Somewhere off the main drag of sleepy Kirkland, Washington, tucked away from the restaurants and art galleries that line the waterfront, rests a setback, sunken office building. From the street, this mass of concrete and angles looks unremarkable. Inside, however, the nondescript building is home to 343 Industries and ground zero for the multi-billion dollar “Halo” video game franchise.
A towering replica of “Halo” protagonist the Master Chief stares down at me as I wait in the lobby for Kiki Wolfkill, executive producer for the “Halo” franchise and leader of linear storytelling for 343 Industries. Even as a statue, this faceless warrior looks intimidating. From his perspective, I am probably nothing more than dental floss.
Suddenly, a breezy, confident voice echoes down the hall towards me.
“Coffee or cocktails?”
This is not how my interviews usually start. But Wolfkill is not your usual interview subject. Much like the offer she has extended, there’s an interesting duality to her personality, one that she wears on her sleeve, literally, in the form of a tattoo of turbulent waves and plum blossoms meant to signify the balance between chaos and calm.
Wolfkill’s both a race car driver and self-proclaimed shoe-loving girly-girl. She’s a creative spirit and practical problem solver. She can enjoy a $30 martini or a cheap beer in a dive bar. Talk to her awhile and you can sense a gentle disposition, but you’ll also come to understand that she could easily pull a page from the Master Chief playbook and kick your Covenant ass if she so desired.
Editor’s note: The following is a post from Marc Freeman, a writer for microsoft.com/stories.