Below is a summary of requests for the Halo 5 Forge by the 343i Forums community. I took the time to gather unique ideas from two separate discussion threads: This one by Urban Bobcat, and this one by Squally DaBeans, with a few addional suggestions I have of my own. I wanted to pool together the various Forge suggestions by the community for Halo 5 as a preparation for a new thread I plan to compose stating the argument for greatly expanding the Forge capabilities and the community role in aiding with the design of DLC, and how this can work to both the benefit of 343, the Forging community, and a way to assist in reviving Halo to it's rightful place at the top of FPS multiplayer games. Once I start this thread I will update this one with a link to that discussion.
Read through the summary and add any additional suggestions you may have below if there is something missing, or you are inspired by what you read and have some new thoughts or expanded ideas from the list. I will eventually create a new thread with the expanded list.
Here is a summary of what several 343i community members have requested to be part of the next Forge:
List of useful suggestions for updated forge:
What We Need Most:
*Precision editing and zoom: We had this in Reach. Apparently we don't in Halo 4 because of a bug that has not been fixed. We want it back in Halo 5 and into infinity (no pun intended). Sure, you can sort-of precision edit objects horizontally from above/below while holding objects, but there is no way to precision edit with height. Additionally, precision editing should also be possible when editing coordinates.
*Inversion: It would be nice if all asymmetrical objects had mirrored cousins. We have asked for this since forever, but having the ability to invert/mirror asymmetrical objects such as ramped platforms/buildings and other non-symmetrical objects would make symmetrical map-building, well, more symmetrical. If for anything than for its aesthetic appeal to advanced Forgers.
*Scale Object: Ability to expand dimensions of certain objects, such as blocks, natural objects, decorative, etc. This would be amazing, for obvious reasons, not the least of which means we would be able to have a larger selection of blocks/natural/inclines, but the ability to increase/decrease the dimensions, symmetrically or asymmetrically. Just think how many endless possibilities Forge would offer if we could take a standard medium rock and expand it to be as big as the rocks at the base of the Islands. There would need to be a limit to how much you could scale, and you would have to keep frame rate in mind. I would just like struts to be smaller sometimes, ya know?
*Batch Select: This includes: 1.Batch Grab, 2.Batch Duplicate, 3.Batch Editing (Basic and Advanced Settings), 4.Batch Lock/Unlock, 5.Batch Invert and Batch-Scale. (Did I miss anything? Let me know)
1.Batch-Grab: This would give the Forger the ability to “group” or interlock two or more forge objects; objects can be Batch Grabbed whether or not they are merged or even touching. Batch-grabbed objects could be moved/rotated, duplicated, lock/unlocked as is standard now in H4, batch-edited in object settings (i.e. team color, phased/fixed/normal, etc) or likewise in Advanced settings. Batch-grab would be an essential function, esp when building structures or object configurations that will be duplicated in other parts of the map. The forger would be allowed to add or drop objects/spawning from batched items.
2.Batch-Duplicate: Besides being able to move a group of batched objects simultaneously, Batched objects could also be duplicated as a group as well. This is basically the same as the duplicate tool in Halo 4, but applied to a group of objects linked by Batch-Grab.
3.Batch-Editing: As it says, Batched objects could be edited individually in basic and advanced settings, or as a group. With objective Gametypes specific objects/spawning would be have advanced settings set prior to being Batch-grabbed.
4.Batch-Lock/Unlock: Batched objects/spawning could be locked/unlocked as a group, as is now standard with H4 with individual objects/spawning. Individual objects must be released from Batch-Grab in order to be individually unlocked/moved.
5.Batch-Invert: Basically, able to invert or mirror batched items horizontally or vertically as a group. We still don't have the ability to invert individual objects such as asymmetrical buildings/platforms, etc. (see Inversion Function above Batch-Editing Function for more details).
6.Batch-Scale: Batched objects can be scaled as a group. This would give a unique opportunity for creating some hybrid symmetry between objects (hybrid symmetry is when you position two or more objects so that they align as if on the same plane, but you can only really notice this at a specific angle. This comes in handy when creating art installations.
New Object pallets:
1.More dynamic objects like the station core or the console on Impact.
2.Doors with similar properties to the Extraction targets that have a “switch” for opening/dissolving the door (think back to campaign and Spartan Ops Episodes).
3.Interactive objects like elevators, sliding doors, gates that open/close (like High Ground in Halo 3, and other varieties),
4. Adjustable Light Bridges: Remember Halo CE when you had to activate the light bridge and other Halo campaigns? If you remember, than that is what we mean. As a forge-able item we would be able to set the width/length to some extent. The Light Bridge would be customizable to team and objective gametypes, have a on/off switch option and not behave like one way shields of shield doors. It would feel like a regular bridge, but look way cooler.
5. Activation Switches: currently when we forge elevators, traps, sliding doors, etc we have to use a bunch of objects and special placements to make things work. Interactive switches would revolutionize this and would lead to even more innovative creations. The Activation Switch would probably work better than using time resetting with man cannons and crates to create elevators. One example of a switch would be a button, that when pushed, would have an expandable arm. This arm would push or thrust objects. There could be different types of switches. Some would be like a short hydraulic burst, while others would slowly extend and contract. Either of these ideas could be used as an elevator and gravity volumes. There are other uses for switches. These are just a few easily explainable examples.
6.Teledoor: This interactive object would allow forgers to essentially “cut” a door into objects like blocks walls/coliseum rock walls, two merged objects, etc. and would be able to be expandable. To understand this, think of a coliseum wall. You take this Teledoor, place it where you would like an opening, and when the object is set right the wall within the door boundaries becomes either clear or transparent, like a shield door or an object boundary. To make this work this Teledoor would function like a teleporter, with a sender/receiver node on either side, but the player would not really notice he was teleported as it would be seemless and almost instantaneous. This tool would really change the way we forge maps and would open up a flood of new ideas and designs due to less limitations.
7.Water Volumes: Think of Far Cry 3. With their map program you can add Water Volumes to map. Think of them like cousins to Gravity Volumes.
8.Fog/mist volumes. Not much description needed here. Think of Water and Gravity Volumes.
9.More varieties of all objects, especially Natural, Blocks, Decorative, Doors, Ramps and Walls, and new Palette categories.
10.Give us rocks with more forge-able properties such as at least one smooth edge, and some that are slightly curved, like curved walls, and block shapes (think Sandbox, H3. Remember building pyramids?)
11.*Add spherical to object shapes for objects (currently only Cylinder, box or none), trait zones, spawn items, etc. Experienced forgers use object shapes to define larger object boundaries and other aesthetic or symmetrical aspects of a map. As far as Spawn items go, like Safe and Kill Zones, having Spherical added to the other two shape options would make zoning some maps, such as geomtrical spheres and air-vehicle based maps easier to set boundaries.
*Dynamic coordinates and rotational points system: At the moment our coordinates and rotational system is set to fixed axis points. This works OK for basic object rotation, but it is otherwise cumbersome in many other situations where the object requires more than one axis shift. Experienced forgers can work around this, usually be finding the position you want, and then rotating the object to fit the updated coordinates. The option to use a secondary, more Advanced Mode. There are two aspects to this Advanced Coordinates System: 1. The Coordinates are fixed on the Forge Monitor itself (fixed on you and your screen's orientation). Which ever direction you face, the coordinates would move with you. When you move while holding an object the object would keep whatever orientation it had when you grabbed it. And, when you reset the object coordinates while holding the object in the Advanced Mode it would reset oriented to you, not the fixed standard coordinates system; 2. The second Advanced function would allow you to “lock” or “fix” specific coordinates. This would be very helpful when rotating an object into a position that only requires one (or two) axis directions. Currently when you rotate objects freehand you have to make fine tuning adjustments (which works easier with precision editing as an option)
*Give us more varieties of rocks, trees, bushes and include other natural items.
*Canvass and Object DLC: Basically, giving us new Standard objects (blocks, decorative, etc) with updates as DLC. We should have many more objects with the standard release anyhow, but in addition to that suggestion we would like to receive object DLCs with either add-ons to current palettes, or completely new Standard Palettes. There should be no problem with Object DLC. We have 300 GB harddrives, for the love of Pete!
*Change time of day (night/day): This can be done on the Far Cry 3 engine as well. And, as I recall, in the classic tank game Tanarus maps were either dusk dawn, day/night on their own cycle. If you played a game match long enough (Tanarus matches would last hours if possible—not like Halo matches, which are very fast paced in comparison) you would see the sun set and would be driving in night vision. From a Forge perspective, it would be nice to either set the time of day, or have a period of time elapse, like starting the game at dusk or dawn, since most games don't last that long in Halo. I miss Tanarus....
*Interchangeable pallets: This would be the ability to import the palettes of other maps (Erosion, Impact, forge Island as three examples in Halo 4). An example would be forging on Impact, but being able to exchange the Impact palette for the Forge Island palette. If you had already used some Impact objects than the Forge Island would be missing as many from it's palette (equal exchange?).
*Expand boundaries on forge maps: Some of the time spent on locking out forgers from parts of the map seems like wasted time, and frankly just annoying. Give us more areas to explore. If there is a frame rate issue, than no one will use it. But, for the love of Pete, stop locking us out of areas of the map that should not be unaccessible. Examples would be the area above the Foundary (the back corner) and the ceiling in Erosion and the cavernous areas off the Green pool and parts of the ceiling, and the Green pool (would be nice to get a green fog effect like the waters on Forge Island) or the decorative boxes surrounding the Foundary Griffball area; the far sides of the asteroids on Impact, etc. You get the point. It makes no sense and it would give hackers one less reason to hack the maps. Seems like a win win to me.
*Expanded options in Advanced settings for objects/vehicles/spawns, etc. One of these would be seeing customized gametypes that you created show up in Advanced settings lables, rather than just Slayer or CTF/Flood. This would allow Forgers to have multiple Slayer or Flood variant modes in a single map, rather than having to make multiple versions of the same map to create various game types with specific spawn locations and object/vehicle spawns. Ability to apply multilabels to specific objects or spawns. An example of this would be designating spawns or vehicles to appear in multiple gametypes, and not spawn in others.
*A(n increased) Forge Budget that does not come with specific object limitations per palette; or, in other words, just a budget and when you pick an item you see the total number of objects you have available to you, rather than just the specific object you are selecting. This would come in handy for those maps that require more bridge/platform palette items, for example, or more natural objects. After all, maps with too many reflective or other objects have decreased frame rate issues, so no matter what the Forger will have to make adjustments to get the right environment for playability anyhow. But the point is, we should have more freedom in choosing how many of a certain type of object we want to use. If we did it would be yet another reason to not be curious about modded maps with extra pieces. With this new idea of the Budget we could use 200 blocks if we so choose, it would just show us how many total objects we have less.
*Dynamic Magnetic System: This new system would be: 1. An improvement of the current system, with points in pairs at the corners and mid points of object edges in a uniform way; 2. The ability to activate/deactivate magnets, either as a whole, or selected groupings of magnetic points, allowing for rotation along certain axis points; 3. Addition of magnetic plates, which would be magnetized sides, rather than just points. The plates on objects would form polygons that could be expanded or collapsed. For example, you want to have objects slightly merged, you collapse the magnetic polygon dimensions; 4. You would have individual magnetic points and magnetic plates available in your inventory. These could be used for custom made objects, for example, or aligning natural objects, etc.; 5. Magnetic plates can be set to three basic forms: Circle, Triangle, Square. Each can have dimensions adjusted symmetrically (locked), or asymmetrically (select axis locked), to create ovals, rectangles, longitudinal triangles, trapezoids, etc.; 6. You could use magnetic plates of points to form limitless 3-D shapes, that could become the "core" of new custom objects; 7. Building upon what was mentioned with the second point, with magnetic plates you would have different properties with different magnet strengths ( weak, medium, strong); 8. Another aspect of the new magnet system is "chaining." Chaining is when three or more (usually more are link via the magnet points/plates and can be moved as one from a stationary position. The chained objects (i.e. several 1x1 blocks) can be moulded in two specific ways: a. Chained objects can be formed into pre-set forms (triangle, square, circle, polygon, hexagon, octagon, etc) or grab-dragged and twisted into organic, fluid forms. Using the batch-grab tool described earlier in this list the monitor can move the chained or batched objects and rotate them as a unit. This could come in handy for both functional and purely aesthetic purposes. Especially using tools like Invert/Mirror.
*Separate the object budget from the Spawns (initial and Respawn), and spawn zones.
*Ability to customize the loading screen screen shot in custom games for maps/custom game modes.
*Ability to use a spawn/trait zone system that can label call-out areas, such as with the standard maps in Reach. “Elbow” “Blue Room” “Infirmary” etc. There could be standard descriptions or custom labels.
*Custom Loadout labels: You would be able to add custom labels to the Game Loadouts in the same way you can label your own personal Loadouts.
*Ability to turn on/off the fuzzy loadout screen, or add other effects.
*Bring back Assault, multiflag, neutral flag/bomb, VIP, Juggernaut, Race, Invasion, Stockpile, Headhunter and other custom game types, or at least give us the level of Advanced customization options we need to create these and other new gametypes. Expand our customization options. There can be specific gametypes that come with each new Halo, which is what you see with Battlefield, but we should be able to put together any of the known custom gametypes in custom games.
*Spherical objects: These objects could be spherical, with stone, Forerunner/Covenant design, or marble like textures or reflective metal.
*Timer/Delay/Reset: Ability to set a timer, instant reset (unspawn and wait to respawn again) and delay time on object spawning. This would make creating elevators A. less expensive, less meticulous, and more functional in competitive and mini games, and B. If you need an example, think of fusion coils/kill balls. You can set them to constantly respawn by setting them with fixed, unselecting item, manipulating max/min count and nudging the object to “fall.” This does not happen as fast with crates and other non-fixed objects, and you can't get a timer/reset spawn with fixed objects like blocks or man cannons. If you could set a man cannon to spawn in coordination with a crate (or perhaps a specific elevator non-fixed object you could have a real, simple, functional elevator. And who knows what else creative forgers can come up with?!
*More dynamic grid options, such as expandable spheres/cubes/tetrahedrons and other 2D/3D polygons. This options would be useful esp if 343 does not allow terrain manipulation.
*Hybrid gametypes: This would be the ability to create gametypes that include more than one individual gametype (Think of a CTF game with Dominion locations with trait zones that can be activated when either team controls the Dominion sites (read next block); or Flood CTF, or how about Flood Griffball.
*Expanded use of trait zones connected to gametypes, such as trait zones that can be activated with gametypes, like Dominion; and the ability to have trait zones that have specific traits for one team, and a separate category of traits for the opposite team. Meaning those who control Dominion sites would have certain advantages, such as quicker shield recharge time, or camo, while the team trying to take the Dominion site might experience dampened shields, slightly slower movements or jumping, but maybe increased damage to enemies. The options are almost limitless. One example of this would in the classic pc tank game Tanarus you had CTF combined with a type of Dominion and Slayer. The Dominion aspect were these Recharge Stations where you could repair your tank, reload/modify weapon Loadouts turbo boost, rockets, mines, etc, charge batteries, etc. They start out neutral at initial game start, and teams expand their territory by capturing drone sites. If you come near an enemy recharge station you will have batteries affected, and the drone above the station would shoot you. You could not use the station until you captured it. There was usually only one team mate that was the designated flag stealer, while the rest of the team would capture drone sites and seek and destroy enemy tanks. Each game had either four teams of five tanks, or two teams of ten tanks. So, from a Halo perspective, if trait zones could be tied to gametypes like Objective items/targets in Dominion or in the older Territories, this would be interesting and add a new level of customization to the game. I know I would attempt to create the perfect salute to Tanarus by creating a similar gametype in Halo. What would make me particularly happy is if the next Halo had vehicle repair stations, where if you get your vehicle there in time the station will heal and repair your vehicle.
*Keep Green Screens
*Flood mode similar to H4 (visually speaking), but with ability to turn on/off weapon usage, as seen in modded Flood gametypes.
*Expanded Flood Gametype options, such as in previous versions (Halo 3, Reach)
*Better selection of man cannons, and perhaps an option in forge to customize the thrust properties of specific man cannons.
*More dynamic objective pallets like Dominion (I'm thinking Flood specifically)
*Gametype-specific object pallets (think Flood or Griffball or Extraction)
*New FX (Flood-like FX, etc)
*Able to label spawning items like initial spawns or respawns for multiple game specific gametypes I basic editing. Example: I want to have team spawn/respawns at same location for multiple gametypes, but not for others. Currently you need to do multiple spawn set ups if one gametype initial spawns at different location.
*Different Object Palettes for Human/UNSC, Covenant and Forerunner, Flood, Promethean, etc. The ability to change skin of object to fit one of these themed categories.
*We should have the ability to designate gametype spawns as instand vehicle spawns, (like Race Gametypes in Reach. But we should have the ability to signifiy whether it is normal spawn, or a hybrid spawn, such as spawning directly into vehicles. Please PLEASE, for the love of Pete, give Forgers this freedom. My vehicle-themed maps would be happy if you did.
*Random objects.... like scenery objects that have normal physics like the way the containers used to be on H3 oil drums, radio antenna, wire spools, dumpsters, and lets not forget exploding forklifts.
*With Trees: It would be nice to be able to change to different skins. One with leaves/needles, one with snow, one without leaves/needles, one that's dry/dead.
*Much more scenery limits and options- crates, barricades, boxes, computers, radio towers etc.
What We can live without, but don't want to:
*Fragment Editor: This would be a place or Mode where you could take any Forge item and engineer them into completely new “custom” pieces. One example would be to cut a doorway through a wall. or as far as to build an entire arena and have that available in your Forge menu as one "custom" piece. The Player can add textures and skins, and even even lights and other effects. The other part of this would be to have a market, perhaps connected to your Waypoint Fileshare, similar in some ways to the market found on Forza 3. In that game the player was able to build cars, set ups, skins, and vinyls... then load it to the store and sell it for a form of currency that is only usable in that setting. From a Halo perspective, the items would probably be available just like anything else in your Fileshare, with the exception that you could have more custom items listed on the Forge Market. This function would also allow the player to set the physics of each custom object.
*An ability to switch off/on object colors in Forge and test a map with colors/without to see the difference in possible lag. This could help maps with lots of aesthetic details and object colors used for orientation/appeal, etc to have the right number of objects left neutral if it brings down possible lag. This should also include the ability to turn off/on other types of objects that effect frame rate, such as reflective objects.
*Drone Camera: The DC would be similar to the loadout camera. It would be deployable and would help when forging in tight spaces where the program will often throw your monitor into spaces where you can not directly observe what you are doing. Experienced Forgers will often sign into Guest and use the Guest as a stationary viewpoint, but at the sacrifice of loosing half your screen. With a Drone you would be able to switch views. It would be nice to be able to “deploy” the drone while still holding an object. An alternative to this idea would be to allow your monitor to move through solid terrain and objects. The terrain/objects would become transparent, except for the basic contour edge lines and magnets.
*Terrain editing: Another cool feature to the Far Cry 3 map engine. Players can brush over the landscape and create hills or pockets, and yet other tools, such as erosion and smoothing.
*Environmental conditions: Yet another Far Cry 3 ability. Being able to add weather conditions (rain, snow, wind, fog). Also, earth quake tremors, such as with Battlefield 3 multiplayer maps.
*Add AI (Firefight game modes): This is another benefit of the Far Cry 3 map creator engine. So far as it is known, to make this work for Halo Forgers would also have to have control over the Bot Paths/movements of the AI in order for a custom gametype like Firefight to work. You would want the AI to recognize the physical environment of your map (object placement, etc). I have read this in the thread linked above by Urban Bobcat, but even in that thread the concept of Bots and Bot paths is not really clarified. Perhaps those that know and understand this concept more should chime in on this thread and provide more in depth information for those of us that are not programmers (hint hint).
*Ability to revert to a previous version of a map: This would be reverting to your previous save.
*Object Texture palette: Ability to change or edit, create or import object textures, or to receive texture DLCs.
*Firefight added to custom gametype editing options.
*Ability to Forge on Spartan Ops/Firefight maps
*Expanded solids besides blocks, such as the pyramidal stones in H3 Sandbox.
*Make Gravity Zones expandable like trait zones and capable of being connected to Objectives (like Dominion).
*Allow Forgers to have more control over modifying gametypes similar to how hackers have created modded gametypes like Gravemind, but make it official.
*A Custom Game option similar to Invasion, where there can be multiple rounds, like Flood, but with each “round” customizable. This would be a take on the hybrid gametype idea. Basically, allow Forgers to create a gametype with multiple rounds, each round a different gametype of their choosing, like Invasion in Reach, but, say, the first can be CTF, second, Assault, third Flood or Infection, Last Snipers, etc.) This is just an example of what could be done. There are almost limitless options or variations.I could think of a type of Gun Master, Halo Style.
*Map rendering: I wonder sometimes if being able to rendering our maps so there would not be all the objects but locked and merged objects smoothed into each other, etc. If this was possible would it reduce lag?