Halo 5 Forge is the next generation of map editing and building in the Halo series. Before we delve into the new features, let's recap Forge in previous games.
Halo 3 was the first game to have Forge. Initially, it was designed to allow people to move weapons, objectives, spawns, and more. People quickly learned that bases could be made using crates, so Bungie decided to create a playspace specifically for Forge. Foundry released, and the community responded saying that they wanted more. Bungie later released Sandbox, which had three unique spaces to build on. Over the course of Halo 3, players were coming up with new techniques to make it feel less like Legos MegaBloks and more like a real map editor. Sharing these maps was incredibly easy, and a ton of communities popped up from sharing content. The biggest issues that arose from Halo 3 Forge were the lack of variety in environment, the content maximum(could only have up to 100 map variants), and most importantly how difficult it was to build a map that looked decent.
Halo Reach's evolution of Forge improved over most of Halo 3's problems. Bungie's primary improvement was object physics. In Halo 3, there were a bunch of tricks to get objects to mesh with each other, and Reach changed that to a single slide of the left stick. Reach also introduced an incredibly large playspace for Forge, aptly named Forge World. Sharing maps was also improved. Players could store a near-infinite amount of maps, assuming they had the HDD space for it. The big problems that came up from Reach were that everything was grey, lighting was very stagnant, and framerate took a big hit on having to render a massive amount of objects.
Halo 4 was a good imrovement over Reach's Forge. 343 Industries addressed a major concern from the Reach days, and that was how stagnant the lighting is. This improvement was that every object could project a shadow, which helped players determine where they are on the map. Another addition was the magnet system, which allowed users to snap pieces together for quicker building. The best addition(in my opinion) was the duplication feature. This vastly improved how fast a player could build a map. Initially, there were three Forge canvases, each having a different motif. Eventually, a fourth Forge canvas was added called Forge Island. Forge Island is the largest map in Halo to date(we'll see if any of the Halo 5 canvases are larger when it comes out). Sadly, for the first 3 months the game was out, there wasn't a way to reliably share files. The other problems with Halo 4's Forge were that frame rate became even worse, everything was white instead of grey, shadows were rendered every time a player would switch to Spartan mode, and there was a cap to how many rounds of Forge could be played.
Halo 2 Anniversary
H2A was a marginal improvement over Halo 4's Forge as well. None of the issues were addressed from Halo 4's Forge, but 343 Industries added scripting. Also, many objects were added that the community had asked for, such as minor terrain objects, a large flat surface, and trees. Sadly, like many things involving the Master Chief Collection, sharing files was incredibly frustrating.
So now it is Halo 5's time. Halo 5 looks to be the biggest improvement to Forge to date. So let's briefly cover some of the details.
With a vast array of over 1700 objects, it is easier for the player to create a map exactly the way they want it. New FX objects allow the player to make the map seem more real and grounded. Invisible barriers allow map makers to keep players out of certain areas. The new object controls allow for more precise and faster object editing. Terrain textures now magically map to the terrain object, which gives it a more seamless look and feel. Object grouping makes creating two equal bases faster than ever. The new magnet system is more intuitive(and less frustrating!) to use. The budget system is no longer an arbitrary dollar system. Lighting has been improved around the board, between not requiring a render every time the user switches to Spartan mode to creating individual lighting points. No longer are maps forced to be grey or white, but can be any of 120 color options. Lastly, players can put decals onto objects, which helps players orient themselves.
There are three canvases, plus the smaller Breakout canvas to build a fresh map on. Players can edit the other base maps, changing around weapons and spawns. 343 Industries has also stated that "...If you wanted to you could place a Scorpion tank in the middle of Truth. This doesn’t mean you should, but you could." Descriptions of the canvases are shamelessly stolen and modified from Waypoint.
A beautiful terrain with rolling hills sandwiched between a cliff side wall and lake front to rip a Warthog down. It has that classic Halo world look that feels like a chunk of the Pacific Northwest was transposed somewhere on a distant planet. There is some space over the water to Forge on. On Alpine, there are three time of day modifiers. Orion, Deadlock, Guillotine, Basin, and Pegasus were built on Alpine in different locations.
A large snow and ice covered landscape with giant ravine cut down the middle. Recurve is located on the Glacier canvas. With the Cartographer's Gift content drop, Antifreeze will be another map that takes place on Glacier. Another cool thing is that the player can Forge over the gap in the ice. Just like Alpine, Glacier also features three different time of day modifiers.
Space has no terrain because, well, it’s space. It’s a big empty map with nothing nailed down but the boundary markers at the edges of the map which go away at game time. It’s pretty much as blank of a map as possible so the sky (or space) is really the limit. Similar to the other two maps, Parallax also has three modifiers, but it’s not time of day, but the planet that the map is orbiting. The upcoming map Entombed takes place on this canvas.
Tutorials will be added to the OP as they become available.
-Forge Hub has a series of tutorial videos on YouTube. [YouTube playlist]
-Twilight Gap has a conversion from old Forge pieces to their new equivalent. [NeoGAF post]
Man this post on reddit is really great demonstration of how the new forge features can make effects and atmosphere so much better. He demonstrates a thunderstorm and lava:
Matchmaking requirements. If you want your map to even be considered, it is recommended that you follow these guidelines.
With Halo 5, sharing maps has been changed. This is taken from the Halo Waypoint press release for Cartographer's Gift. "At launch, Forge will support a basic implementation of File Browser, which will allow you to bookmark, play, and share maps and modes created by players on your active roster. This doesn’t require a 'mutual' friendship, but only that you follow the player you want to grab a map from. From the player details page, you’ll be able to view a player’s files and their bookmarks. To grab a map or mode, simply bookmark the file, and it’ll be ready to play in custom games or open up in Forge."
In order to make sure everyone can access each other's maps, there has to be a way for everyone to see each other's Gamertags. So when you want to submit a map, follow the first link below. Fill it out having the following information on hand: your NeoGAF username, a link to your NeoGAF profile, your Gamertag, a link to your Xbox profile, and the map name. So for example, if I were filling it out for a map called "Intercession", it would look like this:
To get your NeoGAF profile link, select your name in the top right and either right-click and select "Copy Link Address" or simply select "Your Profile". If you do the latter, just copy the url. To get your Xbox profile link, it requires a bit more work. Go to Xbox.com while signed in. Select your Gamertag + Gamer picture and then pick "Profile" from the dropdown menu. The url should end with "xr=mebarnav". Remove this and put in your Gamertag. If you have spaces, they must be replaced with "%20". The reason for requiring the NeoGAF profile link is to try and keep it to just NeoGAF users. The Xbox link is so it is easier to find the gamertag on Xbox.com.
When you want to get something from another player, just follow the second link. It should take you to an Excel file with all of the submissions. I'll be monitoring it fairly closely to make sure it isn't getting spammed and bombarded with false submissions.
Form link: http://goo.gl/forms/zvbgU3uePP
Excel link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/111YRk_4aKJr1oLvIZ6GrNfGsflbsZTHl28WwqqIPZKc/edit?usp=sharing
We also have HaloGAF’s resident Community Cartographer, Nokyard, to answer any questions about Halo 5 Forge. Him and other cartographers will be lurking this thread for maps that could potentially be in Matchmaking.
Report a bug
Win some money
Forgehub is having a 2v2 map contest! First place gets 500 bucks
Forgehub is having a 2v2 map contest! First place gets 500 bucks
Building the Biggest Forge Yet: Halo Waypoint
Pictures and GIFs
[Youtube - 343 Industries] Building the Biggest Forge Yet
[Youtube - 343 Industries] Cartographer's Gift Livestream starting at Forge(thanks to nillapuddin). Approx. 30 minutes long.
[Youtube - Gamespot] Halo 5 Forge walkthrough
[Youtube - Gamespot] Halo 5 Antifreeze walkthrough
[Youtube - 343 Industries] The Sprint Episode 3
[Youtube - 343 Industries] The Sprint Episode 4
Thanks to nillapuddin, for providing me with video links(without even realizing it)
Thanks to NOKYARD, for his help with the OT.
Thanks to the HaloGAF Spartan Company for doing nothing.
Thanks to Bungie, for making Forge in the first place.
Thanks to 343 Industries, for making such a huge improvement to Forge and putting it in Halo 5.