Free For All contest; let's collaborate on success!
Not ACTUALLY, though, because that would make you a cheating whore. And those get banned from contests.
Anywho, if you're not the above-mentioned persons who wants to tag-team build a map for the contest, what say we (of whomever is even entering) bounce ideas off of eachother, and prepare our maps for the beauty and recognition that they rightfully deserve?
With the lack of recent activity that somebody mentioned (my own being due to NAT type issues), I figured that a nice thing to do would be to get together and rap on Free-For-All maps. If you're not entering, then whatever, not a big deal. Make a map anyway, let people here know that you've got something, and we can all talk about what we liked, what we didn't like, what moved us to tears, what we ate for lunch, and what our 'goals' for the maps are. Whether-or-not you, dear reader, are entering, it would be nice to see you get in the game and do some design!
...I'd post what I entered, but, you know. No fileshares as of JUST yet (just a little longer, folks), so I guess just search my gamertag or attempt to join my NAT-nightmare lobby sometime.
I don't have Live currently, but post some pics sometime. :)
Any guesses on the number of maps that will get submitted and how many will get into matchmaking?
I'd post some pictures, but I can't pull them off of my fileshare yet. Just... imagine, blocks... they're white. And they're in space. Space is dark. But my blocks aren't. There's my map.
And I'd have to say somewhere around fifty to one-hundred will get submitted. Based on what the news on their site said, 343i will be putting the top ten into some sort of special playlist. I'm going to give the other maps a download and scope out the competition.
:| This is actually the first I've heard of it. Good luck.
Tell us what is happening that you didn't even see this coming? It all seems evolving these days, even to the point that we just submit our maps directly on WAYPOINT so that there is no need to find a CC to get them noticed... what is happening behind the scenes... (whatever you can tell us we understand...)
The Cartographers are still looking at your maps. In fact, they're the ones who are going to be playtesting them when you submit them on that thread. Is it really such a bad change that you don't have to go out of your way to set up 'appointments' and 'find them' anymore? I think they're just making this worlds easier for those who are submitting content.
So far, there aren't really any phenomenal maps that I've seen. Most are things that look like, no offense, 'baby's first map'. You know, the usual; long, winding staircases that lead to areas that won't be used, spawns facing walls in multiple locations, long bridges that connect two bases... On top of that, there's one map so far that's pretty damn close to being a map from Halo 3's stock maps (whatever the one was called that was a huge bridge with the gravity lifts, with rockets being under the center), and another that was built for its own custom gametype (despite the contest being laid out as one for specific gametypes in matchmaking) with nothing but floating debris for platforms. It IS just the start of the contest, but I'm keeping an eye on the entries and hoping that something stellar will pop up.
Anyway, to get back on topic, I've been poking around more in what's been submitted. So far, the two maps that (I feel) have the best chance look to be AgentPaperCraft's map, and a map named 'Afloat' by Regrets Nothing. Both maps were put together very well, with simplistic designs that don't try any sort of flashy gimmicks or anything like that.
Agent's map, 'Malice', seems to be very Quake-esque in its design; with vaulting ceilings, a simple layout, and multiple floors with unique decorations acting as easy-to-use walkways. Not only that, but he's used some pieces to make some very interesting supports and beams. Not only does he have the advantage of being known within the Forge community (having those connections can definitely help you to get feedback faster than if you were a standalone Forger), but he's got the experience from multiple outlets to help him out. His spawns are well placed, his weapons are in neat little spots that aren't too hard to find, and he's able to polish his map like a professional. His pieces just 'lock' in place with one another, and everything just feels nice about Malice.
Regrets Nothing's map, 'Afloat', feels like what you'd get if 'Damnation' from Combat Evolved had a baby with 'Adrift' from Halo 4. It's got got some very unique high-rises (which offer some risky opportunities for quick transit and the grabbing of pickups), and a nice, easy-to-learn layout which loops around the outer and inner edges of the map. Regrets also has a nice spawn setup, which goes to show that they've been in the mapping game for a while (I've not heard their name before), or that they've applied themselves to go out their way to make something above-average. Just something as small as making sure that your SPAWNS work goes a long way to show that you know what you're doing, and Regrets is showing a good deal of professionalism in that. On top of that, they've worked out their weapon spawn times and starting ammunition, as well as safe-zoning the entire playable area with simple killzones.
Out of the myriad of 'baby's first maps' that have been submitted, these two gems are worth checking out, if you haven't already.
Then I made something, but, it feels like child's play next to these two.
One week later, and looking at some of these submissions, I have to say that this is yet another Forging contest that I won't be placing at the top at all in hahaha :p
So far, MY top ten picks (as 343 will be doing ten picks themselves) for this contest are (in no particular order):
-Vitality (lots of well-constructed areas that were linked together with a lot of care, showing that the author put a lot of effort into maintaining a good flow. Size of map fits perfectly for free-for-all, and tiny jumps and tricks make it seem like it could please the more 'hardcore crowd' more than it would casual players.)
-Project Link (Besides being LoZ-themed, the map has a very simple layout with some very obvious and accessible jumps, making more complicated movements more approachable for first-time players on the map, or first-time Halo-ers in general. The thing that sealed the deal for me on this one though, was the unique use of teleporting 'portal doors', which were nicely color coded and large enough to spot from pretty much anywhere. Not very often we see teleporters these days)
-Afloat (well-built and well-sized map that feels like you're in something ancient. Pathways channel elements from Adrift and Damnation while having its own unique design; well-placed spawns and perspectives, transition between floors is seamless. Good example of a 'risk versus reward' element going on with the center catwalks)
-Malice (extremely simplistic layout without being too amateurish. Map is friendly toward new players and veterans alike, and seems like it would easily appeal to the more casual crowd, making it a great fit for a Rumble Pit-esque setting. Size is perfect for two-on-twos, four-on-fours, six, or even four-person free for all. Simple and functional decorative elements make it feel like you're in a 'real' space)
-Mutiny (following the 'less-is-more' approach that seems to be producing the best maps, Mutiny blends some nice, natural spaces into a map with some simple vertical elements to allow for a better 'three-dimensional' experience.)
-Paragon (again with the simple approach, Paragon also blends together some nice natural elements to give some crisp ambient noise to the map, and with varying levels of natural height, Paragon's object placement allows an easy-to-approach experience, size of the map fits well for the Free-for-All setting)
-ROMEO Station (Okay, yeah, I totally said that I didn't think that I had a snowball's chance in Hell of placing, but I have to have SOME confidence in my own entry, right? I tried to make a space with some unique floaty thingies without being overly-gimmicky, and wanted to make a simple 'round-and-round'-type layout. Plus I couldn't find spots to fill in for the final three spots in this top-ten. So stick me in at last place or something. There are still three more days to see those places filled, though!)
Other maps that I think were well-built but too much like a 'remake', or a blatant remake, or even just too similar to stock maps or maps already in MM, or had some other shortcomings
-Exodus (pretty much like the Impact variant that comes stock with the game, and even more like 'rotunda-shape' one in matchmaking)
-Golgotha (extremely-pretty concept going on, but the framerate issues are pretty nasty, too big for FFA, but an interesting shape for team games)
-Low Orbit (a cool design, but I felt like it was a bit big for free for all, as well as needing some more cover in the outer edges)
-Challenger (a great design for a team map, and it has a lot of natural elements going on in an artificial space; I feel like there are too many long and open corridors though, overall a great design)
-Conduit (obviously a lot of effort went into this one, and it's got some unique 'danger zones' that can insta-kill you by design; could be good or bad, but they're where they are to compensate for a quick jump. Map feels sort of 'cramped' overall, with not much room to brawl if you're not in one of the four corners)