Forge Fix No. 1

Discussion in 'Articles' started by WAR, May 25, 2015.

By WAR on May 25, 2015 at 4:04 PM
  1. WAR

    WAR Cartographer
    The Creator Forge Critic

    Likes Received:
    Halo 5 is somewhat around the corner and I wanted to make sure some communication was given to really hammer things in for some minor forge improvements. I emailed "The Human Forge", literally what they call Forge's Design Director working on this project with some last minute suggestions last week. I thought I would share them with you guys here as well. I was building up a Halo 5 forge wish list and improvements compendium but decided that bringing 1 issue to :hot: CA instead of 100 would be more practical and meaningful. My selection process was based on prioritization - as identifying the most important issue and solving it will allow us to build a better future for forge.


    The forgers fear for producing frame rate latency has been plaguing us for multiple titles. This is by far our community’s largest creative drawback.

    When building out our spaces, we tend to only show one side of our object whether that be a wall, floor, ramp or ceiling. This is because we are not able to customize color or texture of objects the way we want so we use pieces that have them, even if they are not performance friendly. For example, this H2A map uses teleporter frames, a decorative object, for its flooring:

    - Flat Structural Set
    - Color / Texture Selection


    If our building habits only use one surface of an object, why not provide us with an object consisting of single plane? A flat sheet version of every structural block should be included in our pallet. Pieces consisting of a single polygon and are paper thin, much like ‘grass plane’ object included in H2A.
    Flat Structural Pieces:



    The ability to select color allows us to create awareness, contrast and depth within our spaces. Increased visual customization of our objects will enhance performance because the behavior of using complex objects to produce desired colors or texture will be eliminated. Each block would have a “Primary” and “Secondary” color. The primary color will cover the entire object while the secondary would control decorative trim.
    Providing both light and dark versions of each color is very important for wider range of use case scenarios. Something similar to armor color selection would suit this perfectly:

    ‘RED’ color selection (Boardwalk):
    ‘BLUE’ and ‘GREY’ color selection example:

    ‘BLACK’ and ‘WHITE’ color selection example:
    ‘SECONDARY’ color selection:
    I wish you the best of luck in completing what I think will be Halo’s most definitive forge tool set to date. I hope the above suggestions are considered as I believe the community response will more than justify the time and effort required to include them. I’m sure you will have a significantly positive response from our community with what you are building, this is merely to create something truly sensational in terms of community awareness and how we would like to build.

    Do you have ideas to share to help make forge a better experience? Whats your number 1?
    #1 WAR, May 25, 2015
    Last edited: May 25, 2015
Tags: this article has not been tagged

Do you think this is a good solution to improve performance and reduce frame rate issues?

  1. Yes

    28 vote(s)
  2. Not Really

    0 vote(s)


Discussion in 'Articles' started by WAR, May 25, 2015.

    1. a Chunk
      a Chunk
      When it comes to textures, consistency is far more important than detail, especially when the latter has a negative impact on performance. Your suggestion is a really good way to go, as it would improve both performance and texture consistency.
      WAR likes this.
    2. moo43
      Having pieces in the dimensions that you listed above is something I've wanted for a longtime. Also being able to select a Primary and Secondary color would be really cool and provide a good amount of diversity in object colors.
    3. Psychoduck
      Flat pieces with minimal detail would really cut down on polygon count and help us achieve clean consistent looks for maps. I would love to see something like texture sets with highlight colors, but this is even better. The best part is that this system would arguably be much easier for the developers to create as well as for us to use. They also need to reinstate the impostering system which hardly works in H2A and not have things like dynamic fog on forge canvases if we're to really be free of performance issues in the future.
      MartianMallCop and WAR like this.
    4. SecretSchnitzel
      Would still like to see some specialty pieces that have textures on them that we could use as aesthetic flourishes of sorts, but if we had just these changes, I'd be fine. Been wanting something like this for years now.
    5. FrostPhoenix0
      Good solution. These things should just be added to what we already have, though. No sense in limiting possibilities. But particularly for things like metal floors, there is SUCH a waste with what is rendered against what is seen.
    6. MultiLockOn
      Hay, I know dat map!

      Excellent write up War :) This would definitely change forge for the better.
    7. cookies4you
      I'd kill for triangle pieces too...
      Faulk Smash, WAR and FrostPhoenix0 like this.
    8. deadication
      I think they need blocks to change the texture, like wood, metal, concerte, jungle, urban, sand, snow, moss .. etc I think ever map looks to like plain blocks... Needs more visual, Online playlists for map testing, and building, with friends or just random really good builders for a cycle of new looking and very fun to play maps... So we dont get bored of the same maps over, n over.... A better way to build the floors and walls, would be take the dots for magents and shape a square block into an L, triangle, circle..etc And into ever size block there is instead of using a pacific shape block u can make your own..
      Last edited: May 26, 2015
      WAR likes this.
    9. Faulk Smash
      Faulk Smash
      Wow, you really thought this through haha.

      Can't say I disagree with anything. :)
    10. WAR
      While most of the above is aimed at lowering rendering costs for our primary building blocks I would still like to help define maps with detailed decorative objects for a more believable and unique atmosphere.

      One way to optimize the use of decorative objects is to add an "invisible" label to scripting features for items. This way we can link objects to a trigger boundary that when entered will remove the object from your field of view and thus the need to render and process it. I would recommend setting this up in an area where you can't visually see it disappear.

      Depending on the application, this would allow us to provide highly detailed environments while being able to maintaining low processing power. For example, if you're outside on Zanzibar you could set objects inside the base to be invisible since you're not looking at them anyway.
      Last edited: May 26, 2015
      CommanderColson likes this.
    11. CommanderColson
      Along with those flat pieces, I would love to see 'Natural' Textures.

      In my opinion, the 'Grass Plane' were actually the best idea as far as the 'Terrain' pieces go, however it's only real draw back being the fact that they were simply too large.

      The 'Flat Small/Medium/Large' terrain pieces are nice and all, but are extremely difficult to use when trying to get 'creative' with you're terrain (ie: making tunnels, clean cliffs, hills, ect.)

      Having an array of PLAIN FLAT PIECES with very straight forward NATURAL TEXTURES (Such as 'grass' similar to the grass plane, 'snow' a slightly muddled white with slightly eroded look, 'sand' the underside of the H2A 'Rock Arch', ect.) would give us the ability to truly morph terrain into the way we want it, and in what way would best suit whatever said map we'd be using them on.

      Also, tree's need to cast a damn shadow again.
      Orzium likes this.
    12. Psychoduck
      This is really what the impostering system is supposed to be doing. The system allows the game to replace or impostor a given object for a cheaper low-detail variant when it is a certain distance from a player or not within their line of sight. The system is in place in H2A, but only at extreme range (though it still functions normally on spawn points in forge despite them not even being rendered in actual games). Your proposal for a manually-defined impostering system is a good one, but one which should be unnecessary.
    13. WAR
      True, however I didn't like what I saw in Halo 5 for impostering as it was occurring in such close proximity. I'm sure they'll get that fixed for its final release but having a system like this in "addition" to impostering could allow us to do more. I'm trying to find simple solutions that require minimal effort to achieve great impact. There are other useful applications for an "invisible" label like energy bridges, player containment, etc.
      Psychoduck likes this.
    14. WAR
      Seems that my suggestion arrived at :hot: Certain Affinity too late. I just got an email back saying that their Forge Design Director, Scott Maclean, left Certain Affinity 2 months ago and to direct all inquiries and recommendations to :343: as they are the decision makers.

      Does this mean that forge is complete? Or that they no longer want to open a line of communication with the community during development?

      EDIT: why does @MultiLockOn like this? :evil:
      Last edited: May 27, 2015
      MultiLockOn likes this.
    15. a Chunk
      a Chunk
      Oh man. I would guess it's probably too late.
      Personally, if I were in charge of developing forge, I'd definitely be trying to interact with the community that's really dedicated to using it. The fact that Halo's makers have never done that, at least in any visible manner, is pretty disappointing. :(
      deadication and Psychoduck like this.
    16. CommanderColson
      It's never too late if you get the party raging hard enough.
    17. a Chunk
      a Chunk
      The fact that they've basically done nothing to fix the existing issues with forge leads me to believe otherwise.

      What have they ever done to improve forge during the life of a game?
      Forge Island is the only thing I can think of, and that did literally nothing to improve the way forge actually functioned.

      Forge seems to be a very low priority.
      REMkings and Psychoduck like this.
    18. Chronmeister
      My number one is a File Browser. It doesn't surprise me that forge is a low priority. The average player doesn't know the creative tools they have access to. Almost everyone I meet outside the forge community who plays Halo has no idea the game even has a map maker. I think if they advertised Forge instead of just tacking it on, the community would grow and Forge would improve. Look at Minecraft and tell me I'm wrong. Building **** in that game is pointless and it is one of the best selling games month after month.
      Last edited: May 27, 2015
      WAR and a Chunk like this.
    19. Psychoduck
      Bungie did a great job of supporting Forge in Halo 3 with the addition of Foundry and later Sandbox, the Bungie favorites system, and the creation of Atlas which was the original crowdsourcing effort to reach out to the community to find forge maps for matchmaking. Reach was also undeniably the biggest leap forward for a new forge, but Bungie passed sustain off to :343: before long and :343: squandered the legacy Bungie had left them. Neither :343: Halo game launched with an online file browser. Forge's development was outsourced to a second studio in both cases. Oversights saw the accidental removal of zoom and precision editing in H4 (the features were in the game but inaccessible because they were not part of the controller layout) and these features were never made accessible over the course of the game's life. Halo 4 also saw a significant decrease in the amount of custom game modes and options with the complete removal of one-sided objective modes, no options for toggling sprint, no options for allowing zombies to carry weapons in infection, etc. Forge Island was a welcome addition, but was ultimately rather limiting (no adjacent forgeable land and water space). Two of the skybox canvases in H2A were repurposed from other maps.

      From a technical standpoint, forge has seen minimal resources devoted to it by :343:, but the way they've treated the community has been even worse. They could crowdsource the massive community of creative people who create new content for their game everyday and maximize the longevity of their titles, but instead they've hung us out to dry. :343: has never had an open dialogue with forgers about what we want from the forge toolset, and it is clear that those designing said tools do not fully understand the way they will ultimately be used. The Cartographers, :343:'s only link with the forging community, are only contacted to find content to fit predetermined tasks set by :343: rather than used as community advisers. There is virtually no contact between :343: and the CCs except for when :343: has a task which needs to be done. Forge and its community are clearly a low priority. :343: inherited a passionate community which focuses on keeping people playing Halo games years after release and has neglected it.
      Buddy Jumps, WAR, Erupt and 4 others like this.

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