Like most of the other characters and species in the Halo universe, the Covenant were slowly developed during the initial concept phase and refined as Halo: Combat Evolved progressed. During the course of development of Halo, the designers decided upon three "schools" of architecture, for each of the races represented — the humans, the Covenant, and the Forerunners. For the Covenant, the team decided on "sleek and shiny", with reflective surfaces, organic shapes, and use of purples. According to art director Marcus Lehto, the principal designs for the race came from environmental artist Paul Russell.
Like the character designs, Covenant technology, architecture, and design continually changed throughout development, occasionally for practical reasons as well as aesthetics. According to Eric Arroyo, the Covenant cruiser Truth and Reconciliation, which plays a major role in Halo: Combat Evolved, was to be boarded by the player by a long ramp. However due to technical considerations of having a fully textured ship so close to the player, the designers came up with a "gravity lift", which allowed the ship to be farther away (thus not requiring as much processing power for detail) as well as adding a "visually interesting" component of Covenant technology.
The art team also spent a large amount of time on Covenant weaponry, in order to make them suitably alien yet still recognizable to players. At the same time, the designers wanted all aspects of Covenant technology, especially the vehicles, to act plausibly. Bungie ended up looking at films and other media for inspiration on almost every aspect of the race.
Read more about this topic: Covenant Elite
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