Jeremy Patenaude: Over the course of the game, you end up as the Master Chief destroying the ring.
Kevin Grace: There's a small fragment that got out of the original system.
Jeremy Patenaude: And it ends up in this weird, irregular—sort of—orbit around this unidentified sun.
Frank O'Connor: So imagine this sort of curved fragment of this ten thousand kilometer band, tumbling and spinning, dangerously ever closer to this red giant.
Jeremy Patenaude: A dozen, sixteen, or whatever hours a day, it's directly facing the sun and experiencing extreme temperatures and then flopping back over.
Frank O'Connor: So in the night cycle, it's just about liveable. When it gets to the day cycle, it spins to face that sun, It can't control the temperatures. The technology isn't that good. So they have to do everything before the sun rises or they are going to be burnt to a crisp.
Jeremy Patenaude: And so, landing a group of operatives onto a surface of a ring that's doing that and saying "You got to complete your exercise—your operation—in sixteen hours. Good luck." is kind of what we had in mind for Nightfall. The reason we went to Iceland was because they have some ridiculously awesome landscapes.
Frank O'Connor: Everywhere you point a camera in that county, you get a beautiful shot.
Jeremy Patenaude: I mean, everybody transformed that quarry into a burning hot, deadly fragment of an alien artifact.
Frank O'Connor: They gave us a truly alien that matched a lot of the look and feel of the Halo, but also had kind of a damaged, raw feel to it, which was very important because we're not exploring an intact, perfect, beautiful Halo; we're exploring a little chunk of it.
Kevin Grace: I will admit, a grabbed a couple of rocks that I brought home and said I have rocks from a Halo ring. Kind of a Halo dork so, that's how I roll.