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

Fredrik

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They should be careful how they word this...it could be interpreted like they don't know how to use their own engine.

The original showcase of the game would serve to fuel that narrative.
Too late. That’s exactly what it already sounds like. Bungie has obviously left incredibly badly documented code and now 343 is in a position where they don’t know why certain old parts are there, what they do, if they’re needed and if something will break if they remove them.
This is not something they should talk about.
 
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YukiOnna

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Cool. The E3 showcase in June looked great and if they release it with that level of detail, I'll be more than fine. I was happy with the old build from a year ago, as well. I'm more curious about the PC optimizations they have done and what the final specs will end up being and whether or not we'll get periodic visual updates as new campaigns release on Infinite.
 

FranXico

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Modern C++ is a bloated mess, if I found C99 code that still worked the last thing I would do is covert it to C++. But that's just my 2 cents.
I don't think programming language is the issue here. Poor perspective is. Yes, not all C code should be rewritten in another language, but I assure you they would have still run into issues by choosing, say, C# or even Rust.
Bad code knows no language, but it does know certain mindsets.
 
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FranXico

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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.
Legacy code also is an unfortunate fact of life. You usually only completely avoid it in brand new projects. And even then, there's the typical dependency on libcurl, libpng, etc.
 
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Dr Bass

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They should be careful how they word this...it could be interpreted like they don't know how to use their own engine.

The original showcase of the game would serve to fuel that narrative.
Yeah, same exact feeling I got. Sounds like the engine is a mess. The last thing I ever want any code base referred to is a "mystical beast."

I don't think programming language is the issue here. Poor perspective is. Yes, not all C code should be rewritten in another language, but I assure you they would have still run into issues by choosing, say, C# or even Rust.
Bad code knows no language, but it does know certain mindsets.
C#? :messenger_tears_of_joy:

I know Unity once used C# as an option in it's scripting language (maybe it still does, I haven't looked in awhile), but no one is writing high performance "native" games in C# ... I also don't really understand your comment about "typical dependency" on libcurl and libpng, and how it relates to being an "unfortunate fact of life" with legacy code. You pulled out two random library names, but again what was the point there? Also there is nothing "unfortunate" or inherently bad about "legacy code." There is code in MacOS that is decades old and it works fine. There IS a problem with bad code, but new code is probably more likely to be not great than something that has stood the test of time.
 

Fredrik

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The last thing I ever want any code base referred to is a "mystical beast."
Haha so true, can’t believe they thought this would sound good, looking at the code of your latest engine shouldn’t be like digging at an excavating site 😆
 

TheGrat1

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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.
To 343:

Blink twice if coding is causing you mental harm.
 

kikkis

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Modern C++ is a bloated mess, if I found C99 code that still worked the last thing I would do is covert it to C++. But that's just my 2 cents.
I follow tons of graphics programmers and many prefer c like c++ so embracing modern c++ seems almost contradiction to these other preferences
 

TBiddy

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Legacy code also is an unfortunate fact of life. You usually only completely avoid it in brand new projects. And even then, there's the typical dependency on libcurl, libpng, etc.

Agreed. I don't think GHG has a background in software development though, so he's forgiven. I honestly don't think there's a single game engine on the market, which doesn't have odd legacy parts here and there. Or any piece of modern software for that matter.
 

SteveWorks

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If it was a Xbox one launch title, maybe. But we’ve seen so much more impressive visuals over the years, it feels dated.
 

TransTrender

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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.


Nah, I get it.

...


First, the hardware constraints were crazy back then (now also take this train of thought to the negative exponent as you go even further back to the 80s and 70s) and second, you can't always expect the same type of talent from a small group of dedicated enthusiastic Macintosh developers to that you would find in the Microsoft wholly owned subsidiary new keeper of the Halo franchise after that small group of dedicated enthusiastic Macintosh developers bailed because Microsoft was creatively constrictive.
 

RoyalLaFlame

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Agreed. I don't think GHG has a background in software development though, so he's forgiven. I honestly don't think there's a single game engine on the market, which doesn't have odd legacy parts here and there. Or any piece of modern software for that matter.
Not only game engines. Creating things from scratch basically means going back to the drawing board, it's a lot of effort and its time consuming. You have banking systems, management software with tons of old code below because it simply works, no reason to change it. Most companies just continue developing on top of what they already have with newer technologies.

I've managed legacy code on my previous job. The only headache for me it's when there's no documentation or if the person already left the company (both happen all the time). But if you know the language, eventually you understand.
 

Azurro

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If I joined a new project and I heard the codebase being described as "mystical", I'd be terrified. Sounds like a mess of non working legacy code.
 

onesvenus

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In this thread there's a lot of people that thinks that an engine is only used for graphics.
Reading his quote he never talks specifically about that and can be talking about gameplay for example.
I don't expect Halo to be a graphical powerhouse myself, the beta was good enough and it was really fun IMO. Having the single player at a similar level would be enough for me.
 

II_JumPeR_I

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In this thread there's a lot of people that thinks that an engine is only used for graphics.
Reading his quote he never talks specifically about that and can be talking about gameplay for example.
I don't expect Halo to be a graphical powerhouse myself, the beta was good enough and it was really fun IMO. Having the single player at a similar level would be enough for me.
But the engine isnt pushing other things also.
MP for example still stucks at 12v12, meanwhile other f2p games push 60+ players with great graphics etc

Really nothing in the flight stood out while playing.
 
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azertydu91

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But the engine isnt pushing other things also.
MP for example still stucks at 12v12, meanwhile other f2p games push 60+ players with great graphics etc

Really nothing in the flight stood out while playing.
Yeah but don't forget to look at all the other things it's not doing like terrain deformation, destruction, and so living environnement.
So far it's been mostly talk and an in engine trailer in 2018 far ahead than what they've been able to show.Please note that I said show because there is still a ridiculously small part of me that still has hope.
 

ZywyPL

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Show us the updated Craig, then we'll talk ;) Seriously, I'm hoping to see an updated SP campaign footage in the upcoming Gamescom, the recent MP technical preview look phenomenal, so I expect similar jump in visuals in the campaign too.
 

Greggy

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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.
Or a good suite of regression tests. Basically there's no way for us to tell if the Slipspace legacy code is a good or bad thing because we don't have access to the codebase and documentation. The engineer quoted in the article does.
 

stickkidsam

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I thought Slipspace was an entirely new engine. Wasn’t developing that why Infinite was experiencing so much trouble?
 
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N1tr0sOx1d3

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

 

Corndog

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Yeah but don't forget to look at all the other things it's not doing like terrain deformation, destruction, and so living environnement.
So far it's been mostly talk and an in engine trailer in 2018 far ahead than what they've been able to show.Please note that I said show because there is still a ridiculously small part of me that still has hope.
They certainly seem to have underperformed. Hopefully things are getting better.
 

Negotiator101

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Hopefully we see the campaign on the 24th and we see what this beast can do, given MP has to target 120fps and campaign is only 60fps I expect it to have far better visuals.
 

Panajev2001a

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I thought Slipspace was an entirely new engine. Wasn’t developing that why Infinite was experiencing so much trouble?
New engine is in most cases BS PR. The word engine in some studios is BS PR in itself as you have a collection of various libraries, exporters, loaders, and common glue code that ties it together (and call that an engine). You may create a new project and call it a brand new engine, but you are likely to carry over components that “worked”. “Completely new engine… oh look 20 years old code”… yeah, right :).
 
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cyberheater

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Take all the game assets and logic and port it to the Unreal engine and see what looks better.
 

Spacefish

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So in other words their new engine has a bunch of 20 year old bloat that they don't understand? Halo infinite looks distinctly average from a tech perspective, talking about the engine like its a mystical beast sounds like overcompensation for wasting 6 years and half a billion when they could have used unreal engine and got it out in half the time with half the budget and without craig
 

fatmarco

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I still find it hard to believe that 343 has such a bad handle on this considering how great 5 and especially 4 looked visually on their respective hardware.

The idea that legacy code in the engine has just now, become the primary culprit of why the game looks as it does seems a bit far fetched.

If they're building off of the same line of tools as their last two games, and beyond that they've had 6 years to resolve any issues, then I don't really see this as a good enough excuse for the game looking visually mediocre/ as dated as it does.

It wouldn't also account for the poor taste in the initial art design either, so...
 
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Fredrik

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So in other words their new engine has a bunch of 20 year old bloat that they don't understand? Halo infinite looks distinctly average from a tech perspective, talking about the engine like its a mystical beast sounds like overcompensation for wasting 6 years and half a billion when they could have used unreal engine and got it out in half the time with half the budget and without craig
Lol savage

I think the game will be fine but I honestly want to know what the 2018 engine trailer was, that’s the real mystical beast. Was it just a prerendered movie?
 

McCheese

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Why would you use a software renderer engine in a modern game? it's based on IDTech3 and uses the math for the camera system, the math used to be "owned" by CreativeLabs which prevented folks from ripping it out and replacing it with their own stuff, as in the U.S you can patent.. well, math.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IW_(game_engine)
 
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