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The Sprint: Sustain

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The Sprint: Sustain is a video documentary by 343 Industries, about the development of Halo 5: Guardians.


  • 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.

September 7, 2015

  • Mike Byron : So you guys will be in Sniper Rifle's room. We have these five kits, so we'll set you down and each one of you can kind of make your own home for the next week. You are the first people outside of like our internal like multiplayer team and design guys and stuff that will actually get to use Forge. We spent a lot of time going over controls and how we handle objects and how you place objects and move them.
  • ? : Say the word multi-select by the way.
  • Mike Byron : Multi-select. We kind of went through all of you guys's feedback that has like ever been posted by anyone on Forge. We spent a lot of time digging into it but we really wanted to respond to all the feedback because Forge for Halo 5 has been a pretty big undertaking for the Forge team, we want to just quickly run you through the tool, we're going to kind of talk about like what we want for BTB maps and then we're going to go and have you play the Forge maps we built so that we can then talk about kind of like how we did this stuff and the changes we made and actually Adrian just walked in. Adrian is our MP Arena level designer. Him and Quinn, Quinn is the lead arena designer, they're gonna come in and they're gonna chat with you guys kind of every day and they're just gonna be a sounding board for you guys as you work on your big team battle maps.
  • ? : Is there a train editor?
  • Mike Byron : We’ll get to that.


  • ? : There is a lot of leeway to kind of like put your spin on it cuz you're gonna have to make changes and compromises to make the game feel right with our new weapon sandbox, our new player sandbox and all that stuff. The goal is that you guys have something that you feel really proud of, you feel like it's in a good place, I don't need it to be final we'll make sure it's all bug fixed if there are hot spots in the map where it's not a hundred percent performant, we'll go through and we'll clean it up we really want this to be a collaboration between you guys and the 343 team of making really cool maps that we launch shortly after we come out that the whole community gets to to experience.

343 Industries

  • Daniel Wiksten : In the simplest way I can put it as the sandbox team is responsible for all the toys you can find and use in the game. I mean all vehicles, all weapons. Each weapon has a few different settings that makes the handling a bit different. One of the biggest parts is the aim assist.

Sandbox Engineering

  • Daniel Wiksten : So you can see the reticle turns red when I'm closer almost on him, that means that the aim assist is fully engaged and your shots are gonna go toward that target. Now if we turn on the debug stuff here, you'll see a ton of different circles here. This little cross here that you see is actually where the bullets will bend towards where your aim is actually corrected to and as I go over him you'll see it actually snaps to him. It kind of gets back to the center of my actual reticle and this other angle out here, the system magnetism. Magnet system basically means that we slow down the turning speed when you get close to an enemy and the reason for that is that you won't just sweep over him, it’ll kind of stick and also when you're inside of the magnetism cone, any movement that this guy does your reticle will try and follow him to correct, so when a guy's strafing if you're inside of the magnetism you get a little bit of assistance to help track him. So you have to kind of find that balance where it's helping you enough.
  • Tim Temmerman : Maybe you don't notice that it's helping.
  • Daniel Wiksten : Right, if we do our job well, you actually don't have any idea that this is going on.
  • Tim Temmerman : Yeah, it just feels like you're that bad ass.
  • Daniel Wiksten : Yeah, exactly. The sandbox team is responsible for basic movements, all new sparking ability stuff that we've added for Halo 5.
  • Tim Temmerman : So that's one of the times where we need to know how high can the Spartan jump, at what point can he clamber up.
  • Daniel Wiksten : Maybe you don't want to be able to just make the jump in while shooting, you actually want to force the player to commit the time to actually do the clamber so when he comes up here he can't actually do guns blazing, he has to do that little clamber.
  • Tim Temmerman : You have to give away your control for a second, at least you're not shooting for a second.
  • Daniel Wiksten : So the defenders at least have a little bit of chance of like getting the first shot at you as you come in here, especially for campaign that's super important. You want to make sure that people can't get outside of the level, things like that. If you want to have a secret somewhere that is hard to reach but not impossible.
  • Tim Temmerman : Same for vehicles too. If you have a jump that you want the player just to barely make with their Warthog, we have to know exactly how much leading you need for that jump, how big the jump has to be the angle of the jump. We also want you to feel like you're barely kind of making some of these jumps. Doesn't feel too easy doesn't feel impossible to make the jump. So that stuff ideally is locked super early before any art is touched on.
  • ? : Anybody come up with a cheeky Forge name for the map yet?
  • ? : We’re kind of resisting against its predecessor so maybe antifreeze?
  • ? : That’s a winner!
  • Tom French : It's day four of the Cartographers being here. Adrian want to pop by and see if they need any help.
  • ? : Yeah, I just started experimenting with the train and it's like what I'm used to do but…
  • Dana Jerpbak : Because I think right now when you're going up this ramp here, your natural kind of tendency is just to go straight and you're getting here, so maybe if you can naturally leave the path of the vehicle like up that ramp and the kind of curve towards this piece, I think the more kind of natural it’s gonna feel.
  • ? : Is there any really chunky railings?
  • Tom French : Go to the cover pieces actually there's some really heavy chunky cover pieces.
  • ? : So like there's the jersey kind of cover which is, it's solid.
  • Tom French : Yeah, is a construction field. It's like they look like you know railings that you have on outside of a road.
  • ? : My goal I hope I accomplished is you kind of blur the line between what a dead map is and what a Forge map.
  • Kyle Warren : It's your classic Halo 2 base map. It's all about movement and verticality with Halo, so I'm trying to bring all that into this one map. I'll sit here and just look at how ramps connect for hours. It's challenging but it's really fun, there's constant puzzles and trying to figure out how players are going to think and move and you know what's the incentive to go from this space to that structure. Players can scale the dais, right, they come up in the back, let's print to the top they can take this man cannon and they jump right away. They can make that really smooth then they can sprint and do the prayer jump, thrust, hold, grab it, grab this and then they can get to this really exposed area and then bomb towards the base and they can also do a second prayer jump, to get on top of the basement back here and really really mess people up right. Of course you can move across the map not through all this crazy jumps too but for players that really want to take advantage of the new Spartan features and all the verticality on the map, they can find ways to get really high.
  • ? : How do you watch the cinematic?
  • Mike Byron : Hey, so, I've been running a lot with people. Five o'clock, we're gonna be doing a play test in the lab, I've invited all of the bigwigs like Holmes and Chris Lee and Tim Longo, so you guys are kind of like free to like continue working on your map kind of get it as good as you can try and get it ready for the play test at five.
  • Justin Oaksford : There's what, 11 of us, 10 of us and after all the campaign and multiplayer stuff is done for launch, all the 3D guys, we don't have to fix bugs because we don't actually implement anything that's kind of a big deal where all the 3D people who do all the modeling and texturing and art and animation have tons of bugs to fix and polish to get up to perf and since we don't deal with that we have a lot more bandwidth, can sit like relatively to work on this stuff.
  • Darren Bacon : It means a lot of multiplayer maps, a lot of armor suits, armor skins and anything that will be shipped being in DLC.
  • Justin Oaksford : As some people talk about we're doing like this remix ideology where, we use the palettes from some of the original multiplayer maps. In this case with Mining Rig, you know we have the original Mining Rig is kind of this oil platform that's going through the desert and this is more of a refinery I guess like more of like where they would refine molten glass molten rock and stuff like that. So this is an example of the geometry that I got back and we decided this would be the angle that I would paint over because this is that defining feature, that really makes it different from the original Mining Rig. And so what I do here is try to retain the geometry because they have, that's what they play tested but still bring back the personality of the original sketch. The first things that I did were these quick little thumbnails. I think this is one that people can have settled on and then I start trying to light it and get you know I keep sending it to the team on through email and as it moves through, you can see a lot of like iterative change where here, very early on there's like the lava waterfall established but I kind of was losing inspiration on that and I thought it would be more interesting to have kind of like a facility up top with large coolant tank and kind of trying to figure out what that could look like we ended up actually going back in the end to the lava fall again. So this goes off to game design and level design who work together to come up with something inspired by this.
  • Darren Bacon : You want to give the illusion that all of this stuff has story and a purpose and not just be like some textured things, you know paintball course and that's like the real challenge. It's kind of selling it as something that's unique and cool and works versus just another MP map.
  • Justin Oaksford : Yeah, yeah not just a collection of half walls and 45 degree ramps to jump over but something that helps people buy into the fiction in the world.

First Big Team Playtest

  • ? : Let's go!
  • Ben Walker : Oh, we never deleted it did we? All right, Quinn take me out in a good way.
  • ? : Eating that elbow.
  • Quinn DelHoyo : What is going on?
  • ? : All right, we gotta bring this back.
  • Quinn DelHoyo : Go play arena bro.
  • ? : Yeah, we'll get them fixed and clean those up.
  • Mike Byron : So that is, this is this gentleman's map, can you guys just give him some feedback as we get the next map around out like what do you what do you guys think for size, scale kind of what's going on.
  • Tim Longo : I wasn't winning much…
  • ? : Because Nick was playing.
  • Jeremy Raymond : I think it's a really great small-scale big team battle map, it's nice to have mixture of different levels and I think that's definitely plays to good infantry big team battle.

Five Weeks Later

  • Adrian Bedoya : After all the cartographers left it was our task to then go in and kind of refine the maps and you know get ‘em ready to ship. We're calling this map Recurve, kind of a take on Longbow. There's a path up this way that's kind of more of an infantry focus path and it's like the upper path as well like leads into the center structure. There’s the sniper rifle put in a very central location and also in an ideal location for the sniper rifle because it has a pretty nice views along both sides of the map. It's one of those things where when you go on two different maps, you want to have areas that are like instantly recognizable and are good for call-outs you know. Currently this spot on the map is called top mill, but in all of our play tests we kind of call this area the sniper lounge. The whale, it's our call out for this section because people don't know what the MP pitt is but if we say the whale they instantly know. Even though, how could you not know where Quinn is. So the beauty of Forge is that we're all able to make these maps and work on them so you know we've had our producer, Mike Byron make, yeah.
  • Tom French : So easy even Mike can use it.
  • Adrian Bedoya : Even a producer can use it!