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This article was originally located at Haloplayers

-Matt

...And on the ninth day he said "Let there be another Halo Update." And it was good.

- The first and biggest story this week involves the size of the Halo team. Suddenly it's much bigger than it used to be. After the Oni team moved up to Redmond the Halo team filled some gaps by cannibalizing a few Oni folks. They've worked out so well that the Halo team asked the remaining Oni team members to help out - and they accepted. The resulting "Dream Team," as Alex termed it, will work together on Halo until it's complete; at that point the Oni team will separate and go back to working on their new project. Everyone here is thrilled - the Halo team gets to distribute some of their crushing workload to the more-than-capable hands of the Oni guys, and the Oni guys in turn get to show off their skills in the context of the Halo world.

- A bug fix this week doubled our rendering speed.

- All the models for our first-playable mission are now imported.

- Material types in structures work now (meaning that when you shoot a given surface, the appropriate debris - wood splinters, dirt and grass, stone fragments, whatever - appears).

- The artists are tweaking interiors, moving vertices around and placing light sources.

- We should have holograms working soon.

- The team is tweaking the shaders, looking for a balance between realism and graphical flashiness.

- Jaime showed me what he called "the coolest tree ever in a videogame." He wasn't exaggerating. You guys will know what I mean when you play the game and walk up right next to a tree.

- The team is working on new missions with a design goal of "scaring the crap out of the player whenever possible."