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ANN: Forerunner Terminal Network Archives
Posted By: Louis Wu <>Date: 5/5/08 11:18 a.m.

This post is here to provide a little history behind the development of the Forerunner Terminal Network Archives.

When Halo 3 was released, I really wanted to be able to offer a site where the contents of the Halo 3 terminals (which were both a loving tribute to Marathon and chock-full of story information) were available to all who needed them, in a classy format. I knew I'd have the ability to offer recordings of the terms themselves, in high resolution; I'd just bought a Blackmagic Intensity Pro card, and HD recordings from a 360 were a breeze. I had visions of using the Saved Films feature of Halo 3 to produce 'flythroughs', showing exactly how to find each terminal; the camera would start at the beginning of the level (or, for later terms, some easily-identifiable place), fly up and out of the map, traverse the distance from above, showing an overlaid route, and then zoom back in to the actual term location. This turned out to be overly ambitious, because of loading boundaries and soft walls... and things got busy on other fronts, as well.

RvB's nico let me know that he and OboeCrazy were hard at work recording saved films of each of the terms, and cataloguing the differences in the difficulty levels; I contacted Oboe and suggested we work together. They recorded most of the terminals as a team, and Oboe stuck with me and re-recorded films that I needed copies of, for one reason or another (as well as doing all the easy terms on her own). By the end of October, we had HD versions of all 7 terms (well, 8, if you count Cortana's term), in as many difficulty variations as were needed to capture all the text. The only thing left was to build a site to house the project.

And that's where things sat... for months. Life got busy, and this project always seemed to be pushed to a back burner when something else came up. In mid-November, Capt Spanish created some high-res vector images of the terminal interface; I figured I could use them to design a site. However, I hadn't figured out how I was going to integrate it all - so it sat. And sat. and sat.

Until mid-April.

On April 14, Capt Spanish contacted me again - he apologized for not explaining an upload he'd dumped in our Uploads folder. (Heh. Sometimes things sit in there for months, before I find time to look at them; he had nothing to apologize for, because I hadn't even seen it yet.) Turns out, he'd been working on an interface himself - it was all Flash-based, and it let you actually USE the terminals, as though you were in-game.

I told him about the recording project, and asked him if he'd be willing to include our recordings in his interface, and have the whole shebang hosted here. He was thrilled; the recordings made it oh-so-much easier for him to check his work on the transcriptions (I can't tell you how happy I am that the person who chose to do this work is as particular about getting the details right as I am), and he was really helpful at adding extra features to flesh out his original design. The final product is, in my opinion, gorgeous. Navigation is elegant - and shouldn't be too hard to pick up. (When you launch the site, a white 'help' indicator flashes unobtrusively to point out where to go for details on finding your way around.) Content is spectacular; as I said, you have full access to the terminals, on the web, in a variety of formats; you can page through them online as though you were in-game, you can download HD videos of them recorded FROM the game, or you can grab textfiles with nicely-formatted transcriptions. There's even an External Resources page, with links to other terminal-related content (both at and elsewhere).

A thousand thanks to OboeCrazy and her crew, for the initial recordings, and to Capt Spanish, who brought the content back from limbo. I hope you all enjoy using the resource as much as we enjoyed putting it together for you!

Message Index


ANN: Forerunner Terminal Network ArchivesLouis Wu 5/5/08 11:18 a.m.
     Re: ANN: Forerunner Terminal Network Archivesmendicantbias00 5/5/08 11:23 a.m.
     Wow. Amazing work. *NM*serpx 5/5/08 11:27 a.m.
     Love you guys *NM*Jillybean 5/5/08 11:27 a.m.
     Great work :) *NM*Simpsons Rule 5/5/08 11:34 a.m.
     *Really* looking forward to trying this... *NM*Anton P. Nym (aka Steve) 5/5/08 11:45 a.m.
     Many Thanks Goes Out to All Involved *NM*Xmoosev3 5/5/08 11:51 a.m.
     Awesome! Great Job! *NM*Clefton Twain 5/5/08 11:56 a.m.
     the Spanish are awe-sumMiguel Chavez 5/5/08 12:16 p.m.
           that's what she said. - Great work. *NM*Blackstar 5/5/08 12:33 p.m.
                 *Claps - for a long time* *NM*Ducain 5/5/08 12:40 p.m.
     Re: ANN: Forerunner Terminal Network ArchivesJeSteR 343 5/5/08 12:21 p.m.
           Absolutely frickin brilliant!Calliope 5/5/08 12:44 p.m.
     Mind = blown.... WOW.pooberry (Max Power) 5/5/08 1:13 p.m.
     A quality piece of kit. *NM*Stuntmutt 5/5/08 1:31 p.m.
           Quality corn, as always. *NM*Spec ops Grunt 5/5/08 8:06 p.m.
     Kudos to all those involved!Leviathan 5/5/08 1:35 p.m.
     Re: ANN: Forerunner Terminal Network ArchivesAvateur 5/5/08 1:58 p.m.
     Great work. *NM*BlueNinja 5/5/08 2:46 p.m.
     Re: ANN: Forerunner Terminal Network ArchivesBolognaFire 5/5/08 4:02 p.m.
           Wow...Louis Wu 5/5/08 4:10 p.m.
                 Re: Wow...BolognaFire 5/5/08 4:52 p.m.
     .....beautiful! :O *NM*Peptuck 5/5/08 4:40 p.m.
     ___ *NM*Omega 5/5/08 4:53 p.m.
     Re: ANN: Forerunner Terminal Network Archivesmehve 5/5/08 5:35 p.m.
           Re: ANN: Forerunner Terminal Network Archivesreprobate 5/5/08 6:52 p.m.
                 Re: ANN: Forerunner Terminal Network Archivesmehve 5/7/08 2:37 p.m.
     Awesome. *NM*SPARTAN-034 5/5/08 5:47 p.m.
     Re: ANN: Forerunner Terminal Network ArchivesCiarán 5/5/08 6:12 p.m.
     Thanks very much, Captain, Louis, et alreprobate 5/5/08 6:41 p.m.
     Beautiful. *NM*Spec ops Grunt 5/5/08 8:08 p.m.
     Re: ANN: Forerunner Terminal Network ArchivesCapt Spanish 5/5/08 8:14 p.m.
           Re: ANN: Forerunner Terminal Network ArchivesDHalo 5/5/08 8:22 p.m.
           Re: ANN: Forerunner Terminal Network Archivesserpx 5/5/08 8:44 p.m.
           Re: ANN: Forerunner Terminal Network Archivesscarab 5/6/08 12:19 p.m.
                 Re: ANN: Forerunner Terminal Network ArchivesCapt Spanish 5/6/08 11:24 p.m.
     There are those who said this day would never comeCapo Rip 5/6/08 12:07 a.m.
     Re: ANN: Forerunner Terminal Network ArchivesRosco-128 5/6/08 3:21 a.m.
     Re: ANN: Forerunner Terminal Network ArchivesSep7imus [subnova] 5/6/08 11:30 p.m.
     Holy....Awe. *NM*Ma1agate 5/7/08 7:19 a.m.

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