|Scrapbook Pages 27-31|
|Posted By: REB||Date: 3/6/02 9:56 a.m.|
In Response To: Scrapbook Pages 23-26 (REB)
Marathon Infinity (originally code-named "Extensor") happened only because Bungie wanted to release the tools they'd used to create the Marathon Games. Of course, they couldn't just sell a Marathon map editor (that would be boring) so they decided to throw a few additional levels in the mix. This idea was quickly dropped in favor of a tripartite package containing a new solo scenario, new netmaps, a map and physics editor, and a Marathon 2 Strategy Guide.
Responsibility for the solo scenario fell to Greg Kirkpatrick, who was moving to Brookling, NY to set up his own company with longtime friend Chris Geisel. In late February, Greg found an apartment big enough to double as an office, incorporated the company and Double Aught was born.
Double Aught started off working with Eric Klein, Bungie's licensing guru and third-party developer liaison. It became clear early on that everyone (Eric included) wanted to make something more than just a collection of levels - a scenario suffused with the eerie and perplexing plot twists that had set Marathon head and shoulder above the rest of the 3D shooters flooding the market. But because of time constraints, Infinity was initially limited to the same texture sets as in Marathon 2, Chris started fleshing out a story that would explore more of the Marathon universe but could still take place on the S'pht homeworld. Around this time Greg decided Double Aught would need some serious map making talents in order to finish all the solo levels they were planning and brought artist-hacker Randy Redding into the Double Aught fold.
One thing that set Marathon Infinity apart from the previous games was the size and complexity of its solo maps. Infinity raised map-making to a new pinnacle with architectural masterpieces such as "Acme Station", "Aye Mak Sicur" and "A Converted Church in Venice, Italy". The game also contained some of the most bizarre levels in the entire series, including the Philip K. Dick-inspired :electric Sheep" levels. Many of the solo levels were created "by committee" with Randy, Chris and Greg all lending a hand in their design and construction. The end result: a 25-level solo adventure laden with inspired map design, mind-numbing puzzles, and a storyline with a simply astounding level of metaphysical depth.
Infinity's storyline defies simple description, relying as it does on multiple realities and alternate timelines. Early versions of the story included a side-trip to the world of Pathways Into Darkness (since it had been cut from Marathon 2) but this idea was eventually shelved for good. The Jjaro connection is certainly not glossed over, although it takes a keen mind to understand the storyline at first glance.
Bungie officially announce development of Marathon Infinity on February 22, 1996 at the Tokyo Macworld Expo. The title "Marathon Infinity" came from Doug Zartman, who postulated that the name of the game should convey the idea that the game was virtually limitless, since it endowed players with the ability to make their own maps and scenarios. Alex Seropian asked Doug to come up with a title for the scenario: "...something cool, like 'Blood Tides of Lh'owon'." Doug Came up with dozens of names, but none of them were quite as evocative as "Blood Tides of Lh'owon," so it stuck.
A few more outcasts and miscreants swelled Bungie's ranks at the beginning of 1996. Tuncer Deniz stopped hanging out on the sidelines and officially joined Bungie as Production Manager. Eric Klein, busy with a number of other projects, passed Infinity's reins to Tuncer. He spent the next six months nursing the production to fruition. Tuncer had long been associated with the Marathon series and was food friends with those at Bungie. His input into the Infinity project proved crucial to tis development and ultimate success.
Jason Regier, a part-time game author, also joined Bungie in March and took on the onerous task of rewriting Vulcan for release. Vulcan, though never show outside Bungie's own offices, had a reputation for being extremely user-unfriendly. Jason accepted this assignment despite having
Page 28 (Pictures)
Picture 1: Sketch of the KKV-7 10mm Fléchette SMG. This early concept looked like the machine guns used by american gangsters in the 1920's and 30's. There are a series of arrows explaining how it works. There's also a note: "A little more futuristic maby?"
Picture 2: See text.
Picture 3: See text.
Picture 4: See text.
little previous map making experience. Working with suggestions from Jonas and Tuncer, Jason come up with a comprehensive feature list and hacked away.
Bungie also commissioned Michael Hanson, creator of the third-party Physics Model editors for Marathon and Marathon 2, to write Anvil - a Physics, Shapes and Sounds editor for Infinity. They also commissioned Randall Shaw, one of the most talented third-party Marathon map-makers, to create a number of network levels and convert one levels from each of the three Marathon games into a special "Vidmaster Challenge."
Double Aught spent a hectic summer working day and night to finish the maps and terminals. Desperate for additional hands, they hired David Longo to do terminal art work. David meshed perfectly with the rest of the Double Aught team; he could take a minimum of grunting, monosyllabic direction and distill from that what he needed to create breathtaking artwork. David also went on to create the Vacuum Bobs and the ambient life forms that wander around many of the levels. Colin Kawakami and Beth Ulman provided additional terminal art.
Late in the summer of 1996, Tuncer slapped everyone into wakefulness and announced that enough time remained to create new textures and a new weapon. Double Aught were psyched even though they had no time to revise Infinity's story, at least the game would have a distinct look and feel. Randy revamped all the old texture sets over two caffeine-soaked days; Greg had to feed Randy large quantities of Arizona Ginsing Tea to Bring him back to the land of the living. (Chris also kicked him a little.) Back at Bungie HQ, Rob McLees added a new weapon, the KKV-7 Fléchette, to the player's high-tech arsenal. Alex and Doug recorded a slew of new Bob sounds (among the discarded ones were "Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto", "No, YOUR mon!", "Shoot to main", "POCAhontas? I hardly know her!", "Where's the love?", and "That wasn't in the manual").
A hardened cadre of over fifty Marathon addicts set about beta-testing Infinity. Bungie had never used external beta-testers before, but Bungie's programmers and artists were working flat out on the Myth project and couldn't spare any time to test Infinity. To their credit, the beta testers did a fantastic job.
Upholding the tradition they had started with Marathon 2, Bungie made no mention of a release date for Infinity until the game was finished and sent off to the CD pressing plant. Murphy's law was in full effect; Infinity's production was plagued with problems, and Bungie worried that they might not meet their announced ship date. Thumbscrews were applied as necessary, and Marathon Infinity shipped as promised on October 15, 1996.
Public reaction was enthusiastic. Fans of the game herald "Blood Tides of Lh'owon" as a return to the darker days of the first Marathon. Mapmakers embraced the power and versatility of Forge and Anvil.
And Bungie, satisfied at last that the Marathon saga had reached a fitting conclusion, closed the book on that chapter of their history.
And here we are, several years later. Marathon is an institution, a landmark among Mac gamers, a touchstone for Mac gamers. Bungie had sold hundreds of thousands of Marathon games, and those who have played them can testify to their staying power. But now, as Bungie prepares to leave the Marathon universe behind and sail into uncharted waters, one must wonder what their purpose is in gathering these three games together for one last assault on the public's senses. In an industry which constantly celebrates the Nest Big Thing, why would Bungie return again to a game that has already achieved classic status? Perhaps it serves best as a time capsule, a reminder, a testament to what can be accomplished with tenacity and fierce creativity.
Note: "Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto" is the line of a 1980's song.
Page 30 (Pictures)
Picture 1: Photo of Tuncer Deniz speaking over the phone in front of his computer.
Picture 2: Photo of Alexander Seropian bungee-jumping.
Picture 3: Landscape photo of Jonas Eneroth at the Tokyo Macworld Expo, showing the camera a Marathon leather jacket. Five japanese staff girls slime at the camera. Jonas is smiling like he had a chance with one of those girls (the one to his right, to be more precise - look how he's slanted in her direction.) Keep dreaming, Jonas!
design & layout
Additional notes: all the even-numbered pages used a blurred image of the Marathon player as background. This image is found on the Marathon manual as well on the scrapbook (page 6, picture 2). All the odd-numbered pages used as background a blurred version of Craig Mullins' sketch that appears on page 22. The cover and back pages use another Craig Mullins painting - the image of the cyborg giving first aid to a S'Pht'Kr on a ledge used for the "Despair" and "Envy" chapter screens. The opening page use part of Marathon poster done by Don Dixon (it can be found at the last page of the Bungie Catalog '97 program included on the 1st CD of the Trilogy.) The credits page used yet another Craig Mullins painting - this one is the marine with the golden visor holding a machine gun that looks a lot like one of Halo's original weapons. Most of these images can be found either at bungie.com, bungie.org (ftp), Craig Mullins website or Don Dixon website ( http://www.cosmographica.com/gallery/portfolio/portfolio251/pages/270-FlareStar1.htm ).
|Is the Marathon scrapbook online somewhere?||zudo||2/23/02 3:54 p.m.|
|Sorry, don't think so. I'd like to see it too. *NM*||Callie21V||2/23/02 8:06 p.m.|
|Look What The Cat Drug In... (not typo)||REB||2/25/02 1:38 a.m.|
|Re: Look What The Cat Drug In... (not typo)||Fernando.||2/25/02 1:42 a.m.|
|Re: Look What The Cat Drug In... (not typo)||REB||2/25/02 3:04 a.m.|
|Re: Look What The Cat Drug In... (not typo)||zudo||2/25/02 3:09 a.m.|
|Re: Look What The Cat Drug In... (not typo)||Fernando.||2/25/02 3:46 a.m.|
|Abandonware?||REB||2/25/02 5:24 a.m.|
|Re: Abandonware?||Mark Levin||2/25/02 6:48 a.m.|
|Re: Abandonware?/hamish please read||Fernando.||2/25/02 6:49 a.m.|
|Reading||Hamish Sinclair||2/25/02 9:30 a.m.|
|Re: Reading||M-Class||2/25/02 3:15 p.m.|
|Re: Reading||Djof||2/25/02 5:00 p.m.|
|Re: Abandonware?||Callie21V||2/25/02 9:38 a.m.|
|Re: Abandonware?||M-Class||2/25/02 3:09 p.m.|
|Re: Abandonware?||Vid Boi||2/26/02 2:58 a.m.|
|Re: Abandonware?||Hamish Sinclair||2/26/02 5:12 a.m.|
|Re: Abandonware?||Dan Aris||2/26/02 6:06 a.m.|
|Is that soon or Soon™ ?||zudo||2/26/02 8:16 a.m.|
|Is that soon or Soon™ ? *NM*||zudo||2/26/02 8:16 a.m.|
|Oh yea, the action sack...I forgot that one. *NT*||Vid Boi||2/26/02 8:29 a.m.|
|Re: Abandonware?||Malcolm||11/6/02 6:37 a.m.|
|Thanks REB! Great work! *NM*||Callie21V||2/25/02 9:37 a.m.|
|Scrapbook Pages 3 - 4||REB||2/25/02 11:37 p.m.|
|Re: Scrapbook Pages 3 - 4||Hamish Sinclair||2/26/02 12:14 a.m.|
|Re: Scrapbook Pages 3 - 4||REB||2/26/02 4:20 a.m.|
|Re: Scrapbook Pages 3 - 4||Matt||2/26/02 11:09 p.m.|
|Re: Scrapbook Pages 3 - 4||Hamish Sinclair||2/27/02 12:25 a.m.|
|Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...||REB||3/1/02 2:34 a.m.|
|Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...||Hamish Sinclair||3/1/02 12:21 p.m.|
|Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...||REB||3/3/02 4:30 a.m.|
|Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...||Matt||3/5/02 5:31 p.m.|
|Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...||Hamish Sinclair||3/6/02 12:07 a.m.|
|Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...||Matt||3/6/02 12:05 p.m.|
|Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...||Hamish Sinclair||3/6/02 1:03 p.m.|
|Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...||Speaker-To-Animals||7/3/03 10:09 p.m.|
|I would if I had a scanner *NM*||Vid Boi||2/24/02 3:38 a.m.|
|I'd scan it all but i dont have the scrapbook!||Ernie TMBM||2/25/02 6:54 p.m.|
|Re: I'd scan it all but i dont have the scrapbook!||Callie21V||2/26/02 2:26 p.m.|
|Actually...||Hippieman [B.Org]||2/26/02 1:23 p.m.|
|Re: Actually...||Pedrof||2/26/02 3:37 p.m.|
|Re: Actually... (+Hamish)||Djof||2/26/02 5:00 p.m.|
|Re: Actually...||Matt||2/26/02 11:07 p.m.|
|Re: Actually...||Hippieman [B.Org]||3/1/02 12:09 a.m.|
|Re: Actually...||archon||2/27/02 12:28 a.m.|
|Re: Actually...||Hamish Sinclair||2/27/02 12:40 a.m.|
|Re: Actually...||archon||2/27/02 9:18 a.m.|
|Scrapbook Pages 9-10||REB||2/27/02 5:49 a.m.|
|Typo!||REB||2/27/02 5:55 a.m.|
|Scrapbook Pages 11-12||REB||2/28/02 2:30 a.m.|
|Scrapbook Pages 13-14||REB||3/1/02 4:47 a.m.|
|Scrapbook Pages 15-16||REB||3/2/02 2:41 p.m.|
|Scrapbook Pages 17-18||REB||3/3/02 4:21 p.m.|
|Scrapbook Pages 19-22||REB||3/4/02 9:01 a.m.|
|Scrapbook Pages 23-26||REB||3/5/02 1:22 p.m.|
|I Want My Zombie Pfhor!||REB||3/5/02 1:28 p.m.|
|Re: I Want My Zombie Pfhor!||Callie21V||3/5/02 3:59 p.m.|
|Re: I Want My Zombie Pfhor!||Vid Boi||3/5/02 4:49 p.m.|
|Re: I Want My Zombie Pfhor!||Djof||3/5/02 5:10 p.m.|
|Re: I Want My Zombie Pfhor!||Boomer||3/6/02 4:18 a.m.|
|Scrapbook Pages 27-31||REB||3/6/02 9:56 a.m.|
|Thanks Raul! :-) *NM*||Hamish Sinclair||3/6/02 10:09 a.m.|
|Re: Thanks Raul! :-)||D-M.A.||3/8/02 1:46 a.m.|
|Re: Thanks Raul! :-)||REB||3/8/02 9:48 a.m.|
|Re: Thanks Raul! :-)||Hamish Sinclair||3/8/02 1:14 p.m.|
|Speaking of typos and errors...||poena.dare #CP#||3/8/02 2:03 p.m.|
|Re: Speaking of typos and errors...||Hamish Sinclair||3/9/02 4:52 a.m.|
|Then There Were Eight||poena.dare #CP#||3/9/02 9:19 a.m.|
|Scrapbook Pages 5-8||REB||3/9/02 1:09 p.m.|
|Whoa! the man is back! Nice post. :-) *NM*||Hamish Sinclair||3/9/02 4:11 p.m.|
|Re: One last word...||mnemesis||3/6/02 11:26 a.m.|
|Re: Scrapbook Pages 27-31||Vid Boi||3/11/02 4:18 p.m.|
|Isn't F**k Microsoft 2 words?||REB||3/11/02 6:41 p.m.|
|Re: Isn't F**k Microsoft 2 words?||Vid Boi||3/12/02 4:28 a.m.|
|Re: Scrapbook Pages 19-22||Andrew Nagy||3/7/02 6:51 a.m.|
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