No More Wrong Turns

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No More Wrong Turns

GodlyPerfection
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This post was updated on .

No More Wrong Turns


Honestly one of my favorite articles out there, this is gold for designers. Player navigation is extremely important in level design. Learning to control your players, making them move where you want to create that exact balance that you are looking for can make or break a map. This article talks about both discrete and immersed navigational tools. As forgers you have more control over immersed navigation, but it is also important to understand how to use and work with the discrete navigational tools present in Halo; Radar, Waypoints, Player Communication, etc. Learning how players react to such navigation tools can help you truly understand how to tweak player movement to perfection. This understanding of discrete navigational tools is going to play a bigger role in Halo 4 with the focus on more waypoints on objectives, weapons, even players (with perks like nemesis).

Here are some questions that can help get your reply started:

- Can you define the difference between discrete and immersed navigational tools in your own words?
- What kind of immersed navigational tools have you used deliberately in your maps in the past?
- Have you considered and built for the effect of discrete navigational tools on your players; like the compass, radar, and waypoints in the past?



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Re: Resource #3 [10/8]

MythicFritz
Definitely going to have to keep waypoints in mind when building.

With the capture the flag waypoint in particular, say you have a map with three paths down the center. If the flag is taken and a defender spawns at the side of the map (looking perpendicularly at the paths), how does he know what path the flag carrier has taken? If all three paths are on the same level, the defender will never know. But if one path is lower than him, one path is on his level, and the other is higher, the defender will know which path the flag carrier has taken simply by the waypoint's location.

Confusing defenders with multiple similar paths could be purposeful too however.

We'll have to be cautious with confusing paths though. With weapon drops having waypoints as well, players are going to need understandable routes to those weapons.
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Re: Resource #3 [10/8]

Solo XIII
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
This article seems to be heavily focused on structuring a campaign level, specifically making the level more intuitive for players. A big knock on campaigns now-a-days is that they are too linear and feel entirely scripted. By opening up the world and letting them explore, you can bring some freedom to the way people approach your levels. However, making your levels less linear can invite a host of problems, where players get lost and waste their time exploring unimportant or trivial regions of your world. In the developer commentary for the "Portal: Still Alive" campaign, the developers speak of how play-testers saw rafters high above one of the test chambers. With the way the lighting effects hit these rafters and made them contrast with the background, the play-testers were convinced that they were not only able to reach the rafters, but that they were _supposed_ to get up there. In a loosely structured, exploration-based campaign, it's incredibly important to convey to the players -- either subtly or outwardly -- what they do and what they do not need to do to progress. it's a priority to help players avoid dead ends and wrong turns.

Multiplayer design differs significantly from Campaign design in this field because there is not a static goal that players are progressing towards. Navigation cues still exist for Objective Points and (new in Halo 4) Ordnance locations, but these are understandably less intrusive than the nav-points and route-lines that appear in campaigns. This is because multiplayer participants do not have a set path they must follow to reach their objective. Sometimes it is advantageous to take circuitous routes to flank your opponents.

Since there is not necessarily a single, "best" movement option in multiplayer, the navigational information that is most important is visual aids for the pathways that are available. Movement options should be intuitive, so that even players who have never seen your map before can easily find their way around. Doorways should be made easily visible with backlighting or contrast framing; Catwalks should have sharp contrast with the background; The more frequently used pathways should be larger, brighter, and more inviting.

If you want to encourage movement on particular paths, an obvious floor-pattern can be a useful aesthetic detail. Something that contrasts well with the surrounding floor will help direct the eye to the route without being blatantly obvious. An example of this is the road that winds between the hills on Blood Gulch. It gives the player a suggested driving route  that makes use of the surrounding hills as cover.

While it was mentioned more with campaign in mind, the fourth page of the article brings up a a topic that would be very helpful for forgers who are trying to work a little more professionalism into their maps: Landmarks. These are generally big, unique, and visible from most if not all of the map. They aren't necessarily in play, but they can greatly affect players who are trying to orient themselves toward a particular goal.  The best Landmark example from a Halo map is the gigantic tower on Relic. It is the centerpiece of the map, and I believe it is visible from nearly every inch of playable ground. Not only does it draw the eye with its unique shape, but this in turn draws players toward it as well. After all, we walk where our eyes are pointed.

In his short article that details the creation of The Cage, Bungie's Chris Carney talks about using the cliff on Forge World as an obvious Landmark for players to orient themselves off spawn. While The Cage is not a particularly praise-worthy design, his point is none-the-less important. Geometry on the Forge canvas can act as major landmarks that do not require the forger to waste time and budget. I still maintain that a user-created Landmark is better (as you can place this landmark overtop an important building or structure), but the natural landmarks are a useful idea to put in your toolbox.
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Re: Resource #3 [10/8]

Nitro
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
That article was pretty heavy, but a decent read. When focusing on movement, whether it being a UI or structural cues to give the play an sense of feeling of where they will have the best outcome in the choice of direction they took. And the difference in matchmaking and campaign levels, campaigns are directed with waypoints or objectives to reach the next level. Where as matchmaking, you are left with personal instinct to either take the bridge or the tunnel across the river.

What 343i did for Halo 4, Infinity Slayer, they added the ordinance drops on top of the radar thats apart of the HUD. We are given a hybrid feel of options of where we should move, as player that will benefit the team the most, in hopes of winning. Player movement/placement is honestly the hardest thing to achieve when forging. You have to either pre plan in your head where most battles will be fought or strategically move players around like chess pieces.

Forge is no joke, some of us take it very seriously, and sometimes when take a break from the seriousness of forging and just play. But all in all forge is an art, a skill or whatever you make it as to yourself, just enjoy forge and the quiet times well spent :).
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Re: Resource #3 [10/8]

AtlasisShruggin
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
There were a lot of great points in this article. I especially liked the past about 'weenies.' Besides the humor in the name, its something I've never actively though about before in a map. I'll set up visual cues, but I've never added a feature that can be seen from any point in the map.

Navigation is one of those problems I've noticed a lot lately in user maps. There's been a recent interest in forging room based asymmetrical maps, notably inspired by Quake. It's not a bad style of map, but I've noticed a lot of forgers over complicating how players move through the map. When a player first jumps into a map, there should be some exploration and discovery. However, I've noticed a lot of maps that over complicate the connections. It should be clear how to get to the place they want to go. With Halo 4's addition of weapon drop waypoints, this becomes even more important. Navigation has to make sense within the unique gameplay experience you are trying to create. I envision testing a map in 4 and moving towards a waypoint only for a corridor to wrap around and take me in a direction I don't want to go.

This article brought up a lot of great ways to avoid problems like this. I think the best way to consider if your map has good navigation is checking players first impressions in game without a forge flythrough first. See how easy a map truly is to navigate.

And of course the map touches on lighting again. It is the big game changer for Halo 4. Hopefully these articcles will et forgers thinking about ways to work with the dynamic lighting to compliment their designs rather than view it ultimately as a hindrance :)
"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 #3 [10/8]

Randy 355
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
This is something that will be of great use to the contestants, especially the majority who are making their own original maps. Lines are a fascinating technique as it really digs into the subconscious to influence a player's movement. Same with the use of animated lights and objects, though, this is something I expect not to have much of in Halo 4's Forge. I really hope they show me wrong. With the use of lines and animated objects, forging could be a lot more fun. I can see myself now directing players toward the Rocket hall on The Pit, as a subtle red light blinks over it or something. Lines with light surging through them leading through the Overshield hallway...

Oh damn... Halo 4 cannot come soon enough.

The beginning of the article was really cool too. It didn't pertain to Forging as much, but it is surely full of great advice for game designers. Maps and compasses are especially helpful to players. Halo does have Compasses and Radars, but they really don't help as much for navigation unless you purposefully line up your map with North and South or see enemies on the Radar. And now getting your map to cast your shadows to how you want them might interfere with Compass lineup, although for the greater good.
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Re: Resource #3 [10/8]

InnerSandman
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
The difference between discrete and immersed navigational tools is that discrete tools are usable by the players such as radars compasses and maps, but immersed tools are spread throughout the environment. Immersed tools I've used are mainly massive structures to designate between teams, or to designate a key area for objective games such as KotH, Territories and other games.
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Re: Resource #3 [10/8]

P1 Mario
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
I'm going to say something that my father probably never hoped to hear me say:
I am fascinated by weenies.
No, that comment will not be explained for those who didn't read the article.  What gets me so excited for the weenies is the application for BTB matches, especially objective ones.  I'm thinking about a "valley" of sorts for the weenies.  The home bases will be the biggest weenies, mid bases will be smallest weenies, and the center structure will be the middle weenie.  That way, players are pulled first to their mid base, then the center, then will home in on the enemy's home base/objective location.

Weenie excitment aside, I'm also excited to be able to color-code maps.  I love maps that when you're playing split-screen on them, you can't help but screen watch your friend based on periphreal vision.

~Ask not why I get to be Player 1.
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Re: Resource #3 [10/8]

external memory
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
Disclaimer: I'm not a prolific forger by any means but I pay attention to what others, highly visible or otherwise have done that seems to work for me and other players.

So take my verbose posts with a grain of salt, and call me out if I get the hierarchy of importance wrong in your eyes, or if there's anything just plain wrong in my walls o'text, guys.

We Heard You Like Maps: "Discrete Navigation Tools"

Riffing on yesterday's theme of modular building, one way to think of mapping and wayfinding in Forge, especially in forging maps for standardized gametypes, is that the HUD elements like the motion tracker, the compass to a minor extent, and various waypoints present in some objective gametypes, can function as modular wayfinding elements people consider when designing. A great example of this was the angle of ramps and how the angle of ascent affected speed of player movement when crouchwalking, making players going up ramps of a certain steepness at full crouchwalk appear on the motion tracker. In these cases you'd have to build paths with that in mind if you wanted people to be able to stealthily change elevation. Assuming the motion tracker works more or less the same (player speed on foot in any direction generally affects whether they appear on radar regardless of stance) then that's something to keep in mind for Halo 4.

The waypoints in Halo 4 are of course absolute wayfinding nav points, telling you exactly where something is; but it's interesting to imagine how different kinds of markers or compasses might have been included in Halo games to make for interesting game variants. When you think about it, in a way, sound and proximity voice have served that purpose too in a subtle way (Flood form players seem to make a higher-pitched alien noise when nearby now BTW) not to mention the tracer or bullet trails and the sighting laser; these are programmed effects not only for realism but that also affect wayfinding to enemies and friendlies. These are all immersed nav tools that we use in playing games and probably design around without realizing.

Map Design, as in Level Design: "Immersed Navigation Tools"

On page 4, the bullet points "Attract" through "Weenies" (and "Motion" perhaps) have more to do with map design in Halo 4 forge than "map map" design from a game dev perspective. It covers and reiterates some of the previous points from the articles of the past couple days on lighting as well as unique forms and large structures acting as wayfinding to distant locations. Just like how Solo's point about how window dressing can be seen by a player as an area they think they can or should go to, just to find out it lies beyond a soft wall or past jump height, distant structures visible from afar like theme park "weenies" can attract players when that might not be the intent, especially if it's not obvious that it's too far in the distance to be inside the playable area of the map. That's probably less of a concern in Forge than in other in-game editor (or in development) environments, though. Another obvious one is pickups on page 5, which in (vanilla) Halo 4 also double as nav points or proximity based nav points depending on type of ordnance.

The "Identify" section on page 5 may be obvious but seems like a huge deal that people overlook. When I think of landmarks, one of the maps that sticks out to me from Halo 4 is Abandon. Some have criticized the map at first glance as not having a cohesive theme, because of drastically different lighting in some areas and not quite being outdoor in the sense of openness or indoor in the sense of close quarters, but the way these areas have obvious differences is a plus in terms of landmarks. After a quick sprint down any lane, it's next to impossible to confuse the two towers, or which cave tunnel you're in, or whether you're on the right or left side looking toward or away from the cliff. There are little hidden details and tactical jumps that reward exploration, but the overall wayfinding by landmarks is much easier initially than say Complex, or even Adrift, to give a symmetrical example. "Lines" in Portal are a great example and although they're not the easiest thing to pull of in Forge as a surface texture, I've seen bits of blocks and buildings used creatively to assist in wayfinding beyond simply "this is red base."

TL;DR: The Conclusion on page 6 of the linked article runs through all the sections and points as a bulleted list.
Good guide to discrete vs. immersed nav tools

I think I've seen this one before, but still a great and relevant article IMO, OP. Keep 'em coming.
EXEM
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Re: Resource #3 [10/8]

P1 Mario
 
external memory wrote
A great example of this was the angle of ramps and how the angle of ascent affected speed of player movement when crouchwalking, making players going up ramps of a certain steepness at full crouchwalk appear on the motion tracker. In these cases you'd have to build paths with that in mind if you wanted people to be able to stealthily change elevation. Assuming the motion tracker works more or less the same (player speed on foot in any direction generally affects whether they appear on radar regardless of stance) then that's something to keep in mind for Halo 4.
Ah! Thank you!  I really hope they will fix the displacement glitch, and instead have radar based on crouch status.  But you're probably right in the radar system staying the same.

So what kind of ways to we have to mitigate this?  Obviously, setting the ramp height to <28 degrees works.  For larger elevation changes, you could always put paths that run the same paths at different elevations to cloud up radar, but it's not a very effective fix due to the elevation component of the radar.  Any suggestions, aside from flat maps?
~Ask not why I get to be Player 1.
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Re: Resource #3 [10/8]

external memory
P1 Mario wrote
Ah! Thank you!  I really hope they will fix the displacement glitch, and instead have radar based on crouch status.  But you're probably right in the radar system staying the same.

So what kind of ways to we have to mitigate this?  Obviously, setting the ramp height to <28 degrees works.  For larger elevation changes, you could always put paths that run the same paths at different elevations to cloud up radar, but it's not a very effective fix due to the elevation component of the radar.  Any suggestions, aside from flat maps?
I think on steep elevation changes may be on main paths of larger maps like the center cave on Exile, so displacement might not actually affect crouch radar status. Someone would have to comb through the videos to see, but even then it's tricky to judge elevation less than 45º by eye even if you knew of a clip where someone was tiptoeing up a steep looking ramp.

As far as dealing with it, I think that widening out the scale to compensate for the 28º incline – or below whatever the threshold will be if there still is one for crouchwalking – would actually be fine for maps not constrained by the environment of the forge world or an option-restrictive arrangement of pieces. Halo 4 maps call for a larger scale relative to Reach and H3 counterparts anyways.
EXEM
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Re: Resource #3 [10/8]

Dr D04K
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
One of the most useful tips from the article for forgers in my opinion is the use of "weenies" as immersed navigation landmarks.  This is something I personally have used since H3.  For instance, in my map Mittenpunkt  I oriented the map so that the sun was in one corner of the map, and made sure to align it with one of the main doorways through the major dividing wall.  Similarly, borrowing from the Cage's use of the cliff, I used the same rock face as a clear navigation clue in my map Infinity Garden.  This is particularly important in symmetrical maps.  I used windows on the ends to allow players to see either rock or sky to indicate to them which side of the map they've spawned on instantly.  

In terms discrete navigation tools, one of my biggest wishes for H4 forge is the ability to use area markers to name locations in the HUD.  It seems like such an easy thing to implement and would really empower forgers with new possibilities to subtly direct players around a map.  Here's to hoping...  
Gamer tag: "Dr D04K" (thats a zero and a four)
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Re: Resource #3 [10/8]

GodlyPerfection
Administrator
In reply to this post by P1 Mario
Solo XIII wrote
Multiplayer design differs significantly from Campaign design in this field because there is not a static goal that players are progressing towards. Navigation cues still exist for Objective Points and (new in Halo 4) Ordnance locations, but these are understandably less intrusive than the nav-points and route-lines that appear in campaigns. This is because multiplayer participants do not have a set path they must follow to reach their objective. Sometimes it is advantageous to take circuitous routes to flank your opponents.

Since there is not necessarily a single, "best" movement option in multiplayer, the navigational information that is most important is visual aids for the pathways that are available. Movement options should be intuitive, so that even players who have never seen your map before can easily find their way around. Doorways should be made easily visible with backlighting or contrast framing; Catwalks should have sharp contrast with the background; The more frequently used pathways should be larger, brighter, and more inviting.
That's the beauty of multiplayer level design, in that you have to handle drastically different playstyles. I still think that each player can still form singular goals that guide their movement. For example for the choice between Rockets and Needler, most people will pick rockets as their goal barring any other factors. I feel that incentives and deterrents may be different, but they can hold a relative weighting among each other. People may not have static goals, but they do use a goal oriented approach in combat. Whether their objective is chasing down a player, or avoiding a player there is still a goal that guides their decisions. The issue is that there is millions of scenarios, so you need to consider the most common scenarios. So I still think the article is quite useful in terms of multiplayer design. Especially in Halo 4 where weapon waypoints are going to be very powerful incentives from anywhere on the map.


MythicFritz wrote
Definitely going to have to keep waypoints in mind when building.

With the capture the flag waypoint in particular, say you have a map with three paths down the center. If the flag is taken and a defender spawns at the side of the map (looking perpendicularly at the paths), how does he know what path the flag carrier has taken? If all three paths are on the same level, the defender will never know. But if one path is lower than him, one path is on his level, and the other is higher, the defender will know which path the flag carrier has taken simply by the waypoint's location.

Confusing defenders with multiple similar paths could be purposeful too however.

We'll have to be cautious with confusing paths though. With weapon drops having waypoints as well, players are going to need understandable routes to those weapons.
And this is a very good point that I never thought of Mythic... paths to these waypoints need to make sense if they are supposed to be easily accessible. If they aren't easily accessible, like Rockets on top of a platform above your path, then it forces the player to look around and find a path, and this can encourage exploration. I like this concept. :) Which Atlas also brings up:


AtlasisShruggin wrote
Navigation is one of those problems I've noticed a lot lately in user maps. There's been a recent interest in forging room based asymmetrical maps, notably inspired by Quake. It's not a bad style of map, but I've noticed a lot of forgers over complicating how players move through the map. When a player first jumps into a map, there should be some exploration and discovery. However, I've noticed a lot of maps that over complicate the connections. It should be clear how to get to the place they want to go. With Halo 4's addition of weapon drop waypoints, this becomes even more important. Navigation has to make sense within the unique gameplay experience you are trying to create. I envision testing a map in 4 and moving towards a waypoint only for a corridor to wrap around and take me in a direction I don't want to go.
Overall I think this is definitely a facet that we are going to have to explore more. I wouldn't say it is a new facet, because this is existent in objective games like KoTH, CTF, and Oddball. It is definitely something we are going to have to pay attention to with all weapons having waypoints. However something that may be new is learning to chain these waypoints. If you head towards rockets and can't seem to get there, then perhaps that "pull" will draw you to another incentive like the sticky detonator. Could definitely be interesting.


Randy 355 wrote
The beginning of the article was really cool too. It didn't pertain to Forging as much, but it is surely full of great advice for game designers. Maps and compasses are especially helpful to players. Halo does have Compasses and Radars, but they really don't help as much for navigation unless you purposefully line up your map with North and South or see enemies on the Radar. And now getting your map to cast your shadows to how you want them might interfere with Compass lineup, although for the greater good.
I knew someone would say something like this. I actually thought the same too. But then I realized that the radar and waypoints can HEAVILY affect how players move and you can control that slightly. Consider your map's traffic/combat congestion. The high traffic areas will almost always have somebody in them for say 80% of the match. How do players in other areas react to somebody in the high traffic area on the radar? Is there a direct path to that high traffic area? Can that player only be seen on the radar because the high traffic area is enclosed? What happens to players that avoid dots on the radar and which paths do they take at that point? You can use the radar and waypoints in your designs and take them into consideration. One thing I'm doing with Think Again is using weapon waypoints to help people realize what side of the map is which. On one side I have a sword centered on the side. And on the opposite side I have two snipers rifles, one across from the other on the corners of the side. This allows players to easily recognize off spawn that "Hey that side is sword side and that side is sniper side". Not just because of the weapon type, but also the waypoint positioning.


P1 Mario wrote
I'm going to say something that my father probably never hoped to hear me say:
I am fascinated by weenies.
LIterally LOL.


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Re: Resource #3 [10/8]

A 3 Legged Goat
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
Navigation is definitely one of the most important parts of building a map. I always think back to how Rat's Nest had the arrows plastered onto its back wall which pointed to the lower portion of the map. After a few plays, players knew to follow the arrow to get to Rockets or go against it to get highground and sniper.  This is more immersed and direct in my opinion, as the orientation is being definite and directive. I like these, but I also like subtlety and subconsious cues that players may not notice right away.

I think the best example of subconscious direction would be the Halo 2 maps "Sanctuary" and "Warlock". These maps are mostly the same shade of rock with slight variations for Red and Blue team. However, the biggest difference between the sides is the fact that one side has water and ambiance from the water falls, and the other side does not. This is a more obvious cue, but at the same time one that subconsciously helps players move around the map. In a slayer match with dynamic spawns, you may not know which side you are on initially, and these cues help tremendously.

I like to build maps that are lined with color trims to show where a player is currently and where the next area will be. The unfortunate part of this though is that colors often reset to default depending on the connection, so these weren't always reliable. Going forward in Halo 4, I hope to use more of the dynamic lighting to distinguish between 'light side' and 'dark side' as opposed to more direct alternatives such as arrows and coloring. I'm not sure how the waypoints will come into play with these just yet because I don't yet know how they will work. Needless to say, I look forward to discovering their potential.
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Re: Resource #3 [10/8]

Carpetfresh
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
- Can you define the difference between discrete and immersed navigational tools in your own words?
- What kind of immersed navigational tools have you used deliberately in your maps in the past?
- Have you considered and built for the effect of discrete navigational tools on your players; like the compass, radar, and waypoints in the past?



1:  Discrete navigation in game design is all about a map and tools that help you're players go from point A to point B.  An example could be an arrow on the screen during Streets of Rage 2 when you completed the current segment and need to go on.  Or press Up on the d-pad to access the world map in Skyrim.  It can be from a hint on screen to a map.  This plays into a past discussion on here about Immersion.  The designer can not create a tool if it does not work with the way the game is set up.  If Halo 1-3 had a "world map" like Skyrim instead of a radar it would be out if place and the same can be said about the opposite.  Things have to flow together.  Like in Ocarina of Time for the N64.  Yes there is a map but there are also signs that the player can walk up to and press A to see where they are going, this is an example of Immersed Navigation.

Discrete is the "4th" wall type of design while Immersed is "in game".

2:  In Halo 3 and Reach I didn't use anything.  It's a map, you need map flow, design space, and balanced gameplay in it.  The only thing that I used that could be called Immersive would be to color code bases so that the player knew where he was and where he was going to go from safe, to neutral, to unfriendly.

3:  Not in Halo 3, because the radar was winky back then.  I still forget to this day if solid means same floor or below you or above you.  Reach was slightly better so building multilevels was easier.  I have built custom HUD's (Heads Up Display) inside of UDK if that is what you're asking here.

Sorry if I am answering this way to homework like, it's hard to turn it off when I have been doing it now since 2007 straight,
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Re: Resource #3 [10/8]

deathxxrenegade
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
This is one thing that i've always had difficulty with and was something i always got with feedback on playthroughs.... this and spawn points, but i'm unsure whether or not the addition of the lighting element to the forging experience will help me.....or hurt me. I think this may be something that i have to.....play it as i see it
To command the past you control the future. To command the future you conquer the past.    

Kane
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Re: Resource #3 [10/8]

Gnappy As5A5sin
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
I've always found the most blatant ways to incorporate navigational cues into my maps. Flag map? All roads lead to objectives. Invasion? Let's make the cap point a huge beacon into the skies. I've always wanted to make a hospital/lab map, strictly on the basis that I'd be able to use those sexy stripes they have for different sections of the area. Actually, I believe that's one of the ways that DICE guided players through the levels of Mirrors edge effectively, those blatant contrasts of color really made for awesome guideposts.

Regardless, the fact that things all have waypoints now will make things interesting. Players like getting where they were expecting to go. I'm with Atlas on this one-  "I envision testing a map in 4 and moving towards a waypoint only for a corridor to wrap around and take me in a direction I don't want to go." That will happen. It will suck.

Can't wait to see how everyone will work around it though. :)-
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Re: Resource #3 [10/8]

ForgedExodus
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
I agree with Atlas about the 'weenies'. I've seen several user forged maps, but something I have seen very little of is a landmark that is prominent anywhere you are.

Pinnacle is a good example of a (technically) user forged map with a landmark, using the satellite in the middle for reference.

With the addition to Halo 4 waypoints such as weapon drops however, I will need to focus more on building around key points in the map, more then working equally on all of the maps :/ Game Changer.
Breaking the Limits, Without Breaking the Rules.
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Re: Resource #3 [10/8]

Valiant Outcast
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
I made an infection map called "Ives Labyrinth" back in Halo 3.
The starting point for the humans was a square with identical walls and hallways. The only ways to find the right way out was with the compass or the pattern on the floor, so yes, I have used that before.
I do find that people tend to forget that there is a compass.
It helps a lot in call outs and can (and should) be used to great effect during gameplay. I also have used windows to show players what is farther along the path but not yet accessible, like exits, bridges, or lifts.
I am neither the Judge or His jury; only His witness.
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Re: Resource #3 [10/8]

SmartAlec13
In reply to this post by GodlyPerfection
I am gonna type this while I read since there are a lot of interesting points.

After reading the first two pages about "Distinct" directors like maps, waypoints, etc, it seems more like a design standpoint, so not that much that we have to deal with (unless there are some placeable waypoints I havent heard about, since I am out of the loop)

The "Attract" part is very interesting and true.
-Light. This is a big one that I used in maps a lot. You place a weapon or an entrance to a route that you want people to see? Place a light by it. Light is more noticible than black against a neutral environment because it shines.
-Contrast. This is one of my favourites to use. You want a weapon (usually darker, or black) to be seen? Place it somewhere in the light, or against a a lighter toned wall and it will be seen a lot more.
-Weenies. I actually plan on using this on my map Jettison. The main feature of the map is a large tower in the center, which can be seen from almost anywhere on the map. This is great for helping people orient on a map withought placing signs or a map.
-Motion. Not one we can work with exactly, this works more so with giving decent sight lines where a player may see down an alleyway and see bullets flying or a person walking. Like playing Construct and walking from lift room (top floor) to lift room and seeing someone go up the big orange lift, that motion catches your eye.
-Characters. Obviously we can't insert this into the game, but I feel we can GIVE things character, as in make an object or piece of scenery as more than just part of the environment. The giant wheel on Zanzibar comes to mind, that its spinning motion almost draws your eyes up to look and see if there is anyone in the tower. This somewhat applies more to motion I guess.
-Pick Ups. This is an obvious one, especially when dealing with something like the Overshield or Camo back in Halo3. Its a big glowing , floating ball.Identity is one I see a lot of maps struggle with, and others do really well. Its making parts of the maps look different from others.
-Landmarks. Similar to Weenies, one of the most usefull. When people talk about maps, they say "oh yeah I was at the big wheel and then this guy at the tower sniped me out".
-Guides, Signs, etc. They can be very helpful, but I feel like the problem is making them withought making them look unnatural. You need to make them look like they belong in the environment. Then the problem becomes how to make them seen, since most gaming environments are more gloomy
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