The Halo Bulletin: 5.15.13
by bs angel
Ever since Bravo joined the team, he's been trying to wrestle the Bulletin away from me— and I don't mean figuratively, either.
That's why when a community-voted award is bestowed upon us, it resonates across the entire studio. It's your vote that got us the recognition and we're appreciative and thankful for that. Such was the case last week, when we were honored to be named the recipient of GeekWire's Game of the Year award, which was voted on by you, the fans. GeekWire covers the people, companies and innovations emerging from the Pacific Northwest, and Chris Lee, Halo 4's Lead Producer, was on hand to accept the joystick-themed trophy.
We don't know either.
So thank you for your support, and, without further ado, here's Bravo to talk multiplayer with you. Yes, he still gets to write part of the Bulletin. I do have cat pictures to look at, you know.
Weapon Tuning Live Stream
Bravo here with some weapon tuning and Matchmaking updates! As we've been discussing over the past few weeks, several community members will be joining us in studio this Friday to check out the current state of our multiplayer sandbox weapon tuning. Not only will these players have a chance to check out what's going on behind the scenes, but they'll also be joining us on a live stream that will give you a chance to see the newly-tuned weapons in action with gameplay from top pros and personalities as well as insight and commentary from multiplayer designer Quinn DelHoyo and yours truly.
Join us on Friday at 2pm PDT at www.twitch.tv/343industries. Be sure to follow the stream to be notified of future live streams!
Joining us in-studio on Friday will be:
We will showcase gameplay from several of these players across multiple game modes and maps, as well as discuss the current sandbox tuning during and after their matches. We can't wait to show you what we've been working on and hope to see you at 2pm on our Twitch.tv channel!
Current State of Weapon Tuning
Let's talk a bit more about what's going on with weapon tuning. While we're certainly nearing the final build, we're also looking forward to receiving feedback from our community guests as well as those watching the live stream from home: you! This feedback will undoubtedly provide valuable insight because Friday's live stream will be the world premiere of our sandbox tuning. Additionally, we'll continue updating you with our progress in each Bulletin. For now, I sat down with Quinn to grab some details about the vehicle weapon tuning, as it seems some of you are particularly interested in this area.
Vehicle Weapon Tuning Details
The biggest difficulty in tuning the Halo 4 sandbox is that we support so many different modes (at a high level, we have Campaign, Spartan Ops, and Multiplayer). But each of those gets broken down even further: co-op (1-4 players), difficulty levels, Skulls, Forge, saved films, and a plethora of different multiplayer modes, some of which have different traits that further modify sandbox elements. From that perspective, just fully vetting and testing everything can be an incredibly complex and challenging problem. What might seem like a relatively simple change can quickly turn into a logistical nightmare for our testing team. Start changing multiple things at the same time, and it gets even harder! And that's just looking at things from a high level and ignoring the impact of loadouts and the fact that our low-level moment-to-moment gameplay provides players with so many tactical choices and interplay (golden triangle of guns/melee/grenades + Armor Abilities, vehicles, and regenerating health/shields + headshots, and so on).
As you can begin to see, we have to be very delicate with sandbox tuning not only due to how each change affects the entire sandbox, but also due to technical concerns. These include verifying that all animations, audio effects, and more function correctly as we tweak the firing rate, reload speed, and other values. As a result, our weeks of testing and tweaking will ensure that the final changes, when delivered on June 3, will provide the most optimal multiplayer experiences.
Matchmaking Playlist Update
This coming Monday, we have some new stuff coming to Matchmaking. As usual, I'm excited, and I want to tell you about it. In Spartan Ops, we'll be featuring an encore of episode 7, and in War Games, we'll be adding a playlist and updating several others.
Premiering this coming week is the Community Forge Island playlist, which brings with it 6 new community-made maps on Forge Island, and will be available until the June 3rd Matchmaking Playlist Update. If you haven't yet downloaded the free Forge Island canvas, head here to download to your Xbox 360. The Community Cartographers have worked hard to select some of their favorite map and game type combinations:
In addition, Big Team Infinity Slayer and Infinity Slayer have some updates as well.
If there's no Matchmaking Update next week, it's because I am practicing my arm wrestling strategies.
Halo 4 Screenshot Spotlight - EVA
Last week, we turned the spotlight on the Battle Rifle. This week, we decided to go with Extra-Vehicular Activity Armor. Take a gander at the following images of the fish bowl-esque helmet, and then capture your own for your shot at being featured in next week's Bulletin.