343 Industries could reveal bits and pieces about Halo: Infinite's matchmaking system during two multiplayer-focused GDC 2020 talks.
343 Industries engagement lead Josh Menke will hold two developer talks during the new GDC 2020 Twitch livestreams. The first, which goes live on Tuesday, March 17 at 12PM PST, focuses on the lessons the studio learned when developing Halo 5's multiplayer. Expect a deep dive on Halo 5's matchmaking infrastructure, probably including TrueSkill 2 optimizations and discussions, and maybe even hints or brief tidbits on Halo: Infinite's systems.
"What should matchmaking worry most about? Latency? Skill? Streaks? Wait time? There are several commonly held best practices on how to matchmake for engagement across the industry, some of which contradict each other, but little to no data-driven evidence to support them. The following will show how to effectively test matchmaking approaches and show real examples and data from a popular first-person shooter. The results show that not all practices are actually important, while others are critical."
The second talk is focused on how machine learning can tremendously help online-driven multiplayer games.
This talk, which goes live on Thursday, March 19 at 9AM PST, will highlight Microsoft's newish TrueMatch system used in Gears of War 5 (note that TrueMatch and Halo 5's TrueSkill 2 systems aren't the same).
"This session will present TrueMatch, a new matchmaking approach that allows developers to more intuitively express the value of each metric, and then uses machine learning to automatically optimize over the desired metrics in real-time. The results give better matches in less time and are customized to each player's characteristics and each region's real-time concurrency as it changes over time."
Both talks will be livestreamed on the GDC Twitch channel.
Here's more info on TrueMatch, straight from Microsoft's research division:
TrueMatch uses Artificial Intelligence to dynamically adjust your matchmaking allowances based on your location and skill level. If there are many players near you, then TrueMatch shrinks the allowances so that you only get fair matches with low ping.
If there are few players near you, then TrueMatch expands the allowances. Previous systems expand the allowance only after a player has waited a long time in the queue. TrueMatch starts the search pre-expanded, cutting wait time in half in low population regions.
TrueMatch can also give you a personalized estimate of your wait time, before you queue up to play.
These events aren't focused on Halo: Infinite, but they might allow us to piece together ideas and a general understanding of the next-gen Halo game's matchmaking systems. Multiplayer is a huge part for any Halo game and represents the golden opportunity for strong live service earnings long after release.
Halo 5: Guardians has been successfully monetized with REQ Packs, and while 343i says REQ Packs won't be in Halo: Infinite, we predict the game will still have a robust and long-winded engagement-driven progression system tied with cosmetic monetization hooks.
Halo: Infinite is due out Holiday 2020 alongside Microsoft's powerful next-gen Xbox Series X console.
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