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News Halo Infinite: The SlipSpace Engine is a ‘mystical beast’, for 343 Industries

Lunatic_Gamer

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Senior software engineer Leonard Holman offered us an interesting point of view on the SlipSpace Engine , which is the engine with which Microsoft and 343 Industries have shaped the new chapter of one of the most representative series of the Xbox lineup.

“SlipSpace really is a mystical beast; it walks this fine line of intimidating futuristic technology married to little gems of classic gameplay and subtly authentic legacy behaviors. I love that the Engineering team has embraced the modern features of the C++ language. It’s an exciting time to be a C++ developer, at least I think so. Every once in a while, you find some real old nuggets of surprising stuff from the original Halo CE code. It’s almost like excavating an old archeological site, trying to figure out what it was doing and if it’s still needed. It happens less often now, but it’s always fun when you find some old glimpse of the past … and either modernize it to take advantage of current tech, or leave it just as you found it.”

Previously, 343 Industries stated that the SlipSpace Engine allowed the Halo Infinite team to realize aspects of gameplay that previously would have been simply impossible . Also, experimenting with new ideas and additional features turned out to be a much faster operation than in the past.


 

CamHostage

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Original source for the quote, which has a lot longer interview:


I really hope Slipspace in the Halo Infinite Campaign lives up to what it needs to be. That original 2018 "engine trailer" was really promising; it has been eclipsed visually since then by other titles (and it was always going to be cross-gen, which we can bicker about what/ifs of it had being made as a next-gen exclusive,) but what was demoed looked like it was right for making a rich, living Halo world. Then, the 2020 SP gameplay reveal, and somehow, it wasn't there.

 
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GHG

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This:

Every once in a while, you find some real old nuggets of surprising stuff from the original Halo CE code.

Is not good. As a software developer this sounds like a nightmare. Legacy code is rarely a good thing, most of the time it's a hindrance and has a funny way of interacting with new things you add when you least expect it. Then when you find what it is that's causing the problem you've got to figure out what the fuck that section of code does and how to work around it (or remove it without breaking anything else). House of cards.

The only way to get around that process is to have very good documentation.
 

SenjutsuSage

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Eh, infinite looks fine in its current state, but its not even close to the pristine level that the first in engine trailer was

Based on the recent cinematic and the campaign flyover it's definitely right there. Consider what a Halo game must do and the scale they're going for in this title, for it to look anything like what it appears to now is nothing short of extraordinary.
 

Hobbygaming

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This:



Is not good. As a software developer this sounds like a nightmare. Legacy code is rarely a good thing, most of the time it's a hindrance and has a funny way of interacting with new things you add when you least expect it. Then when you find what it is that's causing the problem you've got to figure out what the fuck that section of code does and how to work around it (or remove it without breaking anything else). House of cards.

The only way to get around that process is to have very good documentation.
This reminds me of the rumor a while back that said external devs helping 343 were writing code over legacy code and it was causing issues
 

McCheese

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This reminds me of the rumor a while back that said external devs helping 343 were writing code over legacy code and it was causing issues

From what I heard the problem was more so that they would have contractors who would do some stuff then leave, then the next contractor would come along and have no fucking clue how it worked and rewrite it. Which is good if your a contractor and want to keep your sprint schedule looking busy so you don't get fired or moved off onto other things, plus developers like rewriting stuff over working on other peoples code; but it sucks if your a delivery manager and wondering why no progress is actually being made and would explain a lot about what's gone wrong with the project, and why it keeps missing deadlines.

When you look at great game engines there is usually one really strong development lead or visionary behind it, it's no surprise that ID software and Epic were led by two of the best programmers in the business. 343 have nobody, it's out-sourced all over the place.
 
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EverydayBeast

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The game is going to be even better based on the extra time it received. It coming at launch was never that big a deal if it wasn't going to be at its best state. A much more polished experienced that comes later is always superior.
I mean I’m still excited for the game I don’t think 6 months will make that of a different should all games just be delayed forever for polish? You gotta release your damn game.
 

Hobbygaming

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From what I heard the problem was more so that they would have contractors who would do some stuff then leave, then the next contractor would come along and have no fucking clue how it worked and rewrite it. Which is good if your a contractor and want to keep your sprint schedule looking busy so you don't get fired or moved off onto other things, plus developers like rewriting stuff over working on other peoples code; but it sucks if your a delivery manager and wondering why no progress is actually being made and would explain a lot about what's gone wrong with the project, and why it keeps missing deadlines.
Yes, this is what it was. Thanks!
 

godhandiscen

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“Mystical”, “intimidating” and “legacy” are some one of the last adjectives I want associated with any piece of software I rely on to do my job. It sounds like they are screaming for help without trying to throw the original development team under the bus.

edit: The more I read it, the more it sounds like a cry for help.
 
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IntentionalPun

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“Mystical” is one of the last adjectives I want associated with any piece of software I rely to do my job. It sounds like they are screaming for help without trying to throw the original development team under the bus.
Huh?

It basically means magical..

I think you mistook mystical for mythical (and typed mythical before editing ;) )
 
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godhandiscen

There are millions of whiny 5-year olds on Earth, and I AM THEIR KING.
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Huh?

It basically means magical..

I think you mistook mystical for mythical (and typed mythical before editing ;) )
I corrected the autocomplete. The point is that good software is straightforward, accessible and modern. Not mystical, intimidating and legacy.
 
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SenjutsuSage

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Do you read your stuff before you post lol?

Yes, and your failure to understand what I was saying is only demonstration of your ignorance. They're pulling off the best looking Halo game ever made from a standpoint of overall graphical detail, environmental complexity, verticality, as well as ways to approach an objective. It's a much more open worldish type of Halo game with full time of day transitions, a full fledged tactical map, friendly ally bases to visit and from which you can plan and prepare, there are enemy strongholds, an upgrade system, apparent assassination missions, optional objectives, more interesting things to experience and find.

Despite all of this, and how AMAZING multiplayer looks, and how amazing everything here looked from the campiagn there are still people doubting that this game looks incredible, and that the engine isn't fucking incredible. Hence the word "underrated" and they've made clear numerous times that the engine is going to only keep being worked on and improved. So, yes, an engine that produces the below is fucking impressive.


No HD era Halo game, launch window aligned, has ever looked as impressive as Halo Infinite now does next to everything else that's out there.
 

Hendrick's

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This:



Is not good. As a software developer this sounds like a nightmare. Legacy code is rarely a good thing, most of the time it's a hindrance and has a funny way of interacting with new things you add when you least expect it. Then when you find what it is that's causing the problem you've got to figure out what the fuck that section of code does and how to work around it (or remove it without breaking anything else). House of cards.

The only way to get around that process is to have very good documentation.
Find me one game engine that doesn’t have legacy code.
 

SenjutsuSage

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Find me one game engine that doesn’t have legacy code.

Point Up Valour Fc GIF by OneSoccer
 

ZehDon

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... No HD era Halo game, launch window aligned, has ever looked as impressive as Halo Infinite now does next to everything else that's out there.
... so just Halo 5 then? Halo 4 released for the Xbox 360 at the end of its life cycle. Halo 5 launched nearly a year after the Xbone did and it was an unmitigated disaster. It was certainly not very impressive on any front. Halo Infinite looks fine, but it's not some kind of industry leading showcase worth holding up. It's about on par with what everyone is doing now-a-days. There really isn't a single element of what we've seen that makes me think the engine under-the-hood is worth any kind of fanfare.

Going one step further, Halo Infinite's multiplayer looks like a lot of fun... but trying to hype the game as something truly special simply doesn't work. This isn't Bungie. This is 343i. They have dropped every single ball they've ever been handed. 343i don't get the benefit of any doubt - they have to prove they can deliver a competent game, let along a worthy Halo title. They've had 10 years with the franchise... and we're all celebrating a return to the Halo 3 era - a 14 year old game that 343i didn't have a hand in. Halo Infinite might turn out to be truly amazing... but it has the 343i logo on the box. I'd recommend everyone waits and sees rather than gets their hopes up.
 

SenjutsuSage

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... so just Halo 5 then? Halo 4 released for the Xbox 360 at the end of its life cycle. Halo 5 launched nearly a year after the Xbone did and it was an unmitigated disaster. It was certainly not very impressive on any front. Halo Infinite looks fine, but it's not some kind of industry leading showcase worth holding up. It's about on par with what everyone is doing now-a-days. There really isn't a single element of what we've seen that makes me think the engine under-the-hood is worth any kind of fanfare.

Going one step further, Halo Infinite's multiplayer looks like a lot of fun... but trying to hype the game as something truly special simply doesn't work. This isn't Bungie. This is 343i. They have dropped every single ball they've ever been handed. 343i don't get the benefit of any doubt - they have to prove they can deliver a competent game, let along a worthy Halo title. They've had 10 years with the franchise... and we're all celebrating a return to the Halo 3 era - a 14 year old game that 343i didn't have a hand in. Halo Infinite might turn out to be truly amazing... but it has the 343i logo on the box. I'd recommend everyone waits and sees rather than gets their hopes up.

Halo 3 was called last gen looking on reveal. So let's try to pretend they're only one upping Halo 5. They're massively one upping Halo 3, ODST, Reach, Halo 4 & Halo 5. All Halo games after Halo 2 arrived in the HD gaming on console era, so let's not try to pretend otherwise by only claiming Halo 5 fits the criteria.

None with respect to its planned launch looked as impressive next to whatever else was out there as Halo Infinite now does. Only game that can even remotely claim such praise for its time would be Halo 4, and that was made by 343. I've appreciated all Halo games visually for what I knew they were aiming to achieve, but that vision has never looked or come together as impressively as it is coming for Halo Infinite.

And while the inspiration is there, I wouldn't exactly call it a return to the Halo 3 era because Halo 3 was nothing like what this game's campaign is setup to be. Let's get that part straight. Halo Infinite in just its most recent campaign flyover shows more freedom and explorable possibilities than all of what was possible in Halo 3. 343 are carving their own path with Halo Infinite. It's never been done like this before.
 
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Papacheeks

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This:



Is not good. As a software developer this sounds like a nightmare. Legacy code is rarely a good thing, most of the time it's a hindrance and has a funny way of interacting with new things you add when you least expect it. Then when you find what it is that's causing the problem you've got to figure out what the fuck that section of code does and how to work around it (or remove it without breaking anything else). House of cards.

The only way to get around that process is to have very good documentation.

It's what broke gears ultimate on pc.
 

01011001

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Eh, infinite looks fine in its current state, but its not even close to the pristine level that the first in engine trailer was

in a game designed for Xbox One you'll never find such a high fidelity. they could add graphical features and exclusively designed meshes and textures for Series X|S but that is not cost efficient. the best way is to make a game that scales up and down on low end consoles/PC hardware and on high end ones trhough easily tweakable settings.

the times of dedicated next gen ports are over. this was still something developers did back in the PS1 to PS2 days or Xbox/PS2 to Xbox 360/PS3 days, but now you'll just get a version with slightly better visuals, not one that is specifically enhanced for the new consoles. push up LODs, push up Texture res and push up the resolution, maybe framerate... done. because that's the easy way

Ports like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2X on Xbox are a thing of the past
 
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Fredrik

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This:



Is not good. As a software developer this sounds like a nightmare. Legacy code is rarely a good thing, most of the time it's a hindrance and has a funny way of interacting with new things you add when you least expect it. Then when you find what it is that's causing the problem you've got to figure out what the fuck that section of code does and how to work around it (or remove it without breaking anything else). House of cards.

The only way to get around that process is to have very good documentation.
Exactly. They’re hyping something bad and tries too make it sound good.

I think the only way they can turn it around so people aren’t disappointed once they show the campaign is to replicate all scenes from the 2018 engine trailer and show that it’s either the same or better now.