Much is afoot in the Halo universe

2014 is here and much is afoot in the Halo universe

– Josh Holmes, Executive Producer at 343 Industries

The post title and above quote are taken from a recent post on Halo Waypoint by Josh Holmes, former Creative Director and now Executive Producer at 343 Industries.

It was the first sentence of his post and set the stage for the changes he went on to talk about that have taken place at the company as well as dropping vague mentionings about the next (major) Halo game.

While I had already mentioned about Tim Longo’s hiring last month, there are some other tidings to share:

  • Kenneth Scott is stepping down from his position of Senior Art Director, and Nicolas “Sparth” Bouvier is taking his place; Mr. Scott will still be involved with the studio as a Visual Design Consultant
  • While you never like to lose people, the idea that Sparth is taking over is great news. I really enjoyed the art direction of Halo 4, so the fact that someone who had a large hand in that not only makes sense but means good things are in store.
  • Mr. Bouvier’s style has always been fantastic (the covers of the “Forerunner Trilogy” come to mind), but if you need proof please head to his personal tumblr account here.
  • Kiki Wolfkill is currently “… developing exciting new stories, experiences and technologies that will transform the way that you experience Halo.”

Which means nothing at this point, since we have no clue what he’s referring to. However, new game hype is best served in small bites, and I think this qualifies. Delicious!

The last personnel change I’ll mention comes not from Waypoint but courtesy of (who else?) HBO and it has to do with Bungie alumni, “Destiny” creator and author of Contact Harvest – Joe Staten.

While he’s not a part of 343i, he is now Senior Creative Director for Microsoft Studios.

To put in another way, the guy who knows how to build fantastic worlds/tell great stories/conquer the planet in now in charge of making things cool over at Microsoft. YES!

While I didn’t doubt it before, I’m more confident than ever that good things are going on and will continue to do so in the Halo universe.

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Engineers/Huragok

[I] Random Slipspace Trajectory

[I] Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 64

Unlike other species in the Covenant, Engineers are not organic, but a composition of nanomechanical substances that look and function like organic material

I often forget that Engineers are not part of the natural world but created artificially through construction and technology. In this way they mirror the UNSC’s AI’s – artificial life forms created to serve others.

They were “…collected from M-series Forerunner facilities by the Prophets prior to the establishment of the Covenant.”

I wonder what the story is there. When did the San ‘Shyuum “collect” the Engineers, and how was this accomplished? The assumption would be that the Prophets took advantage of yet another race in their acquisition of the Huragok, but the details of how this was accomplished have not been established.

Engineers also were tasked to help the Covenant with “…the exploration of Forerunner artifacts and the secured transmission of data from one location to another.”

How odd it must have been for the Prophets (assuming they knew where the Huragok came from) to have the same servants as the gods they worshiped!

Huragok (side view)

The “Facticius indoles” in motion

Their height ranges between 5 feet 11 inches to 8 feet 2 inches (180cm to 248 cm). When I see the Engineers floating above me in the game I don’t think of them as being as big as me, let alone bigger, so it’s something to keep in mind.

Has anyone else noticed how Flood-like the air sacs are? I’m sure it was a “let’s use the same texture as the Flood growth pod to save on space” game design decision, but it still creeped me out a little when I noticed it.

“Engineers are named by their parents according to their initial buoyancy when the reproduction process is complete.” Lighter Than Some is my token Huragok from Contact Harvest, and he’s who I go to when I think of your average floating handyman.

Just once I’d like to hear of an Engineer who was a little on the heavier side though; Dead Weight, Like A Rock, or how about Sinks Like A Stone? Someday perhaps.

Their species latin designation is “Facticius indoles” which translates to “artificial character.” But if you’re looking to sport the latest in alien-themed bumper stickers, I’d go with the Latin – everything is more epic in latin.

Ego sum ​​recte?

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