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Halo Infinite - Now Q3 2021


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1 minute ago, Sarlaccfood said:


If you consider what happened with Crackdown, Phantom Dust, Scalebound and the launch state of Sea Of Thieves, it’s one example in a long line though really. 
 

Even recently allowing Ninja Theory to turn up empty-handed to their summer presentation was a massive miss-step (although that one is a bit more understandable and I’m just being selfish)
 

Considering much of the Infinite development time was during the Xbox One era, it’s possible things have changed with their software management, but looking at this gen, it’s certainly not a one-off. 

Crackdown, Scalebound, and Phantom Dust were all handed down from Mattrick era though. But indeed, Halo Infinite definitely wasn't. That one's all Phil and his team. As has been said, we badly need a juicy post-mortem for this one. Just what the fuck happened? 5 years, one of the biggest dev studios ever, and an unlimited budget. What happen???

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Microsoft are on the way to make themselves the Netflix of Games, and their hardware is brilliant. Their infrastructure superb. 

 

But the elephant in the room is their immense inability to manage game studios. They spent a generation releasing barely anything first party. Compared to Sony's hit after hit (with far more limited resources).


Talent like Bungie, Rare, 343, The Coalition, Mojang, If a game studio can manage itself then it can continue being a success, but if it needs input from above it all goes wrong.  They've mismanaged Halo and pushed Bungie away, then slowly drove their big IP into the ground. Rare spent a decade finding themselves and farmed off into nonsense projects.

 

They need to hire talent to manage their studios. Bethesda is almost a side benefit in the acquisition. I think what people are not valuing enough is, I suspect,  the masterstroke of MS's purchase of Zen Media's management and upper level teams. I bet we will start seeing them being promoted to oversee microsoft studios. This is Disney buying Pixar and Lasseter then running disney. Zen Media will run Microsoft Game Studies before the dust settles and get things running efficiently.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

Crackdown, Scalebound, and Phantom Dust were all handed down from Mattrick era though. But indeed, Halo Infinite definitely wasn't. That one's all Phil and his team. As has been said, we badly need a juicy post-mortem for this one. Just what the fuck happened? 5 years, one of the biggest dev studios ever, and an unlimited budget. What happen???

 

But people seem to forget the small detail of who was in charge of game development for MGS since 2008 (and was in that same role for the European development division before that), so it all happened on his watch, even if you think his hands were tied until his promotion.

 

Also people love to blame Don Mattrick for strategic direction, he inherited the first party situation from Robbie Bach, who is on record talking about not bothering with making many first party games as their chosen strategy during the X360 generation so he seemed to be implementing the game plan already laid out, rather than dreaming it up.

 

The record for mega budget Service Games isn't pretty. It'll be interesting to see what changes they make to it as they clearly thought it was good to go when they finally revealed it and signed all the marketing deals using it.

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1 hour ago, mushashi said:

 

But people seem to forget the small detail of who was in charge of game development for MGS since 2008 (and was in that same role for the European development division before that), so it all happened on his watch, even if you think his hands were tied until his promotion.

 

 

Don't know about tied, but there was definitely a big course correction after Mattrick left and Spencer stepped to the front. So the reasoning still stands, those three games were started half-heartedly back when they thought winding down first party development was a good idea, instead focusing on TV and letting third party games pick up the slack. Infinite was started when they were full swing in damage repair mode, winning hearts and minds, laying the ground works for game pass, xcloud, and all the acquisitions. 

1 hour ago, mushashi said:

 

 

Also people love to blame Don Mattrick for strategic direction, he inherited the first party situation from Robbie Bach, who is on record talking about not bothering with making many first party games as their chosen strategy during the X360 generation so he seemed to be implementing the game plan already laid out, rather than dreaming it up.

 

 

It's because of that infamous photo from the dramatic XB1 reveal with him pointing at the new kinect-enabled TV watching device. You know the one. It's also easier to point at just one guy. And if things visibly improve right after he leaves, it becomes even easier.

1 hour ago, mushashi said:

 

 

 

The record for mega budget Service Games isn't pretty. It'll be interesting to see what changes they make to it as they clearly thought it was good to go when they finally revealed it and signed all the marketing deals using it.

It's even on the back of the goddamn Xbox Series X box. Clearly they were convinced it would ship and that it was good. It's a head scratcher how things played out as they did.

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Microsoft will not show more of Halo Infinite, its delayed flagship Xbox Series X launch title, at December's Game Awards.
 

The annual game announcements broadcast (which also features some awards) is traditionally the last date on the calendar to reveal anything big before the industry shuts up shop for Christmas. 
 

But 343 Industries is still "going through the huge cascade of implications and ramifications to the release shift," community director Brian Jarrard wrote on reddit. "The team is heads down working through nearly every facet of the game."

 

Taking time away from that to work on a demo for the Game Awards - something which, of course, was never planned for as the game was due to be released already - would only hold up 343's work further, Jarrard continued. 

 

"[We] are hoping to offer at least a high level update within the next few weeks so we can kind of restart this journey together after the holidays," he concluded.


https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2020-11-17-halo-infinite-will-skip-decembers-game-awards

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13 minutes ago, Isaac said:

I think a good sign that this project is getting back on track is if they cancel the Xbox One version - no idea if they'll actually take that step though.

It's funny how the Xbox One, the console that almost brought the Xbox division down, still continues to be an anchor around the neck for MS.

 

I know that there are still a lot of base Xbone owners out in the wild but, between games like this, Flight Simulator and Cyberpunk, you have to imagine that the sooner the old Xbox is cut loose the better.

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  • Wallace changed the title to Halo Infinite - Now Q3 2021
44 minutes ago, bear said:

I think it's only a matter of time before they cancel the Xboxone release. 

 

Seems like there's a lot of misplaced ire here. If you think the problem with Halo Infinite is its visuals then improve the artwork and accept the Xbox One will run at a lower resolution, it was always going to anyway - it's not hard, at least in relative terms, to scale graphics. 

 

If you believe the problem with Halo Infinite is in the game logic then you'd need to cancel the One X version too. That also doesn't make much sense as there are a number of other open-world games with good combat, MGSV and BotW leap to mind and Zelda runs on the Switch which only has a fraction of the Xbox One's compute power. Besides, you'd essentially have to start development over from scratch and I doubt anyone's prepared to do that at this stage. 

 

I get that the Xbox One isn't liked in some quarters, it marked Microsoft ceding The Most Powerful Console™ to Sony along with all the TV and Kinect stuff but using it as a whipping boy for Halo Infinite's troubled development seems unfair and non-sensical. 

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Confirmation in that article that they didn't have any sort of colour grading in the July demo, which goes a long way to explaining why it looked so flat.

 

And while he was never going to say it's shit, this quote from the new creative director does sound promising:

 

Quote

My first week on the job, I played the entire Infinite campaign. Twice. I was, in a word, stunned—in the best possible way—by what the team had done. Infinite is, by far, the most expansive and vertical Halo world, ever. Why did the team do this? Because they understand that wonder and freedom are key to the Halo experience.

 

I could feel the classic Halo “30 seconds of fun” beating at the heart of Infinite’s world. But I had never felt more powerful, more mobile, more in command of a rich set of tactical choices. This was the Halo we imagined back in 2000, finally come to life, after 20 years of technical and creative innovation.

 

Sure, there were bugs in the build and clearly more work to do. But this concept art by Martin Deschambault (one of the many incredible pieces he’s made for the game):

 

hi-campaign-concept-art-1920x1080-6ed391

 

It encapsulates all the excitement and curiosity and joy I felt on my first journey through Zeta Halo, the most mysterious, dangerous, and possibility-rich place in the entire Halo universe. Everywhere I looked, I saw choices:

 

Do I explore off the golden path? Assault that Banished war base guarding the valley pass? Follow a flight of Forerunner Sentinels into that unexpected cavern? Rescue a squad of marines dug-in and desperate halfway up that mountain? Or do I keep pulling the mainline story thread that feels epic and intimate at the exact same time?

 

Truly, Halo Infinite is a world in which I love spending time and that I’m thrilled to return to, both as a designer and a player. On behalf of the entire team, thank you for your patience and your passion. We can’t wait for you to join us on the Halo Infinite adventure, first with Insider flighting later next year, and then when we ship in Fall 2021.

 

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9 minutes ago, Harsin said:

That makes the people banging on about how it was obviously a graphical choice that us philistines weren't appreciating at the time pretty funny.

Nah, the aesthetic is still the same. That chunky feel of the originals is still in place, they’ve just upped the graphical flourishes with better lighting, volumetrics, etc.

 

Saying that, it looks like they’re only showing us new stills from the multiplayer and some of those character models are too busy again for me.

 

I’m looking forward to seeing how the campaign’s shaping up and I hope they haven’t gone too far with superfluous detail.

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20 minutes ago, Harsin said:

That makes the people banging on about how it was obviously a graphical choice that us philistines weren't appreciating at the time pretty funny.

Companies like Microsoft don't make stupid mistakes like this. When was the last time a movie studio showed an ungraded (not color corrected) trailer and later apologised?

 

Microsoft went for the Fortnite crowd with Halo Infinite and it backfired (e.g. more comic like graphics/color palette). Now they have changed (graphical) direction. I don't think it is that difficult to comprehend. They also brought back some of the old veterans... this all goes to show they changed direction.

 

The big question hanging over all of this is still what type of game Halo Infinite is. Microsoft hasn't said a word about it. My gut feeling is that it is a "portal" game. E.g. a lobby type of area with all kinds of different things attached to it, more or like what Destiny and Fortnite are but maybe to the extend of PlayStation Home. Meaning that you can start "Halo Fornite", "Halo Wars", "Halo 6" stories all in the same persistent universe and also opening it up for more sandbox type of stuff like Fortnite has.

 

p.s. the graphics look very Gears of War 5 like to me in terms of gloss and shine. I guess they exchanged some information.  

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24 minutes ago, MNFRMTMRRW said:

Microsoft went for the Fortnite crowd with Halo Infinite and it backfired (e.g. more comic like graphics/color palette). Now they have changed (graphical) direction. I don't think it is that difficult to comprehend. They also brought back some of the old veterans... this all goes to show they changed direction.

What a load of bollocks. You do realise the aesthetic is based on the original Halo*, a game which came out years, if not decades, before Fortnite was even conceived? Could you also show me where they’ve said they’ve changed graphical direction? From reading that article all they’ve said is that they’ve increased the visual fidelity, not changed the art style.
 

*And it’s exactly the look Halo should have.

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43 minutes ago, MNFRMTMRRW said:

Companies like Microsoft don't make stupid mistakes like this. When was the last time a movie studio showed an ungraded (not color corrected) trailer and later apologised?

 

Microsoft went for the Fortnite crowd with Halo Infinite and it backfired (e.g. more comic like graphics/color palette). Now they have changed (graphical) direction. I don't think it is that difficult to comprehend. They also brought back some of the old veterans... this all goes to show they changed direction.

There is precisely nothing in the HI gameplay video that suggests to me a Fortnite influence on the visuals. In line with what JPL said, it looks much now like a slightly misguided and unsuccessful attempt to capture the look and feel of a game engine running on hardware from three generations ago. That's a hard thing to do.

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26 minutes ago, jonny_rat said:

There is precisely nothing in the HI gameplay video that suggests to me a Fortnite influence on the visuals. In line with what JPL said, it looks much now like a slightly misguided and unsuccessful attempt to capture the look and feel of a game engine running on hardware from three generations ago. That's a hard thing to do.

 

In fairness they managed to get the pop-in effects and rudimentary enemy faces bang on.

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Reading between the lines and despite what 343 are saying, I’m guessing they went back to the drawing board for at least some of Infinite.

 

Microsoft could do with getting something exclusive and must have out long before the new Halo.

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7 hours ago, petrolgirls said:

 

Seems like there's a lot of misplaced ire here. If you think the problem with Halo Infinite is its visuals then improve the artwork and accept the Xbox One will run at a lower resolution, it was always going to anyway - it's not hard, at least in relative terms, to scale graphics. 

 

If you believe the problem with Halo Infinite is in the game logic then you'd need to cancel the One X version too. That also doesn't make much sense as there are a number of other open-world games with good combat, MGSV and BotW leap to mind and Zelda runs on the Switch which only has a fraction of the Xbox One's compute power. Besides, you'd essentially have to start development over from scratch and I doubt anyone's prepared to do that at this stage. 

 

I get that the Xbox One isn't liked in some quarters, it marked Microsoft ceding The Most Powerful Console™ to Sony along with all the TV and Kinect stuff but using it as a whipping boy for Halo Infinite's troubled development seems unfair and non-sensical. 

What ire was there in my post? 

 

I've explained a page or two back why I believed that a significant delay for Infinite would hurt the case for an Xboxone release. Looking at the posts again I don't think they are particularly angry either but maybe it's just crammed full of poisonous bile I'm too blind to see. 

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None of us know how much, if at all, the Xbox One version is holding the game back - if it’s out ‘Fall 2021’ then clearly they’ve no time to redo everything from scratch and the game is already running on all consoles to varying degrees. I don’t see how cancelling the Xbox One version would improve the Series version is what I’m trying to say. 

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22 minutes ago, Harsin said:

 

In fairness they managed to get the pop-in effects and rudimentary enemy faces bang on.

I don’t think anybody thought that was a graphical choice, just that it had obviously been hit by Covid and needed a lot of polish. Read the article. They actually mention those two very things you’re talking about and what they’ve done/are doing to sort it.

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1 hour ago, MNFRMTMRRW said:

Companies like Microsoft don't make stupid mistakes like this. When was the last time a movie studio showed an ungraded (not color corrected) trailer and later apologised?

 

If you haven't seen the original released version of Tom Cruise Mummy trailer then you owe it to yourself to experience the majesty. It's not a colour correction issue, but, well, you'll see.

 

 

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I'm slightly surprised that they didn't release the multiplayer regardless. It seemed like it was pretty standalone what with it being FTP, it's the kind of thing that could have evolved anyway and would of at least been something new. I appreciate some don't care about multiplayer but it's the bit I'm most looking forward to as someone who still plays Halo 5 online regularly. Admitedly we hadn't seen any footage of it, so perhaps it was a complete shit show but it would seem weird for them to be going on about it supporting 120fps and it not being anywhere near ready.

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