Medals are preset rewards in multiplayer that showcase special achievements that a player makes through the game, usually by killing opponents in a special way, a certain number of opponents at a time or in one life, or by achieving some objective.
I worked closely with our Multiplayer Design team, alongside our UI team, to create a medal system that could be broken down into separate medal categories. I started with a similar approach to what was done for Halo 4, by using a layering system that was made up of three parts: background category, midground category and foreground icon.
After several playtests and design reviews, we decided that the three level system was too complex and that the medal categories were too broad. It was hard to determine whether a medal should fall into category a vs. category b.
So we decided to broaden the medal categories as well as flatten the medal language into just a two layer system: background category and foreground icon. This created a visually distinct and broad system that allowed for a lot of unique assets.