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Posts tagged ‘Blog’


David Leary speaks about fellow Robot’s plus new photos from the studio!

Robot Blogs

Ever wonders what goes on in the walls of Robot Entertainment? Well, its mainly two things.. 1) Playing games and 2) Beer. Oh! and of course not forgetting developing games at number 3. David Leary, Designer at Robot Entertainment today writes about the types of games fellow Robot-ers are playing including the shock and horror of Joe Gillum firing up the well past its sale by date MMO “eve”.

Firing up Eve again? That was just wrong – so very, very wrong.

The Robots are quite keen MMO players having previously wanted to develop an MMO under Ensemble Studios, leading to the cancelled Halo MMO. Another popular genre in the overly cool offices is FPS games including Battlefield Hereos. Find out more about whats going on in David “Learguy” ‘s blog!

But thats not all!

A blog is complete without a few snaps of the inside of Robot Entertainment and thankfully the good Robots have updated the gallery pages on the website! I refer to my earlier point about what happens at Robot and we’ve covered point 1, playing games and now its onto point two.. the beer.

Beer O’Clock


Yes, that really is a German beer garden in Texas


No beer for the kids though, meet the PlayDoh table. But wait! Whos that?? Yes, its Robot CEO Tony Goodman. A kid at heart? I guess you have to be to set up a video game company!

And more..

Find a whole bunch of additional pictures on the Robot website. Sehr Gut!


Glacial Ravine map detailed by Justin Rouse on

Glacial Ravine

Skirmish map extraordinaire Justin Rouse is here to spill the beans on tactics and map information for Historic Battles DLC map Glacial Ravine.

Originally, our DLC2 pack (Historic Battles) was intended to contain only 3 maps: Barrens, Blood River, and Memorial Basin. After seeing the outcry for more 3v3 maps we took a look at what it would take to get one into the Pack. We did some due diligence and realized we didn’t have the time to create a new 3v3 from scratch, get it through testing, and put it into the map pack. So we compromised by repurposing an existing map, which allowed us to reduce developer time enough to get Glacial Ravine out the door with the others.

Check out the full blog including large images of the map here:


Some lighter news – New Halo Wars leader powers blog and 10,000 spartan figure giveaway!


The issue of leader board wipage is still continuing and there has been no official announcements on Robot’s plans yet, though expect news soon. However, amongst all the panic of leaderboards loss Robot’s Vijay Thakkar has been busy writing up the third part of the Halo Wars leader powers blog this time looking into things like heal, ODST, cyro and disruption bomb leader powers. Theres also some awesome early game screenshots like the one below in the latest blog post.


Here’s the summary of the post on the Halo Wars website:

The leader powers in Halo Wars had a variety of roles to fill: they needed to illustrate the identity of each of the leaders, to stand out as different gameplay than the traditional RTS, to break stalemates in games, etc. Most apparently to me, they really needed to make the player feel powerful and dominating on the battlefield. All this needed to, of course, fit inside of an RTS world and be balanced. Quite the challenge we had ahead of us.

Read all about it in the leader powers blog part 3.

But thats not all.. fancy getting your hands on one of these?? :

halo wars figures

These Halo Wars spartan figures will soon be released by Mega Blocks but you can get your hands on these limited edition figures by visiting the Mega Blocks website tomorrow, July 31st. If your one of the first 10,000 to register Mega Blocks will send you the spartan figure for free! * Minus shipping costs of course!

A perfect item for all your Halo Wars collectors out there!


Bart Tiongson shows off some incredible concept art

 Robot Blogs

In the today’s Robot Entertainment blog update artist Bart Tiongson shows off some awesome artwork for Halo Wars and other projects. Just how awesome is it? Pretty awesome! Halo Wars fans will be able to identify the early Brute Chieftain below!


Check out some more on the official blog!


Halo Wars bucket changes and Leader powers part 2


Great news for all the Reinforcements fans! Robot Entertainment has changed the setup of the Halo Wars buckets so that Tug of War Team 3v3 and Keep Away team 2v2 are no longer available. These have been replaced by the ever popular reinforcements in 1v1 and 3v3 modes along with the existing 2v2. Anyone with Strategic Options DLC can enjoy the most popular game type of the pack, Reinforcements on Halo Wars right now! I’ll see you there later tonight!

In other news Marcin Syzmanski has completed part 2 of his very interesting blog about leader powers in Halo Wars. In this part he discusses the MAC Blast (my favourite), the complexity of the transport power and some closing thoughts about his role at Ensemble Studios and the implementation of leader powers as a whole. Recommended read with two more parts to come!

One major element that we wanted to add to the leader powers was some sort of arcade-style timing. We actually brainstormed some cool minigames, unique to each power, that would allow a skilled player to add a small boost to each power. For example, we prototyped a “golf swing meter” input method for MAC Blast that allowed an expert player to crank out a perfectly timed series of max-quality shots. Unfortunately, the realities of scheduling meant that we had to cut this feature – implementing the full array of minigames, in a polished and fun way, would simply have taken too much time.


Lego Pottinger blog part 3 (of 4!)

Robot Blogs 

I think I have underestimated just how much work went into creating the Lego Robot logo. We are talking lots and lots of hours and struggle! Find out just how tricky it really is in part 3 of Daves blog!

Some snaps..




But the fun doesn’t stop there! Mr BigDog Dave Pottinger came up with the in-genius idea of theming each of the Robot letters – check out this Batman theme:


I know I published the final logo (and perhaps, maybe shouldn’t have, whoops!) but you cant zoom in and see the themes.. so for that you’ll have to tune into part 4 of Daves blog!

Dont forget to comment on the Robot website!


Halo Wars leader powers detailed (part 1)


Marcin Szymanski kicks off part one of a multiple part developers blog discussing the leader power designs in Halo Wars. The developers blogs contains some never seen before screenshots of the development along with some technical ins and outs about the design.

“We initially prototyped most of the powers in Halo Wars’ strong visual scripting system. This allowed us to get the powers up and running very quickly. It also helped us quickly iterate on the gameplay, because designers could jump right into script code to modify each power.

There were some areas, however, where the scripting system was slowing us down. It didn’t allow for very precise control over power execution, it didn’t support cool programmatic effects, and it was very difficult to debug. Being the greedy developers that we are, we decided that we wanted more! We could have retrofitted the scripting system to support the needed functionality, but it became clear that the right direction was to move everything into native C++ code. ”

Here is an example of the early Prophet of Regret leader power:


Read all about it on the Halo Wars website!


Joe Gillum talks Halo Wars single player campaign design


Another developers blog post on community website This time Joe Gillum gives us an insight on what its like being a campaign designer on an Ensemble game. The Ensemble guys spent alot of time reading books, player Halo games and talking to Bungie to get ideas about level design. The art below demonstrates this nicely:


Here’s an extract from the blog and a link to the full article – an excellent read!

The first thing we do when we start a new campaign is to do some research. Instead of hitting the history books like in our Age of Empires games, we grabbed anything we could from Halo and absorbed it. We read books, played through the games, and talked with Bungie to make sense of any questions that arose. I personally spent a few days doing nothing but playing the Halo campaigns in the office to refresh my memory and get some inspiration. This helped more than I even hoped… people would stop by my office to watch me play and learned some things they may have forgotten about the games – or to yell at me to turn it down!


Halo Wars artists blog – how to make Halo look like Halo… without Bungie!


Paul Slusser talks today about how the artists at Ensemble tackled the prospect of creating art for an existing IP. The blog notes that it was not a simple copy and paste from Bungies art files and that Ensemble had to put alot of work in from scratch designing art models for units and buildings. A good read, you can find an extract and link to the blog below:

First thing we always do is start gathering as much reference material as we can find; downloading screenshots from the internet, getting marketing material from Microsoft, and the most obvious one, asking Bungie for all their art files. That last one seems like a no brainer right? After all we are both part of Microsoft and they own everything, right? Nope. As it turns out it’s really hard to get in contact with someone at another studio to provide assistance, when that company was behind schedule on their latest installment of Halo AND we had no idea about the negotiations they were having with Microsoft about becoming an independent studio again. It didn’t take long to realize that our concept department would be on their own in figuring out this art style.

The UNSC and Forerunner had to maintain the same geometry angles throughout their structures and vehicles while the Covenant had to maintain the same curvy organic look in theirs. The UNSC vehicles and Spartan armor all had a similar green metallic look that we tried to emulate with our materials. Using a similar Army green with a broad, gold, specular highlight worked really well for our camera distance and sun angle.


Lead Designer talks Halo Wars bases


Lead Halo Wars designer at Robot Entertainment Dave Pottinger today blogs about the reasoning behind the socket based bases found in Halo Wars. The forums have often had questions like “How come I cant place buildings anywhere on the map” and “How come the game doesn’t look like it did at E3 2007?” Halo Wars was completed in 2009 so its inevitable there would be some differences between the released version and the E3 2007 demo. However it is always interesting to know how ideas and changes developed and the reasoning behind the changes.

Think of it as a look into a Robots head, here’s Dave Pottinger with the low down and a link to the full blog post at the bottom:

“Most strategy games are noted for their deep city building and economic elements. WTF Halo Wars??? Why don’t you have an Age of Empires-like infrastructure game where the truly skilled players can “out econ” the newbies? The fairly un-sexy answer is that we just wanted a faster game with a larger focus on combat. Okay, fair enough. Let’s look at the iterations that base building went through to achieve those goals.”