Bungie co-founder says he’s to blame for Halo’s overpowered pistol
Popular series mythology suggests that Jones secretly increased the damage range on the pistol at the end of Halo's development, making it one of game's most powerful weapons. Jones told IGN — in his first interview in 11 years — that he tweaked the code for the pistol at the last moment, because the weapon was not performing where the team wanted it to be.
"There was a moment towards the end of [Halo: Combat Evolved] where we were very close to locking down,” Jones said. “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," he added.
In addition to detailing his role on the game design team, Jones explained that design, for him personally, is about what things are and how they act. Rather than focus on how things look overall, Jones pays attention to smaller details — a philosophy that ultimately led him to tweak the power of the M6D.
"I will take the credit and blame for the pistol in Halo, I’ll take the blame for everything in Halo,” he said. “If it’s important to go micro on something, I’ll do that. I feel like design really is about the details.”