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:

Alien Races

  • 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.

Character Races

  • 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.

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2 Comments on GDC 13: Bungie Reveals New Destiny Art, Video, Information


On March 29, 2013 at 6:04 am

That Titan looked like a f’n Knight Templar from Hellgate, sign me up for that class.


On April 2, 2013 at 10:40 am

I am really tired of how hard this game is being pushed through adverting. I’m sick of hearing about it. Every website has articles, stores have posters, and so the hype machine begins to churn. People say:

“Oh look, it’s Bungie! They made Halo, so this’ll be awesome!”

No. Unless this game is in development for +6 years, consumes an inordinate amount of money to build, is NOT hamstrung by the pathetic limitations of the current generation of console hardware, and Activision doesn’t force Bungie to further wreck this new I.P…. It will not be this ground-breaking FPS/MMO/RPG that people take it as. Ass it stands, this looks like nothing more than an amalgamation of Mass Effect, Borderlands, and with some heavy Halo eliments thrown in (design & philosophy, not artistically)

We’ve not seen more than a few seconds of gameplay (with nothing happening in it). More than that, what we have been offered is nothing but hyperbole speeches from developers. The same people who promised the moon and the stars with each iteration of Halo. Only have people forgotten that the longer Bungie worked on Halo, the worse off the franchise was for it? Some might read this and say:

“What are you smoking, Halo XXX was better than Halo YYY. Nostalgia has addled your brain or you just suck at Halo”..

No, your wrong, and no, I don’t (+35′s in Team Hardcore back in H2, five level 50′s in Halo 3, multiple Onyx division placements in Reach, MLG playlist’s and all). Each Halo game is worse than the last. Despite the technological improvements and new coats of paint, the core game-play of each title has gotten worse and worse. Halo:CE was an accidental success, but it sparked the modern FPS genre’ (on consoles). Halo 2 was rushed, but had the best maps and the best multi-player of any game but Combat Evolved by far. Halo 3 was garbage by comparison and Reach nearly killed the competitive Halo scene by itself. Thankfully Halo’s switched developers and they (343i) did it great justice by comparison.

Yet, here we are, listening to these same people gloat & smile about there new I.P., and people gobble it up when they’ve not scene a lick of gameplay. How gullible people are these days.

I have to go.