So this is the last update before we head off for the holidays. The office is empty, with only the rustle of tumbleweeds, and of course, the universe shaking howl of bitter anguish that is Noguchi’s rage. Next week, no update at all, as we sit around a log fire drinking eggnog, even though it makes us gag and the fire has heated up all the metal rivets on our jeans and burned our tender parts. Yes, the holidays are a special, special time, as anyone trying to park at Target or Best Buy this weekend will discover.
This week was fairly uneventful, as the office started to empty for the break. Screens, usually aglow with interesting stuff, were occasionally dark and sleepy. Hao’s screen however, was awash with more water – he’s been working on what I can only describe as some sort of fluid dynamics system, but he’s too busy to interrupt, so I can’t tell yet if it has physics or just especially clever animation – but put it this way – it moves like water, it looks like water and it’s getting better.
He was also toying around with some shadows, especially the way they fade away to nothingness as strong, low sunlight scatters them. It was a perfectly still screen with four simple pillars casting their shadows, but the reason I noticed at all, was that it looked exactly like a photograph.
Lighting is one of the things folks commented on when they watched this week’s Vidoc – a short documentary about Brutes that we released as a kind of holiday treat. It included a brief glimpse at some of the Halo 3 Brute models and a hint at a lone indoor environment – yes – the same location the Master Chief is pictured standing in, in a recent screenshot.
We were not so naïve as to think that it wouldn’t cause a calamity on the interwebs, since after all, the tubes that supply the interwebs are lubricated by rage. So common complaints we saw were that the graphics didn’t look finished. The graphics that we said were unfinished. But we saw that coming, it’s one of the things we have to absorb in order to provide you guys with interesting stuff to look at. And that’s the point. We’re showing the game in development, like an X-Ray of a baby bird.
Right now, it’s going to look at times like a fluid-encased, bug eyed reptile. But when it’s born, in 2007, don’t sweat it, it will have grown into a shimmering peacock, tail fanned and feathers gleaming.
You’ll have to take our word for it. There’s no spin, or damage control and we’re absolutely unapologetic. Halo 3 is in development and when we’re ready to show you polished graphics, we’ll do that in our own good time. But we’re still going to continue to bring you peeks behind the curtain.
The other main concern voiced was about who you will and won’t fight against in Halo 3. We wanted to debut the Brutes, because they are going to be a ferociously important adversary in Halo 3, and more importantly, their behavior, their abilities and their differing roles are going to make them easily the equal of Elites, in terms of how they operate on the battlefield. So we’re paving the way. But they aren’t going to be fighting you alone. We won’t give too much away, but believe us, the Brutes and Brute packs will have plenty of allies.
As far as gameplay is concerned, you can make up your own mind early next year, when we give you the chance to play the Multiplayer beta. It won’t contain all of the cool new features from the game, but it will be a nice taste of what to expect. There will be more news about that in the very near future. Anyway, we’ve enjoyed spending another year with you guys – so enjoy the break and share the season’s warmth with your friends and family. Peace (and goodwill)!