“We love see­ing awe­some stuff that peo­ple have built”

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Gaming Reviews -

ex­am­ple, cap­i­talised fur­ther on the PS3’s en­gine. Also, game de­vel­op­ers are in touch with their fans like no other me­dia, largely thanks to on­line gam­ing.

There was cer­tainly ex­cite­ment among game jour­nal­ists at the Halo Reach press event in London. Af­ter al­low­ing us to play the game (watch this space for a re­view soon), Bungie com­mu­nity di­rec­tor Brian Jar­rard and cam­paign de­signer Niles Sankey sat down to chat.

“ Halo was one of the first games on a con­sole that let you cus­tomise game types and game rules,” says Jar­rard. “Com­mu­nity and so­cial in­ter­ac­tion have al­ways been a big part of Halo, and it’s just got­ten big­ger with each re­lease. It’s a large part of what makes Halo what it is to­day. We love see­ing awe­some stuff that peo­ple have built and that we didn’t know were pos­si­ble. It gives us plenty to work with.”

Sankey, how­ever, is aware of the in­her­ent dif­fi­culty of se­quels.

“Peo­ple like the fa­mil­iar fun and ex­pe­ri­ence but they don’t like to re­peat things too much. The nice thing about Reach is that we feel like we’ve done a good job of mak­ing new ex­pe­ri­ences and a more fleshed-out story. We’re do­ing stuff that we’ve never al­lowed play­ers to do be­fore. So even in the cam­paign, ev­ery mis­sion is unique and the story is def­i­nitely more fleshed out and im­pact­ful than any­thing we’ve done be­fore.”

The Halo fran­chise is Bungee’s sig­na­ture, but Jar­rard prom­ises that the se­ries will soon end.

“Ev­ery day we work on this project it’s a step closer to the last Halo game. But it’s also a source of in­spi­ra­tion to go out on a high note and set the bar for what a Halo game should be, to leave some­thing that we can be proud of and our fans will en­joy.

“We don’t re­ally spend any en­ergy think­ing about what other peo­ple are do­ing,” he adds. “Bungie has al­ways been more heads-down and com­ing up with ideas we think are in­ter­est­ing and lis­ten­ing to our fan com­mu­nity it­self.”

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