March 16, 2001 Originally at Rampancy.

Originally at Rampancy.
Well, not much to talk about this week. No sir. Howzabout we just skip to the interesting bits?

  • Passengers in the jeep now take damage when shot.

  • Things other than bipeds (like bullets) now collide properly with two-sided surfaces (like glass).

  • Chris Hughes is adding some nice detail to the Marine head permutations.

  • The Mighty Chris Butcher continues to improve the AI. It now looks at interesting things: rather than just staring straight ahead and running through it's idle animation, AI units will look around at their friends, or other units walking around, or nearby machinery control panels.

  • The AI also behaves differently based on their awareness of their vulnerability. For example, the grunts tend to travel in packs, and run away pretty quickly once you start blowing holes in them. But they'll dig in and make a nuisance of themselves if there's a Covenant Elite nearby. Likewise, if you then kill that Elite, they'll lose their nerve and run for cover. When demonstrating this to me, Chris noted that one of the grunts was obstinately firing at me even though all his buddies had bailed; this was because the grunt was positioned in such a way that he couldn't see the freshly ventilated Elite corpse lying nearby, even when he popped up to take a shot. Fleeing grunts will eventually verbalize important information to help their buddies avoid those unfortunate situations.

  • Eric's working on a swamp level, texturing trees and remodeling various things. He showed me what looked like a small clump of swamp vegetation with thick stalks. He then pointed to a small arch formed by a curling root at the bottom and said To give you an idea of the scale, you'll be able to stand under there. The plants are actually massive trees that tower hundreds of feet above you. There are alien mushrooms that are just as tall as you.

  • Shiek showed me the blood-spurting animation for a Covenant race you haven't seen yet. Nail 'em in the right place and you get a nice satisfying jet of vital fluids. And gas.

  • Marcus got the lovely gorgeous waterfalls working again and placed a couple of them on the first mission you play after you land on Halo. Of course that will be at dusk and you might be distracted by the enormous structures firing huge bolts of plasma over to the other side of the ring.

  • Hardy and Michael continue their march forward to conquer Xbox multiplayer.

  • We got the first round of cutscene storyboards back from Lee Wilson, who's done storyboards for The Fifth Element, among other films. The stuff he's done for us looks really nice - the introductions to the cyborg and other key characters are handled expertly.

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