Ahead of the long-awaited launch of the Halo Infinite campaign, 343 Head of Creative Joseph Staten announced that his favorite game is Halo Halo 3: ODST.
Staten, who was instrumental in the success of Bungie’s Halo games and who joined the development of Halo Infinite shortly after the 2020 delay, spoke to IGN for our Unfiltered interview series and shared why Halo 3: ODST gave him this way means a lot.
“Halo 3: ODST is my favorite,” said Staten. “And not just because I helped lead this project, but for me it was… any game developer who watches will understand. It was the game that we made on the most stable tech foundation we’ve ever had. ”You know, it was Halo 3 ODST. It was built in the Halo 3 engine, very few feature changes, so almost entirely a content exercise.
“And we just had the flexibility to create an experience, a story that didn’t have to wait for engineers to do all of their hard work, rebuild tools and pipelines, and implement big features. All of these things are a wonderful part of game development, but it just makes things challenging. It extends your timeline. “
He also talked a bit more about his development, talking about how Bungie’s studio manager Harold Ryan and project manager Paul Bertone came to him and said this game had to be ready in just six months, which is an incredibly short time for an AAA game.
“I think the original charter for ODST was that we needed it in six months,” Staten continued. “Harold Ryan, our studio manager at the time, came up to me and Paul Bertone, the other project manager, and said, ‘We need it in six months. Something like Halo 3, but backwards at night. ‘ And we say, no, we’re not going to do Halo 3 backwards at night, but we understand what you’re saying. It has to be efficient, it has to reuse assets. We have to be clever with the new things that we use. “
Fortunately, this timeline was extended after Staten and the team showed how special this game can be. It turns out that Halo 3: ODST shipped in just about 18 months from the Xbox 360 release date of September 22, 2009.
“So we built a prototype and people saw what we were up to and believed enough that they said, okay, now you’ve got 12 months in total,” said Staten. “And it turned out for a variety of reasons that at 12 months we were actually getting closer to 18 and were able to spend the last few months putting on as much polish as possible.
“In terms of stable technology, it’s just a really tight, cohesive, happy team for me, where everyone is marching forward with the same clear vision, it’s just a really wonderful game to work on, and I’ve been working on it.”
It was even more of a dream project for Staten when he got the chance to take risks again in such a popular and established franchise. He also got the chance to tell a noir detective story, something he’s always wanted to do.
“It was an experimental game in many ways, too,” says Staten. “When you’re working on a franchise, innovating is a challenge. It is very risky to try new things. We are certainly in Infinite which is very exciting. But ODST was a noir detective story like I’ve always had. ”Wanted to write, and the fact that I could do it in Halo was pretty cool. I didn’t think that would happen in my career. “
While we have to wait until December 8th to see just how innovative the Halo Infinite campaign gets, fans can now jump into free multiplayer.
If the wait is too hard and you want to learn more about Halo Infinite’s campaign, be sure to check out our four-hour hands-on preview of the story, the first Craig Meme Easter Egg ever found, and how hidden audio logs will help to tell the bigger story of Zeta Halo.
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