The "30 seconds of fun" model Bungie has used to describe Halo's design mentality has been cited countless times.
During a recent programming keynote at the Develop conference in Brighton, Bungie's Damian Isla framed that model in terms of AI, and shared with the audience a number of AI development stories drawn from throughout the series.
"I would guess that it's one of the most sophisticated AI systems out there," said Isla of his studio's work on Halo. But he then noted that the series' AI is not so much an attempt to create a true artificial intelligence as it is a system to facilitate "a player experience," an experience that has been under "constant revision."
That experience hinges on the "30 seconds of fun" -- the notion that you can put "200 or 300 of these experiences laid back to back and you can make a game out of that."