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In this classic 2010 GDC talk, Bungie's Jaime Griesemer discusses the decision to change the reload of Halo 3's sniper rifle from .5 to .7 seconds.
It was a rare look inside the process and ramifications of even a small, seemingly insignificant game design tweak in a multiplayer game.
Griesemer took a full hour to walk attendees through questions like, Why 0.7 seconds? Why that particular field? What processes and design principles lead to that change? How was it proposed, tested, and evaluated? What were its effects on the game's balance? How were those effects evaluated to the effects of the infinite number of other changes that could have been made? What were the external considerations, such as community reaction or target demographics, that influenced it? And what can be learned from that change to improve our ability to make changes in the future?
It's a classic talk that's well worth a watch (or rewatch), and now you can watch it for free via the official GDC YouTube channel!
In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its accompanying YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.
Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC or VRDC already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. 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 by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page.