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"More Than Three Teams" Working On Halo Games 72

Posted by Soulskill
from the milking-the-cash-cow dept.
1Up reports on comments by Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Game Studios, which indicated that several different teams are working on Halo projects at the moment. Quoting: "When GamesIndustry.biz then pointed out that it puts the Age of Empires franchise in a similar position as Halo after Bungie departed from their partnership with Microsoft, that's when Spencer dropped this intriguing tidbit: 'Well, there's more than one team building Halo games right now. There are more than two or three teams building Halo things right now. Some of them we will own, some of them we won't. It's never been, for me, about who you own or don't own — it's about working with the best creative talent in the industry,' he said."
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"More Than Three Teams" Working On Halo Games

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  • The Halo franchise definitely has more life to it ~ new places, new warlords, new rings. Forerunner tech. Plenty of options.

    Whatever ends up being done, it won't have the same spark that the first Halo did, or the spunk that the second and third did. (even if #3 felt like the team was saying, "Let's get this done so we can do something fun") Bungie's people being at the helm made the series great, much as they did with their other works.

    Seriously, how can you forget doing a triple backflip in the Warthog

    • by em0te (807074)
      The physics is what made the first Halo great. To take apart Halo2 and find out they just skinned the havok engine, made me very sad. The Halo 1 code already had support for up to 32 players in maps, pretty darn good network compression, which did need some work but they outsourced the network stack to a stand alone engine so it wouldn't have been hard. Ok, now i'm just ranting. all the textures were hashed and there were stand-in memory allocs for new weapons/vehicles/sprites. Not that I didn't give it
      • It was the regenerating shields that made halo1 great for me, meant you could play a risker game, while still falling back to protect the actual health. That is why ive never finished the others. however as it is the flagship game for the xbox it has the sort of following cs did years ago meaning that they CAN and WILL milk it. So given the Xboxs impending success ( pc geeks are using laptops (often with linux) so game online on xbox) look forward to at least another 3/4 halo games (even if one is a racing

        • It was the regenerating shields that made halo1 great for me, meant you could play a risker game, while still falling back to protect the actual health. That is why ive never finished the others.

          Erm, you do realize that the others also have regenerating shields? The only difference is that your actual health isn't in the HUD, so you never know if you can take a hit after your shield fails. (I consider that to be a feature, not a bug.)

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by steveo777 (183629)

            (I consider that to be a feature, not a bug.)

            I agree. I always thought it was a bit unrealistic (yes, I know I'm talking about a game here) that your health could ever be measured as a percentage. If you're arm is blown of does that mean you're at 84%? No, I'm pretty sure that means you're at around 2-3%.

            For me it was always more exciting to not know how much health you may have in reserve. That and in some games I feel that the need to find a med kit sometimes hampers gameplay.

            • I agree. I always thought it was a bit unrealistic (yes, I know I'm talking about a game here) that your health could ever be measured as a percentage. If you're arm is blown of does that mean you're at 84%? No, I'm pretty sure that means you're at around 2-3%.

              Well in real life you don't have a healbar, but you do have nerves and and can generally determine without a health bar if your body is fully functioning or not. In a game you cant feel the damage that your avatar does (not that I'd want to) but that

              • by steveo777 (183629)

                What I mean is that unless we're talking about some other time or universe, a med kit isn't going to do you any good because it takes more than a few seconds or even a few minutes to heal up. More like days or weeks. I always like the survival aspect of games.

              • In real life, you don't feel your health as a percentage, or a number. You feel it as sensations -- if your arm is blown off, you feel massive amounts of pain, but in no way would you be able to quantify it. You'd simply be really fucking hurt.

                Now, Halo does flash the screen read when your real health is getting hit. Gears of War has a slowly reddening red-splotch version of their logo in the center of the screen as you get closer and closer to death, but you only really have a vague sense of how close to d

          • Erm, you do realize that the others also have regenerating shields? The only difference is that your actual health isn't in the HUD, so you never know if you can take a hit after your shield fails. (I consider that to be a feature, not a bug.)

            I've heard that a few times, but as their are no health packs and it seams to take about the same amount of time after your shields have dropped to kill you irrespective of how many times you've done it, i doubt its true. Feel free to prove me wrong but im fairly sure its just a set amount of damage you can take after your shields drop.

            • I would guess that it's closer to regeneration, like the shields, but hidden. I've definitely been killed much more quickly sometimes, if I've taken a beating, and gotten shields back, but only for a moment.

              Either way, it would tend to support what you liked about Halo 1. If you're right, then you absolutely can play a riskier game, and still falling back to let your shields recover.

    • by MikeyTheK (873329)
      I don't know if I agree that 3 was a letdown, especially after 2 was SUCH a letdown. I thought 3 was a much better game than 2, aside from the really annoying Cortana inserts that were lame, and felt forced at best. While I like the interaction with the Flood better in 1 than 3, in general I like 3 better - the online play is outstanding (not available in 1), the graphics are much better (console), the weapons and vehicles are better, and the maps don't feel as as repetitive as they were in 1. The weapon
  • by LingNoi (1066278) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @05:43PM (#25063069)

    The Sims: Halo Edition
    Halo Cart
    World of Halocraft
    Halo Tycoon

  • Saturation, much? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PunkOfLinux (870955) <mewshi@mewshi.com> on Thursday September 18, 2008 @05:59PM (#25063283) Homepage

    The market will be so flooded with new 'halo' branded games that it will do nothing but dilute the brand. The RTS thing could be cool; hell, maybe like a space fighter could be cool. But if you start releasing shit like EA does (games are NOT something where release early, release often works well), you will end up with a diluted, or, worse, maligned brand. It's like that "The more you squeeze your hand the more it escapes your grasp" thing...

    • I am personally waiting for Halo & Sonic at the Olympic Games. Halo Golf could be good too.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PunkOfLinux (870955)

        I think that since Mario is known as a character, rather than as a specific genre of game, that they can get away with that; plus, the mario sports games are FUN.

        • by brkello (642429)
          I am sure the Master Chief sports games could be fun as well. The point is, as long as the game is good, who cares what characters they use? He just proved that taking characters from one of your popular games and putting them in everything doesn't dilute anything as long as the games are reasonably good.
          • But people see Master Chief as a shooter. That's it.

            Mario is like... multi-purpose, because he's such a general, recognizable character.

    • (games are NOT something where release early, release often works well)

      Not true. Games absolutely should be released early and often.

      The trick is, they shouldn't be sold as a finished product until they're actually solid -- release your beta product early and often, but don't pretend it's done.

      And they shouldn't charge full price for patches, full stop.

  • by Shin-LaC (1333529) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @06:02PM (#25063315)

    It's never been, for me, about who you own or don't own

    And here I thought owning was at the very core of the Halo experience.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by svnt (697929)

      It's never been, for me, about who you own or don't own

      And here I thought owning was at the very core of the Halo experience.

      You've obviously never had your self-worth destroyed by some screaming 8-year-old "ChuckNorris1999" on Xbox Live.

      You know that quote about how real beauty is on the inside? Phil Spencer just coined the FPS equivalent. And it's still something only ugly people say.

  • Halo fan here (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Caboosian (1096069)

    Hi Microsoft, I'm a dedicated Halo fan. Halo:CE is really the game that made me a gamer - I played it, and I was hooked. I absolutely love that game, and I really enjoyed Halo 2 and Halo 3. I think they're fantastic games; you may disagree, and I say, to each his own. Now, onto the next matter of business:

    The milk is drying up. The horse is dead. Please, stop pissing on what was once a respectable gaming series. I don't give a damn if you think it will make you oodles of money - you keep bending the franchi

    • Crazy thought.... don't buy the games. You don't think the new ones are up to snuff and don't want more to come out.

      take a page out of any book that isn't George Lucas' and leave the franchise intact

      Ummm.... there are plenty of titles that go far beyond what they should have. Ultima peaked at #4, King's uest stopped being innovative. Mario Brother 97 coming out any time soon? Harry Potter? This is the way it is in movies, books, games. If there is money to be made it will be made. Stop buying it, and there

      • Crazy thought.... don't buy the games. You don't think the new ones are up to snuff and don't want more to come out.

        Where exactly did I say I was going to buy the (invariably mediocre) games again?

        Ummm.... there are plenty of titles that go far beyond what they should have. Ultima peaked at #4, King's uest stopped being innovative. Mario Brother 97 coming out any time soon? Harry Potter? This is the way it is in movies, books, games. If there is money to be made it will be made. Stop buying it, and there won't be any more coming out.

        So, since Ultima's legacy was ruined (like many others), I should stop being upset at Microsoft's abuse of the Halo franchise? Sorry, but I can't follow that "logic".

      • Not to mention Rocky 4 is in many ways the best Rocky. He beat the commies. Rocky 5 sucked, but it made Stallone make Rocky Balboa, which really was a great movie.

        Here's hoping Halo 4 involves MC killing communist Covenant forces.

    • Eh, I was never a big fan of the series, but I would think that if the original game has something "special" to it, it will retain that quality no matter what happens in the future. If you don't like what gets released in the future, just excise them from your fanon [tvtropes.org]- barring non-Novikov-compliant time travel, the original games can't be ruined.
    • Hi reader, this is Microsoft. Thank you for liking Halo. We don't have a limit on production capacity. We have a bajillion dollars. The more dollars we have. The more games we can make. Making Halo derivatives which are surefire profits funds our other companies so that they can concentrate on making new and innovative games.

      - Microsoft

      • We have a bajillion dollars. The more dollars we have. The more games we can make.

        So..... how many games can you make for 25 euro these days?

    • Microsoft didn't invent Halo - Bungie did. Expecting Microsoft to innovate without buying another company/idea is pretty silly!

      • That's the 4th comment I've had modded down today, though it is probably the most reasonable. Microsoft get most, if not all of their cool products these days from buying up small companies and/or tech. Look at Photosynth and Halo. How is that flamebait?

  • The Past (Score:2, Informative)

    by Renraku (518261)

    Halo was NOT revolutionary in terms of the game industry.

    It WAS revolutionary for the X-Box, however, and has done wonders to sell it and the 360.

    Now Microsoft has a decision. Another smash hit or something to pay the bills. Most companies would prefer the last one, although, without some major innovation, the Halo series is dead. The only thing they can do at this point is make minor improvements like the sports games do and add a new item here or there.

    Why not a Halo RPG, based on someone's life after

    • by Khuffie (818093)
      Let's see...Halo helped establish a new console manufacturer in the gaming industry, polished the FPS on consoles and had its design elements copied into subsequent FPS games that are now considered standard, yet it's not revolutionary? If Microsoft was milking the Halo franchise, there would have been a Halo game at the launch of the 360, or a Halo game now (considering Halo 3 came out last year). We don't know what these 'more than three teams' are working on. Multiple teams could be working on the same
    • Are you kidding? It popularized the dual analog control scheme for console FPS games. How many fps games did you see work well on a console before Halo? Not many.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Mr2001 (90979)

        A lot of people would argue that the Halo games don't "work well on a console" either. Halo's accomplishment in that regard, IMO, was just to show that players can tolerate console controls for an FPS if there's enough aiming assistance.

        BTW, Quake III on PS2 had the same dual analog control scheme.

        • by enderjsv (1128541)
          Yes, 'tolerate'. Hours and hours of 'tolerating'. Why, I've spent many weekends with my friends tolerating the game. Sometimes, we trick ourselves into thinking we're having fun with the game, and I have to speak up and remind my friends that we're actually just tolerating it. Everyone knows, a FPS can't be enjoyed on a console, but for some strange reason, we keep wanting to tolerate it some more.
          • by Mr2001 (90979)

            Everyone knows, a FPS can't be enjoyed on a console, but for some strange reason, we keep wanting to tolerate it some more.

            You seem to have misread: I said players tolerate the controls. Halo is still enjoyable as a game overall, although it's more enjoyable on PC where the controls are more than just tolerable.

    • by seheart (1137717)
      halo not revolutionary for the gaming industry? wow. let me guess... you still play zork on an apple iigs. halo WAS the gaming industry. key word... was. in any case,.. you are wrong sir.
  • by sleeponthemic (1253494) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @08:26PM (#25065043) Homepage
    Four.
    • by johannesg (664142)

      Four.

      Actually it could be three teams, plus a single guy thinking part-time about how to extend the franchise further...

      But no matter, let them dilute their only icon. It will not sell more XBoxes. Halo has always had the stink of desperation about it: "See? we also have a Mario-level hero on our platform! We also have a decent game that people buy consoles for!" Whereas reality is that this is a role born purely out of the general poverty of content: in a sea of mediocrity, masterchief floated to the top like t

  • "We here in the Microsoft Games Division have this one really big basket, and we've got three different farmhands out in three different coops collecting eggs, so we'll be able to put all our eggs in the one basket very efficiently."

  • So, we know that Halo Wars is coming, that's one; we know that Peter Jackson is still working on his Halo-related game project, that's two. Bungie has said that they're not done with the halo franchise, and that they have 2-3 projects in the works, they're being cheeky with the are-they-aren't-they, but I think its safe to assume that's three; Gearbox is rumored to be working on the 4th installment (which, honestly I hope isn't true), but that could be four; Halo 3 has yet to appear on PC, but it surely mus

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