Bungie Was Unconcerned With Avoiding Halo, But Wanted Destiny To Look "Unique"

A Bungie artist talks about the developer's goals and what makes Destiny's art next-gen.

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There are undoubtedly similarities between Destiny and Halo, both of which were created by Bungie. Those similarities include the visuals, which may be due to the fact that Bungie says it didn't specifically set out to make something that looked completely different from Halo.

In an interview with GamesBeat, senior environmental artist Jason Sussman was asked about whether Bungie felt its next game had to look nothing like Halo. "That wasn't our goal," he said. "I think Chris Barrett, our art director, has talked about how we went really high fantasy at first. We wanted to branch out and do something fantastic. Then we started falling back on some of the things that we know how to do really well, merging those worlds together. We weren't trying, intentionally, to say, 'Hey, let's not make it look like this.' We just wanted to make something unique and special, not only to the players, but to ourselves. We wanted to do something new, something bigger, something different in all the right ways, but still remaining true to our foundation."

The Destiny alpha test wrapped up yesterday, and while it's prompted numerous jokes and critiques about Peter Dinklage's voice acting, the consensus is that it's an absolutely beautiful game. We've only seen it running on the PlayStation 4, but considering this is a game that will be released on last-generation consoles in addition to PS4 and Xbox One, it's an impressive achievement.

The scale and draw distance, in particular, have been lauded by those who have played the game, and it's those things that Sussman pointed to when asked about what makes the art next-gen. "It's the scale and scope of what we're doing," he responded. "The size of our environments and the amount of explorable space and the amount of A.I. in those environments, along with other players coming seamlessly in and out of those spaces. It doesn't matter if you're on a strike or playing a campaign mission or just roaming around. You're constantly going to run across other people, seamlessly coming in and out. That feels very different to me. It's not just a typical first-person shooter."

Sussman also talked up the work Bungie has done on the engine that's powering the game. "We're doing a lot of different technical things that we haven't done before," he said. "We have cloth sim on the players. We've rewritten our engine from the ground up. This is not the engine we used in the past. Every system has been amplified, from animation to the way we're lighting the environment. We're tuning in to every aspect of each next-gen console as much as possible."

Bungie has previously said that the last-generation-console versions will not be dumbed down compared to what's offered on PS4 or Xbox One, although we still don't have any real idea of what to expect on 360 or PS3. Sussman added to Bungie's past comments by saying, "We've pushed the 360 and the PS3 really far. We want to deliver, on all four consoles, the best possible experience."

Destiny is set to run at 1080p and 30 frames per second on both Xbox One and PS4, figures which Sussman confirmed to GamesBeat. Although those two will be comparable in that regard, the PlayStation versions will feature exclusive content, and the upcoming beta will launch first on those platforms on July 17.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

143 comments
boneynerd
boneynerd

they should have just skipped this title and brought Halo to ps4 also.  this would increase sales and also they could spend more dev time on the one title.  

i see no reason for this title other then it would be a time killer until november when i can get back to a real call of duty title.

shawise
shawise

So they basically used the same frame work and just added a few new extras....I wonder if the game will come with instructions, remember when games came with instructions and a sturdy case.

EmperorSamoth
EmperorSamoth

Can we reach a consensus to stop calling the new consoles "Next Gen"?  They've been out since November of last year FFS!!!

Amirygon
Amirygon

It seems people are getting this "exclusive" thing mixed up.


What PS4 owners are getting is exclusive access to an ALPHA build. Meaning, they're not getting to play a release-quality build of the game, but rather a bug-prone build. As an experienced alpha/beta tester myself, I can say without any doubt that Xbox One users can rest easily knowing they're not missing out on anything while PS4 owners should feel insulted by Bungie for bothering with exclusive alpha access like as if it's a privilege worth bragging about (mind you, I even own a PS4 and played/tested Destiny).

suburbanmaniac
suburbanmaniac

Why does every site keep posting false information? It's TIMED exclusive content! Xbox will get the same stuff later on.

thesilverape
thesilverape

Damn Gamespot is going down hill. Can't you talk about anything more than how a developer makes stuff "next-gen" and how games are running over 9000p with quazillion fps? In an FPS game (which requires good reaction time) 30fps is not enough. Damn and we all know(I hope) that this is total PR bullshit anyway, Bungie has been lying from the get go "It would be too complicated to port the game to PC, instead we decided to port it to the X360 and PS3". I have no doubt the game will be good, but there is more to games than graphics if all you want is graphics watch a movie.  

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

I don't get it, how do they intend to deliver a next-gen experience, and deliver the same experience on the last-gen platforms at the same time. Bu l ls h it.

Fartman7998
Fartman7998

Now I'm confused.  Should I get the Xbox One version because Bungie, or should I get the Playstation version because exclusive content? 

VakarianGirl
VakarianGirl

Hahahaha!  So they *actually* admit to copying Halo's art and style?  How lazy.

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

The game shares characteristics with many genres of games after playing the alpha I'm hooked. Many probably wont like it due to PvP but I'm more of a pve type of a player so this is my cup of tea. I wished the beta was open to all that are interested in the game but then again glad its not less of a chance to run into those players that just bag on anything they play just cus they want attention.

Pewbert
Pewbert

Is it really just a 6v6 shooter, or is it an open world action adventure?

everson_rm
everson_rm

I was taken everything from this game with a pinch of salt, but i played alpha and can say, NOW I'M REALLY HYPED. Will be preordering soon.

boneynerd
boneynerd

@shawise i miss cheat codes.. i could care less about stupid trophies and crap.  but whatever.. gone are the old days of gaming... 

now its about BIG money, DLC, and spending $120 on a game and another $50 for a year of online play lol.


i miss the good old days.. but i love my multiplayer, but refuse to spend another $50 on DLC.

boneynerd
boneynerd

@EmperorSamoth theyll be nextgen until the 'next gen' arrive lol.. just the way people perceive things i guess

boneynerd
boneynerd

@Amirygon i dislike exclusives.. and i also dislike how studios are releasing games that are broken, incomplete, or unplayable.

as a gaming community we need to stop 'PRE ORDERING' titles.. 

its all a sham only putting money in the pockets of big companies while hurting the consumer.

zerocrit
zerocrit

Since you played that alpha you must of realized how stable it ran...... So what should Bungie apologize for? It was more or less a exclusive demo to the game so yeah playstation owners should be happy.

boneynerd
boneynerd

@thesilverape until an industry standard of 1080p or 720p (give us an OPTION) at 60fps MINIMUM is established we will have this discussion over and over.  and FPS should never drop BELOW 30.


unfortunately retards keep releasing game engines running at 30fps.. which is stupid and we all know it like you said but dev's just cant seem to read the communities needs.

unreal849
unreal849

@Morphine_OD  Something tells me that we'll see last-gen version severely gimped on a graphical level. 


Kinda like BF4 technically had the same gameplay on PS3/360, but just looked like a godawful tan/brown blur.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

@rorytmeadows  Well , you will be going on lots of missions instead of just walking thru a linear story like what Halo is for example.  If you like to explore  an open world you will like it. There are main missions and side missions to help you level up. If they will be exciting will be a matter of preference, but they will almost all involve a lot of shooting combat.

Amirygon
Amirygon

@Fartman7998 The PS version is not getting exclusive content, but only and merely exclusive access to an alpha-quality build (there are generally three primary build phases for software: Alpha, Beta, and then Release). So rest easily knowing you're not getting any exclusive content, at least for the foreseeable future.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

@Fartman7998  I think  you also might want to consider if any of your friends will be playing it and on which platform. This game will be a blast with friends.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@VakarianGirl So you actually admit to misinterpreting what they said, because that's what your comment sounds like, which with your logic means it's the truth.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

@VakarianGirl  I played the game for two days and  the landscapes looked nothing like any of the halo games.  You maybe, maybe could see some similarity between the enemies  from Halo and Destiny. But that's it. As much of a fan of Halo as I am I would gladly tell you if there was more. To be specific.  Almost all of Halos areas across all the games the scenery during the day was almost always bright and colorful. The main map in The Destiny Alpha is a rusting old run down Russia like something that you might see after a nuclear war with broken rusted planes tanks, almost destroyed factories. The building were a rusty brown color. The building in The Halos were either a bright grey or a sand colored tan. (from what I remember). IF you did not now who made Destiny you would not know it was Bungie.

vampiricxx
vampiricxx

They kind of invented halo and microsoft bought the license so they could milk it to death. So im pretty sure you cant copy yourself. Its their style, microsoft just bought it

Zerabp
Zerabp

@Pewbert I't open world and some times there were about 30 enemies, with multiple players on the screen during the alpha. I didn't even try the multiplayer as it's not my thing. The AI isn't super smart but it isn't stupid either so it is pretty impressive.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@everson_rm Does it have singleplayer or is it all MP or pseudo-MP, with no I-just-want-be-alone mode?

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

@jjleshko90  Except its not. Halo is a linear  story shooter. This is RPG with persistent world. The only thing that is like halo is the game mechanics. Specifically running and jumping. The world looking nothing like any of the part of Halo. the guns are nothing like halo. You don't scavenge for grenades. And I could list many more reasons.

Amirygon
Amirygon

@boneynerd  What you like or dislike is as relevant as what you had for dinner in the context of what you were replying to.

Amirygon
Amirygon

@zerocrit Yes, it was very stable, and Bungie has done a good job. But it's the way Bungie announced it at E3, making it out like as if PS owners are getting an advantage over XB owners.


Of course, I should've better phrased myself than that too, so I do apologize. It's not that either side should feel offended, but that if anyone, it would be PS owners that should.

cpsobe720
cpsobe720

@Hurvl @everson_rm It has single player components where you have specific class missions to complete that follows the back story of Destiny.

everson_rm
everson_rm

@Hurvl @everson_rm Sorry don't have many information, played on my cousing house, when i arrived there, he was playng solo, then i played for 15 minutes. Then, i went out to have a smoke, when i arrived again, he was playng with 2 ppl. And then i played a little more, and, sadly i had to go home.

Zee1027
Zee1027

@rorytmeadows @vampiricxx You really haven't the slightest clue as to what you're talking about do you? After Halo 3, the series went downhill. Interestingly enough, that was the last game made by the legitimate Bungie team.

vampiricxx
vampiricxx

Never played firefall, but i can say its pretty much borderlands meets halo with more social elements. Which isnt really a bad thing. The alpha needs some work and i hadsome complaints but it was enjoyable. Playing cooperatively was very fun.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Amirygon @Hurvl @everson_rm Thanks for letting me know. If it's like Diablo 3, online singleplayer, then I might try it, but I'm not interested in playing with others.

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

@rorytmeadows 

I actually felt like Halo 2 was a low point, campaign-wise, and Halo 3 was a rebound. In fact, I think Halo 3 was better for multiplayer too.

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

@rorytmeadows Actually, Halo went downhill with 4. I found ODST very enjoyable, and Reach was probably one of my favorite games from last gen. 


TBH, Halo 4 is one of the reasons I went back to Sony this gen -beside the fact I prefer their exclusives too.

Zee1027
Zee1027

@rorytmeadows @Zee1027 @vampiricxx Thanks. But, Halo 3 was still a good game. If I remember correctly, Bungie had a hand in Halo 3 even if it wasn't exclusively the Bungie we know and love.

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

@rorytmeadows @The-Neon-Seal 2 is the only one I never played in the original series, but I liked them all. 343 seemed to ignore the possibilities that Halo Legends had set up. I know the covernant in 4 were rebels, but it was like the war had never ended, the human/covernant allience never forged. They could have atleast had a small covernant party show up to help rather than have you kill every covernant you see... again.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

@rorytmeadows  I'm a true Halo fan and I liked 3 .I specifically like the battle between the tanks and the Scarab walker.

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

@rorytmeadows @The-Neon-Seal @AncientDozer You played Halo for the multiplayer? Although Halo had excellent multiplayer, the rule that stands for CoD -although I like the campaigns in them- and Battlefield -the campaigns suck- is sort of reversed for Halo.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

@rorytmeadows @spartanx169x  Yes and I disagree with you. As far as I know, what is or is not a "True Halo fan" is a matter of opinion. I know lots of Halo fans that enjoyed 3. It is not their favorite, but they enjoyed it.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

@rorytmeadows @spartanx169x  Whatever man, when you grow up you will realize opinions are just that, opinions. There is no right and wrong with very few exceptions and video games is not one of them.