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The Making Of Halo Illuminated 55

Thanks to Gamesradar for their Edge-reprinted feature on the making of Bungie's seminal Xbox FPS, Halo. According to a Bungie producer, the team "...decided they wanted to go back to the roots of a game like Marathon, combining it with some of the things we learnt from Myth." Other topics include the originally impossible tutorial level ("I actually had several play testers decide they wanted to quit playing the game and go home, rather than go through the opening level"), and the relative disappointment of The Library level ("A lot of the little things like that added up to make the Library a lot less than what we wanted it to be.")
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The Making Of Halo Illuminated

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  • 2 YEARS!!! (Score:2, Interesting)

    2 years later and we're still discussing the making of it and it's still being sold for $50 on the XBox? Come on...

    Sure, it's a good game. But there are other good games that have been made in the two years since. How about a little interview with someone who's working on Halo 2? I'm sure people are a lot more interested in how that production is coming than how the creation of Halo has gone.

    • Re:2 YEARS!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bigman2003 ( 671309 )
      True, it has been a long time. But people still buy it, and people still play it. It's good enough that they are still interested about how it was made. Another interesting thing- Halo sold about 10-20 times the number of most other Xbox games. But when you go into your used game store, it is rare to find used copies of Halo for sale. Is it the best game ever? Who knows...that changes all the time- but it really is a good game.
      • As a PC-only gamer (okay, okay, I have a GBA SP, but that doesn't count right now), I really don't understand what all the fuss was about Halo. The opening level was impressive, I'll give you that, but the majority of the game was fairly bland. The Library level was the worst level of *any* video game I've ever played (all the way back to some of the later levels on Jumpman... were those ever freaking impossible!), the weapons were mediocre, the enemies were laughable (aliens speaking English, saying, "Oh
        • Halo is worth the fuss.
          There's so many good things about Halo but if I was to name the best I would say it was the vehicles. When you get in a vehicle the view moves from 1st person to 3rd person and the feel of the game totally changes increasing variety and pace. Other AI players on your side can hop onto a vehicle that your piloting and fight along side you.
          Enemy AI is the 2nd excellent feature making combat so much fun. Each enemy offers a challenge which you have to tackle in unique ways.
          The storyline
          • So, are you an X-Box player or PC? Did you play the game two years ago or last month? More importantly, have you played Deus Ex or Max Payne?

            As far as the PC goes, BF1942 did vehicles first and better. A souped up Humvee, a hovercraft and a tank don't make the game better.

            As for "classic sci-fi" -- the reason that such works are called "classic" is because their plots were unique and groundbreaking. Perhaps you meant to say "overwrought and overdone"?

            I hate to keep harping on the point, but Deus E

            • You might want to check your dates on the Battlefield 1942 release date. To say that it did vehicles 'first and better' might not be completely true.

              Deus Ex is a great game. One of the best. I truly loved that game. Once...

              I can barely get through the first level now, because it is a story based game. And now I know the whole story. But yes, it was fantastic.
            • I play both consols and pc games, though I've been playing pc games for much longer and more frequently then the consols. Halo was great. It should have come out on the pc first though as was oringally planned, those bastards.

              In any event, I didn't play halo until a few months ago. I loved it, and I don't know why. Level design was so so, graphics weren't that good, most of the time you were going to one end of a level then fighting back out of it, yawn?

              But, wow, I loved killing aliens. I would say the be
              • Halo sound-

                I thought the little alien sayings were totally cool. It took a little bit before I realized it was in english, but once I did, I thought it was pretty funny.

                As far as the controls go-

                Halo was the first first person shooter I played that was NOT on a PC. In fact, I was at a friends house, and he showed me Halo- I played it for a while and thought two things:

                #1- controlling an FPS with a console controller was horrible.

                #2- the 'auto-aim' or 'aim-assist' or whatever they call it when you jus
            • I think you're missing the point with the 'more than two weapons' claim in Deus Ex's favour. The two-weapon limitation is one of Halo's core advantages; your choice of weapons greatly affects your strategy options, and the weapons are very well balanced - there's a good reason for using every weapon. I'm not looking to slate Deus Ex, though; it was and is a great game. But it's a *different* game - as you state several times, it's a first-person RPG - Halo isn't. It's Halo's strategic depth and emergent gam
              • Side note: While Halo may have been the first to limit people to exactly two weapons, it is not the first to limit weapon carrying. Anyone here ever play Tribes? The scout (light) armor only allowed three weapons. Other armors allowed holding more, but you still could never hold all of them. And each armor could only carry one backpack...

                It was the first game I'd played where I had to throw stuff away...

                Pat.
                • Yeah, I wouldn't claim Halo invented the inventory limitation - I can recall many happy hours of Laser Squad back on the Spectrum, trying to work out the best set of kit to carry. But I think Halo evolved the concept by combining the two-slot limit with the ability (and often requirement) to quickly swap weapons, and the careful balancing of the weapons. In the end, as its full title suggests, I think Halo is all about evolution; it doesn't present anything that's really original, but it develops its variou
            • by Anonymous Coward
              I have not played Deus Ex, though I've seen it on a friend's PC. Possibly his machine was woefully underpowered at the time, but I would say that one think Halo does better than Deus Ex is graphical presentation. Maybe Deus Ex kills it with high detail, 4xAA and high resolution, but in my experience Halo is a noticably better-looking game.

              I kind of agree with you about the plot - it certainly was not the groundbreaking science fiction that some people talked about, but it did an effective job of creating
            • So, are you an X-Box player or PC? Did you play the game two years ago or last month? More importantly, have you played Deus Ex or Max Payne?

              I am both a console gamer and a PC gamer, and I think that Halo is fantastic stuff. I will admit that at first I didn't see what the fuss was about, but by the time I first came out in the open on Attack on the Control Room to be confronted by a huge battle going on, I was hooked.
              At the same time, I think that Max Payne 2 and Deus Ex are great. You can add the like
        • We PC gamer types don't get Halo because we want mouselook & a keyboard, and it's slow like molasses.

          These are not disadvantages for console gamers.

          Imagine Quake I with a console controller and no running. Now Halo seems rad in comparison.
        • I have to say I agree. Having looked at Halo, I don't see why anyone who has ever played a decent FPS would be so amazed by it. Was it solely the fact of it being a good FPS for a console?
          • At the risk of posting too much on this story-

            No- it wasn't just because Halo was a good CONSOLE game.

            I've played:

            Half-Life (Opposing Forces/Blue Shift/Counterstrike)
            Unreal Tournament
            UT2K3
            Medal of Honor (+ expansion)
            Deus Ex
            Quake (I/II/III)
            Soldier of Fortune
            Return to Castle Wolfenstein
            No One Lives Forever (I/II)
            America's Army
            Golden Eye
            Serious Sam/SE

            Etc. Etc....I've played tons.

            I would say that Halo was the most FUN I've had in any of them.

            (Okay, sorry about the stupid list, but just wanted to point out
          • I have to say I agree. Having looked at Halo, I don't see why anyone who has ever played a decent FPS would be so amazed by it. Was it solely the fact of it being a good FPS for a console?

            No, it is because Halo is a good FPS regardless of platform.
            I have played all the major PC FPS games, but I was still amazed by Halo because it is pure quality.
            I have played Halo over and over again, which is more than can be said for any PC single player FPS game. To me, Halo is the best single player FPS currently a
        • Multiplayer.

          For some reason, it doesn't seem to translate well over to the PC as well (You can't exactly punch someone in the arm if they are a few hundred or thousand miles away), but tha mount of fun you have with three other (or fifteen if you're at a LAN party) people is some of the most fun you'll ever have on a console. The multiplayer game has a surprising amount of depth, with the two weapon limit, the vehicles, easy access to grenades, and the melee attack.

          The better the players you are playin

        • The Library level was the worst level of *any* video game I've ever played

          Huh. A friend and I were playing through that level on co-op just the other night, and we enjoyed it immensely. Just like everyone else, I can't tell you *why* I enjoyed it, but I did. Trying to keep up with Guilty Spark 343 ( cute little fella ) was pretty enjoyable. And there's a real visceral thrill to cutting through the flood with a shotgun and rifle butt.

          I also enjoyed the little things that GS343 was saying about 'recogni

      • I work in a used game store..

        We have new and used copies.

        Halo does rock though. I played it on the PC on easy and was reacting to things jumping at me on the screen. Something I havent done since Quake. Its a challenging game.

        I am sure once Halo2 is out we will see a Myth type game for the Xbox. Maybe even another Myth.

        I sit here waiting.

  • Sellout? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Quixotic Raindrop ( 443129 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @12:32PM (#7359075) Journal
    Someone should do an article on how, when Bungie sold out to M$, Alex and Jason were quoted as saying that M$ wouldn't tell them what games to make, or what platforms to make them for.

    So, after two years, Halo is the only thing Bungie made, and it was only available for the XBox. That sure is a big choice in platforms, and demonstrates how Bungie could tell M$ what games they were going to make. Sell Out indeed.
    • As long as they continue to make amazing games who gives a shit?

      • As long as they continue to make amazing games who gives a shit?


        Yeah, you're right... after all, who doesn't own an X-Box?
      • Well... how about fans who don't wat to support Microsoft by buying an Xbox? Trust me, the Mac community is not overjoyed by the loss of the company that was once their best game developer.
        • Re:Sellout? (Score:2, Insightful)

          Well... how about fans who don't wat to support Microsoft by buying an Xbox?

          Then, um, you don't get to play the game. It's that simple, and if you are going to let some sad little principle get in the way of playing a game that you really like then that is your problem.

          If you want to play Monkey Ball, you buy a GC. If you want to play GT3, you buy a PS2. If you want to play Halo, you buy an Xbox.


          Trust me, the Mac community is not overjoyed by the loss of the company that was once their best game dev
          • I completely agree, I'm pissed as hell that Final Fantasy 10, Fatal Frame 2, Silent Hill 3 and numerous others aren't for the Xbox, my solution? I've decided to buy a PS2 after a few years of holding it off. Am I mad, not really - I've accepted the nature of the game, and instead of bitching and whining about it and not playing the games I want, I purchase the hardware for a small fee. Voila. Instant fun! And seriously, a $~200 console is not much compared to the fuckload of money I just spent upgradin
        • At least it will be out, apparently, on December 3. Better late than never.

          I have it for XBox. I'll buy it again for Mac. Same as I bought UT2K3 for Mac after buying it for my Linux machines.

          If they want to develop for XBox, that's their decision, Bungee is a company, not a charity. I am greatful in the extreme that we got a Mac port at all - its not exactly a platform famous for its gaming.

          YLFI
    • Is there any evidence at all that Bungie are being constrained? Conspiracy theories are fun and all, but before writing the article someone would need to find some facts supporting it...

  • Uhhh, with a gushing background piece like that, did anyone else notice that GamesRadar is an MSN-UK hosted site?

    Just thought I'd ask.

    • by sebi ( 152185 )

      Since the piece originated in Edge magazine I suppose that little factoid is meaningless. In case you have never read it: Edge is by far the best computer and video gaming magazine in existence. They writers are not always objective--they are fans after all--but they are independent. They might praise one system and condemn another, but it feels like they are doing it because they believe and not because someone paid them off. It also is, as far as I know, the only one you can safely read in public because

    • I hate to say it but i agree. As i read this article i started thinking the author must have slept with his copy of halo. I mean he was almost spraying seminal fluid over the game. Yea it was an entertaining game, but it wasnt THAT good. I didnt play and think "This game has just revolutionized consoles", i thought "Didnt i just play this level". It just seemed to me that Microsoft was stroking their own wang with this article to drum up support for the lacking Xbox. Just a thought.
  • I played all the way through Halo and I really, really loved it... except for the Library. I got lost so many times inside, and found it so utterly incomprehensible, that I almost gave up on the game. I'm glad I trundled on, but I have to agree with other posts: even though Halo is a great game, the Library is one of the worst levels I've ever played in any game.
  • Seminal? My bass! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by E1v!$ ( 267945 ) on Friday October 31, 2003 @02:34PM (#7360699) Homepage
    Halo wasn't original, it was a 'slightly' modified Larry Niven set with a terrible storyline and repetative, boring, levels. If it's seminal because they stole Niven's (admittedly cool) idea, or because they wrote a graphics engine that delivers lower fps at lower effects levels than more modern games on hardware that didn't even exist back then!

    If it had come out 3 years ago I would have been impressed with the graphics, but even then... 'eh'.

    Half Life was a better game. More variety, better action. I don't think the bots were as good (they seemed indecisive at times), but overall it was a much more enjoyable experience.

    Yes, I was dissapointed with Halo. Maybe that's an appropriate name. You get everything at the edge, NOTHING in the core.
    • Halo wasn't original, it was a 'slightly' modified Larry Niven set with a terrible storyline and repetative, boring, levels. If it's seminal because they stole Niven's (admittedly cool) idea, or because they wrote a graphics engine that delivers lower fps at lower effects levels than more modern games on hardware that didn't even exist back then!

      Hell, Bungie was biting on it's own style with a lot of Halo. Cyborg super-soldiers, egotistical AIs, SPNKR rockets (still one of the coolest names for a weapon

    • Re:Seminal? My bass! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by antin ( 185674 )
      Why isn't the parent modded troll? WTF is up with mods these days. Halo was a great game, and anyone who says otherwise is either a troll, or in the minority. Don't mod things merely because they complain about what is popular or successful, and certainly don't do it just because it is associated with Microsoft.

      Apart from anything else the sales speak for themselves. The people have spoken and they don't agree with the parent. In fact apart from a record number of sales, Halo kept the xbox alive nearly sin
      • Why isn't the parent modded troll? WTF is up with mods these days
        I have moderator points, and I'm half tempted to mod you down. Not because of your pro- or anti-Halo viewpoints (which, frankly, are well expressed) but simply because you're encouraging people to abuse the mod system.

        Look, to troll is to try to provoke discussion. A subtle "troll" is actually useful in a thread. Only really blatant, obvious trolls (usually using one of the FP or other cliches like "natalie portman) should be modded as suc
        • Fair enough - you make good sense. However my issue isn't that the guy didn't get modded down, but rather that he got modded to 5. In fact he was the first (and only?) post to make it that high.

          It just bugs me that inflamatory, and ill-informed posts get modded up before others more deserving.
          • Ok, fair enough. You're right that it probably wasn't a "5" post.

            I guess I'm more sensitive to people who mod down, however. I hate when I get a -1 Offtopic, -1 Troll, or -1 Overrated...sometimes I can see I deserved it, but usually it strikes me as someone who has gone a little power drunk...

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