HaloRadar: How Bungie Plays

GamesRadar:What do you do at Bungie?

Jason Sussman: I am also an environment artist.

GamesRadar:How often do you guys play in the office?

JS: Pretty much once a day every day. When we can't do that, we have "take home" days where we play from home and test maps.

GamesRadar:Does working at Bungie - and, thus, knowing the game inside and out - give you any advantages in multiplayer?

JS: It gives me the advantage for one day after it goes online and then the masses consume me.

GamesRadar:What's your general playing style?

JS: I love playing defense on objective games. I kind of play all multiplayer games that way, mainly because there aren't a lot of folks that love playing defense. So I try to fill that slot. However, I do get out there and get in the fray quite often. Honestly I just try really hard to not die.

GamesRadar:What's your favorite, go-to strategy for maximum kills?

JS: I try and snag the Battle Rifle as soon as I can!

GamesRadar:What's your favorite strategy for winning a team match?

JS: Communication, communication! It's so important. And a wise man once said "Only fools rush in." So I try not to run into situations as quickly. Hang back with the team, but not so close that you all die with one grenade toss.

GamesRadar:Describe your favorite frag of all time.

JS: Oh man, there are a few. My favorite as of late was a Hammer kill that sent a guy on a Mongoose flying over the edge on Avalanche. Which wouldn't be that impressive, but he was coming from behind me trying to mow me down when I side stepped and hit him from the mid section on the map. It sent him spiraling into the abyss and was rather amusing. That actually reminds me... I need to put that on my file share badly.

GamesRadar:Do you usually dominate more on the maps you've designed?

JS: Yes. A bit more, but the tides turn once everyone figures the maps out.

GamesRadar:Give us your best tip, trick or secret for the new maps - Ghost Town, Avalanche and Blackout.

JS: Well some of you may know by now... But on Avalanche, if you spawn in the base, it's always good to hit the teleporter and then mancannon out to the middle as fast as possible so that you can snag the Spartan laser. Otherwise, you'll have some lil' ninja on the enemy team blowing up all your vehicles.

GamesRadar:Got any good, behind-the-scenes stories about designing the new maps?

JS: Well, aside from all of the late nights working with Paul Russel (which is a series of many strange tales), I think the first thing that comes to mind is how many times we played these maps making sure that they are ready for prime time. With Avalanche in particular, we spent tons of time tweaking man cannon distances and - at one point -removed a whole section that just wasn't working anymore. I think I speak for all of us when I say that we all really enjoy and care about what we create here. We enjoy it so much that we play these maps quite a bit checking and triple checking for anything "unfun." We definitely do as much as we can to try and appease everyone with each and every map. We are always trying to make sure that these maps are ready for the gamers that will be playing them for the next few years.

GamesRadar:What's the best method for improving our Halo 3 skills, besides simply playing and practicing more?

JS: I think just learning to communicate with your team and always repeating the mantra "Only fools rush in" through your head over and over.

For more exclusive HaloRadar coverage,click here.

Apr 24, 2008