Halo 4: Behind The Scenes With 343 Industries
When Bungie passed on the development torch to 343 Industries, it did more than just hand over the reins.
Bungie’s offices, now occupied by 343 have been home to the development of Halo since its second game.
Nestled snugly on Seattle’s outskirts, Halo’s building looks more like a small industrial complex, it’s domed roof hiding the huge size inside.
Every square inch of 343’s office space is littered with Halo memorabilia, even a Greek Spartan statue from the up-coming Forward Unto Dawn overlooks the development floor.
When Bungie and Halo parted ways, those attached to the Master Chief were given the choice: go with Bungie, or stay with 343 Industries and begin work on reinventing Halo for Halo 4.
Those who stayed did so because they loved the franchise and wanted to build a game even bigger and better than what had come before.
“When we came together as a studio it was to make an amazing Halo 4 experience,” explains executive producer at 343, Kiki Wolfkill. “But also, as we think about the studio, is about building that universe and what do we want the next ten years of the universe to be like?”
“We so fortunate to have such a rich bed of content to draw from and for us it’s always been about making sure everything connects, meaningfully.”
It’s obvious when you walk through the studio’s pods that everyone here has Halo on the brain. Toys, models, pictures, comics, books and everything else in sight is connected to the series.
343’s lobby is rammed with what looks like every piece of Halo content ever.
It’s quiet now, development is deep into crunch and we’ve wandered into a rare bit of downtime, but Halo 4’s final deadline is looming.
“It’s hard, but I honestly genuinely feel like we’re there,” explains franchise development director, Frank O’Connor when we ask how the process has gone. “We still have a few weeks to test and a few bugs, but it’s all there and it’s like Halo.”
“That’s why I started at Bungie on Halo 2, because I love that universe and it’s the reason I stuck with Halo instead of going with Bungie.”
“That investment was worth it and this is the Halo game I always wanted to work on.”
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