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ThatLilyDoe posted an article in Gaming NewsWritten by KSI Alastair There is some interesting news for Halo fans. As of January 28th, we now have a community representative apart of the Halo Infinite development team. This will mean, along with all the other ways to give feedback to 343i, we now a direct way to communicate our thoughts and ideas for Halo Infinite. Justin Robey aka @RobeyoneKenobi on Twitter is now the Director of Player Voice at 343i, and he will "work with the Halo player, to have an active voice throughout the development, launch, and lifetime of Halo Infinite... using different methods to ensure that Halo Infinite is built along with the community, and that players voices are being heard." * For more clarification of what Justin will be doing, the Halo community manager, Sketch says, "Justin sits on the development team to do critical work inwards and will partner closely with our community team, research, analytics, etc."* Essentially, he has the authority to say, "the players want this, do it,” and the dev team will do it. 343i has been putting a focus on player feedback in being heard, and this will only help 343i's image and will, of course, help with sales when Infinite launches. Let's take a look at who Justin is and what he has done. Justin Robey has worked for Microsoft for least 17 years; his roles included Software test engineer and then senior producer for nearly two decades. He's a Mixer partner and co-hosts Powerbuilds and This Week In Esports on Mixer. Despite what Justin tries to present himself as, he isn't "just a fan" of Halo. He's a Microsoft veteran, and is very connected to them in his professional life. He will not be the "fresh perspective" 343i needs for Halo. I'm not saying he was never a genuine fan of Halo, nor that he isn't now, but the fact is that he's a Microsoft employee through and through, and his job is to ensure they look good. His role as "Director of Player Voice" is merely a ploy to make 343i appear to be taking more player feedback. I seem negative about this, but I am actually happy this development happened, because it means we as Halo fans have even more ways to voice our opinion and now with someone with authority to make it happen. I said ploy, because it is mostly to create good PR for them, but it can make a difference. Here is the main question though, will Justin Robey be able to take our feedback and make large important changes to Halo Infinite? If the majority of the Halo Infinite fan base has an issue with main features with the game, such as the story or sandbox, will Justin make a difference? I would say, since Justin is a Microsoft employee first, and a fundamental Halo fan second, Justin will not force changes. That is a hard pill to swallow, but it's ok. I believe Justin will have effects on playlists, updates, weapon tuning, events, and things of that nature. That will still be more than we have had in previous titles, and it will make a large difference in my opinion. So this is where I hand this to you, the reader. What are your thoughts on this development? What do you think about our new "Director of Player Voice"? How will it affect Halo Infinite at launch and how will it affect Halo Infinite during its life span? * @RobeyoneKenobi on Twitter * @Ske7ch on Twitter * Cover image is a compilation of those posted by Microsoft and Justin Robey and are not in their native format.
We have all spent some serious time in creating our Xbox Live avatars over the years since their introduction to the Xbox 360 in late 2008. Whether we made them look comparable to how we look in person or end up becoming Master Chief in a tuxedo top, short shorts, and combat boots, we all have come to enjoy the characters that represent us while on Xbox Live. The selection of how we can make our avatars look though hasn’t changed much at all over the 9 years that they have been apart of the Xbox Live experience. There were numerous minor changes, such as the addition of the prop store, but the selection choices kept our characters very limited on how far / how close to ourselves we could push the avatar; that however is about to change! At the most recent E3 conference, the Vice President of Xbox, Mike Ybarra, revealed the updates to the avatar editor, calling it Avatar 2.0, that was supposed to originally be released Fall 2017. This week, Mike Ybarra tweeted out informing Xbox Users that the upgrade is being pushed back to early 2018 now, however from the teasers and images promoting the upgrade, as Mike says in his tweet, “patience pays off”. As seen in the article image, the level of customization is mass compared to what it currently allows. The diversity that Xbox is allowing users to consider is extremely mass too as the promotion video (linked at the bottom of the article) shows avatars in wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, and even allowing for avatars to wear anything in the store to null out any gender issues. The level of care and consideration for all walks of people is something that was lacking up until now. The avatars themselves also come to life with the redesigned face, actions, attitudes, and so much more customization options. Bryan Saftler, a Lead Product Manager for Xbox says, “We built these from the ground-up, they’re being built in Unity which is a whole new engine. Avatars are meant for whatever you want your digital self to represent. We don’t want to put you in a box, there are no more checkboxes, no matter what you think you look like or what you want to present online.” An official release date for the update has yet to be announced, however, this is something that will likely be released in early 2018 so keep your eyes out for it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpMBrrgQ3Jo