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Halo fans were lined up around the corner for a panel this morning on Halo 4 at Penny Arcade Expo, filling the Paramount Theater for inside details on the next installment of the blockbuster Xbox 360 franchise.

Members of the development team from Microsoft’s 343 Industries didn’t reveal any huge secrets, but they gave a sense for the approach they’re taking and provided a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the production process — including video of the real-life explosions that they’ve been recording to make the game’s underlying audio just that much more realistic.

The game, due out for the holidays 2012, was first announced this spring at the E3 video game convention. It’s the first installment in a new trilogy . Halo is the flagship of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console, selling in huge numbers whenever a new game comes out.

Halo was originally developed by the Bungie game studio, which is moving on to other development projects and left the intellectual property in Microsoft’s hands as part of its spin-out of from the Redmond company a few years ago.

Previously on GeekWire: How Microsoft is remaking the first Halo, in 3D, while staying true to the original

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