Ensemble gives new Halo Wars update

Halo Wars is up and running and around 100 developers at Ensemble Studios are testing how the game works in multiplayer. There's a lot of work going on visually to the game too, says the developer in a new update.

"It's no secret that we've been playing Halo Wars for quite a while now," reads the update on the Halo Wars community website. "The vast majority of our games are multiplayer games, as they are pretty easy to set up and get going since you don't have to worry about a bunch of triggers or creating an AI opponent like you would if you played a scenario or AI skirmish game. For multiplayer, all you need is some sort of map to play on and two or more willing participants.

"The earliest playtest sessions that we had were about getting the controller scheme down so that everyone could play the game easily enough. These days playtest sessions have evolved well beyond that to making the game as fun as it can possibly be.

"There are about one-hundred people working here at Ensemble Studios, with the majority of us working directly on Halo Wars, and everyone gets involved in playtesting the game. (We generally always have at least one small team working on a new game prototype.) The idea being that we're all gamers, so if we play the game and are having fun then other gamers will have fun playing it too. User Experience Researcher Karen Swanson runs our playtest sessions, compiles all of our feedback, and asks follow up questions to our outbursts as we play. The amount of whining she has to put up with is pretty amazing, but in theory, if enough of us whine about the right things, the designers will make changes to make the game more fun.