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'Halo' predecessor 'Marathon' headed for iPad, 'Marathon 3' engine to PC

One of the first games that came from Halo team Bungie is being brought to the iPad by a dedicated fan, while the studio itself is opening up the Marathon Infinity engine to community modifications.

Like Halo, it takes place in a science-fiction future - a future in which colonizing humans have run into trouble thanks to hostile alien forces.

Marathon was originally released in 1994, the same year as System Shock, which also features a rogue computer system causing trouble for spaceship inhabitants and went on to inspire the BioShock series.

"I've always been intrigued with game development, and have written several different games for a variety of platforms, so naturally, I tried my hand on the iOS, porting a game with a friend. That led to poking around with other projects," part-time developer and family man Daniel Blezek told Bungie.

During the day he works as a hi-tech programmer at a large medical center, while evenings and weekends see him try his hand at iOS game development.

"Playing with the iPad got me thinking about playing Marathon on the platform, and so the project was born."

Bungie notes that it will further support community projects by releasing the original code for the third Marathon game, Marathon Infinity, as open source software for coders to tinker with and improve upon.

The trilogy has already been released as freeware and, by way of the open source Marathon 2 engine, can be played on Mac, Windows or Linux PCs thanks to downloads hosted at marathon.sourceforge.net.

Read Bungie's interview with Daniel Blezek at bungie.net/News/content.aspx?cid=31828.