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Monday, May 14, 2001

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Halo Develpoment Diary Published
9:52 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Blue's News has noted the posting of a developer diary discussing the development of Bungie's upcoming FPS title Halo. Though the diary is posted on Planet Xbox, an obviously X-box oriented site, this initial offering offers thoughts on changes that have been made to Halo during its development as well as reasons for Bungie joining the ranks of Microsoft. Unlike the short updates made by Mat Soell, these entries are quite in-depth and may be the start of a series of such diaries.

One of the major changes, explained by Bungie level designer Jaime Griesemer, was the decision to change Halo from an RTS game to an action title. Griesemer notes that Bungie usually focuses first on the engine when building a game, and in the case of Halo, the original decision was to build of their experiences with the venerable Myth series. During develpment, they moved the camera from a top down perspective to that of a unit's perspective, which they found to be much more intriguing. This in turn started the shift in game type.

As to understand Bungie's shift in both platform and to Microsoft, Griesemer makes this statement:

One big and unexpected change to Halo was the development platform. Until about a year ago it was a PC and Mac game, and then Bungie got an opportunity it simply could not pass up, Microsoft offered to acquire us and make us one of its internal development studios for the XBox. To understand why this opportunity was so important to us, you have to understand Bungie's history. Bungie's first break out success was Marathon, a Mac-only FPS. It dominated the action game genre for the Macintosh and it gave Bungie the chance to shape an entire community with our ideas and our games. We could reach people on a level that we couldn't reach them in a more saturated market, and that is why Marathon holds a special place in the memories of so many gamers. With Microsoft, on the Xbox, we saw the opportunity to once again help mold an entire community on a fresh platform, one that was potentially much larger, and though it was far from a sure thing (and still is) opportunities like that don't come along that often, and Bungie has never been a company to avoid risks.
Griesemer adds that the decision to shift platforms also caused another change - the decision to focus more on the single-player aspect of Halo. As consoles have yet to reach true viability in the realm of online gaming, titles must still be able to stand on their own in terms of single play. He also notes that multiplayer is not being abandoned.

This is the first in a series of Halo development diaries to be hosted by Planet Xbox, and is worth a look for anyone interested in Halo news. A definite release date is still up in the air, though Halo is coming out first for the Xbox, presumably on its launch date.

Blue's News
Planet Xbox - Halo Development Diary
Bungie Studios
Halo: Combat Evolved

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Big Update from Feral Interactive10:57 AM
GarageGames Intervew10:50 AM
Mac GeForce 3 Coming Sooner?10:10 AM
Bungie Fanfest Reminder9:58 AM
Bannister Updates Emulator Progress9:55 AM
• Halo Develpoment Diary Published9:52 AM
MacPlay Breaks The Silence [repost]9:43 AM
MacSoft Site Update9:07 AM
New Game FUEL'ing Its Way to the Mac8:55 AM
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Douglas Adams Dies, Age 498:53 AM
Deimos Rising Progress Report, Nears Testing8:48 AM
Baldur's Gate Editor Revision Due Soon8:46 AM
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Mac Games News for Friday, May 11, 2001

Four Escape Velocity Nova Movies Posted11:40 AM
Starfleet Command 2 Interview10:33 AM Terms of Use FAQ Updated9:55 AM
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MacGameFiles CD March/April 2001 Released9:02 AM
Free Mac OS X Book at WWDC9:01 AM
Interview with Westlake's Mark Adams8:49 AM
First Myth III In-Game Shot Available8:40 AM
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Archives  News  Halo Develpoment Diary Published