Jason Jones has crawled out of his cave where he masterminds Bungie’s epic quest to take over the world to do an interview with IGN. The most intriguing takeaway for me was the discussion Jones has with IGN about his involvement in the strength of the infamous Halo Combat Evolved pistol.
IGN: This leads me to one of the most pressing questions on my list. Doesn’t this prove the legend of the Halo 1 pistol, which suggests that Jones personally – and secretly – upped its damage at the tail end of development in order be better at his own game?
“See, that’s almost mythology now,” Jones says with a wry grin. “You can’t set mythology straight.”
“There was a moment towards the end of Halo 1 where we were very close to locking down. The balance on the pistol was such that both in the competitive game, but also in the solo game, it wasn’t where we wanted it to be. It was too late to change the… Well, we didn’t feel comfortable actually changing the data anymore. The game was so locked down that when you changed a piece of data, gigabytes of crap had to be reprocessed.
“What we did feel comfortable doing was changing the code, and so… I added code specifically, when the map was loaded, to change a single number on the pistol. Whether that was ‘ninja style’ or not,” he says with a laugh, “I’ll be happy to let you decide.”
And in manning up for his ‘error’ Jones said “I will take the credit and blame for the pistol in Halo. I’ll take the blame for everything in Halo. That answer, I mean… If it’s important to go micro on something, I’ll do that. I feel like design really is about the details. That’s a huge conversation we can have…”
Jones sounds like a very humble guy - he certainly doesn't come across as a 'look at me!!!' type like Cliff Bleszinski used to (Cliffy reined himself in a bit in recent years to his credit).