctly lighter workload post-launch. The Viva Pinata team are in that phase now, having launched before the Christmas rush we’re now of a size where we can consolidate ourselves in the top layer of one of our barns. On the up-side, I now get a penthouse view. On the downside, I have an awful lot of stuff.

When I was moving house twelve months ago, I made the mistake of bringing all my retro consoles and games into work to keep them safe during the transition. Since then they have made themselves very comfortable under my desk, embedding themselves to the point where I simply looked at them as part of the furniture rather than something I should return home.

What makes this scenario worse is that I’m now going to be sharing an office with our Team Lead, Rashberry. If there was anyone on our team who could rival them amount of bits and pieces I possess it is Rashberry. His collection tastefully takes in not only the usual gaming related paraphanallia but also a large selection of Lego Technic and Lego Train. Quite how how we are to compress all our belongings into a single office is not entirely obvious, although the thought of blending my assorted Halo tat with Lego does bring a smile to my face.

Wish me luck, I’m off to get a trolley.

Battle Report

A day late, but still here none the less, I present to you the battle log of the Humpday (also linked to in Articles on the side bar); a round up of all the slaying that occurred in the internet pipes linking Twycross to Redmond that is so big and juicy it deserved its own page.

Brace yourself.

 Edit: Bungie have also posted their own write up. Whilst they may have shown little enthusiasm for our final game, I do quite like the second paragraph in Game 2.

As the dust settles…

And it’s over. After what seems like months and months of build up, our Bungie Humpday Challenge is over. I actually feel quite strange as the adrenalin is still making its way round my system but with no other output than this keyboard in front of me.

The first thing to say is that we did ourselves proud; my main concern was that it would all unravel and everything we had worked towards would fly out the window, but I shouldn’t have worried. We may have gone down 2-1 in the series but we can leave the field with our heads held high.

So here are the standings:

Round 1:
Team BR on Guardian: Bungie 50 v Rare 41

Round 2:
MLG Slayer on Pit: Bungie 50 v Rare 44

Round 3:
Team Rockets on Construct: Bungie 72 v Rare 100

We were close in the first two but they kept the lead throughout and their classed showed. In the last one, I just pulled out one of my favourite game types. Grin.

I’m off for a lie down. Expect a full write up soon and you can find all the videos on my fileshare.

Pre-match build-up

Welcome to the morning of the biggest day in my Halo “career”.

After finally getting broadband enabled at home, I spent a couple of hours last night and this morning limbering up for tonight’s big match and I have to say that I’m a little scared. I’m putting it down to pre-match nerves and assuring myself everything will be fine once the bullets start flying but it doesn’t stop the butterflies.

Anyway, here’s the promo that went round work this morning…

“In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Twycross underground. Today, still wanted by the Covenant, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the Rare Team.”

Crazy fool, I ain’t getting’ in no Banshee, sucka! Now give me that milk!

Tonight, BIGsheep, Hey Ernie, Mr Fiddler and Gavster will attempt to do the company proud as we take on Bungie at their own game: facing them in their Humpday Challenge, a best-of-three series of Halo 3.

Although months of training, countless expletives and buckets of sweat have gone into this, the odds are stacked against us as the separatist’s team is full of ringers and elite players (plus Frankie). We will give it our best shot but whatever the outcome we will share the videos of our gallant defeat/historic triumph once the dust has settled.

Wish us well as we march to the frontline and hope that our plasma grenades fly true.

BIGsheep

Hello Halo

Our Humpday Challenge against Bungie has now been confirmed and will take place on Wednesday March 5th at 5pm. With it being only a week away, I have to say I’m a little nervous.

Things have reached the point where I exist in the same love-hate state of mind as I did towards the end of our Halo 2 Clan days. This is where you realise you and your team have plateaued in ability and that for every match you enjoy you are going to find one that frustrates the hell out of you because you know the other team are just plain better than you and nothing can change that.

You yo-yo from thriving on Double Kills and one shot snipes to being corpse humped and humilated.

The thing is, I can’t stop playing; I’m almost addicted to the punishment. When it’s good it’s good but after Humpday I think I need a Halo holiday.

Great expectations

The warm-up for Hump Day continues and to test our new found team work we recently took on my brother and some friends from down in Cheltenham. Having Halopaloozed with them before I knew it would be an interesting match up and so we congregated, Battle Rifles in hands, to put Team Rare through their paces.

I think it’s fair to say that we got into our stride slightly quicker than they did, admittedly that’s what four weeks of practice can do for you, but we managed to notch up a handful of victories in the opening salvo.

It’s at this point things started going horribly wrong. Rather than continuing shooting each other, we decided to put allegiances aside for the moment and team up in some Big Team Battles.

Oh, how we sucked.

On the flo0or again.

In three successive games we faced off against teams comprising entirely of the most highly decorated players that you could find. Generals and Brigadiers took us pieces and, to repeat a phrase oft used that night, “ripped us several new ones”.

Whilst not a pleasing scenario, we all agreed that at least it was a valuable lesson and a definite grounding for our expectations. Our lunchtime session have proved a relative walk by comparison to that evening and so we can’t really let up unless we want Bungie to also to provide us with “new ones”.