Avoiding Similarity

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Avoiding Similarity

GodlyPerfection
Administrator
This post was updated on .

My Anti-Foundry
Forging a Plan
*Useless Bonus* Path Manipulation


These are old... like very old, from my EARLY days of forging. Like 3 1/2 years ago. But the same principles still come into play. These are much longer than my more popular series Forge Lessons, but they are also much more colorful, with tons of quotes, examples, pictures, etc. These two go together, because during pre-production picking your canvas is part of your pre-planning process. My old GT was AZN FTW, and there are a lot of examples in there. While some of it may not be pertinent, a lot of it is. Atmosphere, unique features, unique pieces, etc. are all important for giving your map personality and avoiding being like every other map out there. With 3 forge environments, you have to decide where you are going to put your creation. How many maps do you think are going to be on Impact, IN SPACE, with low gravity... just don't. Please. There is an extra article on Path Manipulation if you want to read that too. lol...


A reply must be relevant and must have more characters than your typical tweet on Twitter.com (more than 140 characters). If I can post your reply as a tweet on Twitter then it will not count for points. URL links do not count towards your character total.

Here is a question that can help get your reply started:

- What are your thoughts on the Forgeworld epidemic that resulted in THOUSANDS of gray similar maps?
- How do you plan on preparing to avoid being one of "those" maps that looks like everyone else's?
- You may or may not have posted a Pre-Production thread, but have you returned to your planning since? If not, then go think more.



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Re: Resource #13 [10/19]

AtlasisShruggin
This post was updated on .
"It's easier to give you examples for this, rather than try to explain it. A fair warning though... lots of examples that I give throughout the series will be mine, mainly because I know my maps better than everyone else's."

Good to see you haven't changed. lmfao

"I just finished reading the updated versions. It'll make THINK TWICE about the paths I create in my maps. Thanks AZN. Can't wait for the next one." - Whats a Scope

Hmmm, I wonder if this comment stuck out to you even then as a good map name....

If anything it's great to see that you were posting this kind of content way back in the day. AZN FTW lives on! haha


Edit with merge. -GP

And yes I'm more commenting on you than the content... sorry. But I spent a majority of my time laughing at the wording and comments....

Again the posting touched mostly on pre-production and differentiating your maps. There's many ways to do this, whether it's an aesthetic or geometric figure. Hell it could even be a really good map name. It's about searching for the stickiness of your map and design... but I've written about that waaaay too much already today :P
"This dread born of risk is not the opposite of joy, or even of quiet activity and calm enjoyment. It transcends such oppositions and lives in secret communion with the serene and gentle yearnings of creativity."
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Re: Resource #13 [10/19]

SmartAlec13
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
I have read the last one before, so nothing too new there.

I disagree with the first one, because obviously you are picking at something everyone loved, which was how great of a forge map foundry was. Although it is cool how creative you and other top forgers can be by using such limited peices in a creative way, I feel like it doesn't exactly improve gameplay for the player, just because the effort took longer.
   It is similar to when Halo Reach forge was revealed, many forgers were whining about how it would be too easy now, that everyone could create (what was considered) masterpeices, that half of what made a map good was all the difficult processes we had to deal with in Halo3. I thought that was stupid, because the players playing the map is all that matters. Most (if not all) won't care how much work you put into the map. They won't know the secret or super-advanced forge techniques you had to use. They may be impressed, but its all about the gameplay.
So I disagree with the point you are trying to get across as far as being creative withought using good/high resources, but I do agree that creativity, originality, and aesthetics/theme should not be forgotten.
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Re: Resource #13 [10/19]

GodlyPerfection
Administrator
SmartAlec13 wrote
I have read the last one before, so nothing too new there.

I disagree with the first one, because obviously you are picking at something everyone loved, which was how great of a forge map foundry was. Although it is cool how creative you and other top forgers can be by using such limited peices in a creative way, I feel like it doesn't exactly improve gameplay for the player, just because the effort took longer.
   It is similar to when Halo Reach forge was revealed, many forgers were whining about how it would be too easy now, that everyone could create (what was considered) masterpeices, that half of what made a map good was all the difficult processes we had to deal with in Halo3. I thought that was stupid, because the players playing the map is all that matters. Most (if not all) won't care how much work you put into the map. They won't know the secret or super-advanced forge techniques you had to use. They may be impressed, but its all about the gameplay.
So I disagree with the point you are trying to get across as far as being creative withought using good/high resources, but I do agree that creativity, originality, and aesthetics/theme should not be forgotten.
I disagree with you. Why? Because Forgeworld has created this general opinion of "forge maps suck and they are all gray". We only forge on Forgeworld because it is not really feasible to forge on the other maps to even near the same level of depth. That is what was wrong. The only other forge map that came out was Tempest and slightly High Noon and Ridgeline. Maps built on either of those maps were a refreshing breathe of fresh air and it gave the maps a better reputation and were liked better than Forgeworld maps. Why? Because it was different.

My point going into Halo 4 is if you see that everyone is forging on Impact, then you are doing your creation a disservice by following the trend. Sure Foundry was great for the first few months. Then maps started getting repetitive. The same happened to Sandbox. Everything started to blend together. Sacrificing some ease of use can have POWERFUL effects on how your map is received by the players. While the player doesn't see the additional work that is put into it, they see a different environment, a new experience, and a new atmosphere and feeling in general. So if there was a map with even the slightest amount of forgeability among the default maps (Boneyard had a wee little) then it provided a bonus to your map's first impression. I agree that Forgeworld isn't worth detouring from because of the lack of power on other maps in comparison, but next to Foundry and Sandbox there was Avalanche and Blackout. Both had potential and several forgers took advantage of that. You know what happened to those maps? They got more attention and more hype than a Foundry/Sandbox map that was similar would have gotten. It pays to break away from the norm. And it pays a lot.

Sure the sacrifice nowadays isn't worth it, but sometimes it is. Perhaps there is a mini-game/custom gametype out there that can work on more than just Forgeworld... Conquest was a great example. You get bonus points for changing up the gray blur that is the immense amount of Forgeworld maps.


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Re: Resource #13 [10/19]

Valiant Outcast
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
This is all good information, but some seems slightly less relevant while we have three new canvasses that have yet to be abused.
I always believed that execution trumps asthetics,and I think that it is still true. If three maps look the same, the one that is the most fun and the most well constucted will come out on top.
I am neither the Judge or His jury; only His witness.
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Re: Resource #13 [10/19]

DarkJediMasterX
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
Dude you should seriously put this all into a book. Because all of this is great reference to any level of forger and a bit of it is common sense, but a lot of people just rush their forges and that will happen even more now with Halo 4 because of the changes they are bringing over. To answer one of your questions "How do you plan on preparing to avoid being one of "those" maps that looks like everyone else's? "

Answer: I will be using as much of the Halo 4 pallet as possible, but I will be adding my own touches to the design. Right now in Reach you don't have much texture options, but we may in Halo 4. That won't stop me though from creating a fun, exciting, playable map. My current design is still going and I am proud of how it is turning out. I did see some changes in the design I had to make and when we do playtesting in Halo 4 I will note all the feedback from everyone and apply them accordingly :)

Great resource :)
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Re: Resource #13 [10/19]

Dr D04K
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
Good articles, and a fun trip down memory lane (when I used forge to add fire grenades to every map, not build original geometry).

Right off the top, I have to disagree with the idea that building on non-traditional forge maps garners more attention for your map.  My experience has been just the opposite, especially if the map is built on DLC.  I still believe if Wishbone Alley had been built on forge world it wouldn't have been ignored by the community the way it was.  Further, I find more often than not, maps built on non-forge-dedicated spaces suffer badly in terms of aesthetic appeal due to item restriction.  Its great if you can do it, but I personally don't think sacrificing your original vision for an original setting is ever worth it, especially given the possibility of increased difficulty promoting the map.  Lastly, I would discourage any forger from EVER using any of the FX filters.  Obviously that is personal preference, but the first thing I do on any map I DL before I ever step into a game is delete the FX.  I refuse to play with them on.

The second post is pretty much chalked full of important common sense principles for every forger to keep in mind when planning a map.  Purpose, Theme, Plan.  I love the idea that everything on a map should be there to help or hinder your path.  Simple designs are the best.  Nothing turns me off a map faster than some random piece of decorative cover made out of a bunch of stuff merged together, no matter how pretty it is.
Gamer tag: "Dr D04K" (thats a zero and a four)
RP Portfolio
Maps:
Wishbone Alley
Dosado
Infinity Garden
Epicurean
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Re: Resource #13 [10/19]

Nitro
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
I aim for the risk/reward when it comes to path manipulation. Now, I didn't forge that often in H3 as much as I do in Reach, because it was much harder to finish a map in H3. Hopefully in H4 we will be well rehearsed and ready to start our new production line of Forged maps. So I was thinking to myself how are we going to accomplish this in H4. Are the new objects going to make it easier to make a bunker in the middle of a map to hide in or the new forge environments just plain awesome. Either way give a little and take a little from the players. Make it hard to jump up a shortcut, while being well covered, or leave top mid totally no cover to hide behind for that risk play style. Forcing players to make predictable moves are thing forgers should pay attention to. Take notes and listen to others and fix the problems to create the well balance risk/reward areas in a map.
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Re: Resource #13 [10/19]

ForgedExodus
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
Good read(s). I have read the first one before, and may have read the second, but don't remember.I am well aware of the "greyzone" in which Forgeworld has fallen into recently. With all the same color maps, and lack of uniqueness in each map, Forging in reach has become that much more difficult to get noticed.As far as I can tell My maps layout is somewhat unique, and I plan to keep it that way. The use of golf tin cups is not as unique as i wanted, but the aesthetic was too nice to pass up IMO. However in Halo4, we are not guaranteed all the pieces from Forgeworld, and I'm guessing some of the aesthetics (tin cups) will be replaced. While the main map will most likely be impact, I will be doing this on on Ravine, since it seems to be the most similar in FW pallets.I try to look at what I can do to my map after every test it undertakes. Posting it in the pre-production section does not mean it is finished. It means its undergoing pre production ;) So yes. I relook at my map frequently.
Breaking the Limits, Without Breaking the Rules.
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Re: Resource #13 [10/19]

Randy 355
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
You helped make Boss Battle on The Last Level?! That blew my mind back in the day, which adds to the articles point.

Being resourceful is good advice, but using those resources in a clever way never done before takes a lot of patience. But, boy, I have seen it pay off for a lot of people. And yeah, a lot of the coolest custom Halo 3 maps were on unorthodox maps, such as Avalanche and Ghost Town. I actually tried my hand at making maps on both of those... maps. I turned out with some interesting results. Nothing really quality, but back then for me it was a real achievement. If it wasn't for Halo 3 and the Far Cry series, I may have never gotten into the Forge scene.

I'm not sure what pieces we'll have for Halo 4's standard maps, but it will be interesting to see what comes up. It's always nice to have a change of scenery, and unique objects can create some really unheard of things. Hence why I wanted to make Cyberdyne on Tempest. Yeah, it was for better framerate, but it was also a nice change of scenery and it aided the Forerunner theme as well.
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Re: Resource #13 [10/19]

P1 Mario
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
Paradigm shift accomplished.  It sparked when I read the section from the second resource about being able to defend any object in your map.  Essentially, if your object doesn't serve a puprose, it's frivolous and you should kill it with fire.  Or the Y button.

But then it came to me.  A map is just like an essay.
Maybe I've just got these essay things on the brain, but the parallel is pretty close.

The thesis statement is the feeling you want to produce when the map is played, either through gameplay aesthetic, or mood.  Every major point in your map, the rooms, the objectives, the landmarks, are the body paragraphs that, when taken as a whole, point to your thesis.  Every piece, ray of light cast, and spawn point makes up the supporting sentences that back those paragraphs up.  And you can't forget the transistions, or the whole thing falls apart.

The conclusion appears when your players play the map after the lengthy process of editing, reorganizing, and reworking your creation, and when they experience that thesis statement in all its glory.

Or something along those lines.  Essentially, this paradigm is going to help make my maps more focused, but in a much more fun to explain way.
~Ask not why I get to be Player 1.
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Re: Resource #13 [10/19]

GodlyPerfection
Administrator
In reply to this post by Randy 355
Valiant Outcast wrote
This is all good information, but some seems slightly less relevant while we have three new canvasses that have yet to be abused.
I always believed that execution trumps asthetics,and I think that it is still true. If three maps look the same, the one that is the most fun and the most well constucted will come out on top.
That is fair for the most part. But I think that most of us all know that Impact will probably be the most used canvas of the lot. That and these resources are for long term growth, not just for the current moment. It is just something to keep in mind.

And I agree that the most fun and the best constructed should come out on top. But when you have a thousand maps that look the same do you really expect someone to wade through all one thousand of the maps to find the most fun and best gameplay? That is why this concept is so important. It helps get people to try your map... if people aren't playing your map in the first place then it doesn't matter if it is the best out there because the lack of exposure won't get it anywhere. Goes back to the typical question "If a tree falls in the woods, does it really make a sound at all?". Basically if your map is the best, if no one is playing it then what does it matter? Being the best is partly dependent on how many people consider your map the best as well.


Dr D04K wrote
Right off the top, I have to disagree with the idea that building on non-traditional forge maps garners more attention for your map.  
Oh come on people... :P obviously the drastic difference between forgeworld and the default maps is too much to really even consider forging on them. This is from back in H3. :P Also your DLC situation is unique D04k in the fact that people had to buy the DLC so the exposure your map got was limited. If both were free then Wishbone would have done a lot better because it had a more unique atmosphere in comparison.


Randy 355 wrote
You helped make Boss Battle on The Last Level?! That blew my mind back in the day, which adds to the articles point.
lol... Asper had the original idea of an RPG in Halo. I made it come to life with my understanding of the mechanics of the game. It wasn't easy to make as I had to fully understand the spawn system to get the enemies to spawn in the appropriate phases... and even then it wasn't full proof. lol... it did work 90% of the time in getting the boss to spawn in the right areas at the right time. ;) Wish I could bring this concept back.


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Re: Resource #13 [10/19]

Spiteful Crow
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
I actually don't know that there will be all that many maps on Impact... sure, there will be the people making their "yay low grav space map" stuff, but honestly I would imagine the land area of Ravine is going to be the choice for anybody who wants to do vehicles on their map, and anybody wanting that murky swampy brown will go with Erosion and place it in the water.

In that sense, though, I think it's still going to be hard to stand out.  Forgeworld was huge so you had a lot of "places" to put them even though they all looked kinda the same.  Now we may be back in a Halo 3 "sameyness" as far as Foundry/Sandtrap.

But it's hard to say before I get the game in my hands and see the environments.
Unfortunately "standing out" often means expensive ($$ and framerate) additions that are generally just cosmetic.

I'm still reeling from not having any foliage to place!

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Re: Resource #13 [10/19]

external memory
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
Oh man, Halo 3 Forge on non-foundry maps. When that DLC dropped, I think it came with Standoff, and that was my first real foray into tricky forging, if you remember the first Armada. And what a blast I had playing BTB customs on that when I could get them together.

It's funny, because I think we were talking about blocking off parts of the bottom of Solace to be less corner-campy in the bottom, which I'm not sure is entirely necessary, but I do know we will see scenery pieces employed to block off parts of non-forge world maps again.

We don't have Headhunter anymore, so utilizing that unique Solace lift to redistribute skulls may be out of the question, but there's certain to be plenty of other objects on maps like Vortex to mess with in Halo 4 too. Just like blocking off the bottom "exits" to make for a teleporter door connected to the base switches on standoff, like I connected the Armada airships to the ground bases.

It's about finding custom game options to promote unique use of different options only available on non-forgeworld maps, too.
EXEM