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Almost 14 years and two console generations after making his debut appearance, gaming’s most celebrated space marine is back in action with the launch of Halo 5: Guardians for Xbox One.

This time, the Master Chief has gone rogue, and it’s up to an elite team of soldiers to track him down.

As with previous games in the series, the latest installment delivers a wealth of highly anticipated new content. In addition to the game’s cooperative story campaign — in which players take on the role of both the Master Chief and his United Nations Space Command (UNSC) pursuers — players will have access to a host of multiplayer modes and features.

Illustration of the Unforgotten Temples in Halo 5
Halo 5: Guardians screenshot (image © 343 Industries)

The game marks another important milestone for Microsoft’s 343 Industries and the hundreds of developers who worked together behind the scenes — including more than 20 students and alumni from DigiPen Institute of Technology who contributed to the game’s graphics, environment art, test engineering, and more:

  • Ryan Durand (2010, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation)
  • Alex Green (2010, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation)
  • Matt Helbig (2008, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation)
  • Zabir Hoque (2010, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation)
  • Chris Howard (2010, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation)
  • Elizabeth Kirby (2012, BFA in Digital Art and Animation)
  • Randy Knapp (2010, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation)
  • Matthew Koch (2008, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation)
  • Peter Kugler (2007, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation)
  • Patrick Laukaitis (2006, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation)
  • Realm Lovejoy (2005, AAA in 3D Computer Animation)
  • Andy Luedke (2001, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation)
  • Cody Luitjens (2008, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation)
  • Shaun Mackey (2003, AAA in 3D Computer Animation)
  • Aenok Oh (2013, BFA in Digital Art and Animation)
  • Jesse Olmer (2010, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation)
  • Tyler Perry (2010, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation)
  • Josh Petrie (2005, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation)
  • Max Szlagor (2001, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation)
  • Alex Troyer (current, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation)
  • Joe Whitman (2006, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation)
  • Kevin Wright (2000, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation)

Group photo of 11 DigiPen alumni who worked on Halo 5
Top, left to right: Josh Bell (2005), Jason Ericson (2015), Ryan Durand (2010), Michael Fletcher, Aenok Oh (2013), Chin Fong (2011), Shaun Mackey (2003), and Matt Sutherlin. Bottom, left to right: Cody Luitjens (2008), Elizabeth Kirby (2012), and Realm Lovejoy (2005).

As a software engineer at 343 Industries, DigiPen graduate Cody Luitjens (2008) serves on the team responsible for the Halo franchise’s online services, including areas related to multiplayer, statistics tracking, game configuration, player customization, and security. For Halo 5: Guardians, he worked on the Forge level editor, a mode that lets users create and share customized maps and game types, as well as the Requisition System, which powers the game’s new 24-player Warzone mode.

“It takes a ton of people with different skillsets coming together to create something as big as Halo 5: Guardians. The people at 343 Industries are very skilled and passionate about their work, and I love getting to work on a product that everyone is so excited about,” Cody says. “I’m most excited to see what players do in the new Warzone mode. I can’t wait to see the awesome videos that will come out of it.”

Cody and his team were monitoring progress Monday as the game went live for certain audiences around the globe — soon to be followed by those in North America.

“In the past, your work on the game was done when the game was completed. This is no longer the case, especially for people like myself who focus on services,” Cody says. “Our focus is preparing for the increase of users that comes on launch day. Understanding how your services will perform when your game goes from having zero to hundreds of thousands of active users is difficult to simulate but something we spend a lot of time on.”

Congratulations to all the students and alumni who worked on Halo 5: Guardians. We can’t wait to hunt the truth!