Incompetent Cartographer
Posted by urk at 7/27/2010 11:52 AM PDT
A caveat: I am not a map designer. I don’t pretend to have a good (or even pedestrian) grasp of player movement, neutral space, or balance. I’m just a guy who makes jokes on the internet. But even I can make a sweet Forge map.

Welcome to Incompetent Cartographer.

I’m not doing this for personal glory. In fact, I fully expect whatever I build to suck. Tremendously. I am not a patient man. I spent a grand total of about three hours with Halo 3’s Forge before throwing my hands up and tossing my controller down. But while I might not have what it takes to make an amazing map destined for our official matchmaking playlists, I can show you the basic steps. I can walk the path. Over the course of the next seven or so weeks, I’m gonna do just that. I’m going to load up Forge World, I’m going to use Forge and attempt to build a multiplayer map, and I’m going to bug Chad and Carney to give me insider tips to help me through the tough times. When I'm finished, I’m going to submit my creation through some of the same channels and mechanisms you’ll be using post-launch so you can see what the process might be like in Reach. Ready?

Let’s begin.

Time to bake this cake!

First things first, before you make a kick ass map on Forge World, you need to scout out some suitable terrain. It’s no small task, Ponce, there’s plenty of geography to explore.

The Coliseum? Too Grify.

The Quarry? Too sanctimonious.

The Pillar? Too lofty.

The Island? Too contiguous.

The Coastline? Too relaxing.

Alaska? Too wild.

The Canyon? Too classic.

Montana? Too Mountainous.

The Lagoon? Now, wait a minute...

That's the spot right there.

Yup, I went with the Lagoon. The water here is deep enough to be deadly and I figured I could do something interesting by submerging some walkways knee deep in the gentle, crystal blue waves. Plus, it’s an awesome looking sea cave with waterfalls spilling down from high above. Even if my map sucks butts, at least the surrounding space will look downright beautiful. Thanks, Cotton!

Let's get down to business.

Wipe them out...

Bye, bye random spawns. With this deadly water ensconcing my map, I figure I’ll be meeting my watery maker on a regular basis as I twist and turn the pieces into place. Can’t be spawning up in the Coliseum, now can I?

I'm sure.


Eyes are up here.

Before I get too deep, let’s save this sucker, give it a name, and provide a description. As you can see, I got all 80's with it. Catch the reference? Yeah, you're probably not old enough.

Now that we’re working in a safe environment, it’s time to get on the grid. Just like in Sandbox, this grid will act as a physical barrier, so any objects I set on it will be perfectly placed at the right height. Unlike Sandbox, I can slap this grid wherever I want. And now I'm ready to start building. I'd call it the mass out phase, but let's get real -- that's way too official sounding for what I'm about to do. It's gonna get ugly.

With Rotation Snap, Phasing, and Coordinate editing, things start to come together way faster than I anticipated.

One base under construction, I move out of the shade and start work on Base Deuce.

Bring your waterwings, chumps! It's gonna get wet and wild.

Swapped out the submerged platforms for a slightly raised variety. Gotta have a place to towel off.

Okay, now I'm just fiddling. Trying to position small platforms for sweet jumps. Did I mention that I'm easily distracted?

Back down to business. Shadow Base needs some more love.

And some Gadgets. Does two teleporters and two man cannons seem a bit much?

What about a ginormous base?

Yeah, I think I'm gonna stop for now, but that's not bad for my first few hours, eh? Before I could get too confident, Miller spotted me working in Jurkout yesterday and asked me if I did it all by myself. Like I was a toddler.

“Really? You didn’t have any help?”

Yes, Dan…really. Fortunately for me, Chad stopped by early this morning to offer up a more helpful tip.

“There are a lot of narrow paths and not much dance floor.”

That’s because I haven’t built out the arms or added the Falcons in yet, Chad! (Dammit, he’s right.) Looks like I have a lot more work to do. Stay tuned.
More Crimson: Steam Pirates Reviews 

Posted by urk at 9/16/2011 4:23 PM PDT

No moneyhats necessary.

If you're one of the few iPad owners who has yet to set sail on Harebrained-Schemes latest adventures with Crimson: Steam Pirates, here's a few more reasons to give it a go.

Tags: Game Guide


Link Up with the! 

Posted by urk at 11/1/2010 9:35 AM PDT

Free Credits!

Earn some easy money this morning by linking your Xbox LIVE gamertag to a profile. Click here to create a profile if you don't have one already, and use your current Xbox LIVE credentials to complete the hook up.

Once you're ready to go, click here, then jump into Halo: Reach matchmaking and play some games to earn an amazingly easy 3,000 Credits.

Tags: Game Guide


Welcome to the Arena 

Posted by urk at 9/20/2010 4:59 PM PDT

Spartans...prepare for glory!

Read Full Top Story

Tags: Game GuideHalo: Reach


Invasion + Forge! 

Posted by urk at 9/16/2010 9:09 AM PDT

A communications disruption can only mean one thing...

Read Full Top Story

Tags: Game GuideHalo: Reach


Networking 101 

Posted by urk at 9/14/2010 2:17 PM PDT

Come on over here and sniff this packet.

It's been up for a few days already, but just in case you didn't notice, we've updated our Halo: Reach Project Page to include some information about the Network Status section you'll find in the main menu of Halo: Reach. If you're experiencing technical issues, or you just want to make sure you're rockin' the fattest pipe in the neighborhood, hit the link below to get your nerd on.

Halo: Reach - Networking 101


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