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Video: Bungie's world of Destiny, from concept to production
April 11, 2013 | By GDC Vault Staff

April 11, 2013 | By GDC Vault Staff
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Courtesy of the GDC Vault, Bungie's GDC 2013 talk is now free, and you can hear art director Christopher Barrett and design director Joe Staten explain the four pillars that inform their world-building for upcoming action shooter Destiny.

Along with these pillars, they discuss challenges they had to overcome such as defining the game world and transitioning teams from concept to production.

Session Name: Brave New World: New Bungie IP

Speaker(s): Christopher Barrett, Joe Staten

Company Name(s): Bungie, Bungie

Track / Format: Visual arts, Design

Overview:Two decades of success in the gaming industry is no small feat, but after ten years of Halo, Bungie found themselves faced with a tremendous challenge: to build a whole new world, filled with even more amazing mysteries, places, creatures, and opportunities for player investment. For the first time ever, Bungie creative directors will discuss their world building techniques, from concept to production.

Bungie's directors will also offer key insights into its battle-tested design process. They'll give a glimpse of the brave new world that has been built, a place where the next ten years of great Bungie adventures will unfold.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent GDC events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers. Those who purchased All Access passes to events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC China already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscriptions via a GDC Vault inquiry form.

Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via an online demonstration, and interested parties can find out more here. In addition, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault admins.

Be sure to keep an eye on GDC Vault for even more new content, as GDC organizers will also archive videos, audio, and slides from other events like GDC China and GDC 2013. To stay abreast of all the latest updates to GDC Vault, be sure to check out the news feed on the official GDC website, or subscribe to updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS.

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Comments


Vincent Hyne
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We're creating something... completely new.

We're creating something... completely new.

We're creating something... completely new.

We're creating something... completely new.

We're creating something... completely new.

Thanks for the video though.

:)

Michael Joseph
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lol.

I think you're referring to
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/189654/Video_Chris_Heckers_wor
dless_rant_at_GDC_2013.php

I'm skeptical of massive AAA games these days. With so much focus on graphics and content, they almost always seem to wind up giving us same old same old gameplay.

but we'll see.

Jorge Ramos
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This coming from the same people that have ONLY ever done Halo, much like that PS4 video where the guy that ONLY ever made gran turismo in their entire career was talking about making new things on the new hardware.

considering how the whole thing just felt like "another flavor of Halo", I can pass. I was into Halo for the *campaign*, and I felt so utterly betrayed after playing #3 that I refused to touch the franchise anymore.

Denys Medianyk
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"This coming from the same people that have ONLY ever done Halo"
---
Marathon, Myth and Oni also.

Maria Jayne
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Myth was great, I loved listening to whoever narrated the campaign cutscenes.

Jorge Ramos
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@Denys

I forgot about Marathon, which sadly reminded me of another point of frustration I had with bungie. Namely, that they managed to successfully pull a George Lucas level troll and that halo was effectively a prequel to Marathon.

Michael Joseph
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"In January 2012, Star Wars: The Old Republic was officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the "Largest Entertainment Voice Over Project Ever", with over 200,000 lines of recorded dialogue.[49] This feat is recorded in the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition book."
---

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Hopefully Bungie isn't just making bigger monuments and future colossal wrecks. I think it's got to stand out from a pure gameplay sense and not just rely on an epic art and story effort.

Johnathon Swift
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I hope this isn't going to be as worthless as the Halo 4 talk. That thing was so utterly pointless "Our team is so great, we are so great, we're so original, look at our game that looks no different than our game from a decade ago but is slightly worse in every way."

Judging by your comments though I'm not hopeful.

Jack Mahogany
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So much negativity! I don't have anything against a group of people who love making what they love to play.

Michael Joseph
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Hopefully it only strengthens their resolve so one day all doubters will eat crow. Bungie surely get's so much blind fan boy optimism and faith that maybe they can benefit a tiny bit from hearing more sober, skeptical voices? Players are jaded too. Maybe Destiny can be helped by thinking about ways to counter the jade. That might lead to some really cool stuff.

...and nobody is actually wishing for them to do poorly.

Olivier Riedo
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It's nice that they love making it but GDC talks should be more insightful, not just promotional talks.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Duong Nguyen
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It's a good talk but at times feels like just a big promo for Destiny. Tech wise it's pretty cool they have such robust creation tools. I can't see any reason why they can't release that to the community and create some sort of avenue for user created content look at Minecraft. One of the question asked in the talk was how do you create a world where there are 1 million heros? We'll you create 1 million worlds of course, but it will probably take millions of users to create them. Good Luck! :)

Nick Harris
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I've had this on preorder for my 360 since it appeared on Amazon, although I'm starting to wonder if it would be better to cancel and purchase it for the 1080 when that eventually launches. I can't see my 360 doing justice to that concept art somehow. I also found it a little strange that the only location they showed in three dimensions didn't appear to conform to their unifying visual theme: "Nature ascendant over lost human civilisation" ought to show a moonbase damaged by meteorites at 28:17 to 29:45 in the video.

I'm also concerned that there was no talk about gameplay mechanics such as the 'golden triangle' in Halo which makes throwing grenades, melee attacks and using a weapon not require moving your thumb from the look stick to any of the face buttons. The 'Bumper Jumper' control scheme in Halo 3 also meant that jumping didn't require moving your thumb from the look stick onto (A) as is the case in many FPS games. Not that I mind having to do this all that much in Call of Duty and Battlefield as it gets less frequently used, but in Halo the cybernetically enhanced Spartan warrior's jump is actually a counter move to grenades and rocket blasts. Later Halo games like Reach have preferred to have armor abilities such as the Jetpack on this same bumper and relocate Jump onto a face button, which is a retrograde and unnecessary step in my opinion (especially, when tapping LB could Jump and holding it could activate an equipped Jetpack). I must admit I am pretty sensitive to ergonomics and regard the articulacy of a control scheme to be fundamental to the player's sense of empowerment within the fictional world. Shigeru Miyamoto spent a lot of time with Super Mario 64 getting the protagonist to perform acrobatic manoeuvres and only then build levels which challenged the player to master them in order of their difficulty, but at the outset Mario was just an inertial ball rolling around under the influence of the newly fangled analog stick.

The three classes seem rather dull, I'd rather play as a member of the Cabal... but then I find humanity dull in real-life. So, we get to play as a Titan (Master Chief only with a faggy coat of arms), a Hunter (The man with no name from the Sergio Leone westerns) and a 'Space Wizard'... sorry... a Warlock (who carries a gun despite all the inspirational references having him holding a sword, hmmm). As I watched this unoriginality a thought occurred to me that someone could mock the whole thing up in Halo 3's Forge.

Open the Forge Editor on the Sandtrap map (already looks like Destiny), put in some Hornets and Choppers for vehicles and have three safe spawn locations for the three classes, two of which spawn on top of custom power ups: the Titan has his movement speed tuned down and shield boosted enormously, the Warlock has poor camouflage and slightly faster movement. The Hunter gets no special power up. Weapon damage is increased for all weapons so a body shot to the Hunter or Warlock is a one-hit kill. The Warlock spawns on top of a pair of Plasma Grenades, a Plasma Sword and a now boosted deadly effective Plasma Pistol (magic spell). The Hunter gets a pair of Incendiary Grenades, a Magnum Pistol and Sniper Rifle. The Titan has a Brute Shot, Rocket Launcher and Human Turret to pick up. Appropriately structured cover is added to the map to allow each participant a chance. A slowly moving Hill game variant would probably be the best way to stop stagnation from camping Hunters, or Warlocks waiting in ambush.

Now, obviously this is just a thought-experiment, but I think that it is interesting that one can imagine that you could build Destiny, or even Shootmania within one of their older games console 'modding' tools. I hope that Destiny proves to have some fresh ideas in it that couldn't be done in Halo 3 Forge with imagination.

Christian Philippe Guay
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Great conference about the art direction of the game and the process.

However, they talked at the beginning about how they wanted to make a huge game that would last 10 years, that players could revisit places and that kind of stuff, but they didn't really touch that subject yet.

miguel rivero
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I wonder if game developers have forgotten the golden rule: "Less is more".

Eric Schwarz
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Less is only more when your more isn't worthwhile.

A W
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So this game is really just an action game that you can play with several people at a time. Instead of just being clearly a CoD like game, they will allow the player an individual identity in the world which you will carry over into sequals. Maybe they will add branching paths or choose your direction open world stories to give the illusion of a breathing, living, and everchanging, arena. So... really this isn't something new, just several gaming consepts that will make old mechanics feel like something new. I don't understand why they are being forced to put this on PS3 and Xbox360. Clearly the ten year plan; which doesn't include any Nintendo consoles, are not going to be fuffiled on those consoles.

Ryan Samms
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I agree that this wasn't the venue for a promo press conference that this certainly feels like, talking more about the idea of the game rather certain design details. Theres way too much negativity here though. The game is still a FPS and Bungie's developers are doing more in that genre then anyone else by the look of things. A lot of potential here.

Michael Joseph
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"Theres way too much negativity here though."

Constructive negativity perhaps. That kind of make it positivity. Glass half empty or half full I suppose.

And I don't think we have to worry about hurting Bungie's feelings.


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