At Tuesday night's E3 press conference, Microsoft announced the existence of the Halo 3 Special Edition Xbox 360. While details beyond the included 20 GB HDD and HDMI are still slight, Bungie's graphics design art director, Aaron LeMay was a key point person on the design for the console. So we pulled him away from extremely important business to ask him a few questions about the Halo 3 Xbox 360.
Q: For some Bungie fans this is going to be the first
they’ve heard about you and your work, Aaron. Introduce yourself to
the hoard of readers and tell them what you do here at Bungie:
Aaron LeMay: Hey, I’m Aaron, I work as the Graphic
Design Art Director here at Bungie. I tag team with Brian Jarrard for
PR/Marketing/Licensee items and with Marcus Lehto for user interface items. In
a nutshell, my job is to uphold the vision of what makes Halo3 and ensure that
it is coherently represented from the box to game, and everywhere in between.Q: For some more context, detail and insight, could give us
a taste of some of the imprints that you’ve left in Halo 3?
AL: Imprints? The most direct would be the game UI,
packaging, manual, brand identity (like the stuff you see in the game shops),
and some of the external items like the Zune, et cetera.
Q: It’s elegant, it’s refined, it’s sleek and it’s glorious.
That’s what you wanted isn’t it?
AL: For sure! The last thing I wanted was something
cartoony and garish. I wanted this to be a piece of the Halo universe,
something that you could imagine falling out of the back of a warthog. So when
I started working with some of the other designers in the ID dept. we agreed on
that vision and fought for it. I believe it paid off.
Q: This isn’t the first hardware item you’ve worked on is
AL: True, I worked on some faceplates when I was on
Saints Row, and since arriving at Bungie, I’ve been able to work with the
industrial design teams on the new Halo 3 wireless headset, the Halo 3 Zune,
and the Halo 3 Xbox 360.
Q: What’s the iterative process like on something like the Halo 3 Special Edition Xbox, how does it begin and walk us through the process:
AL: Ah, the process for the box. Yea, that’s an
interesting one, that’s for sure. We start out with a napkin and a pen,
sometimes a piece a paper with a coffee stain on it. Do some rough sketches as
to what we want to see, pass it along to Microsoft, they pass the coffee soaked
paper to a design house, they mock it up with assets they have, they usually hold
onto it for a while, send it back to us to look over with a pressured timeline,
we make our changes, review again, and then we get a print to check color. At
that point, once everyone is signed off on the packaging, we go to print.