An asymmetrical BTB map inspired by the Halo 2 Classic, Headlong.
The Psycho Duck, Community Forger
When we were given the chance to reimagine classic BTB maps, I knew I had to tackle Headlong. Bravo note: everyone thought he was crazy for trying to tackle Headlong. For one thing, the vertical nature of the map was sure to be a great fit for Halo 5's mechanics with the appropriate tweaks. Of equal importance, though, was the opportunity to really see how far this new Forge could be pushed. Headlong is one of the most complex and intricate maps in the series' history, and forgers have been trying to recreate it since Halo 3. This was the first time the map could truly be remade with a high level of detail and without suffering from any performance issues.
With Guillotine, I set out to create more of a true remake rather than a reimagining, though I absolutely took the opportunity to make a few adjustments; a 1:1 remake was not going to make sense for H5. I took an organic approach to map scaling, tuning each individual jump and line of sight to make the most sense for Halo 5's mechanics and sandbox. Thanks to multiselect and grouping features, I was able to continually readjust scaling of different areas over the course of the week until I got things just right. Studying how players like StrongSide moved around the map helped me make informed decisions about these scaling adjustments (and allowed me to add lots of new trick jumps). Another thing I wanted to improve was Headlong's vehicle circuit, which was originally somewhat convoluted. I opened up a new movement option for vehicles, allowing them to ramp up to the broken bridge landing, jump through the hanging basket, land behind Blue Building (Soda Room), and re-enter the circuit from there. This new route not only preserves the travel time balance which the original circuit created but also opens up some exciting new options as well.
It was great to work with the devs to make a few other tweaks to this classic design and to get some additional awesome visual assets in place, such as the 'Hog billboard, the cranes, and some other cool details. Hopefully, you enjoy playing Guillotine in Big Team Battle this week!
Mike Byron and Adrian Bedoya, 343 Multiplayer Team
Headlong was one of the very first maps we considered when we originally huddled around Quinn’s desk to see which maps would serve best as inspiration for Halo 5 BTB maps. Despite everyone loving the map, we quickly dismissed it as being too ambitious and complex to be done in the Forgers’ timeframe. However, the very first thing Dana (The Psycho Duck) asked when he arrived was if we had thought of making Headlong in Forge - he then informed us of his intent to recreate it. After we finished laughing out loud at him (and saying he was a crazy person), he assured us he could do it. Within a couple days Headlong was there and ready to be played in all its urban cityscape glory.
Dana did such a magnificent job faithfully recreating the level, that after he left, our work mainly concentrated on the gameplay design and overall aesthetics - perfectly placing the weapons and spawns, intro and outro cameras, as well as harvesting tons of new Forge assets. The map is populated with everything from street lamps, cranes, and soda machines to civilian vehicles and the Warthog billboard (we even demanded our concept lead, Darren Bacon, create a new billboard for us to use in the map). We love the Forge tools and the scale of creations possible with them is endlessly exciting. Mind your head as you roam through the streets of Guillotine.