Podcast Reflection: Halo

When I was approaching the assignment, I was at first worried that I would not have enough to say to cover the 10 minutes. After all, my argument seemed obvious: halo must have fulfilled standards of art, gameplay, and story in order to have become so successful. However, as I began digging for nuances within the game, I realized that the initial approach I took may have been misguided. Instead of trying to, once again, advocate for the value of the game, I could use a symptomatic reading to order to determine what the game has become after being exposed so long to the gaming community.

It was with this perspective that I found the similarities and differences in game design between objects within the game. It is was also at this point that I realized I had much more discussion than space within a 10 minute timeframe. As a result, I decided to focus on only the most iconic objects within the Halo universe: the sidearms and the starships.

Even then, the number of weapons and ships were still too numerous and their roles within the story were so complex that I feared oversimplifying how crucial they were to each faction. The solution was to tie each object’s design to a larger theme that can encompass the entirety of equipment. That theme was the evolution of graphic design in Halo. I noticed that as the series progressed, much of the designs, although polished, remained fundamentally the same. The various new designs that were incorporated into the game did not seem alien; in fact, they contributed more to the over atmosphere of the game. The reason Bungie was able to maintain the fundamental essence of Halo is because they synthesized already existing designs to create something new.

I later found that the concept of evolving art was applicable to all of Halo’s design. In order to make the object feel like it belonged in the Halo universe, graphic designers have taken care to combine existing faction designs and create a new faction altogether. By doing so, they are truly maintaining and building upon the culture that is Halo.

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