WELCOME TO FORGE LIFE!

Hey, fellow Forgers, welcome to Forge Life!

You can use either the Site Navigation Bar to the left or the Site Index link right above here.

Look around, find what you need, and (PLEASE) let me know if it was helpful. Also, if you can't find the answer, ask!

Big Point: Leave TONS of Comments, I really want to know what you think of the site and Handbook.

Don't ask about tagging, I wrote a guide for that, you can get there from the sidebar on the left.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Time for some Goosin'! RACE!

Coming to you from Zebra505, we have yet another game type article. This time we'll be covering the Race Game Type. I'll let Zebra do the rest (I'll put in your links later dude, posting from the phone).

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Contents:

1) Before Starting
2) Spawning
3) Checkpoints
4) Items
5) Teleporters
6) Flow/Time/Traps
7) Safe/Kill Zones/Mines
8) Final Touches
9) Play Testing

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Before Starting:

Before you start making your map two things need to be decided:

1) What map will you use? This is simple enough. The most common two choices are Forge World and Tempest. It would be best to stick to these maps because they have the largest forge pallets and also offer the most versatile Forge spaces.

2) What vehicle will you use? This is one of the most important decisions you will make. What type of vehicle will your map be designed for? There are a few vehicles to choose from, the mongoose, warthog, ghost, and banshee. The mongoose and warthog are the most common vehicles to see in a race map. Once you decide what vehicle to use you need to stick with it. All the elements of your track need to be tailored to your specific vehicle choice. Other types of transport may be able to run your course, but selecting one main vehicle creates a better race experience.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Re-Inventing the Juggernaut


Alrighty, so, now that I've finally got some time to write, I've developed a slight backlog of posts! So be checking back every other day to see a new post for at least the next week. Right now, You'll be seeing my own article on the Juggernaut Game Type, with information on the different settings available and what they might mean for gameplay coming after I get a chance to look them over again. You'll also be seeing posts on the Race Game Type, with tips and tricks to help you craft masterful tracks from Zebra505, as well as a CTF article from UrM4mm4, the creator of Crucible, which I featured a few weeks or so ago. Hopefully we'll also see articles on Headhunter and at least one more Game Type in the same line up. I'll also be featuring another map, so keep your eyes peeled for that.


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One would think that creating a play space for a game that entails an immensely powerful being running around decimating a group of people who are on a continuous quest to kill it wouldn't take much thought. They would be right, sort of.

The biggest point to make for Juggernaut, especially now that the Juggernaut is restricted to the Gravity Hammer, is that a map like Hemorrhage would not work very well; with the huge expanses that the Juggernaut would have to cross, vehicles that could dart and weave around him, dealing far more damage over a much greater amount of time than any other player could, and the few tight spaces available, players would spend most of their time grabbing those vehicles, and long range weapons, and take turns taking pot-shots at the Juggernaut as he hopelessly tries to find them, or cowers in the base or the cave. The Quintessential Stalemate ensues.

(If you haven't already, click below to see more)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Special/Color Effects RAWK!

As an Update, I added a Twitter account for the site, so go ahead and follow ForgeLife on Twitter for bite-sized tips and updates from us! Yes, us, there are two of us now (mwuahahahahahahah!) here at Forge Life.


I've also noticed that I didn't have anything even close to regarding the Special Effects Items in Forge 2.0! So, for my forgetfulness, and for me not updating in forever, here is a list of the effects, their effects, and a few combinations you can use to make them rawk!


I'll be keeping this as a separate post, so you'll see it in the sidebar!


If you haven't already, open the full post to see their combinations.
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Effects
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Effect                       Does

Juicy                Saturation ++, Brightness -, Vibrance +, Contrast ++, Light (effectiveness of lights on map) ++, Hue (n/a)

Next Gen          Saturation -, Brightness -, Vibrance =, Contrast +, Light (effectiveness of lights on map) =, Hue (Grey)

Color Blind        Saturation ----, Brightness =, Vibrance =, Contrast =, Light (effectiveness of lights on map) =, Hue (B&W)

Purple              Saturation --, Brightness --, Vibrance -, Contrast -, Light (effectiveness of lights on map) -, Hue (Purple)

Orange            Saturation ++, Brightness --, Vibrance +, Contrast ++, Light (effectiveness of lights on map) -, Hue (Orange)

Green              Saturation --, Brightness -, Vibrance -, Contrast --, Light (effectiveness of lights on map) --, Hue (Green)

Pen & Ink        Saturation =, Brightness ++, Vibrance +, Contrast +++, Light (effectiveness of lights on map) +++, Hue (n/a)

Old Timey        Saturation ---, Brightness -, Vibrance -, Contrast +, Light (effectiveness of lights on map) -, Hue (Sepia)

Nova               Saturation -, Brightness ++++, Vibrance +, Contrast --, Light (effectiveness of lights on map) ++, Hue (White)




Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Updates to PRO TIPS Section [12/14/2010]

The Pro Tips section has been updated, nearly quadrupling its content, with more on the way, the current line-up is as follows:




#1) Precision Editing


#2) "Game Type Specific" Toggle


#3) Man Cannons  (NEW!)


#4) Shield Doors    (NEW!)


#5) Health Packs   (NEW!)


#6) Devices
     - The Reactor   (NEW!)
     - Jump Pads     (NEW!)




Sources:


BadCompany BrikJonzorz 124That SpazamatazCaptain FurglerGodlyPerfectionKirov 099, and Myself, The Ardly374.




You can access the page via the navigation bar to the left, or here (<---LINK).




It may seem like a minor update, but the information in these, however mundane, when used correctly, can make the difference between your make being playable and people wanting to play your map.




Be looking for moar updates, I just finished with school for the year, time to kick ass and take names.




ALSO! I started up (ok, I'm using the one I've had for 8 years) an AIM account to use for this site, on top of the already integrated chat function. The UN is "ardly374." Surprised? I thought not. Hit me up, but understand that I'm not your bitch, ok?




Stay l337.



Thursday, December 2, 2010

Can haz a Featured Map?


So I got a map for you guys, from the coolest parent evar, the wonderfully boisterous, UrM4mm4!

He calls it Crucible, my Hammer Sprees call it home.






video


Click for Moar!




To begin, a basic layout of 2 minute Photoshop gloriousness.

Gray= ground level
Blue= Upper level
Yellow= Ramp
Red= Window
Black= Wall




This map has TONS of stuff on it, a Hammer, Sniper, Rocket, dead bodies, and even a great view out the window by the Sniper. Be careful not to try to hard to get the Falcon, you will get dead.


To better explain all the stuff on this map, I made a pretty picture:

TA-EFFIN-DA!




It is a pretty sweet map, tons of movement paths, plenty of places to camp, and even more ways to get around those places. which makes camping balanced, and ok. There are jump strategies to be had, grenade bounces to be exploited, and lots of pretty things to look at, all the while killing each other mercilessly. GET TO IT.



M4mm4 did a great job on this map, download it (<--Link), play it, and support it, because you know you want to.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Just some stuff

I work retail, I'm in college, I have a son, I have a fiance, I have bills to pay, Forgetacular submissions are due by the 30th, Black Friday is this Friday, I'm working 40 hours a week, I picked up Assassins Creed: Brotherhood (sweet game btw), and am also still doing some stuff in New Vegas (also rather enjoyable) as well as maintaining a presence at a small number of other communities around the web, such as Bnet and Reaching Perfection. Time is rather tight lately.

I am still working on more stuff for this page, and will be releasing all of it all at once. The site will most likely be down during the update, which I would expect to see soon after the first of the month. I am also still looking for authors for some of the articles that need written still. If you are interested, email me at cabarry374@yahoo.com and I will get back to you on how things will work from there.

Long story short: I've been super busy lately, but I haven't forgotten about you guys, I just haven't gotten anything up to my standards for posting, but a lot of stuff is close.

Stay 1337.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Moar Stuffs 4 Chu! Invasion Slayer stuffs too!

I told you guys I've been working on some new stuff, and I have, I just haven't been able to post it. I'll take some time out of the schedule for this one for yas though, which is pretty fair. So yeah, here goes, first post from the iPhone.




To start things off, I've actually been looking for more ways to make this site interactive to the viewer, to make is so that things are easier to find, easier to comment on, and for the viewer to have ways to ask questions to me directly. What I've found is that you viewers, as a whole are much more comfortable talking to me directly via this Meebo chat function than actually posting your questions. The chat boxes purpose is not to replace the Request Help section, otherwise I would have titled it as such and removed the other one. The chat box is for having conversations with me, asking about sections of the site, getting help with the site itself, stuff like that. So many of the questions I am asked are covered in this Handbook, many of those, quite explicitly. I have made this guide as easy to navigate as possible, I can't do much more. So yeah. chat me up, but if you ask me a question not related to navigating the site, expect to be directed to the request help page.




NOTE: This will be appended to the Invasion Experiences guide.


When crafting games for Invasion Slayer, both in the map design and game type editing, you are actually doing something rather peculiar. The game is best explained as a team King of the Hill game, where points are earned via kills and where hill captures lead to bonuses that assist in the gathering of kills. On top of that, you have to consider the fact that your map and game type will have to be able to cope with three different sets of weapons and abilities that are available to the player, at all times; you don't have the luxury of leaving the jet pack areas near the end of a game inaccessible, players should be able to traverse the entirety of the map for the entirety of the game. They should also WANT to use the whole map, much unlike during games on Boneyard where the regular Invasion start point is basically never seen. You can't make the map super huge and expect it to just play well, you have to make it so that players can traverse it from nearly every start point in a timely fashion; this is further assisted by the players ability to choose their spawns.

Setting up a map for Invasion Slayer is actually quite simple. Your Spawn System will be very similar to regular Invasion, save that it wont have to have a linear progression, it could simply adjust itself for the addition of Jetpacks, rotate spawn locations around the map, or push players to spawn closer and closer together as the Tiers are unlocked. The rest of the map should be set up to play well as a BTB slayer map, as well as having  accommodations for the vehicles you will likely have spawn in during the later rounds. You will then need to place your hills, which don't need to be placed equidistant (equally far) from each team, but do need to be at least a certain length away, so that it is not extremely easy for any one team to control them; think of this bit as being akin to Stockpile, making it so that some territories are easier for some teams to get, some are rather equal, and the rest are favoring the other team. Just remember not to give too much favoritism at any given point. 



Something to consider would be making it so that areas of the map become available with the new Tiers being unlocked, just like in regular Invasion, things like this will really open up your map and make playing on it interesting, removing any feeling of the game being too long or drawn out.

Game Type Settings will be discussed in further detail in the future, just remember that you get to choose the rewards for hill captures for both sides, as well as 3 sets of Loadouts for both sides.


Stay 1337.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Well... THAT took forever...

Sorry it's been so long, I've had a long week myself. Finals were approaching (which finally ended last night) and I had quite a few issues on the family front. Anywho, now that I have A WHOLE FRIGGIN' DAY off of work, and have no homework to speak of, or child to deal with, for that matter (Yay Grandparents!), I can get some work done here, for all of you. Be grateful my slaves (O.o).


But seriously, I've been pouring loads of time into my maps recently, and have a couple to add to the mix, as well as update a few that are there. Trifecta, one of the first maps I announced, is in progress at the moment, and looks gorgeous. I even discovered an Anti-Gravity trick last week that I've implemented  into the map, and will be using extensively for my Super-Grifball variant; I hope to make a special Game Type specifically for this anomaly, but that will wait.


Basically, you guys sit tight, I can't update as often as I used to, but I still do, and still will. I'll be spending this morning wrapping up some work on some maps, taking screen shots, and then, as soon as I am able, coming here to post them. Forgive me if they format badly, I'll be testing an app for my iPhone to see if it truly is a viable option for posting on the go.

So yeah, head back here later tonight and tomorrow and be looking for Stickler, Trifecta, a couple others (if I remember correctly), and some additions to the various guides.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The FAQs of Forge Life

When it comes to this site, I can understand if navigation can be quite a hurdle for those trying to find specific bits of information. For instance, I am constantly asked questions about how to tag items and what certain tags do; I remember putting together a very pointed and expansively descriptive chart, along with it's own appendations and paragraphs explaining each and every column. I can't understand why people can't find it, so here goes: a guide for the guide.


To the left, you can see a Toolbar with links to all of the Important Areas of the Site.

Index and Updates


- An Index of all of the Articles of the Forge Handbook, along with a log of all of the updates and additions to the guide and site.

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Map Design [Under Construction]




- An Index of the Map Design Articles, with Overviews of each one as well as an over view of map design and resources for level design.


Advanced Object Settings [Under Construction]


- Instructions on the settings available to each Item.


Pro Tips [Under Construction]


- Information on Topics such as Precision Editing, Rotation Snap, and using items as rulers and other measurement help.


Design Workflow


- An example of the workflow that I usually use when building my maps, useful for those getting started, helps you get an idea of how many different things you actually have to do to make a map in Forge 2.0.


Visual Aides


- Visual representations of a map layout with EVERY objective game set up on them, in positions best set up to fit the map.


Spawning Guide


- An explanation of the items located under the SPAWNING tab in the ITEM SELECTION menu in Forge 2.0. Also discusses good spawning practices.

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Game Type Design


- An Index of the Game Type Design Articles as well as a guide written to help create Maps and Game Types that work together, creating an experience rather than just a game.


Specific Game Type Design [Under Construction]


- The Big One, Design recommendations for each specific Game Type, save Invasion, which has it's own.


Crafting Invasion Experiences [Under Construction]


- A guide written specifically for Invasion Design, covers map building, objectives, tagging, spawning, and all.


The Tagging Chart


- A HUUUUGE Chart that covers the applications of EVERY Tag available in Forge 2.0, it also functions as the "required objects" guide for this site, as it lists if Tags MUST be present on items in the map for it to work for certain Game Types.


Un-Orthodox Tagging


- Information on non-intended uses for tags that can prove quite helpful. Don't see something posted? Put it in a comment and I'll add it to the site with you credited beside it!

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My Maps


- An archive, with images, of Maps I have made.


Game Type Archive


- An Archive of the different Game Types I've developed.

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Above, you'll find links to the various Pages that make up the backbone of the Site, such as the Home Page, The Index (Again), the Q&A Thread, a link back to the Bnet OP, and a page about me, the Author.


You might also notice the chat window to the left as well. If it says that I'm available, look at the status to see what I'm up to, and start chatting. I might even start chatting with you, if you've changed your "nickname." To do so, just click on it, type over it, and then click in a blank space. To use the chat window, click in the lower white bar, type, and hit enter. Only drawback is that you have to keep a window of the blog open to use it. It does, however, carry over your nickname to the next time you visit, so I'll be able to notice return visitors and the like.


Remember to leave lots of Comments, and head back the the OP at Bnet through the so more people come this way.


Stay l337.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Invasion Guide has seen Big Updates.

Check it out peeps! There is a link to the guide in the side bar, so click it to get there. I have added large amounts of information on both Spawning AND Objectives as well as helpful information for when and where to use them and in what ways.

Coming soon:

More Visual Aides

Invasion Slayer Guide

More Map Construction Help

Guide to Gated Items


Also, I PUT SOME MORE PICS UP! In the "My Maps" link to the left, I've put up more maps, and more images. For some reason, it hasn't completely updated and is showing a draft version of the post, when I fix that, it will show even MORE. So yeah, check that out and hit my File Share for anything you think you might like.

Stay 1337.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hoarders? EW, GROASE!!!

So mister G-Perf (like the only guy who actually comments on this damn blog more than once) did some dirty with some Game Type settings and a baby popped out. It became known as Hoarders, a variant on Headhunter where all players are fully camouflaged, have evade, and posses sniper rifles with infinite ammo and a one hit kill ability that literally knocks 'em dead. Here's the catch: The capture point doesn't spawn till the 10 seconds before the end of the round, and it covers the entire map. The point of the game is to gather as many skulls as you can, and then hide, the main problem? More like problems, you have multiple other invisibles trying to kill you the whole time AND, if you happen to be holding a skull, you lose your motion tracker! Add to that that you can only carry up to 10 skulls and you begin to understand this beast's intentions.

So far it's been pretty successful, with the only issue being host switches, which reset respawn and spawn timers; this essentially voids the entire current round, but makes for some fun gameplay when the stakes cease to exist and every one is running and gunning all at once.

Basically, I got bored and decided to do some thinking. I haven't noticed any custom maps being used for Hoarders, nor did I see any maps that really worked well with the coupling of this game type with smaller rosters of players. This led to taking pencil and inking pen to paper and making glorious scribbles.


Basically, I drew two maps and some other stuff. 

I feel that the "skull catch" is the most interesting, and I feel I could use it in many different situations. The concept works like a basket with a funnel that makes the skulls that fall "off" the map fly into the sky and either fall "on" the map or take the trip again.


The thing you see below that is a concept for a Hoarders map for up to 6 people (more if testing proves otherwise). It is 4 wall doubles by 4 Wall doubles with two floors. 3 ways up, 11 down, and walls everywhere(ish), it should make for more interesting gameplay for those smaller games. It should also work well for small slayer matches.


Now, for the other one, little bit in the corner. Imagine a capitol "O" with a capitol "H" over it, that is the shape of the four stacked floors. On either side, there are stairs that go either up or down to the next level. One would have to do a vertical zig zag to reach the top. It, being on bridges, will have a skull catch, which I will take SS's of. It also should have purple, next gen, and color blind along with forced color Gold for when they players move and lose slight bits of camo, to make it easier to see them.


Moar Later

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

HAY! I've been working on some new maps.



I've been working on a sweet Castle Map for Invasion Game Types, it hasn't seen spawns placed just yet, nor objectives, but it HAS been set up so that the draw bridge is fully functional on the switch from Phase 1 to Phase 2 and the Throne slides to the side and a wall slides up on Phase 2 to Phase 3. Here are some kick-ass schreenshawts.











I also did some work towards one of my arena maps, The Thunderdome. I'm still working on fixing the teleporter spawn in's and will be releasing two versions, one for classic arena play, where two players fight to the death each round (the only issue I have found is that the game puts the same two players in the ring at once every round), and one for elimination and continuous games (which is already working quite well).






A spin off of this concept is also in the works where up to eight players can spawn in separate arenas, fight to the death, move to new ones, fight their new opponents, and continue till the last man is left alive. Teleporters will be used to force movement at the end of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd minutes of each round, and if both players are somehow still alive, they will both put in the next "ring."



I have some other maps that are complete or nearing completion as well, such as Bone-Saw, formerly known as Bellows, which has seen a redesign of the bases, as well as fixed objectives; it now supports Assault, CTF, Territories, Infection, Stockpile (don't trust me on that one) and Juggernaut.

U-Turn is soon to be revisited and adjusted to be more visually appealing.

Playing off of Godly Perfection's Inception Concept, I too have made some infinite loop-esque maps, including Ascendant Nightmare, a dark, vertical spiral, of crossed ramps and eerie ambient sound. Ascendant Night mare is finished and in my file share. I have also done considerable work on Hexception, where the direction of the ramps is influenced by hexagonal pillars instead of square based pillars and a version of his original with flipped ramps and lips to make travel between levels possible during games such as Flatline, a game type developed by Godly Perfection.

The End Game Map has seen only a few adjustments and I have tasked a few of my Xbox Live friends to finish the objectives and spawning so that the screenshots can be taken and the Invasion Guide finished.

My Coagulation remake has seen a serious overhaul of parts of the bases and some weapon layouts to further account for Reach scale and the optimum placement of objectives in the center offset by the imperative ROCKET SPAWN, as well as the addition of Active Camo, Oversheild, and the Banshee Carney Hole above Blue Base.

I can't think of much else that I'm doing, but be sure that it is a lot more than I could hope to fit in this post.

Keep reading, stay 1337.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

And the Train Kept a' Rollin'... [BIG UPDATES]

...Just don't stop.




PRECAP (Like a recap, just earlier) : Invasion and Spawning Guides have seen Major Updates, more below.






Hits are slowly climbing back up to what they used to be, thanks much for the support, but I've still noticed that no one is commenting. I've continuously told you, my readers to challenge information if you think it to be wrong or to help me add to the collection. I DO get hundreds of UNIQUE hits everyday, and I am looking for others to help with the upkeep of this site; but all I have at this moment are persons I trust that aren't competent enough to make original content with this kind of content and competent persons I don't quite trust with access to the finer points of this page.

Start commenting and this will become more than just a resource with an attached image gallery (of only one person's work, which I would like to rectify), it will become an online community in itself. We've already got more Forge 2.0 Technical content than ANY other location online, INCLUDING Johnny O'Than' s new "ForgeWorld" group. 

I would like to thank him, however, because he has finally provided the few nuggets of information that I have been trying to discover for some time now relating to Spawn Ordering and Respawn Influencers. But, before I get into that, and the implications he seems to love to ignore to explain (that, my friends, is the edge I will ALWAYS push myself to have), I'd like to remind everyone that the Invasion Guide has seen another installment and has only 2 or three more to go before I'll deem it complete, which shouldn't be long now.

Also, to anyone who may or may not read this, I am not conceited, nor do I find myself better than Bungie, I, just like anyone else with even an average intellect, am simply able to tell if their is more water (information) in one glass (my blog) than another (Bungie's Guides).

Click "Read More" to see the rest of the information on Respawn Influencers (Regular, Weak, and Anti Respawn Zones) or go to the side bar and check the Spawning Guide to see if I've had a chance to update that bit yet.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Roll The Dice...

...'Cause it's time for the End Game.

I've been working as around the clock as possible to finish up the comprehensive Invasion Guide, making visual aides, writing bits here and there, finding the right wording for processes and concepts, and making sure I take into account that I am biased towards explosions.

The latest addition, even newer than the stuff I haven't shown you yet, is the super delicious map, currently known as End Game, and guess what. I've got SCHREENSHAWTS GALORE.

You are about to do this right hur...

0.0 .... :D

...so click to see the rest.





Saturday, October 9, 2010

Soooo...I've been busy.

Quick update, just wanted everyone to know that I'll have the rest of the Invasion Guide up as soon as possible. New classes, more work, more baby, some slack shall be cut, by you. But for reals, maybe you could comment on the other stuff.

Also, I apologize for the broken links in the Sidebar, which have been fixed, and the broken links in the index, which I haven't yet gotten to. Give me a little bit, I'll get it going.

Stay 1337.


[UPDATE]

After work tonight, I plan on cleaning up the whole of the blog, testing all of the links, and fixing any information that might need it, as well as replacing the Respawn Zone visual aides.

PLEASE, let me know if you see anything that needs fixing so that I can get it done faster.


Also, "Bellows" has been renamed "Bone-Saw" and is ready for play testing. Let me know if you want in on it. You must friend request me, I'm not going to type in every GT sent to me and sit there for an hour adding all of you. Sorry 'bout that, just not my cup of tea.


HEY! We just passed 1,000 unique hits this last weekend, thanks for everything, sending people here, and coming back; this stuff takes motivation like that.


Stay 1337.


[MOAR UPDATE]


Um...I think I broke it...


So I was sitting in Forge...and I think I just exploded Forge World. I decided to build another Invasion Map, but in reverse of what I had in The Bladed Isle, and much more ridiculous. For starters, I had no idea that I'd be able to do this much with the budget, it's just insane how much I've been able to fit on this map, and have only used 2/3 of it. Just keep your eyes peeled for when I post images of the different areas and buildings and such and for when I post invitations for play testing.

Also, there shouldn't be any broken links anymore.

Stay 1337.


[Quickie Update]

I had, like, 3 minutes to spare this morning, so I made this:

Difference Clouds FTW!

I call it, "Fix your spawns Bungie."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Setting Up An Exceptional Invasion Experience [Updated: 1/20/2011]

[This post is long, drawn out and has multiple sections; I am not yet able to control your scroll bar with hyperlinks, so use the Post's Index to get a general idea of ordering. Oh yeah, don't forget to click on the Post's title or "read more" to see the rest of the post!]


As always, let me know if you see something missing, but do remember that this specific post is being pieced together over time and that, if you see a placeholder item, I'm most likely going to get to it. You are also encouraged to challenge the information here; don't go off insulting me or my intelligence, but if you see it a different way, let me know as the opinion of others is greatly appreciated.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Index:


Items tagged [Incomplete] are in progress, while those tagged [Coming Soon] have yet to be started. Finished Items are tagged with their original completion date, updates with be noted below them.


Introduction [10/05/10]


Choices [10/05/10]
Updated: [10/14/10]


Map Construction [Incomplete]


Placing Objectives [10/27/10]


Spawning [10/28/10]


Visual Aides [1/20/2011]


Invasion Slayer [11/13/10]


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Introduction:


The main issue with custom content Invasion Maps is that they are just that, maps; when designing for Invasion, you must think of it as an experience, not just the map, not just the game type. Imagine playing a Gladiator or Mortal Combat game type on Hemorrhage, or a Fat Kid (Infection) Map, with a normal Infection Variant; the maps require the specifically crafted game types to work and play the way they are meant to.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Choices:


In making maps for the Invasion game type one must think of certain things, such as whether they want Spartans or Elites to be the Invaders, what the objectives will be in each phase, what areas will be accessible during each phase, what weapons, armor abilities, and vehicles will best accent those spaces, and how the player will decide to move about them. In this guide, we will travel through the series of choices one must make in planning an Invasion Experience.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


First Choice:


Who will be the attacking team? Spartans? Elites? It does matter, and it is extremely important that you take into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of each, such as the Spartans smaller hit-box and more acute maneuverability, or the Elites greater strength, speed, and their ability to fully recharge their health. Thinking of this, the Spartans will have an advantage in tighter spaces, until the Elites are right on top of them, and the Elites will be better suited to covering large distances with sparse cover, but will not do well in close quarters if outnumbered, even if the player is usually quite competent in those situations.


This is influenced by the Team Color of spawn points, objectives, and, most importantly, THE GAME TYPE SETTINGS. Building the map for attacking Spartans and using Invasion: Boneyard will definitely cause unpleasant gameplay.


Second Choice:


What layout will you use for the Phases? Between Assault, Capture the Flag (Core), and Territories, there are 27 different permutations to choose from. For example, Bungie's Variants are Territories, Territories, CTF, on both Boneyard AND Spire.


Third Choice:


Now that you know how you are going to do the Phases Objectives, you need to decide how each Phase will play, and how you will segue (sehg-way) between them. Will the first phase require that the attackers overpower a set of vehicles and then defend themselves as they wait for the bomb to arm? How much distance will they have to cover? Will there even be vehicle combat at this point? What kind of cover will be available? How spread out will the fire teams be? Will there even be spawns for the specific fire teams?


Fourth Choice:


Are you finally going to build the damn map? YES. So do it.


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Map Construction:




Now that it is time to build the map, you need to understand some dos and don'ts of objective placement.




For Territories:


Make sure that the Territory has multiple access points, is not free standing (meaning that it has a wall or something against it), can't be blasted by the enemy tank (if applicable), and doesn't function as a grenade funnel (ribbing to catch grenades is one thing, but a two by two slot in the wall is a no-no; think about the Territories for Phase 2 on Spire, if a grenade explodes on one side, and you are hiding in the other, it only does about half of a melee worth of damage because it's far enough away).


Depending on the layout of your map, it may be better to have 1 Territory instead of two, but make it larger and/or encompass more rooms or floors than just one.




For Assault:


Make sure the bomb spawns in a place that the defenders can't easily camp, especially from a distance. Also, depending on how long you want it to take to arm and detonated, you will need to adjust the defendability and/or distance from the defenders and attackers spawns. For an interesting twist, you could spawn the bomb on top of the capture point, maybe set it as one second arm and detonate, that could be fun. For real.


Make sure that the path to the bomb plant point is easily traversable, with good cover, long sight lines for the attackers to provide cover and keep watch of their teams' backs. Also make sure to provide some choke points, even if only one, for the defenders to have advantage in some locations.




For CTF:


Have an interesting, multilevel, area, with multiple entrances and no perfect cover for the core to spawn, or don't, a cluster fuck is a cluster fuck. Exits should exist on all levels, with multiple on the the main level and bottom level (gravity influences gameplay big time). Place the capture point in an aesthetically pleasing location that can be accessed rather easily, without a chance of automatic core reset (capture point on bridge over water, core falls in water, resetfail).


Make sure that you follow the same rules for that path as the bomb travel path, and make multiple paths the player can take if you can. You can make it more open, and quite vulnerable, if you want, but make sure to give the attackers good paths to the main path or paths.


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Moving On:


Now that you have a better understanding of how to make Objective spaces work, how to craft their entrances, exits, and how to keep it fair between attacking and defending teams; take note that I only said "better." Now, with that said, some of you may very well understand this bit, and would like to be moving on, so we will.




When you actually build the map, there is a good chance that you wont want to follow Bungie's example to a 't,' that you wont want everything to be completely linear as it is in Spire and, to only a slightly lesser degree, Boneyard. The reason Boneyard is different is because it has the player backtrack almost directly toward earlier play spaces when attempting to capture the core.


Because of this, you may also want to have some areas serve multiple purposes, which is imperative for smaller maps, and can also lead to much more interesting games, (here comes the important bit) when done correctly. For example, using the Bomb Travel path(s) as the Flag Travel path(s) can be a good move, but if too few options are available to the player, which could be caused by paths not being accessible while traveling in the "retreat" direction (specifically, when the have the core), could make the available paths become the proverbial cluster fucks I was referencing, because they would be very predictably traveled, and very easily camped.


With those things said, we all know that you can choose to stack objectives in a certain area across the Phases, but take into consideration that Invasion is mean to have a progression, to be linear to a point, and that that same progression is what is needed to keep the gameplay alive and to save it from feeling dull.


It is a good idea to make your players have to travel to reach a destination, say, the Objectives, but if you make them travel long distances on foot, continuously, they will soon lose interest in the tedious nature of the gameplay. To be honest, Spire's first phase is not truly successful in this, especially with the transition to the second, as the objectives are behind access points, behind paths, behind entrances, meaning you have to walk across a large portion of the map, only to navigate the inside of a smaller space, which can end up taking as long as the first bit, only to have to go through yet another transition into the objective space; the terrain preference towards the attacking team in the first Phase does balance this out, but gameplay is still tedious.


Provide faster ways to reach the destination, whether they be Man Cannons, Vehicles, or what have you, but remember to counterbalance them with something for the defending team. Make the Man Cannon take shields away, but drop a player in an area that is stil relatively safe, or have them be shot out in to the open, so the defenders can see them coming, or take potshots at them. You could make the area leading directly into the destination tighter, causing people to have to decide whether or not to ditch their vehicles, or give the defenders a vehicle deterrent, preferably one that is more effective against vehicles and less effective against players themselves, so as not to be overpowered. There are so many ways that these experiences can be made interesting, ways that areas can come together, that there is almost no reason to have duplicate objective systems within ones own creations; even if you do Territories, Territories, CTF in four maps, you can stil make them play very differently, which will keep your selection, and subsequent gameplay, fresh.






Placing Objectives [Incomplete]:


During an Invasion Game, as you should well know by now, you are able to place numerous objectives, and can do so a number of ways. For instance: Territories, Plant Points, and Capture Points, all require areas, and can be active at the same time (Say what?!?). If you were to place two Territory objectives on a map, with a bomb spawn set to the same phase (also in the game type settings), you would have the option of capturing the Territories OR planting a bomb at any one of them. This goes the same for spawns for the Power Core, it just doesn't explode and is instant upon entering the zone rather than counting down to arm and then again to detonate; this is important to consider as core carriers tend to be made slower than other players, as well as bomb carriers, and bomb carriers are also able to punch for a one shot kill while core carriers are quintessential sitting ducks.


Once again, take note that Territories, Plant Points, and Capture Points all require that an area be set to function (and that this area cannot function with a zero for any horizontal axis value or zeros for both vertical values at the same time; i.e. you should be able to see the barrier).


So, aside from setting up dual objective phases and confusing the hell out of players, you can also make games simple to play, just remember that.


[Also, just because I just thought of it right now as I typed this, I'm making an Invasion Football game, and it's going to kick your ass. BTW, I'm not a sports fan, so don't expect biased gameplay, it will function as best as the system allows; I DO actually know the rules and how the game works, I just find watching other people play it boring and would rather be doing it myself.]


UPDATE: I made it, the map is Titled The Gridiron and the Game Type is Titled, Running the Gauntlet, both are in my fileshare and displayed in the "My Maps" link to the left.





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- OBJECTIVES -
Step By Step:




Territories -


1. Place Hill Marker


(You can use a Flag Stand, Capture Plate, or even other items, but try to stick to what you know, or do your own experimentation to figure out which ones will work for you.)


2. Hit "X" - Select "Advanced"
3. Set "Team" to Attacking Team Color
- Blue - Elites
- Red - Spartans
4. Set "Spawn Order" to the Phase in which it will be active (1,2, or 3)
5. Adjust the Size and Shape via the Area settings near the bottom
6. Set the Tag to "INV_OBJECTIVE"
7. Place the object where you want it








Bomb Spawn -


1. Place Hill Marker


(You can use a Flag Stand, Capture Plate, or even other items, but try to stick to what you know, or do your own experimentation to figure out which ones will work for you.)


2. Hit "X" - Select "Advanced"
3. Set "Team" to Attacking Team Color
- Blue - Elites
- Red - Spartans
4. Set "Spawn Order" to the Phase in which it will be active (1,2, or 3)
5. Do not set an area. The bomb will spawn at, and fall from, the bottom center of the hill
marker and can also spawn into rolling down a slope.
6. Set the Tag to "INV_OBJECTIVE_FLAG"
7. Place the object where you want it






Bomb Plant -


1. Place Hill Marker or Capture Plate


(You can use a Flag Stand or even other items, but try to stick to what you know, or do your own experimentation to figure out which ones will work for you.)


2. Hit "X" - Select "Advanced"
3. Set "Team" to Attacking Team Color
- Blue - Elites
- Red - Spartans
4. Set "Spawn Order" to the Phase in which it will be active (1,2, or 3)
5. Adjust the Size and Shape via the Area settings near the bottom
6. Set the Tag to "INV_OBJECTIVE"
7. Place the object where you want it






Core Spawn -


1. Place Hill Marker


(You can use a Flag Stand, Capture Plate, or even other items, but try to stick to what you know, or do your own experimentation to figure out which ones will work for you.)


2. Hit "X" - Select "Advanced"
3. Set "Team" to Attacking Team Color
- Blue - Elites
- Red - Spartans
4. Set "Spawn Order" to the Phase in which it will be active (1,2, or 3)
5. Do not set an area. The core will spawn at, and fall from, the bottom center of the hill
marker and can also spawn into rolling down a slope.
6. Set the Tag to "INV_OBJECTIVE_FLAG"
7. Place the object where you want it






Capture Point -


1. Place Hill Marker or Capture Plate


(You can use a Flag Stand or even other items, but try to stick to what you know, or do your own experimentation to figure out which ones will work for you.)


2. Hit "X" - Select "Advanced"
3. Set "Team" to Attacking Team Color
- Blue - Elites
- Red - Spartans
4. Set "Spawn Order" to the Phase in which it will be active (1,2, or 3)
5. Adjust the Size and Shape via the Area settings near the bottom
6. Set the Tag to "INV_OBJECTIVE"
7. Place the object where you want it



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 - SPAWNING -


To begin with, decide where you would like to have each team begin, remembering which team is attacking, which one is defending, and that Spartans are RED and Elites BLUE (sides switch every other round). Once you have, place the spawn points.


 1. Spawn an Initial Spawn Point
 2. Hit "X" - Select Advanced
 3. Set "Team" to respective team
 4. Don't bother changing other settings.
 5. Place the spawns, avoiding them facing walls and such.


Now, the hardest part of Invasion, the Respawn System:


To set up a spawn areas and locations, you will use Tagged Hill Markers. There are also a number of different types of spawn areas that can be created, via a combination of 2 factors, with two options each: Backfield Spawns vs. Forward Spawns and Team Spawns vs. Fire Team Spawns. It is important to understand that you can only choose one of those per set.


Backfield Spawns are usually near a team's Initial Spawn, while Forward Spawns are the areas that begin to become available as the Phases progress (if you would like to have forward spawns during the first phase, make sure to don't overpower their position and that you do not place too many in any single Phase, as spawning will get confusing).


NOTE: The direction that the "Spawn Point" at the base of the Hill Marker is facing is the direction that a player will spawn facing and that a player may change their spawn direction by looking around, with the rotational axis being on the center of the same Hill Marker; if they do look around, they will spawn facing the direction they are looking when the respawn timer clocks out. Because of this, do not place the Hill Markers INSIDE anything (yes, people do this, it's ridiculous).




Of course, you may want to know how to set up the Hill Markers to make them work correctly, so I'll tell you, based on the kind of Spawn Area you want and the properties they require to be changed.


Backfield Spawn (Is active for ALL Phases):
Tag: INV_RES_ZONE


Forward Spawn (Is active for ONE Phase):
Tag: INV_RES_P[X]  (Insert active phase for X)


Team Spawn:
Spawn Order: 3 or higher


Fire Team Spawn:
Spawn Order: 0, 1, or 2 (for Fire Team 1, 2, or 3, respectively)






REMEMBER: The Hill Marker is set to the team. Initial Spawns do not need to be within Hill Markers. Respawn Zones (Regular, Anti, and Weak) DO NOT influence Invasion.




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Visual Aides [Incomplete]:


READ THIS ---> The Map in the Aides is set up to play as Territories, Assault, and then CTF. It is also not to scale, and is very generalized; soon I may be able to post images of what this map would actually look like, but until then, use commons sense.


THIS TOO ---> There are multiple levels, the blue areas are ABOVE the ground level, the green areas connect the ground level to the upper levels and upper levels to higher levels even still (this map has 3 levels total). Spawns will placed as the farthest forward object, but most of these are located at ground level, save the ones placed on the blue area adjacent to, but not within, the building.


AND THIS ---> Also, the Spawning Aide will be, when added, located in a blank area, no map at all, just an organized grid to help you visualize what is required to have the spawns set up correctly. The Phase Arrangement images make it seem like I used Respawn Points, this is untrue, the Respawn Areas are simply depicted as  a grouping of Respawn Points.




General/Image Keys


Phase Arrangement












Notice also the slight change in the positioning of some of the spawn points from the second phase to the third; this is to allow for variation of movement between the forward shove of and the push-pull of CTF gameplay.






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Invasion Slayer [11/13/10]:




When crafting games for Invasion Slayer, both in the map design and game type editing, you are actually doing something rather peculiar. The game is best explained as a team King of the Hill game, where points are earned via kills and where hill captures lead to bonuses that assist in the gathering of kills. On top of that, you have to consider the fact that your map and game type will have to be able to cope with three different sets of weapons and abilities that are available to the player, at all times; you don't have the luxury of leaving the jet pack areas near the end of a game inaccessible, players should be able to traverse the entirety of the map for the entirety of the game. They should also WANT to use the whole map, much unlike during games on Boneyard where the regular Invasion start point is basically never seen. You can't make the map super huge and expect it to just play well, you have to make it so that players can traverse it from nearly every start point in a timely fashion; this is further assisted by the players ability to choose their spawns.

Setting up a map for Invasion Slayer is actually quite simple. Your Spawn System will be very similar to regular Invasion, save that it wont have to have a linear progression, it could simply adjust itself for the addition of Jetpacks, rotate spawn locations around the map, or push players to spawn closer and closer together as the Tiers are unlocked. The rest of the map should be set up to play well as a BTB slayer map, as well as having  accommodations for the vehicles you will likely have spawn in during the later rounds. You will then need to place your hills, which don't need to be placed equidistant (equally far) from each team, but do need to be at least a certain length away, so that it is not extremely easy for any one team to control them; think of this bit as being akin to Stockpile, making it so that some territories are easier for some teams to get, some are rather equal, and the rest are favoring the other team. Just remember not to give too much favoritism at any given point. 



Something to consider would be making it so that areas of the map become available with the new Tiers being unlocked, just like in regular Invasion, things like this will really open up your map and make playing on it interesting, removing any feeling of the game being too long or drawn out.

Game Type Settings will be discussed in further detail in the future, just remember that you get to choose the rewards for hill captures for both sides, as well as 3 sets of Loadouts for both sides.