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Making Halo Anniversary Work
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Making Halo Anniversary Work

November 15, 2011 Article Start Previous Page 3 of 3

Have you gotten many of the original developers' input on the anniversary edition?

FO: We definitely talk to the other Bungie guys regularly, and we're friends with a lot of the guys, and they're not going to charge us for consultation, for one thing. We can talk to them. ...

I had some conversations about the Title Update [for Reach] -- which was one of the trickiest things, because we were effectively changing moments of the gameplay. But [it's good to have] somebody to talk to, about some of the things we do, just things that they'd have spent more time with.

We have the benefit of hindsight, right? Like, there's been a year of people playing Halo: Reach, and bitching about things -- that you absolutely want to make sure you have them taken care of.

But those guys [at Bungie] are fully committed to their next game. It's not like they have spare cycles to come help us with our challenges, on top of everything else. So, no is the short answer to your question -- but obviously we organically have a lot of communication with those guys.

You've said it's running two engines simultaneously, but it's really just two rendering engines, right? The underlying game engine is the same.

FO: There's a little bit more to it, to make it map correctly, and make everything work. And saying "a little bit", well, there's probably some engineer reading this and saying "A little bit? I spent the whole year doing that!" But, I mean, the overall effect is hopefully fairly seamless for the player.

We could quickly switch to Headlong, which is the only level which is from Halo 2. I think I explained the process for that. You don't want to turn into a democracy though, because you end up with some false positives if you just do it.

We were trying to do this in secret, the whole project, but we were fairly confident that Headlong was going to be in the levels -- that was surprisingly popular with the multiplayer set.

And the reason to go with the Reach engine was -- I already explained that there's no real networking engine for the original CE. But I think, more importantly, if we came in with a new Halo game right in the middle of Halo Reach's lifespan and split the ecosystem like that, and split the player base, it would have made a lot more enemies than friends.

And this is supposed to be a celebration. We don't want to say, "Hey, stop playing this! Start playing this!" And we wanted to respect that.

That's a bit of a difficult decision to make there, really.

FO: Yeah, we knew. I mean, even internally, we were like, "Right." When we made the decision, we're like, "This number of people are going to be rightfully irritated or mad about that decision." So that's when we started working on the Title Update with classic gameplay.

So with things like the pistol, we've added ability to move completely, or reduce the amount of bloom on the DMR rifle, and basically make a much more classic Halo experience for when Anniversary ships. You'll be able to go into setup matchmaking play it as close to Halo CE as you can get with the Reach engine.

Have you considered any kind of interoperability between the games? I mean any kind of persistence, for the Halo series going forward?

FO: Yeah and I already touched on that with regards to fiction -- which is a meta-concept, and an easy one to do.

But absolutely Waypoint has become a sort of access for that interoperability, and we're definitely looking at ways -- definitely for your Halo career to continue to exist. But ways for more discreet and functional things.

In fact, we have some things happening in the next couple of months that speak directly to that. Yeah, we have some stuff coming up in the next couple of months that talks exactly to that, and there's some really interesting things, but hopefully without breaking the gameplay experience.

Article Start Previous Page 3 of 3

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Kevin Patterson
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I'm a bit sad that they weren't able to implement the multiplayer with the old physics. Friends and I created a jeep wars multiplayer game that wasn't the same with Halo 2 and Halo 3. When I heard about the remake, I was hoping for that... I understand the reasons, but it would have been really cool to have the old multiplayer, and the old original blood gulch.

Ardney Carter
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Along those lines, did they keep local co-op? I have read elsewhere that co-op over Live was available and that local split-screen multiplayer was removed but I have not seen it stated one way or the other whether the campaign co-op was left in. That particular feature is the dealbreaker for me.

Michael Martz
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To do split-screen co-op you have to change your network to your local xbox and go to the campaign menu. It's hidden otherwise.

Eric Schwarz
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The switching between two different graphics engines without pause and without some sort of full level reboot is an extremely impressive feat of engineering. The feature itself is rather pointless, in a sense, but no doubt many players will appreciate it even so. I've never been a huge Halo fan but I have to give a lot of credit for 343's implementation of one of the coolest features I've ever seen in any sort of remake/re-release, both in terms of the sheer ingenuity in coming up with it, and what was probably quite a bit of work in actually making it possible.

Jonathan Ronk
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Halo 1 was always my favorite of the series. I haven't purchased the Anniversary edition, but I'm beginning to become a little disappointed of the gameplay is a lot different. One thing that is important to me is the sniping zoom. I was excellent with a 2x scope, but when Halo 2 went to a 5x zoom, I was awful and have never enjoyed that aspect of the game since. Does anyone know if the 2x zoom is back?

Harry Fields
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I still wish they would've re-tooled and included every multiplayer map/mode from every Halo game. That would've been one hell of a remix.

Nick Harris
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And where is the BR?

Wylie Garvin
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I got it yesterday and its great, I'm very satisfied for my $40.. I do however wish there was a control scheme with flashlight on LB, switch grenades on RB, action on X and melee on B. "The Duke" is the closest button scheme I could find to the one that makes sense to me (which I'm not even sure why I have this particular expectation, maybe from Halo 3 or something..)

Anyway the Halo 1 campaign is as great as ever gameplay-wise, and the new graphics and remastered sound track will make it easier for players who never played the original to get through the experience. If you have friends with 360's who never played Halo 1, do them a favor and make them buy this game.