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
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
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.
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
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
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
- 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.
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
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.
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
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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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
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
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.)
respawn points, initial spawn points have a Team property. Unlike
respawn points, you should always set this to the appropriate team.
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
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.
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.
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
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.)
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.
zones have a Team property, which controls which team uses this respawn
zone. You should always set this to the appropriate team.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Oh, wait, we cut the evil twin thing. Something about the goatee shader. Never mind.