A great insight into why it’s not just the case of ticking the PC box to get it working (source)
I can only repeat what Phil said, which is that our intent is to make the PC game available to PC players, where and how they’re playing. That doesn’t mean a stripped out Linux build, but tbh we’re not being cagey for the sake of it. Even Steam itself means building components to play nice with the store and its infrastructure. The same thing would be true of any new landing spot for the project.
It’s not just a port - it’s really a quite serious challenge to not only get the various components up and running on PC architecture at fidelity - but also properly translate some elements that were built with consoles in mind - and in a couple of cases, 4:3 SD content at the very root level of some of its original design principles.
Obviously over the years the MCC project, the Anniversary releases and B/C have pushed the games closer to what the minimum expectations for PC are - but things that weren’t there originally, like aspect ratio, FOV, key mapping have very serious design implications. At the HCS finals this weekend folks were asking why we announced it “so far from launch” - and the reality is that it’s such a large challenge to do it right that it would have been reasonable to think of it as a normal game announcement - which can sometimes be years out (it will be here a lot faster than that - just pointing out the normal chronology of game announcements as an example).
We’ve already done a great deal and the team is really excited about the potential of not just putting the games on the new platform, but doing both the games and the PC gamers justice too so that people end up hopefully with the game they’ve imagined or hoped for this whole time and that it feels right as a Halo game and as a PC game.
That’s why the answer to “will there be cross-play” is still not cut and dry - it’s certainly possible technically - so the testing and tuning will have to include questions about matchmaking, controller vs M/KB, populations (and their respective tastes), security, etc etc. The easy answer would be “yes options rite?” but again we don’t want to compromise the PC version to do that. Flighting will obviously help us shake out lots of technical issues, but it will also provide tons of user play style feedback - and the fuzzy subjective stuff that emerges from how PC players use it.
If you’ve played the H5 Forge MP component on PC you’ll also notice that the console origin of that suite means that on average, some wasd players feel that there’s about one control function too many for natural setups and player movement - not an issue on controller because of the ability to use all the main triggers, bumpers, buttons and clicks. This is specific to H5 because of the increased mobility - but the original HCE - despite staring as a Mac title, was really Xbox specific and the design was crafted in tandem with the development of the OG Xbox controller. It’s not just buttons, necessarily but also designer intent - so that’s one of the less clear cut challenges to get right - making these games feel like they were built for PC from the getgo.
A lot of the audience will be Halo console players and fans, but there’ll be folks new to the series too and we want it to show up well for them too without changing the fundamental core of each original game.
It’s not rocket science, but it also kind of is a bit…
Also now I have to build a PC gaming rig. Which I haven’t done in a while except at work