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Re: Designing the Prometheans
Date: 5/7/13 12:41 am
In Response To: Designing the Prometheans (Postmortem)

: Hello all.

Good day.

: I know
: there's a few other summaries floating around,

I haven't seen any.

: and you guys can probably
: dig some interesting tidbits out of those, but for now this is everything
: that I found to be noteworthy during the talk. You can find the other
: summaries by doing a quick google search for the name of the presentation.

Ah. Doing so.

Back now. Didn't find anything new, sadly. Got any pointers?

: But overall, I thought this was an amazing insight into the development of
: these enemies, and I was very happy with how up front and honest Scott
: Warner was about what they felt they did right, and what could have been
: done much better.

I like this. 343i isn't patting themselves on the back or bragging about the 'new' stuff they brought to Halo, and are instead breaking down their failures. This is quite refreshing. Makes me think that Halo 5 might be an improvement.

: Warner stated that the Prometheans were initially heavily inspired by Voltron
: from Voltron: Defender of the Universe , the T-1000 from Terminator 2 ,
: the titular creature from The Thing , and Cranium Rats from Planescape .

I've seen exactly two of those. Personally, the fact that they started out with something from Transformers isn't very

: What the team was particularly attracted to was the modular behavior of
: all of these examples, how together they create one dynamic, while when
: separated they form an entirely different one. From an early point, they
: had 6 characters, based on a chess analogy of a King, Queen, Rook, Knight,
: Bishop, and Pawn.

What, not "Onyx Sentinel"?

: For the sake of scheduling and focus, they ultimately
: stripped this down to just the three that made it into the game, but
: Warner said that the other three may come back at some point.

Wonder if that's still true. I mean, they chucked away Requiem in Spartan Ops, perhaps as a way to start from a clean slate?

: and the Bishop eventually became the Watcher.

Hence the Bishop Gun? Would the Watcher have played more like a Sentinel?

: At this point, the Watcher was a
: much more formidable enemy, having alternate attacks such as the
: "Junk Attack", in which it would use objects in the environment
: as makeshift projectile weapons.

That would have been awesome. Even more awesome if the junk attack was dropped as a weapon.
Yes, I want a gravity gun in Halo. Is that so bad?

Anyhow, I wonder if this was dropped because of performance. I think that, as a way of boosting game performance, the junk and loose objects were removed from the playspaces. So, what use is a junk gun without junk?

: Ultimately, many of these abilities were
: cut for comprehensibility during gameplay.


: After the presentation, I asked a few questions I had written down: "Why
: does the Watcher have a face?"

Because it is not a robot.

: "Why is the Watcher the only Promethean unit that speaks?"

Because it is not a robot.

: He responded by saying that the Watcher was designed to also carry the
: impression of an imprisoned soul, as it is a part of the same Knight unit.
: In essence, the Watcher and the Knight represent one imprisoned soul, with
: portions of it split off as the Watcher separates from the Knight's
: carapace.

Great concept, but the communication was wanting.
I never got the impression that the Watchers were part of the Promethean. I always thought that they simply summoned the Watcher in a manner similar to how Watchers summon Crawlers or the Autoturrets.

Sure, it makes more sense now, like how Watchers would try to resurrect fallen Prometheans. In a sense, they were regenerating themselves.

Also, imprisoned soul? Yuck.

: So the face was incorporated to provoke some sympathy in the
: overall Promethean embodiment of the digitized individuals.

Yeah, good job, you can barely even see it in a firefight.
I mean, I've gone face to face with Grunts, Jackals, Skirmishers, and Elites. I can see their faces, because I'm able to get into melee range, and I can look at their bodies after I kill them.

You can't do that with the Watchers or the Prometheans, because they disintegrate when they die. Hell, their faces don't show up that well even when you're looking at them through a scope.

: The Prometheans' gameplay systems were more or less entirely implemented as a
: prototype before any story elements had been determined.

Quite sensible.

: At this early
: stage, the Knights could collapse into a ball to move about quickly
: between cover points in the environment.


On the one hand, Hyperballing has more of a visual tell than teleporting.
On the other hand... it's hyperballing.

: Additionally, a dismemberment
: system was implemented to provide player feedback on the extent of damage
: being done to the Knights (similar to damage dealt to Halo vehicles, but
: with limbs falling off and effecting gameplay).

Wonder why THAT got scrapped. What did their focus tests say about it, or how the Promethean units didn't reflect the damage they were taking at all?

Hell, wonder what people thought of the shields on the Prometheans and Watchers. You can barely see them.

: As the story expanded, the writers and designers determined that they wanted
: the Knights to be very similar to the Forerunner equivalent of the Army of
: the Dead or Ringwraiths from Lord of the Rings , embodying this feeling
: of an imprisoned and tormented soul.

Why are we mining fantasy for archetypes?
I dunno. If you are writing fantasy or soft science fiction, you can probably get away with stuff like this. But if the universe is ostentatiously a hard science fiction setting (I mean, 343i DID hire Greg Bear for the Forerunner Trilogy) then you run into the logical problems that Scarab and I have been expounding upon for the past six months.

: After this backstory was determined, only a few minor changes were made to
: the design of the Knight to reflect this, but for the most part the visual
: design was left the same. When I asked Warner about the Knight's glowing
: skulls and whether or not this was intended to be Forerunner or human, he
: responded by saying it represented both,

Are they war machines, or are they meatpuppets?
Are they weapons with which to defeat the Flood, or are they broken mechanical slaves?

: and was generally intended to
: convey the image of these trapped and tortured souls, as well as serving
: the gameplay to highlight head shots.


: At the end of the presentation, Mr. Warner highlighted what he felt was not
: properly executed in the design of the Prometheans (I did not get a
: picture of the slide showcasing what the team felt was done right)


: I
: think for the most part, this covers nearly all of the complaints that
: fans have had as well.

Nope. Does nothing to address why Forerunner killing machines are made from harvested souls.

Messages In This Thread

Designing the PrometheansPostmortem5/6/13 8:15 pm
     Re: Designing the Prometheansserpx5/6/13 8:24 pm
     Re: Designing the PrometheansTDSpiral5/6/13 9:19 pm
           Re: Designing the Prometheansdavidfuchs5/6/13 10:28 pm
                 Re: Designing the PrometheansPostmortem5/6/13 10:46 pm
                       Re: Designing the PrometheansQuirel5/6/13 11:52 pm
     Re: Designing the PrometheansHyokin5/7/13 12:16 am
           Re: Designing the PrometheansGeneral Vagueness5/13/13 6:36 pm
                 Re: Designing the PrometheansDevil Mingy5/14/13 1:44 am
                 Re: Designing the PrometheansPostmortem5/14/13 11:32 am
                       Re: Designing the PrometheansGeneral Vagueness5/15/13 2:59 am
     Re: Designing the PrometheansQuirel5/7/13 12:41 am
           Re: Designing the PrometheansGeneral Vagueness5/13/13 6:57 pm
                 Re: Designing the PrometheansQuirel5/13/13 11:44 pm
                       Re: Designing the PrometheansNikGntre5/14/13 12:47 am
                             The energy sword I mean *NM*NikGntre5/14/13 12:48 am
                             Re: Designing the PrometheansQuirel5/14/13 1:07 am
                                   Re: Designing the PrometheansNikGntre5/14/13 1:50 am
                       Re: Designing the PrometheansGeneral Vagueness5/14/13 12:55 am
                             Re: Designing the PrometheansQuirel5/14/13 1:12 am
                 Re: Designing the PrometheansRC Master5/14/13 1:03 pm
                       Re: Designing the PrometheansPostmortem5/14/13 1:37 pm
                       Re: Designing the PrometheansGeneral Vagueness5/15/13 3:00 am
                             Re: Designing the PrometheansZackDark5/15/13 11:43 am
     Re: Designing the PrometheansSliding Ghost5/7/13 6:51 am
     'imprisoned and tormented soul'RC Master5/7/13 10:34 am
           Re: 'imprisoned and tormented soul'Jaydee5/7/13 6:46 pm
                 Re: 'imprisoned and tormented soul'Quirel5/7/13 9:55 pm
                       Re: 'imprisoned and tormented soul' *Silentium SP*Jaydee5/8/13 1:27 am
                             Re: 'imprisoned and tormented soul' *Silentium SP*serpx5/8/13 2:24 pm
                             Re: 'imprisoned and tormented soul' *Silentium SP*Quirel5/8/13 9:10 pm
                                   Re: 'imprisoned and tormented soul' *Silentium SP*TDSpiral5/8/13 9:55 pm
                                   Re: 'imprisoned and tormented soul' *Silentium SP*scarab5/8/13 11:25 pm
                                         Re: 'imprisoned and tormented soul' *Silentium SP*Archilen5/9/13 1:17 am
                                               Re: 'imprisoned and tormented soul' *Silentium SP*scarab5/9/13 2:12 pm
                                                     Re: 'imprisoned and tormented soul' *Silentium SP*MacGyver105/9/13 3:24 pm
                                                           Re: 'imprisoned and tormented soul' *Silentium SP*Postmortem5/9/13 6:56 pm
                                                                 Re: 'imprisoned and tormented soul' *Silentium SP*scarab5/9/13 7:55 pm
                                                                       Re: 'imprisoned and tormented soul' *Silentium SP*Postmortem5/10/13 2:14 am
                                                                             Re: 'imprisoned and tormented soul' *Silentium SP*MacGyver105/10/13 5:26 pm
                                                                                   Re: 'imprisoned and tormented soul' *Silentium SP*Postmortem5/10/13 10:24 pm
                                                                 Re: 'imprisoned and tormented soul' *Silentium SP*General Vagueness5/13/13 7:12 pm
                                                                       Re: 'imprisoned and tormented soul' *Silentium SP*Nikko B2015/18/13 10:07 pm
                                                     Re: 'imprisoned and tormented soul' *Silentium SP*Postmortem5/9/13 6:54 pm
                       Re: 'imprisoned and tormented soul'General Vagueness5/13/13 7:00 pm
     Re: Designing the PrometheansSliding Ghost5/8/13 12:15 am
           Re: Designing the PrometheansPostmortem5/8/13 12:33 am
                 Re: Designing the PrometheansSliding Ghost5/8/13 3:22 am
                 Re: Designing the PrometheansSliding Ghost5/8/13 3:26 am
                 Re: Designing the PrometheansGeneral Vagueness5/13/13 7:01 pm
     Re: Designing the PrometheansDayandKnightly5/18/13 8:48 pm
           Re: Designing the PrometheansGrimBrother One5/18/13 10:52 pm
           Re: Designing the PrometheansRevenant19885/19/13 1:06 pm

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