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Re: Halo 4 Postmortem
Date: 4/1/13 2:43 am
In Response To: Halo 4 Postmortem (serpx)

Core beliefs:
-I really didn't have much trouble with the first belief (Heroism), but the second belief (Humanity) is getting old. Humanity may be something with a promise worth fighting for, but I don't think that's true for the Mantle. But here it is, straight from the developer's mouth: Humanity is awesome, and our place in the universee is right at the top, doing the job that even the Forerunners failed at.

-Not sure if I agree that FPSs let you empathize more deeply with a character. I'm probably an odd duck here, because I rarely ever feel that I am the protagonist. I always feel like the character is someone else, and I'm watching their story.

Or maybe it's because I just finished playing Half-Life 2 for the first time, and Valve's method of storytelling fell flat with me.

-"Total combat freedom. Now with more Quick-Time Events!"

-Just something that popped into my head, but "We knew we wanted to tell a great story" is kind of a meaningless thing to say. I mean, does anybody ever want to tell a mediocre story? Or a story so average, everyone will have forgotten about it by next week?

But here's where things go south: "We knew that we wanted to use story as a way to bind together all the experiences that we were creating, and to bind them together, and allow them to achieve maximum impact."
That's... ah, why we have a holodeck on the Infinity.
Throughout his talk about why story is important to him, well... I'm not sure I agree with him on a lot of points. Story is great, but it's not necessary. It wouldn't make Mario better, it wouldn't turn Pac-Man into a great game (SMBC's interpretation notwithstanding) and in Halo 4 multiplayer... it just feels like hammering a round peg into a square hole.

-"In the past, the Chief has never made a decision for himself."
Ahem. The Chief made his own decisions in the first game.

In the opening cutscene to "Two Betrayals", Cortana has to convince the Chief that firing Halo is in nobody's best interests. When 343 Guilty Spark asked him to turn over Cortana, he made the decision to fight his way out.
So no. He's not an automaton that does whatever Cortana or a nearby officer tells him to. You guys aren't breaking new ground.

The Bridge
-Interesting to know how differently this played out from what was originally planned.

-"We moved the first encounter with the Elite to earlier in the mission, to when you first emerged from the elevator shaft, and that allowed us to number one, feature the Elite in a cinematic way..."

Know your medium. Games are not movies. If you say "Cinematic" in the context of games, and you're not drawing a distinction between in-engine and out-of-engine cutscenes, you're part of what's wrong with modern games.

See what you've done? I'm turning into Cody Miller.

-"... but also to give Chief and Cortana a moment to reflect on the fact that the Covenant were back."

Yeah, and a microsecond to reflect on the fact that the truce is completely forgotten, a fact that isn't explored in any of the other storytelling layers in the game.

The Dome-like Inverted World:
-Just a matter of opinion, but I think that the Inception scene worked because the walls of the folded city were close enough to see the vendors and the cars on the street. The inner surface of Requiem was just a skybox, and a fairly contradictory one at that.

The Didact:
-"We wanted to introduce an antagonist ... that could really threaten the Master Chief for the very first time."
Wow. You guys didn't even get within artillery range of that goal. You'd need radio astronomy equipment to even see it.

-"But there were players that felt that his motivations were not clear. And we were, like, surprised by this because we thought that his motivations in the game were pretty simple. He's a badass alien who reawakened and he wants to obliterate humanity."

Nope. That last sentence contains intent and introduction, but no motivation whatsoever. "Badass alien", neither of which describe the Didact, is not a character type.

-Wait. The terminals were ready, but had to be moved off the disk for disk space reasons?
I don't know how I feel about that. If anything, that should have been done with the level "Reclaimer". =D

Also, if you really wanted it to be easy for us to get to, you would have hosted them on Youtube rather than Waypoint. ; )

-"I'm not going to go into this in great detail, because Scott Warner gave a talk earlier this week about all the details about developing [them]."

... Anybody have a link to the Warner video?

-Wow. I think the first iteration of the Knight concept art looks the best. And I forgot how long those arms were originally.

-I'll say this: Having tried to come up with a retooling of the Prometheans, I can sympathize with how hard it is to integrate gameplay, visuals, and story.
As a rule of thumb, robots are not fun to fight. If they are fun to fight, they are not robots.

Promethean Weapons:
-Yeah, this section is REALLY going to piss me off. Pardon me while I nip down to the liquor store.

-Were the playtesters playing campaign? Multiplayer matches? Were the Promethean weapons powerful, or were they jokes like the Stasis gun?

-No consistency is needed between campaign and multiplayer. Forget it.

-Sigh... Will you guys quite saying that they "Form into place" and "Transform"? They don't. They honestly don't.
And the Scattershot isn't an advanced shotgun. It's a frickin antique.

Infinity Multiplayer:
-And we're back to this chestnut. You say that you wanted to change multiplayer, add story. I ask why. What does it improve? What does it add to the universe?

Oh. Wow. I, uh... didn't expect that question to be answered.

OK, so I'm listening, and it's not really making sense. Assuming that I'm a representative specimen of some of the campaign-only players, my refusal to jump into matchmaking is not a function of my lack of skills. It is a function of me not having a competitive bone in my body, not wanting to deal with the unwashed masses of Xbox Live, and being a misanthrope in general.

-"And we wanted to use story as a way of contextualizing our universe."
... is science fiction really not that accessible?

If anybody wants me, I'm going to be cowering in my closet for the next few days

And I just don't see how... well, treating Multiplayer as canon helps the new guys understand how a Needler works.

-"And one of the things that was surprising for us to learn was what, you know, the number of players who played this solo. We didn't expect that."

See 'raging misanthrope,' above.
This brings up a question: what kind of Halo players are in 343i. Do they have Forgers? Speedrunners? Campaign-onliers? Multiplayer-iteers?

-Using the Chief's bubble shield as a metaphor for a self-contained story. Brought a smile to this one's face. As for learning to make stories stand on their own legs... cough*Legends*cough.

-A football swishing through a net inches from a dandelion seed. Who comes up with these stock images?

-Iteration Loop = OODA Loop?

-There's an Ark of the universe? How big are the Halos it makes? 0.0
(Yeah, yeah, I know)

-'We implemented Quick-Time Events because we wanted the player to be more immersed in the story. Because nothing aids immersion like having a button prompt pop up out of nowhere. Nah, just kidding, the cutscene director wanted a way to punish the players who weren't properly paying attention to his work.'

-"There are a number of moments that are, kinda, first person vignettes or interactions with the world that are things that haven't existed in past Halo games."

(emphasis mine) Unless you're talking about the button-pressing, I really don't know what you're talking about.

-"[It] was really about wanting to sell a moment, an immersive moment within the game, but wanting to connect the player more directly with that moment than just a cinematic."

Translation: Nothing you can do will ever be as awesome as what our cinematic director can come up with. But just to make you feel better, we're going to give you the merest illusion of affecting the outcome.

-Huh... Kind of sad to see that they HAD to contract out the Spartan Ops cutscenes. Real life writes the plot.

And then that's followed up with multiplayer-canon integration ruining things for everybody. Fun.

Messages In This Thread

Halo 4 Postmortemserpx3/31/13 9:38 pm
     Whoops (nonmobile link)serpx3/31/13 9:40 pm
           Thanks for the linkRagashingo4/1/13 12:46 am
     Re: Halo 4 PostmortemStephen L. (SoundEffect)3/31/13 11:37 pm
           Re: Halo 4 PostmortemTDSpiral4/1/13 1:58 am
                 Re: Halo 4 PostmortemStephen L. (SoundEffect)4/1/13 7:38 am
                 Re: Halo 4 PostmortemSonGoharotto4/1/13 1:12 pm
                       Re: Halo 4 Postmortemuberfoop4/2/13 4:37 am
                       Re: Halo 4 PostmortemRC Master4/2/13 8:55 am
     Re: Halo 4 PostmortemDervish3/31/13 11:40 pm
           Re: Halo 4 PostmortemSonGoharotto4/1/13 12:52 am
           Re: Halo 4 PostmortemChewbaccawakka4/1/13 1:40 am
     Postmortem at the Halo 4 PostmortemTDSpiral4/1/13 1:42 am
           I KNEW IT! *NM*GrimBrother One4/1/13 7:38 am
           Re: Postmortem at the Halo 4 PostmortemPostmortem4/1/13 5:25 pm
     Re: Halo 4 PostmortemQuirel4/1/13 2:43 am
           Re: Halo 4 Postmortemscarab4/1/13 6:50 am
                 Waidaminit 343!scarab4/1/13 6:59 am
                 Re: Halo 4 PostmortemGeneral Vagueness4/1/13 8:35 pm
                       Re: Halo 4 Postmortemscarab4/3/13 4:42 am
     Oh yeah, I wanted to comment on this...RC Master4/1/13 12:09 pm
           Re: Oh yeah, I wanted to comment on this...General Vagueness4/1/13 9:13 pm
     Re: Halo 4 PostmortemGeneral Vagueness4/1/13 7:19 pm
     Re: Halo 4 PostmortemGeneral Vagueness4/1/13 7:22 pm

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