Halo Design Documents

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Halo Design Documents and Concepts

Part of my work in the design process is putting together prototypes and writing UI documentation. Following are several examples of the early concept work I did on Halo as we were trying to figure out how these features were going to come together. While the final shipping product changed considerably, there are many ideas and solutions that made their way into to the final product.

Halo 3 HUD Spec

This is an overview of the design for the Halo 3 Heads-up display. Its purpose was to define feature scoping based off of previous explorations & prototypes, while also get stakeholder buy-off before development began. Features that needed more extensive explanation were outlined in linked documents.

In 2006, when this document was written, all feature documentation was written up in Word instead of a searchable wiki database, hence the table of contents and all the embedded links. I also referred to the game several times by its code-name: Forerunners.

Halo 2 Flowchart

The original design for Halo 2 was even more ambitious than our shipping game. UI-specific features included an emblem editor, tournament brackets, in-game clan settings, a saved film viewer, robust stats and leaderboards.

In order to atain a shippable solution, we had to pare down the feature set based off of factors like cost, added value, and frequency of expected use.

It was my job to define not only the behaviors of these UI features, but also architect an intuitive information infrastructure.

Halo 2 Party Prototype

This is where it began. History in the making. This is a video of the first functional prototype of a console party UI.

I built this in Adobe Director Shockwave and it was fully interactive. Adobe even featured a developer article where I described how I built it.

I enlisted the audio team to help with some sound effects and dialogue and revealed my vision of the worlds first console party system to the team during a company all-hands meeting. The design may have evolved but many of the concepts went into the game.