Bungie has released a TWAB (This week at Bungie) that finally sheds light on their progress for the engine of Destiny 2. Ever since their 3rd expansion announcement, my mind has been wondering whether or not Bungie would work on making Destiny 2 viable in ways that would make the game not only run better, but look better. Let’s take a look at key points of the TWAB and see what they have in store for us come Beyond Light.

New Beyond Light Trailer

First of all, check this out – oh, new enemy types? Sexy environments? Is that a floating Darkness architecture? Did I just witness the entrance to the new Raid? Boy….Im excited.

Talking Tech – Preparing for New Light

You can find the full details of the TWAB here, but essentially David Aldridge, Destiny Engineering Director, is making changes in the back-end of the engine to make sure that the game is future proof. Basically making sure that new technology can be viable within the game over time. And one of the first things he did was change the scripting model from Mission Host to Physics Host, here’s a little break down of that:

We shifted our mission scripting model to run on the Physics Host instead of the Mission Host (more details on this split here, in the interview with Matt Segur). In the long run this change will give designers options to create more novel mission mechanics by giving the mission scripting environment full access to the game state, instead of the much more limited access the Mission Host had. For example, the Physics Host knows exactly where enemy combatants are and what actions they recently performed – while the Mission Host only knew how many combatants were alive in a squad and what that squad was generally trying to accomplish. In Beyond Light we’re only launching the foundations of this system, and we look forward to evolving and leveraging it in the future.”

In layman’s terms – enemies will react based on environmental behaviors as well as who is surrounding them (the players) giving them a far more reactive and dynamic behavior than we are use to. Numerous tests have been made to ensure as little bugs as possible, but he warns us that some may have slipped out. This is a very good thing in my eyes as enemies can potentially feel more organic, making gun fights feel more tangible. Other elements like an updated lighting engine should give the game a far more distinct look.

Your Desire for an Updated Look

One surprising note is their updated character face models – here’s what David has to say about this (Im super stoked for this!)

We rebuilt our character face system. We know that how your Guardians look is important to you, and we’ve long wanted to add more player customization to Destiny. Our original system for player faces had some combinatoric content authoring problems – for example, every decal had to be authored completely custom for each player face permutation. This prevented us from extending this area of the game with more content and features. We’ve upgraded to a significantly more capable system (with e.g. runtime decal projection), which we hope to leverage for more player customization options in the future. As part of this process we reviewed the existing player models with our Diversity Committee and Employee Resource Groups in the studio to make small tweaks to existing player heads. We’re also building a list of Guardian face shapes we should bring to the game in the future in order to increase Guardian diversity in Destiny, with the long-term goal of enabling everyone to imagine themselves as their Guardian. 

  • What you might notice:
    • “Your Guardian’s face may look a bit different.”

Finally, we get to change the appearance of our Guardian! Look, I’ve fallen in love with my basic NPC look, but I need a beard….bigger eyebrows and burly features.

This TWAB has revealed some efforts Bungie is putting into making Destiny the best it can be, and I couldn’t be more excited!

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