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If you were in charge of Halo

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What do you think have been the biggest miscues for Halo as a franchise? What do you believe should be the primary focus? How would you allocate development resources? 

 

Basically, you've just been hired to lead the development of the next Halo and you've been given total control. You have just called a meeting with the entire team at 343. What do you tell them?

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I would make it stay true to the original trilogy. I wouldn't fix anything that wasn't broken. I wouldn't change the game so much to the point where the brand was unrecognizable.

 

I would remove sprint, increase strafe acceleration, lower bullet magnetism, have 2 ranking systems which relate to each other like Halo 3 with the true skill and exp system, and have double Exp weekends, Good in depth spartan customization and gun customization which do not affect gameplay, have a clan system, a map editor which allows you to edit the terrain, working dedicated servers around the world, in depth custom game options such as changing damage for each gun, have projectiles instead of hitscan.

 

 

This is what I would do, interested to see what the rest of you want in your perfect Halo.

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Okay fuck everything that has been done after halo ce.

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Fire them all, hire a new team, give them the original trilogy and say, "Make that, with better graphics."

 

All joking aside....

 

Build the MP experience.

Have a beta, get feedback from the important groups who actually know what makes Halo good and not the general public.

Tweak the game.

Have a beta, get feedback...

With what should be the final tweaks as to how the game will play during MP, in order to keep the game consistent across all gametypes, build the campaign levels.

Go to E3

Have a tourney with the important people who helped build the game (i.e. pros, competitive community, big names...)

Release the game.

 

 

I know I didn't put a real timeline, but this is all hypothetical anyways and I don't know how long it would take to build the campaign, but obviously if you build the campaign then the MP and then set out to tweak the game to what people like, you're going to have to tweak the campaign also instead of just the MP, or just leave it how it is, which is what 343 has to do because they didn't make sure people would actually like the game first. So the campaign should come last when it comes to actually building the levels and whatnot. The campaign is a story, and you can build the story around your mechanics without having to change the story. The story and everything will be also hashed out long before the MP is finished in any sort of way, so it would just be development intensive at that point.

 

That is the flow I would follow for the first iteration of the game. After that, you know that people like the game, so I wouldn't change it too much. Maybe new, unique weapons, remove some old weapons also. Things of that nature. Still have a beta or two, but I would be able to build the campaign faster because I wouldn't change the way the game is played.

 

Maybe if I was feeling adventurous, I would go the route of the MCC and I would just have the solid MP experience, constantly update it with a new map or two every 8-12 months, and just push a campaign to the system so it's one complete experience that never ends. Something similar to what Spartan Ops was supposed to be, but actually use the main campaign instead of some knock off story that no one cares about. When a new console/system launches is when I would start the next user experience, that way people only have to buy one disk if they want, and they can just enjoy the whole thing. If you buy the disk for each campaign that is released, I would make it so the UI is loaded onto the system so you could launch the UI, remove one disk, put in a new disk, and the game would automatically launch the campaign from there so not to interrupt the experience while changing disks. That's how you create immersion.

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Get my shareholders the biggest ROI.

 

I've always found this interesting because I disagree with the idea that dumbing a game down helps it sell more copies. I did some pretty thorough analysis a while back that attempted to show that supporting the competitive scene rather than gimmicks was actually beneficial to sales. Of course I probably can't find it considering how many different forums the competitive community has bounced around to in the past few years.

 

Basically, I've never understood why it's so universally agreed upon that adding things like dual wielding swords will help sell more copies than just making a great game. I point this out because I fully believe that the competitive players interests are what would ultimately result in better sales.

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What do you think have been the biggest miscues for Halo as a franchise? What do you believe should be the primary focus? How would you allocate development resources? 

 

Basically, you've just been hired to lead the development of the next Halo and you've been given total control. You have just called a meeting with the entire team at 343. What do you tell them?

 

alan-sugar-youre-fired.jpg

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Basically, this would be the Halo game I'd build:

 

http://www.reddit.com/r/halo/comments/2t7m83/for_those_who_hate_halo_5_what_do_you_want_out_of/cnwxho6?context=3

 

Edit: Transferred entire post here

 

  • A well balanced weapon sandbox (no dual-wielding in base MM, removing a lot of the "unnecessary" weapons from base MM, semi-auto utility weapon, TTKs that are fast when perfectly executed and significantly longer when not, every weapon having a "purpose" in the base MM sandbox)

  • Movement mechanics that include a fast base speed, fast acceleration to allow for players to execute complex strafes and "crisp" jumping.

  • A wide variety (15+ quality non-Forge maps with the base game) of maps that cover the Halo spectrum (FFA, 2v2, 4v4, 8v8) and at least four different Forge spaces that would allow for the community to construct any sort of custom maps they desired, with forge pieces having multiple skins (ex: Forerunner metals skin, urban skin, ancient ruin skin).

  • A wide variety of custom game options. If you can't, at least, replicate every single silly custom game from Halo 3/Reach, it's a failure.

  • A simple, clean art style. No lens flair/light bloom/HOLY FUCK I CAN'T SEE ANYTHING BECAUSE THAT SUN IS BRIGHTER THAN BF3'S EVER WAS everywhere, no armors that look more like Saturday morning cartoon figures and less like super-soldier armor. If a team has a concrete advantage on multiple maps because of what color they are, your art design has failed. 1080p/60FPS, obviously.

  • A program included with the game, free of charge, that would allow you to construct maps on your PC and then upload them to a server, where they'd be translated into Forge files and sent to your Xbox.

  • Actually working dedicated servers for every single MM game and the ability to rent a dedicated server for private custom use.

  • A custom game browser.

  • Actual LAN support, instead of some fucking LAN-XBL hybrid nonsense that constantly drops players.

  • A good playlist dispersal to cover the essential Halo bases (TS, Objective, Doubles, BTB, etc) with both social and ranked playlists. A ranking system based off of Halo 2's that actually works. A rotating series of "silly" playlists (Griffball and racing, for instance) on a weekly basis.

  • A crisp, clean UI (see Halo 2, 3, Reach for examples). Player options that include a 1-100 scale for sensitivity, custom-button mapping (along with the gamut of presets), a wide variety of audio options (I want to be able to balance my own mix, not just what the developers decide sounds good). You want connection bars? You can have them. You want ping numbers? Guess what, you can have those too. You should be able to walk around while viewing the scoreboard and scoring notifications shouldn't show up in a massive box in the middle of the screen.

  • High quality sound design. Weapons that sound like they have serious heft to them (CE AR, H2A sniper, H2 BR, etc). Good ambient sound design as well (for instance, dropped frag grenades will not make the same sound as thrown frag grenades when sliding around).

  • Halo Reach style armor customization, complete with credit system and some sort of exp level. Both of these systems are completely separate from ranked MM rank and the two have no interaction.

  • Weapon skins acquired through random post-game drops in MM, the ability to trade them and the ability to purchase them through micro-transactions. Said micro-transactions could then be used to do things like bolster the prize purses for HCS tournaments. Basically skins from CS:GO, except sold through XBL instead of Steam.

  • A spectator mode that functions similar to that of Black Ops 2's, where you have multiple viewing modes and the ability to display a map overlay w/ players positions.

  • A ranked MM that punishes quitting. First time you quit within a certain period of time, you're unable to join any MM game until the one you quit from ends. Second offense, five minute penalty added onto the same penalty as the first game. Third offense, fifteen minute penalty. Fourth offense, half an hour. Fifth, one hour. Any further quitting is punished with being banned from ranked MM in that time period and loss of a rank level. Earn a quitter reputation over multiple MM periods and you get placed in matches with other quitters.

  • Hire the guys from Halo tracker to create a new Waypoint with a stats system that blows Bungie.net out of the water. Create a good mobile app as well.

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From the perspective of allocating resources, the first thing I would do would be to put everything that isn't related to core multiplayer or campaign on hold (specifically things like Spartan Ops or Firefight). Consider the number of launch maps from these games:

 

Halo CE- 13 maps

Halo 2- 12 maps

Halo 3- 11 maps

Halo Reach- 8 maps + Forge World

Halo 4- 10 maps + Forge

 

CoD MW2- 16 maps

CoD AW- 13 maps

CoD BO2- 14 maps

 

This is even more troublesome when you think about how Halo has to satisfy so many appetites. Halo games not only need maps designed for different gametypes like 1 flag, but they also need maps that support different player sizes. If I were personally in charge I would be trying to ship a Halo game with 20+ developer made maps. I'd start with simplistic classics that we already know work well (Warlock, Midship, Valhalla, etc). This would give a good base even if some new ideas didn't work out so well.

 

One of the biggest issues with both Reach and Halo 4 has been the severe lack of quality multiplayer maps. This may be controversial, but I'd like to see Forge scaled back to just the ability to move weapons, move spawn points, and other small changes while placing a renewed emphasis on quality developer made maps.

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I would make it stay true to the original trilogy. I wouldn't fix anything that wasn't broken. I wouldn't change the game so much to the point where the brand was unrecognizable.

 

I would remove sprint, increase strafe acceleration, lower bullet magnetism, have 2 ranking systems which relate to each other like Halo 3 with the true skill and exp system, and have double Exp weekends, Good in depth spartan customization and gun customization which do not affect gameplay, have a clan system, a map editor which allows you to edit the terrain, working dedicated servers around the world, in depth custom game options such as changing damage for each gun, have projectiles instead of hitscan.

 

 

This is what I would do, interested to see what the rest of you want in your perfect Halo.

/thread. Seriously though, basically everything we've been asking for since Reach. Maybe add a server browser, bring back the old Halo 3 veto system, bring back the Halo 2 movement, bring back the Halo 3 graphics, add a theater similar to CSGO.

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first thing i would do is poll the fuck out of the halo community. figure out what halo fans actually want. make polls work in game in mcc, halo waypoint, halo channel, youtube, reddit, beyond forums. 

 

fire a lot of people. seriously way too many people in charge of too many things overcomplicating halo multiplayer. 2 people essentially made h2 mp. too many people wanting to add their own bullshit weapon skins, loadouts, gameplay mechanics, armor abilities, btb maps, ordinance, fuck that shit. hire some smart people hat actually know how to make good arena gameplay and care about halo. make concentrated teams and have them workout some genius ideas. 

 

spend a large amount of time during a "brainstorming" period. really get my employees to learn everything halo is about. acquire a large base of knowledge by watching all mlg halo events, read all the classic halo books to learn about lore, analyze the first 3 halos and observe strengths/weaknesses of each game. 

 

develop/beta/release

 

guarantee you this would make a killer halo game. 

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it split the franchise into three parts

 

part 1:

the oldschool halo experience, new graphics but old mechanics, such as UT does it

basically a Halo CE with new graphics along with enhanced spectator modes

the game definitely needs a new gamemode that is used for the competitive scene, something that has teamslayer and objectives combined to enfore more tactical gameplay to make it more watchable for the viewers

anything else stays, same weapons, strafing, ..., a few more maps ofc that are suited for the new mode but in general id go with the UT series style, gameplay stays but graphics are new

its pretty much only meant for the hardcore fans and since its mostly a reskin the budget doesnt have to be very big

 

part 2:

a Halo Wars sequel but with a MOBA type of gameplay

Halo has a huge variety of characters and elements, it could work out very well if done F2P

ofc made for PC but also for consoles, there isnt any game in that regard on consoles yet and if you put a few quality people together you surely can find a way to make it enjoyable with a controller too

 

part 3:

a Halo Battlefield game

its meant for the casuals, this game has everything they want, sprint, vehicles, attachments, armour abilities

game is built up like a regular battlefield game, the halo series has enough vehicles, weapons and stuff to fit into such a type game

game goes from 32 to 64 player servers, rush, conquest, TDM, ...

its the big budget game that microsoft can heavily advertise, the game that the hardcore fans dont want to touch

 

 

release cycle would be part 1 in the first year and part 3 in the second, their sequels have 2 years dev cycles

the MOBA game is developed by a different dev team and can be released somewhere in between

 

with the integration of windows 10 into xbox live id also look into cross gameplay possibilities to further expand the gamerbase, eg for the MOBA game but also for the other two titles

the shooters could be played via windows10 with the XBL players by eg having to use a controller on the PC

with further adjustment and programming im sure theres a way to make an equal playingfield, eg anti-cheat and stuff

 

 

 

summary:

- split the franchise in 3 parts

- one game for the hardcore, small budget as primarily a reskin

- new entry into the MOBA scene

- one game for the casuals, big budget

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Why is it that everyone seems to have the ability to create a decent Halo game except 343?

 

Anyway, if I was working on the next Halo title, the very first announcement, I'd make, would start with a blank black screen with just the text "no sprint" in bold white.

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Fuck, I could write an entire manifesto on this. But here's my semi-brief list of changes/improvements/things that I would make sure got into the first game I had control over:

 

Campaign

- Ally commands: We've needed this ever since Halo 1, yet here we are over a decade later still getting dicked over by dumbass marines.

 

- Remove chapter screens: They're useless and serve no purpose, and I can't stand having my reticule stolen.

 

- Skulls and other unlockables are once again hidden in campaign levels

 

- Non-linear missions: Halo needs more missions like Halo, Silent Cartographer, and ONI Sword Base where you can tackle certain major objectives in whatever order you choose. Take it a step further and vary the enemies in each of these areas depending on which objectives the player has already completed.

 

- More focused missions: I like how H1 and H3 each have a very focus, dedicated set of levels in terms of gameplay emphasized, size, length, enemies fought, etc. As opposed to H2 and Reach where it all kinda runs together and every level has a little bit of everything. You'd think that would be a good thing, but it's not, each level ends up feeling the same. Include a dedicated close-quarters infantry mission, a sniper-based mission, a pure vehicle-based mission, a stealth mission, etc.

 

Multi

- Streamline the weapon sandbox: 16 weapons max (I'm being generous there), excluding grenades, turrets, and vehicles. I commend Reach for at least trying to do this.

 

- In matchmaking, push objective modes over slayer modes: They're more fun AND they're more competitive. Build the maps accordingly. EVERY symmetrical map should be either built for CTF (or bomb) from the ground up, or tuned for it somewhere along the way.

 

- MA5K carbine is the new utility weapon: Basically it functions as a middle of the road between the CE pistol and covie carbine. It's the starting weapon in ALL standard gametypes, no carbine starts/SMG starts bullshit.

 

- Powerups on maps: Overshield restored to its two-layer glory. Steal the jump boots from UT and make those a powerup. If we're gonna steal from other FPS, let's steal from good ones, and let's steal actual good ideas that are applicable to Halo while we're at it. Get rid of speed boost/damage boost.

 

- CE-style item spawning: Everything respawns on even minutes.

 

- Only track stats in ranked playlists: Obviously there have to be actual ranked playlists for this to fly.

 

- Weapon attachments??: This is the one and only CoD thing that I think could work in Halo, IF HANDLED CORRECTLY, since they're a new class of things that would keep the focus on the weapons, where it belongs. They would be on-map pickups, like H3's equipment. They have set, predictable respawns, like everything else. You would not spawn with them. When you pick up an attachment, it's in your pocket until you apply it to a weapon (takes about as much time as a reload, you can remove it with the same button you applied it with to place it back in your pocket). You can only hold one attachment in your pocket at a time. You can swap them out. Because they only spawn on map, they can be quickly and painlessly removed if they're deemed unfit for competitive settings.

 

- Vehicle maintenance: Add more warthog variants (missile hog, grenade hog), add ghost variants (ghost w/ fuel rod gun, ghost w/ 4 plasma cannons instead of 2 for increased lateral range, ghost with no mounted weapon but travels twice as fast and specializes in splattering people). The scorpion is gone from the main vehicle sandbox and replaced with the cobra from Halo Wars. Keep the scorpion in the game for campaign and forge purposes, though. Bring back the revenant, falcon, and elephant.

 

General

- No sprint, no spartan abilities

- Increase base movement

- Tight strafe, tight aiming

- Equal starts

- Bring back firefight

- Customize main menu soundtracks

- No stupid fucking music during the last 10 kills of the game or whatever

- Saber Interactive handles the visuals

- Built-in spectator mode (how did I forget this)

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I'd make it clear first of all that the goal should not be to try and attract modern FPS gamers by trying to make Halo more and more like the games those guys are currently playing, but instead the goal should be to attract modern gamers by making a unique FPS experience that takes what is great about Halo to another level, so much so that the idea of playing those other generic games suddenly becomes boring to people. That might seem like an overwhelming mandate, but that's the kind of drive a Halo developer would need at this point.

I'd make sure that every decision we made was catered towards that goal.

 

I'd also make it clear that if anyone had a desire to turn Halo into Call of Duty, or some other game, then they could either feel free to leave, or they could leave those desires at the door when they came to work each day, reminding themselves that they're here to work on Halo.

 

That's where I'd start at least.

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