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Found 56 results

  1. icyhotspartin

    Sextant

    Soon this page will be updated with links, a short description of the level, its contents, and the thinking behind the design. Enjoy some pictures and sounds. 🙂
  2. Forgehub has announced the 'Forge Your World' contest. "Forge Your World is a purely aesthetic movement that encourages our community to recreate a real-world location, landmark, etc. in Forge! This is a contest of photo-recreation." This contest will run through June 7th. The community will determine the winners by voting for their top 3 submissions. The voting will begin on June 8th. Prizing is available for the top 3 as follows: 1st: $500 2nd: $350 3rd: $150 The top 3 will also get a much coveted Forgehub Tee Shirt, and a Forgehub Map Feature. Read the the full announcement on Forgehub for more details on this contest: https://www.forgehub.com/threads/forge-your-world-contest-announcement.159277/ We would love to see your submissions, so please share them in the comments below, in WAYWO, on in our Projects section. Let the forging begin! Follow Forgehub Website: https://www.forgehub.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/ForgeHub
  3. Edgemister Gaming (@Edgemister) has started up a new level design YouTube series. The first video in this post is an introduction to the series. The second video dives right into the subject matter. Hope you all enjoy! Follow Edgemister Gaming YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/edgemistergaming/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/edgemister_ Follow Next Level Design Join the Forum: http://www.nextleveldesign.org/index.php?/register/ Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NextLevelDesig2 Discuss on Discord: https://t.co/hkxwVml0Dp
  4. Buddy Jumps

    El Bronco

    El Bronco Nature had its own plans for this once prospering little town... It surely did look promising to become a cornerstone of the Wild West train network, however... Soon after the well was being used and the foundation of the train track was laid the town got hit by numerous unforgiving seisms and landslides. El Bronco is a 2v2 deathmatch level made with Halo 5's Forge; a collaboration between myself and @Box_Hoes Box designed the level and had the idea with the broken Wild West town, however wasn't able to properly finish the map and was about to give up on it, so I redeveloped the theme and breathed life into it. Here are some screenshots of the level back when I picked it up: Back to some more: I'm not happy about having to make the architecture in such a simple style due to budget constraints. Nonetheless, I managed a realistic look from a certain distance. Though, I'm generally very happy with how this map turned out, especially the atmosphere, negative space and terrain. It was quite the challenge to get it to where it is now. It might actually have been the most difficult terrain I had to create to this day, as there often weren't the right small pieces available for tight spots. With all things considered, I once again hit the utmost limit of what's possible in this editor. I'm eager to see what Halo 6's editor has in store, I've been held back since a while now. Thanks for checking this post out! Download El Bronco via Forgehub
  5. a Chunk

    Gunplay - Westin Koessel

    Chapter 1: Hear me out Going as far back as the Halo trilogy, and especially in more modern games like Destiny, the aptly named Modern Warfare, and even Apex Legends, it has been commonplace to refer to all facets of the 'shooting' in one of these games as its gunplay. Which, in and of itself, is fine - vague and generalized word use is very helpful, and allows us to get complicated ideas across quickly when we’re trying to touch on larger points. For that reason, I don’t go around grilling people who don’t use perfectly accurate verbiage at every turn. However, more often than not, when I hear someone specifically refer to gunplay, I don’t think they mean what they think they mean. Perfect examples came out of the recent COD Modern Warfare. We all know that game has problems, and we’re not here to discuss them… but in reference to the game, you'll constantly hear “Yeah that game is really campy and the maps have too many windows and doors, and it’s really too bad, because the gunplay is just "so good". This same idea is communicated in and around plenty of other games, and is regular speech for an FPS player. Inevitably, the first thing that shoots into my head is, what do you mean 'good'? Yes, I completely agree that it feels good to shoot in Modern warfare. The hitmarker sounds, the weapons sounds, the animations, the screams of my dying enemy, even the smoke coming from the barrel of my gun contributes to that effect. The score that pops up after a kill, the guitar riff that plays when I level up. There are endless layers of feedback that all make me feel ecstatic, but at the end of the day, that’s just how I feel, not how the gunplay in Modern Warfare functions. And this is important, because how gunplay functions does contribute to how a game feels, but not in the sense we’ve already described. First of all, mechanics, in the long term, can create a meaningful fulfillment and feelings of personal growth as we understand and even master them. Then, these skills become practical, climaxing when we put this to use effectively, which is immediately satisfying. This whole paradigm is NOT as simple as "short term vs. long term satisfaction". Some of that instant gratification does come from mechanics, some comes from sensory stimuli, and the two can be distinguished. The former version of instant gratification, mechanical fulfillment, is one reason why watching great players is so fun. You get to feel some of that sweet second-hand dopamine as you watch them succeed in ways you only wish you could, even if you haven't seen the meaningful journey of practice that went into being able to play like that. While feeling is the word I’ve chosen to use within the context of this effect, as well as the former effect, when I describe them, they are obviously very different. One is pleasurable, and the other is meaningful, that is, earned, and therefore pleasurable. When you refer to a game in the way I described earlier, where our imaginary person attempts to diagnose the pros and cons of Modern Warfare, it seems like what is unknowingly being referred to is mechanical function. Just reflect on that quote from our imaginary MW player. First, he talks about the gameplay, the camping, then he talks about the maps, how they have too many variables, and finally gunplay. Context points to a conversation about mechanical function, but upon further questioning, most I've interacted with are almost always thinking about how the gun looks and 'feels', and not as a result of difficulty or cultivated skill, but as a result of punchy hitmarker sounds and realistic blood splatters. To explain it once more, and perhaps in a simpler way, imagine any shooter, but the gun models were replaced with inanimate bananas, and there were no weapon sounds or effects. Would it 'feel' good to shoot? In one sense, no, because there isn’t any convincing feedback. In another sense, the functional sense, it would feel no different than it does now, because weapon models, animations, and sounds are all just sensory stimuli. The game would play exactly the same way. Same kill times, same recoil patterns, same flinch, same mechanics to master. A game that all too often receives this treatment is Destiny, but it’s understandable. It is so unreasonably satisfying to shoot a hand cannon in that game, that it’s hard to separate how destiny’s gunplay feels and how it works. Which again, how it works does contribute to the feel, just in a different sense. And I’m going to use destiny as an example of why it’s so important to separate in your mind these two facets of shooting as a designer. If we are to look at destiny, on paper, without the seductive visuals of the dreaming city or my homegirl ada-1, you might be surprised of what we actually find. Many times Destiny has been compared to Halo, but when you really look at it, you will see that Destiny, in reality, will reveal itself. The first thing to look at would be your players movement and strafe within Destiny. Yes, there are plenty of advanced movement options, but the lack of mid-air accuracy successfully grounds players for most gunfights, so as far as gunplay is concerned, these are separated. So then, next, we can look at the players strafe. How good is it? Well, it’s not that great. Even with a max mobility build, it’s not very effective. The insanely high bullet magnetism within Destiny can’t help, but I digress. Most combat is grounded, and the strafe is of little effect. Next, we can look at weapons. Almost all weapons are hitscan, and what is projectile usually (99 times out of 100) tracks your target. For the sake of making a point, humor me, how about the maps? Well, with Destiny 2 especially, we see nothing but Treyarch-like 3 lanes, and flat ones at that. This is starting to sound familiar... The last facet to consider would be any system baked into the mechanics, like descope in Halo. Well, Destiny doesn’t have descoping, but it does have hefty flinch, or aim punch as some call it, where enemy bullets cause your aim to jump about and render your gun inaccurate.. Not only is a strong flinch present, but most weapons are also inaccurate when fired from the hip... Okay, so considering all of this, why does it feel like Halo? Well, as far as I can tell, it’s almost exclusively because of the time to kill. This is where Destiny is closest to Halo, with an average TTK of around 1 second. And so, even though we may feel there is a connection to Halo, and there is, when we parse through the mechanics one by one, Destiny isn't "just like Halo". In reality, it's a lot more like a Call of Duty game. I trust you see what I mean, reader. You're a smart guy. You know that there’s usually more than meets the brain when it comes to this stuff, and I'm sure you'll agree it to be extremely important to look under the hood before we make claims about how good or bad a mechanic is. You probably already know this, but this thought process can be applied to anything, in order to separate the superficial from the real, and not just with gunplay. Chapter 2: Shoot me And, while we’re here, I’ll expand on what I personally find to qualify as ‘good’ functional gunplay. Right off the bat, the suffix of gunplay, play, assumes the presence of, well, play. In other words, some sort of give and take. Some sort of interaction. Going back to Modern Warfare, the games functional gunplay consists of very little give and take. You essentially put the crosshair on your opponent, and click. Attachments combined with the mounting mechanic will often completely nullify recoil, and most COD players already know instinctively to aim at center mass to prevent flinch from knocking them off target, because flinch will severely punish you for aiming at the head by making you miss entirely, which means you never really should go for headshots unless someone isn’t looking at you. All of this, by extension, is less opportunity for 'play' within your shooting mechanics by discouraging the player from aiming at the crit spot. Now, with the games near instant kill times in mind, and the distinct lack of any strafe, again, the game is essentially point, click, and move on. Yes, technically, there is some gun play, some give and take, as you still have to do the aiming, with a little bit of recoil to account for. To that I would say, if the only requirement for good gunplay, functionally speaking, is the generalized presence of aiming, then every shooter ever made would qualify as having ‘good’ gunplay. No, this can’t be the bar we set, I think we can do better. The first way we can do better is with projectile based weapons. Projectiles, while harder to use, are just as accurate as hitscan. The obvious difference being that one must aim ahead and utilize his spatial awareness to account for bullet travel time in order to land shots. Many have said that projectiles are "messy", and that hitscan is the cleaner choice, but projectiles, assuming no other factors are involved, are perfectly accurate. There’s no loss of control as to where your bullets land, they’re just harder to land. Instead of aiming here, you aim 'there', in accordance to your projectile speed and how fast the target is moving and in what direction. This introduces a layer of play, not only within yourself as you master spatial awareness, but when considering projectiles on the slower end of the spectrum, like rockets in Quake, this starts to introduce a layer of play with your opponent, as he can preemptively move away from, and sometimes even react to, the projectiles as they travel, which you then have to adjust for in the future. This becomes an adjustment which your opponent can predict, and then play around, and the cycle of 'mind-play' repeats. Not only are projectiles an incredible source of depth in our games, but they also solve what we could call the 'problem of ranges'. Look, every game is made with target ranges in mind, which is why we often see damage fall-off implemented into games like overwatch and Destiny. This is needlessly frustrating, as it’s next to impossible to predict just how much damage my shots will do. And the question does need to be asked, if I’m landing my shots, why are my bullets arbitrarily doing half damage, and when I take a few steps forward, now full damage? What if I only took one step forward? Or half a step? With this system you inevitably run into these thresholds, which can’t really ever be predicted. You have a vague idea of how close you need to be with a hand cannon in Destiny, but It’s not like there’s a ranger meter in my UI telling me how far my enemy is from me, and so even after hundreds of hours of practice, it’s still impossible to always grasp exactly how much damage I can do. I can’t ever really know. Now THIS is what I call messy. On the other hand, projectile weaponry doesn’t require damage fall-off to keep fights within certain ranges, as the travel time of a projectile inherently makes shooting at players who are further away, harder. Once implemented, the developers need only tune how fast the projectiles will travel, until his or her idea of the perfect median encounter range is found, while still allowing for an excellent player to deal full damage if he can land those difficult shots at range. Seriously, God has handed us the perfect design solution via physics, so why are we so apprehensive to utilize it? Moving on, I believe that we can also do better with the player strafe and movement in our shooters. It’s hard to determine how fast is fast enough for base movement speeds, or strafe acceleration. Do not assume that more is always better. In fact, some games will sport such extreme abilities that the rest of the game starts to fall apart. For example, I can spend a year meticulously designing a Titanfall map, just to have someone grapple across it in one go and completely nullify the level design. Now that's frustrating. I think there's a balance to be struck here. Simply put, I just want to be able to avoid damage. My goal is to always allow the player to live and succeed, even with 1 health point. If play is an interaction, I want to be able to interact with my opponent as he shoots at me. Standing in place and seeing who wins as determined by the whims of flinch should not qualify as gunplay (looking at you, PUBG). The way I see it, my own gunplay is only half of the 'play'. The other half is how I am interacting with my opponent with my strafe, and larger scales of strafe like general movement, geometry manipulation, and advanced movement options. This is about as far as I can go within the context of this topic, because I would have to start introducing specific mechanics from specific games into the discussion to take it any further, and I don’t want to go that far. You get it. Next up, we can do much better with the likes of recoil, spread, and bloom. Randomness doesn't work, because any random penalty is incredibly frustrating, as I know it wasn’t merited by the other player and wasn’t a result of an honest mistake on my part. There’s nothing I could do about it. On the other hand, any random benefit is devoid of meaning, as I know I didn’t earn it, and therefore have nothing to be proud of, and nothing to learn from the win. With that in mind, predictability is key when talking about these things. Recoil, you're up. Some games, especially some PC games, are very heavy handed with the recoil. I’m not the biggest fan of recoil, but I would totally respect it, and do totally respect it, if and only if recoil patterns are predictable. Pulling your thumbstick or mouse down at a rate proportionate to your weapon rise, all while tracking your enemy, certainly is a skill. The problem arises (pun intended) when games, often for the sake of realism, introduce random recoil patterns, and especially horizontal recoil. Even the ‘random’ vertical recoil patterns in games aren’t truly random. That is, they have a general direction. A predictable unpredictability. Horizontal recoil, however, is not the same. Unless there exists a weapon with horizontal recoil that tends to only one side of the weapon (which doesn't exist), horizontal bouncing is entirely uncontrollable. It changes directions radically. Even if you knew when the recoil would bounce left or right, we just don’t have the reaction speed as humans to cancel this out on the fly, which means I don’t have control. To put it as simply as I can, that’s why everyone hates the Flatline and Spitfire in Apex Legends. Spread… oh man. Spread is a tricky one. First of all, it should go without saying at this point that random spread is never good. Hitting your shots is not a rewarding experience when you know it’s random, and missing is just annoying, because it's not up to you. So, what then entails a perfectly predictable spread? Honestly, the shotguns in Apex Legends and Gears of war are the only examples I can think of at the moment, and I don’t think there’s a better way of going about it without changing how the weapons themselves fundamentally work. Fixed pellet placement. Hipfire spread on non-shotgun weapons, on the other hand, is a different beast, especially when sustained auto/semiautomatic fire is in question. We all know how annoying it can be to die to someone with a spray weapon in an FPS, hip firing his way to victory. This is true for almost any game, Key word being almost. Think on Call of Duty, where your killcam reminds you of the clueless player that just bested you, as he hipfires and hits all headshots, likely on accident, leaving you saying “ah come on, he just hip fired me!” Let's create our own weapon to use as an example, in the image of all militaristic shooters. We'll call it the… D… the D-78... the D-789 Reaper or something. Nice and boring, just the way developers like it. Now, of course this weapon, while aimed in, is pinpoint accurate. While hipfired, however, the spread becomes a cone. While this cone is no longer pinpoint accurate, all of the bullets will land within the cone, which means, if the cone is about the same size as the enemies hitbox, that all of the bullets within the cone will land. It’s like your bullets become 50 times their normal size, while being just as effective. I know that's not always true, it varies, but bear with me. Now, imagine shooting at someone with this cone vs. aimed down sights. Rather than aiming in, wouldn’t it be easier to hip fire, and always have at least part of the cone on target? Yes, and paired with random spread, this means the chance for perfect accuracy with much less effort required. It’s easier to always be partially on target while using a flashlight instead of a laser pointer, which means you almost always have a chance to hit. In this scenario, hip firing is easier, and potentially just as effective as pinpoint accuracy while aiming in, which is why we get frustrated. It’s inherently easier, partially random, and depending on the game, is almost just as rewarding as aiming. After all, the saying is risk vs. reward, not... less risk, similar reward. The solution to this one of two extremes. Either you can make hip fire on the R-765 Dynasty, or whatever it's called, unusably inaccurate, or make it perfectly accurate. Let's think. Making hip fire spread worse will make it less rewarding, and therefore not as frustrating as often… but at the same time, will crank up the random factor, and make it all the more annoying when someone does get lucky with the hipfire. Not good. The alternative, perfectly accurate hipfire, may just completely solve the issue at hand. No randomness, and hipfire is no longer inherently easier. Hmm… think back, we don’t say “ah, he just hipfired me!” in Halo, do we? In fact, noscopes with certain weapons are considered harder and more impressive! If you then want to incentivize aiming in while keeping hipfire predictable, you could even add something like increased recoil to hipfire. Not random recoil, but increased recoil. We're killing it! Design is easy! Finally, while I hate to say it (that's a lie) we could just do away with bloom. With the recent launch of Halo Reach on PC, this is just in time. With bloom, your shots become increasingly inaccurate if you shoot quickly, which encourages you to pace your shots, and rewards the patient. Or at least, this is what it proposes to do. In reality, it forces you to pace your shots, lest your bullets become forfeit to random spread, while it often rewards the goofball who just spams his trigger and gets lucky. Once again, the problem lies in the unpredictability. The defenders of this mechanic always say “well I like bloom, because you have to pace your shots” and while patience may be worth rewarding generally speaking, it’s not a reward if it’s forced on you. And more than this, the random spread that comes along with this fake patience is just not worth it. Again, I like it when I’m watching a Quake duel, and patience wins out over the other players aggressive play now and again. That can be cool. Bloom, however, especially in reach, is a terrible implementation of that idea. All right! That's all I have to say about Gunplay today. Keep in mind, the scope of most of these arguments will inevitably be limited to what we see in shooter orthodoxy. To many of these questions and proposals, I would personally just get creative, and make entirely new weapon archetypes and entirely new games and systems. But, within the trends that define almost every modern shooter, these were my thoughts. Thanks for reading! Follow Westin Twitter: https://twitter.com/_Xandrith Website: https://westinkoessel.wixsite.com/portfolio Follow Next Level Design Join the Forum: http://www.nextleveldesign.org/index.php?/register/ Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NextLevelDesig2 Discuss on Discord: https://t.co/hkxwVml0Dp
  6. I'm a big fan of Halo. To the point where I even wrote fanfiction as a teenager about it. It's been part of my life for many years now. However, for a myriad of reasons, I have not had an XBox One this generation until a couple of weeks ago. Ultimately, this means that I've played very little Halo in the last few years. But this year I used my birthday money to buy an XBone. It came with a free trial of Game Pass. This led me to download The Master Chief Collection. I began playing Halo: Combat Evolved yesterday. I played through the first three levels. I was really awestruck by Halo. No, not that Halo. I mean, Halo. The game's unfortunately titled second level (seriously, why is it called this?). I'd like to share a few thoughts on why this level is so great. Halo takes place on the titular stellar structure. It's a ring-world hovering above a gas giant. The interior side of the ring is habitable and Earth-like. The first mission sees your ship, the Pillar of Autumn, attacked by the alien Covenant. You make it to an escape pod and crash on to the structure. This level picks up immediately. Everyone in your escape pod has died except you (thanks, no doubt, to your impeccable suit of armor). You get out of the pod, walk around, and orient yourself. If you look at the sky, you'll see the rest of the ring stretch out above you. Before long, an alien dropship comes to investigate the crash. You can stay and fight, or you can cross a bridge and hide. Either way, you'll see your first pilotable vehicles next. Two wailing Banshees soar above you and take pot-shots at you. Incidentally, these Banshees are not actually flyable here, though you'll use them plenty later in the game. See the below video for more info: There is really only way for you to go. You'll climb a gently sloped hill and come to a narrow canyon. You pass through this quickly and happen upon a large structure, surrounded by Marines. Your job is to defend the building. Five dropships will unload troops (not all at once) and you must eliminate them. It's not terribly difficult. There's lots of ammo and health around if you look for it. After this is complete, a human Pelican craft will drop off a Warthog (the greatest Jeep ever made). You climb aboard and take it for a spin. Again, there's really only one place to go. You find yourself driving down a slope into an artificial tunnel. You'll drive through this and come to a gap. You must have the warthog to jump this gap. You can't do it on your own. This means you absolutely must stay to defend this first structure. There's no getting out of it. This is valuable because it forces you to understand the basic conceit of the level: defending buildings from alien dropships. It also forces you to utilize the warthog. Halo: Combat Evolved was truly revolutionary. Every console-based first-person-shooter since this game has taken direct inspiration from it in a number of ways. But the basic elevator pitch of the game is simple: What if you put vehicles in a first-person-shooter? This was the big innovation they were going for and it worked beautifully. Each pilotable vehicle (of which there are 4: Warthog, Ghost, Banshee, and Scorpion) are extremely easy and intuitive to control. Pretty much anyone can figure them out with ease. They each have nuances that will take practice to master (the Banshee, especially). The physics in the first game didn't use the now-ubiquitous Havok engine. The physics were all made in-house. They're very good, but fairly floaty. This means it's very easy to roll a Warthog if you're not careful. You'll use the Warthog multiple times throughout the rest of the game, including in the climax. So it's great to get an introduction to the vehicle now, in a relatively safe environment. You're unlikely to get the vehicle stuck somewhere. There are also very few places where you can drive one off the level and die (though it will be a valuable lesson if you do). But I digress. Let's get back to Halo. When you make it through to the other side of the tunnel, the level opens up quite a bit. You'll find yourself in a sort of Hub area. As you explore, you'll find the occasional patch of enemies. Eventually you'll learn that there are 3 major staging areas that branch off of this hub. Each is a sort of mini-level in which you must try to protect some marines from alien dropships, just as you did before. All 3 play out differently from each other. The real kicker is that you can play them in any order you choose! I consider this freedom to be the pinnacle of Halo level design (and this time I mean the entire franchise, not just this game or this level, gets confusing huh?). Halo is based on the idea of a sandbox. You are plopped into an area filled with objects to interact with (vehicles, weapons, enemies, etc.). It's up to you to deal with these as you see fit. There is not a certain prescribed way of accomplishing your tasks. Contrast this with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. COD4 is a very linear game. It's meant to be like a rollercoaster. You hop on board and ride out the ride. You have very little, if any, choice in how the ride goes. There are certainly advantages to designing a game in this way. It enables you to create very meticlous set-pieces for story telling. It also has some serious drawbacks. For example, in the above screenshot. You are tasked with sniping an enemy target in this story flashback. It's actually fairly challenging because the enemy is at immense range, there is wind, and you're far enough way to have to factor in the coriolis effect. You get one shot (do not miss your chance to blow). If you hit your target successfully, your task is complete. But here's the thing. The story plays out exactly the same way no matter where you hit this guy. If you pierce his heart or his brain, it matters not. The story doesn't care. The man lives on to fight another day. Halo isn't like this. For most of the games (at least the ones made by Bungie), you are given the freedom to kill enemies however you see fit (and they typically stay dead when you do so). I absolutely adore the freedom in Halo, and this level does it best of any in the series. To get back on track, you have three areas to clear out/defend. In fact, the order in which your perform these tasks will cause slight variation in the enemies you encounter in the hub area. At any rate, I like to start here: This section has marines take refuge in hills above the building. One of them is even equipped with a sniper rifle. You can take the high ground with them and snipe from afar. Or, you can get up close and personal with the enemy. I then go to an area filled with boulders. Marines hide among the rocks. They use them for cover and for a high-ground advantage. Enemy dropships will leave enemies in an open, flat area below and they'll work their way towards the marines. Again, you can climb all over the rocks and use them to your advantage. You can also just hang out in the flat area and work on them with your Warthog. It's even possible to drive your Warthog up on top of the largest boulder, which I find amusing for some reason. I like to end with the last remaining area. It is a series of 3 buildings. The twist here is that the Marines are hiding underground. You can take out all of the enemies on the surface before you go in after them. Or you can run in there as fast as you can and have them follow you out for backup as you fight the enemies above. I really like to snipe as many foes as I can from far away, then go in and grab the marines to have them mop up the stragglers. This is just one approach. There are 6 different orders in which you can tackle these objectives. And there are varying tactics you can use through each of them. Halo (the level) has peerless freedom in the franchise. I would rank it as the very best level the series has to offer. I am very early in my first playthrough of Halo 5, but it has yet to offer anything approaching this level of autonomy. I hope that Halo Infinite takes inspiration from this Halo in its level design. What is your favorite Halo level? Also, what do you think is the best Halo level, as those 2 don't have to be the same thing? - Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto *Note: This article is republished unchanged from the original, in accordance with Creative Commons Guidelines. Source: https://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Boxman214/the-genius-level-design-of-halo-546004.phtml Follow Boxman214 Twitter: https://twitter.com/Boxman214 Follow Next Level Design Join the Forum: http://www.nextleveldesign.org/index.php?/register/ Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NextLevelDesig2 Discuss on Discord: https://t.co/hkxwVml0Dp
  7. MultiLockOn

    Odyssey

  8. A work in progress for Halo 5 2v2 competition, nearing completion - this thread will be home to pictures, videos, and concept art as they become available.
  9. Secret project I was working on. Built in less than 2 weeks, so it’s a little rough. Lots of windows. Download here: https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/games/halo-5-guardians/xbox-one/map-variants?lastModifiedFilter=Everything&sortOrder=Modified&page=1&gamertag=icyhotspartin#ugc_halo-5-guardians_xbox-one_mapvariant_icyhotspartin_225447d6-8e98-458d-9fd2-b0692fcfc931
  10. U N C O M F O R T A B L E S I L E N C E Is a 2 vs 2 level design, blocked out, built, detailed, and lit all within Halo 5's proprietary editor. S U P P R E S S T H E S I L E N C E The sound of nothing is maddening, and each volley of projectiles will only make the ensuing silence worse. B E H O L D https://gamerdvr.com/gamer/xxandrith/video/90761256 ^Walkthrough^ D O W N L O A D
  11. Westin

    With Love

    With Love is a core 2 vs 2 level design, set within a French riviera, and crafted primarily to be entered into the Forgehub 2v2 Boogaloo mapping contest. B E H O L D D O W N L O A D
  12. https://jakestegmeier.wixsite.com/portfolio/maar-dun DOWNLOAD AND DETAILS AVAILABLE ON MY PORTFOLIO WEBSITE https://jakestegmeier.wixsite.com/portfolio/maar-dun CREDITS J A C O B S T E G M E I E R | LEVEL DESIGNER @Jake Stegmeier | MartianMallCop LEVEL DESIGN | LEVEL SCRIPTING | UX | LIGHTING | ASSET CREATION C H R I S T I A N F I L I P | LIGHTING ARTIST @MultiLockOn LIGHTING | ASSET CREATION W E S T I N K O E S S E L | ASSET MODELER @Westin ASSET CREATION
  13. a Chunk

    Map Feature: MAAR DÚN

    Intro MAAR DÚN was a passion project, and it shows. Two years in the making, the map oozes that special something that you can’t ever quite put your finger on, or put words to. It brings to mind flavors, scents, and maybe a few tingling sensations in forbidden parts of my body (to much information??). I find myself animated into an ancient Wraith City, which is simultaneously dark and beautiful. Set in the gloom of a seemingly floating rock island. There’s the feeling of being abandoned, alone. And then I get shot in the face and come to my senses. There’s a battle at hand, and I want to be on the winning side. But alas, this is a tale for another day. For today, the star of this show is MAAR DÚN. And who better to tell us about it than the man behind the map, Jake Stegmeier (MartianMallCop). The Making of MAAR DÚN Whenever I come across a really well polished map, I invariably have the feeling that it was guided by a strong and clearly defined set of goals. I’ve come to realize that this isn’t always the case though. Did you begin this project with a set of design goals - Were they clear from the beginning, or did they evolve over time? Can you share what they were? I’d actually say that my process is much more iterative than predetermined. It’s not that I didn't have a set of clear goals I wanted to achieve, because I definitely did. It’s just not like a perfect epiphany where I have everything I want to do before I start. I typically develop those goals throughout a level ideation process. Essentially, when I’m coming up with inspiration for what I want to build with reference art and locales, those references then really inspire my goals. Concept Art For Maar Dún, in a lot of the concept art I was viewing, I really saw precariousness; like walking on a knife’s edge. A lot of really perilous locations where I could see players jumping from ledge to ledge mid-battle. If I had a main goal for Maar Dún, it was that I wanted to make it’s combat acrobatic; where players on my level would be able to have a lot of mobility mid combat that was very synergetic with their combat abilities. I get really annoyed with combat in a lot of games being in flat rooms, where the battle starts and finishes with the two players staying in their positions just waiting to out damage each other. I want a fight to be an actual fight; which could be somewhat drawn out, with combatants constantly attempting to one up each other, utilizing the environment around them. Insta-kills or fights with no turnarounds are just less exciting. I made it my goal for fights to not start and end in the same place. Another goal I had was to have the level be ruthlessly efficient. I personally don’t like the idea of having the same type of encounter in multiple locations on the map. I think it is very important to keep encounter types varied in a level to keep the match interesting. Maar Dún from a Distance Like most iconic maps, Maar Dún feels as if it’s a real place, with a history - a story to tell. Was this intentional, and if so, how did you go about bringing it to life? Well first I guess I have to thank you for calling my work iconic. I appreciate that. While Maar Dún doesn’t have like a complete narrative, there is certainly some lore behind it. Maar Dún is a chapel of the wraith kingdom. Maar Dún is a sort of accursed place, filled with ghouls and dark spirituality. Players enter the arena as part of some sort of ritual where only those who are cursed can enter the realm. With Maar Dún I wanted to portray a different side of how people often view the idea of evil though. It is definitely a dark place, with very spiky terrain, chains, acid, etc… but I liked making the chapel look like something that was really mysterious, yet alluring. Often a side of evil that I think is necessary for it to exist is a sort of persuasive nature. Christians often refer to it in the bible as temptation. For instance, when a guy steals your wallet, there is the incentive that comes from the value of the potential cash that you may have had. With Maar Dún I wanted to try to capture that urge in its rawest form. I also like the idea that when the lightning strikes and a power weapon spawns, that it is by the might of a demon, like bestowing gifts of destruction to players to increase the carnage for its own entertainment. I wish so much that forge would let us like record or own voice lines, so we could essentially make our own announcers. Rocket Launcher Spawn - Trap Hall Something I’m always fascinated to hear about on maps that play exceptionally well is gameplay balance. Balance, in the gameplay sense, can be difficult to define, much less attain. What are some imbalances that came to light during the iterative process, and how did you go about addressing them? I actually found that balance for Maar Dún didn’t take what I’d consider to be too much iteration compared to a lot of my previous work. I feel that at a certain level of experience, many designers can see how their map is going to play before running it through tests. That’s not to say that there were no issues however, but most issues in testing came from the technical side, with only a few significant geometry changes. Some of the biggest issues were with scale. Some of the areas were a bit too small. and some wall layering was little bit too extruded. In initial matches this led to players snagging edges, and some excessive clambering where jumps were a little too high. That led to traversal around the map being a bit too cumbersome during combat. So, I took that build and stretched out the middle of the level by double buttress, making those less steep, and extended Trap hall significantly. Also there was a little bit of an excess segmentation issue between outside the front of the chapel, and the rest of the map. Adding in the triple wraith windows and the double doors gave other areas of the map the utility and interaction required to make that outside area a more viable location to use in combat. Double Buttress So one thing that really stands out in Maar Dun’s favor relative to the vast majority of Halo 5 forge maps is the tremendously polished art and lighting. How the heck did you do it? Well I can’t take credit for all of that. Christian (@MultiLockOn) did almost all the lighting of the level. I showed him the concept art and the color scheme I was going for, and he put together the skybox fog and most of the lighting, and taught me a lot about lighting in the process. I think that one of the biggest things that makes Maar Dún stand is the soft hues that are used. Forge has very harsh lights by default when placed on map, so to get those soft hues, in some cases you have to turn the brightness almost down to zero. Christian even came up with a new lighting technique for the bright windows in Chapel, using light rays at a higher brightness. We could’ve just used emissive objects behind the windows, but they were bright, and really messed with perception for players in that room. Structurally, however, I could give some more in depth answers. For Maar Dún’s art I ended up using an established architectural style, and then put a fantasy spin on it. I used a lot of gothic romanesque architecture features, such as the pointed arch, the flying buttress, pinnacles, nave, and vault. But then I played with things like the buttress pinnacles, and had them inverted pointing downward. I also played a bit fast and loose with where flying buttresses were pointing to allow for more unique routes and cover. It’s tricky with forge, you have to keep certain details simple because adding a lot of details can eat up budget quickly. A technique I used was a lot of repetition and layering, to give walls and structures a bit of depth. Adding a simple dark black rail trim on the center catwalks gives them a bit of outline that is much more appealing than without. Also on the walls of the secondary building by trap hall you can see some layering, with a bit of a triforium being layered on the wall to give it more depth. With forge though, you really have to let your lighting do a lot of the heavy lifting, because otherwise you direct players eyes to areas that are lacking in detail. Chapel Floor Can you tell us more about the testing process? Here’s a good one for you - can you tell us about some of the funniest or most entertaining things you remember from your testing sessions? For sure. Maar Dún had quite a few funny, technical bugs during initial testing. Some things were just totally obvious that I had forgotten about. Others were less obvious, but had some bizarre results. In the first test, I had forgotten to put in the death barrier under the map. So in the very first match, Westin (@Westin) fell all the way down to the chromabox, and it was just ridiculous. I believe he had thrown his grenades too, so he couldn’t get a spawn in to get up there. Easily the funniest was that in some cases the wind stream by the main door of chapel would throw you off into the void and just kill you. Also, if you jumped from high enough above, you’d go through fast enough that you’d just fly right through the wind stream and into the death pit. I eventually ended up fixing that with strategic invisible barriers, but I think I just hadn’t updated it until our fifth session. By that time people were getting mad at me, so I finally went in and fixed it. This was when I was still finalizing art and lighting so the tests were just in the meantime. Wind Gate Also, I guess a last fun fact is that I scripted lightning strikes to fire off every time a power weapon spawns in on the map. It’s a really useful way of figuring out which item is up for those who have mastery of the level, because you can just listen for which item spawned. I felt that this was important because I had done something very similar on Oblivion for Christian, but at the time I messed it up by not making the lightning spawn dependent on the spawn of the weapon. So the lightning would just fire, and no weapons would appear sometimes on Oblivion. It’s fully functional on Maar Dún, so it feels good fixing that. Outro Maar Dún is an incredibly polished map, bringing stellar gameplay in a convincing setting. It hits all the right notes. Here’s a look at the Trailer video: You can view a full allotment of images in the Map Thread. Also included is a podcast style video on the making of the Maar Dún with @Jake Stegmeier | MartianMallCop, @MultiLockOn, and @Westin, which is well worth a listen. Map Thread: https://www.nextleveldesign.org/index.php?/forums/topic/275-maar-dún-unleash-the-demon/ There’s a great breakdown of the level on Jacob’s Portfolio as well, which includes a more detailed breakdown of specific aspects of the level. Plus of course, there’s a link to download Maar Dún, which you should do right now. Portfolio: https://jakestegmeier.wixsite.com/portfolio/maar-dun Follow Jake Portfolio: https://jakestegmeier.wixsite.com/portfolio Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jacob-stegmeier Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2yVZLe8VBuotU8SIdP0q_Q? Follow Next Level Design Join the Forum: http://www.nextleveldesign.org/index.php?/register/ Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NextLevelDesig2 Discuss on Discord: https://t.co/hkxwVml0Dp
  14. Communication between the rings and the ark is essential for successful activation of the array. 4-6 Players. All 343 modes compatible. Halo Waypoint Forgehub
  15. What is Mythic? Mythic is a new Halo 5 playlist which features Battle Rifle starts, with no radar and limited abilities. The Mythic playlist has been a long time in the making. It’s journey to matchmaking was ultimately a collaborative effort between members of the Halo 5 Forge community and members of the 343 Industries sustain team, as they sought to create a fresh, classic style Halo experience. In addition to the new settings, the Mythic playlist features all new maps, built and refined by the community, with support from 343. These brand new arenas have been tailored for the settings, with layouts and aesthetics inspired by Bungie's legacy. Mythic is, in essence, a love letter to the older Halo games. Many, many people have contributed to the making and refining of Mythic Maps and Settings, and ultimately to its implementation into Matchmaking, beginning today. The primary driving forces behind the scenes have been Hex Reapers (the brains behind the settings), Sgt x Slaphead (map design and development lead), and Whos Blaze (343 sustain team advocate). We’re eager to share their thoughts and stories about the Mythic Journey to Matchmaking, so let’s dive right in. Slayer on Frontier Mythic Settings Mythic settings differ greatly from default Halo 5 to the extent that it can almost be considered a different game. Aside from the already mentioned Battle Rifle starts and no radar, there are numerous changes that have been made from what you may expect when loading up a Halo 5 playlist. To learn more about the Mythic settings, we touched base with the man behind them - Hex Reapers. Hex, we know that there have been multiple variants of ‘classic’ settings during Halo 5’s lifetime. Were the Mythic Settings based off of some pre-existing settings? Mythic is the amalgamation of everything that we have learned over the three years of making classic settings inside of Halo 5. After about four separate attempts seen throughout the game’s lifespan (Gold Pro, Old School, Evolved, and Halo 3 Throwback), I think it’s safe to say the biggest challenge is finding the best way to deal with the sandbox. Gold Pro and Evolved buffed the Magnum and reduced the sandbox to a limited number of pick-ups. Old School tuned player movement to reflect the speed of Sprint and the reach of Clamber. Halo 3 Throwback disregarded everything and simply focused on recreating the feel of Halo 3. Unfortunately, each of these methods came with significant drawbacks. Gold Pro and Evolved plant themselves in a niche area where combat is almost always utility versus utility. Forgers have very little to work with when placing pick-ups on their maps. Along with this, the Magnum is the biggest victim to Halo 5’s shot registration and aiming mechanics. Prolonged use of the Magnum in a classic environment made these issues extremely noticeable and caused a lot of frustration among players. Old School seemingly nailed the balance between player empowerment and sandbox variety. However, the weapon tuning Title Update nerfed its starting weapons, the standard Battle Rifle and the Gunfighter Magnum, to a degree that rendered them unusable. Another major downside was how its movement was modified to only work on maps that were designed with Sprint and Clamber in mind. Halo 3 Throwback ignored addressing the sandbox and opted to label itself as a more casual offering. Because of this, obvious issues played out accordingly. The movement was too slow to deal with weapons that were designed around Sprint and Thruster Pack. Taking all of this into account, Slap (Sgt x Slaphead) and I were unsatisfied with what we had available to us. We really wanted to craft a new classic-style experience that addressed a lot of these issues while taking full advantage of Forge. Was your intent to duplicate a type of play from a previous game? Yes and no. Slap and I definitely sought to replicate the feeling of the older titles, but also wanted to include new features that would make Mythic stand out on its own. We initially did not utilize any Spartan Abilities, so I would say it used to play like something along the lines of Halo 2 Anniversary. When taking our settings and sandbox usage into consideration, Mythic is an entirely original experience that will still resonate with many classic fans. Not having to rely on Sprint and Clamber to move around maps is an integral part of the mode’s identity. Our modified Thruster Pack and Stabilizer are not nearly as potent as their vanilla counterparts, but instead become little multipurpose tools in the player’s back pocket. Slayer on Vengeance As has already been mentioned, Mythic settings weren’t made overnight. What kinds of changes were made to the settings over time, and why were those changes implemented? Our base trait adjustments were tuned as testing progressed for a variety of reasons. Most of the stuff we tweaked was small, but added up towards making a noticeable difference. These changes range from vitality recharge speeds to grenade effectiveness. How quickly should a player enter or disengage from fights? How fast should a player be able to use their grenades? Does the explosion radius pair well with our increased movement speeds? While we are on that topic, is the strafe speed fast enough to deal with certain weapons? Is it slow enough to keep close quarters engagements from getting too messy? These are just a few of the questions we constantly had to keep in mind when creating the settings. Two big goals we aimed to accomplish with the settings involved settling on a starting weapon and prioritizing sandbox variety. We opted to design the settings (and maps) around the Halo 2 Battle Rifle. When the standard Battle Rifle received its nerfs, Slap and I were devastated. It held the perfect balance of skill and effectiveness best seen during the days of Old School. The Magnum was our next option, but after using it for so long we had grown to hate it with a passion. The weapon’s inconsistencies drove us to look for something more straightforward. The Halo 2 Battle Rifle became the most logical solution. Despite its infamous ease of use, It proved to be both consistent and strong enough to fight against the rest of the sandbox. Our increased strafe acceleration coupled with the modified Thruster Pack ended up making fights with the Halo 2 Battle Rifle way more interesting than we first thought. With the introduction of Mythic into matchmaking, a lot of new players are going to be introduced to it. What are some of the differences these players should be aware of? Thruster Pack and Stabilizer in Mythic are very different from vanilla Halo 5. The speed and distance of Thruster Pack closely matches that of normal strafing. Rather than acting as the be-all-end-all in the majority of gunfights, players will see themselves using their Thruster Pack more often as a means of mid-air redirection. Stabilizer only lasts about as long as it takes to perfectly four-shot someone with their Battle Rifle. This means players must time their activation more consciously to engage at unconventional angles. Chaining these abilities can help players gain advantages when moving and fighting, though they’re not detrimental to previously established mechanics. It was extremely important for us to return major emphasis to things like strafing and crouch jumping. Thruster Pack and Stabilizer were included as a means of counteracting aspects of the sandbox and adding a little extra depth to traditional gameplay. One of the other differences is the 3-hit melee, which was implemented to address the absurdly high melee lunge and magnetism seen in Halo 5. We felt it was way too easy to double-melee and two-shot-melee players in Mythic. As such, we decided to create a melee system that combines aspects of Halo 2 and 3. It will take three melees or three full bursts followed by a melee to kill a player. King of the Hill on Cryptic Recapping some of the Key differences Mythic, compared to Vanilla Halo 5: Faster Base Movement - Movement speed, strafe acceleration, and jump height are all increased. This increase in base movement speed, combined with traditional map scaling, makes player movement feel fast and responsive. Limited Spartan Abilities - Limited spartan abilities include only thruster pack and stabilize, both re-balanced for the maps and settings. Thruster pack speed and distance is balanced more closely to standard strafing with it's recharge time increased. Stabilize duration is slightly decreased. Sprint and clamber are disabled. 3-Hit Melee System - During the course of testing Mythic settings, it became apparent that Halo 5's melee lunge range is too powerful on classic-scaled maps. A 3-Hit Melee system has been found to work best, preventing cheap panic melees, and bringing more depth to close range engagements. Melee is still an effective too, as combos such as 3 shot beatdown or 1 melee followed by 1 headshot will still end a close quarters fight very quickly. GAME MODES The Mythic Playlist consists of a variety of traditional 4v4 modes, including the returning ‘King of the Hill’. The following modes are compatible with all official Mythic maps: Mythic Ball (Oddball) Mythic Bomb (Assault) Mythic Flag (Capture the Flag) Mythic King (King of the Hill) Mythic Slayer (Slayer) The Mythic Maps A good gameplay experience always requires that the gameplay mechanics, gametypes, and levels all work together in harmony. The map development for Mythic was very much a community effort, with multiple designers contributing to the design and art of the maps, and even more supporting through playtesting and feedback. The Mythic Map pool is the result of repeated iteration and fine tuning. Map List Abyss Cryptic Vengeance Goliath Oracle Frontier All Mythic Arena maps are shown here, in the order of the bulleted list above Slap, designing an entire pack of maps for custom settings sounds like quite an undertaking. What was your general thought process on how to approach this? The initial conversations about Mythic took place over a year ago at this point so It’s certainly been a lengthy process! Each map was built as part of a cohesive vision and I want to talk briefly about the vision guiding Mythic. Our focus had always been about capturing the ‘Halo feels’. What that means exactly will vary from person to person but knowing we also wanted a 4v4 arena experience specifically helped narrow down what Mythic would be. It’s not possible to capture the entirety of Halo multiplayer in just 6 maps but using competitive 4v4 as the focus, we prioritised some of the most beloved arenas from the past as inspiration. Maps like Lockout, Midship, and Warlock immediately stood out and the idea came about that each Mythic map could serve as a call back to several classic maps at once, combining their best elements while having its own unique spin on them. Every map had to serve a specific role as part of a larger map pack which would overall satisfy a range of game modes including the returning King of the Hill. Making the maps distinct yet work as a set meant a cohesive art style. Though Halo 5 Forge is a powerful tool, it’s not always possible to create highly detailed maps without running into performance issues. The Mythic maps therefore take Halo CE and 2 as inspiration with a clean old school art style. I’m curious about how you took this general vision and used it to create specific experiences. Can you give us a short breakdown of each level, and how share how you saw it fitting into Mythic as a whole? Abyss Because of Abyss’ linear nature and deadly middle hallway intended for fast paced action, it provided the perfect conditions for Neutral Bomb Assault, as both the map and mode work well with tug of war style gameplay. Almost every match on this map in testing has been incredibly intense because Abyss leaves little room for flanking and avoiding fights, placing emphasis on team pushes. Cryptic The original version was first released in late 2013 for Halo 4, making the design around 6 years old now. I wanted to remake it since it always proved to be a strong King of the Hill map as each room offers a unique hill location and setup. With KotH returning as our ‘new’ standout gamemode for Mythic, I felt this map would highlight the mode well. Frontier Anyone who has played Lockout will know that matches on it often result in a standoff between the two main towers. I wanted a map of a similar style except with far less camping by adding more danger to the higher levels to keep players moving. The big difference from Lockout is that Frontier uses a third main tower as a neutral power position which encourages movement away from the other two towers. Two teleporters also allow players to quickly cross from one side of the map to the other. All these factors combined make for a free-flowing map where recreating the sometimes stagnant situations found on Lockout become near impossible. Goliath An appropriate name for a map revolving around its large interior atrium. Players familiar with Prisoner from Halo CE will see the inspiration here with Goliath as well as thematic influence from Halo 2’s Colossus. Originally designed by Whos Blaze, my challenge with this latest iteration was to have it ‘slapified’ to fit within the Mythic style. Taking on such a complex map and making the space feel intuitive and readable was the main challenge. Cutting away areas which felt unnecessary and using coloured lighting to highlight key areas helped massively in the end. Oracle 4-way symmetrical arenas filled a special role in Halo CE/2 and have not reappeared much since. With 4v4 arena being the focus for Mythic, it was important to include staple symmetrical arena archetypes from the past to compliment some of the more complex asymmetrical layouts. Halo CE’s Wizard and later Halo 2’s Warlock were fundamental to the competitive experience in each respective game. Derelict/Desolation while not technically a ‘4-way sym’, had a similar arena layout. The goal of Oracle was ultimately to combine elements of both Warlock and Desolation into a new design. Vengeance As mentioned with Oracle, fulfilling staple arena archetypes was important to Mythic and there is perhaps no map more fundamental to the competitive Halo experience than Halo 2’s Midship. It’s seen countless adaptations as well as inspiring Zealot from Halo Reach. Vengeance was the first map made for Mythic as we needed a solid reliable design with which we could test game mode settings and resolve scaling standards. The maps and settings were co-developed and most of that development took place on Vengeance. For more insight into the Mythic Maps from Sgt x Slaphead, check out our Map Feature here: https://www.nextleveldesign.org/index.php?/content/projects/mythic-map-pack-r218/ Mythic Matchmaking The story of Mythic could have ended there...but it didn’t. Of the hundreds or thousands of community made game types, Mythic is one of the very few that has found itself in the rarefied air we call ‘Matchmaking’. How and why did this happen? Whos Blaze from the 343 Sustain Team is here to tell us all about it. Blaze, as you know there are many, many community built custom gametypes. What is it about Mythic that made it stand out from other similar endeavors? The community had been testing iterations of similar gametypes for some time, even before I had joined the 343 Sustain Team and I have enjoyed just about every version. Though, it wasn’t until maybe October of last year that I really started seeing magic spark in the community which showed me that this isn’t just my ideal Halo experience but truly something special. Going back a little bit; for a couple months, I dedicated my Monday mornings to hosting lobbies where we could test community maps and modes in an attempt to bring people together and discover some new awesome content. I would test just about whatever we could find players to support. This included some of the gametypes that eventually became Mythic. As Mythic came together, it was becoming less and less of a struggle to fill lobbies, people were pre-emptively building their own maps to hopefully play with the Mythic settings, and overall, people were excited to jump on and play for hours. Soon after Mondays were renamed to be “Mythic Mondays”. I can’t say for sure when exactly we began pursuing it as an official sustain beat but I’ve been involved on a personal level for a bit over a year now. It’s a pretty blurred line, if I think about it because I’ve pretty much wanted to do a playlist, if I had the opportunity, since the moment it started to come together. Oddball on Goliath Was there an interest internally within 343 to have a more 'classic' playlist? Or was this driven more from the community? There is always a demand for classic style Halo content within the community but that isn’t exactly what drove us to these settings. Luckily, we get a lot of trust as designers; while the appeal of classic may not be as large as the appeal for something like super fiesta within H5’s audience, that trust allows us to explore a lot of different playlist opportunities. And in my opinion, I think it’s good to have a balance of experiences to explore, especially with the game being 4 years in now. With the endless possibilities of H5’s forge, it would be a shame not to try to get a wide range of playlists for returning players to try out. The variety in just the last of 2019 is a great example of that. Since July we’ve added new content to Actionsack and Big Team Super Fiesta, brought 2v2 competitive in to align with our tournaments, a new off-core slayer experience called ODST Slayer, the long awaited return of Ranked Snipers, Husky raid! And now Mythic Arena. I may even be missing some but my point is that it’s neither directly influencing it, but both at the same time. We only want to provide new and exciting content for everyone. I'm curious, were any major changes required to get the playlist into matchmaking? No major changes were made that didn’t involve many in-depth discussions amongst the community developers and us on the sustain team. We ultimately came to an agreement on what we think is best for the scenario for every major change considered. Even when either side felt passionate about their stance, we all recognise that there are pros and cons, and further implications on the goals each person wanted to achieve. One example that I can give which may seem like a very simple task was the name for the settings. We were initially concerned that Mythic may be confusing to some players because of the association with pre-existing playlists like, Mythic Shotty Snipers and Mythic Warzone Firefight, both of which have Mythic in a different context. Early on, before it was being officially considered for an upcoming playlist, we talked about this and what other names might be appropriate for them, if the situation would arise. As you can see, we eventually ended up sticking with Mythic despite these concerns due to the increasing awareness and popularity of the settings within the custom and forging community, among other things. The Mythic Journey Continues The Mythic Playlist is LIVE and waiting for you, so load it up and give it a shot. Interested in creating your own maps for Mythic Settings, or downloading the Maps and Settings to play in Custom Games? Add or look up the gamertag "H5 Mythic" and you’ll find what you’re looking for in the Bookmarks. Or you can use these links to download them directly: Download Maps Download Settings
  16. Sgt Slaphead

    Abyss

    Abyss - Forged by Sgt x Slaphead Recommended Modes - Assault - Capture the Flag - Slayer Static Weapons - Sniper Rifle (x2) - 120s - Plasma Caster (x2) - 180s *Static weapons spawn at regular intervals regardless of when they are picked up. About Abyss During the initial blockout, this map went by the placeholder name ‘Hallway of Death’. The reason for such a blunt approach being that its original design was intended for the Extermination forge contest back in 2017. Extermination is a 4v4 elimination mode where the goal is to wipe out the enemy team in a short space of time, so maps designed for it must be compact and straightforward enough to keep fights fast and minimize hiding. Because of Abyss’ linear nature and deadly middle hallway intended for fast paced action, it later provided the perfect conditions for Neutral Bomb Assault as both the map and mode work well with tug of war style gameplay. Almost every match on this map in testing has been incredibly intense because Abyss leaves little room for flanking and avoiding fights, placing emphasis on team pushes. Forerunner architecture lends itself well to creating a striking hallway with its angular arches, so I stole the shape of the large doorways from Halo CE’s Assault the Control Room and used them as the basis for the map’s geometry. Such a simple layout needed an interesting setting so placing the map underwater with a Halo 2 Delta Halo theme brought a lot more to the space. Map Overview Gameplay Video Action Shots Download Abyss
  17. Sgt Slaphead

    Cryptic

    Cryptic - Forged by Sgt x Slaphead Recommended Modes - King of the Hill - Oddball - Slayer Static Weapons - Scattershot - 120s - Railgun - 180s *Static weapons spawn at regular intervals regardless of when they are picked up. About Cryptic Cryptic was built out of an appreciation for the interior forerunner architecture seen in The Silent Cartographer from Halo CE and The Ark from Halo 3. Because I’d just joined the community at the time and was learning so much from others, Cryptic evolved a lot throughout its building process with seven drastically different iterations. It was largely a process of trial and error, testing different room designs and experimenting with how they would fit together. The map finally came together once I decided on the maps defining long sightline framed by its precession of arches. This focal point is what unites the rooms around it, and keeps fights easy to find. The original version was first released in late 2013 for Halo 4 making the design around 6 years old now. I wanted to remake it since it always proved to be a strong King of the Hill map as each room offers a unique hill location and setup. With KotH returning as our ‘new’ standout gamemode for Mythic, I felt this map would highlight the mode well. Map Overview Gameplay Video Action Shots Download Cryptic
  18. Sgt Slaphead

    Frontier

    FRONTIER - Forged by Sgt x Slaphead Recommended Modes - King of the Hill - Oddball - Slayer Static Weapons - Sniper Rifle - 120s - Energy Sword - 180s - Shotgun - 180s *Static weapons spawn at regular intervals regardless of when they are picked up. About Frontier Halo CE Hang ‘Em High meets Halo 2 Lockout is the easiest way to describe Frontier. Frontier is based heavily on my previous map Final Frontier, which used architecture inspired by Hang ‘Em High set in a space environment, influenced by the Halo CE 1.5 map Imminent. Anyone who has played Lockout will know that matches on it often result in a standoff between the two main towers. I wanted a map of a similar style except with far less camping by adding more danger to the higher levels to keep players moving. The big difference from Lockout is that Frontier uses a third main tower as a neutral power position which encourages movement away from the other two towers. Two teleporters also allow players to quickly cross from one side of the map to the other. All these factors combined make for a free-flowing map where recreating the sometimes stagnant situations found on Lockout become near impossible. Risk and reward is very clearly applied as a method of encouraging this flow but nowhere is this more apparent than with the maps central ladder. Climbing the ladder is extremely dangerous however if used successfully players can quickly make it to the top of the map and surprise the enemy team. Players can also fall off the map at any time if not careful, especially on the higher levels where there are less railings. Frontier is a map where nowhere feels safe for too long and players want to stay on their toes, making it best played for intense Oddball matches. Map Overview Gameplay Video Action Shots Download Frontier
  19. Sgt Slaphead

    Goliath

    GOLIATH - Forged by Whos Blaze and Sgt x Slaphead Recommended Modes - King of the Hill - Oddball - Slayer Static Weapons - Binary Rifle - 120s - Rocket Launcher - 180s *Static weapons spawn at regular intervals regardless of when they are picked up. About Goliath An appropriate name for a map revolving around its large interior atrium. Players familiar with Prisoner from Halo CE will see the inspiration here with Goliath as well as thematic influence from Halo 2’s Colossus. Originally designed by Whos Blaze, my challenge with this latest iteration was to have it ‘slapified’ to fit within the Mythic style. Goliath has been the most challenging map for players to learn during testing due to the complex layout with various levels, plenty of verticality, and not too many ways to the top of the map at first glance. Taking on such a complex busy map and making the space feel intuitive and readable was the main challenge. Cutting away areas which felt unnecessary and using coloured lighting to highlight key areas helped massively in the end. Players who appreciate some of the more abstract and asymmetrical designs of Halo CE (like Prisoner and Damnation) which can come with quite a learning curve, will hopefully have a lot of fun learning the intricacies of Goliath. Players can expect to expect to discover plenty of new jumps too over time. This map will play well for a range of modes including KotH, Oddball and Slayer. Map Overview Gameplay Video Action Shots Download Goliath
  20. Sgt Slaphead

    Oracle

    ORACLE - Forged by o S0UL FLAME o, Sgt x Slaphead, Cheapbox v2, Hairy McClairy and Mags Dies Recommended Modes - Assault - Capture the Flag - Slayer Static Weapons - Gravity Hammer - 120s - Shotgun (x2) - 180s *Static weapons spawn at regular intervals regardless of when they are picked up. About Oracle 4-way symmetrical arenas filled a special role in Halo CE/2 and have not reappeared much since. With 4v4 arena being the focus for Mythic, it was important to include staple symmetrical arena archetypes from the past to compliment some of the more complex asymmetrical layouts. Halo CE’s Wizard and later Halo 2’s Warlock were fundamental to the competitive experience in each respective game. Derelict/Desolation while not technically a ‘4-way sym’, had a similar arena layout. The goal of Oracle was ultimately to combine elements of both Warlock and Desolation into a new design. Something I miss most about the early Halo games was the use of alternatives to conventional movement options on maps such as gravity lifts, teleporters, and ladders. Like Warlock, Oracle was a good opportunity to take full advantage of teleporters and gravity lifts as a way of keeping players moving. Rotationally symmetrical maps often present the problem of player orientation. Colour coding is one method of assisting here though done carefully to avoid making the map look like a rainbow. The asymmetrical skybox also goes a long way to helping navigation while making for a very classic ancient forerunner environment. Map Overview Gameplay Video Action Shots Download Oracle
  21. VENGEANCE - Forged by Cheapbox v2 and Sgt x Slaphead Recommended Modes - Capture the Flag - King of the Hill - Slayer Static Weapons - Beam Rifle - 120s - Rocket Launcher - 180s *Static weapons spawn at regular intervals regardless of when they are picked up. About Vengeance Fulfilling staple arena archetypes was important to Mythic and there is perhaps no map more fundamental to the competitive Halo experience than Halo 2’s Midship. It’s seen countless adaptations as well as inspiring Zealot from Halo Reach. Vengeance was the first map made for Mythic as we needed a solid reliable design with which we could test game mode settings and resolve scaling standards. The maps and settings were co-developed and most of that development took place on Vengeance. The layout began with Cheapbox v2 creating a blockout based on the Halo Reach MLG map Nexus. King of the Hill maps were a top priority with it being the returning mode and Nexus was an excellent competitive KotH map for reference. Going off this blockout, Cheap and I adapted the layout into a covenant arena which would pay respects to both Midship and Zealot. Ultimately the map would act as a precedent for all other Mythic maps, setting the standard for quality, gameplay and art style. Vengeance is a highly versatile map supporting essentially all modes. Both CTF and KotH have proved very fun here. It offers something different while hopefully honouring its legacy of competitive style covenant arenas before it. Map Overview Gameplay Video Action Shots Download Vengeance
  22. Tribunal is a 2v2 map that was inspired by map made by a peer of mine, xamplez map "Node to Joy". You can get very creative with the teleporters because of how they interact. There are lots of cool details on the map you can find by exploring around.The art on the map was inspired by a blend of Hispanica culture and TES Morrowind. Huge thank you to @Ryley for forging the beast face in the thumbnail. Huge thank you to @ExTerrestr1al for scripting the power up light sources. You guys are both awesome
  23. Built specifically for Forgehubs H2A 4v4 competition. Space junk aims to empower a well coordinated team of 4 with opportunities to pinch and push the enemy team.Built with CTF in mind, the fastest route between flags is a single catwalk that towers over the map. In order to capture the enemy flag, the carrier will inevitably have to expose themselves to various lines of sight. This allows the enemy team the ability to counter-cap even while their flag is at the enemy teams base.Rockets 3minOS 2minBrute Shot 1min
  24. Last BastionMonuments of Men ~ Design & Art ~ Soldat DuChrist ~ Scripting ~ExTerrestr1al ~ Pick-Ups ~Sniper (1 shot, 2 clips) // 180 seconds, 3 MinutesRockets (1 shot, 1 clip) // 120 seconds, 2 Minutes Damage Boost // 60 seconds ~ Notes ~ Last Bastion is a love letter to a dying community who have quite literally have been the only reason to come back to H5 time and time again. I started making this map back in march, after having played through Dark Souls 1 & 3 I wanted to recreate that grandiose sense of scale and winding paths that make the level design so enticing. This is what created that over-scaled feeling you get when playing the map, while it does not negatively effect the pacing in any way, cross map sight lines you will come to find out have no aim assist. Last Bastion is also noticeably more vertical than my other maps, and puzzle like in the way you navigate the map which is also a result of DS influence, which i would say turned out quite beautifully. The teleporter on the map takes the shape of a lightning strike on the receiving end, this coupled with player momentum create a nice cinematic effect and really make the map I would say. Initially you will find this to be visually noisy, but i promise given enough time you will become de-sensitized to the effect. The lightning strike will kill anyone standing on the receiving platform if someone else lands soon after the previous user, this is by design. The spawns have been rough throughout development, I'll continue to balance and fix any exploits we find along the way but for now they seem to be working pretty well! Both the weapon pads use custom variants of the Sniper & Rocket Launcher which limit 1 shot before your next reload creating a more balanced experience. Both teams spawn nearby each of the pads, this actually creates some very interesting starts as i'll explain. While they are relatively easy to grab uncontested off the initial spawns, it is NOT without consequence. Keeping in mind that time is a commodity, sending one body to the weapon pad off the start may prove unfruitful if the enemy team decides to double rush the home spawn right off the start, which can happen really quickly once you realize how close the initials are. Experiment with different strategies, you will come to find Last Bastion to be one of the best core experiences custom games has to offer