October 26, 2013

N7 Day 2013 coming

November 7th, 2012 marked the inaugural N7 Day — a day to join together as a community and celebrate the Mass Effect universe. Through the power of social media, we connected with over 12 million fans around the world and delivered a day’s worth of content and activities! With additional support from our family of partners, we were also able to offer some great deals on Mass Effectmerchandise.

We are excited to announce that N7 Day will return in 2013, and here’s just a few of the activities we have planned for you:

N7 Day Pride: Mass Effect means different things to different people, but without question it ignites passion within our community and we love it! What does N7 pride mean to you? Do you have a favorite N7 hoodie or t-shirt? Do you have items in your collection signed by our team? Did you name your child Garrus and dress them in an N7 onesie? Did you take family photos dressed in N7 gear? Post your photos on Twitter, Vine, and Instagram using the hashtag #N7Day13.

N7 Day Fan Art Contest: Are you an artist? Submit your best creations to BioWare for a chance to have your work featured on an upcoming item at the BioWare Store. Starting N7 Day we will be selecting our favorite pieces to become part of the Mass Effect Collection. Stay tuned for more information on how you can participate.

Play Mass Effect 3 with BioWare: Fire up your Xbox 360, PS3, or PC and play some Mass Effect 3 multiplayer with us! Hit the lobbies and be on the lookout for our BioWare banners. Members of the team will be logging on throughout the day, eager to blast through waves of baddies with you.

Child’s Play Charity Auction: The team has rummaged through the BioWare archives and unearthed some early concept art that pre-dates the originalMass Effect. These one of a kind pieces will be signed and contributed to Child’s Play for a charity auction along with some gear from the BioWare Store. Stay tuned for info on how you can help a great cause and get your hands on a unique piece of Mass Effect history.

N7 Day at BioWare: See how our team celebrates N7 Day at the studio with photos, blogs, and retrospectives from the Mass Effect team.

Mass Effect Risk First Reveal: We got our hands on the official Mass Effect Risk board game, courtesy of USAopoly, and we’re anxious to give it a whirl! Will we play peacefully or will tables get flipped? We’ll have a video team on hand to film our session and share the experience with you.

Minecraft: We’re anxious to see the Mass Effect inspired creations PC and Xbox 360 players have been working on. Get your submissions ready!

Extra Life Mass Effect Marathon: Play Games. Heal Kids. The Extra Life campaign, benefitting the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, is holding its annual gaming marathon on November 2nd. This year players will participate for 25 hours in support of local hospitals. Make sure you tune in and support your Mass Effect Marathon participants!

N7 Day Deals on Mass Effect Gear: Several of our partners are celebrating N7 Day by passing along savings to you on select items. We might even see the debut of a new item or two in the days leading up to N7 Day! Stay tuned for more information.

Remember to mark November 7th on your calendars and come take part in N7 Day festivities with us! On behalf of the team here at BioWare, we sincerely thank you for your continued support and for keeping the Mass Effect community thriving.

Who are the Asaru?

This piece of concept art is currently on display at an exhibition  called "Ghosts in the Machine". It appears to feature a character from Destiny, seemingly named the Asaru.


Remember Bungie NEVER do anything by accident so to put this concept art of Asaru in a public art exhibition hosted by Ltd. Art Gallery is a deliberate move. If it's genuine Destiny lore, then it's a clever tactic to drum up some interest. If it's not, this is a great piece of mis-direction.

Does this keen Destiny fan may have an answer as to what are the Asaru? Or is this simply Lionman all over? I'm picking it is....

"Again, there's no guarantee that any of this concept art will make it into a Destiny game ever, but this appears to be a new enemy creature or faction onto itself. The concept art featured a bipedial armored creature beneath the words "ASARU" in red. It's not clear if it is a singular entity or if there is more of them. His armor is a sort of monotone blanched grey, with spikes poking out sparsely around the arms. His lower body wasn't nearly as detailed as his helmet, which was clearly the focus of the piece. The helmet had three horns, two swept back in the back like ears, and one thicker rounded one that came out of the front. The Asaru had no eyes, but he did have a mouth piece, the helmet sorta twisted around into jagged pieces that formed what seemed like a metal toothy maw, big teeth, it looked really sick and my words do not do it justice. Metal isn't quite a good word for it, because the armor almost seemed organic and almost clay like in places.

The most interesting part about the Asaru besides their helmet is the massive amounts of white-blue pipes that extend from his back and sides, which contrasted with his armor in both color and form. I talked very briefly with Ryan about the artwork, and he said that the Asaru was hooked up to a machine (which I presume is keeping it alive), and also I believe he said it was a pilot (the Asaru was not armed with any weapons, but then again concept art that is focusing on form wouldn't want weapons to confuse things)."

Ghosts in the Machine is probably a reference to this concept.

October 22, 2013

Bungie want Neil Blomkamp to direct a Destiny movie.

destiny wall paper

Bungie’s Dave Dunn was recently chatting to Kotaku about the Halo movie and how it didn’t happen. But forget that for a moment – Dave Dunn publically hinted to Blomkamp to get in touch with them about doing a film version of Destiny.  Here’s what he said about D9 not being a Halo movie in the end:

“So less than being disappointed it wasn’t Halo, we were more excited someone let him do something and gave him the chance to create something. It was such a good movie.”

“And if he wants to come and talk about doing a Destiny thing? Well…”

While Dunn was probably saying this in jest, Bungie don’t actually say things without those things having some merit behind them….

“We like to do things that we think will add meaningful context to our fans experience of the game,” he explained. “So if it makes sense it makes sense, but it’s not something we’re actively pursuing. Me, personally, when I look at a lot of video game movies not many of them have added to the canon of the game’s universe.”

Which pretty much confirms Bungie don’t REALLY have an intention to make a Destiny movie. Never say never though….

October 20, 2013

Bungie have released some more Destiny concept artwork - they have a cave troll!

troll monster concept design destiny
Oh look! They've got a cave troll!
The lads at Bungie have released some more Destiny concept artwork. I am most excited about this giant hulk of a creature above. It's kind of live a cave troll on steroids or perhaps something that Luke Skywalker may have tangled with in Return of the Jedi. Either way you'd probably need a light saber to take in down.

The other images below appear to be design work for the Moon and some other kind of superstructure:

Bungie said: This concept by Dorje Bellbrook depicts one of the oldest ideas for a playable space for Destiny. We’ve been kicking around the Moonbase in one shape or another since 2009. Marke Pedersen and Ryan Ellis created a particularly notable early example for the Bungie Day of that year. Man, was it cool!

Darren Bacon conceptualized the Comms Tower, the main focal point of the Moonbase complex. During the Golden Age, this was a relay station between Earth and the rest of the colonial effort throughout our Solar System. The architectural design is important for two reasons. The use of color is very welcome amidst the subdued lunar color palette. The height of the tower makes it useful for player navigation.

Moon Unit Zappa come in, Moon Unit Zappa, come in!
The Moonbase is actually hinted at in Mark Goldsworthy’s original postcard for the Moon. This image was also used as direct inspiration for the Hellmouth location. You can see the human buildings hanging out on a precipice depicted above, a tiny speck compared to the immensity of the Hive structure.

Cortana cosplay - body paint

body paint cortana
A shy Cortana? Not likely...
This is a great piece of Cortana cosplay – I think it’s body paint with a bit of a blue lens thrown over the subject. 

Found here

October 15, 2013

Mass Effect 4, currently without an official name, will have no ties to Commander Sheppard. Apparently.

The loneliness of the long distance runner...
It would seem it has been confirmed that Commander Sheppard will not be in Mass Effect 4.

Mac Walters has been quoted as saying:

“I can't get into details, but the idea is that we have agreed to tell a story that doesn't relate necessarily to any of the Shepard events at all, whatsoever. Beyond that, that's what we've been deciding for awhile. But throughout it all, one of the key things is that it has to be Mass Effect. It can't just feel like a spin-off. It has to feel like a Mass Effect game at its heart, at its core. Just without the Shepard character or the Shepard specific companions."

From this a couple of things can be deduced:

  • It will not be a prequel featuring Sheppard. It may however still be a prequel, that cannot be ruled out by the statement. This would not please this writer
  • It would also seem possible then that the game will not feature any of Sheppard’s prior companions. 

This line is certainly interesting however, “doesn't relate necessarily to any of the Shepard events at all”. One could take that to mean that the history you've built up over the 3 games and the decisions made previously will count for nothing. That said, in Feb 2012 producer Mike Gamble said it wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep your ME3 saves so we'll see.

Gamble recently reported that the development for ME4 had made his “jaw drop”. Let’s hope he ensures ME4 has a great ending…that is well written. That’s the key, good writing.

My hope is that ME4 will be set well after the Third game so that the legacy of Sheppard and his band of merry intergalactic races can be referenced.

October 13, 2013

Mass Effect 4 development has made Michael Gamble's "jaw drop"

mass effect cosplay commander sheppard
What's around the corner for Mass Effect 4?
I work for a tech company and when we talk about ‘sprints’ we mean getting some set developmental goals done by a specific date. It helps keeps everyone on track and allows for planning around the sprint.

So when game producer Michael Gamble says the Mass Effect team is doing a sprint review, I imagine things are going great guns on the 4th game in the Mass Effect series:

Can’t hardly wait for this game, whatever it’s called. A just recently finished another ME3 run through – I enjoyed mix it up and found plenty of new things to experience. What a game. 

October 10, 2013

Check out my little friend, the Conduit F3 - Destiny's latest weapon

Conduit F3 destiny

From Bungie on the Conduit F3 weapon

There are those who deal in lead. Then, there are those that prefer alternative forms of punishment for their opponents. If a mass-driver doesn’t suit you, a weapon like the Conduit F3 may be more your style. With new tech, however, comes fresh risk. 

This new breed of munitions is evidence of an adaptive society. Jonathan Goff, an expert on Guardian militaria, tells a story about turning the weapons of one's enemies against them. “Advancements in directed energy disbursement were gained through dissection of hostile tech gathered in the field. The first implementation of this new technology comes in the form of Fusion Rifles.”

Fortune favors the brave, we’re told. Bravery, it turns out, is requisite for anyone fortunate enough to wield a Fusion Rifle. “One of the first working prototypes was deemed too unstable for mass production,” recalls Goff. “Despite the concerns over faulty radiation shielding, the weapon's incredible power as made it a favorite of daring weapons collectors.”

Newer generations of Fusion Rifles have solved some of these problems through slow and painful innovation. “The barrel configuration on this model dampens the wattage use needed to power the inertial chamber,” observes Art Lead Tom Doyle. The technical jargon translates to brute force that any Guardian would value. “Its over-penetrating burst fire is ideal for taking out multiple targets at once.”

The Conduit F3 is next generation hardware for killing the bad guys who deserve it. Charge it up, and let it off the chain.

Disclaimer: Destiny is a work in progress!

October 6, 2013

Destiny's Old Russian concept art by Jesse Van Dijk

old russia

Concept design artist Jesse Van Dijk has added a new piece of conceptual design work for Bungie to his CGHub page. Featuring old Russia the Wall and the old rusted cars. Sounds very Pink Floyd ish eh....

October 2, 2013

How to get the Destiny sound track for free

How to get the Destiny game sound track for free

Here's a hint, you can't but you can order it for a nice price from Amazon.

The Destiny soundtrack is one of the best parts of the game. Which is kind of what you expect from the song writing team of Michael Salvatori and Martin O Donnell who together produced much of the Halo sound tracks. Those monk from the Halo game? That's all O'Donnell's music genius.

The Destiny soundtrack is very different from that of Halo. In many ways it's quite understated but when you're up against some crazy Prime or beast from the deep of the Moon, the music swells to nigh on euphoric levels of excitement.

A hidden secret of Destiny's soundtrack is that a certain Beatle called Paul McCartney helped Martin write the theme song to Destiny and you can listen to it free on Youtube right now. It's called Hope for the Future. You can find it in game as well through the panels that you can find at the Citadel. It's kind of cheesy but if you give it a few listens it's not too bad a listen.

What are the best songs from Destiny?

If you want to listen to the best songs of Destiny's game and downloadable content, it's not an easy selection as there's quite a bit to choice from but Hivemind, The Last Array and Relics of Hope are our favourites.

Sadly, Bungie and Marty O'Donnell had a huge falling out and Marty was fired from Bungie. Given his marching orders by the Board, Marty sued them and won, getting what was owed to him.

While Bungie might do their best to demonstrate to the gaming community they are the good guys of the industry, the Board's treatment of the man that helped make them so rich and famous was disgusting, not to mention illegal. So, when you are listening to the music of Destiny, you could be forgiven for being a little wistful knowing that when Destiny 2 comes out, it will not have any new compositions from Marty.

Download the Destiny soundtracks from Amazon today.

A Q and A by Urk on Destiny

Bungie’s Urk has answered some questions about Destiny over at the PlayStation site. We thougth we’d save you the time and energy by heading their yourself and have republished them here for your reading enjoyment. So enjoy reading the Q and A!

Pay@Zarshark: What does Destiny do that’s unique? What’s revolutionary that sets it apart?

DeeJ: Destiny casts you in the role of the iconic hero, and sets you on an epic journey brimming with heart-pounding action within a living world filled with adventure. You’ll cross paths with other brave heroes on their own quests — story, cooperate, and competitive — and they’ll know exactly how powerful and awesome you are just by looking at the gear you’ve earned.

@Tra_Royal: How many players can team up in Destiny?

DeeJ: Our core cooperative nucleus is the Fireteam — a group of three Guardians bound together by blood (and netcode). But whether you’re going it alone, of linked up with a Fireteam, you can still encounter other Guardians as you tackle the larger challenges that you’ll find in public events.
There’s no telling how many people you might have to work with to defeat the most dangerous enemies. Of course, other modes like competitive multiplayer, or Raids, will feature player counts well above three — but we’re not talking about those quite yet. Stay tuned!

@bo_srwa_w_fnila: How does joining a public event work?

DeeJ: To join a public event, all you have to do is get within range, and open fire. No lobbies. No loading screens. The frontier is open, and filled with encounters you can join, or skip right past, on your way to something you’ve deemed momentarily more important.

@LazySigh: Will there be PvP?

DeeJ: Yup! We’re already thumping each other’s skulls in studio-wide playtests, battling other Guardians for glory, bragging rights, and rewards. All the gear you earn in competitive multiplayer can be taken into other modes, too (and vice versa)!

@jaydawg6958: I like to play games solo often. How much can I do alone?

DeeJ: Ah, the proverbial Lone Wolf. You can experience Destiny’s story as a party of one, assuming you’re that much of a badass. Destiny will never require you to team up with other people in campaign missions. You’ll see other players along the way, but you can choose to ignore them. That said, we think you’ll find that playing with other Guardians is quick, painless, and a ton of fun. It’s always your choice, though.

@jaydawg6958: How deep does the customization go?

DeeJ: All the way down to your bones! Well, maybe not that far, but Destiny will be what you make of it.

All of the weapons and gear you can earn in Destiny can be customized — some more than others, but the goal is to let every player tell a story through the gear and abilities they’ve earned and wear. You create a character, pick a class, gender, and race, and then you customize the way you look and fight by completing missions, defeating enemies, or maybe just by exploring the world.

@knox140: How big is the world map? I’m really excited!

DeeJ: Bigger than anything Bungie has ever built. We no longer have mission designers, but world designers, instead. They’re building places worth visiting, exploring, and reclaiming from your enemies.

We’re excited, too! We can’t wait to see what you’ll do when you get in there. We’ll be watching!

@hell_razorX: What kind of endgame things are you planning on implementing to keep this world alive after players have finished? 

DeeJ: We’re creating a world you’ll want to visit again and again, and it will evolve and change right alongside you. We’re going to fill it up with activities that we think will satisfy a lot of different types of players, or even the different moods you have.

That might mean something really challenging on the cooperative front, like a Raid. It might mean that amazing, exotic Sniper Rifle that you’ve been drooling over for the last few months. It might even mean the new twist we’ve put on the as-of-yet-unrevealed game type that makes it feel new and different.

The Silver Dollar Shotgun

A shotgun is more than a weapon. It’s an icon. In a place made strange by the passage of time, the Silver Dollar is as relatable as a lucky coin. The age-old claim to “ride shotgun” calls out to us from a long-forgotten frontier.

These time-honored holdout weapons are quite common, and known for their reliability, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take one and make it your own. That sturdy frame can accommodate all of your favorite attachments and accessories. “This custom build is equipped with a catcher and 4 cartridge sidecar,” explains Art Lead Tom Doyle. Adding this weapon to your inventory is just the first step in a long and healthy relationship.

Your shotgun won’t just save your life. It will tell people your story, suggesting where you’ve been and what sort of danger you favor. “The paint scheme implies it has seen action near the evacuation site for the last colony ships that escaped the collapse,” Doyle reminisces.

For all the ways to defeat your enemies and reclaim our lost frontiers in Destiny, there will still be encounters that beg for nothing more elegant than a trusty pump-action scatter gun. New technology may come and go, but the Silver Dollar boasts a timeless heritage, and a close range kick that will scatter your enemies to the wind.

Disclaimer: Destiny is a work in progress!

This is just one weapon in an ongoing series in which we'll dig into the finer details of our upcoming first person action game, and explore how every element shapes the brave new world where your adventure will take place. All items, details, names, and pieces of random trivia are subject to change or obliteration due to an overdose of buckshot.