Halo Wars Monthly Update 12.12.07
The State of the Game
Before we go anywhere I wanted to give you all a status report on how the game is progressing. The team is working towards their last milestone for the year which is on December 14th. There are plenty of milestones still to come, but this year marked a number of firsts for the project, such as the first showing of the game to the press and the public, the first release of gameplay footage and screenshots.
Currently the design team is iterating furiously on a number of game mechanics. Units and buildings that were in the game yesterday may have been taken out today or have had their role changed. The way you construct your base has gone through many changes in the last few weeks as well and has been a focus of a great deal of the design team’s time lately. So far our latest set of base building tweaks seems to be holding up in our playtest sessions, but I’m sure there will be more fine tuning to come.
With the game changing day to day, it may seem overwhelming to some, but right now the designers are truly in their prime. They are free to iterate on just about any aspect of how the game is played, from the smallest detail to high level changes such as base construction. It’s this iteration time, where we get to try new ideas, refine old ideas, and toss out the ones that aren’t making the game fun that is at the heart of our design philosophy here at Ensemble Studios.
Graeme Devine Interview
The team at Halo Wars Heaven sent over some questions for Ensemble Studios designer Graeme Devine to answer. Graeme dutifully responded to all of the questions, but as you may gather from his responses and the state of the game above, we’re still figuring out how some parts of the game will work so we don’t have all of the answers yet. You can read the interview here: http://halowars.heavengames.com/features/interview
Thank you to Elpea and Soc at HeavenGames for putting this together.
We have added a new piece of concept art to the gallery this month. The piece is the work of Ensemble Studios artist Matthew Burke. I’ll let Lead Designer Graeme Devine give you the introduction:
"Happy Holidays everyone! Here’s a very early concept of a UNSC base and how it might look. When we first started Halo Wars we did a lot of brainstorming about what the UNSC actually felt like as a armed force, what their buildings were like, base layouts, did they build walls, use tents, etc. and the concept team worked on imagining that so we as a team could get on the same page. I can write all I want about how the bases work, but an image says much more than a thousand words here. This image imagines some gameplay elements too, a “parking lot” for vehicles was at one point thought about something we might try and the tightly nit base structures allowed for a lot of beautification thoughts – the roads, lights, fence structures, turrets, etc. and we took a lot from it and those elements are still visible in the game today."
Remember the contest where a lucky fan could win the chance to voice some lines in Halo Wars? Well there really was a winner chosen and on December 3rd Adam dropped by Ensemble Studios with Peggy, his mom, to have a tour and do some recording! Adam is a huge Halo fan and he peppered designer Graeme Devine with a great many questions. Thank you both for making the trip and we hope you enjoyed the experience!
The annual Ensemble Studios holiday card is heading out in the mail and once again we’d like to share the sentiment and the art with our fans. Here is the piece of art that is on the cover of our card this year, created by Ensemble Studios artist Jason Merck. For those of you that weren't with us last year, here are links to the Grunt themed card art from 2006 as well.
We hope that you all have a safe and happy holiday!