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Lazerbeard

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About Lazerbeard

  • Birthday 01/02/1988
  1. To be fair isn't that what a PTR would be for? You could test things like that and let them sit there for a few months to let people get their honeymoon phase over inside the PTR and then discuss the pros and cons with a level head right? You'd have to be clear that whatever was in the PTR wouldn't go to general settings immediately even if the support for something in the PTR seemed overwhelming, which would probably cause more consternation in the hypothetical where the test playlist had something like no radar but the ranked arena settings didn't. Still seems like it's a good way to make sure that changes are in fact well thought out, and it solves the issue of "we can't change X because then pros will be blind sighted" because there's a place where they can understand the new meta that results from incoming changes.
  2. I mean, we had pancakes and then went back to work (unless you were playing or watching the internal 343 tournament).
  3. Congratulations The industry always needs more passionate creators.
  4. They did some fantastic work(and still continue to do so!). I always liked that they put some of their coolest stuff up on presentations that were pretty easy to find on their website. I can't find it with their new layout but all the stuff they talked about during that time is here if you're interested in going deeper. http://halo.bungie.net/Inside/publications.aspx I read and reread their technical papers and Crytek's while creating my own renderer when I was in college, I especially liked how they did their effects system.
  5. I'll just pop in to say the jab about MS not reporting Xbox sales and pivoting to XBL unique users actually provides more accurate details to investors about the health of the platform. If MS sold X million Xboxes over the holiday and it turns out nobody actually liked their Xbox and traded it in or stopped playing it, previously that would simply look like X million Xboxes sold which looks positive. With the new reporting structure you would see a decrease in engagement, which would obviously be a bad thing and if it becomes a trend a really bad thing for the overall brand. Now you can see the actual interest in the console, and if you are a company looking to put your content on the xbox you understand how many people are in your market. I don't think it's a secret that Xbox is trailing Playstation in global install base but the switch in reporting wasn't a nefarious plot to mask anything, if nothing else it gives you more information. Best example where the switch in install base vs active users would have been illuminating would be the Wii. Huge install base, but I don't know many people who actually used their console (or bought many games on it) after the first year. We didn't really see that loss of interest reflect in any numbers reported until we could see how a successor console, the Wii U fared.
  6. A lot of the interactions you're describing are often written in a scripting language and indeed do not take up a large amount of the code base in the game. If a function or body of code is invoked multiple times I would not count those lines of code separately each time they are used. Think about how many lines of code are used in writing Unity itself or writing substantial extensions so that your pseudocode does what you want efficiently, or making improvements to stuff that just works underneath the hood like the rendering pipeline, networking, collision detection, physics, AI, sound, input, or content processing etc. That is what a large majority of the engineering effort goes toward. All of those systems need to be written and each imparts a flavor, to varying degrees, to the overall way the game looks, feels and plays. Some of it is overt, like changing the graphics engine to allow objects to be rendered at a higher quality or to enable a new feature like skin shading or outlining. Some of it is more indirect like increasing the efficiency of certain types of objects so designers can place more of them, allowing for more complex scenes.
  7. The Unreal Engine 4 contains some of the same code as UE3, which contains some of the code from UE2 and so on.. I think it's doing a disservice to how many man-centuries are required to create an engine that can support a game like Halo to say that it could be written from scratch in the space between Halo releases and allow the time for content teams to begin making content in the new engine. Yes I believe the code base has existed as a continuity since Halo CE, but to say that it's the *same* code base or that there are minor tweaks would also be doing a disservice to how much does change between releases. Between each release (I can only speak of between 4 and 5 from personal knowledge) the entire engineering team puts their full effort towards extending or redoing all parts of the engine as much as can be done with the time resources available to the point where it mutates beyond recognition of the previous iteration. I'm confident a majority of the files needed to run the game are modified in some way or refactored out entirely and I know that many core ideas about how the game is even composed and run have changed drastically over the years. (example: Between Halo CE and 2 Bungie switched from their homebrew physics engine to the outsourced Havok physics engine http://halo.bungie.net/news/content.aspx?cid=3491) However there's some stuff you really never need to look at again once you write it and test it, a math library for example. The definition of a dot product isn't going to change and unless there's some new way to engage the hardware to do those math functions faster (even this does happen from time to time, like SIMD) there's no reason to ever write that code again and doing so would be a waste of valuable time. Likewise some things have to change, especially when working with new hardware either to make sure it's compatible with the new stuff or just to take as much of an advantage of new features as possible. I assume the phrase "rebuilt from the ground up" is used because it's an easy way to quickly convey that a ton of work has been done and all parts of the engine have been modified or redone. It is imprecise wording I agree but I can't think of a phrase that expresses the sentiment more accurately in as few words either. If the Halo engine were a car, it would be stripped to its frame between releases and as many pieces as possible would be upgraded or replaced as is feasible. Maybe the frame itself gets worked on as well, perhaps to widen the engine bay to accommodate a larger motor or to modify it in order to reduce weight and increase speed. As far as your specific query, that's definitely something I wouldn't feel comfortable talking about since it's not my area of expertise. Additionally I wouldn't really have a way to know how much of that area of code has changed since CE anyway since I don't have the source files from CE to compare them to. Clearly some amount of the input code has to have changed to account for the different controllers between Xbox->360->XBO, and you are obviously acutely aware that some changes have been made to the way the aiming system responds to the controller. More broadly, the cost of doing those retooling or replacements isn't always intuitive. The more parts of the engine a system touches, the harder it is to work with because there's so much more surface area to cover, from testing that your work didn't have any unintended side effects, to simply doing the work to get the intended effect in the first place and updating all the effected systems. Navigating what gets worked on to what extent at what time for how long is a complicated process and involves many hard decisions I am very glad I don't have to be the one making, and I have a lot of respect for those that do even if I don't always agree with their decision. I don't think anyone wants less constructive feedback, but please try to keep this in mind.
  8. Sure. If you assume that a game like Unreal Tournament is built off an engine like the Unreal engine. I work on Halo's equivalent to the Unreal engine. Specifically I write code that gets source content (models from a modeling package like 3Ds Max, Maya etc) into a performant format that can be read and used by the game engine. If anyone here has experience with Halo PC, they'd know what "tag" files are. I work on tag file generation. Once the data has entered the running game my job is pretty much done, hence I don't really work on anything you guys would be interested in. As far as what's off-limits, I don't work directly with any of the design team other than doing my best to make sure that they have the stuff they need to get their job done and I'm not on the gameplay engineering team so I don't really have any for you. Besides not wanting to potentially violate my NDA, more importantly I wouldn't feel right talking about other people's work second-hand or attempting to explain technical details on systems I haven't worked on. If members of those teams wish to come here and answer your questions that is their prerogative. If there ever was a question I thought I could directly answer I'd answer to the best of my ability, but I don't think that will happen since my work is in the underbelly of the engine. I do like talking about game engineering in general, but I'd be worried that any answers I gave you would reflect directly on the Halo engine and not a hypothetical of what *I'd* do if I were implementing the feature. I actually don't know how a lot of that stuff works in *our* engine because the codebase is very large, old and complicated. Finding the true answer can sometimes be difficult, hence me not wanting to speak about areas of the game I don't directly work in. What I'm trying to tell you is that I don't know why the aiming doesn't work the way you'd expect. I am not experiencing the same discomfort as you so it's difficult to say what it might be. I will say that I did have some really weird aiming behavior going on the last time I played, but it turns out that it was due to setting my outer threshold too far out. I had it set to 1%, and when I set it back to 10% everything seemed to snap back into place. No idea why that would work but I was desperate and just trying things, and that worked for me. Still have the inner threshold set to 0% and that seems to be just fine. I'm sorry it's not working for you the way you expect and it's a shame that it's effecting your experience.
  9. I go here because I think this site is well run and maintained, and is the best place to get news about competitive Halo. I follow the HWC thread pretty religiously. I also like to see what people here say about the game because you guys have some of the most unfiltered opinions about the game. Working on games is my passion and part of my job satisfaction comes from seeing people react to the game, positive or negative I like seeing how people are actually taking the hard work my colleagues and in some small part myself have put in. I'm not on the PR team or the design team, so talking about any official 343 business is not my place. Anything I post here is my opinion and nothing more. I doubt my voice matters any more than any of yours does anyway and that's probably a good thing. My reasons for being here are my own, and the only reason why I stated I'm an employee is simply because I didn't want to seem like I was deceiving you by posting my opinions while not disclosing any circumstances which may color my statements.
  10. Since I somewhat stopped lurking, made an actual post and very oddly got quoted by Salient, now would be a good time to say that I'm an employee at 343. I'm on the engineering team but I don't do anything you guys would care about. Just wanted to be open and honest. *goes back to lurking*
  11. Those are definitely good points, I totally understand what it's like to come home from work, be tired, want to play Halo but be too exhausted to put up my best fight in arena. I can understand that it's probably not a good idea to have a mirror of every playlist with an [unranked] version next to it for population purposes, it would be interesting if there was a way to flag your profile as [unranked] when searching in any ranked playlist. MMR will always be tracked and updated in any playlist, so what it seems like is if there was a way to freeze progress towards or against the next visible skill rank when matching up then it would allow someone to play in the playlist they want to play in, get matched appropriate to their MMR, be allowed to use the whole pool of people who want to play that playlist but not be worried that the outcome of those games will negatively effect standings. Might be gameable by switching your profile to unranked, matching in, sucking hard and lowering your MMR, then switching to ranked in order to get a better win/loss in ranked, but if I understand the visible ranking system correctly, you don't rank up very fast if the rank of your opponents differs greatly from your own (so a plat playing silver would get almost nothing even if they did win). For your other points, I seem to remember Halo Reach having some settings where you could effect the matchmaking by optimizing for fast search times, better skill matches, or better ping. I have no idea how hard that would be to implement but that would be nice. I'd definitely turn on a setting for (and wait longer for) "no teams of 4". Barring that, I don't think a single solo queue playlist that is identical to the Team Arena playlist with a max party size of 1 (maybe 2?) would be so bad. I'd definitely play that playlist
  12. I guess my issue with zero matchmaking social playlists is that it seems like you're playing roulette to be against a team that sucks, and have your own team be competent. If your objective is to get better than 1.0 k/d then I doubt any other matchup will be satisfying.
  13. I'm genuinely interested in this sentiment. I'm not faulting you because I feel it too, but the job of a good matchmaking system is to give every player close to a 50% win/loss ratio, and find players that you go roughly 1.0 k/d against. If you're destroying dudes in matchmaking that means: the matchmaking system matched you with too easy of a game and therefore didn't do that good of a job, and that whoever you're playing against certainly isn't having a good time. If you want to quit after getting a 1.0 k/d, wouldn't all the people who you faced on an easier matchup, who almost certainly got dunked on definitely want to quit? I guess what I'm saying is if getting above a 1.0 k/d is the only way to be satisfied doesn't that lend itself to a sort of entropy, where people who get 1.0 or less in their games drop out and the ones who do better than that consolidate until there's very few people left? Is it that there is a general dislike for feeling "average", or even struggling to feel average that makes you want to quit? Is it perhaps because there's not a lot of feedback to tell you how you died and maybe how you could have played better? Is there anything the game could do to make you feel like having an even kill/death ratio means you fought a good match vs other skilled opponents and you should feel good about competing well against that team? I feel like more than anything, this is the secret to making a very successful competitive game: having a 50% (or even a little less) success ratio but still feeling like you want to get back in there and try again. Maybe the matchmaking system shouldn't always optimize for the closest matches. There's a concept of "streak breaking" when dealing with random numbers, and maybe it applies here? If you seem like you're having an off-day (lost 3 matches in a row, finished lowest in k/d) maybe the matchmaking system should throw you a lowball easy game to break your losing streak and help regain your confidence? That match wouldn't be fair and probably not be fun for the opposing team so I don't know how to balance that out. I've got some oddball ideas but I dunno how one would test this stuff without just trying it and seeing if people hate it.
  14. Arguing if eSports can be sports is like arguing if video games games can be art. The answer to both is yes if you expand your definition of the word, and like the games v art debate in about 10 years people will wonder why anyone made a big deal of it in the first place.
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