Halo 3 How-to: Advanced Forge Editing
Posted by lukems at 9/19/2007 2:52 PM PDT
The following document is the work of Tyson Green, Bungie's Multiplayer Lead on Halo 3.
Read Part 1 "Basics" here.
Read Part 2 "Object Editing" here.
To return to Halo 3 How-to Click Here

Special Objects


At some point, players stop making piles of fusion coils, and get serious about setting up their maps. It is usually around this time that they realize that you can’t turn Guardian into an awesome CTF map just by changing where the weapons spawn.
Fortunately, more control is provided. A multiplayer map in Halo 3 is configured almost entirely using objects, and the overwhelming majority of these objects are editable in the Forge.

Goal Objects

Gametypes, like Oddball or CTF, have a couple of special objects which only show up in those gametypes. These are things like flag spawns, or hill markers. These are called Goal objects.

When you load a map in the Forge, Goal objects do not show up immediately. You may have noticed that the object creation palette for Goals is empty at first. This is because, by default, the Forge only shows objects which show up in ALL gametypes.

To show objects specific to a particular gametype, you can switch Forge over to that gametype. To do this:
-    Switch into Editor Mode.
-    Press Start to bring up the Forge menu.
-    Choose “Change Game Type”, and select the gametype you wish to edit.

The round will end, and when the next round starts, objects specific to the gametype you selected will be present on the map, and in the Goal object palette.

Halo 3 needs certain objects to be on each map in order to function properly. If you accidentally delete such an object, and forget to replace it, it will be automatically restored when you save the map. So relax, you won’t break your map if you do something wrong, but you might see a goal object return after you thought you had deleted it.

Common Goal Object Properties

Goal objects have two common properties that are usually not found in normal objects, like weapons or vehicles. As with normal object properties, you edit these by placing your crosshair on the goal object, and pressing X.
-    Team: This is the team which owns this goal object. This is critical for some gametypes, like CTF, where you need to place a flag stand for each team.
-    Shape, Radius, Top, Bottom, et cetera: Some goal objects have an area, like a hill in King of the Hill. These properties control the shape and size of this area.
-    Spawn Order: This property is used to control the order in which certain goals are used. For example, in VIP Escort, the goal point with the lowest Spawn Order value is the first destination, followed by the point with the next lowest value, and so on.
Assault
Assault has two types of special goal objects:
-    Bomb Spawn Points, which are where a team’s bomb will spawn. Each team must have at least one. Also, one must be placed for the Neutral team, for Neutral Bomb Assault variants.
-    Bomb Plant Points, which are the points a team must defend from enemy bombers. Each team must have at least one. You can place more than one per team too, making their job more difficult as they will have more points to defend.
CTF
Capture the Flag has two special types of goal objects, similar to Assault:
-    Flag Spawn Points, which are where a team’s flag will spawn, which they must defend. Each team must have at least one.
-    Flag Return Points, which are the points a team must return the flag to after they have stolen it from an enemy team. Each team must have at least one.
Juggernaut
Juggernaut only has one special goal object:
-    Go To Points, which are points that a VIP must reach to score points in some VIP game variants. There must be at least one of these on the map. The Spawn Order property determines the order in which these points will be used, from lowest to highest.
King of the Hill
King of the Hill has only one special goal object:
-    Hill Marker, which is the center of a hill, and around which is the boundary of the hill. There must be at least one of these on the map. The Shape and size properties define the boundary of the hill, and the Spawn Order property is used to determine the order in which the hills move (when the game variant is set to Sequential movement.)
Oddball
Oddball has only one special goal object:
-    Ball Spawn Point, which is where the Oddball will spawn. There must be at least one of these on the map.
Territories
Territories has only one special goal object:
-    Territory Marker, which is the center of a territory, and around which is the boundary of the territory. There must be at least one of these on the map. The Shape and size properties define the boundary of the territory. The Spawn Order is used to determine the numbering of territories, with the lowest one being labeled “Territory 1”, and so on.
Note that you can place more than 8 territory markers on a map, but only 8 will be used at a time. The extras are there in case you want to set a map up with different symmetric and asymmetric layouts (for example, like Valhalla.)
VIP
Like Juggernaut, VIP only has one special goal object:
-    Go To Points, which are points that a Juggernaut must reach to score points in some Juggernaut game variants. There must be at least one of these on the map. The Spawn Order property determines the order in which these points will be used, from lowest to highest.

Spawn Points


When you load the Forge, you may notice glowing blue disks littered around the map, objects you don’t see when playing a Custom Game.

These are Spawn Points, and are the spots where players spawn.

Spawn Points of all stripes are found in the Spawners palette, and can be placed free of charge. Just mind your Inventory.

Respawn Points

By far the most common type of spawn point is a humble Respawn Point. These are the blue disks you see littered about.

The disk has an obvious forward facing, and when a player spawns, he will be facing in this direction. It is considered good form to not point a player at a wall when he spawns.

When Halo 3 needs to spawn a player, it takes into account a lot of invisible things, and chooses one of these points. You want to have a lot of these points. If you don’t, then there are limited choices for respawning, and you could end up spawning on top of a live grenade, or in the path of an onrushing Warthog.

Finally, respawn points have a Team property, which defaults to Neutral. You can restrict respawn points to a specific team by changing this, but you Should Not Do this—there is a Better Way, and that’s with Respawn Zones. More about those later.

Initial Spawn Points

Initial Spawn Points are special. They are game specific (like Goal objects), so you need to switch to the desired gametype to edit them. They appear similar to respawn points, but they have bright blue plasma rings above them. You’ll know it when you see it.
What makes them special is that they can only be used on the first spawn in a round. On top of that, a player is guaranteed to spawn there, unless it is blocked (for example, by another player.)

Like respawn points, initial spawn points have a Team property. Unlike respawn points, you should always set this to the appropriate team.

When Bungie’s designers set up a map, we place one initial spawn point per team, and place several ordinary respawn points nearby. That way, when a round starts, one player from each team starts off at these points. And then, because of the way Halo 3 prefers to spawn players near their teammates, the rest of their team automatically prefers to spawn at the nearby respawn points.

Respawn Zones

When Halo 3 tries to spawn (or respawn) a player, it takes a lot of things into account, like where teammates or enemies are standing, if there are dangerous things nearby, and so on. We call these influences.

When it is done doing so, it then chooses a respawn point for the player, based on these influences. There’s a little tiny bit of randomness, but that only really comes into play when all points are otherwise equal.

Now, when Halo 3 does this, it looks at ALL respawn points on the map. But in setting up your map, maybe you don’t want Attackers spawning in the Defender’s base. Or you want one team to only spawn on one side of the map. To do that, you want to restrict the search to only certain respawn points. And to do that, you use Respawn Zones.

Normal Respawn Zones

A Respawn Zone is an object which belongs to a team, and defines an area. All respawn points inside that area are strongly preferred when Halo 3 needs to spawn a member of that team. Very, extremely strongly preferred, so much so that a player will virtually never spawn outside of his team’s respawn zone (unless there is literally no choice.)

Respawn zones are gametype specific objects, like goal objects, so you need to switch to the desired gametype to edit them. They look similar to King of the Hill markers, a small object stuck into the ground, with a blue plasma field which defines their boundary.

These zones have a Team property, which controls which team uses this respawn zone. You should always set this to the appropriate team.

When Bungie’s designers set up a map, we often place a single large respawn zone for each team, making sure that it encloses many respawn points. Note that a respawn zone never prohibits an enemy player from spawning inside of it—they only affect the team they belong to. But if that enemy player has his own respawn zone on the other side of the map, you can be sure he won’t spawn in yours.
Make absolutely sure your respawn zone covers at least a couple of respawn points! If you don’t, respawning will be very predictable and unsafe. And if your respawn zones contain no respawn points at all, then they will have no effect whatsoever.
Respawn Zones are powerful tools. Use them wisely.

CTF Respawn Zones

Capture the Flag has two special types of respawn zone, in addition to the normal one.
-    Respawn, Flag Home: This is a respawn zone which is only active when your team’s flag is safely on its stand. As soon as an enemy player grabs your flag, even if he’s killed a second later, this respawn zone shuts off until the flag is reset.
-    Respawn, Flag Away: This is the opposite, a respawn zone which is only active when your team’s flag is not on its stand.
When Bungie’s designers set up a map, we might prefer to have a team spawn near their flag when it is at home, but spawn somewhere else if the flag is stolen, so that the thieves don’t have defenders respawning all around them. Last Resort is a good example of this.
Territories Respawn Zones
Territories is a special case worth noting. The territories themselves have a built in respawn zone which belongs to the team that currently controls the territory. It is invisible, and about 10 meters in radius.
So if there are respawn points nearby, you can in fact spawn at a territory you control, even if your team’s respawn zone is on the other side of the map.

Teleporters

Teleporters are great. You can use them to bypass walls, cover great distances quickly, and teleport your friends into the minefield on Sandtrap.
Teleporters are objects, and can be found in the object creation palette. There are three types of teleporter objects:
-    Sender Node: This is the entry point to a teleportation link. You can only enter via this point, never return.
-    Receiver Node: This is the exit point to a teleportation link. You can only exit via this point, never enter.
-    Two-Way Node: This node can function both as a sender and as a receiver.
Each type of node has a clear forward facing. The facing is ignored for sender nodes, but used to determine the facing of the player when he arrives at a receiver node. It is considered poor form to point your receivers at walls.
When you first place a teleporter node, you may notice that it is dark and lifeless. That is because there is no other node for it to link up to. For a node to activate, there must be a valid sender and receiver (either of which could be a two-way node.) Once you place the missing node, they will automatically link up and flare to life.
If you want to have more than one separate teleporter link on your map, you will want them to be on different channels. Channel is a property of teleporter objects, and you can change it by placing your crosshair on the teleporter object, and pressing X. Teleporter nodes on different channels don’t link up, and in this way you can keep your links separate.
You might be wondering what happens when there’s more than one valid receiver on the same channel. Simple: your destination will be randomly selected from the valid locations, and your evil twin will appear at the other one.
Oh, wait, we cut the evil twin thing. Something about the goatee shader. Never mind.


Maption Sack Double EXP Weekend Live! 

Posted by urk at 9/10/2010 9:09 AM PDT

Oh, we're not done yet!

A 4v4 mix of Double EXP Slayer and Objective gametypes on a whole mess of your own community created maps.

Category: Double EXP Weekend
Max Party: 8
Max Team Size: 4
Heroic/Mythic Map Packs Required
Updated 12/03/2009

Gametypes

  • Team Slayer (33.3%) - First team to 50 kills wins. 12 minute match time limit.
  • Team BRs (21.6%) - First team to 50 kills wins. Players spawn with Battle Rifles and Assault Rifle secondary weapons. 12 minute match time limit.
  • One Flag CTF (11.8%) - Round based Capture the Flag, one team has a flag while the other attempt to capture it. Most captures after four rounds wins. Four minute round time limit.
  • Multi-Flag CTF (21.6%) - Both teams are attempting to capture the other team's flag. First to three captures wins. 20 minute match time limit.
  • Multi-Flag CTF BRs (11.8%) - Both teams are attempting to capture the other team's flag. Battle Rifle starts. First to three captures wins. 20 minute match time limit.

Maps

  • Actuality-Break (Foundry)
  • Apex (Sandbox)
  • Backdraft (Sandbox)
  • Battle Dome (Sandbox)
  • Ber Ber Creek (Sandbox)
  • Borderline (Sandbox)
  • Breakdown (Sandbox)
  • Bridgeo's (Sandbox)
  • Chimera (Sandbox)
  • Colonnade (Foundry)
  • Conduction (Sandbox)
  • Coup d'Etat (Sandbox)
  • Cryptic (Sandbox)
  • Cryptic Fate (Sandbox)
  • Deity (Sandbox)
  • Eighty Grit (Sandbox)
  • Elysium (Sandbox)
  • Emperor (Sandbox)
  • Exhibition (Sandbox)
  • Fortress (Sandbox)
  • Fracture (Sandbox)
  • Gauntlet (Sandbox)
  • Haven (Sandbox)
  • IZ9 Courtyard (Sandbox)
  • The Kingdom (Sandbox)
  • Lotus (Sandbox)
  • Neosho (Sandbox)
  • Nocticulent (Sandbox)
  • Onyx (Sandbox)
  • Pantheon (Sandbox)
  • Paranoia (Sandbox)
  • Pilaster (Sandbox)
  • Pivotal (Sandbox)
  • Rat Trap (Sandbox)
  • Ravinia (Sandbox)
  • Reflux (Sandbox)
  • Regicide (Foundry)
  • Reminiscent (Sandbox)
  • Renovation (Sandbox)
  • Requiem (Sandbox)
  • Salvation (Sandbox)
  • Sand Towers (Sandbox)
  • Sentiment (Sandbox)
  • Skystation (Sandbox)
  • Solarium (Sandbox)
  • Static (Sandbox)
  • Stonehenge (Sandbox)
  • Subversive (Sandbox)
  • Synapse (Sandbox)
  • Tartarus (Sandbox)
  • Topple (Sandbox)
  • Transgression (Foundry)
  • Tribal War (Sandbox)
  • Undulation (Sandbox)
  • Vengeance (Sandbox)
  • Workplace Bravo (Sandbox)

Tags: Halo 3

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Where's Mah Dooble EXP?! 

Posted by urk at 9/2/2010 5:52 PM PDT

Fix your -blam!-, Bungle!

So, yeah, This week's Double EXP Weekend is running a little behind. I blame Ninja 0n Fire. (He tells me that some fairly large updates are being deployed and as a result, we'll likely not see the Double EXP Weekend go live until tomorrow, or, *gulp* "later").

When it is ready to go, we'll let you know.

'Under Fire' - ubald Render 

Posted by urk at 9/2/2010 9:00 AM PDT

Feet first into awesome.

Looks like ubald unleashed another render over at HBO. This one's a WIP and part of a much larger collection that will ultimately serve as a webcomic. But you should check it out now.

ubald: Halo Rendered Comic

Tags: Halo 3: ODST

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Chronicles of ODS Steve #81 

Posted by urk at 9/1/2010 9:30 AM PDT

Faux Chief.

This week's Steve's getting all Batman on some Scarab carapace.

Chronicles of ODS Steve: Faux Chief (#81)

Tags: Halo 3: ODST

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Top 10 Halo 3 Kills on The Pit: Episode 59 

Posted by urk at 8/30/2010 9:00 AM PDT

You know the deal.

Anoj didn't submit his latest entry to Comm Chatter, but they gang at HBO picked up the slack. Besides, even without Anoj's familiar wordplay, we all know what this video's about anyway. There's like ten kills. You can submit your own for next week if you're astute enough to figure out how to make it happen.

Top 10 Halo 3 Kills on The Pit: Episode 59

Tags: Halo 3

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