During a panel held at PAX 2009, Bungie's CJ Cowan, Joe Staten, Lars Bakken, Michael Wu, Curtis Creamer, Marty O'Donnell and Brian Jarrard explained the creative process behind Halo 3: ODST. The panelists spent a good deal of the session discussing one of the major influences of the game: film noir. Film noir influenced nearly every aspect of the game, from the artwork and gameplay to the music and story. Halo 3: ODST borrows elements from the genre, such as dark lighting and moody music. Also in the tradition of film noir, players will be tasked with solving a mystery -- what happened to the rest of the ODST team?

In addition to the film noir talk, we got to take a look at some concept art from the game, including an Elephant adapted as a waste collection vehicle (renamed the Oliphaunt) and the Covenant Engineer, which will be making its first official appearance in a Halo FPS game. We also got to see the early, hideous model of Nathan Fillion's character, Buck, which you can see above. Apparently, Fillion's agent actually cleared it to be included in the game. Thankfully, Bungie did not.

Bungie also dropped the news of the Fourth Wall Studios meta-game within Halo 3: ODST at the panel, which you can read more about right here. And, finally, there was Connor. Check out images from the event in the gallery below.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.