GDC 13: Bungie Reveals New Destiny Art, Video, Information
Bungie filled one of the biggest rooms at GDC today to show off its enigmatic, highly anticipated post-Halo project: Destiny. Art director Christopher Barrett and Writer/Design Director Joseph Staten spoke at length about the process of building the franchise from the ground up, and the key decisions the Destiny team made about the game, its setting, its influences, its color palette, and much more.
It was a fascinating look at the process of world-building. Starting with a few ideas on a whiteboard, the developers generated mountains of concept art, honing and redefining their ideas until settling on Destiny’s core concept: a mythic sci-fi world driven by exploration, heroism, and evocative imagery. They wanted a game that felt hopeful and inviting, but also full of mystery, with a sense of idealized reality that would be flexible enough for what Staten described as “crazy, genre-bending ideas.”
In many ways, the talk was aimed at Bungie’s fellow developers, offering guidance and advice to support other similarly ambitious world-building efforts. Still, there was plenty of concrete information for eager gamers to devour. Take a look at the specific things we learned about the game’s alien races, and the characters that will oppose them:
- The Vex
- Fan-shaped heads, with a single glowing red eye reminiscent of Mass Effect’s Geth.
- Bodies were made to look like hammered brass to create a look both ancient and modern.
- One piece of concept art showed them climbing out of the water, which might hint at a cultural or tactical attribute.
- The Hive
- Descibed as “undead royalty,” these enemies are a mix of shambling zombies and creepy, necromancer-looking overlords with flowing, red robes.
- The Fallen
- Also known as “Spider Pirates,” these enemies have four arms and four eyes, and are followed by huge walking mechs.
- Distinctive color-palette of grays and browns, with equipment that looks either scavenged or extensively customized.
- Vaguely reminiscent of Star Wars‘ Tusken Raiders.
- Un-named Grey/Orange Race
- Hulking a squat, these enemies have porcine face-masks and large assault rifles with attached bayonets, further suggesting physical strength.
- Wage war with huge, wheeled vehicles.
- Concept art suggested heavily that there will be five alien races, but the fifth one was not revealed during the panel, to our knowledge.
- Human – Relatable, tough, and uncomplicated, the human character models were inspired by soldiers, action heroes, and sports stars, including Christiano Ronaldo, Evangeline Lilly, David Beckham, and Terrell Owens.
- Awoken – This race is exotic, beautiful, and mysterious, inspired by elves, vampires, ghosts, and angels, such as Twilight‘s Edward Cullen or the Night Elves in World of Warcraft.
- EXO – These cyborg characters are sinister, powerful, and relentless, like Master Chief or the Terminator.