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Fated

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  1. After I left the studio last September, 343 dramatically redesigned my original BTB forge project (Recurve) to suit a more casual matchmaking audience. Artemis is an evolution of the original experience that I wanted to deliver for BTB matchmaking. [media=700x600] [/media] Longer walk through of an older build: [media=700x600]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edo2uRihbJI[/media]
  2. Re: Spawning, We had a super accelerated build time during our trip to 343 Industries. I was completely focused on massing out the design and expressing the vision to the team at 343, and any spawns I put down we're hastily thrown on the map so it was somewhat playable in our play tests. I hastily setup a basic static spawning system through both respawn zones and team-specific spawns, but the spawn system that is on the current version of Recurve was developed by 343 after I left. I usually spend weeks to months refining spawning systems through zone weighting based on observations from play tests, but I unfortunately just didn't have the opportunity to focus on spawns during my visit. The scripting system is super powerful in Halo 5's forge, and presents some new options for spawn system design that will be revealed later on. I will say that based on my observations of this game's spawning system, it is seemingly not based on player line of sight. There are some ridiculous spawn killing clips being passed around right now where the person sniping never looks away from the targeted spawn area. Re: Danger, the illusion of danger only impacts flow in negative ways if the map provides insufficient counter-play. When maps are designed with proper movement incentive, verticality, and empowerment balance, the potential danger of an encounter with an enemy vehicle keeps players moving. And not just moving, but moving vertically. This is where verticality/overlap gets really exciting, because the differences between infantry and vehicle movement mechanics allows you to design different, but balanced counter-play opportunities for both. Vehicles have speed and fire power, but players have an entire suite of vertical movement mechanics that let them transcend levels in ways that vehicles cannot. My original vision for Recurve had a route circuit that empowered vehicles to move fast and infantry to move vertically. Much of this conceptual design discussion is intuitive when I build and difficult to explain in written form, so it's easy to misinterpret my meaning (which is what happened with @@Given To Fly in previous posts). Much easier to demonstrate visually. Re: Snipers, it's a delicate balancing act of empowerment, movement incentive, and danger. With my original weapon placement, the snipers spawned in positions with limited/situational power. Effectiveness was limited to lines of sight across the lower edge and the home courtyards, and the positions only saw situational danger. This spawn placement created movement incentive into the central structure, which had far more dominating lines of sight into the enemy base/coutryard. While the original central structure further empowered the sniper rifle, it was also the most highly contested position on the entire map. There was massive movement incentive and flow design into every level of the central structure, which made it an extremely dangerous position to use the sniper in. This balancing act prevented overpowered scenarios. It all comes down to risk versus reward. To rephrase a point I made earlier, further empowering power weapons without proper balancing in place creates overpowered scenarios. The same applies to vehicles and vehicle-specific areas, and for those who may have misinterpreted, I'm referencing the open, rolling hills of Blood Gulch and Standoff when I use the term "traditional vehicle-specific area design". There is a distinction between areas and routes. It's all about balance. Moves and counter-moves.
  3. Me too. Thanks again for your feedback, everyone. This thread has generated some really insightful discussion about some of the higher level concepts in multiplayer, gameplay, and map design. Structure design, movement incentive, verticality, empowerment, heroism, big-play design, travel time balancing, weapon/objective placement, and spawning are all difficult concepts to grasp and successfully implement. Level/game design is a never ending learning process, and it is very important that we remain respectfully critical of game developers so that they can continue learning with us. For those curious about my thoughts on the new version/vision of the map, I am highly critical, and Psychoduck from the ForgeHub Youtube Channel did an amazing job of expressing our shared concerns in a respectful, honest analysis of the map: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-LV5saF-UI
  4. @@Vetoed Awesome, and thanks--I'll be sure to stay in touch. Updated OP with a few more images of my original vision from both Halo Channel content and my Maya build. Screenshots show the original bottom mid design, courtyard-to-courtyard LoS, and the 2nd + 3rd levels of the central structure: The original central structure had a 3-story lift as well, and players could drop back down the shoot and use the thruster mechanic to exit on different levels. Was a super nerdy way to out-maneuver opponents and move both vertically & creatively through the center of the map.
  5. This is a great point, Multi. Perhaps I was misinterpreting Given's posts as well, because when looking at my original vision for the map, the courtyards serve as more free flowing, terrain-based transitional areas for vehicles between the more directional routes of the vehicle circuit. Vehicles are more menacing in the courtyards for sure, but infantry have options to escape those encounters, and the increased vehicle power is balanced by the higher positioning of the surrounding arms. I definitely agree that some areas on the map should support that kind of vehicle gameplay. So yes, a balancing act of the two philosophies. However, it's still important to emphasize that free flowing areas can reach a point of overpowered vehicle gameplay, and identifying that threshold is really important when you design them.
  6. This is simply a matter of misinterpretation, Given. The entirety of my original vision was designed for desirable ghost and warthog gameplay, but simply was not designed to further empower them to the point of imbalance. Open vehicle areas lead to control points and overpowered scenarios, whereas routes that are optimized for both vehicles and infantry allow for ideal movement incentive design, counter-play balance, and verticality. I prefer movement, verticality, and the balance of empowerment, which are all core arena design pillars that were present in Halo: CE and many arena shooters before it. Thanks a ton for your feedback, Vetoed. I place huge value on detailed feedback from higher level players who have a good understanding of multiplayer, gameplay, and map design. I will be rebuilding something closer to my original vision when forge releases next month, and I'd love to include both you and your BTB squad in the continued design & testing process of the map if you're interested. Let me know.
  7. Light vehicles refers to ghosts and warthogs, and this debate is ultimately a matter of traditional vehicle-specific area design versus squad design philosophy. Vehicle-specific areas are fundamentally flawed because they greatly empower vehicle pilots while severely disempowering infantry, creating a severe counter-play imbalance when forcing vehicle-infantry interaction in those areas. Vehicles are power weapons in concept, and crafting areas specifically designed to further empower power weapons without proper balancing in place creates overpowered scenarios (such as spawning a sniper rifle in the best position to use it). Traditional vehicle-specific area design is counter-intuitive for map flow due to the creation of overpowered areas, and ultimately makes players feel as if they are forced to sprint just to simply traverse & survive the space. I am fundamentally opposed to enlarging dimensions for sprint, and maps (including all vehicle routes within) should always be scaled so that sprinting is never necessary. Squad design philosophy optimizes all routes for vehicle-infantry interaction, balancing empowerment and providing sufficient counter-play opportunities for both. It completely removes the presence of overpowered vehicle areas, and when compared to traditional vehicle-specific area design, significantly raises the movement and combat skill gap for vehicle pilots. In squad design, pilots must gain significant map knowledge to reach a high level of effectiveness against evenly empowered infantry opponents. Vehicle flow is tighter and more directional, encouraging pilots to thoroughly plan their course of attack before engaging. It fosters a higher level of competitive play and superior movement incentive design. My original vision for Recurve used squad design philosophy as a core design pillar.
  8. If you compare my second Maya image to the Longbow concept above, you can notice strong design similarities in structure, pathing, and flow, including: similar base positioning, outer vehicle/infantry paths up to the central structure, short 'caves' up to top mid, segmented courtyards with two vehicle paths, and elevated bridges connecting mid-court to the central structure. The lower edge is inspired by Longbow's low edge as well, just significantly re-positioned with more directional vehicle flow. I just decided to mass out my routes with purple primitive geometry instead of natural terrain, but the scaling is quite similar. My reimagined bases and central structure were designed to be far more vertical/multi-leveled than those on Longbow as well, designing both to include 3 levels with exposed top routes and protected underpasses for both vehicle and infantry movement. My original vision was smaller scaled, faster paced, and more CTF-focused than the original Longbow design, and players could make big plays much faster off spawn as a result of that reimagination. In regards to your concern about little to no vehicle-infantry interaction, my original vision was designed to enable the exact opposite. No part of the map was safe in my original vision; light vehicles can go anywhere infantry can go, creating huge movement incentive and a huge movement/combat skill gap for both vehicles and infantry by maximizing interaction between the two. Vehicles and infantry interacted on every level of every route and structure on my original vision of the design, as every part of the map was also a core part of the vehicle circuit. Your comparisons to Bad Blood are fair, as that design did inspire parts of my original vision, but I would argue that what I originally created at 343 is actually far closer to Longbow both structurally and functionally than the current state of Recurve. Anyway, thanks for your post and feedback, and I agree with many of your concerns with the current state of the map. Although I deviated pretty far from the original, I truly attempted to improve every component of the original design.
  9. Hey Beyond. I'm the community level designer that was tasked with reimagining Longbow (now Recurve) during my visit to 343 Industries in September. I hope you are having a mostly positive and competitive experience in Big Team Battle, and now that the forge maps are officially released, I wanted to take a moment to share my original vision for Recurve. You may recall the purple WIP two-base map (the one with all the spartan parkour and pro jumps) from episode 4 of The Sprint below: By the end of my week-long visit at 343, the original vision for Recurve evolved into the following design mass out (recreated in Maya): My original vision included a thoroughly designed dual sniper engagement across the lower edge of the map, which was a huge part of my counter-play + movement incentive design from base-to-base and base-to-central structure. The sniper rifles were placed in positions with limited/situational power, which created movement incentive into the highly contested central structure to earn those dominant lines of sight into the enemy base/courtyard. The dual sniper engagement deterred flag movement along the lower edge of the map as well, thus encouraging more flag movement along the curve of the central structure. The top bases were balanced by both the constant threat of enemy sniper fire + a complex, vertical, 3-leveled central structure with connections to both the inner and outer sides of the bases via curved vehicle/infantry paths. As you may recall from the spartan parkour sequence on The Sprint, the original base design had man cannons that launched players into the central structure. This was a big part of my initial movement incentive & heroism design, as the man cannon-landing pad interaction allowed for some super fast, vertical, and multi-directional big play opportunities across the courtyards. I originally had rockets placed at the top of the map as well, and skilled players could use their momentum from the man cannon to pro jump (thrust + stabilize + crouch) up to the third level of the central structure and make a big play on the power weapon. In regards to vehicles, the original vision was designed to only support light vehicles (ghosts and warthogs). My original vision intentionally excluded fast, direct vehicle routes across the map, and instead directed all vehicle flow along the curving arms of the central structure & through the central structure underpass, which exited via one-way drop offs into the courtyards. This design created a travel time balance between infantry and vehicles for CTF, which eliminated the common "point of no return" experience on most BTB maps where the flag is basically a guaranteed cap once you pass the half-way point on the map. The vehicle health system is super important as well, and was another key consideration with my original design. The multi-leveled, curving and winding nature of the vehicle circuit that cuts through the bases and central structure was designed to keep vehicles moving fast and keep the occupants alive longer by systematically cutting off lines of sight as they moved--empowering vehicles in a faster, more directional combat role while simultaneous empowering infantry to move vertically to escape those directional encounters. If the gunner gets shot down, a driver with good understanding of the circuit can return to the base with minimal harm done to the vehicle, picking the gunner back up and re-entering the circuit from there. I passed the design off to the 343 Multiplayer Team at the conclusion of my trip, and although the bases have been mostly preserved, the entirety of the original central structure, routes, flow, movement incentive design, and weapon/objective placement was significantly changed and iterated on after I left. Anyway, just wanted to share my original vision for the map, and I plan to rebuild something closer to the original vision for competitive games/tourneys on BigTeamBattle.net later on. Please let me know your feedback on the developer release of Recurve below, and I'll be sure to pass on what I can to the design and multiplayer team at 343 Industries! -Kyle
  10. Unfortunately for the potential of competitive Halo, the pro player definition of competitive = what the pros are collectively willing to compete on. Most pro players are only willing to compete on maps that are familiar and nostalgic -- especially those reminiscent of Midship and Derelict. This is an incredibly self-serving bias that only allows for the implementation of maps with zero learning curve for players at the top level, and is exactly why most pro players should have zero influence on map selection processes. I highly respect your talent at the game and greatly enjoy watching you (and other high level players) compete, but unfortunately this habit of self-serving bias with map selection has hindered the evolution of competitive Halo play for far too long. Venom and Athelon, both completely new designs to the Halo series, make perfect sense structurally. The two maps just have inherently higher learning curves than some of the other nostalgic candidates, and will take time to learn. Both maps have massive movement learning curves, and most pros are simply overwhelmed by new designs that require the development of new strategies, player movement, map positioning, and call-outs. I find your assessment of Erupt surprising as well, as that map is highly reminiscent of The Pit and includes a redesigned mid that is more typical of Middy type maps. I appreciate you taking the time to post your feedback on both BE and Halo Waypoint, however. I hope more players provide feedback in the coming days.
  11. Noted. Thanks, Moa. Most of the HCS candidates need further kill zone refinement, and those final player containment fixes will be made once we know which maps are selected for tournament play.
  12. Official forge map candidates for Season 2 include: Athelon (Team Slayer, Capture the Flag, Ricochet, Neutral Bomb Assault) Eden (Team Slayer, King of the Hill, Oddball) Epicborough (Team Slayer, Capture the Flag, Ricochet) Erupt (Team Slayer, Capture the Flag) Temple (Team Slayer, Capture the Flag, Ricochet, Neutral Bomb Assault) Tesla (Team Slayer, Capture the Flag, Neutral Bomb Assault) Venom (Team Slayer, King of the Hill, Oddball) https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/community/blog-posts/halo-championship-series-season-2-forge-maps
  13. Forge map candidate list for Season 2: https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/community/blog-posts/halo-championship-series-season-2-forge-maps Sourced from: https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/community/blog-posts/halo-championship-series-season-2-announcements
  14. You can expect 2-3 forge map additions to HCS: Season 2. For those who tuned in to Naded's forge map testing last night, the maps played in no way reflect 343's final selections for Season 2 of the Halo Championship Series, nor does it reflect which maps have been selected for further testing. Naded did not have time to run Venom, Orion, Temple or Oracle last night - 4 of the most appropriately scaled and fast-paced designs out of the HCS candidates. A few of those maps have rather high chances of selection for Season 2, and Naded plans to run them at some point this weekend. You guys will really like Temple. It's a Midship-style design that looks like an Unreal Tournament map.
  15. Fated

    Venom

    Thanks, Blackeyed Blond. Venom was shown to 343 along with Erupt, Eden, Orion and other maps for HCS: Season 2 consideration, but it has minimal to no chance of selection for Season 2. Pro players tend to completely discount maps that require learning new strategies, map positioning, and call-outs. Venom is a completely new design to the Halo series, and as such, combined with the asymmetrical nature of the design and resultant combat, will probably be discounted if/when it gets pushed out for testing to the pros. This design was originally created for Pro-Mod 2v2 game play in Halo 4, re-imagined for 4v4 play in H2A.
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