Bungie in creative pursuit of new genres

Bungie in creative pursuit of new genres

By Rob Crossley

September 10th 2010 at 10:30AM

The next ten years mapped out with milestones and projects pencilled in, says the studioâ??s community director

Bungie has room to “stretch its creative legs” in its ten-year partnership with Activision, the studio’s community manager has said.

Brian Jarrard told Develop that the studio made famous for FPSes is not adverse to moving across genres for its next ten-year project.

“We’re building a platform in a sense – we’re building this framework,” Jarrard said.

“Who knows what types of different experiences we can do? It doesn’t mean that everything that happens in the next ten years is going to be the same old genre. We’re giving ourselves a lot of breadth to stretch our creative legs. The team wouldn’t be committed to this if it wasn’t going to be a fun creative endeavour.”

Jarrard added that, throughout the development of the Halo series, Bungie explored a number of side projects – a telling sign of the group’s willingness to express themselves through more than one genre and on more than one platform.

“It’s no secret there’s been a couple of times where we’ve tried to spin up and explore some side projects,” he said.

Yet Bungie’s new project, which remains a well-guarded secret for the company, may not at first represent the studio’s new creative freedom.

“Ultimately for us what we’ve come to discover is that our team really is at its best when it’s on one singular vision. Every time we’ve tried to splinter off and explore different concepts, ultimately we’ve folded back into our primary focus.

“Going forward we know that, to pull off what we have in mind in our ambitious plans, it’s going to take the full might of our team working collectively on a single vision.”

Three years ago Bungie took the rare step of breaking from its owners and become a privately-held independent studio. The developer went on to sign a remarkable ten-year deal where Activision will be publishing – but not owning the rights of – Bungie’s next big project.

“Believe it or not, we really do have a ten year framework; a ten year production schedule with penciled-in milestones and big moments with the stories we want to tell and the gameplay experiences we want to deliver,” Jarrard said of that mystery project.

“It’s also a little strange to suddenly realise that, wow, my kids are going to be driving by the time we come to the conclusion of this saga.

“It is strange to know that much of your future is mapped out in front of you, but it does take a lot of the guesswork out of it. You don’t have to worry about what comes next, what’s around the next corner; the team can just dig in and focus on what it does best.”