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Why Bungie overstaffed on  Halo : to train its devs for  Destiny

Why Bungie overstaffed on Halo: to train its devs for Destiny

May 17, 2017 | By Alex Wawro

"We needed to bring extra people on to Halo to train them up, ready [them] for Destiny."

- Jonty Barnes, VP of game development at Bungie, speaking to Mashable.

Much has been made of the development process for Bungie's 2014 online shooter Destiny, which reportedly went through a last-minute narrative redesign

Now, with a sequel due later this year, some folks at Bungie sat down with Mashable to talk about where Destiny came from, in the process shedding some light on how the studio's inner workings shifted to accommodate the demands of the project.

Among the interesting tidbits is an acknowledgement from Bungie exec Jonty Barnes that since the studio was still finishing up Halo: Reach while doing pre-production for Destiny (a project codename that just...stuck), it actually overstaffed the Halo team and used the game as a sort of training ground for the next project.

"Halo was a high production cost, but this was epic. From that moment, [we realized] we needed to bring extra people on to Halo to train them up, ready [them] for Destiny,” Barnes told Mashable. “We actually had areas of Halo where, from a production point of view, we overstaffed because we were setting up the company for our future."

This isn't necessariliy unheard of, especially among larger game development companies, but it's still interesting to note in light of how fundamentally similar Halo and Destiny can seem -- a similarity that Barnes says was not originally intended.

"Everyone was very excited [at first] about doing something different that wasn't a first-person shooter, having spent so much time on it,” said Barnes, noting that one of the early concepts for what would become Destiny was actually a third-person melee game. However, “we realized that, actually, a lot of us came to Bungie because we wanted to work on Halo and loved the first-person shooter and were very good at it.”

You can read more of Barnes' reflections on the development of Destiny, alongside input from other Bungie devs, over on Mashable.

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