?

Log in

No account? Create an account

shunji
View:Recent Entries.
View:Archive.
View:Friends.
View:Profile.

Security:
Subject:And then, "Fun With Dirt!"
Time:08:04 pm
I've always had trouble figuring out how to respond to detractors of Halo (and now Halo 2). On the one hand, it's sold a crapload of copies. On the other hand, it's hard to find a post on any forum about Halo that does not have its share of anti-fans.

Anti-halo folk tend to have a PC gaming background, usually hardcore. Debating the value of Halo is akin to arguing about the validity of Wicca to an evangelical Christian. There's just no common frame of reference to have a meaningful discussion.

One thing Halo does better than most PC games is optimize the user experience for the average player: the kind of player that has a limited in-game lifetime (i.e., they die every so often). Hey, that's just like me!

Firstly, the checkpoint system encourages all levels of skill to keep playing. It takes only 4-6 seconds to restore the last checkpoint;.5-1.5 if you invoke the pause screen and restore explicitly. That means you do not have to switch mental modes in order to continue playing after dying; it just happens. Even if you die every 5 seconds, you're still always back in action right away. (Personally, I'd much rather play a game than manage a game; that's just me.)

Secondly, we made sure to optimize the single player experience for a straight playthrough. If you play Halo 2 all the way through, you should never see a long interruptive loading screen. (You will see the Loading... done text, but that's unavoidable for the size and complexity of levels.) Even Halo 1 only had 9 significant loading screens, and those were at appropriate points in the game (i.e., at the end of a level), not in the midst of gameplay. That directly translates into a minimal amount of dead time waiting for the game to start, and a maximal amount of time available to play the game. If you happen to die a lot, who cares? You'll never have to wait for the game to reload your checkpoint; you can get right back into the game.

The immediacy of gameplay is one aspect many just don't understand. Or rather, many that disagree with the success of Halo don't understand. (In my opinion.) My theory is the combination of PC gamer and hardcore gamer results in a type of gamer that doesn't experience what I consider to be the least polished areas of most games: player death. And as such, they don't experience the excruciating experience of restarting gameplay.

Then again, maybe it's all the marketing hype. No, probably not. :)
comments: Leave a comment Previous Entry Share Next Entry

(Anonymous)
Subject:Hm
Link:(Link)
Time:2004-11-10 09:37 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you guys went to the trouble of optimizing the single player campaign for a straight play-through, but couldn't you have made the game, oh....about 10 hours LONGER?

Seriously, for 3 years of development, an 11 hour play-through on Heroic difficulty is really disapointing. I was hoping to get a good, long, 20 hour story out of this amazing, excellent game you guys have made, but it was over WAY too quickly. The story was great, the music and voice acting is fantastic, some of the best I've ever heard in an American game. The gameplay is amazingly fun. Its an excellent game, but WAY WAY to short. And the ending just plain sucked, sorry about that.

And please pass on the word that a good old fashioned server browser would be something everyone could benefit from? Perhaps in a content update in the near future? The whole match-matching/party system is nice and cute, but leaving out a basic server browser was a pretty bad move. Who's idea was that? Hit them.

(Reply) (Thread)

(Anonymous)
Subject:Re: Hm
Link:(Link)
Time:2004-11-10 11:39 pm (UTC)
Personally, I'll take quality over quantity. Give me a deep, engrossing story (which H2 has) and interesting, varied environments (ditto) over a repetitive maze crawler any day. Plus, the multiplayer is a second game in the same box. You guys nailed this one, Matt.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

(Anonymous)
Subject:Re: Hm
Link:(Link)
Time:2004-11-11 09:55 am (UTC)
Bungie has made the best ranking system ever...

There are, however, some very noxious odors coming off of the process that is unranked games. I can't start any map/gametype I want without spamming my friends list? This is a staple in online games, people want more control/ability to fill their unranked sessions Matt, and I think that is a justified concern here. Not all of us live in the Halo 2 community. We have kids, wives, school, and work. There is just no way/time for me to find 16 people that have a desire to play a good CTF Coagulation with no radar. Agh.

That said, I have no issue with campaign (Legendary is great fun). Please fix the flawed unranked games, playing *just* team skirmish games with guests is almost an insult and not helping to further your cause...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

(Anonymous)
Subject:Re: Hm
Link:(Link)
Time:2004-11-19 04:00 pm (UTC)
And please pass on the word that a good old fashioned server browser would be something everyone could benefit from? Perhaps in a content update in the near future? The whole match-matching/party system is nice and cute, but leaving out a basic server browser was a pretty bad move. Who's idea was that? Hit them.

That would have nulled the matchmaking. People would constantly choose servers full of lower-ranked players, just to feel good about themselves.

I know I would...

Now that the server-finding is done FOR you, I like it alot better. I frequently used XBConnect, and hated it because I always ended up playing against gods.

Another reason I hated XBConnect was because I had to mime and shoot the walls if I wanted to talk to someone. Me likey voice-chat... but the morons still don't talk. "Why didn't anyone announce that swordsman/rocketeer/shotgunner camping behind that corner?"

Continuing my rant, why the hell does the offensive base on Headlong have the turrets? WTF? Aren't turrets supposed to be used for defense?

A last-second thought, though. If we had the server-browser, we'd be able to join only the games that contain good connectio... No we couldn't. It's only feasible to ping one person. Sure as hell won't let you check out the other quailities of the connections of the other players. Server-browser baaaaaad.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

angryzenmaster
Subject:Re: Hm
Link:(Link)
Time:2004-11-19 04:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Offensive turrets on Headlong

I don't really know. It's a toggle for the map setup though. You can certainly suggest a change for Headlong games on the bungie.net forums.

MSN
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

shunji
View:Recent Entries.
View:Archive.
View:Friends.
View:Profile.