Halo 3 Exclusive Q&A - The Construct Multiplayer Level

Bungie's multiplayer design lead introduces us to the Construct multiplayer level and gives us some insider tips on how to dominate.

As you may have heard, Microsoft and Bungie are releasing a little game called Halo 3 next week. The long-awaited conclusion to the famous first-person shooter trilogy will perhaps wrap up the saga of the enigmatic Master Chief. It will also unleash millions of hours of multiplayer gameplay on Xbox Live. Multiplayer is a huge part of Halo's success, and we have the exclusive details on a previously never-before-seen level. To get the skinny on this new map, we turned to the multiplayer design lead at Bungie himself, Tyson Green.

Hey, did you hear? Halo 3 is coming.

GameSpot: What's the name of the level and how did you come up with it?

Tyson Green: The map's name is Construct, and it is one of the development names for a map that we ended up sticking with in the final version. It came from early concepts of the map being more industrial in nature, and it stuck even as the setting became a little less stark.

GS: How do you balance what everyone wants to do with gameplay?

TG: We try to bring the two together by setting up scenarios where the intended gameplay is along the lines of what the player wants to do anyway. If a map has good sightlines for sniping, we make sure there are sniping weapons available. If it's fun to drive on, we balance the weapons such that the vehicles are not trivialized. At the same time, though, we take care to counterbalance things that are too obvious or too advantageous. In the case of Construct, it's very advantageous to control the upper level, but this is balanced out by moving more of the coveted weapons to the lower levels.

GS: What are some aspects of it that have impressed you now that it's done?

TG: The setting for the map evolved a lot from the first concepts, at various times being set floating in water or along a sort of monorail. At some point, the art direction was synched up with the setting of a campaign environment, and they switched over to the near final skybox. It completely changed the feel of the setting, and the vista from the front of the map still wows me.

GS: How has it been learning the whole balancing act between making something cool and something playable?

Welcome to Construct. This should be fun.

TG: It's been entertaining. Often, we'll put something in that seems really crazy, play with it for a couple of days and then dial it back if it's not playable. We ended up with the elephants on Sandtrap that way...by putting in something ridiculous--that nobody was really sure about--and then gradually tweaking it into something really fun. Sometimes, though, the failures are much funnier than the successes that we actually ship, like the early man cannons on Valhalla that would throw you clear across the map (and kill you in the process).

GS: What are some fun behind-the-scenes factoids around the making of the level?

TG: Early versions of Construct had a much greater elevation difference between the two levels, and Banshees fighting between the levels figured prominently in our concepts. When we got to playing it, though, the elevation difference made any engagement between the levels difficult (or impossible), and around the time of our public beta, we made some significant changes to the Banshee that made it very hard to use on the level. Ultimately, we tightened up the level to place a greater focus on infantry combat and zone control.

GS: How do you all like to play the level? Any tips for folks?

TG: When we're playing slayer, we like to take the high ground and defend the upper reaches of the map near the smaller lifts. There's a lot of room to move and choose your engagements there, and it takes a coordinated offense to root you out (which make for the best clashes, win or lose). It's also pretty exciting when a fusion coil pops out of the lift with a grenade right after it. It makes you move in a real hurry.

GS: What weapons are around the level?

TG: On the lower level of the map, you can nab a Spartan Laser for picking off people on the upper levels, and a selection of Brute Shots and Maulers for bum-rushing the lifts. On the upper level, there's a sniper rifle for watching the approaches, and a sword sits out where you have to put yourself in a potentially compromising situation to pick it up.

GS: Did all the pressure from fans (and the stuff you put on yourselves) make it tough on those creating the multiplayer content? How did you stay focused?

It doesn't get any better than Red versus Blue.

TG: There's pressure, but at the end of the day, we listen to the feedback we get and trust our guts. If you can sit down in a play test and have a fun game on the map, then you're doing something right. The trick is knowing when to stop and when you're getting into the realm of "fun, but only for experienced players who play exactly like me." It's easy to ruin something for everyone else. So we test constantly to guard against that.

GS: What's something not readily obvious in the level that fans should look for?

TG: The trick to breaking a hold on the upper levels is to remember that lifts act on just about everything--players, grenades, and equipment. If someone is camping upstairs, try throwing a power drainer in before you go up. Chase it with a grenade or two, and you can clear out the space before you follow.

GS: Thank you, Tyson.

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465 comments
jakjbt
jakjbt

I love this game play me on halo?>>>>>>>>>Gamer tag:jackjbt07

daztaru
daztaru

if this suddenly got cancelled ud probs slit ur wrists am i right?

hectorx
hectorx

only 2 hours 45 minutes!

scak4life
scak4life

ZOMG!!!!! 8 MORE HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!

garbe
garbe

I need money to buy it...

trickyspider
trickyspider

hahah gamespot gave it a 9.5... i am sure they mst b drunk b4 doin the review... lol

Cheddac18769
Cheddac18769

"1 sword its good.. why u need 2?" -afuentes18 Have you not seen gladiator? :-)

ghost-dude
ghost-dude

lucky i get paid day before its released :D

Red-Bananas
Red-Bananas

I got an Elite, I've focused all my attention on playing this game, and -BLAM- , I can't play it cous my TV can't handle pal-60 OMG, whyyyyyyyyyy

StrikingDmc4
StrikingDmc4

Yo Drakersen i feel ya pain man mine broke 12 days b4 H3 ='(

drakersen
drakersen

omfg!!!!!!!! my 360 is broken crap ill have to wait a month till i can play halo 3 !!!!!!!!! fk WHY DO YOU HATE ME GOD??????????? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY *DIED*

shadowthecat
shadowthecat

Got it yesterday, it plays much better than most fpses currently on the market. New weapons and vehicles are sick too.

afuentes18
afuentes18

1 sword its good.. why u need 2?

LWD37
LWD37

ok i really dont know, will there be dual-weild swords?

slayersdeath200
slayersdeath200

the legendary edition is mine on Tuesday at 00.01 in gamestation XD YAY cant wait

halofandeluxe
halofandeluxe

im just doing it the easy way im supous to go to some camp in nowhere but i desided to skip that and just go and play halo 3 there's only one problem i have to wait until wednesday because i live in norway:(

callumrussell
callumrussell

i cant wait till it comes out wish i didnt spend all my money 4 days before it came out though lol

commando611
commando611

i gonna have to rent a blockbuster,i cant wait!

blackleather223
blackleather223

Yea this game looks to be amazing but I'll have to wait until i get a 360 and the game in order to play it. I dislike wireless mouse but they are wonderful as long as they stay recharged the batteries of course but yes when it says running low it really means change now or die.

sw_and_wet
sw_and_wet

Oh man, finally it's coming out on Tuesday!! I have preordered limited edition. I wanted to get the legendary version, but it;s too expensive.......

afuentes18
afuentes18

this is crezy some people alredy have halo 3

alexg213
alexg213

I've been waiting for Halo 3 for years. But guess what, I CAN'T PLAY IT FOR A MONTH AFTER LAUNCH!! Why you ask? Because my 360 just got the "Red Rings of Death" today. Thanks MS :(

glundex
glundex

Im Counting The Seconds. BUT. ITS. NOT. WORKING. D; _Bangs Head On Wall

-theking07-
-theking07-

MAN!! THIS GAME IS GOINT TO BE AWESOME!!!! BUT, i only have 42$ and i dont get paid for a long time!!!! This Sucks, i just hope, no freaking idiot, goes around and gives the spoilers away at school.

jrmyecomp
jrmyecomp

I have to beat bioshock on hard first damm rosie elites!!!!!!!! stupid logitech mouse is low on batteries thug splicers are owning me

DrAwesomeMD
DrAwesomeMD

This will be the best game ever(next to Legend of Zelda:Ocarina of Time).

Numb-Stump
Numb-Stump

I got the Legendary Edition, and am now I'm kinda regretting it. The Limited Edition's artbook sounds really cool, especially if you're more of an art orientated guy. Plus its only $70, whereas the Legendary Edition is like a $150 all together. I'm just really hoping the artbook is digtalized, and put on the Legendary's extra-content disc. Fingers crossed.

waveddiamond
waveddiamond

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Squirrelman5674
Squirrelman5674

I preordered limited edition because legendary is toooooo much for me. I just want to play it, and save money.

vpp360
vpp360

i preordered halo3 legenday edition from bestbuy. i cant wait for it!!! its the best game ever.

BritSamurai
BritSamurai

in the uk it comes out on 9/26, in us 9/25 moron

Teebown24
Teebown24

this game is gonna be sick. cant wait for it to come out. im running straight to the store after school.

stewiegriffin20
stewiegriffin20

i cant wait for the game either but im not crazy about it, someone spent $1700 on an ebay acution for a Legenday Edition which someone had gotten 5 days early, I like it, i liked the whole series, but im not crazy about it

erikegg
erikegg

haw many spartan variants are thare. wow this is going to be cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fazoid93
Fazoid93

I CANNOT WAIT 3 DAYS THIS IS TORTURE!! The closer it gets the further it seems! But anyway this is gonna be amazing. Lol Unholy Hitokiri I agree with you totally!

Unholy_Hitokiri
Unholy_Hitokiri

Three days away and I can't wait this is gonna be the only game I play for like three months straight.

omegakie
omegakie

Loved the first picture and the game looks sweet

tomrcw57
tomrcw57

Finished the campaign on legendary in less than 7 hours