Development Update – July 2022 Aug 1 - Rick & Pat
Sniper no Sniping
Here we are with our mid-yearly update with plenty of progress happening behind the scenes on most fronts. I know you're all burnt out with the art stuff in the updates, so I’d thought we might start with some art stuff… haha, no I’m kidding! Instead, we are going to talk to Rick, our new game designer, and then we can talk a little about the art stuff below!
Hey y’all! I’m Rick, though I usually go by Agoat here in the Halo community.
You may have seen my posts from the @AnchorNine Twitter account,
where I mod Infinite and make my own take on the sandbox.
The crew here at Installation 01 has taken me aboard as a game designer to help craft a PC-focused sandbox,
and being a part of such an amazing project has already been an awesome experience.
Though, that’s not as exciting as the actual design ideas being brought over, is it?
First and foremost, weapons need to be fun. While a lot of players enjoy different modes across Halo, whether they’re deploying into a game of SWAT or readying up for a competitive match, the sandbox driving all of these modes needs to be enjoyable for all kinds of players. To this end, we’ve come up with the solution of treating different parts of the game as different “formats”. Players who want to play a more competitive experience should not be affecting the fun that social players are enjoying, and vice-versa.
Putting this plainly: one singular group of players will not be driving the experience for everyone else. Instead, the goal is to support different groups of players as their own communities, helping them grow. There’s dozens of ways to enjoy Halo, and making sure everyone feels welcome is important.
I’m excited to share more specifics on some of the tuning we’re looking at, but if you have ideas of your own, then why not join us on Discord? Conversation can only make this game better, and we’d love to have you join the discussion.
The Sniper Rifle has always been especially imposing in Halo, and our take on this classic weapon is no different. Pat really hits the mark with this version of the precision powerhouse. It’s hard not to imagine hitting a killer no-scope seeing this beast.
For a good long while now, as we all rebuild our source files and gather what we can,
the team has had some ideas to revamp some of the older assets to keep them consistent with the newer assets made more recently,
and the classic sniper was one such asset that fell into that bracket.
Greg did absolutely bloody amazing with the original Installation 01 sniper, but the limited source files made it difficult to edit. All of the high-poly and low-poly files had their modifiers baked down, which meant we couldn’t change bevels or add anything new without it looking inconsistent with itself.
While the model update originally started with a new scope design (to bring it back to the CE look and design) it quickly devolved into something else, something akin to a remaster while taking cues from all Halo projects, past, present, and future. My goals for this ‘remastered’ asset was to try and keep as much of Greg’s original idea in there while moving it away from the Reach design by also adding my own flair to it. I did that by primarily taking inspiration from CE and Halo 2 while also giving it some of our own shape language from the DMR. I also looked at all the other fan projects designs along with the original CE Sniper reference for inspiration.
GUNGNIR GONNA GET LOW LOW LOW LOW...
Become the very spear of Odin with the ‘game ready version’ of the GUNGNIR armor set, lovingly crafted and finalized by MOFU (3D Artist) and Maik (Texture/UI design) and originally concepted by Naka (Concept Artist). As one of the more unique ‘classic’ armor sets coming to Installation 01, it was important that GUNGNIR stood out. Even without the usual helmet-styled visor, GUNGNIR's helmet design still delivers plenty of personality to those looking to take more of a faceless form on the battlefield. Check out more of what we spoke about in the previous update!
THE DUAL-WIELDING ICON
Halo 2’s introduction of the SMG changed the landscape of the original trilogy, as well as creating a brand new way to look at combat in Halo. We wanted to make sure our SMG brought back the same badass feeling that we all had for the first time back in 2004. Our resident hard surface master, Mofu crafted this beauty using Ikki Day’s dope concept.
In addition, we have a version of the suppressed SMG from previous Halo games! This isn’t just a cosmetic change, either. These weapons will be balanced for different purposes. The stock SMG is focused on putting as many bullets downrange as you can, where the suppressed SMG is going to ask for a more surgical approach to dealing damage.
When it comes to animation however, we had both Austin (3D Artist, Animator, Rigging specialist and all ‘round SICK Knut) and Trev (Animator & Programming) bringing it to life through some absolutely stellar animations together tag-teaming one keyframe at a time. Watching them work on these movements has been a treat in and of itself, and we hope you all like this sneak peek at some of their work.
DON’T LOSE YOUR HEAD
We’ll keep this sort so you don’t blow ya top off, so here’s a peek at our updated skull model. Our original skull was created years and years ago by our wonderful friend of old, Isaac, who now resides as a doctor. We decided to update the model to make better use of our texturing workflow. With that, it allows us to swap textures and masks on the go, meaning we can introduce any variants that we may need in the future.
Seeing as we got some feedback and requests from the public chat, we have decided to throw in some UI Design stuff into this update too for those of you who are interested. As described above we can easily swap in a new mask (or set of masks) for the skull based on these designs (texture and UI elements were done by our UI/Texture design artist Maik - Miquel Dominquez)
MARK IV ANNIVERSARY
For years, our Mark IV has had some minor issues with creasing and baking issues, but we were unable to fix them because this was one of the assets with no proper source files. I also believe it was one of the earliest armour sets made by the wonderful ABISV (someone you all may have seen in the Halo community).
However recently Mr. Talon took the time to go through and update the old model as best he could to negate some of the issues and provide some updated source files while our resident texture artist created updated textures for this beast using our new workflows. It turned out really well in the end! Congrats to the fellas for putting in the time to help us fix our older assets.
CLOSE QUARTERS ENCOUNTERS OF ANOTHER KIND (US)
While we’re showing off our MARK IV set, I think it’s finally time we also share our CQB set for those who have always been asking for it to be shown.
We did the same sort of thing with this set as above, but for this set I got in touch with ABISV about gathering the files
and we were in luck as the source files had survived the turn of time.
We also updated the textures according to our new workflow so what you see is fully game ready. (We will share in engine screenshots of this thing when we can find the time to set it up in engine)
MARK VII OR MARK V[B][B]??
While we’re here, we might as well also share the update to MARKV[B] which was spearheaded by Jacob (LegendaryGamer). The goal here was to update the low poly model to be closer to the other armour sets. This set was originally very different where the mesh was split up into many smaller pieces that just intersected. This caused some baking issues and overall had too many holes in the mesh. Jacob also took this opportunity to update the high poly model and has graciously included a new version of the helmet which is closer to the original concept done by Tekka_Croe.
Forward Unto Dawn
Can you animate in Blender or Maya? Can you design sounds? Can you create VFX?
Can you Phil Mahar?
If you have any of these skills and have an interest in working on Installation 01, please come to our Discord server and give us a chad - I mean chat! Alternatively, you can press the big coloured button below to get an application form. Do it, I dare you.
We hope you enjoyed this mid-year update, and we can’t wait to show you more.
If there’s anything of particular interest to you, tell us on Discord!
We’re hoping to answer as many questions as we can without spoiling too much of the good stuff.
You have reached the end of the update. Now your only option is to go back to the top and read it again.
Rick (Agoat) & Pat (Pat-a-wan)
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