Halo 4 Interview with Lead Designer Kevin Franklin

by Megan McCurdy

You’ve heard of Microsoft right? Windows, Apps, that Paint thing that kids fiddle with when they are bored? Though for a gamer the name Microsoft means much more than the widely used computer operating system.

Halo, an immensely popular FPS (first person shooter) game set in some AU (alternate universe) of Earth’s future takes the player on an alien shooting, robot smashing, vehicle ‘spoding adventure of pure awesomeness.

At Pax East we got the chance to speak to Kevin Franklin, the Lead Designer of Halo 4. We learned of four new map packs being released in April, 2013.

Events INSIDER: What are you going to show us today?

Kevin Franklin: We released Halo 4 back in November, and today we’re showing off three new castle maps, which are part of a new expansion for Halo 4.

Events INSIDER: What can you tell me about these maps? What makes them more interesting than existing ones?

Kevin Franklin: In Halo, we always have a combination of really tight, close quarters maps, and then big team battle maps where people get to drive around in vehicles and play with a lot of their friends. And these maps are right in the middle, they’re six on six, so you get to play a game with five of your best buddies and go online and have all sorts of fun.

Events INSIDER: I’ve always been a fan of the really big maps, because whenever someone gets close to me I panic and waste lots of ammo…

Events INSIDER: In Halo, my favorite characters keep dying. Is that going to keep happening?

Kevin Franklin: Well, I can’t really talk about the future of our story, but we love our characters and will pay as much attention to them as I can.

Events INSIDER: Is there anything new in the expansion pack that adds to the abilities of the player, or is it simply an addition to the quests and adventures?

Kevin Franklin: This expansion pack is all about just maps — so you get three new maps. We place the vehicles in different ways and they play much differently, so they really feel like new experiences. And you’re going to have to choose different load out options, so if you were always going in with jet pack or thruster pack before, you might have to start trying out some different ones to get that competitive edge again on the new maps.

Events INSIDER: Can you summarize what’s the #1 reason for this map pack why fans would say, “Amazing! I have to buy it now!”

Kevin Franklin: Well, if you’re a fan of the game since the launch, this is the one where we really listened to the fans. We listened very carefully to what they wanted, what they were looking for, exact gameplay styles they were looking for, and we built around that.

Events INSIDER: Let’s see if that’s true. My favorite thing to play is the flood. I love that game style because it actually scares me when I see that I’m the last man standing. I find a corner to hide in and I see the flood all swarming towards me. So I was hoping that there would be a new map to play flood on.

Kevin Franklin: One of them, specifically Perdition, has all sorts of corners for you to hide in. It’s an urban map and there are all sorts of locations with verticality, lots of jumps, so if you are in the flood, you can camp up there and drop on people.

Events INSIDER: The biggest thing about Halo to me is I just love the way it looks, the visuals.

Kevin Franklin: On this map, we worked with Certain Infinity, our partner down in Texas, and they really really care about the visuals… from the beginning they knew that they wanted to make beautiful looking maps. I think Perdition especially is a great throwback to some of the old Halo maps, but Outcast specifically gives players a perspective into a world in Halo that we’ve never seen before. On this planet, it was not touched by the Covenant, so all the other human planets have been ravaged by war, they were destroyed, they are burning embers of society, but Outcast has never been touched, so it’s a pristine spot. And it really looks nice.

Events INSIDER: Thank you for your time. Is there anything you’d like to mention before we go?

Kevin Franklin: We have one new mode coming out with this that is called multiteam, which lets you [ fight as ] six teams of two. So it’s two versus two versus two versus two. So you can imagine that it’s a lot of chaos. Instead of just having four enemies to shoot at, you actually have ten.

So, if you are a fan of Sci Fi FPS games or just a fan of the Halo Series, then we suggest you check out Halo 4 and its latest map pack. For more information check this link: www.halowaypoint.com.