343's Frank O'Connor joined us on our Comic-Con 2012 stage show to talk about all things Halo. Here are some of the most interesting quotes from that interview…
On the challenge of adapting Halo into a live-action web series
There's two halves to it. The first part isn't tricky. It's almost the opposite; it's this huge opportunity. In video games, you can do a little bit of human emotional storytelling but you have things like the Uncanny Valley and video game tropes that you're always fighting against. And there are exceptions to that, plenty of video games that do a good job on that--but they have to focus on that. We're an action game, a sandbox game. So this gave us an opportunity to tell stories about real people and put resonant emotional themes in there.
On what's changed in Halo 4 since E3
[We've made] really significant changes. When you're watching screens and footage you're going to see significant changes to the UI. We've made changes to the control setups. Lots of people were worried about bumper jumper--a control scheme in the game--and they don't need to worry about that. Medals have changed. The gameplay's just gotten smoother, and the actual performance has gotten smoother and better. [We've fixed] a few bugs there in the multiplayer build--there was an invincibility bug--so there will be lots changes for people who have played it, but for those who've just been watching video of it most of it's going to be surface-level stuff.
On making Halo 4 more accommodating to newcomers
"We're an action game, a sandbox game. So this gave us an opportunity to tell stories about real people and put resonant emotional themes in there"
In small ways, we'll do things with the UI to make it a little more approachable. But we're not going to change the nature of what this game is--it's a big sandbox action FPS with a very heavy sci-fi bent. We don't want to change that. That's the game. So the things that we do are very light touch just to make it more approachable, and half the time you're making it more approachable for people who never had a 360 before, or had played other games like Call of Duty or Medal of Honor and stuff like that. But we're not going to change the core of the game.
On introducing weapon loadouts to Halo multiplayer
Style and tuning are better adjectives than overhauling and radically changing. It's just about tuning to play [Halo] the way you play it. Even in a normal game, I'll typically go run and find a plasma pistol that nobody cares about, and now loadouts just sort of shorten that process a little bit. And it's playlist-dependent … It's a very subtle tuning addition, but it does make a difference. It makes you feel more in control of your persona and your style of play. And it hasn't stopped me being [beaten] 99% of the time so I wouldn't worry about it.