How Halo Infinite’s robot became so ruthless and helped 343 develop multiplayer games

During the Halo Infinite technology test this summer, players came to various maps and experienced the upcoming free multiplayer game of 343 Industries for the first time. Although many people are real and impressed by Halo Infinite’s multiplayer approach to the famous roots of the series, almost as many peopleAyres was shocked by the amazing performance of AI robots in battle.

When starting a multiplayer game from today, players can reunite with robots that might headshot them and be forgotten through the academy. This mode can be used as an entry point for players who want to enter the fierce competition. “Multiplayer games are a terrible place,” said Tom French, deputy creative director of multiplayer games. “This can be a very cruel experience, and I think many people have a fantasy-especially if you have played any competitive game-you want to stick your toes in, but you go in and shoot in the face. , You have no fun.”

The academy provides a large number of tutorials to introduce you to the basics and classics of the game, including explaining why the Spartans are so good. You can also practice in the weapon shooting range or have a training match with the robot on any map, including a training match between four human players and four robots. “I hope you have seen how powerful our robots are,” French said with a smile. “Our robots feel like combatants; they feel like players, and we are very proud of that.”

However, these robots are not necessarily harbingers of death that players become afraid of during technical testing. Instead, these robots in the academy are designed to allow players to easily enter the relentless challenge of multiplayer games. “Four players running around and smashing the robot is really fun; the feeling is powerful, it can help you learn the rhythm of the battle,” French said. “We first want robots to become a teaching tool, so they must imitate the player’s behavior. This is the center and focus of everything.”

The team built the robot as a teaching tool, but when playing the game for the first time, the studio realized that the AI ​​character does not look like a real player. The team iterated the robots until they felt that you were fighting against a real human player. Robots can still perform the basic functions you want from AI characters, but their branches also have several behaviors and strategic tendencies of human players. In order to achieve this goal, the robot team observed several internal matches with higher-level players in the studio, and then analyzed what human players did that robots did not do.

“In “Halo”, the player will react in a specific way by jumping or strafing,” French said. “So they went back, they went to their whiteboard, and then […] In a week or so, usually they will have some way, you will say, “Oh, well, I can see what you are doing”, and the robots are constantly evolving. They are much simpler at first, but our goal is to make them more like players, to imitate good player behavior and teach players how to play games. “

Of course, as robots become more proficient in the game, players begin to suspect that their behavior is unfair. According to French, this is something the team wants to control. “Halo (especially multiplayer games) has this sense of fairness and balance, our robots need to feel fair and balanced,” he said. “Sometimes when you play a game, you know the robot is cheating; you can tell. It makes you want to hit a wall. We want our robot to be like you have to fight the elite in a battle: there is a little “mano a mano goes there. How do you make it similar to the kind of mano a mano battle you have with another player, not just a stupid target for you to shoot. “

Halo infinite

Adapting the robot to the player-oriented model is important, but the development team at 343 Industries also took advantage of this technology when improving the multiplayer aspects of Halo Infinite. The robot team can not only see the behavior of the AI ​​on a specific map, but also the multi-person team can track the flow of the map, the feel of the game, and even the evolution of the team’s strategy. “The impact of robots on the development of multiplayer games cannot [overstated] In terms of our game testing capabilities,” said Andrew Witts, lead multiplayer game designer. “In terms of the way we talk about games and the way we interpret and solve problems together as a team, we have improved a lot of iteration cycles.The player side things are really exciting for us, but as a development tool, they can’t [overstated] What role did they play in our actual production of these experiences. “

Although robots penetrate the experience in many ways, whether by helping developers test the game or helping new players join the multiplayer process, those who like the opportunity to really test themselves can look forward to returning to the robot arena in the final version of Halo Infinite. Once you enter the robot arena competition, Halo Infinite will try to generate robots with your own skill level.

Of course, Halo Infinite’s robots are only a small part of the entire package. For more information about Halo Infinite, please click on the banner below to view our report center!

Halo Infinite will launch on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC on December 8, but you can enter the free multiplayer game starting today.