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Official Cosplay Guide: The Rookie

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Here at 343 Industries, we love our community and we love armor. But, unsurprisingly, there are members of our community who love armor just as much (if not more) than we do. They spend hours meticulously crafting and perfecting their own custom armor sets to eventually wear in real life. They are cosplayers.

Today, we're happy to release our first official cosplay guide to help support this community of talented creators. With Halo 3: ODST joining Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and ODST armor being a more approachable starting point than a full suit of Mjolnir, we decided to focus this first guide on everyone's favorite new guy – the Rookie.

The Rookie

Born on Luna at the very start of the war, the Rookie has never known a life without the threat of the Covenant. Leaving the shelter of the Sol system, he eventually joined the UNSC Marine Corps. Soon after, the Rookie volunteered and was accepted for the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODST), despite his initial lack of combat experience.

After completing ODST training, the Rookie served in a Rapid Offensive Picket within the 26th Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF). After the fall of Reach, the Rookie was assigned to the 65th Shock Troops Division for emergency defensive operations near Earth.

To download our official cosplay guide for the Rookie and jump feet first into the world of cosplay, look no further than the links below!

*File size may be large for mobile devices. Please consider waiting until you're on a computer to download this file.

From the Team

To help bring this cosplay guide to life, we enlisted the support of many people across our Franchise, Content, and Consumer Products teams. From finding old builds of Halo 3: ODST, to pulling renders of Rookie's armor, to assembling them inside the guide, this wouldn't have been possible without the hard work of many talented individuals.

To celebrate the collaborative nature of this first guide, I spoke to a few people on the project about their roles and what they're looking forward to seeing from the cosplay community. Let's see what they have to say! 

What was your role in building this cosplay guide?

Quinn Spence (Franchise): I was responsible for pulling together all of the old Rookie 3D models and textures, as well as making the new high res character renders you see throughout the guide.

Kenneth Peters (Franchise): I did a pass on the guide to give it some canonical flair. Most cosplay guides have little-to-no context for the material, but I felt it important to go the extra mile, and let you know in exactly which pocket the Rookie stores his “pogey bait.”

Zara Varin (Consumer Products): I’m an avid cosplayer and armormaking enthusiast in my own time, in addition to all the overlap it shares with the awesome things I get to work on here at 343. I’ve also worked on similar guides in the past and build out these sorts of references for myself every time I undertake a new costume or prop build. A great deal of my input was advocating for not only what I would hope to see included in this sort of reference, but what other cosplayers (like our illustrious 405th Infantry Regiment) have mentioned wanting, too.

What aspects were your favorite elements of the guide?

Zara: Gosh I adore the whole thing; some of the lore blurbs still make me laugh and I noticed details on this character model I’d never seen before while working on this. I love being able to include a lot of individual component breakouts and angles that are almost impossible to see in-game; those sorts of details are things I know I’ve spent long hours agonizing over and doing some wild things to try to get reference for my own cosplay. It was important to me that we showed as much as possible, even if that meant having to break the fourth wall a bit; with the Rookie, for instance, revealing the details of areas usually covered by armor also showed parts of the character model where geometry simply doesn’t exist because there was no reason for it to in a final optimized game asset. Fiddly situational stuff like that is the sort of thing I want to make sure we include however we can in future guides, depending on what the unique challenges are for each character.

What are you excited to see from fans, from this or future guides?

Quinn: I'm really happy with the level of detail we were able to put into this guide - I know both how challenging and rewarding it is to bring characters from digital designs to physical outfits, and I'm beyond excited to see the different solutions fans come up with!

Kenneth: The industry and creativity of our community never fails to impress and humble, and I sincerely hope that this guide can help in the creation of new art and artifacts.

Zara: As far as what I’m most excited to see from fans: ALL OF IT. I essentially live in a fandom blanket fort built out of all my favorite things (Halo obviously included!), and I’m always so delighted to see what folks make!

Closing

One of the coolest elements of video games is the unique way they can make you feel like you’re truly immersed inside your favorite universe or franchise. From Spartans and Spectres to Gears and Grey Wardens, it can be exhilarating to step inside the experience to truly become your favorite character. 

For some fans though, their passion for truly becoming part of the universe is on an entirely different level.

Halo has been incredibly blessed to have such a massive and engaged cosplay community, with dedicated members all over the world pouring their heart, soul, and skills into bringing the universe to life. We’re always impressed by the lengths that cosplay creatives will go to in order to lend a helping hand to others. Whether it’s assisting someone on their first build, bringing extra foam and Velcro to share at an event, or making an appearance at a moment’s notice to support a good cause, cosplayers are very often at the forefront of what it means to truly be a community.

Guides like these are one way we would like to continue our own involvement in these endeavors—compiled by dedicated 343 team members from across the studio eager to help provide some additional assistance to fans through official assets, reference shots, material guides, turnarounds, contextual information, stats, details, and more. We hope you enjoy this particular contribution to your own creative process, and we can’t wait to see what you make next.

 - 343 Industries

That colorful closing crafted by the creative GrimBrotherOne, whose help with assembling this blog was invaluable, will be included at the start of this cosplay guide and potentially the ones yet to come. His involvement, just like that of so many others, aided in bringing this project to life. More importantly though, those aforementioned words are equally felt by the entire studio, and will sit prominently within this cosplay guide as a reminder of how much we appreciate this passionate community. It was quite the undertaking to find and crack open builds of Halo 3: ODST from 2009 to find those perfect models of the Rookie, but we're extremely proud of the result and we hope you all enjoy.

Before we wrap this up, I wanted to implore you to share any and all of your cosplay creations with us using #HaloSpotlight on Twitter and Instagram. It's the easiest way for us to spot your fantastic work and may even land you in a Halo Community Spotlight here on Waypoint!

Until next time,

- Uny

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