Halo (PC) = Gold!

Here it comes!

Release Date: Sept. 30! (Half-Life Who?)

did they squeeze co-op in?

http://www.bluesnews.com/cgi-bin/articles.pl?show=658

http://www.bluesnews.com/cgi-bin/articles.pl?show=658

Although its starting to look like HL2 may not be out on time I wonder who came up with the idea of putting Halo out on Sept 30 origionally. The exact day that HL2 was said to be coming for months. Its like MS was setting the game up to have a hard time selling.

Maybe MS is trying to take advantage of the Steam situation.

… Halo? … what the heck is that? … oh yes, I remember Halo… it was exciting to me … until it got swallowed up by the XBOX… heck, i just watched a movie of it the other day… ::yawn:: not a game I shall be purchasing. GG microsoft.

Stuff it nut. Were lucky to be even seeing this game, and I will be buying this game.

Someone has tob financially support MS, and god knows they need all the support they can get.

I’ll be taking a pass on this one. Nothing against the game, but having beaten the SP game twice already and not having co-op in, I can’t think of any good reason to fork over my money. Multiplayer will be fun I’m sure, but not enough to earn my $50.

I might have dropped the cash if co-op was in. Sounds like it’s not so I’ll probably pass. We’ll have to see how it turns out I guess.

Agreed.

The single reason I would have bought this game would have been to experience the excellent cooperative play that was included in the XBox version.

The game screams for cooperative play taking a group of soldiers in as a squad and sadly this was included in the Xbox version from day 1 but on a PC it had to be removed? This makes no sense, and I’m sure they will lose more than a few sales because of it.

Let see…

The game is years late
Features no significant upgrade
ported by a developer that is known for massively screwing up ports.
Coming out the same day the sequel to the greatest pc game ever is coming out.

I don’t think Microsoft wants the pc version of suceed,

Agreed.

The single reason I would have bought this game would have been to experience the excellent cooperative play that was included in the XBox version.

The game screams for cooperative play taking a group of soldiers in as a squad and sadly this was included in the Xbox version from day 1 but on a PC it had to be removed? This makes no sense, and I’m sure they will lose more than a few sales because of it.[/quote]

Makes no sense from feature perspective or a technical one? The XBox version wasn’t a true co-op experience at the network level – it merely let you do split screen. The only networking options were deathmatch via linked Xboxes; you couldn’t co-op across machines. The PC version is doing nothing more than building on top of an existing infrastructure. It’s trying to add new features, but short of a major code rewrite, you’re getting the exact same game, sans the split screen co-op experience on your relatively tiny computer monitor (makes sense not to include it since no one would bother playing it). This is why the developers said it would take a team of two programmers a full year to include true co-op play.

Now, is that any excuse? No. If that’s what it took to include it, then the appropriate resources should have been allocated. Regardless of the reasons why Microsoft ignored it/had no clue how important it was/excuses being made by the developer, etc, there is going to be a very vocal negative response to the lack of its inclusion because the buying public won’t give a shit why it’s not in there. And I don’t think this will be the case of just a loud, vocal minority. Any gamer whose experienced Halo, even peripherally, will notice the missing co-op and cry foul.

I really have no clue why it would be so hard to make the co-op mode, when they’ve managed to get internet supported multi player.
I mean, couldn’t they just add the single player maps to the multiplayer map pool or something to the likes of that?

But then again, I have little to no clue as to what is needed when it comes to game making. ;)

It doesn’t take a conspiracy theorist to believe that MS doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on the port (co-op cut), wasn’t particularly interested in getting it out promptly (they didn’t even give the job to Gearbox until 6 months had passed from Xbox release), and wasn’t much interested in giving anything extra to PC gamers (no game changes other than a couple new multiplayer maps and texture upgrades). This is their flagship title and they don’t want Xbox users to feel like PC gamers got a better game, and they don’t want PC gamers thinking that Halo 2 is going to come to PC soon enough to not buy an Xbox 2.

I think in many ways MS wouldn’t want to release the PC version at all, but they straddle a line. It would look bad for them and Bungie if there was no PC version after all the promises (but screw Mac, of course), and of course they’ll make additional money on a 2 year old game which has otherwise played out it’s course. But mostly, I believe as apparently few others do, they don’t want the Xbox and PC to be direct competitors - after all, the prevalence of Windows-only games is one of the few OS advantages that MS can point to without true debate. They want you to buy an Xbox AND a PC, not one instead of the other.

But that shouldn’t stop PC buyers from being irritated if they want; any time a port has a big feature cut (regardless of technical reasons) and was purposely delayed for system exclusivity comes out, there’s a fair enough reason to complain.

Might it have something to do with keeping a ton of AI type stuff in sync over a network with lag proves a lot more difficult that just player input? I don’t really know off hand, but it seems like it could be part of it.

I suspect the biggest difficulty in making coop first-person-shooters stems from how heavily scripted they’ve become and getting the simultaneous timing of events to occur on each screen. Not as much of an issue (if at all) on a LAN, but the focus in past years has been performance over the Internet, regardless of the mode of play. LANs are far more commonplace now, so I suspect coop play will become more prevalent in time.

I understand the reasons for it, but I’ve found it highly ironic how long it’s taken to come full circle on the whole coop matter, all of it starting with Doom and trying to figure out how to bind IPX to a network card. My pet theory has long been that cooperative gameplay is not only the more enjoyable form of multiplayer, but is the key ingredient for why team vs team gameplay is so popular today: it’s the cooperative nature of the gameplay itself that drives the experience, otherwise we’d see nothing but deathmatch. Deathmatch has its place, but I could play coop and team vs team style games all day long – I can only handle brief amounts of deathmatch.

The technical answer they gave was that Xbox co-op takes place within a single gameplay world instance on one Xbox. So like a single player game with AI monsters, but the a couple monsters are controlled by people. There’s no net-code involved, and the game doesn’t have to synch anything.

A true internet co-op game would have a instance of the world on each computer, and the net-code would transfer the information on where each player is, who shot who and when, when that powerup over there is going to respawn. That’s how the Xbox multiplayer game was built, but not the co-op single player. So they’d have to redo that part.

Actually. the host PC could just track the AI characters and send them to the client PC as if they were characters in a multiplayer game. Hardly rocket science.

Given the number of flight sims that accomodate 8 human players and 30+ AI aircraft moving around in 3 dimensions over a multiplayer connection, I’m unwilling to buy “it’s too technically challenging.” More likely “they didn’t want to fund the extra development time that would have taken.”

But Denny, developers have long cried that there’s a huge difference between tracking objects whizzing around that have been created by the players (like positions of planes and bullets) and having scripted events occur simultaneously across each desktop. I haven’t a clue as to why, but I know that line has been fed to me on more than one occasion by more than one developer.

I’ve always thought it was more a matter of different developer priorities and/or a lack of know-how/talent to pull it off and claiming “its too difficult” is the copout method for handling a pushy journalist. It’s obviously doable since we’ve seen just enough co-op games to realize it’s possible if not probable. Even more damning is when a fan makes a co-op version in their free time, without access to the code itself and simply hacks one together (Sven Co-op and Mechwarrior4 for example).