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Forging For The Playlists

I have been forging steadily since the night Reach went on sale. I started as a novice and joined forging communities where forgers taught each other by giving feedback on each others’ maps. But recently I began to realize there are communities of high end players that can explain why one map yields good Game Play while the next one fails miserably. The only source of this kind of information that I know of today can be found at Beyond Entertainment, and I highly recommend them to any aspiring forger.

I want to capture what I have learned about level design concepts in forging Halo, similar to my mini lessons on Forging Invasion. I am the first to tell you that I am still the student at this, and that my articles here are simply my account of what others have taught me thus far.

Why Halo?

It doesn’t interest me that Far Cry 3 has a map editor that far exceeds Halo’s Forge, matches that power with ease of use, and has a more powerful terrain rendering engine (you can see deep into the water), because Far Cry 3 suffers from the realism of present day weaponry in which you drop immediately when you are shot, yielding frustrating and boring multiplayer matches. At the end of the day I enjoy playing matches on halo.

Additionally, there existed an unparalleled community of forgers that literally exploded onto the scene with Reach. I began to enjoy forging simply from the increased flexibilities of Reach’s forge tools, but I also developed fond memories of all the friends I made and the good times we had forging and playing customs together through out most of Reach. I can only hope the interest and the population returns with Halo 5.

About This Blog

I have divided my lessons into three chapters. The first chapter, Geometry, will discuss the layout of the map’s physical structures, the purposes of various concepts, and regularly return to the question, why?

The second chapter, Art, will discuss how a map is more than Geometry, just as Aesthetics is more than Art. Art, Architecture, and Theme will be discussed to help you get some ideas on how to bring your map alive and to simply add to the overall fun factor your map can offer.

The third chapter, Depth, will discuss how maps can add depth to the games that are played on them, and how the unsuspecting forger can inadvertently shallow the Game Play and make their map a tiring lap around the track if they are not careful.

Learning Is My Goal, The Playlist Is My Target

My emphasis is learning to forge, but with the caveat of forging maps to ascend to the playlists and work within that framework. My goal is to learn, using the playlist only as my target to that end. Each map I create needs to be better in novelty, art, inspiration, design, level concepts, game play, split screen performance, pathing, spawning – you get the picture – than the last one. And each map I design is specifically designed to work within the framework of the playlists. If I get my map into a playlist, then it only serves to confirm that I am achieving my goal of forging a map successfully for the playlists.

All of the lessons I present provide good healthy rules, but you need to understand that there are going to be exceptions to just about anything I say. By explaining why a rule is important to follow, you should be able to assess if the rule is necessary for your particular map; or if your map can break a rule without suffering the consequences.