During the very small hours of this morning, a new Inside Infinite was published for 343 Industries upcoming and highly anticipated first-person shooter Halo Infinite. In this months post for Inside infinite Halo Waypoint and 343 Industries spoke about the Sandbox, all the toys we as players will get to play with, from Assault Rifle to Warthog. We also heard some words from the staff working on Halo Infinite and a brief story that encapsulates how the Hunters have changed.
Starting with the Sandbox, 343 gave an Interview with Unyshek and the Sandbox team which included Quinn DelHoyo, lead Sandbox Designer, Tim Temmerman who is the senior designer for equipment in the Sandbox, David Price the lead weapon designer, Brian Berryhill the lead vehicle designer and Elan Gleiber one of 343's Sandbox Designers.
The interview (which you can check out here covered a lot of ground surrounding the equipment, weapons and vehicles used throughout Halo Infinite and gave us a great insight into what Halo meant for the Sandbox team along with their principles of intuitive creation and respect for the past. We also checked out their team's cool logo which goes hand in hand with four other principles and teams from across the Halo Infinite teams, which you can check out below.
The Interviews core focus, in the beginning, was what makes the sandbox team, where Lead Sandbox Designer Quinn DelHoyo went into a lot of detail around what they call the combat doctrine, shining a light on each of the principles outlined in the document, explaining about The Dance, Tools of Engagement, Lone Wolf, Connected actions and Survivability, and what it meant to bring those to the players.
As the interview progressed, we learned many great bits of information about how all the equipment is easy to use and master to its own degree, allowing players to find unique ways to use their equipment and turn the tides to their advantage. We also got to hear a bit about Halo's all-important vehicles and how there is an entire team dedicated to giving players who chose to use a mouse and keyboard an experience that is just as incredible as the console version of the game.
We also got to know what state the Sandbox is in, learning that their end is at the 90% mark with a lot of playtesting and bug fixing being carried out at the moment to ensure what they do for Halo Infinite is perfect for its release, all whilst ensuring that everything meets the Art Directors specifications. As a final tidbit from the interview, we also learned that there would be new ways to play with the dreaded fusion coils, that players (including myself) love to launch at other players with things such as grav lifts.
When it comes to what other 343 staff have to say about Halo Infinite, Halo Waypoint have us covered with a few words "from the trenches" where staff members within 343 headquarters shared what they are most excited for at the moment. You can check them all out below or via the article (https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/news/inside-infinite-january-2021)
• "This year I'm excited about getting our flighting program together so people can play some Halo! We've started spinning up more internal flighting, getting our builds to where we want them and working on our delivery process. Sometimes we run into some difficult situations along the way, but the way teams pull together to get these flights off the ground is inspiring to me and I feel lucky to be part of this team.
Of course part of the excitement comes from knowing that this is all building towards public flighting later this year, and if people are as excited as I am about that prospect... they should probably opt-in to the Halo Insider program and make sure their profiles and contact information are all up to date." - Sam Hanshaw, Live Producer
• "I've been excited to incorporate many of the graphical features we've developed over the last six months at the same time that we are refining the lighting and environment art for the world that we've already built. In earlier iterations, we were just getting the major components of the world to a fully-featured, playable state; but now we are reconsidering how they interact and improving what helps the world to be its most beautiful and intriguing. We are excited to share more soon!" – Josh Marvel, Senior Lighting Artist
• "Here's something that excites me as an engineering architect: for Halo Infinite, we rebuilt the engine multi-threading solution to ensure high execution efficiency across all platforms and PCs, instead of running optimally just on Xbox One. We used this new system to transition the renderer to a massively parallel multi-threaded framework to support the increased cost of all our new rendering features and achieve high graphics efficiency on PC CPUs of various size as well as Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One X/S hardware. In practice, this means that we are doing our very best to make sure Halo Infinite runs optimally on any device you may choose to play on!" - Daniele Giannetti, Game Foundation Architect
To close the article from both Halo Waypoint and from us we got an excerpt from Halo Waypoints Head of Creative Joseph Statin, who shared his experience fighting Hunters in Halo Infinite. Which again you can check out below or via the link above in the full Halo Waypoint article.
"Ah, yes. The combat dance. The beating heart of every Halo game.
For grizzled Spartan veterans, this should be a familiar scene: imagine a Forerunner interior; a timeless metallic vault with soaring ceilings. It's quiet, empty… except for a pair of Hunters, shields up, shoulder-spikes twitching, blocking your path forward.
What to do? That's easy! I said to myself, the first time I fought Hunters in Halo Infinite. Bait them, get them to charge, then step aside, pivot, and direct as much firepower into their exposed, wormy backsides as you can before they turn-and-turtle.
But when I tried these classic dance steps, the Hunters had something else in mind.
As expected, one of the Hunters charged, exposing its weak spot. By the time I'd pivoted to face it, however, it had already pivoted to face me. That's odd, I thought. Must be a bug. I tried the dance steps again. Same result. Except this time, the second Hunter filled my face with fuel rod projectiles, sending me scrambling for cover.
Crouched behind a Forerunner pillar, shields fried and health deep in the red, I had a quick think: What's different? Hunters turn faster. OK, assume this isn't a bug. What's the game trying to tell me? And what new dance moves have I got?
As another volley of enemy fire rattled my virtual head inside my virtual helmet, I remembered: I have equipment. Specifically, in the case of more reactive Hunters: I have a Grappleshot. Which means I'm faster and more mobile too!
I don't want to spoil your own fun of experimentation with a detailed description of what happened next. But suffice it to say: the Grappleshot didn't "cheese" my encounter with the Hunters, it deepened it—simultaneously made me feel more powerful and the Hunters more intelligent. We all knew the rules had changed. But the Hunters weren't going to let me dance on their graves without a fight."
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