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Westin last won the day on October 20

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  1. Here's an old sketch of With Love. As you can probably tell, there was a lot more planned for what is now red building. It was actually never supposed to be indoors, but instead, a meeting point of 3 alleyways surrounded by more apartment-esque buildings (imagine the lower section of the undead burg in DS1). It was also supposed to have a well which you could drop into. Better yet, the market hallways were planned to wrap around the entirety of the map, and there was even a path planned in the 'basement' of the lighthouse, creating a third spawn anchor. On top of all of this, I imagined a skybox of colorful buildings climbing the mountainous terrain to almost always juxtapose what is in front of you. If you think the structures loom now, you would've been surprised to see the real thing. Oh, and it was meant to be raining, with extremely reflective cobblestone streets and windows glowing from the candles within. Thinking back on all of that, it's hard not to be disgruntled by what forge made the final version.
  2. Back on topic for just one post, this is what I've been working on for a couple weeks Low quality, I know, but whatever. It's the dresser my brother and I grew up with, and I completely refinished it prompted by the remodeling of what used to be my brothers room. This dresser used to be a light brown color with all sorts of ugly factory aging, covered with bunch of holes that obviously fit the same pattern of whatever stencil was used. Heavy grain, finished with high gloss lacquer. The build quality is great, but the look was a big yikes, so, we painted, distressed, glazed, and finished the entire thing. Every mark and all of the wood showing through in the final product was placed there intentionally. For those interested, the process went as follows: First, I wiped the whole thing down with liquid sandpaper to give the finished surface grip. Then, I filled the holes, scratches and dents (there were a ton) with multiple coats of putty, sanding after each. Next I painted the entire thing (shelves done separately) with a semi-gloss latex in Loch blue. That name of the color won't mean anything as each paint supplier names their own colors, but it was a vibrant, almost baby blue. However, if you were to put the color up against a true blue, you would've noticed green in the color, but not without that comparison. Anyways, two coats of blue, sanding in-between. Next, I went around with a palm sander and distressed the edges, corners, and certain faces all over the piece. Next, everything I painted received a first coat of glaze (it was actually a brown stain). Thin it down, brush it on, wipe most of it off, almost buffing it, then blend with an ox hair brush. This will petina the paint and give it an aged look, as well as revealing the targeted distressing (anywhere you see the light, almost orange color of the wood). Also, if I were to use a higher gloss paint, the stain would just wipe off instead of biting into the texture. Next, everything received a coat of polyurethane. Once that dries, we sand the poly and go over the now sealed layer of petina with a second coat of stain, applying it in the corners and edges and blending it out. Layering the stain like this keeps the finish super smooth, and creates an almost 3 dimensional effect. We're not trying to make the furniture look dirty, just old and real. Finally, another coat of poly, and the piece was done. While we're here, before I did anything with this finish, I took the handles and knobs and washed them with soapy water, just to clean them. They were a gunmetal grey, so almost black which would've been fine, but the cheap chinese laqcuer reacted with the soap and cracked in the water, which revealed the metal below and accidentally made the hardware look amazing. That wasn't at all intentional, but getting your finish to crack is a common tool for aging furniture like this. It looks like fresco cracks in person. So, almost every step required at least one full 24 hour day to dry, and for both coats of the glaze, two days. And that's it. I love doing stuff like this, and for those who don't know, this is the sort of work I do with my father as a day job. In fact, we just concluded a 9 month job finishing almost every piece of furniture in Bob Brinkmans house, the CEO and founder of Brinkman construction. He built a brand new house and office on 600 acres of mountainous land, and we got there while the walls were still being put up, and it's essentially done now. We did the cabinets for 3 kitchens (one of which was so big it's literally its own building) around 60 bookshelves of varying widths, all around 8 feet tall, like 15 vanities (because everyone needs 15 bathrooms) probably around 40 oversized walnut doors, a custom TV cabinet with a motorized rising and lowering tv mount, and like a million other random things. We even chemically aged like 60 brand new outdoors copper lights that are scattered throughout what I could only relate to be a southern plantation but bigger. Here's a video for reference. It's impossible to capture this place without being there, but this should help. This is just the main kitchen, and everything you see we did. The brown tables, the red cabinets, the yellow cabinets, everything. Mute the video if you don't wanna hear breathing. Again, it's bad quality lmao So, that's literally what I've been working on that and a comprehensive exposition on Halo in video format that covers every aspect of the franchise from a design standpoint that would be like 1.5 hours long but whatever that's not important
  3. I had a similar thought about the second to last mission. I just assumed they saw the potential in the earlier night mission and decided to upscale it, while simultaneously paying homage to like 4 separate missions we had in past Modern Warfare titles. On that note, while I love subtle reference (key word being subtle), I would rather see the creation of entirely new formats for missions. At a certain point in every franchise, the product seems to harden and start repeating itself in an attempt to recapture those special moments. Don't get me wrong, the new Modern Warfare executes these ideas to a higher standard, but it's still the same set of ideas. The sniper mission, hold and defend missions, the stealth mission with an NPC helping you from a distance, and so on. It even uses the 'civilian' format in the Piccadilly terrorist attack, which could be closely compared in, in essence, with No Russian. All in all, the story was fine, the gameplay was probably the best we've seen in a Cod campaign, but it severely lacked weight when compared to how it was marketed and talked about by the people who played it early, and a big reason for that is how directed your character is. Like you've hinted at, even if a terrorist attack is something tragic to portray, it would make much more of an impact if we were allowed to make mistakes and even try to prevent it, only to have it inevitably take place.
  4. Are you really just going to reply to every suggestions with "meh, mine is better" lmao
  5. You should read your posts out loud to yourself before you make them.
  6. I've found that layering symbolism is not enough on its own, because at the end of the day, sometimes it doesn't show through. And, I don't know how else to put this, but I don't really think it shows with your logo. It just looks like a triangle with some letters in it, and to be totally honest, it looks forgettable.
  7. The text of the sleeve can just be any modern bold font, while I personally really like Christians hammer/anvil design. I remember that Christian said he looked up a bunch of anvil designs and said they all looked the same, like one person made one 15 years ago and everyone copied that one ever since. And so, the shape of the hammer and the way it floats perfectly horizontal above the anvil is intentional and just different enough to make ours recognizably unique. I'm biased here but I also think it would be amazing to have a version of one of the shirts with 'staff' or 'admin' written directly under the anvil logo on the front. In the future we could also have special order shirts with specific text, like for contest winners, or someone getting 100 upvotes on a post, whatever. We should do alllllll that stuff, because this site already sees more action than Forgehub (not including map posts), and we're going to see a lot of traffic come infinite. Stuff like this goes such a long way to make our site stand out and look passionate, and again, I'll pay all I can
  8. As far as the shirt, we really should have something simple on the left pec with Next Level Design on the sleeve. And we can always have more than one design. Not to beat a dead horse, but I think one of the impressive things about JIK is the color combination, and I don't think we should hold back like every other website in the history of man. Black with a white logo right in the middle... yuck. We can do waaaaaaay better and we have the opportunity to This sort of royal blue and creamy yellow look incredible together, and I would insert that subtle grid pattern that no god used in his logo into the text itself. Off the top of my head, we could also go with a red with a neon blue text, a really light beige color with white text. Brown with gold, and so on. We could even create different logos for each design, as we should if we want to be intentional about this. And if money is an issue I'll pay for it all. Essentially, I really don't want to look like I'm wearing a level design websites T-shirt, and honestly that's where it looks like we're headed with some of these suggestions so far
  9. I think there are such things as reasonable and unreasonable limits. It's reasonable to expect that our maps can never be infinite, but I think it's unreasonable that the direction of the light on Tidal doesn't even match the placement of the sun. I could go on. A lot of this has to do with a lack of control. Limitations are unavoidable, yes, but Forge could offer waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more control over our creative products than it does currently. For example, we're limited in the amount of detail we can apply before performance issues arise in any editor, but Forge doesn't have perf tools, like the ability to de-render objects that aren't in view, or parts of objects that are phased into one another. This is an artificial limitation, not as a result of tech, but by the editors design. That's the frustrating part. And to comment on your first comment, we haven't found an end to the universe. We can currently see, from one end to the other, 92 billion light years of creation. At this point, I don't think it would be crazy to assume that an infinite God created an infinite cosmos
  10. Lately I've been thinking a lot on the maturity of my own maps. For a long time, I was in the camp of "maps don't need to have a theme" and of course, as you all know, over time that changed. But now, when I look at my maps like With Love and Uncomfortable Silence, I can't help but cringe a little. I could write a long post on exactly why that is, but I'll just refer to the wisdom of Hex and call it the "lego blocks effect." While my levels have themes, and in large part make sense geometrically, they lack artistic verisimilitude. It's 99% a space for Halo spartans to play each other on and 1% something more, and I'm starting to hate that. With love was supposed to be something more, every area and their connections originally would've have been satisfactory, at least at the time, but of course the limits of Forge made me completely reinvent the theme, connections, skybox and just about everything else. My next map is supposed to be a sort of dream state, an abstraction, and so the implementation of 'sense' to a fine degree isn't as necessary, but even within a theme like this, I'm really trying to make the space look and act like something compellingly authentic that also works well with Halo. I imagine that a good investigator should be able to come into my level and eventually understand how things became the way they are. The destruction, the terrain, everything should have a reason. And no, just just a gameplay reason, but as many reasons as I can create and interweave. Something like what Icyhot said, not more inputs, but more input. Basically, I'm trying to play God. I imagine that God has a reason for everything in his design, literally down to every atom and its placement. I often have thought that maybe my place in life is just to have an effect on one other person, which would eventually lead to something happening in the future for good. The point is, I want more. If anyone here has ever seen the movie 'signs' you might get what I mean by this sort of design. mind you, none of this is thought out yet, and not at all organized
  11. Dude, I've been alerted of enemy presence by my own guy when I had no idea people were around and no reason to. Not to mention how I get punished for reloading because my guy calls it out to the world. sick game
  12. I've always disliked when people slowly back away from a silly post with several fade-away posts in hopes to let things down easy, as if you were being respectful the whole time and it's just on us for "misinterpreting" the earlier comments. I used to do that a lot, and I've learned from beyond that it's best to just say 'oops, that was stupid', move on, and people will respect that. I love beyond for that. But, it looks like we'll have to go through the motions yet again, and with a little "I know how you are" sprinkled in there. Just call me a Multi-fanboy and we'll party like it's 2016.