The Sprint: All In
From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
- Announcer Sprint : Making a game on the scale of Halo takes hundreds of people with different skills, a singular vision and time. Lots of time. But before a game reaches store shelves, the team must create thousands of assets that are tracked in two-week deadline, we call Sprints. 343 Industries invites you to join us on our journey, creating Halo 5 Guardians from the ground up, one painting, sound and line of code at a time. This is The Sprint.
- Josh Holmes : It's the best part of any project and every single time you play whether it's the campaign, the multiplayer experience we're seeing amazing progress.
- Bonnie Ross : So today, we're going to talk about 2015. Everything that's going on in 2015, where it is all about Halo 5.
- Holmes : Hi everybody, I'm going to share some stuff that you guys are going to be like what the f*** is going on and that's kind of the point. Is the Master Chief of traitor, is he going to die who's this dude that just shot him, what are you talking about he didn't shoot him, the Master Chief was going to shoot him, like what? What are you guys doing to Halo?! That's the point, it's important that people don't just sort of go okay yeah yeah, it's Halo 5, it's just another Halo game. We need people to kind of reinterpret what Halo is.
EPISODE 1 : ALL IN
- Tim Longo : E3 is this nexus point, this focal point for fans, media, everybody who comes, you know, they come to one place at this one time of year. Where a game like Halo, from a triple-a perspective, that's the place where you want to capture people's attention. So we gotta shine. Well so yeah, what is a creative director? There, a creative director is a crazy crazy job, I don't even know how best to describe it sometimes. Anybody creative ultimately reports them to me. You know our director Nick Bouvier and Neal Harrison are art manager, like they report in to me all the design aspects of the game audio, all reports into me. So kind of everything on the content side I'm ultimately responsible for from a creative perspective. With a huge team like this in Halo 5 being, way more enormous than I had anticipated when taking the role, which is totally awesome and I love the job, and yes it's a dream job, right, it's a dream come true, I have nothing to complain about, but it is super intense. Every week around here is kind of insane, so it's really hard to describe. One day it could be focusing on HUD UI stuff, one day could be focusing on Warzone multiplayer and sometimes we have to cut stuff that doesn't work out. You know it's if it does work out then we polish it up and so now we're really hot and heavy with Halo 5. We're demoing two big things at E3 : one is the campaign level Sunaion, Tsunami for a code name, and then we're also debuting our new big multiplayer mode which is called Warzone. So you have actually enemy AI in the multiplayer PvP mode as well as two huge teams of twelve people, so it's 24 players, which is the biggest we've ever had. The maps are bigger than we've ever had so you have all the vehicles and all the sandbox elements all together too.
Three Months Earlier
Five Months Until E3
- Kevin Franklin : So what we have today is our build review. We have a really important milestone coming up in about seven, eight days cut, so we've been working on it for an entire year. And vertical slice is as close to a shipping product as we can, there may be still some temporary assets in there but the experience itself is complete. So Lawrence what we have to check on the intros?
- Lawrence Metten : We want to see if we're getting some UI firing. So you should see the map name, victory points to win and then also a description of the mode. So we're not seeing any of that UI so we'll have to figure out why that's not firing.
- Franklin : So now you are, yet, okay we'll get back to that. When you get a mode of this size of 24 players like every type of AI issue, glitch or bug you can imagine hits us because we're almost using everything in the Halo sandbox. We've got every vehicle, we've got campaign assets, we've got bosses AI so anything that could go wrong with the game will affect Warzone. No look at this bug. Another one is a fun development bug that we're chasing right now is when you use the REQ station, your character jumps because I'm pressing A. Yeah it's a, like there's nothing for free in game development. Once you have to always be thinking about all the contexts and systems, what many the player has, it's actually just remembering that I'm pressing A and making me jump. So we just completed the intro assault and whoa whoa what's that hitch?
- Metten : It's the UI.
- Franklin : It's the UI loading? Okay. So this is an issue we didn't even have two days ago but now as an immediate fix for our our big review. So you can kind of see like as we're fixing things and adding things we’re always, you know, sort of incurring more debt and having to fix more bugs. These are awesome Lawrence just put in these locations, so these are shoulder bashes spots you can just smash through. Even less months, recently is about a month ago, this whole passage didn't exist so you would be in this tunnel and you'd have to run all the way around to the Armories. And then we've added these sort of shortcuts through to let you get there quicker. We have a mid-session progression loop for the first time in a Halo game. So as you're playing through the game, as you're killing enemies, as you're capturing bases, as you just with anything in Warzone you're leveling up and you can sort of access more high-end stuff. You know if you see somebody out there with a banshee, you don't have to worry about whether you started the game with a banshee or not, you can go to a terminal and get an awesome pistol, get your own banshee, which is even better. then you can have a dogfight.
- ? : Does the VTOL fit down that skylift?
- Metten : I bet he does. That would be cool. A bit risky right, you'd get blown up.
- ? : Is it a limit exploit?
- ? : Well I mean I use it. You shouldn't be able to like enter the enemy base like that, so.
- Franklin : I kind of like it. The big thing for all of us right now is making the difficult choices on whether or not we take new features, whether we fix bugs. Whether we want to take some risks and try to get more content into the build, whether we cut things because if they don't make into this build there's a good chance they're not going to make into the final game.
E3 Campaign Demo
- TJ Perillo : Yeah Tsunami’s been in the mix from the beginning, like right after we shipped for… tsunami was one of the first levels that we conceived of…
- Jayce Diaz : Originally it was just an idea that we had to kind of cater this uh… There's a prototype were throwing grenades would be affected by the wind and so would enemy characters and occasionally the player.
- Perillo : We figured putting a level out at sea in the middle of a tsunami or… actually it was never a tsunami, it was always more of a hurricane but I don’t know why we called it Tsunami Station, maybe just for the…
- Diaz : Sounds better.
- Perillo : Yeah right.
- Leonardo Barragan : We're pretty much doing like a first pass of every level in campaign.
- Perillo : Yeah like the water, I guess the sounds of the machinery, that would probably really help. We're missing a lot of this right here, like they're supposed to be like hundreds of ships dog fighting, capital ships doing broadside maneuvers. To that point it's kind of like the environment is almost kind of secondary. Like the theater of war that's going on outside the space, that's kind of the big scene here.
- Jameson Locke : “Osiris team, 90 seconds to drop point.”
- Spartan female : “And may Buck buy the first round when we get back.”
- Perillo : This is kind of like the final climactic battle in this civil war between the two factions of Sangheili, the Arbiter’s faction on the one side and the resurgent covenant on the other. And so the players need to find their way through a tsunami station while this Civil War is raging all around them. This is probably the section that we're going to take to E3, we've been calling it destruction alley.
- Diaz : You get there and there are a bunch of dead covenant, and even on Arbiter side. There's just a bunch of you know dead bodies and you're not sure what exactly caused all this chaos.
- Perillo : The Guardian’s coming to life and so the Promethean enemies start appearing.
- Spartan : “Prometheans incoming!”
- Diaz : You get some of the returning ones like the Crawler, a knight shows up and the new soldier shows up and with them their new weapons as well.
- Daniel Wiksten : We have a prototype that we haven't playtested that much yet. Basically there are two firing modes. One is when it's folded in like that, and that is when you are in hip fire, and that is just basically rapid firing, short-range grenades on a timer. And the other one which is when you aim and then fold it out like that, it’s gonna be firing longer range projectiles. So our biggest question right now, we have to I think, slice of the ammo counter. This is a pretty pretty big, it's covering up a lot of the weapon.
- Marcellis Wentz : It could be like half the height.
- Wiksten : Yeah exactly. And the other one is what do we do here do we have any of the actual model moving and animating, you think?
- Andrea Gaussman : I feel like we need to get a little bit better understanding of the mechanism there, how it pops out.
- Wentz : We usually have like a lot of moving parts on forerunner and UNSC stuff. The Covenants it's kind of more magical.
- Wiksten : Sure, it’s magic.
- Wentz : Yeah yeah so we don't need as many moving parts on the covenant weapons.
- Wiksten : Is Nick gonna be here?
- ? : He accepted…
- Wiksten : There he is!
- Sparth : It’s the first time I’m actually seeing it. What is this?
- Wiksten : That's a ammo counter.
- Sparth : Right now, this is probably not ideally placed. I would put it, like, put it back down in the design in order to be sure that this area is free of anything.
- Gaussman : That's a scale.
- Wentz : Can you put the scale down?
- Sparth : Oh yeah, yeah much better.
- Wiksten : It's gonna be some magic stuff here, showing off her Maya skills. See, how hard was that?
- Sparth : This should still feel as a single integrated object but this is way better. That's beautiful.
- Wiksten : Yeah the other question is what do we do with the back part of the barrel, so to say. Do we want to have something that kind of sits here as if we should have anything that kind of covers the back here, and then we'd have the projectiles showing up here, where the magazine kind of feeds up.
- Sparth : We have a mock-up somewhere? We should just like design this section and have something blocked here. And it would prevent the weapon in the middle to just feel empty, so I think we should use it, we should just use this.
Five Months Until E3
- ? : All right.
- Franklin : Ready to go? We're gonna go kick it off. Here we go, 24 player playtest time. So this is a picture of Warzone, it's just awesome when it happens, it's so much action going on. And then I get assassinated. That's crazy!
- ? : Blue you need to go get a base.
- ? : That's kind of impossible.
- Metten : Right now it's almost a stalemate like blue can't get out of their base but red can't push in to destroy the core. I think we need it to be easier to do either one.
- Franklin : In development we always call these Alamo situations because we felt like one team was pinned in their own base. And we want to make sure that they don't get stuck there forever but they also have a way to come back.
- ? : All right, that's good.
- Franklin : Apologies blue team on the stalemate, we're gonna be looking at that. New top issue Lawrence. All right we got stuff to fix.
- Longo : So, yeah, obviously I think everyone knows why we're here. We want to go over the E3 stuff as it stands right now, all this stuff is still very placeholder or in work in progress but this is the direction that we're heading. To give a little bit more context, the current plan for this is in the flow of everything, Bonnie will come out first. Then Josh comes on sets up Tsunami Station or Sunaion and then that will lead directly into gameplay. The other part of that is that currently the plan is that behind closed doors there is not a campaign demo, but on the show floor and any behind closed doors stuff currently is focused on Warzone.
- Nicole Makila : E3 is an awesome 10 weeks from now, so we are four weeks to content complet and eight weeks to ZBR and then two weeks after that Josh will be on the stage showing this off.
- Josh Lindquist : When you say we have to community to build confidence, does that translate into action, actual stuff for us?
- Holmes : Actionable stuff is…
- Longo : Positive attitude, Josh.
- Josh : We’re f*****!
End of The Sprint
- Brien Goodrich : We're shooting our opening sequence where we meet our team, Osiris team for the first time.
- Longo : Duck team Osiris. There's Vale and there's Tanaka. They listen to their squad commands. Buck doesn't listen he just, nope I'm not gonna heal you right. Come on duck team Osiris. Yeah it's gold.