Randy 355, a talented member of our Forge community recently joined 343 Industries to work as a Multiplayer Sustain Team Designer! Halo Waypoint recently conducted an interview with Randy which we'll provide below. I've also had the pleasure of meeting Randy a few years ago in person while in Washington and can only say great things about this guy. He's super passionate about this franchise and has dedicated himself to helping out with a variety of matchamaking updates in Halo 5. He was the 1st place winner in the Ghost in the Shell contest that I helped judge and was a member of the prolific Forge group: Creative Force.
Without further ado, here's the Team Spotlight article from Halo Waypoint.
This week we're shining the spotlight on 343's relatively new Multiplayer Sustain Designer Randy Croson!
Hey Randy! Welcome to the 343 Team Spotlight and a belated welcome to 343! To kick things off, can you tell us what it is you do here at 343?
Randy: Thank you Mr. ske7ch! Just at the beginning of January I've taken over the role of Multiplayer Sustain Designer for Halo 5.
I remember meeting you at Halo World Championships 2017 because you were the winner of the Ghost in the Shell Forge contest. Back then you were super interested in trying to find an opportunity with 343 and now here we are! Did you ever picture yourself working on the Halo team?What was it that drove you to join 343?
Randy: That's right! Going to the Halo World Championships in 2017 is something I'll never forget. Like many others, I'd always hoped to join the team at 343 but I'd never imagined it would be so soon after, if at all! A lot of things drove me to join 343 because there are many facets of Halo that I've always loved. The look and feel of Halo games, the gameplay mechanics, the good times I've had with friends... the list goes on. Ever since I got my hands on Halo 2 way back when, it has been a huge part of my life.
How’s it been going since you’ve joined 343? What’s a typical day entail for you?
It has been awesome! My day consists of several things, with varied priority. Fixing issues and exploits on maps in Matchmaking for example. (I'm the guy that's going to ruin your favorite griefing spot. Fight me.) I rotate playlists when scheduled, such as adding and removing Mythic Warzone Firefight on the weekends and adding Shotty Snipers earlier today. Preparing new playlists and updating existing playlists is also part of my role. Additionally, I also help the Sustain Team keep on the lookout for new and exciting content we could one day add to Matchmaking.
Has 343 life been everything you imagined it to be? What’s it been like working on the multiplayer team?
I certainly think so! Everyone at the studio is polite and passionate about Halo, as one would hope! Coordinating what the team is working on and brainstorming fun new ideas is a joy.
So far, what do you enjoy the most about this role? What has been the biggest challenge(s) thus far? Any wacky stories or specific standout moments you’d like to share?
My favorite part of this role right now is when I get to use Forge to fix exploits and glitches. It feels great to improve upon a game that's already been so good to me. Feels even better to know I'm helping improve the experience for players, even if it's one small step at a time. My biggest challenge has been learning all of the tools necessary to update and create playlists. Not all things are necessarily the flip of a switch. And when flipping the switch is finally the last step... you gotta make sure that your changes don't break the live game for the entirety of the matchmaking population. (ske7ch's note: NO PRESSURE RANDY - HALO FANS ARE SUPER PATIENT AND UNDERSTANDING! )
Does working here now, arm in arm with the team behind the franchise, change how you think about Halo?
In a lot of ways it does. It's not just a game to me anymore. Have you ever seen "How the Grinch Stole Christmas?" You know how the Whos in Whoville live and breathe Christmas? The studio here is like that, but for Halo. There's a lot of love and passion for the series here; you can almost feel it when you walk into the studio. It's intangible and hard to describe, but it's incredible.
Besides winning Forge contests, what were you up to prior to joining 343?
For many years I was a member of a ROM hacking community, although I won't mention which. I've also spent a lot of my time recently experimenting in Unreal, Unity, and Maya. I still aspire to learn many things about game design. I'd love to one day gain enough experience to work on a future Halo campaign.
Ok, favorite all time Halo game? Do you prefer campaign or multiplayer? What about favorite all-time multiplayer map?
*Deep Breath!* Halo 3. I prefer multiplayer because I prefer shaming my friends. My favorite map is The Pit. So many good plays, such an excellent variety of weapons! Good times.
It’s always awesome to hire people directly out of the fan community. What advice do you have for others who want to follow in your footsteps and work on Halo some day?
My advice? Find your place in the community of your interest. Show your work to others and take criticism to improve. Don't let the toxic members get you down. Learn from your peers. Work with your peers. Give criticism to your peers while being polite. Do these things, and it's my professional opinion that you're going to kick ass.
Any other final thoughts, shout outs or parting words you’d like to share?
A shout out for sure! I hope your don't mind lists, ske7ch. I know I didn't get to shout out to all of my community friends during my Halo World Championship interview, so I'll do it here.
To those who know me as Randy 355. My friends from Creative Force!
And so, so many other Forgers... Without the support of these people, I would not be at 343 today.
- @Ray Benefield
- @Black Picture
- @Sn1p3r C (My roommate and Breakout fanatic, Connor Kennelly)
- @MythicFritz (FrythicMitz)
- @Captain Punch
- Spine Crush3r (I'm Geno!)
- @THE SLAMMERSS
Thank you, and remember:
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