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

Sosokrates

Founder of western console warring.
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?









Really depends.
People will call Spiderman a triumph, so how can one really judge these things.
You can only judge the final game, judging based on what may have been cut is retarded because stuff is changed and cut in every game.
 

Papacheeks

Gold Member
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.

you are right. It’s called proper project management. If you have that, you can keep budgets in check or within a certain range. Also you won’t need to crunch as much if your planned correctly and everyone’s on board with project/milestones.

hence why insomniac can do 2-3 games at a time.

That’s the goal. As ted price put it you can’t brute force all your issues and short comings. Which is what 343 and a lot of the industry try to do and is why we got battlefield 2042, among other unfinished games. Or in halos case a game that came in stages/pieces.
 

CuNi

Member
you are right. It’s called proper project management. If you have that, you can keep budgets in check or within a certain range. Also you won’t need to crunch as much if your planned correctly and everyone’s on board with project/milestones.

hence why insomniac can do 2-3 games at a time.

That’s the goal. As ted price put it you can’t brute force all your issues and short comings. Which is what 343 and a lot of the industry try to do and is why we got battlefield 2042, among other unfinished games. Or in halos case a game that came in stages/pieces.

I think that's a IT problem, possibly even a "general" problem.
Every time we get a project, release dates etc. are set in stone before even the first line of code is written. Project Managers negotiate a fixed release date and then you weirdly have to stick to it. I would understand that approach when it comes to things that take 2-3 weeks, one month at max, but everything that takes 2 years or even more is just insane. There might be examples, but I never heard of a project that is estimated to take 2+ years be delivered on time issue free 100% as ordered. It's always either a delay or "features will come in at a later date" as they had to be cut to meet the deadline. Every. Project. Always. I don't understand how people can try to stick to dates and set them in stone, not expecting any kind of delays in such a long timespan, it just seems so short sighted.
 

EDMIX

Member
Far too negative. Stop listening to the volcal minority (in all regards to life) and just enjoy this stuff. Also think of AAA games as massive job creators, they are pumping 200 - 500 million dollars into the private sector with every game, making tons of IT, Dev, Marketing, Management and Creative jobs.

Facts. They never want to talk about that part though.

Keep in mind they continue to prove jobs when those support teams take over for DLC, updates etc.

AAA gaming is going to do just fine. Halo coming out in parts or being delayed etc isn't the end of the world. They had some issues, worked it out and made a plan and stuck to it. Enough want stuff like this that I don't really see AAA concepts being in trouble for some time.
 

Spaceman292

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.
I don't see the triumphant part of this
 
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?








Damn! This is what I want..but Halo still looks great.
 

FireFly

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?
Both Halo 1 and Halo 2 originally had a much bigger scope, and in Halo 2 they cut half the levels and chopped off the ending. Halo 2 also had heavily downgraded graphics compared to the showcase reveal, and you could make a case that certain elements were visually inferior to Halo CE. However, in an alternate world where Halo 2 delivered on the original plans, Halo 3 wouldn't have had as much left to use, and I think overall Halo 3 really benefited from the learnings of Halo 2.

Equally, I am sure the "cut" elements of Infinite will find their way back in future sequels or expansions and will be more fleshed out then they ever would have been in Infinite.
 

Sosokrates

Founder of western console warring.
"Jason Schreier"



I wouldn't call it a triumph yet, still a lot of backlash going on for the game but it's a hell of a lot better than 4 and 5 so far.
Im only on the 2nd level, but its a triumph in my book because im having a blast with it, the visuals, the sound, the story all top notch so far.
 
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Schreier's quality of writing has really gone down since leaving Kotaku (ironically). Sure the guy's a shithead but I remember being completely glued to his Anthem article because it was like witnessing a trainwreck in text form. His pieces used to be so detailed and long, but now it feels like everything he puts out is mostly just "Uh, some bad stuff happened or something but they managed to get the game out in the end" and other info that's either old or that anyone with two braincells could've guessed. And of course the obligatory high-horse jabs at "gamers".
 

Hestar69

Member
"Jason Schreier"



I wouldn't call it a triumph yet, still a lot of backlash going on for the game but it's a hell of a lot better than 4 and 5 so far.
I actually thought 4 was ok but holy shit I just beat 5 a few days ago and I remembered why me and my friends stopped playing it..such a boring game. the only halo game I havent gotten all achievements in.

On the third level on halo infinite and its 10000000000000000x better than 4 and 5 IMO
 

Spukc

Gold 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.
The open world part so far is generic cookie cutter sheit. I think they did well.
 

nemiroff

Gold Member
Reading this thread it's easy to tell who's been playing the game and who's not. There a couple of people very eager to paint the
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?

I have a history of hating on 343 and their "shitty" Halo versions (Halo in name but made by NPCs), and wouldn't in a million years think they would be able to turn the shit show around, and let me tell you; I kinda understand the "triumph" in this one, it's just a fun game with excellent gunplay and open world design where even verticality feels engaging despite its lack of tropes like earth fire ice water levels (which I btw don't doubt will arrive via GAAS eventually). AND, it feels like pure Halo, unlike 4 and 5 (which I could not stand). It doesn't feel like cut if you didn't know - Except the glaring lack of coop of course (my son and I was looking forward to experience this for the first time in coop together..).. You should try it some time, and preferably without negative preconceptions. I think most people would be able to enjoy it.
 
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JLB

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?









Those are images of a technical demo of Slipspace, but good try anyways.
 

SlimySnake

Member
Reading this thread it's easy to tell who's been playing the game and who's not. There a couple of people very eager to paint the


I have a history of hating on 343 and their "shitty" Halo versions (Halo in name but made by NPCs), and wouldn't in a million years think they would be able to turn the shit show around, and let me tell you; I kinda understand the "triumph" in this one, it's just a fun game with excellent gunplay and open world design where even verticality feels engaging despite its lack of tropes like earth fire ice water levels (which I btw don't doubt will arrive via GAAS eventually). AND, it feels like pure Halo, unlike 4 and 5 (which I could not stand). It doesn't feel like cut if you didn't know - Except the glaring lack of coop of course (my son and I was looking forward to experience this for the first time in coop together..).. You should try it some time, and preferably without negative preconceptions. I think most people would be able to enjoy it.
I played it last night.
 

STARSBarry

Gold Member
Title should be "How Halo infinite turned from Cyberpunk 2077 to a mid 80's Far Cry clone"

I'm enjoying my time with it, and the interactions with vehicles and NPC's like the Marines are a highlight, but it feels like it's missing so much, especially in weapons.
 
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Papacheeks

Gold Member
Gaf ban Jason articles plz

Why? Because it backs up what everyone with a brain has been saying about the development being in hell on at 343? I mean it sounds like a lot of the Faber code seems to be a lot of the culprit. And looking at Bungie's shit engine Tiger for Destiny in how that has played out now holds true to their code being shit.

It almost makes it seem like 343 has the better code base. But in how the studio operated thats another story. If the code was so shit, why not just start from scratch and look at the code as an outline? They had fucking 6 years?

Shows more the issues a lot of the industry points to which is bad project management. And that falls more on the parent company Microsoft/ Phil/Booty in how they have their studio setup. Using half of the staff from Contracted is not good.

Contracted usually is done to help facilitate certain things after most of the base system of the game are in place. Like if your tools, engine pieces like custom lighting engines and all that are set and your main animation systems are in place. Then your main developers of the studio are working on art, play tests, combat systems, hit detection within levels, sound design. Your contracted people are QA on new created assets, and some of them clean up animations, make NPC models, all that stuff. ANd usually thats when in Post Alpha pre beta stage.

How 343 was setup sounds like they were not managed well. And now with Rare going through some changes as well it seems the Playground Games, Coalition are more the premier well oiled studios and others need a good amount of work.
 

SF Kosmo

...please disperse...
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.
They are paid more, but not that much more. Maybe 20-30%, and nearly the same when you factor in benefits and equity sharing. Source: I work for a blue chip tech giant.
 
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SlimySnake

Member
They are paid more, but not that much more. Maybe 20-30%, and nearly the same when you factor in benefits and equity sharing. Source: I work for a blue chip tech giant.
hmmm.. My brother was hiring some contractors recently and he was bitching about having to pay them $300k for something he couldve gotten from a $130k salaried employee. His company doesnt believe in hiring too many full time software engineers. my friends also run a tech company and were willing to offer me 2x my current salary for some contract work. minus the benefits of course.

Maybe its because of the labor shortage.

Why? Because it backs up what everyone with a brain has been saying about the development being in hell on at 343?
Sony fans do the same whenever Jason exposes bad practices over at Sony studios. People just hate the guy because he had nothing but bad things to report. Him being a SJW doesnt help. I personally think the guy is a dick but ive never had any issues with his reporting. He was right about TLOU2 being in development hell, and ND being forced to redo the Abby chapters due to poor focus testing. He was right about the new cast not being likeable. He was right about Sony Bend no longer working on Days Gone 2. He was right about ND working on Factions. He was right about ND remaking TLOU. Actually that part is the only thing thats not confirmed yet by Sony but we will find out soon enough.

People just dont like what he has to say because it hurts their feelings.
 

Papacheeks

Gold Member
hmmm.. My brother was hiring some contractors recently and he was bitching about having to pay them $300k for something he couldve gotten from a $130k salaried employee. His company doesnt believe in hiring too many full time software engineers. my friends also run a tech company and were willing to offer me 2x my current salary for some contract work. minus the benefits of course.

Maybe its because of the labor shortage.


Sony fans do the same whenever Jason exposes bad practices over at Sony studios. People just hate the guy because he had nothing but bad things to report. Him being a SJW doesnt help. I personally think the guy is a dick but ive never had any issues with his reporting. He was right about TLOU2 being in development hell, and ND being forced to redo the Abby chapters due to poor focus testing. He was right about the new cast not being likeable. He was right about Sony Bend no longer working on Days Gone 2. He was right about ND working on Factions. He was right about ND remaking TLOU. Actually that part is the only thing thats not confirmed yet by Sony but we will find out soon enough.

People just dont like what he has to say because it hurts their feelings.

Oh jason is a dick for sure. But he is a good journalist. Even though I think he tries to make problems when there isn't. He reported on a bunch of stuff about SOny studios, Some of it was 100% on point, the other was more his interpretation of the information he received about a series of events in how projects did/didn't get off the ground within certain studios. But for the most part his reporting was accurate on what went down at Bend, and what happened to San Diago team.

But those instances are not the same as having a studio take over a IP and basically have 3 releases and still have issues internally. The fact that Jason's reporting on Sony was mostly about crunch, two leads who left on their own accord after Days Gone.

He made a bigger deal about the leads leaving, and then when they were interviewed it was more cut and dry that they pitched days gone 2 but Sony said no in the end. The way Jason wrote it was that they never once started Days gone 2 but according to others they had story, characters and early drafts written and some of the studio on board. But the thing is they were outvoted, so they left.

Jason framed it differently. But it still was a story, that not everything under sony is fun in the sun.
 

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
Those are images of a technical demo of Slipspace, but good try anyways.
Oh come on, while I agree, let's not pretend they weren't used as baby nuts fuel of "look at Halo's next graphics, are you people blind" when they arrived and people doubted it would look like that. We can totally dig up the threads on here.
Even though I think he tries to make problems when there isn't.
Being devoid of ethics is not a good journalist.
 

Papacheeks

Gold Member
Oh come on, while I agree, let's not pretend they weren't used as baby nuts fuel of "look at Halo's next graphics, are you people blind" when they arrived and people doubted it would look like that. We can totally dig up the threads on here.

Being devoid of ethics is not a good journalist.

He's still one of the only good journalists out there who has legit sources. Jeff Grubb has some, but his reporting isn't good nor is he on Jason's level. Jason is getting emails and possible phone calls from these people who were sexually assaulted at a studio or someone who had dirt on bad management behavior within a studio. Grubb is talking to people who know developers or dev friends themselves and getting a rumor from them, like a project name drop or if a game from the company they work for is going to be at TGA.
 

Nikana

Go Go Neo Rangers!
He's still one of the only good journalists out there who has legit sources. Jeff Grubb has some, but his reporting isn't good nor is he on Jason's level. Jason is getting emails and possible phone calls from these people who were sexually assaulted at a studio or someone who had dirt on bad management behavior within a studio. Grubb is talking to people who know developers or dev friends themselves and getting a rumor from them, like a project name drop or if a game from the company they work for is going to be at TGA.
A journalist reports. Not carves a story to fit an obvious narrative he has to get clicks.

The guy has sources, people don't doubt that, but lets not pretend he doesn't use sensationalism for personal gain.

Edit: Spelling
 
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Umbasaborne

Member
It feels like most tripple a games these days get stuck in extended development hell, then come out incomplete or broken. This shit is not sustainable with the enormous budgets these games have. Thank god for the indies and aa games. They are keeping this industry alive while everyone else
Is taking the massive swings that are more often then not, missing horribly. I think insomniac and playground games are the only two aaa studios i can think of that can put out big releases on a reasonable and worker friendly schedule
 

SlimySnake

Member
Oh jason is a dick for sure. But he is a good journalist. Even though I think he tries to make problems when there isn't. He reported on a bunch of stuff about SOny studios, Some of it was 100% on point, the other was more his interpretation of the information he received about a series of events in how projects did/didn't get off the ground within certain studios. But for the most part his reporting was accurate on what went down at Bend, and what happened to San Diago team.

But those instances are not the same as having a studio take over a IP and basically have 3 releases and still have issues internally. The fact that Jason's reporting on Sony was mostly about crunch, two leads who left on their own accord after Days Gone.

He made a bigger deal about the leads leaving, and then when they were interviewed it was more cut and dry that they pitched days gone 2 but Sony said no in the end. The way Jason wrote it was that they never once started Days gone 2 but according to others they had story, characters and early drafts written and some of the studio on board. But the thing is they were outvoted, so they left.

Jason framed it differently. But it still was a story, that not everything under sony is fun in the sun.
Yeah, I think Jason likes to frame things and sometimes that causes more issues because then you end up with interpretations of what happened instead of facts. Fact is that TLOU2 had to have a lot of the stuff thrown out because of poor focus testing, but then he wanted to frame it as a story on dev burnout. Fact is that Sony Bend was no longer working on Days Gone 2, but a new IP so he got that right but ended up making a bigger deal about devs leaving when in fact the creative director left like 3 days after shipping the game.

I agree that the issues over at 343 studios are definitely a bigger problem, but the Days Gone team wasted two years doing pitches for Days Gone 2 and Uncharted spinoffs. Thats pretty bad. ND used to make games in 2 years.

P,S Someone posted a video of a ND dev showing how he spent 2 years making the Muesuem Level in TLOU2. Thats a level with no combat. Just Ellie and Joel walking around for 20 minutes interacting with the game world. That took 2 years of revisions. Thats important because apparently MS hires contractors for 18 months and then does not extend their contract. So if a designer comes in and spends 18 months on a level and then leaves, his replacement has to figure out what the level is about, why its there and then finish it. I have no idea why MS thinks this is the right way to go about making games. They need a culture change.
 
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Bernkastel

Ask me about my fanboy energy!
The guy has sources, people don't doubt that, but lets not pretend he doesn't use sensationalism for personal gain.
I remember when Jason referenced an ex-343i employee's bilibili video and made an out of context story about crunch in 343i.

5:55 talks about cut content and 7:50 about the engine. Some people in this forum now think somewhere 2/3rd of the game is kept to be sold as DLC later.
 
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