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How Microsoft keeps 'Halo 5' multiplayer games glitch-free

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Glitches and bugs can ruin even the greatest of multiplayer games (looking at you MW3 Javelin Suicide Bomb). But thanks to a pair of cutting-edge analytics tools, Halo's dev team can find and fix these coding hiccups before they become memes. Senior researcher Rob DeLine recently explained how they work. Trill is a temporal processing and in-memory analytics engine. "It's pretty much the world's fastest," DeLine said in the video below. "It's two to four magnitudes faster than the competition in terms of processing temporal data." When combined with the Tempe exploratory data-analysis web service, which allows devs to watch replays of real-time play, devs can quickly spot and solve issues based only on what (and how) the community is actively gaming.

These tools allowed the Halo dev team to spot and fix one such glitch almost immediately after it appeared in the multiplayer beta release of Halo 5: Guardians. Halo devs used Tempe "to see what customers were doing while playing in real time. What they were looking at was how often players were winning these really rare medals." Specifically, the team looked at how the Combat Evolved medal -- wherein players have throw a grenade at a discarded weapon, blast it into the air and then catch it -- could be getting awarded every few minutes. The team used Tempe and Trill to go back and analyze the gameplay footage, figure out that a coding bug made the medal ludicrously easy to get and apply a patch.

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