Bungie Has "A Lot To Learn" From Call Of Duty 4

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Bungie Has "A Lot To Learn" From Call Of Duty 4

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Halo 3 may be hot stuff, but AI Lead Programmer Damian Isla says Bungie has a lot to learn from rival FPS Call of Duty 4.

"There's an incredible amount of innovation even in just first-person games - that's really exciting," Isla said in an interview with GamesIndustry. "I think we were fairly innovative with Halo 3 as well with features like the Forge and the theater mode... I think it's proving to everyone who didn't realize that there's just a tremendous amount left to do in the first-person space, in the first-person action space, so many narrative ideas to explore, game mechanic ideas to explore, just things that haven't been done before."

Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4 were two of the top games of 2007, each garnering critical acclaim and multi-million unit sales, but even though Halo 3 continues the well-established and popular story of the Master Chief and the war against the Flood, Isla said the developer has a lot to learn from techniques employed by Infinity Ward in Call of Duty 4. "I think it's a great game and single-player is obviously fantastic as well, they did a hell of a job with their set pieces, of scripting certain moments that they were really sure the player was going to actually see and experience first hand," he said. "The way that they use those moments to craft the player experience I think was very successful and something, again, where I think Halo has a lot to learn from."

"While we certainly have many scenes throughout the Halo series that are scripted in-game moments, a lot of time players don't experience it, or they don't see the thing going on, or they maybe don't experience it in quite the same way that we expected them to," he continued. "It's one of the things that we can always get better at and we pay a lot of attention to games like Call of Duty 4 and BioShock - see how they do it because they do it very, very well."

Isla said that some of the differences in storytelling results from the "fundamentally different" ways in which games like Halo and Call of Duty are made. "Halo has always been an extremely simulation-drive game, so part of the reason why it is difficult to script sequences is because the AI never cooperates, or physics doesn't cooperate, or we worry about the player pushing a crate into the way of this Warthog that's going to mess up an interactive cut scene, or something like that," he said.

"Call of Duty 4 was an example of a game where scripting was very good and, in some ways, scripting was one of the centerpieces of that approach. One of the things I know we should try to do is to really bring those sides together. We want to have the deep simulation and we want to have also the fantastic presentation," he added.

"The story development of Call of Duty 4 was really very good," Isla said. "I think it had a very memorable end. Very good sort of half-scripted, half-interactive sequences that, again, we have a lot to learn from."

GamesIndustry's full interview with Damian Isla can be read here.

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Just no....Halo 3 and COD4 are different for a reason! Nothing from COD4 could make Halo better and vice versa.

Stubee:
Just no....Halo 3 and COD4 are different for a reason! Nothing from COD4 could make Halo better and vice versa.

I think he was referring to the cutscene vs. scripted-in-POV thing... instead of going to a 3rd person view for exposition sticking with the 1st person, which made the nuke scene in COD4 so much more powerful.

I certainly hope he's not talking about the NPCs... I'd take Halo's actor system over COD's busted-ass-clowncar model any day.

-- Steve

Stubee:
Just no....Halo 3 and COD4 are different for a reason! Nothing from COD4 could make Halo better and vice versa.

You missed Isla's point. He's talking about creating a story with the game in the way that CoD4 and Bioshock did, where the player is forced to participate (taken from Half-Life 2, btw) and it's not made a chore. In Halo 3, you're allowed to skip all the cutscenes, because nothing happens in them that's relevant to the next stage of gameplay. Whereas in CoD4 (and all that stuff was borrowed by HL2, so really, Halo 3 has a lot to learn from HL2), you could be foolish enough to move somewhere during a story telling scene that could lead to a much quicker death.

Stubee:
Just no....Halo 3 and COD4 are different for a reason! Nothing from COD4 could make Halo better and vice versa.

-_-

No offense, but implying that Bungie cant learn ANYTHING from the success of CoD 4, and IW cant learn anything from the success of Halo 3 is just ignorant.

A replay and matching system cant make CoD 4 better?
A more powerful presentation cant make Halo 3 better?

I know that's pretty shallow; there's more to it, but I'm too lazy to fully get into each game right now.

If we dont learn from the successes of others and our own failings, then we're just EA, and noone can tell me that that is good. :)

Yes, Bungie could learn some things from Infinity Ward in terms of single-player. However, I hope they stay away from CoD4 multiplayer. That thing is a steaming pile of shit.

Joeshie:
Yes, Bungie could learn some things from Infinity Ward in terms of single-player. However, I hope they stay away from CoD4 multiplayer. That thing is a steaming pile of shit.

I loved CoD 4's multiplayer. A lot more than Halo 3's multiplayer. I dont know what it is, but playing online in Halo 3, I tend to get pissed more than I get enjoyment.

Joeshie:
Yes, Bungie could learn some things from Infinity Ward in terms of single-player. However, I hope they stay away from CoD4 multiplayer. That thing is a steaming pile of shit.

At least COD4 multiplayer has different gametypes, as opposed to Halo multiplayer which, basically, it's only variety is what your gun selection is. To me, you have to have appreciated COD1 and 2's multiplayer in order to appreciate COD4's.

I'd play COD4 100 times before I ever play Halo 3 again. "Hmm, a fun, realistic fps, or a mediocre sci-fi shooter?" Seriously, everything Halo has ever done, Unreal Tournament has done 3 times better.

I just hope "A lot to learn" doesn't mean "a lot to copy"

ElArabDeMagnifico:
I just hope "A lot to learn" doesn't mean "a lot to copy"

I give Bungie more credit than that, but that's just me.

I think it's great that Bungie is willing to learn more in order to better their technique. As someone said before, it's much better to get Bungie to learn from IW, and vice verse, lest they become like EA.

kanyatta:

Joeshie:
Yes, Bungie could learn some things from Infinity Ward in terms of single-player. However, I hope they stay away from CoD4 multiplayer. That thing is a steaming pile of shit.

At least COD4 multiplayer has different gametypes, as opposed to Halo multiplayer which, basically, it's only variety is what your gun selection is. To me, you have to have appreciated COD1 and 2's multiplayer in order to appreciate COD4's.

I'd play COD4 100 times before I ever play Halo 3 again. "Hmm, a fun, realistic fps, or a mediocre sci-fi shooter?" Seriously, everything Halo has ever done, Unreal Tournament has done 3 times better.

Gametypes? Halo's got 11 standard gametypes, a bunch of variants for each, plus the ability to alter each in anyway you want. I see alot more game variation with Halo 3 than with COD4 who's variation mostly consists of just changing the amount damage you can take before dying.

Look I can see that I'm probably not going to change your opinion on Halo 3 just as your not going to change mine, I say we should all divert this thread away from the Halo 3 vs. COD4 turn its taken and focus on the article itself because this is just going to degrade into a fanboy war fast.

Two words for Halo: Sprint button...

And Halo's game types were pretty much, DM, landgrab, CTF. Then some sort of stupid variants like racing (landgrab) and zombie (DM). Not enough to make a valid argument. Then it took a whole clip of something to kill someone.

As for cod, I would have liked to see some bigger maps with larger teams. And vehicles.

Stubee:
Just no....Halo 3 and COD4 are different for a reason! Nothing from COD4 could make Halo better and vice versa.

CoD4 single-player would be a lot better if the enemies didn't respawn endlessly. That's definitely something they could've "learned" from Halo.

CoD4 makes exceptionally good use of multiple playable protagonists, which is something worth studying.

-- Alex

Malygris:
"I think we were fairly innovative with Halo 3 as well with features like the Forge and the theater mode

Now, this may be taking us off topic, but wasn't the map editor in Timesplitters the same as forge only with more options? And hasn't theater mode been in every RTS for the last decade?

On the other hand, it is nice to see someone willing to admit that maybee, their competitors did something better than they did. This is beyond most developers, who will insist on perfection to the end.

CaptainLoser:
Two words for Halo: Sprint button...

And Halo's game types were pretty much, DM, landgrab, CTF. Then some sort of stupid variants like racing (landgrab) and zombie (DM). Not enough to make a valid argument. Then it took a whole clip of something to kill someone.

As for cod, I would have liked to see some bigger maps with larger teams. And vehicles.

A sprint button would moot a lot of the vehicle play in Halo.

Halo's base gametypes are Slayer (DM), Capture the Flag, Territories (landgrab), King of the Hill (landgrab variant), Oddball, Juggernaut (Oddball variant); many of these have FFA and team variants. Then there are the player-built variants such as Grifball and Rocket Race.

And if you're taking an entire clip to kill someone in Halo, ur doin it rong. (Psst... there's a melee button.) Or perhaps you'd be happier playing the SWAT playlist. (Shieldless.)

I haven't played enough CoD4 to fairly compare the two, but certainly I can say that there's plenty of variety in the Halo series' multiplayer.

-- Steve

Anton P. Nym:
Or perhaps you'd be happier playing the SWAT playlist. (Shieldless.)

All it takes for a kill is one booming headshot.

I'm thinking maybe one of the things Bungie can learn from COD4 is how to make a decent FPS.

HA! Sorry, had to slip in my obligatory Halo zing there.

I don't think any developer worth its salt doesn't have things to learn from other successful developers. Every new creative effort expands the palette and studios would be foolish if they weren't paying attention to what others are doing and using that information to improve their own future efforts.

I'm glad that Isla is acknowledging the achievement of another game and stating that they can learn from it. I have much more respect for Bungie now, way to not be an idiot like CliffyB or Itagaki!

Killcam,and more cutomizing for Halo 4

Map Editor,and theater for COD6

shatnershaman:
Killcam,and more cutomizing for Halo 4

Map Editor,and theater for COD6

I think I'd prefer it if there were just no more Halo or COD games.

Hamster at Dawn:

shatnershaman:
Killcam,and more cutomizing for Halo 4

Map Editor,and theater for COD6

I think I'd prefer it if there were just no more Halo or COD games.

You don't have to buy them you know...

Malygris:
I'm thinking maybe one of the things Bungie can learn from COD4 is how to make a decent FPS.

HA! Sorry, had to slip in my obligatory Halo zing there.

For future reference

stompy:

ElArabDeMagnifico:
I just hope "A lot to learn" doesn't mean "a lot to copy"

I give Bungie more credit than that, but that's just me.

I think it's great that Bungie is willing to learn more in order to better their technique. As someone said before, it's much better to get Bungie to learn from IW, and vice verse, lest they become like EA.

Yeah same here but the reason I said that is pretty much because the whole industry is pretty much built on copycats, so I just hope they learn more than they copy - put their own spin on it instead of simply remaking the "nuke" scene in a Halo game, etc.

-and I'm one of those freaks people who thought CoD4's multiplayer was crap and couldn't understand why everyone loved it but hey, now all online games are starting to have achievements and unlockables in them so it's already too late for me to say "I hope this doesn't happen" - another next-gen pet peeve for me, but hell, I'm a minority so I've got no say in the matter - also the stock maps where claustrophobic and just too damn small for the amount of people in them.

There's a lot more gametypes for Halo 3 than CoD, but the problem is not a whole lot of people really play anything outside of Slayer and CTF/Assault.

What I really liked about CoD was getting rewards even in defeat. It absorbs a lot of the sting of a losing streak when you get a promotion or achievement you've been working on.

And I've suggested since Halo 2 that playlist ranks should be hidden. Rank-whoring has eventually ruined every Halo clan I've been in. It could still be used for proper matching, but just keep it hidden to discourage exploiters and douches.

Coming soon:

Call of Halo 2 - United Spartans

TOGSolid:
Coming soon:

Call of Halo 2 - United Spartans

I would definitely play that.

Joeshie:
Yes, Bungie could learn some things from Infinity Ward in terms of single-player. However, I hope they stay away from CoD4 multiplayer. That thing is a steaming pile of shit.

bottom of the scoreboard detected...

I had kind of hoped that we'd moved on from set pieces and scripted events. In fact, that's why I liked Halo, it had a few but a lot less than the COD games. It felt a lot more fluid.

I agree. The scripted moments in COD4 were great, and the AI was shite. The interview basically says "because Halos engine is more sophisticated, they don't have to rely on scripting to have incredible 'oh shit that was so cool how did that even happen' moments."

People need to realize that Halo is not the be all end all of games. Was it an ok game? Absolutely. Incredible? No. The thing that keeps people coming back to it is it's multiplayer aspect. The story really isn't anything spectacular by the end. I found myself caring a lot more for the characters in CoD4 than Halo 3.

XT:

Joeshie:
Yes, Bungie could learn some things from Infinity Ward in terms of single-player. However, I hope they stay away from CoD4 multiplayer. That thing is a steaming pile of shit.

bottom of the scoreboard detected...

Hardly. CoD4 multiplayer was piss-easy if you knew how to play it. Just camp to rack up the kills and then get even more kills with airstrikes and helicopter. I usually had a minimum 2:1 KD ratio whenever I played.

Of course, that really is irrelevant, because the multiplayer still sucks massively.

Could we stop arguing over which ones better?

Both games have their flaws.CoD4's main tactic comes down to camp-granade-airstrike tactics with Chernobyl map showing it in the worst possible way.There are only two groups fighting here - Snipers and Snipers Hunters.In fact,Hunters often loot the rifle shooting other Snipers until somebody comes along and kills him to take the rifle once again.It's almost like goddamn 2Fort.

Halo's main tactic comes down to rushing for Power Weapons and Nade-Shoot-Approach-Melee tactics,with Vehicles mixing things up every once in a while.Everybody runs around and it's completely normal to spawn in the back of something that can be described as an "enemy base" further adding to the cluster fuck effect.The shield is gift and a curse because while it gives you time to react and kill any possible campers,it also allows people to run away and wait in the corner for it to recharge.I guess it's better than the "First one to see the other wins" approach that CoD4 has.

Even though, I'm not sure what's the point in arguing because the BEST MULTIPLAYER GAME EVER, Team Fortress 2 is out there for only $20.

/endthread

JakubK666:
Could we stop arguing over which ones better?

Both games have their flaws.CoD4's main tactic comes down to camp-granade-airstrike tactics with Chernobyl map showing it in the worst possible way.There are only two groups fighting here - Snipers and Snipers Hunters.In fact,Hunters often loot the rifle shooting other Snipers until somebody comes along and kills him to take the rifle once again.It's almost like goddamn 2Fort.

Halo's main tactic comes down to rushing for Power Weapons and Nade-Shoot-Approach-Melee tactics,with Vehicles mixing things up every once in a while.Everybody runs around and it's completely normal to spawn in the back of something that can be described as an "enemy base" further adding to the cluster fuck effect.The shield is gift and a curse because while it gives you time to react and kill any possible campers,it also allows people to run away and wait in the corner for it to recharge.I guess it's better than the "First one to see the other wins" approach that CoD4 has.

Even though, I'm not sure what's the point in arguing because the BEST MULTIPLAYER GAME EVER, Team Fortress 2 is out there for only $20.

/endthread

Isn't this whole thread discussing single player? Kuh, n00b. :)

stompy:

ElArabDeMagnifico:
I just hope "A lot to learn" doesn't mean "a lot to copy"

I give Bungie more credit than that, but that's just me.

But isn't that how it always ends up?

bluemarsman:

TOGSolid:
Coming soon:

Call of Halo 2 - United Spartans

I would definitely play that.

I think that's pretty much the entire problem with the games industry summed up in a nutshell.

Imitation Saccharin :

bluemarsman:

TOGSolid:
Coming soon:

Call of Halo 2 - United Spartans

I would definitely play that.

I think that's pretty much the entire problem with the games industry summed up in a nutshell.

That and movie tie-ins.

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