July 9, 2013

Bungie’s Project Phoenix – Jason Jones reveals what it was

What project Phoenix does not look like. At all.
Uber fans of Bungie may have heard of whispering around the internet that they were working on a project called Phoenix that never saw the light of day out side the walls of the Bungie office. IGN managed to have a chat with the ever elusive Jason Jones and he explained what Phoenix was all about.

“It was a project we were working on at the same time we were working on Halo 1. There was a lot that was really interesting about it, even back in Chicago, before the acquisition. It was a game that was based on a technology that was sort of Minecraft-like, in that it could render… You could build castles out of blocks, for example, and then knock them down. Ultimately the reason the game never saw the light of day was because of Halo. The [Project Phoenix] team got scavenged a number of times, both on Halo 1 and Halo 2, to finish Halo.”

IGN asked if it was basically Minecraft before Minecraft to which Jones said:

“No, the rendering… It was able to render things like Minecraft, but it was… It was trying to find its place. Halo had a time in the desert as well,” he explains, meaning that it was trying to find its identity. “The best thing we can do is just look at the build… I don’t even know if we have one anymore. It was cool. There were big castles and you could knock them down with trebuchets. Knocking holes in the wall, and dudes would come out.”

“This game was going between RTS and… It’s hard to even describe. It was trying to find out what it was, and it hadn’t. It made it very clear at several junctures, ‘Well, should we put all the resources on the team behind Halo, or should we keep working on this game?’ Eventually we made the decision that it was Halo. The team just went away, or the project went away. The people are still here.”

I’m sure everyone was pleased they went the way of Halo. To my mind, Minecraft looks dull as…

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