Halo fan project Installation 01 gets a green light from 343 Industries

When we talk about LAN parties here at TR, your mind probably conjures images of unwashed teenagers staring at CRT monitors as they frag each other in Quake. To a big group of today's grown-up gamers though, LAN parties meant hooking up a quartet of Xboxes for some sixteen-player Halo action. If you pine for those days—or simply miss whacking people with plasma swords on Xbox Live—you should keep a close eye on Installation 01, a community-made love letter to the classic Halo series. The development team behind the title just recently announced that it has the tacit approval of the current stewards of the Halo property, 343 Industries.

I say "tacit" approval because 343 Industries didn't exactly give the project its blessing. The company did however say that it wouldn't interfere with Installation 01's progress as long as the game is 100% created from scratch and operates on a strictly not-for-profit basis. That means it will be completely free-to-play, of course, but it also means that the developers can't merchandise the game or otherwise make money off of it.

Strictly speaking, the terms of Microsoft's Game Content Usage Rules—a page that was no doubt set up after the enormous success of the Red vs. Blue video series—don't preclude the developers from accepting donations for their work. Still, Installation 01's developers insist that they will stay away from doing any such thing, stating that they would like to "keep a respectful distance between [themselves] and Microsoft's intellectual property."

Installation 01's website says the title will be a multiplayer-only affair when it is finished, and that it'll have gameplay closely based on the original Bungie-developed Halo games. The team is using Unity 5, and aiming to use that engine's Vulkan renderer. Given the relatively modest demands of the graphics on offer, it's fairly safe to say that the game ought to run on basically any hardware that supports Vulkan. Watch the Q&A video above for a look at some pre-alpha gameplay, or check out this newer cinematic trailer that reveals the presence of playable Sangheili Elites.

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    • homerdog
    • 2 years ago

    My first experience with LAN play was 4 Xboxes and 4 TVs split between me and my brother’s rooms, with the entire basketball team over at my house. 8v8 CTF on Blood Gulch. It never really got better than that, because soon after we discovered girls and gasoline..

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    I’m wondering if 343s head nod makes it more likely, or less likely, that we’ll get Halo 6 onwards on PC. Or heck, fill in 3-5.

    Halo CE on PC is one of my fondest gaming memories, played through it a few times already and I normally never do.

      • ALiLPinkMonster
      • 2 years ago

      I remember someone at Microsoft made a statement that from now on every Xbox release will also be a PC release.

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        I saw that, but Microsoft also has a tendency to have execs say conflicting and confusing things, so the proof will be if their flagship title actually does make it to PC.

      • brucethemoose
      • 2 years ago

      They should un-GFWL Halo 2 while they’re at it.

      I know tons of people that would buy a number of Halos on Steam or something. It’s almost free money for Microsoft.

    • ALiLPinkMonster
    • 2 years ago

    So happy about this, pre-alpha footage looks fantastic. It’s got my nostalgia engine spinning in 6th gear. 343 tried Halo 3 on PC with Halo Online, but for whatever dumb reason they felt only Russia had a market for it and even that venture has been shut down (I’ll avoid directly mentioning the ongoing but less-than-legitimate existence of it in the States). If they would just suck it up and release Halo 3 on PC officially, they could charge maybe $10 or $15 and make a boatload. I really don’t understand why they haven’t done it. I know there are tons of Halo 3 fans like me who would be ecstatic about it, but if this is the closest we’re gonna get it’s fine by me.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 2 years ago

      Halo Online has been modded for all to enjoy.

      It works, it’s free and it’s kinda amazing.

      [url<]https://www.reddit.com/r/HaloOnline/[/url<]

        • ALiLPinkMonster
        • 2 years ago

        Yeah but is it legal? I guess since there is no money being made, 343 would have the same response they did to Installation 01.

        I do play it every now and then but there are connection issues to be had, and there’s rarely a populated classic br+snipe server available. It does have the advantage of being literally the same game plus cosmetic fluff, meaning I still get to play on an unaltered Guardian which is hands down the best map ever put into a Halo game. But that requires one of the two or three populated servers that aren’t running some weird niche gametype to actually be running Guardian.

          • ImSpartacus
          • 2 years ago

          It’s probably not legal, but MS has done take-downs in the past, so I assume there’re a good reason why they haven’t done so currently.

          Also, while a lot of players tend to vote for fiesta or other dumb things, it’s not THAT hard Ti get some slayer on guardian. I personally prefer some objective modes like CTF and let me tell you, THOSE are tough to come by.

            • ALiLPinkMonster
            • 2 years ago

            Probably because they realize there really is a market for it but don’t want to commit their own resources to maintaining a 10 year old Xbox game on PC. I feel like if it were an official, sanctioned, advertised release, there would be tons of populated servers. The fact that it only exists as an illegitimate mod of a game that was only released in Russia doesn’t breed widespread awareness of it, and those who do know about it tend to find it sketchy by nature and are less likely to jump in.

            • ImSpartacus
            • 2 years ago

            No, I agree.

            I was very suspicious of it at first. It’s kind of amazing how the gameplay experience is effectively flawless. The menus and forge controls are quirky, but they are functional enough.

            People play their first matches and go, “I can’t believe this is real.”

            • ALiLPinkMonster
            • 2 years ago

            haha yeah, that was pretty much my reaction.

            I had to laugh at how a lot of the menus were left unchanged and just had extra clickable buttons added. Like in the main menu, it still has “press start for settings” with an image of the old 360 start button, but then on the bottom right there’s a settings button.

    • brucethemoose
    • 2 years ago

    “We [i<]probably[/i<] won't sue you" is as high as praise gets.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      If this was Nintendo they would have been eviscerated already, this is kinda cool

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