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jaypeeare

Halo 4

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Anyone else here on this forum play? I do enjoy myself some slayer after a long day of werk. The game looks absolutely amazing, it has definitely inspired me quite a bit with it's art direction 'n what not. Send meh a PM if you're on Xbox live!

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I haven't had a chance to play it yet, but I did do a bunch of work on it (we did the Librarian cinematic in the single-player campaign, as well as all of the Terminals).

 

Yeah I saw that you guys worked on it. Such good work!! Must have been so awesome to have a part in the Halo franchise. How was it working with 343?

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343 was super great. We had already worked with them a bunch on the Halo: Anniversary stuff. They brought us down to PAX for Halo Fest last year, so most of the team even got a chance to chat with them personally. I love working with them -- and obviously working on something as high-profile as Halo has been awesome. We have a lot of huge fans in the office.

 

I just wish people would stop calling our Halo 4 animations "motion comics". Yeah, Sequence has done motion comics. But when everything is fully animated with 3D characters, motion capture and lip assignment, it kind of stings a bit (specifically the Terminals). They definitely have a painted look to them, but that's because almost every shot had unique painted textures on the characters. Getting it to look that way was more work, not less :/

 

Which reminds me, I'm supposed to do a post-mortem / case study on our Halo stuff. Is there anything specific anyone would like me to talk about?

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That's great to hear! Love what they did with the franchise, they're off to a good start. So awesome that they brought you guys to PAX, would love to go one year.

 

I guess people just automatically assume if it has the "painted look" its a motion comics. Definitely saw some awesome stuff in the cinematic that entitles wayyy more work then just a run of the mill motion comic. When the facial animation came up it definitely surprised me. Shit look real good! Did you have full animated rigs for some of the characters? The Prometheans, Didact, 'n what not?

 

I guess workflow wise would be awesome to hear about, considering this is a pretty big Cinema 4D/ After Effects animation project, dealing with XREFs, consistency threw the whole project, and handling assets. Although you guys had already talked about some workflow stuff before with project man & stuff in the past, but maybe talk about some new challenges that were raised.

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The CGI is amazing!

my only two complaints are that campaign mode is too short and there are sections of maps that repeat the same thing four times and it got a bit repetitive.

Still play co-op and online almost everyday!

 

Hell yes man! I didn't who did all the cinematics for a while but looked around the net & found out that DIGIC Pictures, which I've never heard of. They're based in Santa Monica too, pretty much down the street from my work.Yeah the campaign wasn't the greatest, playing wise, but definitely had some of the best acting I've ever seen in a video game (mind you I haven't played any of the Mass Effects). Had quite a big emotional reaction to the story line, been a big fan of the franchise since the start.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6oyXRIUya0

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Hell yes man! I didn't who did all the cinematics for a while but looked around the net & found out that DIGIC Pictures, which I've never heard of. They're based in Santa Monica too, pretty much down the street from my work.Yeah the campaign wasn't the greatest, playing wise, but definitely had some of the best acting I've ever seen in a video game (mind you I haven't played any of the Mass Effects). Had quite a big emotional reaction to the story line, been a big fan of the franchise since the start.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6oyXRIUya0

 

OMG! Amazing work.Its crazy how many shops there are pumping out work of this level. Technology has really opened the door for houses other than just the major competitors.Thanks for the link.

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I'm actually really surprised at the obvious glitchiness of the game. There's so much effort poured into everything, but they still lose the immersion when fallen enemies or weapons disappear after like 30 seconds, or unrendered environments flash white before popping on when you whip your head around, or some AI in a banshee can't figure out how to turn around to get out of a corner. Did they run out of time? Isn't fallen weapon retrieval pretty important? (Hint: it is)

 

The campaign storyline is also disappointingly underwhelming. The dynamic of 3 embattled groups struggling for resources and the biological imperative, over naive spiritual salvation, and defending against extinction, respectively, is pretty compelling, and probably what makes the core of the halo universe at all compelling. So to basically toss away all of that gold and fashion a tired bad guy story is just... like why would you do that? Having Cortana degrading is a good macguffin that forces some urgency on the goings-ons. But who convinced bungie/343 that a melodramatic needle-toothed gravelly-voiced angry guy in a blade-sharp techno suit with superpowers and an army of laser minions was going to be a surprising and engaging plot foundation? Is that a deep misunderstanding of why people would want books and movies and ancillary materials that explore the universe? I mean, is the uniquely rabid fandom of halo maybe so potent because of something other than a giant lead-up to boss fights? Come on, kids.

 

The environments are so lovingly crafted. I don't even really mind that forerunner interiors are basically Tron Legacy screen caps and human interiors are almost copied over from Doom 3 industrial army whatever. Again, I think the Halo series had its own thing going on, and this was a misstep, but it's still lovely. What's stupid is that it's such a "look but don't touch" window dressing. Detailed, multi-tiered swamp environment? Run through it in a straight line via one of 2 or 3 paths. Rocky canyon area? Don't try to jump up on to that ledge, we put an invisible wall there. Mossy outcropping overlooking vast forerunner tech vista? Omg not too close-to-the-edge-you-might-fall-INVISIBLE WALL! Whew... almost had someone trying to have their adventure there. Half of the replay value of the original games was in getting off the beaten path for sniping, grenading a warthog over a mountain, finding a skull in some unlikely and overlooked back room. That gave you the freedom to create your own tactics and see their results. Now you're just piped down a channel with a bunch of targets at the end.

 

It is lovely, though.

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