Halo: The Master Chief Collection - Games Weekly

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

In anticipation of perhaps the most ambitious remastering project in gaming to date, we got to sit down with Halo: The Master Chief Collection’s executive producer, Dan Ayoub, to talk about why 343 Industries has chosen to revisit Master Chief’s core journey, and what that means to fans of the series…

It appeals to both sides of the fandom…
“We realised with Halo: Anniversary that we had two customers: we had the old guys who remembered playing it first time around, and I remember talking to a few people who were like 18 or 19,  andI was like, ‘Wow, you were like eight when this game first came out’ so for some people this was their first experience. Part of the goal for The Master Chief Collection was for people who have never played before to give them something very easy to jump into and get caught up. My hope for the person that has never played it before is that it’ll be like travelling back in time and seeing where it all began.”

It’s a celebration of a decade of Halo
“Our approach for all of these maps was…even though we made some slight physical modifications to some of the maps, what we didn't want to do is break time honoured strategies. People have their strategies for  all of these maps, and we’ve had a few people saying, ‘I can’t believe how quickly muscle memory kicked in’. That was crucial for us to keep that intact. And dual wielding was another one, when it comes to what people think about our multiplayer, people think about that dual wielding when it comes to Halo 2 and there was no way we weren't going to put that back in.”

It hopes to attract the eSports audience...
“What Halo is very much about, is fairness and skill. I think that is something that lends itself extremely well to eSports, and perhaps even bring in an additional audience of people that might not have been in here before. But I think that it lends itself to that very well.”

It makes even Halo 3 and 4 look better…
“We knew how 1 and 2 would look, because they are getting the Anniversary treatment. But when it came to 3 and 4, what we didn't want was to just port it so that it ran on Xbox One, because that would kinda be a bit of a downer. Especially as Halo 4 was a bit more recent, we were like, ‘Okay, how do we take these and make them feel like next gen titles?’ We knew the approach we wanted to make these run at 60 fps, make the mrun at 1080p. We had this strategy to improve the lighting systems and the shaders, and we were really impressed with how fantastic those games looked just going through that. I remember we gathered everyone around my desk when I got it, and they were just like, ‘Oh my god, this looks amazing’.”

It’s laying the foundation for Halo's next stage…
“Halo's on the cusp of some pretty amazing things. We've mentioned eSports, there’s all the work [Kiki Wolfkill, executive producer] is doing on the Nightfall and Halo Channel, new technology, new a venues you are going to start seeing Halo move into even more avenues outside of gaming, and I think we’re at the turning point in a pretty exciting future.”

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