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  1. Disclaimer: Keep it civil or I'll personally ask the mods to lock and delete this thread. So, quick story first. This Sunday I passed by the local MIcrosoft Store and noticed they had a Black Ops 2 doubles tourney going on. The setup was pretty sick (portable gaming rigs) and spectating on the big screen. There were roughly 13 teams playing and the avg. age across the board was probably between 12-15 years old. As I watched these people yell and scream at each other, I would ask them between matches if they played Halo and if they didn't play, I would ask them why. Other than the obligatory, "that game sucks," I got a couple of meaningful answers that kept repeating themselves. They were: - "That game is too hard." - "None of my friends play it." See I think these two answers share something in common. As you can see, the social aspect of games has always been incredibly important to having a strong and consistent population. As an example, WoW has done so well because it's formed communities both on the macro and micro scale of the game (having a group of 5 friends that you run dungeons with, a guild that runs 25-man raids, an entire faction, etc.) Halo is currently playing catch-up in this regards. We recently have gone into the media aspect of gaming (streaming, youtube content, social media, etc.) and we've had to make leaps and bound to make our content professional and watchable. Still, we are struggling because other games have been and are still making this effort to nourish their respective communities (and with years of experience at that). The reason that having a strong social/media presence in a community is so important is that most new players to a franchise immediately (if they are interested enough) look up tips/tutorials/strategy/etc. in order to further understand a game. If a game has a difficult time conveying exactly how skilled players should play their game, then the new players won't learn exactly what they should be working on to improve themselves. In this regard, Halo fails miserably. Other than the most basic tooltips, there is no playlist, no real source of basic Halo Multiplayer knowledge readily available to interested new players. The community can do all it can to supplement that content, but at the end of the day, a game as old and illustrious as Halo should have a wealth of information on how to play its' game on the most basic, competitive level. This is where the notion that competitive Halo has massive barriers to entry comes into play. For clarification, barriers to entry in terms of gaming refers to the ease with which players can pick up a game and understand exactly what they have to do. If a game has large barriers to entry, then gamers have to seek out other sources of information or just go through trial and error till they maybe figure it out for themselves. This is a big maybe considering the patience of most new gamers nowadays. This is evident in the popularity of Team Slayer vs. any objective gametype. Slayer has always been the essential "foot in the door" playlist for Halo, but other than just firing your gun at players that cause your reticule to turn red, there is nothing in-game that describes Power-Up/Weapon timers, Shield mechanics, Grenade/Weapon mechanics, Team shot, Power positions etc. Going back to WoW and my experience with high-end arena, the arena system was brutal. Nothing else in WoW even hinted at how to do team-based pvp, how to form good comps (Team Composition), how to cc (Crowd Control) and burst (cause high damage in a short amount of time). The game overall has become more and more casual because rather than providing this information to reduce the barriers to entry with WoW arena, Blizzard has consistently dumbed down their game mechanics/depth to try and make it work. This results in a severe reduction in the skillgap and the game becoming more dull overall. To clarify, I am not asking Halo to be made easier in terms of mechanics. I am suggesting the fact that we (the competitive community) generally take Halos mechanics for granted and don't even make an effort to bring in or teach new players how to play our game. 343i kind of made an effort in this regards solely with Power Weapon indicators on maps, but this is clearly not enough. This isn't a plea to content creators, nor is this a rallying cry for our community/343i. I'm just stating from prior experience and analysis that the competitive aspect of games can grow exponentially when the barriers to entry are significantly minimized. If you've gotten this far, I appreciate taking your time out to read this thing. I've been meaning to post this for awhile now but I finally had a good amount of time to sit down and write it out. Please, share your thoughts and discuss. TL;DR - Halo has massive barriers to entry that inhibit population growth and don't allow new gamers to easily grasp how Multiplayer should be played. This causes a huge disparity between vets and new players that prevents smaller sub-sections of Halo (like the competitive community) to acquire new, interested players let alone grow the overall game population.
  2. WARNING: Wall of text incoming. ____________________________________ Hey guys, Zan here. As most of you know, I'm a forger in Halo 4. I've made plenty of competitive maps, one Flood map, and one mini game. I have 4 competitive maps that are all works in progress and I also started my second Flood map. From that, you can tell that I'm very involved in the Forging scene. But like a lot of things in life, forging can bring you difficulties and may sometimes bring you a lot of frustration. And that's pretty much what I'll be discussing in this write-up. I can safely say that I've grown a lot as a forger and what I'll be discussing in this thread are the things I learned and picked up along the way. This write up will not be a tutorial. I won't be telling you how to place spawns, manage map flow. This write up will talk about P.S. This is mostly for competitive map forgers. P.P.S. English is not my primary language so excuse any grammatical errors, mistakes in sentence structure, etc. P.P.P.S. This is mainly for aspiring forgers. The pros experienced forgers would probably already know most, if not all, of what I'll be discussing. ____________________________________ The Beginning of a Map Now, when you decide to forge a map, how do you start it? Do you just place random pieces around until you find an idea for your map. Do you start with one idea and then expand from that? Do you choose a map from a previous Halo title and then use it as inspiration for your map? I. From idea to piece You can use any one of those ways to start a map. We all have different styles of forging and this results in different ways of starting a map. I myself mostly use two ways to start a map. One if these is placing about 4 blocks side by side, transform into player mode and try to figure out how I want the map to be from there. While in player mode, I think to myself "Would a ramp here be good?", "Maybe I should have a lift here", "This could be a good spot for a power position" From there, I experiment. I turn my ideas into forge pieces and then see how everything works. But it doesn't stop there. Once I have figured out the general layout of the map, I don't stop thinking in player mode. While in player mode, I walk around what I have created so far. This allows me to expand my creation in the right direction resulting in a well built and well thought out map. Remember, you can't always determine how a certain area would play while you're in Forge ball mode. That's the method I use when I don't have an idea to start from. Give it a try. For all you know, it'll help you start your next creation. II. From inspiration to creation Another one of the methods I use when I start a map is, as I've stated above, expanding from one idea. This is very similar to using a map from a previous Halo title as inspiration. Let's say that you wanted to make a map that is similar to Narrows from Halo 3. Now, what's one thing in Narrows that makes it unique from the other Halo 3 maps? The bridge. You can use that idea to start your map. Simply build a simple bridge and then decide how your map will go from there. You can use the "walking around in player mode" method I stated above to help you continue your build. Take this picture for example. That entire map started from one idea. The Forerunner structure in the middle made of the banks. I wanted to make a Forerunner-themed map so I created that diamond looking structure and eventually, an awesome 2v2 map happened. Here's another example That entire map also started from one idea. The bridge. What's funny is, I was inspired by Narrows yet the map has almost no similarities to Narrows. I simply built a simple bridge, expanded from that and eventually made an original map that looks nothing like a map from a previous Halo title. From that one, simple idea, I was able to build what I think is my best map in Halo 4 so far. It's still a work in progress though. But don't forget that it's important to be original. Show people, through your maps, who you are as a forger. It's not a bad idea to take inspiration from other maps but making all your maps remakes or rehashes won't help you grow much as a forger compared to making original maps. The first piece has been placed. An idea has sprouted. The map continues. After you've figured out how you want your map to be in terms of layout, gameplay, theme etc, the harder part comes. And that would be continuing and, eventually, finishing the map. You have to take many things into account when you continue your map. This includes finding a good area for the initial spawns, the power weapon spawns, the power postions, making sure your map will flow well, etc. If you take these things into account, your map is bound to not have many issues in its layout and structure. If you just continue forging your map without any real thought process, the map is bound to have several issues that could possibly be unfixable without a complete reforge or redesign of the map. I know this from a certain experience of mine in forging. Forger's Block As far as I know, everyone gets it. No forger has ever gone through in his forging carreer without experiencing forger's block. Now, what can you do if you're hit with forger's block? What I do is take a break. I find this to be the best way to remedy this issue. By putting my mind at rest, it allows me to think properly and lets my brain absorb ideas better. You'll always need a break when doing something. Forging a map is no exception. After that time of rest, I don't go back to the map immediately. I look at other maps first. Community made and developer made. This usually gives me more ideas and inspiration that allows me to continue my map. The map is done. But is it though? Congratulations! You've finished your map. But not really. You've simply finished its beta. A playable version. Not the final one. All maps will need feedback. All forgers will need feedback. You and your map are no exception. Once you've finished your map's first version, it's time to test it. This is crucial in the development of your map. But to some people, this is the hardest part. It's not easy to receive feedback. A lot of people would view your map post, say "Looks cool, bro." or "Nice aesthetics" and then ignore it forever. Some wouldn't even comment on it. Let's face it, "Nice aesthetics" doesn't help very much. It may make you feel good about the map but it won't be much help if you're trying to fix some issues. So how do you get feedback? a) Give feedback. A lot of people also have maps that lack feedback. It's time for you to step up. Giving feedback will make some people remember your name and, if you're lucky, they'll give you feedback right back. b) Request it. There are many groups and individuals out there who are willing to help you with your map for free. Some of them would be - The Librarians of Forge Cafe - Master Debaytes' Review Crew at Halo Customs - Fated's Forge Lobby at Forge Hub - AbleSir Thomas' TNT at 343i Community forum - And many more! Give these guys a shout and I'm sure they'll be willing to help you with your map. c) Join some customs This will help you in testing your map. The best place to go to is Halo Customs. Join some map testing lobbies and hopefully, you'll get the feedback you need. This will also help you spot issues in your map, if any. ____________________________________ This essay write up of mine is almost done so I'm going to leave one last piece of advice for any aspiring forgers reading this thread. Don't give up. Most likely, your first map won't be the best. It could turn out horribly. At least, that's how my first few maps turned out. To get better at forging, it's very important that you like forging. You're not going to get any better at something if you don't enjoy doing it (You can apply this in real life ). To get better, you'll need feedback (refer to the ways of getting feedback as seen above). Once you get feedback, it's important that you don't take offense. Some feedback that you'll receive may seem harsh but these are the feedback that will truly help you grow as a forger. Take the feedback into account and use it to improve your map and yourself. Of course, you must be able to determine the difference between feedback and flaming. Another thing you must learn is this. Knowing when to give up on a map. (Not contradicting the "Don't give up" above. That tells you not to give up on Forging. This tells you to know when to give up on a certain map) Not all issues in a map are fixable without a complete reforge/redesign. And sometimes, the issues are still not fixed. You should be able to determine if the core layout and design of a map dooms it to unfixable problems. This means that no matter how much you change some things in the map, it will never be something that will truly shine because of it's main design. I know this from my own experiences in Forge. The best thing to do if this happens to your map is to make some final adjustments to it and move on with a new project while applying all that you've learned from your previous creations to your new map. ____________________________________ Anyway, that's pretty much it from me. I hope this write-up helps any aspiring/beginning forgers with their maps. Zan out.
  3. Does anyone have a No-Sprint version of Ricochet? I've searched all over and cannot find one.
  4. The moderation level of this forge forum is getting out of hand. Last week I got banned for challenging another forger’s design philosophy. This is unacceptable. Providing feedback often includes analyzing and criticizing the design philosophy behind the map. The following argument got hard deleted from the forums and earned me a 1-day ban for “disrespect”. This is ridiculous moderation conduct aPK and AboveInfinity. This type of moderation will deter forgers similar to myself from ever contributing to this forge forum. Get your act straight moderators. This is a forge forum – we are not going to sugar coat and agree with everything in map design. Also, @aPK. You posted in WAYWO 3+ weeks ago that you planned on doing another forge feature that week. Instead, you completely brushed off doing additional forge features and continued to feature your own “Rebuild Countdown” project. You have yet to feature another forge map. Represent and feature community content, not your own. Last but certainly not least, AboveInfinity should not feature forge maps. He does not design maps and his opinion on maps is completely dependent on the popular opinion of BE staff. He is a follower. He originally posted that he loved Orion, then all of a sudden made a 180 degree turn because other BE staff were shunning the forger and the map. This kind of person should never feature community forge content. This is my last post on BE unless moderation conduct is improved in the future, and I would not be surprised if this thread got locked or deleted within minutes. -Fated Out
  5. I believe, not too sure, that APK said he thinks Forge should be removed from Halo and just make it like Gears of War where you just switch the weapon placements around in the settings. So, my question should Forge stay or be removed? Let's look at the pros of forge. Pros. 1. Creativity in the community. ( Players can show how creative they are and make some interesting maps and creative game-types to boot). 2. More competitive maps. ( We all know this, but not every map is good that comes with the game. So, we rely on ourselves to make good maps). Honestly, that's all I can think of. Not a forger by the way, so If you have more positives let me know. Cons. 1. Takes away original maps from the Game Dev. ( Sometimes, vanilla is better than Chocolate). 2. Lack of color, scenery, etc... ( Like in Halo: Reach and Halo 4, the lack of color was really annoying. Staring at the same color all the time was annoying, but this could be fixed in the next Halo). Again, it's all I can think of. So, Like I said above, tell me more negatives. Sorry for not having more, like I said, not a forger. But, I would like to know. Do we need a forge? Or should it be removed? Or better yet, should forge only be limited to it's own map? I don't know, let me know in the poll. Thanks for reading this subpar list, wish I could come up with more. -Dallas
  6. List maps that work with NS and game types for those maps Only put slayer,Extraction,ctf for now Haven Ext and Slayer Skyline Flag and slayer Pit Flag and slayer Abandon Slayer Now name some other maps
  7. Crate is a small narrow symmetrical map that focuses around shooting with your team and communication. The map plays Team Slayer, and Capture the Flag (5 Flag) The map was designed around No Sprint (125% movement speed, 95% Gravity) One power weapon on this map: Rocket Launcher (Located Top Middle) spawns 2:30 after pick up. I can only have one picture apparently? Something might be bugging on the forums. The one picture I put on in is an overview look of the map. http://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/players/s%202the%20artan/halo4/fileshare#!/?section=GameMap&SearchDate=7&SortBy=2&view-select=Tile&startIndex=0&details=44149ca9-9918-4530-a1cc-32c1f9455105
  8. By request, I started looking for a map thats on disc and needs some work. I looked through all the maps and I thought Monolith was the best map available, would be a good map for competitive play. I started working on it today, changed some things, and I am now working on spawns. Any other thoughts on the map before I put up for Beta? Let me know asap!h GT: s 2The artan Skype: theanimalbro Email: [email protected]
  9. Hey! Here another remake, this time is Beaver Creek. As always, opinions and thoughts about the map are welcome. Remember to leave a Like on the video DOWNLOAD: http://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/players/emanuel%20vn/halo4/fileshare#!/?section=GameMap&SearchDate=7&SortBy=2&view-select=Tile&startIndex=0&details=6c2ab369-5c44-4499-8f3b-7a8362f1944e NOTE: A modded gametype was used to make this map. It has excessive rocks and natural objects.
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