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[Jason Schreier] How Microsoft’s Halo Infinite Went From Disaster to Triumph

Raphael

Member
“By the summer of 2019, Halo Infinite was in crisis mode. The studio decided to cut almost two-thirds of the entire planned game, leaving managers to instruct some designers to come to the office and do nothing while the studio figured out the next move. Eventually the game’s open world was cut back from a vast, Zelda-like experience into something far smaller.”

Well there it is. What a god damn shame.
Expect DLC updates. Shame it's not there from the start but at least might give halo a long lasting appeal.
 

Sony

Nintendo
Fire Bonnie Ross
I'm struggling with wether I agree with that or not. Thing is, Halo 4 is a great game, but not a great Halo game. Halo 5 is also a great game, but not neccecaritly a great Halo game.
With those two 'failures', I'm not sure weather I would blame Bonnie or the creative directors.
With Infinite, the story is different, because the whole development wasn't properly managed. Not sure if that's on Bonnie.
Additionally, someone must have made the call to involve Joseph Staten, if that was Bonnie then I would say she took the right call to turn the ship around.
Not knowing what her exact involvement was makes it difficult to call for her firing.

Additionally, Bonnie now has the experience of the wrong vision for Halo (4 and 5) and also the experience of development hell (Infinite). This should be useful for future development of Halo.
They know what they did wrong. They'd be stupid to make the same mistakes.
 

Haggard

Member
The amount of hatred for Schreier for simply speaking out obvious thruths is ridiculous.

We already knew the game had a very...turbulent....development , and people act like Schreier is trying to discredit the final product.
Be glad that they managed to turn such a once cut up wreck of a project into something great in the end! That`s something most devs fail to do....well, most devs don`t get another 1+ year of development, though.
And maybe we`ll see the polished cut out parts later on. It´s supposed to be more of a platform than just a singular game after all.
 
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Corndog

Member
The amount of hatred for Schreier for simply speaking out obvious thruths is ridiculous.

We already knew the game had a very...turbulent....development , and people act like Schreier is trying to discredit the final product.
Be glad that they managed to turn such a once cut up wreck of a project into something great in the end! That`s something most devs fail to do....well, most devs don`t get another 1+ year of development, though.
And maybe we`ll see the polished cut out parts later on. It´s supposed to be more of a platform than just a singular game after all.
You must have never dealt with him before. Go to his Twitter and see if you are already blocked.
 
Just waits for 'if it was only open world, I would have bought a Xbox'. Don't get the issues over the engine either. Since I thought Halo 5 made use of a brand new engine, never mind Infinite. Most games will also have planned content cut so the game can ship, that's just common practice and all corps use Temp workers to cover workflow issues or maternity leave Etc
 

NickFire

Member
Good on them for the pivot and delay since it lead to a good game. A bit of a shame that they couldn't get their act together earlier, but better to downsize and focus on a good game than release a jumbo sized mess.

Good on JS for writing an interesting article without scraping the bottom of the politically charged hit piece barrel as well.
 
Yeah, I am not sure how this is a triumph. They were able to ship the game with great reviews yes, but they literally cut 2/3rd of the game. The game was heavily downgraded both in terms of graphics and scope. Where is the wildlife? The amazing graphics? Is Watch Dogs a triumph?








Watch Dogs doesn't have a great gameplay loop or top-notch multiplayer component like Halo Infinite does. If visuals and size of open world is determining factor in how good a game is, then a game like Rainbow Six Siege would be GOTY
 

FrankWza

Member
It’s a microcosm of the company as a whole. Big bucks backing any mistakes that are made or any strategy that fails. It’s all fair, but shrewd calculated moves these are not. Basically just more time and more money is the solution. You can throw that at pretty much any problem in any walk of life and you’ll end up being able to label it solved or fixed or triumphant.
 

Salz01

Member
Yeah, I am not sure how this is a triumph. They were able to ship the game with great reviews yes, but they literally cut 2/3rd of the game. The game was heavily downgraded both in terms of graphics and scope. Where is the wildlife? The amazing graphics? Is Watch Dogs a triumph?








This makes me so sad. I was so hyped after seeing this. It truly looked like an Evolution for Halo. (At least in scope and art direction, there was no game play)
 
Never understood limiting contractors to 18 months. Revolving door of knowledge. Pretty self inflicted from a HR policy perspective.
Legal reasons.
I guess this explains why the open world feels redundant and lifeless compared to something like Elden Ring.
 

oldergamer

Member
Still trying to remain relevant, I see. It was never a disaster if it never released as such. It releases looking like possibly the best Halo campaign ever made.
Exactly. Calling it a disaster before it was finished is a total misnomer. Every fucking game in existence is a disaster during development. some more then others. There's a point where nothing works the way it was designed, or it has yet to come together.
 

Warnen

Can he swing from a thread? Take a look overhead / Hey, there, there goes the Spider-Man
title should be used for a game like Fallout 76, Halo was delayed and released as the best game of the year. No disaster.
 
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ANDS

Thought gaf was racist. Now knows better, honorary gaffer 2022
Nah, there's truth to it. Even Shawn Layden said AAA development in its current state isn't sustainable.

I've personally been concerned about the state of the industry. Marvel's Avengers, Battlefield 2042, GTA Trilogy all shit the bed. Halo had its scope reduced tremendously. We see a bunch of announced games and then hear nothing about them for years. On top of that we have companies like Ubisoft introducing terrible NFT nonsense to their games.

Something has to give at some point.

One of those games is doing its own thing.
 

Nikana

Go Go Neo Rangers!
The amount of hatred for Schreier for simply speaking out obvious thruths is ridiculous.

We already knew the game had a very...turbulent....development , and people act like Schreier is trying to discredit the final product.
Be glad that they managed to turn such a once cut up wreck of a project into something great in the end! That`s something most devs fail to do....well, most devs don`t get another 1+ year of development, though.
And maybe we`ll see the polished cut out parts later on. It´s supposed to be more of a platform than just a singular game after all.

All you have to do is look at his history to understand.

His narrative against the industry is beyond annoying. He has access to people who are willing to talk to him and deep dive into what they feel is bad about the industry. But he has rarely ever used that access to write about the industry as a whole. He is out there for clicks not to actually report and write about the industry itself. Using words like "disaster" is totally hyperbolic.

This very article he tries to use points like "the studio decided to cut almost two-thirds of the entire planned game."

This is extremely common for games in development. You have features you want to create and implement but you have to make cuts. Sometimes its a lot, sometimes its not. And Jason knows this but instead uses it as a click bait."

What I find weird is that in his book he actually had some great deep dives into success stories that were quite fun to read. So he's capable but chooses not to.
 

Warnen

Can he swing from a thread? Take a look overhead / Hey, there, there goes the Spider-Man
Craig was a PR disaster. Delaying from the launch year was a launch disaster. Development internally sounded like a disaster.

The fact that it seemingly worked out is surprising.

being a little over dramatic aren’t we? A Meme is a disaster? Same with a delay during Covid?
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
being a little over dramatic aren’t we? A Meme is a disaster? Same with a delay during Covid?
I wasn't going for dramatic exaggeration. Their game was the opposite of impressing people. It was a laughing stock. So much so that it is included in the game as a joke.
 
“By the summer of 2019, Halo Infinite was in crisis mode. The studio decided to cut almost two-thirds of the entire planned game, leaving managers to instruct some designers to come to the office and do nothing while the studio figured out the next move. Eventually the game’s open world was cut back from a vast, Zelda-like experience into something far smaller.”

Well there it is. What a god damn shame.

To me it was obvious that they had to cut a lot a things to ship the game, by the comments of reviewers already up that half the game is the same "dungeon" over and over with no variety. Basically "filler".
 

Warnen

Can he swing from a thread? Take a look overhead / Hey, there, there goes the Spider-Man
I wasn't going for dramatic exaggeration. Their game was the opposite of impressing people. It was a laughing stock. So much so that it is included in the game as a joke.

dunno when we get games like avengers that sold to us as a blatant lie (fucking game press and shit flipping out on how great it was still irks me).

Seeing an unfinished game having some issues isn’t a disaster to me, good on them for rolling with the jokes.
 
Never understood limiting contractors to 18 months. Revolving door of knowledge. Pretty self inflicted from a HR policy perspective.

I can't believe it's 2021 and people are just now discovering how the video game industry exploits temps. The Raven situation that just happened has been going on forever.

Most QA/support roles in gaming companies are temps. Only the developer gods get to be full time employees of the company.

It's about money. Always is.

In California it's the law. You cannot have contracts go over 18 months without hiring that person on full time. There has to be 6 months between contracts. We have companies here get around this by sharing contractors. Wells Fargo and AAA have a pool of contractors that go between the two companies in 18 months rotations. Before anyone bitches, there are a lot of contractors in IT that prefer it this way? We've literally had contractors refuse to come on full time and had to leave once the contract ended.
 
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Bernkastel

Ask me about my fanboy energy!
To me it was obvious that they had to cut a lot a things to ship the game, by the comments of reviewers already up that half the game is the same "dungeon" over and over with no variety. Basically "filler".
Halo CE originally had 25 levels, Halo 2 ending was scarped which was repurposed into Halo 3. Its pretty normal in most AAA games to cut content.

Both Halo CE and Halo 2 went through development hell cutting massive chunks of originally planned story content.
 
I called it!



James Sawyer Ford James Sawyer Ford

The management downgraded an entire game because it had to be a launch game, and they still missed it by a year.


It's funny because Phil makes it seems like he's learned from his mistakes in game development and they do things differently now. This was 2019, VERY recent. In 2020 they announced Halo Infinite would be a launch game despite becoming a bit of a laughing stock at the time for how rough and unpolished it looked.

What has Phil learned, exactly? This is was their top franchise, and while it looks like they managed to salvage it into something the very hardcore could appreciate, it's not anywhere near the ambitions they had when it announced.

Listen to what Ted Price says about this:

“We face those choices all the time in the games industry,” Price said. “I think the default is to brute force the problem — in order words, to throw money or people at it. But that can actually cause more chaos and affect wellbeing, which goes against that balance. The harder and, in my opinion, more effective solution is to be more creative within constraints.”

Insomniac is probably the most efficient studio in the world right now. They have very good management practices. They have a core framework which, after it has been prototyped and approved, they don't deviate much from. There is still creativity in the process through production but it is limited and they don't have scope creep. This allows their studio to be utilized almost 100% of the time. No people sitting around doing nothing. No re-working major parts of the game.

343 in contrast just seems like a studio without strong leadership. The people there are very likely to be extremely talented, but they all seem to be going in their own direction. Too many Halo megafans that have their own vision for what Halo should be, and no one to tell them this is what it MUST be (and if you disagree, BYE). Everyone needs to be a team player on the same page. Look at what Sony Santa Monica did with the God of War reboot. They needed someone like Cory with very strong creative direction to steer that project in the right direction, set the right tone, etc. In fact, it seems like that's why their previous game failed, they didn't really know what their new IP would be and it just seemed uninspired as a result.

It's such a shame that Halo Infinite turned out the way it did. I'm glad many people enjoy it, but I look at it as a failed attempt at something much greater. The initial ambition of the reveal trailer excited me about Halo again, and the re-reveal completely gutted that excitement. I've played the core sandbox Halo gameplay many times in the past and it's time for something a bit more dramatic and modern. I can go back and play Halo 1 if I want that experience, just like I can go back and play God of War 2 if I want to play the pinnacle of old-school Kratos fun. But by the time Ascension came out people were sort of done with that style of game. It had already said everything that needed to be said before.

Bonnie Ross needs to be replaced, the failures of 343 fall squarely under her poor leadership. But of course firing her, due to HR optics and politics, is something Microsoft won't do. The practice of hiring mostly contractors (something Microsoft is very keen to do) is also problematic because there's huge amounts of turnover and no ownership of assignments. The fact that Phil Spencer kept beating the drum on forcing it to be a luanch title even all the way up to right before release just tells me the guy does not get game development and never really has. He likes to think his team is changed now, but I don't see much evidence for it. Still the same mistakes that others in the industry that actually are making ground breaking AAA games don't fall for - like, for instance, not rushing a game that isn't ready.
 
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SlimySnake SlimySnake the state of the SlipSpace engine seems like a disaster. I really hope Infinite ISN'T the 10+ year project they hyped it to be. They need to let it die and re-boot the game again, going back to the 2018 reveal trailer as inspiration.

Get off their own janked up engine that's patched together with legacy garbage and adopt something like UE5 instead.
 

SlimySnake

Member
It's funny because Phil makes it seems like he's learned from his mistakes in game development and they do things differently now. This was 2019, VERY recent. In 2020 they announced Halo Infinite would be a launch game despite becoming a bit of a laughing stock at the time for how rough and unpolished it looked.

What has Phil learned, exactly? This is was their top franchise, and while it looks like they managed to salvage it into something the very hardcore could appreciate, it's not anywhere near the ambitions they had when it announced.

Listen to what Ted Price says about this:



Insomniac is probably the most efficient studio in the world right now. They have very good management practices. They have a core framework which, after it has been prototyped and approved, they don't deviate much from. There is still creativity in the process through production but it is limited and they don't have scope creep. This allows their studio to be utilized almost 100% of the time. No people sitting around doing nothing. No re-working major parts of the game.

343 in contrast just seems like a studio without strong leadership. The people there are very likely to be extremely talented, but they all seem to be going in their own direction. Too many Halo megafans that have their own vision for what Halo should be, and no one to tell them this is what it MUST be (and if you disagree, BYE). Everyone needs to be a team player on the same page. Look at what Sony Santa Monica did with the God of War reboot. They needed someone like Cory with very strong creative direction to steer that project in the right direction, set the right tone, etc. In fact, it seems like that's why their previous game failed, they didn't really know what their new IP would be and it just seemed uninspired as a result.

It's such a shame that Halo Infinite turned out the way it did. I'm glad many people enjoy it, but I look at it as a failed attempt at something much greater. The initial ambition of the reveal trailer excited me about Halo again, and the re-reveal completely gutted that excitement. I've played the core sandbox Halo gameplay many times in the past and it's time for something a bit more dramatic and modern. I can go back and play Halo 1 if I want that experience, just like I can go back and play God of War 2 if I want to play the pinnacle of old-school Kratos fun. But by the time Ascension came out people were sort of done with that style of game. It had already said everything that needed to be said before.

Bonnie Ross needs to be replaced, the failures of 343 fall squarely under her poor leadership. But of course firing her, due to HR optics and politics, is something Microsoft won't do. The practice of hiring mostly contractors (something Microsoft is very keen to do) is also problematic because there's huge amounts of turnover and no ownership of assignments. The fact that Phil Spencer kept beating the drum on forcing it to be a luanch title even all the way up to right before release just tells me the guy does not get game development and never really has. He likes to think his team is changed now, but I don't see much evidence for it. Still the same mistakes that others in the industry that actually are making ground breaking AAA games don't fall for - like, for instance, not rushing a game that isn't ready.
I dont think Bonnie is solely at fault here. Yes, the buck stops with her, but that quote about the leadership forcing a 2020 launch is ALL on Phil. He knew the game would have to be gutted from its original vision and pushed them to downgrade the shit out of it. And I am not even talking about visual downgrades here. This is NOT the vision sold to us at E3 2018. I am surprised there isnt much backlash over this. Watchdogs and Division got some graphics downgrades and people went nuts. Well, here the entire biomes and wildlife system is missing.

One thing I will add about Cory is that in the interviews, he constantly mentioned how his team questioned his every choice. From having to do a no-cut camera to different ideas about Loki, they were constantly up his ass, and Im like why? Hes the director. I could never see a random camera crew tell Stanley Kubrick or Christopher Nolan how to shoot a film or write dialogue. Video game devs need to know their place and stfu. Let the man direct his game. You are just a glorified factory worker. It's like when that Insomniac dev got mad at the Ratchet directors for wanting to make Rivet more feminine and slammed a poster on the desk. Like who the fuck are you? Let the director choose what he wants his characters to look like.

But going back to Halo infinite, it's clear the initial ambition of the trailer was not met because they ran out of time. That should simply not happen to an AAA game. MS's biggest most important IP. The fact that Phil forced them to downscale their ambition and then ended up delaying it anyway just shows how that decision didn't help one bit. MS needs to bring someone from the outside. Get Ted Price to run the show. Phil was talking about retiring anyway. This is unacceptable. Imagine if Jimbo told Cory to gut 2/3rd of GOW, and get rid of all realms except for midgard. Yeesh.

And I was just defending the guy yesterday lol.
 

ReBurn

Gold Member
THe removing two thirds of the game line is silly. Games have features and portions cut all the time before they go into full development on the core elements. This is not unusual.

Perhaps them wanting it to make launch forced some things further to be cut but judging by the delay it sounds like it all made it in.
There's a lot about his take that's silly. Technical debt isn't necessarily driven by quick, easy solutions instead of sustainable ones. Nothing is sustainable forever and sometimes a perfectly stable solution becomes outdated over time and becomes technical debt, which then needs to be replaced with more modern solution. It's the process of evolution of code.

They guy is a schmuck.
 

SlimySnake

Member
SlimySnake SlimySnake the state of the SlipSpace engine seems like a disaster. I really hope Infinite ISN'T the 10+ year project they hyped it to be. They need to let it die and re-boot the game again, going back to the 2018 reveal trailer as inspiration.

Get off their own janked up engine that's patched together with legacy garbage and adopt something like UE5 instead.
Jason said they looked into switching to UE, but couldnt pull the trigger on that either. And now they are stuck with an engine thats lacking basic things like distance shadows and good AO that are built into UE4. No extra work wouldve been necessary had they switched to UE4.
 
I dont think Bonnie is solely at fault here. Yes, the buck stops with her, but that quote about the leadership forcing a 2020 launch is ALL on Phil. He knew the game would have to be gutted from its original vision and pushed them to downgrade the shit out of it. And I am not even talking about visual downgrades here. This is NOT the vision sold to us at E3 2018. I am surprised there isnt much backlash over this. Watchdogs and Division got some graphics downgrades and people went nuts. Well, here the entire biomes and wildlife system is missing.

One thing I will add about Cory is that in the interviews, he constantly mentioned how his team questioned his every choice. From having to do a no-cut camera to different ideas about Loki, they were constantly up his ass, and Im like why? Hes the director. I could never see a random camera crew tell Stanley Kubrick or Christopher Nolan how to shoot a film or write dialogue. Video game devs need to know their place and stfu. Let the man direct his game. You are just a glorified factory worker. It's like when that Insomniac dev got mad at the Ratchet directors for wanting to make Rivet more feminine and slammed a poster on the desk. Like who the fuck are you? Let the director choose what he wants his characters to look like.

But going back to Halo infinite, it's clear the initial ambition of the trailer was not met because they ran out of time. That should simply not happen to an AAA game. MS's biggest most important IP. The fact that Phil forced them to downscale their ambition and then ended up delaying it anyway just shows how that decision didn't help one bit. MS needs to bring someone from the outside. Get Ted Price to run the show. Phil was talking about retiring anyway. This is unacceptable. Imagine if Jimbo told Cory to gut 2/3rd of GOW, and get rid of all realms except for midgard. Yeesh.

And I was just defending the guy yesterday lol.

The problem is - why was the game in such bad shape in 2019? That's a long ass time to develop a game.

Phil is at fault for trying to rush a launch, but Bonnie is at fault for not meeting the launch to begin with and having the game be in such a sorry state in 2019. She's been with the studio a long time and every project seems to not go as well as planned, and Infinite seems like it was particularly troubling. She deserves a lot of blame after so many attempts.
 

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
It's funny because Phil makes it seems like he's learned from his mistakes in game development and they do things differently now. This was 2019, VERY recent. In 2020 they announced Halo Infinite would be a launch game despite becoming a bit of a laughing stock at the time for how rough and unpolished it looked.

What has Phil learned, exactly? This is was their top franchise, and while it looks like they managed to salvage it into something the very hardcore could appreciate, it's not anywhere near the ambitions they had when it announced.

Listen to what Ted Price says about this:



Insomniac is probably the most efficient studio in the world right now. They have very good management practices. They have a core framework which, after it has been prototyped and approved, they don't deviate much from. There is still creativity in the process through production but it is limited and they don't have scope creep. This allows their studio to be utilized almost 100% of the time. No people sitting around doing nothing. No re-working major parts of the game.

343 in contrast just seems like a studio without strong leadership. The people there are very likely to be extremely talented, but they all seem to be going in their own direction. Too many Halo megafans that have their own vision for what Halo should be, and no one to tell them this is what it MUST be (and if you disagree, BYE). Everyone needs to be a team player on the same page. Look at what Sony Santa Monica did with the God of War reboot. They needed someone like Cory with very strong creative direction to steer that project in the right direction, set the right tone, etc. In fact, it seems like that's why their previous game failed, they didn't really know what their new IP would be and it just seemed uninspired as a result.

It's such a shame that Halo Infinite turned out the way it did. I'm glad many people enjoy it, but I look at it as a failed attempt at something much greater. The initial ambition of the reveal trailer excited me about Halo again, and the re-reveal completely gutted that excitement. I've played the core sandbox Halo gameplay many times in the past and it's time for something a bit more dramatic and modern. I can go back and play Halo 1 if I want that experience, just like I can go back and play God of War 2 if I want to play the pinnacle of old-school Kratos fun. But by the time Ascension came out people were sort of done with that style of game. It had already said everything that needed to be said before.

Bonnie Ross needs to be replaced, the failures of 343 fall squarely under her poor leadership. But of course firing her, due to HR optics and politics, is something Microsoft won't do. The practice of hiring mostly contractors (something Microsoft is very keen to do) is also problematic because there's huge amounts of turnover and no ownership of assignments. The fact that Phil Spencer kept beating the drum on forcing it to be a luanch title even all the way up to right before release just tells me the guy does not get game development and never really has. He likes to think his team is changed now, but I don't see much evidence for it. Still the same mistakes that others in the industry that actually are making ground breaking AAA games don't fall for - like, for instance, not rushing a game that isn't ready.
They brought her out on stage in a spectacle of a "yasss queen" while the game was in turmoil and the gaming side of the internet was heating up about her getting gone. She isn't going anywhere, any more than Kathleen Kennedy is with Lucasfilm.
 
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twilo99

Member
This is going to be an ongoing project with continous content updates.. at least that's how it sounds like to me
 
One thing I will add about Cory is that in the interviews, he constantly mentioned how his team questioned his every choice. From having to do a no-cut camera to different ideas about Loki, they were constantly up his ass, and Im like why? Hes the director. I could never see a random camera crew tell Stanley Kubrick or Christopher Nolan how to shoot a film or write dialogue. Video game devs need to know their place and stfu. Let the man direct his game. You are just a glorified factory worker. It's like when that Insomniac dev got mad at the Ratchet directors for wanting to make Rivet more feminine and slammed a poster on the desk. Like who the fuck are you? Let the director choose what he wants his characters to look like.

I think there needs to be some sort of onboarding policy that Devs must work within the creative constraints allowed on the team and not get emotional over disagreements. Stuff like the example you said is just ridiculous. There needs to be strong hierarchy in game development, otherwise you get chaos.

That's why the Japanese style of leadership can actually be really good when it works. The workers do as their told and let the rockstar directors run the show. Sometimes the directors fail miserably (Square), but othertimes it turns out well (Kojima, Miyazaki).

I get the sense that people that work on these Japanese teams go with the strong leadership direction and have passion for what those leaders do rather than questioning every little thing. Something like Death Stranding is an amazing accomplishment for a new studio, new IP, and massive scope.
 

SlimySnake

Member
The problem is - why was the game in such bad shape in 2019? That's a long ass time to develop a game.

Phil is at fault for trying to rush a launch, but Bonnie is at fault for not meeting the launch to begin with and having the game be in such a sorry state in 2019. She's been with the studio a long time and every project seems to not go as well as planned, and Infinite seems like it was particularly troubling. She deserves a lot of blame after so many attempts.
Oh I agree. I just meant not solely at fault. If heads are gonna roll then yes, she should be the first to go, but the head of MS first party and the CEO ought to share the blame for completely gutting the vision of the game.

This isnt just a small visual downgrade. I mean the game still looks great to me. This is about the scope of the game. 2/3rd gone. Entire vision compromised because they wanted to meet some launch date that they didnt even end up making. Firing Bonnie wont stop this from happening at other studios. They are remaking Perfect Dark from scratch. Hellblade 2 is also looking very ambitious. Fable is another reboot. What is XBox leadership going to do to their vision if they fail to meet deadlines?

This is an institutional failure. Not one man or woman or studio's problem.
 

SlimySnake

Member
I think there needs to be some sort of onboarding policy that Devs must work within the creative constraints allowed on the team and not get emotional over disagreements. Stuff like the example you said is just ridiculous. There needs to be strong hierarchy in game development, otherwise you get chaos.

That's why the Japanese style of leadership can actually be really good when it works. The workers do as their told and let the rockstar directors run the show. Sometimes the directors fail miserably (Square), but othertimes it turns out well (Kojima, Miyazaki).

I get the sense that people that work on these Japanese teams go with the strong leadership direction and have passion for what those leaders do rather than questioning every little thing. Something like Death Stranding is an amazing accomplishment for a new studio, new IP, and massive scope.
Yep. And even the failures are OK. It's ok to fail. Even Spielberg has produced some bombs. Hell, Kojima made MGS2, the TLOU2 of its time, a complete misfire but then turned around to deliver the best game he's ever made. He learned from his failure, but would an entire studio learn from a collective failure? Doubt it. There would be a lot of finger pointing and no one would shoulder all the blame like Neil is facing right now. I am convinced his next game is going to be a masterpiece like Snake Eater was for Kojima. Not too hopeful about 343i's next game though. Maybe if Joe Staten is given full reign over the IP.
 

SF Kosmo

...please disperse...
In some parts of the world, if a contractor has worked at a firm for more than a certain number of months, they gain all the same rights as a permanent employee. So, they are entitled to holiday pay, sick pay, pension, training, and all the rest.

I knew someone who worked at an investment bank in London who was given a contract renewal to sign that had a break of one calendar month in it. This was so that they couldn't claim to have been working at the place for the number of consecutive months that would entitle them to things like severance pay. So, they signed it, then buggered off on holiday for a month before coming back for their next stint. I know, weird, right?
Sure, in countries where workers have rights, I get it. But this is America. No one gets "entitled" to severance or benefits, a lot of permanent jobs don't even have those.
 

NickFire

Member
I think there needs to be some sort of onboarding policy that Devs must work within the creative constraints allowed on the team and not get emotional over disagreements. Stuff like the example you said is just ridiculous. There needs to be strong hierarchy in game development, otherwise you get chaos.
It used to be this way in pretty much all industries. But between the soccer moms of the 90's, the me me me social media stuff, and the intersection of politics and news, those days are passed.
 

SlimySnake

Member
Sure, in countries where workers have rights, I get it. But this is America. No one gets "entitled" to severance or benefits, a lot of permanent jobs don't even have those.
Correct, but I wouldnt feel too bad about MS contractors. Contractors in the tech industry are paid 2-3x more than salaried employees. And MS pays better wages than pretty much everyone.
 

CGiRanger

Banned
Nah, there's truth to it. Even Shawn Layden said AAA development in its current state isn't sustainable.

I've personally been concerned about the state of the industry. Marvel's Avengers, Battlefield 2042, GTA Trilogy all shit the bed. Halo had its scope reduced tremendously. We see a bunch of announced games and then hear nothing about them for years. On top of that we have companies like Ubisoft introducing terrible NFT nonsense to their games.

Something has to give at some point.
I feel there definitely is an issue with how the scope of game development, and costs, have so drastically risen due to player expectations on certain aspects (especially high-resolution, realistic graphics) but the time and money needed to achieve those levels has not gotten cheaper, but also grown more and more expensive.

Content creation in games has always been time consuming and has grown more so as technological levels have increased. But the jobs of those creators, has not gotten easier. That's why companies who pursue these heights of graphical fidelity have to hire hundreds of contractors and outsourcing in order to get it all done.

Japanese developers I actually feel wisely chose to not fully pursue these ideals of ultra-realistic graphics overall, even though they are criticized for that lack of keeping up with "standards", but I feel it's enabled them to keep their longevity without breaking.
 
and made something that has none of the fun experimentation of BotW. All this game has is grappling vehicles right after they explode but its not even as good as BotW physics manipulation because it doesn't feel like a proper "fling" you get from stasising something in that, it feels like a physics glitch.
Lmao talking out of ur ass with this one

the stuff I’ve seen people do on YouTube is wild
 
Yep. And even the failures are OK. It's ok to fail. Even Spielberg has produced some bombs. Hell, Kojima made MGS2, the TLOU2 of its time, a complete misfire but then turned around to deliver the best game he's ever made. He learned from his failure, but would an entire studio learn from a collective failure? Doubt it. There would be a lot of finger pointing and no one would shoulder all the blame like Neil is facing right now. I am convinced his next game is going to be a masterpiece like Snake Eater was for Kojima. Not too hopeful about 343i's next game though. Maybe if Joe Staten is given full reign over the IP.
I hope Neil makes something different than Uncharted and TLOU. My opinion about TLOU2 is that the game itself didn't need to exist. The narrative had no way to go for a 2nd game. He wanted to start it with something that will fire the excitement for a new narrative, but it backfired.
Those 343 guys will do fine if managed correctly, and if, xbox management have the passion to create something great.
 
Yeah, I am not sure how this is a triumph. They were able to ship the game with great reviews yes, but they literally cut 2/3rd of the game. The game was heavily downgraded both in terms of graphics and scope. Where is the wildlife? The amazing graphics? Is Watch Dogs a triumph?








Yep, we're getting a real fun game to play so I'm happy with that but the reveal trailer is a big no show. Must be under the poncho.

Also is that really an article? Fuck me any bystander following 343/Infinite could have written that. Where is any insider info or journalist insight. Fucking joke of an article, no wonder I don't read Jason/Bloomberg for gaming.
 

Mercador

Member
When I read stuff like this, I sometimes wonder just how sustainable AAA game development is these days. The games just cost more and more to make, take longer to come out, have all kinds of issues when they do, and often gamers are saying it's not much of an improvement over what we had before.

Maybe I'm being too negative..?
Good games take a lot more time to make. People still expect giant leaps between generations but games like RDR2 are really long to make. Creating AAA games from scratch (no engine) is almost impossible in the current market. Still, there's some breakthroughs here and there but I think we can expect more small steps increments than real next gen stuff like a decade or two ago (or even three).
 
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