Bungie co-founder Jason Jones has said that the firm had many side projects in the works at one time as a way to educate themselves, one of which was an RPG. However, the firm also had something called Project Phoenix cooking as well, which may or may not ring a memory bell for you.
“It was a project we were working on at the same time we were working on Halo 1,” he said. “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.
“It was able to render things like Minecraft. 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. It 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.”
It’s an interesting read on the early days at Bungie, and Jones also delves a bit into his hopes for Destiny which is releasing in 2014 for PS3, PS4 Xbox One and Xbox 360.