This demo reel showcases some of my work from Halo 5: Guardians. While I wore many hats for this project, this video focuses on my work on performance.
Through asset optimization, memory management, streaming organization, and a lot of dedication and hard work, we were able to create a game that maintains an incredibly steady 60 FPS. Load times for streaming mid-mission take only a handful of frames for each load and go almost completely unnoticed (unless you’re reeeeeeeeeeally looking for them like me). Load times into/out of cinematics and missions can take a bit longer, up to a few seconds in some cases, but most transition nicely and in a timely manner with the fade-to-blacks that happen in these instances. That said, while some of these loads do take a few seconds, there are many that don’t drop a single frame!
Lastly, the video shows a quick demonstration of my streaming setups–something to which I paid very close attention. In the levels I worked on, I strived to ensure that any decisions to prevent players from going forward or backwards in the level progression was purely a design decision and not a technical limitation. On top of giving my designers the most freedom and the ultimate say in matters of progression, this also allows players (be it 1 – 4 players) to explore the maps at their leisure. If they miss something, they can backtrack through the level without problems, and if some players are faster than others, they can be vast distances apart before being automatically teleported to one another.
A couple of quick technical note: all of the footage in the video was captured with a capture card at 1080p and 60 fps with the exception of the splitscreen footage at the end which was captured in 720p at 30 fps via the Xbox One’s DVR. Also, all cinematics, either in-game or pre-rendered are 30 fps rather than 60.
I’d also like to give a shoutout to my fellow technical environment artists who worked on these levels before I joined the project–Brandon Nobbs, Brian May, and TJ Trently (all super rad dudes!).
Animated poster and music used with permission:
“Halo Canticles”, by Kazuma Jinnouchi
“Light is Green”, Kazuma Jinnouchi