BTS: Anniversary Campaign
BTS: Anniversary Campaign is a 343 Industries Behind-the-Scenes documentary video that offers a look at the developmental process of the remastered campaign experience featured within Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, and was first released on YouTube and Halo Waypoint on October 17, 2011. It features exclusive interviews with both 343 Industries and Saber Interactive employees.
- Phil Spencer: " I remember sitting down in a conference room and watching this purple and blue FPS game on console, and scratching my head wondering 'was this going to be it; was this going to be the game which defines Xbox?' And obviously, ten years later that proved to be the seminal moment for us, as the beginning of Halo on the Xbox game."
- Bonnie Ross Ziegler: "Halo didn't just bring an FPS to the console; it also brought a story. That combination kind of established a new genre of FPS story expectations."
- Frank O'Connor: "Halo did a lot of conventional storytelling through cinematics, and cool voice acting, and great music obviously. But I think some of the storytelling that happens in Halo for me is the storytelling that happens through the environment and sandbox."
- Greg Hermann: "While you were hit with all of this great fiction which you could really delve into and learn about; you could just pick it up and play."
- Chad Armstrong: "All of that kind of came together to make a game which was not necessarily completely different from what previous shooters had done; but got all of its individual formulas so excellently perfect that you had this incredible First-person shooter experience that I don't think anyone had come close to before."
- Phil Spencer: "Halo was beginning of me playing console game with my friends and that's how I always think about it."
- Chad Armstrong: "I think people have been asking for a remake of Halo 1 since Halo 2 was announced."
- Frank O'Connor: "I like to go back all the way to when Xbox LIVE first came out. The demand for Halo 1 and to play as a co-op over Xbox LIVE started. It built up over the years and over the years."
- Chad Armstrong: "It was the perfect timing since tenth anniversary was coming up."
- Dan Ayoub: "It occurred to us that there's this entire generation who never player the original game. If you're an eighteen year old gamer today, you were eight when Halo came out."
- Frank O'Connor: "We did do diligence on a number of partners."
- Bonnie Ross Ziegler: "The number one requirement was that it didn't impact gameplay at all."
- Greg Hermann: "You have something that's just classic; something that's just magical. If you go and tinker with that, you're just going to lose that magic."
- Frank O'Connor: "What we wanted was someone who could work with our existing physics and gameplay engine."
- Dan Ayoub: "Saber popped up really quickly."
- Chad Armstrong: "They were like 'Yeah, we can make this look like a current generation game and we can do while using the original Halo engine.'"
- Andrey Iones: "The gameplay in Halo 1 is what we call 'deterministic', in other words, if you feed the engine the game will behave the same way. If you can apply this principle perfectly, you can have both mode work in sync."
- Frank O'Connor: "Rather than simulate Halo 1's actual gameplay and actual physics; we're actually able to use them completely."
- Andrey Iones: "So the car is nice and shiny. The engine is very old, so we have to make sure that it all fits together. Unless, we would have to speed up the engine to make sure it works in today's world."
- Frank O'Connor: "We've done some deliberate things. The Library is now much easier to navigate. We've used light and textures to make it a little bit simpler."
- Chad Armstrong: "The pillars are covered in Holograms one one side, they're more decorated on the other side. It actually seems to help people who are not familiar with The Library and figuring out where they're going."
- Dennis Ries: "The Truth and Reconciliation is one of the best examples. If you come to that first interaction, and then make your way to the cliff, and look up to see this unbelievable skybox. And so, having all of these updated game for me has made the game much more immersive."
- David Ellis: "I remember when I first saw someone switch the graphics; I didn't know that was going to be a feature."
- Greg Hermann: "In a lot of ways, it was a fine balancing act because we were running all of the original Halo animations. So it was the original Halo skeletons for those characters. It needed to be rebound into the updated meshes that we had brought over from Halo: Reach and Halo 3. For example, the Elites had an elongated neck, so now they're a little more squat and compact."
- David Ellis: "Master Chief is iconic, so we have to make him look like a hero and make him look just right."
- Dennis Ries: "Chief's armor, that was a tough process. We went back and forth on that for a long time."
- Greg Hermann: "Originally, we were using the Mark-V armor that's built into the multiplayer compartment of Reach. We just kept coming back and it just didn't look like Master Chief."
- Frank O'Connor: "The first stuff we put at around E3, ugh, I think the instant reaction was Chief looks wrong; his visor's too big, the color's all wrong."
- David Ellis: "Some people thought we were doing it intentionally as retro. If you saw the original Chief from 1999-era, he had a very tall, matte-reflected helmet. He [the early Halo: Anniversary models of Chief's armor] actually looked similar to that."
- Chad Armstrong: "The great thing about this group working on this project is that we're very, very passionate about getting this right."
- Dennis Ries: "We worked on that for four months until we finally got a perfect Master Chief's armor."
- Frank O'Connor: "One of the number one asks we got for Halo 1 remake was co-op over Xbox LIVE."
- Greg Hermann: "The original Halo 1 campaign experience had already been designed for cooperative play. When you're getting out of the cryotube, there's actually two cryotubes for the cinematic."
- Dan Ayoub: "It creates another challenge for us and everybody else,, but we obviously wanted to support that."
- Andrey Iones: "The code-base was built ten years ago. So we'll have to figure out how this code-base is structured and designed."
- David Ellis: "We had a lot of people work really long hours to make it happen; ultimately from scratch."
- Dennis Ries: "It's pretty seamless. You'll go into the campaign lobby, and see your friends who are online playing the game, and you'll fire off an invite allowing them to join you."
- Greg Hermann: "You'll play what was originally a slit-screen cooperative campaign experience, now across LIVE."
- Chad Armstrong: "Classicly, Skulls in Halo tend to effect affect the behavior of AI. The AI needs to support those behavioral changes."
- Greg Hermann: "How do we include something which changes gameplay while one of our fundamental tenants is keep gameplay the same?"
- Dan Ayoub: "Skulls are one of the tools we're giving the player if they do want to change their gameplay experience a little bit, they can do that."
- David Ellis: "The benefit on this is that most of the skulls are new; you've never seen or played any of them before."
- Chad Armstrong: "Like Malfunction which removes elements of the HUD when you respawn, Boom which makes explosions much more dangerous for the Covenant and the player. That and a combination of something like the Grunt Funeral skull will make you become very afraid of Grunts."
- Frank O'Connor: "There are a few features of the game which turned out better than expected, and 3D's probably is probably the number one; it was an unexpected bonus and I don't see 3D very well, but it really worked for me. For some reason, it just pops in Halo better than in other games and movies."
- Dennis Ries: "Yeah, I'd say the feature that surprised me the most was Kinnect."
- Dan Ayoub: You have voice commands throughout the campaign; things like grenade, reload. At a point in the game were you're playing, you can analyze and you can almost capture items and move your cursor over and in the Library, you can go in there and see the things you've caught and move the model around. And it gives you a bit of a break down of what those characters are."
- Chad Armstrong: "For me when I think of Halo, I love looking around at the scope and the scale of things."
- Dan Ayoub: "This is the game that started it all. People can really dive in and remember what it was like ten years ago and if you didn't play it ten years ago, you can see what it was like ten years ago."
- Bonnie Ross Ziegler: "It's the quintessential walk down memory lane, only with better visuals."
- Frank O'Connor: "Ultimately, the thing you learn is that it doesn't just look modern, it feels completely modern."
- Dennis Ries: "A completely remaster campaign, great additional features like co-op over LIVE, Skulls, Terminals, 3D, Kinnect and Multiplayer."
- David Ellis: "Once you see it for yourself, it's really a pretty awesome experience."
- Frank O'Connor: "There's a lot of stuff in their for $40. We're actually raveling in the fact that there's so much there and load of stuff for people who enjoy Halo."
- David Ellis: "Definitely one of the best values you will find this holiday season by far."
The video closes as it displays the game's title, the game's release date and the 343 Industries logo.
The development of in-game models for Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.
Greg Hermann discussing the visuals in both in Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo: Anniversary.
A player analyzes a Grunt Minor.