Q&As// Halo 2: Colin Riley Technical Artist

...striking a balance between functionality and security.

Posted 13 Jul 2007 17:05 by
Games: Halo 2
SPOnG: Did you take any input from fans of the Xbox version to help improve the PC release? If so, what kind of feedback have you had?

Colin Riley: We did, and dedicated servers and the map editor are a couple important features that were born out of that feedback. These kinds of features add to the general theme of Halo 2 for Windows Vista, which is all about letting the users define their own unique online experiences within the Halo 2 universe.

SPOnG: Opinion appears to be divided on Windows Vista as a gaming platform right now. Do you think that releasing Halo 2 as Vista-only restricts many PC gamers who are holding off on getting the new OS, or do you feel the game will encourage those people to get Vista?

Colin Riley: Developing the game exclusively for Windows Vista allowed us to create a well-rounded gaming experience by taking advantage of some of its game-focused features like parental controls, the games explorer, and additional security features.

SPOnG: Many gamers feel that titles destined for PC suffer from over-simplified controls if released on Xbox first, due to the lack of buttons found on a controller pad. Was it a challenge to bring the control system of Halo 2 to keyboard and mouse, while maintaining a sufficient and immersive control system that pleases PC owners?

Colin Riley: The great thing about Halo 2 is that it has a real “pick up and play” feel to it. It’s fun from the time you pick up the controller to the time you set it down. That’s something we wanted to make sure we preserved while also allowing the user the freedom to choose how they play the game; with a keyboard and mouse or with a controller. That being said, it was challenging to translate the controls for the keyboard/mouse players and still maintain a balance for users who want to use the Xbox 360 controller. We do offer full customization of the controls so PC users can tweak settings to their own tastes.

SPOnG: The extra maps found in the Multiplayer Map Pack will be available in the Games for Windows version – do you plan on making new maps available on Windows Live and will the PC downloadable content be charged?

Colin Riley: We provide an in-game mechanism to share new custom multiplayer content between users.

SPOnG: The multiplayer map creator is an exciting addition to the PC version. How advanced or limited can we expect this creator to be – how much freedom will players be given in making their own stages?

Colin Riley: The map editor is an exciting feature and we are already experiencing some great new custom maps. The tools are essentially an adapted version of the internal development tools Bungie uses, so in that respect they are powerful. Making these tools available for consumer consumption on the PC platform does mean striking a balance between functionality and security.

SPOnG: What has been the most enjoyable thing about bringing Halo 2 to the PC market?

Colin Riley: We got to build an awesome team from the ground up. We were also able to work with great partners like Bungie, Pi Studios and the Games for Windows – LIVE team.

SPOnG: Thanks for your time Colin.
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Games: Halo 2

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