Halo Infinite’s head of creative explains why gameplay previews weren’t available at Gamescom

    
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If you were following along on our Gamescom Opening Night coverage and are a fan or follower of the shooter Halo Infinite, you probably note that the game only had that cinematic introduction to its campaign but no actual gameplay. That’s because the devs at 343 Industries are heads-down working to make the game’s December 8th launch the best it can be according to a developer blog from head of creative Joseph Staten.

“We’re at a critical phase in the flight that is Halo Infinite, so it’s extremely important to avoid distractions and stay focused on mission-critical tasks only. For Campaign, that means putting maximum effort into ensuring the wide-open, adventure-filled experience you’ll all get to play on December 8th is a great as it can possibly be. And gameplay demos and trailers not only take a huge amount of effort to do well, they also take cycles away from bugs and other shutdown tasks.”

The post closes with assurance that the game’s campaign is playing extremely well, as staten himself is trying for a 100% completion playthrough, finding all of the collectibles and completing all of the primary and secondary tasks. The August 2021 insider digest further has information for fans to chew on, including stats from the game’s technical test, internal interviews with the devs, and more for those who are curious.

source: Halo website via Polygon
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Danny Smith

Everytime 343 trys to point out why they can’t do the bare minimum every company does for their live service battlepass minibuy homunculus brand exercise its like they come from another planet and are trying really hard not to make their development sound like another shitshow by saying “hey this development is a shitshow again”.

Ernost
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Ernost

And gameplay demos and trailers not only take a huge amount of effort to do well, they also take cycles away from bugs and other shutdown tasks.

Don’t game companies usually have separate teams to handle that sort of thing?

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cursedseishi

Depends on the kind of trailer. A ‘Proof of Concept’ or ‘Story’ trailer not meant to be representative of gameplay could be done by a team separate from the main coding/production team. But Gameplay Trailers, and especially Demos?

Those specifically require the team to splinter off. Even if they were, say, using Unreal Engine for example? You couldn’t just bring any person familiar with the engine in to work on a game this late in production and expect them to be good off the bat. Even in-house engines like EA’s Frostbite or Capcom’s RE Engine likely develop into forks from the main base to better suit what is necessary for the specific game. And those forks of the engines might handle things differently from the other forks or base engine, and would have their own quirks as well. It’d be a waste, then, to try and have a separate team specifically for ‘demo gameplay’ because you’d either have to waste money on ensuring the team is big enough to cover all variations all of the time–or waste time as they have to re-familiarize themselves with multiple variations and whatever updates are made with them.

Gameplay Trailers and Demos also require a solid ‘piece’ of content to play through, which the game may or may not have available at the moment. It’s easier the later into the game’s development of course, but at this point everything would be on Optimization/Bug work. And for said demo/trailer, that piece of content would need to show off more than what typical gameplay might offer–which, of course, means extra work creating the perfect chunk for it. And creating that ‘vertical slice’ can mean more dev work, and in turn require its own QA passes. They may even need editing/adjusting in the event there may be a story element potentially spoiled by the portion they use.

Leo
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Leo

I hope that isn’t code for crunch

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Arktouros

Not much “code” about it, absolutely means crunch time.

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zoward

I’m okay with this. I’d rather they be working on the game itself than putting together footage for marketing.