Posts Tagged Xbox360

Halo Waypoint Top 5 Series returns

I’m a big fan of the community features introduced in Halo 3 and always check out the latest screen shots and videos whilst waiting for a game to start. When Halo Waypoint was released I was pleased to see a regular feature on community videos and it became a regular feature for my Wednesdays.

If, like me, you were disappointed when season 1 ended you’ll be glad to hear that it’s made it’s return today with a top 5 entitled “Welcome Aboard” focusing on the art of boarding.

The video at number 2 might look a little familiar to those that were reading (and watching) my exploits back in June 2009….

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“Bump” your way to hidden areas on ODST

The Secret Glyph Project have been hard at work and have figured out what was causing the doors in Sector 8 to disappear (see The ODST glyphs *DO NOT* unlock a door!” and Confirmed: ODST door disappearance is a glitch) and got in working in other sectors!

They’ve wrapped it up nicely in this Youtube video which servers as both a demonstration and tutorial.

For detailed information on how to repeat it and how it works check out their discussion forum and get “bumping”!

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Confirmed: ODST door disappearance is a glitch

I’ve just gone back to the in-game video of me showing a friend the disappearing door in Sector 8 (see my previous post for details) and I checked out Sector 8 before and after the door disappears. This is nothing more than a repeatable glitch.

In comparison to the fully loaded sector when the door is missing the following applies:

3 areas used as the SI supply drops are now open (not just the 1 originally discovered).
The grunts and turrets are not loaded in one of the circular areas.
Adverts for cars are missing from the walls.
Various items are not loaded such as the Opticon health dispensers and stand alone terminals (such as the one near the shotgun).

So it’s a case of good work on finding a glitch, now can we do this on other sectors to access even more areas that should be blocked off?

JSM26 has uploaded an ODST video to his file share showing missing Opticon dispensers and de-loaded doors in the starting sector. Further evidence that the ODST modified Halo 3 engine has glitches, possibly exploitable to access other blocked off areas the designers never wanted us to get to…

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The ODST glyphs *DO NOT* unlock a door!

There’s been quite a bit of excitement over at recently, someone noticed that if you look at some of the glowing Covenant glyphs in Sector 6 resulted in two doors in Sector 8 disappearing allowing access to a previously blocked off area and an empty supply drop. Β The Secret Glyph Project got on the wagon and produced a video demonstrating the effect and a whole slew of sub-forums were created to track this phenomenon.

I’m sad to say that Β the doors disappear from what appears to be a loading glitch, not from looking at any glyphs. Here’s how I determined this, I encourage you to try this to replicate the results:

Having completed the game I loaded up New Mombasa Streets,Β  immediately got myself a mongoose and headed to Sector 8 to check on the door.Β  At this point I should point out that at no time after getting the mongoose did I have the visor on. The door was closed as expected.
I then drove over to Sector 6 and without turning on my visor walked up to the covenant sniper rifle next to the Elites, picked it up and got back on my mongoose (parked near to the Sector exit). I then drove immediately back to the door which was now open with no glyphs sighted.

If you look at a map you’ll see that Sector 8 is actually a twisted mirror of Sector 3 and if you look closely you’ll see that Sector 3 also has a room with funny tiles on it matching the location and design of the one in Sector 8. If you go to this area you’ll immediately feel at home and easily spot the Security door as placed in a mirror fashion to the one in Sector 8. This door opens…

So, it’s my belief that this is just fall out to the way the game engine loads the levels and nothing at all to do with the glyphs, it’s just coincidence that they are located in the area you need to go to de-load the doors.

Certain glyphs lead you to keys areas so for me it’s pretty clear that the glyphs are there for player guidance and to add an air of mystery. Give it it a go, try the experiment above and let me know your results.

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New 360 dash preview

So, I booted up my 360 this morning so I could experience the wonders of the new dash…

Avatar props:
They’ve missed the crucial factor here, impulse purchasing. Every thing’s priced too high, prices should range from 20G to 100G, if it were I’d have probably spent 800G this morning alone, but as it is I’ve bought nothing. I’m not spending 320G on a remote control warthog that can only be seen on the dash, that’s almost half the price of a game!
Stan’s Outfit should be 1 purchase, you shouldn’t have to buy the hat separately.
I’ll be sticking to the freebies from games for a while until something that really appeals to my impulsive side turns up.

Dash speed:
Yup, it’s true, the dash feels almost as responsive as the USA one did! I was able to queue up 4 episodes of the guild in the time it would have previously taken to queue up a single episode. I’m hoping that this responsiveness continues into the guide when you’re in game, I’ve nearly thrown my controller around the room before whilst waiting over 2 minutes for the guide to load up at a crucial part of an online game

The other stuff:

It’s all fluff apart from that. I don’t need to tweak my display options, date stamps on saves are very useful but I rarely do anything with my saves as it is. The change to my gamercard is very nice but I can live without it, as can most others I expect. The achievement browser is a useful indication of how few games I have 100% whored, I wish they’d taken this further showing games with easy achievements to reach, links to guides and strategies and the like. Could have been a great cross promotional effort with IGN, as it is it’s just a nice bit of fluff.

It’s good, but it doesn’t have any of the exciting features such as, Sky integration and the other cool features we’ve been promised at E3. Still, nice to be on the first wave I guess πŸ˜‰

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Using the wonderful Render-to-Video feature at take a glimpse into my Halo life where I make a daring raid on an incoming banshee

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Halo 3 Asset-O-matic Beta 4

Download Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic Beta 4

What happened to Beta 3 you may ask. Well Bungie made a few changes in between me completing Beta 3 and actually finding time to upload it. By that time it no longer worked.

So, what you have in your metaphysical hands is Beta 4, it’s just like Beta 3 but it works!

The changes are:

*You can now search Matchmaking or Custom games

*You can now go directly to the files instead of the match details

*It is significantly faster (think 5 minutes to search over 2500+ matches..)

*Templates are working (sorta, no word wrapping enabled and no way to clear the output box). This allows you to enter some text in the top section, hit a button and have your text repeated with the following tokens replaced by data from the currently loaded database: %SCREENS%, %CLIPS%, %GAMEID% (used for linking directly to the game), %GAMETYPE%, %GAMEDATETIME% and %MAP%

Alas, Campaign searching did not make it in. I wrote half the code and then realised it needs a whole new DB format to support the relevent information found for a Campaign record. I will add support once my busy work life allows.

Databases from previous versions are not compatible with this new release. A fresh search is always preferred in this house πŸ˜€

Give it a try yourself, tell your friends! Download the Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic Beta 4 today!

(Feedback is always appreciated folks! πŸ™‚ )

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Staff Captains Don’t Suck – Asset-O-Matic continues

Halo 3 logoI found time to start work on the Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic yesterday between rounds of Team Swat and whilst there’s still a lot of work to be done it’s progressing at a nice rate.

Before I go on, I have to wonder why Staff Captain’s get such a hard time in Halo 3? I was sat writing some code whilst waiting for a match to start only to hear H4NNIBAL uk giving me grief about my rank. Not my skill rank, but my not very important military rank. I questioned him about this and he told me what others had also echoed, people incorrectly think Staff Captains suck at Halo 3. I’m certainly not the best player out there but I’m not too shabby and my lack of progression is down to the vast number of social games I’ve played and the fact I hate free-for-all (where I found it very easy and fast to reach the 20 skill rank I needed to get Staff Captain status). The rest of my playing recently has been in mixed Team Swat where it’s very hard to progress at times due to some poor performances by those random players you’re teamed with. Some people work great as a team, some don’t and I’ve played my own fair share of bad games.

Speaking of which; I explained to H4NNIBAL uk that I was in the middle of programming and he seemed to think I was making up a lame excuse and proceed to tell me he was eating. And having a drink. And watching TV. All whilst playing Halo 3. Sorry to break it to you H4NNIBAL uk, I wasn’t lying, I was actually working on a project and it happened to error during our game. I also wasn’t making excuses when I told you I suck at Schwatguns, I really do suck at it, give me regular Swat any day πŸ™‚

Enough with Halo 3 and ignorance though, here’s a brief run down of the changes:
Saturday was mainly spent adding code to allow fast and effective ordering by date which meant another database schema change. After that was implemented and tested I set to work updating the popup menu items and adding their functuality. I’ve still got one popup menu item to work on but that’s on hold until I refactor the code into a nice tidy class.
Sunday was mainly spent working on the template code. Templates are a handy way to output your saved data in any format you wish. It’s mainly designed for creating html output like this:
Slayer on Valhalla (13:03 26/09/07) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Slayer on Sandtrap (13:31 26/09/07) – 2 screens, 1 clips
Hammerzeit on The Pit (16:17 27/09/07) – 5 screens, 0 clips
Oddball on Guardian (20:38 27/09/07) – 3 screens, 0 clips
Slayer on Snowbound (21:13 27/09/07) – 3 screens, 1 clips
VIP on Isolation (00:20 30/09/07) – 2 screens, 0 clips
Ninjanaut on The Pit (20:39 30/09/07) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Team Slayer on High Ground (21:45 05/10/07) – 3 screens, 0 clips
Big Team Slayer on Sandtrap (15:39 07/10/07) – 5 screens, 0 clips
Slayer on The Pit (22:30 09/10/07) – 3 screens, 0 clips
Territories on Last Resort (20:36 10/10/07) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Big Team Slayer on Sandtrap (20:55 10/10/07) – 3 screens, 0 clips
Slayer on Sandtrap (22:56 13/10/07) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Team Slayer on The Pit (01:53 14/10/07) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Multi Flag CTF on Valhalla (17:55 20/10/07) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Team Slayer on Narrows (21:26 21/10/07) – 1 screens, 2 clips
Team Slayer on Snowbound (21:53 21/10/07) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Shotty Snipers on Narrows (22:01 21/10/07) – 2 screens, 1 clips
Team Slayer on Narrows (21:48 23/10/07) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Eliminatio on Valhalla (20:45 24/10/07) – 2 screens, 0 clips
Big Team Slayer on Valhalla (20:29 03/11/07) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Multi Flag CTF on Valhalla (16:45 04/11/07) – 2 screens, 1 clips
VIP on Valhalla (23:56 04/11/07) – 3 screens, 1 clips
VIP on Valhalla (17:28 09/12/07) – 2 screens, 0 clips
Team Slayer on Rat’s Nest (19:32 11/12/07) – 8 screens, 0 clips
Multi Flag CTF on Sandtrap (19:01 22/12/07) – 20 screens, 1 clips
Big Team Slayer on Valhalla (22:59 26/12/07) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Shotty Snipers on High Ground (15:37 02/01/08) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Multi Flag CTF on Valhalla (19:59 13/01/08) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Team Slayer on Rat’s Nest (13:26 19/01/08) – 2 screens, 0 clips
Multi Flag CTF on Sandtrap (21:47 20/01/08) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Multi Flag CTF on Valhalla (23:23 04/02/08) – 3 screens, 2 clips
Team Slayer on Rat’s Nest (21:47 07/02/08) – 6 screens, 0 clips
Slayer on Isolation (21:56 20/02/08) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Multi Flag CTF on Sandtrap (00:40 24/02/08) – 0 screens, 2 clips
Neutral Assault on Standoff (18:45 24/02/08) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Team Slayer on Foundry (20:06 24/02/08) – 2 screens, 0 clips
Team Slayer on Rat’s Nest (22:57 03/03/08) – 6 screens, 0 clips
VIP on Rat’s Nest (22:03 04/03/08) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Multi Flag CTF on Standoff (22:27 05/03/08) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Team BRs on Standoff (11:03 08/03/08) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Team Rockets on Standoff (16:44 16/03/08) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Forge on Standoff (14:32 21/03/08) – 2 screens, 0 clips
Team Duel on Rat’s Nest (23:10 26/03/08) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Multi Flag BRs on Rat’s Nest (12:50 30/03/08) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Team Slayer on Last Resort (18:58 08/04/08) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Team Slayer on The Pit (22:55 18/04/08) – 0 screens, 1 clips
Neutral Assault on Avalanche (23:52 19/04/08) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Team SWAT on Guardian (13:39 08/06/08) – 1 screens, 0 clips
Team SWAT on Ghost Town (21:23 08/06/08) – 2 screens, 0 clips
Team SWAT on Ghost Town (21:59 16/06/08) – 0 screens, 1 clips

That’s every game I’ve played up to yesterday where assets exists. These assets can be made by myself or anyone else who played in that game, there’s a couple of videos I’m the star of that I didn’t know existed until I created this program!

The next stage is to start refactoring my code into a class as there is far too much duplication in places. At some point a public beta will arrive, until then I might start posting a few of the Bungie guys Asset-O-Matic results to keep you entertained ;)…

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Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic Beta – Soon

Halo 3 logoThe Asset-O-Matic is coming along nicely now. The database code has been completed and I’m now planning the best way to display the stored information, this is where a public beta will help no end with people feeding back as to what they want to see and how. Speed wise things are looking a lot better, I have just scanned my current game history (1150 games) and it took 19 minutes 50 seconds. A vast improvement from the original 50 minutes for 1000(ish) games.
I’ve got an occasional memory leak to track down, it’s currently escaping me as everything I create is destroyed correctly and the leak can occur on searches that previously had no problems. It’s a little random and hard to repeat on a regular basis so the first beta might come with a warning to restart the application for every new game history you scan as it’d be a shame to hold off on release for such a minor and occasional problem.

I’ve fixed the memory leak, when scanning a gamertag with only a couple of games played the downloader threads would occasionally finish before the scanning thread had processed the games. Another bug left over from when I upped the amount of downloader threads from 1 to 5.

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Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic now 50% faster

Halo 3 logoWorking down in Worcester last weekend left me little time to work on the Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic but I was able to steal an hour or so away from the current Double XP weekend playlist to do some further work. I’ve beefed up the amount of downloader threads from 1 to 5 which has halved the time needed to analyse my game history, 1167 games at the time of writing, down to 23 minutes from 50. It’s still more than I had hoped but the bottleneck is the speed at which is responding. The thread that strips the information from the pages never falls behind and is working on each page as it arrives. I could throw more downloader threads in there but I’m not sure what affect this will have on I guess the first release will have to be a slow but sure affair.

The database code hasn’t been started yet, the program is currently erroring on completion. Nothing show stopping but something that needs addressing before I move onto the DB code. With the recent announcement that Bungie are going to give the helm of Bungie Favourites to the community I can see an increased need to locate which games have assets in your history.
I’ll be working on stopping the completion error today, I’m not sure why it’s only just started happening so that’s an interesting challenge. I’ll also need to find a profile that hasn’t played many Halo 3 matches for testing, another challenge in itself πŸ˜€

I’ve fixed the error, I hadn’t accounted for going from 1 thread downloading to 5 which meant another thread was exiting early. I also picked up on a subtle bug where 1 of your games was never processed. Hardly a killer bug but I’m glad I spotted it before the public beta (as soon as the DB code is written) πŸ™‚

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