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A Foreunner Concept...

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RipShade41 and I have an idea for a Forerunner structure surrounded by and built into terrain. We'd like this to work for 4-8 player Slayer and Objective modes, but are missing an unconventional idea to help compliment the aesthetic. Below is one of many blueprints I threw together to show the kind of terrain/callout system I'd be interested in using, but any and all of this can and will change based on gameplay in Halo 4 and in Halo 5 if we can bring the concept to that editor. 

 

DISCLAIMER: Sizes are only approximations of scale.

DISCLAIMER 2: Design is outdated. Will update momentarily.

 

DvbEJf6.jpgX0s9Mwv.jpg

 

 

Again, these are rough drafts and are subject to change. Any feedback or ideas that you can offer to make it better are appreciated!

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The strongest PW will have to be bottom mid in the middle of the Low Room. Being a bit generic, that would essentially mean Rockets. I think that's the only reasonable weapon that'd get people to run to the trench. Railgun could be a decent replacement, but I've heard some sour things about it.

 

I think I could get away with a Sniper Rifle under the Arch. The best sightlines are on the opposite end of the map, but the hills on either side of the cliff path would still be good to use if he didn't want to move. He could also watch the inside of his base from this position, or drop down and watch Rocket spawn.

 

I'm not sure about what to put at High Base. I can either put a Shotgun or Concussion Rifle around there, but it'll have to be either at the back of the ramp behind the base, or inside the base (probably the former). I think Needlers in the Rock Garden would be a good addition too. It reminds me of Beaver Creek. 

 

That's just initial view of course. When it's built, any of these can be changed depending on testing or how the sandbox is. 

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Hopefully halo 5 or the next halo game will have a fully detailed map maker with a terrain editor =] We can only hope because a editor like far cry could make our visions come to life. We can hope....right?

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o the beauty of the forerunners ;n;

 

The forerunner buildings are a bit intimidating, but I refuse to sacrifice the door angles and the angle of the base themselves. I made the walls angled specifically so that going through the doors wasn't a straight path, but they'll be tricky for sure. It's one thing to get the angles right, and it's another to do so with pieces that don't make a lot of noise. 

 

 

Hopefully halo 5 or the next halo game will have a fully detailed map maker with a terrain editor =] We can only hope because a editor like far cry could make our visions come to life. We can hope....right?

 

 

I just want meh forerunner buildings yo. A lot can be done with stuff using the Vortex/Meltdown aesthetic. 

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I assume you are going to make a WIP for it with Reach or Halo 4's Forge to be more prepared once Halo 5 releases? Its a very beautiful design honestly, I do hope that we will be able to create something special and unique with the upgraded Forge, if it is upgraded that is.

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I assume you are going to make a WIP for it with Reach or Halo 4's Forge to be more prepared once Halo 5 releases? Its a very beautiful design honestly, I do hope that we will be able to create something special and unique with the upgraded Forge, if it is upgraded that is.

 

I'm currently working on a version in Halo 4. I'm not really sure how to go about doing the angles, but I can get all the walls and terrain done at least. 

 

I kinda think the map would look better if the terrain was all grass too (with a dim ambient mist and soundscape accompanying it...). The snow thing looks cool, but only if the whole environment is snow (which is difficult in H4). How it ends up is really dependent on what H5 Forge is capable of. 

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FI's the only canvas with large rock walls, trees, and plain textures I'd be using for some of the geometry. I wish I had Ravine's grassy rocks though. Making the terrain with that would be a no-brainer. 

 

EDIT: I reached a halfway point and broke the lighting budget. The scale is also much smaller than I anticipated, so it's kinda discouraging attempting it in Halo 4. I'll probably just continue to model it and maybe make a draft in SketchUp to test the design in real time. 

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Hopefully halo 5 or the next halo game will have a fully detailed map maker with a terrain editor =] We can only hope because a editor like far cry could make our visions come to life. We can hope....right?

at least make it so we can change the color of an object, not just trim it with one.

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Try reach, maybe? 

 

Always felt like Reach forge looked better anyway. Not like FR is really a big deal since it's more to get the build done than anything else.

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I'd have a hard time finding the right rocks to use for the Reach version. I can do it in 4 but it's more tedious and (for lack of a better word) ugly with all the rocks.

 

I'm working on a new version using grass instead of rock/snow. The scale will also be a bit smaller and it'll be cleaner, simpler, and more indicative of what I have in mind. Drawing it is more fun than forging it, lol

 

Should be up soon. 

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This style of map honestly would look best with grassy dark rocks and a overall natural overgrown and alive feel to its environment like you suggest, but it all depends on the atmosphere you are really aiming for with it. You could combine that style of environment with the more ancient and less clean appearing bronze colored Forerunner textures with blue lighting perhaps similar to Solace and Halo 2 Forerunner ruins for the most part to give it a more alien and forgotten feel.

 

Hopefully Halo 5 allows us to choose both the color and textures of our objects, instead of forcing the ugly bland textures on us again, atleast Reach gives you more colors to work with. You always seem to pull off the Forerunner aesthetics really well even when limited with Forge so I am excited to see the Halo 4 WIP, I wish I would have gotten to run around on your previous design in Forge as well :P.

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This style of map honestly would look best with grassy dark rocks and a overall natural overgrown and alive feel to its environment like you suggest, but it all depends on the atmosphere you are really aiming for with it. 

 

Right you are, my friend. I updated the blueprints with some minor layout changes and simplified some of the callouts: 

 

DvbEJf6.jpgX0s9Mwv.jpg

5LSmCE4.jpg

 

The main changes at this point consist of a a small cave to the bottom of each base and some modifications to high base to make it a bit more accessible. When you walk across the light bridge into high base, there will be a window straight ahead which allows you to see into the cave (and crouch jump into it). The cave has an opening at the back of the cave ramp to allow sunlight in, and the ramp extends out into the air a bit.

 

I'll wait till it's built to plan for any jump ups in the front of high base. Since it's high, it's a bit difficult to pull off, but I think it's necessary. All the other jump ups remain.

 

I thought the last image was a bit interesting and should help to better illustrate the kind of terrain elevations in various locations. 

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I'm my own worst critic, so looking at the blueprint as it is, there are a few things that still concern me: 

 

•Do both neutral bases have enough advantages and disadvantages to employ different strategies for controlling them? 

•Do the aforementioned bases offer enough to give players reason to fight over one or the other? Where would combat be focused in Slayer?

•Are the fields in front of each base too open? 

•Is the base too easy to camp and/or too easy to spawn trap? 

•Do the bases need a front door? 

•Would a power-up be better in some locations instead of a power weapon?

•Are the tunnels beneath each neutral base too long? If so, what can be done to shorten their length or provide an alternative hard route? 

 

I might also extend part of the base by the high hill. Maybe make an arch the width of a 2x2 with a window over the base cave. Something to make it feel less open without actually intruding on its playable space. 

 

 

@@SilentRaine in response to the other part of your post, I do think it'll look interesting with bronze or darker gray metal (not Didact dark), but I also want to keep it feeling as atmospheric as it can. A light grayish color could blend a bit into a thin fog that'd hang over the upper portion. With a full blown editor, I'd even give it a light rain and occasional thunder crackle. I wish I could have puddles in the valley and lower portions too. Foliage growing over the structures and other parts jutting out from the rock floors and cliffs should help it feel like it actually exists and was built there for a reason. If I wanted to get really crazy, maybe there's a waterfall that falls from the cliff and channels directly through the middle, passing under the bridge and high base and being fed under the cave ramp to pour out the opening. 

 

Maybe I'm just hyping Halo 5 Forge too much...

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Maybe I'm just hyping Halo 5 Forge too much...

 

Probably.

 

I feel like the concerns you have can really only be best answered through actual testing, so I'd calm down on that bit until, well, halo 5. Hypotheticals can only get you so far. Or maybe I just have a small capacity to make sense of this 2D picture in actual terms of gameplay. 

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I feel like the concerns you have can really only be best answered through actual testing, so I'd calm down on that bit until, well, halo 5. Hypotheticals can only get you so far. Or maybe I just have a small capacity to make sense of this 2D picture in actual terms of gameplay. 

 

 

For me it goes beyond a simple 2D layout. I try to not only anticipate how I think gameplay will be based on what I'm allowing players to do, but also what I want players to see and feel.  Part of my whole process is visualizing their experience when they spawn, and what a certain part of the map will look like when they turn the corner or enter a door. I like to use Forerunner aesthetics because they invoke a sense of scale and wonder that is fun to mess with. The trick is just getting that visual experience to match the gameplay experience. I can't plan or foresee every aspect of gameplay until it's built or played, so I'm just dealing with as many hypotheticals as I can imagine to solve as many problems as I can predict. 

 

I don't want to be beta testing and realize the design has a glaring flaw or obvious oversight that I could have weeded out at this stage. For instance, I'm worried the base sides of the map might be narrower than they should be. I also am concerned about the angles of some doorways and walls. I'm working in tandem with the blueprint and forge draft, trying to address as much of this as possible, so I'll only have to worry about minor changes afterwards (like changing ramp angles, cover, pieces, or power weapons) as opposed to entire portions of a "complete" map. Unless Halo 5 Forge has CTRL A and CTRL C/V, moving parts of maps will always be something I'd prefer to stay away from. I always preferred terrain forging because of its accessibility in this respect, but building the terrain itself isn't much different from a path map. My fickle mind in this regard has lead to many unfinished maps, often to my co-forgers' chagrin.

 

Which is one reason why I'm putting a bit of faith in Halo 5 Forge. If it's powerful enough to produce something close to what I have in mind here, I'd like to have it (and others) built and playable by the end of launch month. It's certainly early to start planning, so I'm doing all I can drafting the floorplans and meticulously placing objects in Forge to test scale to the best of its ability. The blueprint stuff is the most enjoyable though. I feel like a kid in kindergarten with crayons. 

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Its possible to craft a good bit of the maps design using the existing Forge, so hopefully the Halo 4 WIP turns out well so you can be comfortable with the scale by Halo 5. I would definitely help you with testing, I haven't been on Halo 4 in a long time so that would give me a good reason :P.

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Potential Forerunner/light bridge aesthetics aside, the actual map design appears very generic and gives off a standard two base two tower vibe with elements of Pit base design and segmentation implemented. I feel like I've played the map already and know all of its secrets just from the overviews. The key to map design is not just imagining basic gameplay encounters, but implementing movement options and geometry that will evolve over time. This map appears to be missing that "thing" or evolutionary/revolutionary concept that will evolve the more and more that it is played. It needs more than just two bases, two holdouts, and a few paths around the sides. 

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Potential Forerunner/light bridge aesthetics aside, the actual map design appears very generic and gives off a standard two base two tower vibe with elements of Pit base design and segmentation implemented. I feel like I've played the map already and know all of its secrets just from the overviews. The key to map design is not just imagining basic gameplay encounters, but implementing movement options and geometry that will evolve over time. This map appears to be missing that "thing" or evolutionary/revolutionary concept that will evolve the more and more that it is played. It needs more than just two bases, two holdouts, and a few paths around the sides.

Indeed. While i might enjoy playing on it, its aesthetics alone cannot offer much given that its layout is simplistic. I went back to the drawing board this past weekend to experiment with a different base design that wasn't as "flat" and paths that weren't as straight forward. I'm not sure whether it'll end up as a "refined" version of this one or its own map entirely, but it's helping to branch out from the tried and true formula.

 

The thing I'm keeping in mind the most is to have the major flag sightlines accessible from the power positions on the map and to place objectives in the front most part of the base. Working from this, I'll be expanding upon the paths around the map and providing different ways for players to travel not only around the terrain, but within the areas of interest and the bases themselves. Working with ambitious aesthetics makes it a bit more difficult than it ought to be, but I'm confident in our creativity in that area.

 

Beyond that, im testing a few crazy concepts, but also adding more subtle things. As you said, the layout needs a certain longevity to it that will be fun to return to and grow from, so we just need to plan for and discover this layout.

 

Would you mind providing examples of past Halo maps that fit this bill?

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