Immersive Silverlight Experience

As the Halo franchise continued to grow, Microsoft Game Studios wanted to offer fans a unique and constant connection to the Haloverse throughout the day. After releasing the new Xbox console with access to detailed Halo information, BLITZ joined Microsoft's 343 Industries in expanding the Haloverse beyond players' homes. Our deadline was set in stone: September 13, 2010, the day before Microsoft released its most anticipated game of the decade, Halo:Reach. That gave us five months to conceptualize, create and launch the Halo Waypoint website, the most captivating and interactive Halo experience outside of playing the actual game.

Our overall Waypoint strategy is the first of its kind for Halo. Each screen (users' Microsoft Xbox® consoles, the web and mobile phones) represents a different military role in the Haloverse. The website, for example, is suited to the engineer—it offers loads of details on every Halo-related topic. Users will find Smooth Streaming videos, event info, motion comics, interviews, podcasts, forums ... and literally anything else related to this popular gaming franchise, including large amounts of "Intel" content that had previously existed only on the console. With the site developed entirely in Microsoft Silverlight, it's now the most expansive Silverlight experience yet. Using Silverlight enabled us to create a more immersive experience than would be possible on a traditional HTML site. We were also able to incorporate both keyboard and mouse commands into the video-browsing system to give fans an intuitive search experience. To maximize SEO and accommodate non-Silverlight users, Waypoint was also developed in HTML. The seamless flow between these two interfaces enables tech-savvy fans to switch between them without losing their place on the site.

Halo Waypoint's other screens include Microsoft's Xbox console and the Halo mobile application. The console experience can be thought of as the admirals' view in that it offers users an overview of many high-level topics, but doesn't provide deep details. Conversely, the mobile app is more akin to the "foot-soldier's" sidearm—always at the ready, quick to utilize and highly functional. With the three-screen strategy in place, Waypoint is quickly becoming an instinctive source of information for fans, while increasing Halo's touchpoints throughout the day.

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