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As some of you may be aware, The Halo Council has shut down it's website and left the community with a simple message. "It's been real. We don’t have the same amount of time or dedication, so we see keeping this site open as a disservice to the community; a false hope. We’re sorry, we love you, and maybe we’ll be back. Until then, it’s been real. <3" I had been on the site the day before and was unaware of any notice or statement eluding to their shut down, but had not read much on that visit.
The turn out by the forge community was a greatly appreciated by 343industries.org, THFE and our affiliates. We received over 100 map submissions from all aspects of the forge community. The variety of innovative map designs, creative talent, aesthetic features, unique takes on slayer and the overall love of forge has shown through in this contest. Thank you to all forgers who took the time to submit maps, support your fellow forgers with testing and advice, and helped promote this contest throughout the community. We have completed our initial review of all maps that have been submitted. All maps in the submission thread have been seen by the judging panel and a series of maps has been selected based on a number of qualifying points to be 'game play' tested as a further part of the judging process. This part of the process is slightly more time consuming per map for obvious reasons. The maps will be play tested by the judging panel, invited members from the community at large and potentially by random, yet knowledgeable, players we meet in match making to help ensure a fully rounded opinion of the maps. We have agreed that there will be some additional 'maps of note' that will be singled out for various reasons. There will also be some limited critiques offered by the judging panel on a few select maps. I would like the community to know how refreshing it has been to spend time with the judging panel who represent the various backgrounds and approaches to forging and hear their responses to the variety of maps, creative talents of the forgers and their insight into what maps a quality map. They have all freely offered their valuable time due to their respect and support for the forge community and community at large. There will be more information and video content coming soon, so stay tuned to 343i.org, THFE, HaloCustoms, The Halo Council and Ducain23. Again, we all thank you for the time and effort it takes to produce these maps.