Category Archives: TLDR

TL;DR – Spartan Ops Thoughts by Karl2177

TL;DR is a regular feature highlighting quality posts (both positive and negative) from Halo-related NeoGAF threads. This entry comes from Karl2177 and covers his issues with Spartan Ops. (Originally posted in Halo |OT12| on December 4th.)

——-
Here’s a bunch of things that are bad about Spartan Ops, why I would not feel proud about being associated with it, and my armchair designer fixes.

1. Heavy reuse of the same environments. I understand that there is a huge time and memory constraint for having brand new environments. But there are a grand total of 9 environments. 9 environments for 50 missions. Each mission will, on average, be used 5 and a half(!) times. That’s not including the times you run through it in campaign and/or multiplayer. Now there are ways to make the environments seem different, but Spartan Ops hasn’t done that yet(and I do mean this with full offense, but I don’t think any of the mission designers at 343 are capable of doing it given the lackluster campaign encounters).

For starters, don’t choose an encounter that is linear in design. It forces only 2 options when reusing it. Ignoring another issue of Spartan Ops, the only two good missions have been the Valhalla Mantis one and the first Complex one. The first one of those two was only good because it was different from shooting a bunch of aliens and pressing a bunch of buttons. The second one was good, because there were multiple points to go to on the map, and there was more than one option of positioning. The subtle player choice improves the design by quite a bit. By using non-linear maps, it also allows you to reuse it by blocking off areas of the map or providing a different incentive to move around like a power weapon or vehicle. On the downside these two encounters are also multiplayer maps, which are going to be played more often than the campaign spaces.

Continue reading

TL;DR – Fyrewulff’s Forge Fantasy

TL;DR is planned to be a regular feature highlighting quality posts (both positive and negative) from Halo-related NeoGAF threads. This entry comes from FyreWulff and covers his ideas for the future of Forge. (Originally posted in Halo 4 Forge |OT| on November 27th.)

——-
What 343 Should Do To Improve Community Content Generation Going Forward

Everyone’s said their piece here and elsewhere about the downfalls and improvements of Halo 4’s Forge. MrBig’s gigantic post addressed a lot of features and tools that could be used within the current Forge system, but I’ve put some thought to it and want to make the following post/suggestion for the next step in controller-based community content creation. Of course, letting people just use the existing Halo tools will always be the best option, but within the confines of the console and controllers, there’s still plenty of room for improvement and flexibility.

With that in mind, I propose splitting map creation into two separate tools, Forge and Anvil. Diagram, courtesy of Devolution:

Forge as a level geometry editor (Halo 3 Foundry and Sandbox, Reach/4 and the STRUCTURE category) was useful for the time, but the limitations are starting to impact actual map development. What should be done is to return Forge to what it started out as in Halo 3: an easy to use object editor that players use to modify objects on existing maps. Anvil (stealing the Marathon tool name) will become the actual geometry/world editor to give map makers more power in creating their world, while making it easy for beginners to easily alter developer maps and community maps.

Continue reading