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Why does 343 make such good books?

OP SlowestFrog3622

Clearly the credit is for the authors of the books but they're under the command of 343, recently I read Halo Broken Circle and the story is super cool, comparing it with halo 5, why do you think they have not been able to develop the story equally well in the games?, I hope than Halo Infinite bring us a good story ❤️
You have way more time to develop a story in a book. Sad to say, but the need for action and combat in the games limits what you could do unless you are an RPG. My two cents anyway.
Because books aren't bound by the same story telling restrictions of games. A game needs to be like 90% action in order to be interesting and fun to play. Books can have long sections of dialogue, exposition, and character development, among other things. So while a book can dedicate entire chapters to single concepts or characters, a game has to make due with the remaining 10%. It's just really hard to set everything up with that limited time frame. Previous Halo games did it by simplifying the story line and sticking with one or two important characters.

So to me it seems that at least some of H5's flaws comes from the fact that it tried to do so much more with that 10% than previous games had done. It's like H5 could have made for a great book with more time devoted to making us care about the characters and understand the nuance of the story, but was told in the wrong medium.

I don't like the story of H5 at all, but I think I would have given it more credit if it were a book rather than a game.
Clearly the credit is for the authors of the books --
You basically answered your own question right off the bat here. 343i personnel have stated that, unless they really want something specific to happen in a book or books and outline the basics of that to the authors ahead of time, they largely let the writers just do whatever they want with little to no oversight.

Sometimes this isn't exactly a good thing either (as it has lead to canon inconsistencies). But overall the people writing the books at least have an understanding of how to tell a complete story. Whereas the games do not, coupled with the hindrances of whatever story is being told having to work around gameplay constraints (as others have mentioned), and the most shallow/immature power fantasies of the game's target audience (young adult males).

So pretty much give up all hope of H6 having a "good story" right now. Because 343i has already said the game is a soft reboot, and all signs and information we have received thus far is that it is a Combat Evolved remake that ignores or functionally retcons the last 18 years worth story to essentially "restart" the series' status quo all over again.
Clearly the credit is for the authors of the books --
So pretty much give up all hope of H6 having a "good story" right now. Because 343i has already said the game is a soft reboot, and all signs and information we have received thus far is that it is a Combat Evolved remake that ignores or functionally retcons the last 18 years worth story to essentially "restart" the series' status quo all over again.
A soft or "spiritual" reboot is not the same as a remake. A soft reboot in this case means they will revisit the tone and feeling that made Halo so entertaining in the first place. It also means they are returning to a simplified manner of story telling, akin to how CE was a very straightforward story.

343 has stated the story will continue the story after the events of H5 (and if they haven't explicitly stated it, then the trailers thus far certainly confirm that to be the case). So I don't agree that there will be any functional retconning of the last 18 years. Maybe some stuff might be retconned, but they aren't tearing down the whole franchise and going back to the beginning. At worst, it might turn out like Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That movie didn't retcon much of anything, but it was very very similar to the story of A New Hope. That isn't ideal either, but it's not as severe as tearing it all down and starting over.
When the games are almost all action and the books flesh out the universe, characters, etc. , they seriously complement each other so well.

You get so much more out of the other if you've experienced it all. I recently read Hunters in the Dark, and then started replaying Halo Wars 2. And the base they find is the Henry Lamb Research base.

Knowing about Henry's adventures on the ark and seeing the base referencing him as a passing detail was just so cool. Again, it makes you appreciate the world more and really feel like you're seeing it from such a larger scale.
The material in the Halo novels is, like all art, subject to opinion.

I personally find all the books not written by Nylund and Staten to be terrible, that they were either used as mouthpieces for the personal political agenda soapboxes by the authors, or people who just never understood what Halo was about. Especially the Forerunner books.

So 'good' is subject to opinion. I'd rather get an endless stream of Nylund quality military science fiction than anything else, as to me, those books are 'good' and thus superior to all the others.
Just give me a chance to canonize my fanfic and they'll be better than what halo 343 turned into... Ps. My fan fiction is terrible.
The material in the Halo novels is, like all art, subject to opinion.

I personally find all the books not written by Nylund and Staten to be terrible, that they were either used as mouthpieces for the personal political agenda soapboxes by the authors, or people who just never understood what Halo was about. Especially the Forerunner books.

So 'good' is subject to opinion. I'd rather get an endless stream of Nylund quality military science fiction than anything else, as to me, those books are 'good' and thus superior to all the others.
Seems to be fairly common among the fans as far as I can tell.
That said Greg Bear's Forerunner Trilogy was solid. If sometimes hard to understand.
Also Last Light unless that was done by Staten again.
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To know the Lore is to know Halo
"Dont be spoiled, dont start a fight. Always be careful, here at night. Because the Spartans might come, in suits that weigh half a ton. And they'll steal from you all you gots, just like they did from Colonel Watts."
I wish they would make books about Halo 2 and Halo 3 events.Like Halo "The Flood"was about the first game.
It was also the weakest of the original set of novels and Dietz clearly didn't know much about what he was writing. The Master Chief in his book is some Gary Stu character that was 'always smiling and always talking and caring' which is the exact opposite of the character established by Fall of Reach and Halo 1. It is a terrible book and Dietz was clearly more interested in writing the Covenant sections and the Marines than the Chief, or trying to follow much of the plot of the game.
It was also the weakest of the original set of novels and Dietz clearly didn't know much about what he was writing. The Master Chief in his book is some Gary Stu character that was 'always smiling and always talking and caring' which is the exact opposite of the character established by Fall of Reach and Halo 1. It is a terrible book and Dietz was clearly more interested in writing the Covenant sections and the Marines than the Chief, or trying to follow much of the plot of the game.
I rather liked the book, but that's why it's called an opinion lol.

To be fair, Dietz was writing a mere novelization of a game. And as has been pointed out before, the games don't translate well to books. They're like 90% action while books have more time to build up the story around that action. So the parts concerning Chief were relatively minor points in the book that were likely only included because they had to be, while the other story lines concerning the marines and the Covenant had more room for expansion.

Though I will agree, the parts where Chief is included in those other story lines felt off. It's just that Chief's inclusion in those parts weren't all that important to the side stories that Dietz was trying to tell.
I love 343s books, especially the ones about Buck, but they shouldn't try to explain key plot points in books that not all fans will read. It seems impractical, and they should just explain the plot in-game.
Because books aren't bound by the same story telling restrictions of games. A game needs to be like 90% action in order to be interesting and fun to play. Books can have long sections of dialogue, exposition, and character development, among other things. So while a book can dedicate entire chapters to single concepts or characters, a game has to make due with the remaining 10%. It's just really hard to set everything up with that limited time frame. Previous Halo games did it by simplifying the story line and sticking with one or two important characters.

So to me it seems that at least some of H5's flaws comes from the fact that it tried to do so much more with that 10% than previous games had done. It's like H5 could have made for a great book with more time devoted to making us care about the characters and understand the nuance of the story, but was told in the wrong medium.

I don't like the story of H5 at all, but I think I would have given it more credit if it were a book rather than a game.
I agree, I wish though my games could be more story less action 😂 or just way longer campaigns to fit more story in there. Multiplayer has enough action for me. Ha! I want like 70% story with 30% action..I’m odd though
Well after the release of Halo 5 I feel 343 has been taking steps to ensure that their lore is kept clean with loose ends that aren’t important to the mainline story being tied up where applicable. This is so it is easily followed by the players but so it is also not a mess as Halo 4 and Halo 5 (more importantly) messed that up. Just using what I’d do as a guess to maybe what they’re doing.