In the Weekly Bungie Update Url waxes lyrical about how Halo Reach has come together:
Right now, as your ocular organs convert this ensemble of light and information into electro-chemical impulses, men and women of industry from all walks of life are busy building what we’ve been calling the most ambitious game in Bungie’s history. We have not been blowing smoke up your skirt. Though just about every aspect of Reach has been playable in one form or another for quite some time now, the days when months (and sometimes years) of hard work finally come to fruition right before our very eyes are upon us. Just as things started looking damn good for Playtest 5, the realization that plenty of that content was still placeholder (like the skies you saw over Boneyard in the Beta) is only now starting to sink in for me. Now is when the promise of a great game not only takes corporeal form – now is when it balls itself up into a great big fist and uppercuts your expectations straight into outer space. Bang, zoom, and all that.
For the team, that realization is born out of a maelstrom of work, work, and more hard work. In some cases for this crew, it means breakfast, lunch, and dinner inhaled at the office. It means time spent away from family and friends. It often means, for better or for worse, everything.
But it also means all that work is now paying massive dividends as yesterday’s promises become today’s reality. As new builds come in at a blistering pace, it means portions of planet Reach are now soaked in sheets of misty rain leaving exposed ground saturated while walkways under rooftops remain realistically bone dry. It means once empty rooms are now filled with vital signs of life – little touches like stoves, plants, and furnishings that help transform what was once just playable space into something much more potent and meaningful and human. It means indigenous life. It means the Covenant forces mercilessly fighting for purchase on the planet are more vicious and cunning than ever before. It means, ultimately, that as more and more polish gets liberally applied and the game moves into its final stretch of development, more and more facets are beginning to take on the finish and shine expected of a brilliant and beautiful gemstone.
About the only bit of real game news in the update was pictures of these medals that I've interspersed throughout the post. They are pretty rad!
“So the medals in our older games felt a bit cheerful, colorful, and clean for the tone of Reach. I figured since the graphics in Reach got a facelift, I’d take a whack at giving the medals an update as well. I ended up working with Andy and Kayl, two of our contract 3D artists here to come up with some realistic interpretations of my original medal designs. Here’s a few – just to whet the appetite of the fans and incite rampant speculation in the forums. :)" - Bungie's Dave Candland