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MCC Development Update - June 2019

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mCC Development Update – June 2019

June has come and nearly gone and with it many developments here at 343 with lots of news, excitement, and sharing of what we’ve been working on. Specifically, it’s time for another MCC Development Update. These blogs focus on key updates and activities related to the 343 Publishing Team’s development work. Right now, the team is heads down on Halo: Reach for PC and Xbox – the first stop on the journey to bring the entire Halo: The Master Chief Collection to PC. Since our original announcement of these projects, we’ve had a couple large dev update blogs in April and May in case you missed them. (Note: If you did, bring snacks and proper hydration to get through them, there’s a LOT to dig into).

To kick things off we are going to talk a little bit about how we are going to be bringing the maps you created from the original Halo 3, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4 into MCC! After that, we are going to discuss why Forge and Theater for Halo: Reach will be available for Xbox at launch but will come a bit later for PC.

Following up on last month’s update, we are also going to dive a bit deeper into questions we have seen come up around Halo: Reach’s new progression system that is coming to MCC. We have heard a lot of feedback and questions on this topic and want to dive deeper and remind people that you will be able to play with it and provide feedback when it is flighted in the future. This month I was also able to sit down with MCC for PC’s lead producer, Michael Fahrny, and ask him all sorts of questions sourced from players online. This will have a bunch of random Q&A, so be prepared for topic whiplash. Then, to close this one out, Ske7ch, who was at E3, will be on deck recapping E3 and all the team did down in L.A. this year and a reminder of other ways you can experience the same content as those at the show.

But before we dive on in, I made a promise of, "...Some pretty things for y'all to watch." I'd heard the rumblings of people wanting to get their hands on some true 4k 60fps footage of Halo: Reach running on PC. You know our motto, we deliver. This is a playthrough of the same overall content we brought to E3 in an updated build - and it's also the same work-in-progress build that will be sent out for the first Halo Insider MCC flight. 

You ready? Have all your snacks handy? Well, let’s jump into how and which maps and game types we are going to bring from the original Halo 3, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4 on Xbox 360 to MCC on PC and Xbox One!

-Postums

Legacy Maps and Game Types File Share Migration

Many online have been asking the question, “Are we ever going to be able to play our Forged maps that we made in previous Halos?”

The answer to that question is Yes!

In August, we will be doing a one-time copy of both the game types and maps that you have uploaded to your file share so that we can begin preparing them for future implementation in MCC. This copy will occur for every Xbox Live account with maps and modes on its file share – content saved locally will NOT be transferred.

What is Happening?

This is a ONE-TIME service for bringing game types and maps from your profile’s original Halo 3, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4 Xbox 360 file share to the MCC file share on Xbox One and PC. If you have maps and game type files not on your profile’s file share, they will not be migrated. Only content on your file shares in the original releases for Halo 3, Halo 4, and Halo: Reach from the Xbox 360, will be brought to MCC. These game types and maps will work on both the Xbox One and PC versions of MCC.

When is this happening?

Due to technical limitations, we will only be able to do a single pull for each file type, so we’ve separated this into two separate days – one day for game types and one day for maps. By allowing players to fill up their file share with game types during the first pull and again with maps on the second pull, players can maximize their slots and bring over as many of each file type as they can fit in their file share. The two weeks below are when we will copy the files, so be sure to have your file shares loaded on each game (Halo 3, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4) well beforehand to ensure they get copied over:

  • Game Types – 10 AM PST on 8/12
  • Maps – 10 AM PST on 8/26

What will I have to do?

Load up Halo 3, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4 on your Xbox 360 (or on your Xbox One via back-compat) and ensure the local files you want to copy over to MCC are uploaded to your file share before each pull. Ensure your game types are uploaded up before August 12. On the 12, please leave them there for at least 24 hours without altering so we can properly perform the copy. Then on August 13, please take some time to place your maps on your file shares before August 26.

If you can’t get to your Xbox 360 or update your file share, don’t worry as the game types and maps already uploaded will still make their way to MCC.

When will I have access to my maps and game types in MCC?

Since transferring game types and maps to Xbox One and PC requires work to the current version of MCC, our intention is that they will become available when Halo: Reach releases on both platforms (with Halo 3 and Halo 4 content on PC becoming available once those titles are released). As we get closer and have a better idea of when it should land, we will share an exact date.

How will I get the maps?

There is no work required beyond uploading your files to your file share on all three games. After that, we will make sure they get to the same gamertag. Simply log into MCC on Xbox when the update drops and the maps and game types will be copied down for you. For PC players who have maps in these legacy titles you will need to load into MCC on Xbox after the update to make these available. All maps and game types that have been copied over will be found in your local files.

What about Screenshots, Films, and Film Clips?

After extensively exploring copying screenshots and videos, we were unable to find a workable solution to copy and migrate them to the new system – so unfortunately Screenshots, Film Clips, and Films will not be transferred to MCC during this process. On the plus side, we are still investigating a way bring screenshots to Halo Waypoint and make them viewable and downloadable.

We are excited for this migration to happen and we look forward to bringing all the content you have created over the years into MCC. One additional piece people will be excited to learn, that with this change, we are also increasing your file share size to help you share even more content with your friends online!

We will continue to talk about this more as we get closer to the deadline so that you’re up to date with the latest before we finish the process with a game update. Until then, polish up those maps and get ready!

Cruising with the Fahrns

Last week I got to catch up with Michael Fahrny, Lead Producer on MCC PC, as we drove around shopping for video cards and various refresh rate monitors. We had an extensive chit chat about some of the top questions we have seen from the community, but for now we’ll focus on our discussion of Forge and Theater.

As some of you may have heard from conversations we have had on social media, Forge and Theater will not be available at launch on PC when Halo: Reach comes out. It is currently planned to come post launch as bringing both features to PC is extremely complex and time consuming. Below, Michael and I talk through many questions on why this decision was made, what ideas the team has about bringing these features to PC, and why the wait is necessary.

To those who will be playing Halo: Reach on console, both Forge and Theater will be available Day 1 on Xbox One. The launch of these two features for Reach will only be delayed on the PC version as the team works towards the best solutions for the platform. Let’s kick these questions off!

Postums: Hey Michael, thank you so much for letting me tag along today and interrogate you!

Michael Fahrny: Thanks for coming with me and getting this interview done before I have to fly out to Splash Damage. I heard you wanted to talk a little bit about Halo: Reach and what’s going on with Forge and Theater on PC.

Yes, that is where I wanted to start. I want to spend some time today on follow up questions regarding Forge and Theater and the fact that they will not be available on PC at launch. From a high level, what are the concerns the team has had about trying to launch Halo: Reach on PC with Forge and Theater? What were the key reasons behind deciding to bring them both to PC post-launch?

We need to properly give both features enough time, so they are a true PC first experience. When you look specifically at Forge and what it truly is, it is a 3D editing tool that was built completely for console. In some cases, it’s built to have mouse and keyboard support, and in some it’s not - And that’s one of our biggest challenges right now with the feature.

We’re investigating what the best solution is for both Forge and Theater on PC. We know that to create a true PC first experience for both where it’s full mouse and keyboard support is an undetermined amount of work at this point. And we haven’t done a deep enough dive to determine how much work it truly is due to the priority of getting the main game up and ready. What we suspect, is it’s a very lengthy amount of time. So with that in mind we have to go and figure out what we think is going to be the best experience for PC players that also gets it into PC players hands as soon as possible so that we can empower the community to create the content they want to. Our primary focus right now though is the main game and getting it done. Forge and Theater are going to be something we transition to post-launch working with Ruffian and Splash Damage for PC.

For Forge and Theater, will this have any impact on console?

No, Xbox One’s Halo: Reach Forge and Theater will remain the same and we will be shipping with both as you would expect on console.

I’ve seen many questions come from the community around what sort of improvements are we planning to make for Forge specifically. One goal from the Forge community that I’ve heard is players wanting more objects to build more complex maps in the community.

We have seen those goals with the community. Our first priority is always to get these features at parity with what the original was. Once we have achieved that, we will continue to look to look to expand on them, as we have with many of the other things in MCC, some things will be feasible, some not.

So, I know you said you can’t really answer details until you guys get in and scope out the work, but I’m still going to ask.: one of the biggest requested features for Theater is the ability to save film files locally by content creators. Is saving clips something the team has talked about and is planning to work on?

We have talked about it, but we are not willing to commit to it right now as we haven’t scoped out the full body of work around Theater just quite yet. It is on the list to investigate because we do recognize the specific need of content creators to access that and use films.

Well, thank you for answering all the questions on Forge and Theater. Do you have any final thoughts on when and where players will be able to experience these two features?

Basically, our goal is to get them out as quickly as possible with each title. While I can’t commit to a timeline right now, the underlying goal is a high-quality experience that it will empower PC players to create the content they want to.

Thank you so much Michael for sitting down and talking through the behind-the-scenes process around Forge and Theater and why it will be something we bring to the community post-release! We will meet up again down below in the community Q&A section that y’all have been talking about.

For those of you who have been forging since the Halo 3 era, this is a reminder to have your file shares ready to go for the map and game type migration later this summer. Doing so will ensure you have plenty of Forge content to enjoy on PC while you are waiting for the official features release!

For now, let’s go on an adventure that we will be sharing with the community this summer across America, Halo Outpost Discovery.

MCC PC at Halo: Outpost Discovery

If you haven’t heard about Halo: Outpost Discovery, I strongly suggest checking it out and learning more over at HaloOutpostDiscovery.com. This traveling show will be coming to five locations across the United States over the next few months with so many awesome things to do. Some of them have been detailed in the Blog series by the one and only GrimBrotherOne over HERE.

Halo: Outpost Discovery is a touring fan experience that brings the video game universe to life where each location offers a weekend-long event where you get to step into Halo’s beloved science fiction world like never before. Attendees will enjoy immersive themed attractions, interactive in-universe encounters, and so much more.

One of the more relevant offerings for readers of this blog is Halo:Reach on PC! There will be PC stations at each event on some top tier hardware for you to enjoy the latest Halo: Reach Insider build in all of its glory with a mouse and keyboard.

If you have the opportunity to go to one, I highly recommend it. There is some ridiculously cool content that I’m super jealous I won’t be able to experience. I will be living vicariously through the community as they share their experiences online over social media. It’s definitely shaping up to be a great experience for you, your family, and all your friends. Everyone is looking forward to seeing y’all there!

Progression System Update

In last month’s Development Update for MCC, we talked at high level about the Reach inspired progression system that is being developed for all titles in MCC. After reading what people were talking about, there seemed to be a handful of common questions and misconceptions about how unlocks, progression through the system, and access to the content will work.

As a follow up, I was able to talk with Max Szlagor (MCC Design Director) a little bit about some of the common questions and concerns that I’ve seen pop up.

Postums: Hey Max, thank you so much for taking the time to sit down and do a follow up on questions that the community has around the new progression system. They are excited, curious, and want to know so much more about it.

Max: You are quite welcome and I’m happy to answer these to help the community understand better what our intentions are with this new system and how we aim to improve the experience for not only Reach, but for all games in MCC.

Well, for starters, one of the things the community has been talking about is the new Seasons. Can you clarify what a season is and when one ends, what happens to the content and unlocks around it?

This was something I also saw online that was being talked about. Our intent has and will always be that when a season is over, content doesn’t disappear. You will not lose access to the ability to earn content from a season or the ability to use previously unlocked content. A core design philosophy we have is to give more options to players and when it comes to earning things, we will not take this away from you.

When a season ends, nothing will be taken away in terms of unlocks. If a new season starts that has a new theme, such as the release of the next title for MCC PC, it will be additive and include new unlocks to work towards. For you, this means that if you haven’t finished unlocking all content for the first Halo: Reach season, and the Halo: Combat Evolved season has started, you now can choose to continue working on unlocking content in the Halo: Reach season or use your season points towards the unlocks from the new Halo: CE season. All content and unlocks are yours forever once they have been earned. If anything, we will look at new and fun ways to add content for you to work towards.

(Above is a WIP visual of the in UI preview for viewing your character when customizing them. Recon Aor is one of the many planned Season 1 unlocks.)

You talk a little bit about Season points. What are the currencies that will be available to players within the progression system, how will they be able to earn them, and what will they be used on?

At season launch, players will earn season points by leveling up your global rank through completing activities in the game that are played on dedicated servers. This will be for multiplayer in matchmaking and online Firefight. Later on, challenges will become available and will also reward season points on completion.

When you earn season points, you will be able to spend them on Halo: Reach armors, armor effects, and Firefight voices in addition to profile items like nameplates in the first season. Future seasons will offer profile items and possibly some other unlockables.

What exactly is a season made up of?

A season includes a unique theme, new playlists and featured modes, and a series of new unlockables. When a new season begins, players can earn unlockables from any previous season by purchasing the unlocks in order after they level up. Playlists and modes will rotate each season, though popular gameplay experiences can rotate back in during future seasons.

How will you earn the XP to rank up and earn additional season points? As well, what changes have been made to improve how much time it takes to earn the XP?

XP will be granted at the end of each completed game that is played on dedicated servers. This will include PVP multiplayer matchmade games and Firefight matchmaking. XP will be awarded based on the length of the match and medals earned, but the medals earned will account for most of the XP. Medals will award XP in two primary categories; performance and teamwork. Performance medals include things such as kill streaks, style kills, and objective medals like flag captures. Teamwork medals are awarded for in-game actions like assists, protecting another player, or contributing to a score in objective game types. XP will be capped for all the categories; time, performance, and teamwork per match.

What are the different ranks being used in game?

There will be a Global rank and a matchmaking per-playlist rank that players can level up. As players complete matches and earn medals, they will earn XP and eventually reach a new level for their Global rank with each level having a unique name and icon. Per-playlist ranks will be the same as they are in MCC currently, but will be reset at the beginning of each new season or if a playlist is added in.

 (Above is a WIP of various emblems that are currently being prototyped for the Global rankings.)

The Global rank will also roll over for players who have reached the final level and allow you to continue climbing through them to earn more points towards seasonal unlocks. Once you have climbed to the top, currently around 30 levels, an additional unique rank will appear as you continue to advance through all available levels. This rolling Global rank is entirely separate from each matchmaking playlists rank and levels and will not be reset each season.

 (Above is another WIP of  the possible emblems that are currently being prototyped for the Global rankings.)

So, the first Season will be coming online when Halo: Reach is added to MCC. How was the path to completion built for Season 1?

Season 1’s path to unlock all content and the system itself was influenced by the progression system used in Reach. The unlock path for Season 1 and Halo: Reach is based on the costs and level requirements from the original Halo: Reach credit system. As well, we have streamlined the system so that to unlock all of the content in Halo: Reach for Season 1 should generally take less time than it did back on the Xbox 360.

To gain all points for Halo: Reach’s 1st season, what is the goal of time you are aiming for players needing to play to unlock them?

The goal is for players who play a few hours several days a week to be able to unlock all seasonal items. We are estimating it will take about 75-100 hours per season to unlock all of the items for the season. That said, the season unlocks do not disappear after the season ends and we may add additional ways to earn seasonal points in later seasons.

For Halo: Reach’s Season 1, after the season is over, can I still earn the unlocks from it? Also, for the unlocks themselves, will we be able to unlock all the content that Halo: Reach on the Xbox 360 had? Are there any additional pieces of content that will be available?

All retail content that can be unlocked in Halo: Reach today by in-game methods will available in season 1. We are looking into ways to incorporate all unlocks that required account links, external apps, preorders, and even some previously unreleased content for Halo: Reach as well. We can’t commit to a full list until we fully understand the technical limitations and whether we have all the required source art assets for each item. For reference, the reason we have been unable to include the Champions Bundle armor and abilities for Halo 4 in MCC is because those items existed in both code and data, and it has proven very difficult to bring that content over to the Xbox One.

Will additional seasons for games in MCC come with additional content later?

In future seasons, we are looking into ways to expand the pool of customization items in each game. At minimum we would like to include new profile items such as nameplates, but we think it would be even cooler if we could add new skins, armor or visor colors, or armors to the other games.

Thank you so much for all the info Max, I know people will be happy to have all these questions clarified and are looking forward to getting their hands on it! As a reminder, this is all subject to change as we are currently developing it to be added into the game. Once it’s ready to try out, this progression system will be coming to you in future flights so you can get some hands-on time with it and will be able to provide feedback on it. We can’t wait for everyone to try it out and let us know what you think about it!

But, before we dive into this, I want to make sure that players know that the Publishing Team’s plans include flighting the new progression system to players ahead of launch to gather feedback. Although it is not the same one-to-one system that original had, it truly has a lot of inspiration and similar paths to unlocks as what’s found in the original Halo: Reach... There has been a lot of careful planning around the unlock path on how, where, and when unlocks for customization options are placed in a season. Below is the full series of questions Max and I walked through to help explain some of the top ones that have come up from the community.

Now that we’ve take some time to dive deeper into the future progression system for Halo: Reach’s Season 1, let’s take a few moments to hear from Ske7ch about his experience down at E3 this year. He and a few friends from 343 Industries were down in LA with a playable Halo: Reach on PC in the Microsoft Theater at the Xbox Experience. I heard a few people stopped by and had some fun!

-Postums

Remember Reach @ E32019

Thanks Tyler! Earlier this month I was honored to join members of the 343 team in Los Angeles to offer E3 attendees a chance at the first ever public hands-on with Halo: Reach PC. As we discussed and showed previously, this was a special work-in-progress build that included the “Tip of the Spear” Campaign mission on a 10-minute timer. Though this build was limited in scope, it did fit nicely with our high-level goals for E3: It offered a hands-on trial of Halo: Reach on PC to demonstrate progress and allowed us to get player feedback on the current state of mouse & keyboard controls. Back at the studio, preparing this build for E3 helped validate some critical processes and milestones to get us a big step closer to kicking off MCC PC public flighting.

It’s always a blast to hang out and chat with fans in person and even more so when it also involves getting valuable feedback on an in-development title. As part of our booth experience, players were asked to take a brief survey following their play-through to give us a bit of insight into how the game is “feeling” on PC. By the end of the show, we had over 400 responses and in general, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Frankly, Reach PC reactions even exceeded our own expectations given that this was an early work-in-progress build still missing plenty of features and polish. Still, praise was high for the visuals (it’s truly hard to believe this is a nine year old game when you see it running in 4KUHD at 60FPS!) and approx. 89% of players were either neutral or positive with regards to the aiming and movement controls. Driving control feedback was somewhat lower but in line with what the team expected. Getting the M/KB feel as good as possible remains a top priority and will be a continued focus during Halo Insider flighting.

On behalf of the team, I wanted to give a big shout out and THANK YOU to everyone who came by to chat with us and play Halo: Reach during E3. We know many of you waited in line a long time to get 10-minutes with Reach and we truly appreciate your support and feedback. I also wanted to acknowledge the folks who came multiple times across multiple days – you know who you are! We’re honored you chose to spend your E3 time with Halo. And while I don’t have a list of everyone’s name, I also want to commemorate the few folks who rose to the challenge and managed to successfully complete “Tip of the Spear” before the 10-minute timer expired! I hope you are enjoying those well-earned over-sized mouse pads!

If you couldn’t join us at E3 fret not – a very similar build (same content with more features and polish) is being sent out to our first wave of Halo Insiders for flighting (with plenty more to come). Additionally, we’ll have Halo: Reach on PC playable at Halo: Outpost Discovery locations this summer. Lastly, if you’re sad that you missed out on the sweet E3 Halo swag – we’ve got you covered! 

Now, it’s time to head back over to Postums for an update on flighting. I hear he’s going to talk about where we have come from, where we are, and where we will go on our journey bringing Halo: Reach to MCC and MCC to PC.

The Past, the Present, and the Future of Flighting

Thanks Brian, E3 looked amazing watching it all online. Since E3, the team's been busy and in case you missed it, the first Halo Insider MCC flight officially kicked off TODAY! If we want to get technical, flighting actually began months ago with our close friends and partners outside of the studio helping us to verify our pipelines and give initial feedback on some of our core PC features. This week marks the first of several Halo Insider flights we plan to do publicly before releasing Halo: Reach. This first one is a PC only flight that will help us learn how to better improve our flighting procedures to the PC crowd on Steam before we grow in scope and number of participants. Below is an overview of what has happened in the past around flighting, what is currently happening, and what will happen in the future.

The Past

Last year ahead of our first big update to MCC, we conducted many flights on the Xbox One. Since then, we have had a few partners who have been helping us to verify our pipelines and build delivery process on the Xbox. Although we were able to get them out to these groups and gather initial feedback, we were not ready to go into public tests. Since those initial flights, we identified many areas in the pipeline and game that needed to be improved before we could flight to Halo Insiders. This included build security, content structure, stability, and feature-related work items that were a must in order to make the PC game feel like a PC game. The short story of it is, we thought we were ready in April, but we weren’t. We had what in the industry is called “found work” which equated to us needing to do more than anticipated in prep for flighting. But here we are now.

The Present

The teams involved in development for MCC PC and Halo: Reach in MCC have made a tremendous amount of progress. As Ske7ch talked about in the E3 Recap section, we sent a build down to E3 for people to get some hands-on time with it. This demo’s scope was the content we wanted to have in our initial flight.

This weekend, 6/28 to 7/1, we are flighting a limited build of Halo: Reach on PC. The goals of this flight are validating our delivery pipelines to a larger audience, beta test the all-new Halo Support site, and receive feedback on areas we need to improve as we move forward with the project. The Halo Insiders who were selected to participate were those with varying ranges of hardware and are using the Windows 10 operating system. Not everyone has been invited to participate, but over time, the groups will grow in size as we flight various areas of the game. We see the excitement and eagerness from the community to participate in these flights, and we hear you. Just know that we are going to continue to invite more over time and get as many people in and providing feedback as possible but it’s going to take some time so please hang in there.

Thank you to Reclaimers, Friends, Flighting Participants, and Halo Insiders

I would like to take this time to personally say thank you to our Reclaimers, Friends who have partnered with us, those participating in the first flight this weekend, and all who have registered for the Halo Insider program. Your participation and feedback to help make MCC PC the best it can be is a beautiful thing to see.

Flighting for MCC is a program built to help us create the best games possible but wouldn’t be anything without the help of y’all. To help fuel this passion, we want to get our games in front of you as early as possible and be able to react to your meaningful feedback to make our game experiences the best experience possible.

Over the past year we have worked hard with members of the community and through our user research programs with the focus of improving how we listen to constructive feedback and build better games using it. Listening to our community early has helped us to focus on features that we all believed are must haves to make the best PC game possible. The feedback that we have heard when discussing them has been echoed by the community since we announced this project. And will forever be thankful for it and continue to improve our games based on it. Please don’t ever stop telling us what we can do better to make your experience more enjoyable.

So, thank you. Thank you to each of you that have taken the time to come to us and give feedback. Thank you for driving us to create the best games possible. We can’t wait to continue this journey together!

The Future

After this flight wraps up, we will evaluate and prioritize the feedback we plan to act on. Once that is done and we have completed our feature work that is required for our next flight, we will expand the invite list and move onto Public Flight 2 in the future. As we move through our internal milestones on approach to the second flight, we will share the time frame around it going live.

Our next planned flight is dependent on a few key features being finalized and their systems reaching full functionality to support them. But know this, our goal is to flight large features and game modes as they come online throughout various key points in development. This requires us to develop them and then work both internally and with our partners to verify them. Once we all agree we are in a good place and it feels good – the next public flight will happen. As stated many times before – it’s ready when it’s ready. This includes Xbox One flights in the future! So stay tuned for more details throughout July as we continue the journey of bringing MCC to PC and Halo: Reach to MCC.

Community Q&A

Rather than attempt to weave the additional questions found in the community into other areas of this blog, I have built out an entire section dedicated to community questions. It won’t answer all of the questions you asked, but hopefully will help give some additional info on the ones we can address at this time. For this section I was once again able to sit with the Publishing Team’s own Michael Fahrny, the lead producer on the MCC on PC team, to help give more info around some hot topics in the community. Enjoy!

What will the pricing be for MCC on PC?

During E3, an article over on Xbox Wire was published talking about Halo Infinite, Halo: Reach and Halo: The Master Chief Collection on PC, and Halo: Outpost Discovery. Below is the current info on what the pricing for each game will be. To read the full Xbox Wire article, it can be found HERE.

“On PC, we’re excited to confirm that each game within MCC will be included with an Xbox Game Pass for PC subscription as they become available. In addition, each title can be purchased individually – Halo: Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3, and Halo 4 will be offered at $9.99USD on both the Microsoft Store and Steam while Halo 3: ODST within MCC (with a current scope of Campaign only), will be available for $4.99USD. Players will have flexibility to purchase any or all the games at any point along the way as they become available.”

Postums: With Halo: Combat Evolved coming after Halo: Reach, a lot of people have been asking about our planned improvements to HCE in order to bring it more in parity to the original Xbox version. Essentially, what we are planning to rework to be more aligned with legacy than the original Gearbox port to PC that is used in MCC.

Michael Fahrny: We’re not targeting it for the launch on PC, but we are continuing to investigate what we can do to bring CE back to parity of the original Xbox version.

But, what I can say, is we have dug up some original Xbox devkits that we are looking into utilizing.

 

Umm, also we do, well, I don’t want to publish this right now but, but we also have <ONI REDACTED> working on <ONI REDACTED> so when we’re ready to announce that, we will, but I don’t want to put that in this blog.

Will MCC be an always-online game? Will I be required to have an internet connection to login and play specifically on Steam?

Specifically, to Steam – No. You will need to be able to sign-in to Xbox Live. As long as you can pop online from time-to-time to re-cache your login you should be okay.

Are we going to get the GRD helmet in game?

We are currently investigating it but cannot commit to it being in the game at this time.

What does Mod support look like on PC? What thoughts have we had on this? What do we think it will look like and will we have it on PC?

Everyone on our teams all want Mod support. The ultimate goal is to enable content creators and empower the community to continue MCC as much as we possibly can. But, our primary goal remains to get all these titles up and running on PC first so modding does take a back seat to that initially.

It is in our pipeline to investigate modding. We are continuing to try and figure out ways to work with people who are active in the Halo modding community.

Many people on console have been discussing the features that are coming to PC and wanting them to come back to console. What sort of discussions have been ongoing around the various features such as FOV, higher fps options, and other features being brought to PC?

These are all things that are definitely on our radar to investigate after we ensure it’s working on PC and PC is out. We can understand the need and especially with large TVs, higher refresh rates on consoles now, and just in general more powerful hardware – it makes sense for us to look into these.

Our goal is always to make the features work first, then explore other options for them.

What a lot of people don’t fully realize, which we have talked briefly with the community about on Reddit and other media sources is, what we are doing with these games is just intrinsically difficult. In most cases they weren’t designed to do what we’re trying to do with them. A lot of times we open up a door, and it just doesn’t work. When that happens, we have to take a couple steps back or we fall into a hole and have to dig ourselves out. This is one of the reasons why we have a “it’s ready when it’s ready mentality.”

Our goal is to ensure we put our best foot forward across the board on all the stuff we’re doing when it comes to PC UI, to getting the games in parity, to the higher refresh rates, the FOV changes, and all of the features we are working on. The reality is that they are not just easy tasks to make work. On top of the feature work we also have co-development between our internal development team, between Ruffian, and also between Splash Damage while maintaining our regular updates to MCC on Xbox One. It’s a lot of work, a lot of complications, and it’s a fun challenge from the production standpoint to figure out what that roadmap is and all of the dependencies to ensure all of our ducks are in a row. We’re just a little busy.

What will Cross Play look like at launch?

Cross play on PC from Windows Store and Steam will be something we are aiming to have fully functional at launch for each title. Cross play between console and PC is something we will be investigating after launch.

Will there be Linux support?

There are no current plans for Linux support.

Will we flight Firefight?

Yes. We will be Fireflighting at some point. Currently no date set in stone as there is a lot of work going on around it, but our goal is for Public Flight 2 to be our FireFlight.

The big one I’ve seen is, “When will Halo: Reach in MCC and MCC on PC be released?”

When it’s ready. This is a journey we are all taking together through development, flighting, and the inevitable release. When it is ready – we will release it.

Thanks again Michael for helping answer so many pressing questions that the community has been asking. I can’t wait to sit down and discuss next month’s pressing questions!

Closing time

And with that ladies and gentlemen, Spartans and, well, Spartans – we come to the end of another MCC Development Update. Should you have questions, concerns, or general things you want us to talk about in future development updates, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me on Twitter, Reddit, Halo Waypoint, or via Moa. I can’t say if the last one will reach me or not, but I will do my best to listen to what y’all want to know more about and get those questions answered. Thank you for reading and as always, we will catch you online!

Cheers,

Postums

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