A Short Chat With 343 Industries’ Kevin Franklin On HALO 4
Since its release late last year, HALO 4 sold millions of copies worldwide and was critically acclaimed by all of gaming and mainstream media. The stellar singleplayer campaign focused on a deeper Master Chief and his relationship with Cortana along with the introduction of a new threat, while multiplayer brought back many familiar modes that HALO fans loved in War Games and introduced new modes like the episodic Spartan Ops.
I recently had a short chat with 343 industries’ Kevin Franklin, the lead designer for HALO 4 about its impact in the industry, Master Chief’s background, and the HALO Community. Check out the full interview after the break.
JTM Games: Hi Kevin, thanks for taking the time to chat with me. HALO 4 has made such a big impact in the industry, how does it feel being part of that?
Kevin Franklin: Oh it’s been incredible; I mean the team at 343 Industries, every single person on the team came to make HALO and going through HALO 4 and three years of development was one of the most intense but amazing experiences in my life. It was fantastic.
JTM Games: How did you feel about Master Chief being brought back as a central character in the new HALO trilogy?
Kevin Franklin: Oh it was a big deal for us. As soon as we knew that was our story and we had Master Chief coming back for HALO 4, we knew we were going to have that much more pressure on us so we went forward with it. It was a huge decision but it really made the title. Nothing else came together like that.
JTM Games: Master Chief’s character and relationships has never been explored as deeply until HALO 4; why did you decide to explore his backstory and character for the newest title?
Kevin Franklin: You know, it was a story that we really just wanted to tell. With HALO: Reach we stepped away from Master Chief and there were a lot of fans who wanted us to come back. It was really important for us to develop him further, especially his relationship with Cortana as you see it develop all the way through HALO 4.
JTM Games: When you were planning HALO 4, how much did you want to add or create that didn’t make it to the final product?
Kevin Franklin: Oh there was tons, but I mean we were fortunate enough that we had full support from Microsoft behind us to build the game as much and as best as we possibly could. And we got as many features as we could ever imagine, and add a lot more into it, especially in the multiplayer experience which I’m most proud of.
JTM Games: Yeah, multiplayer has been a staple of the HALO series with HALO 4 still going strong with upcoming episodic content, maps, and even new game types. Why do you think HALO multiplayer has been so longstanding?
Kevin Franklin: It’s mostly the fans; I mean we have such a passionate and wonderful community that really supports us and everything we do, so with all of our War Games updates we’re putting weekly updates out now, and our Spartan Ops continue to recycle the seasons; it’s been fantastic. We were at PAX East down in Boston showing off the Castle Map pack and that went really amazingly; all the fans were loving it so much so we do it for them.
JTM Games: Are there any upcoming DLC’s or updates that you can talk about today?
Kevin Franklin: I can’t talk about future plans but we’re gonna keep doing our sustained updates; we’ve got Legendary Slayer – a new game mode – coming, our action playlists are being updated a lot, we’re also doing a new weapons tuning settings so there’s tons of new stuff coming out every week.
Many thanks again to Kevin for taking the time to chat with us at the CVA’s.
Have you played through HALO 4’s singleplayer, War Games, and Spartan Ops campaigns? Which is your favourite and why?