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Ferrex Answers Questions about Forge World

As part of the Halo: Reach Forge World feature reveal that took place during San Diego ComicCon 2010 in mid-July, 2010, Tyson "Ferrex" Green, Systems Designer for Halo: Reach, answered a large number of fan-asked questions on the Bungie forum. (In some cases, he didn't even answer a question - simply posted information.) The thread itself ran 21 pages, so we've pulled out the questions that Ferrex answered, for your reading convenience. There are more than 50 of them.

"Shape" controls the shape of the object boundary. That's what we use for things like KOTH hills, respawn areas, kill zone areas, et cetera.

You can choose "None", "Cylinder", or "Box", and when you do it shows you the dimensions (Height, Radius, etc) too.

To make a Warthog a KOTH Hill, you'd set the shape to be "Cylinder" or "Box", set the size, and then mark that Warthog as being a "koth_hill", which is an option under the Advanced submenu which I don't think we showed in any videos.

So, if you wanted, you could have a map with some Warthog hills, some Mongoose hills, some fixed scenery hills, and the game engine will just Do The Right Thing.

BTW, you can set up Infection Safe Areas the same way. :D

Posted by: freefall722
I bet you can specify what kind of area it is under the advance option - so advanced options would house all the gametype specific options.

Yep, sharp guy. Pretty much this.

Posted by: DeftestAdam366
If the Bungie overlord comes back, is there a weather effect? i saw we had night effects but I'd love things like snow and rain

No weather effects in the Forge. Was something we wanted, but something we didn't get to in time.

But, there are filters similar to the ones we introduced in Sandbox, a few of which do a pretty good job of making it look like night, late afternoon, and some other visual effects.

Posted by: TOM T 117
Hmmm, what if the Warthog is destroyed? Does the hill remain in the wreckage (then move back to the vehicle upon respawn), disappear until the vehicle respawns or must vehicle-hills be indestructible for it to work?

In the case of KotH, it'll move the Hill to the next object set up to be a Hill.

It really is more fun with indestructible vehicles, though. :)

Posted by: freefall722
Can you offset the shape area from the object? Like make it float above it or to the side of it?

You can offset it up or down (by setting the top and bottom heights appropriately), but not to the left/right. We figured you'd just move the object if you wanted to do that.

Posted by: External Memory
BTW, are object maxes or global object limits returning?

Yes, but they're quite a bit better now. A lot of objects are grouped together so that they share the same object limits ("inventory".) So if you're setting up a map and can place, say, 50 wall pieces, it's actually 50 wall pieces of any type, not "10 doors, 10 corners, 10 single-width, 10 double-width, etc"

The limits are pretty generous too. All of the maps we built are comfortably within the limits.

Posted by: Blaster73
When you phase objects do they also stay fixed? Or do they only stay put if they a phased into another object? If the first is true then I am making a giant ball of phased objects suspended in air...

A phased object stays where you put it.

Posted by: the pib
Ferrex thanks for answering these questions!

Sure, my pleasure. I just don't always have the bandwidth to do it. :)

Posted by: everywhere116
Can you forge every gametype's objectives and spawns without changing through gametypes like in H3? Or do you still have to do that?

You'll have to switch the gametype to set up objects for that gametype (e.g., choose KOTH to place KOTH Hills.)

It's not the most elegant solution, but we figure 90%+ of maps are set up for one gametype at most, so it ended up being the simplest overall solution.

Posted by: wolfhunter9154
What about DLC?

DLC? You mean "don't leak clues"? :)

Can't speak to what we have planned there. That's up to gentlemen like Sketch and Urk.

Posted by: El Roboto
I wonder what would happen if you made a Warthog the Bomb and had to plant it at the enemies base.

The Bomb (and Flag, and Oddballs) work a bit differently--you can control where they spawn, but not what actually spawns.

But, you could play Assault where the goal is to plant the bomb on a Warthog (or any other vehicle.) Or on a soccer ball!

Posted by: vHyDroCiTy
Can somebody please answer this?
Is there an UNDO button?! I hate accidentally moving/deleting something, thus making me recreate it.

There is not. :(

(Shocking fact herein revealed: we don't even have an Undo button on our internal tools! It's maddening! But it's also really complicated to bolt on at this point...)

Fortunately, object positioning is so, so so much better than H3 that it's usually pretty easy to get that object right back where you want it. Working with Rotation Constraints and Nudges makes it trivial most of the time.

Posted by: BK Burger Boy
So say, if you built an objective gametype that utilized all 5 of the map segments, you would have enough budget to create extensive structures on each part withing the limits, or is the budget intended to be a lot more localized to one area?

You wouldn't be able to build, say, Lockout in 3-4 places on the map. But you could certainly set up some Hemorrhage bases in a bunch of places on the map.

You can actually build quite a bit and pretty complicated structures pretty cheaply, so if you're imagining some grand battles across the entire length of the map, going from base to base, I'm pretty sure you could manage it.

Posted by: A Rusty Dusty
1. Will we still be able to forge other regular maps like powerhouse and swordbase?

2. Will we be able to forge firefight maps?

1) Yes, absolutely (including the Invasion maps.)

2) Unfortunately, no. Lots of technical reasons, and we wanted to concentrate on making those spaces awesome for Firefight.

Posted by: the pib
Ferrex: I noticed in one video, when someone was spawning a Falcon, that the limit for Scorpions was 2. Normally that would be fine but Forge World is large enough that having even six tanks on the map would not be unreasonable. Is 2 Scorpions the absolute max, or were there already some on the map?

There were some on the map already. The maximum number of Scorpions on Forge World is *checks map* 4.

Posted by: Pokezilla Linked
Is that what it meant by "Basic Editing"? Is that the new term for "All Gametypes"?

Yes, exactly. (I was hoping that question would come up in this thread, I've seen it a few times.)

Sorry, there is no corresponding "Advanced Editing" gametype. Basic Editing is already pretty Advanced. :)

Posted by: Blaster73
How much inspiration for Forge 2.0 came from what users asked for and what they have created?

A lot of it. Most of it. The Forge is 99% for the community, so we really took a good swing at building it "to spec", based on what the community was already doing with the Forge in H3.

Posted by: Halo_Orlando
1.Are there visual or audio effects associated with the monitor? For example, does it do the light zinging noise when you move, and does it, as the picture shown in the update implies, give a little glow that extends from the monitor to the object carried?

2. Will there be things that will work purely aesthetically, like lights, environmental effects, or directional pointers (arrows signs etc), and if so, will they be mainly included within the object color, advanced options etc within the objects?

3. Is there any interactable geometry like glass?

4. Are there vehicle only teliporters?

1. There's audio (flying sounds) and some little visual touches, but nothing on the objects he's editing.

2. There's lights, global screen filters, and a good selection of decorative objects. No explicit signs, I don't think (might depend on the map.)

3. If by interactive you mean destructible glass, afraid not. There are definitely destroyable objects, though.

4. Yep, you can set a teleporter to work on (and I'm pretty sure only-on) vehicles.

Posted by: Yourm0md07c0m
so ferrex can you answer a question of mine?

with a map that large it would take a long time to load right? so for maps that were made as sectioned off portions of forge world, will they have to load the entire map to be played? that seems like some firefight style load times to me.

It loads as fast as any MP map. :)

(Load times mostly come from things like texture resources, and FF maps pay a large cost from the AI characters we have to load.)

Posted by: Gaara444
Are giant interior rooms something you have to Forge? Or are they implemented into the map itself?

There's one big interior space built into the map, and a couple of little tunnels on the Island.

Posted by: FourKILLMASTER
I have some quick questions here. Has the player cap been increased and is there a tool that allows you to weld objects together?

Player cap is 8 players in Forge (we pay some amount of networking overhead for the editing, so we can't have as many as normal MP), and sadly no, there's no tool for welding objects together (for technical reasons.)

Posted by: freeglader
Why is there a dice?

Why not?

Posted by: wolfhunter9154
Also ferrex, Can we swim in the game?

Deep water is as fatal to Spartans as spikes are to Megaman. :(

Posted by: xXDarkCrimsonXx
Can kill zones be customized to be a one way door? Say if you enter the kill zone you cannot leave it.

No, but we do have some one-way shield door objects that you could use to accomplish the same game mechanics.

Posted by: Yourm0md07c0m
can you set it so that a gametype starts you with an armor ability and you can still swap them out?

Ex: make it so you can only spawn with sprint, but you can pick up jetpack or armor lock elsewhere on the map.

also is that annoying glitch (where you are holding something and you press y to delete it, but it deletes the object behind it instead) fixed?

Yes, and yes.

Posted by: Halo_Orlando
Interactive objects: Do they exist?

Open-able doors, switches, glass?

Afraid not. We ended up not using many of these at all on our maps, so we didn't spend a lot of time building them. Those that we did build were very map specific.

Posted by: RTK ELUSIVE
will any of the built in forge world maps be used in matchmaking? and if they are how would barriers work as to not get to the rest of forge world during MM?

Yep, you'll see these in Matchmaking. And the kill zones/safe zones are set up per map variant, so there's no fear of someone Warthog Jumping from one safe area to another.

Posted by: Celticsgreen17
Is there a possibility to set rocket race checkpoints around the map? Where their first location is, then the 2nd after the first one is reached, etc.

There sure is. :)

Posted by: El Roboto
One other question: Is it possible to intersect objects with vehicles such as teleporters or blocks using the Phased option and still have them be drivable?

Afraid not. The phased objects would remain fixed in their location, and the vehicles would push themselves out of the fixed object.

Posted by: BK Burger Boy
How many Falcons can we have on the Map?

The answer is 8.

(And I'm going to skip object count questions from here, otherwise you guys'll have me listing out the entire palette. :)

Posted by: Jesse James 013
When merging two objects together by phasing them, do they blend naturally now, or do they produce flicker on the surfaces? Or is it dependent on technique, such as snapping to the grid or placing with slightly varying angles?

They blend BETTER, but it still depends on your technique. A lot of the objects are designed to be snug up against each other, and that's the best way to avoid the z-fighting (the term for that flicker.)

Posted by: Fishie1
Is there still the Forge hosting bug where the placed objects look different to different players in the game?

Example: Player 1 perfectly arranges a row of blocks, but to Player 2 the blocks looked all skewed and misaligned.

No, that one should be fixed now. That was one in particular that we wanted to crush.

Folks, I'm going to head out for the night, so I'm going to try to answer questions up to this post and call it an evening. I'll try to jump on tomorrow night to do another round. :)

Posted by: Darth Nader 08
ferrex, what does the object color mean? I know about the team color, which is complete and utter epicness, but the second option gives me the heebie-jeebies.

It's really just setting a specific color for the object instead of using the team color.

Posted by: CQB shotgunner
Ferrex, if you are allowed to tell us, what was the hardest part of building Forge 2.0? What was the most enjoyable part?

The hardest part was t-blam!- it down to something we could finish, polish, and ship. That's always the hardest part, cause you know that every one of those little features would've BEEN SO COOOL! But that's how the process works.

The most enjoyable part was seeing folks like Shish building real, new maps. And, of course, working on my own ports of old favorites. :)

Posted by: Time Glitch
We already know we can spawn objects at a certain point in time: "Respawn Time" and then set "Set at Start" to "No".

Can we now get objects to go away after a certain point?

Afraid not. Other than garbage collection, the engine doesn't have any concept of "despawn time", and it never came up as something we really wanted. I can see how it'd be useful, though... dang. Got me there. :(

Posted by: Insane AlphaBeta
i got a question [as does everyone else] but still when you first go in Forge World is it completely blank with nothing on it? or do you have to delete everything?

I think we're shipping a blank version on disc this time.

Posted by: Jacob1231
I need to have 2 things for my gametype to work.

1. Differences between Offense and Defense in objective games (like shields, damage resistance, loadouts)

2. Civilian Maps

Will we have these?

1. Depends on the gametypes, of which I'm not sure if we've announced all of them or not. And if I don't know, I can't say, sorry!

2. Ditto the above, haven't announced all of the maps yet (just the names.)

Posted by: ShiningArmor16
With forge 2.0 will it be possible to create gametypes where all players have the same super weapons (eg: flamethrower or fuel rod gun) which wasn't possible in Halo 3? Thanks!

More of a game options question, but yeah, you can start everyone with any weapon in the game.

Posted by: Blaster73
Can every single object be set as normal, fixed, and phased? For example in Halo 3 certain things like pallets, explosives, spawn points, guns, and vehicles would never stay fixed.

Not everything can be fixed. Vehicles, for example, will always be physical.

And it looks like Jon is shaking his fist at me right now. Hmm.

Posted by: the pib
Can we "dig" by creating empty space inside solid rock? It would be great to be able to excavate a cave in a rock wall, build an underground vehicle bay or bunker, or have a tunnel running under a field.

Afraid not. Forge is a humble object editor, not quite capable of full on terrain editing of that sort.

You could pile up a bunch of rocks and then delete the ones in the middle, though!

Posted by: MartinOfRedwall
What system does forge use to give you credits after you're done forgeing?

Time actively spent in the Forge does provide some credits.

(And pre-emptive chill-out: we do distinguish between "active", "idle", and "rubber band on your controller". ;)

Posted by: Bionic Juice
Are all weapons available on all maps? I know in H3 some weapons wouldn't show sometimes.

All weapons, all maps. The MP guys had strong sauce this time, and budgeted accordingly.

Posted by: Archangel755
I must know Ferrix, if you'd be so kind to respond to this. Is there water that is deep, but not deep enough to kill you on Forgeworld? So, water that you can walk around in, and not die. And if so, how much of the water can we walk in? Thanks. :)

Yep, there's shallow water. I had some fun early on setting up a Race map which send you driving along the beach beside and around the Island, a lot of which has you swimming and fording shallow water.

Posted by: Scarphace
Ferrex, Forge World seems a little big even for an 8 vs 8 Team Slayer game. I don't want to spend ten minutes wandering lonely caves and bases alone, with not even a blip on my radar. How has this been addressed?

Safe Zones limit players to certain parts of the map, as defined by the map author. If you leave the Safe Zone, you either die (hard Safe Zone) or are warned to return to the battle (soft Safe Zone.)

Posted by: critical ghost1
Can trees be forged

Also how many items total can we place at one time

I don't think there's any trees. They're just not very good objects for this kind of use--very floppy, physical, and hard to pull off believably.

And number of objects depends on the objects you choose. It'll vary a lot.

Posted by: the pib
About placing AA's on the map... when you pick one up, does it disappear from the map and go into your armor, as if you're picking up a weapon? If so, is it possible to place an AA on the map that stays on the map after someone picks it up (so your whole team can all get Jetpacks from one object placed on the map) or is it necessary to place multiple of them on the map to achieve this? And what happens to your old AA when you pick up a new one... does it drop on the floor for someone else to take, or just disappear?

It's like swapping weapons, so the old one hangs around.

Posted by: Jesse James 013
Any chance that one of the objects is a GIGANTIC wall, so we no longer have to build walls out of smaller blocks?

There is, in fact, a gigantic wall object. It's pretty damn large.

Posted by: Time Glitch
Can we still make objects be affected by gravity lifts and what not? This is pretty much how we made opening and closing doors beforehand, and I didn't see any objects like Crates or Dumpsters in the ViDoc.

Can we still do those kinds of things?

Yep, those sorts of objects still exist.

Posted by: BLOODED 2951
Ferrex, Can kill balls be expanded to make a lava pit?

Also, will man cannons possible negate fall damage?

No, but you could make a lethal fall by using a kill zone.

And I'm pretty sure man cannons can't negate fall damage. User beware!

Posted by: Yourm0md07c0m
when you set a vehicle to be team specific, does that mean that only that team can drive/pilot it?

No, I don't think vehicles pay attention to which team owns them, except for inheriting team colors (in the case of the Mongoose on Rocket Race.)

Posted by: The Pudie
Sorry if this has been said before.But how high can you fly/build items,is there a limit or can we build in the middle of the sky?

Pretty dang high. There's lots of room for this kind of stuff.

Ok guys, I'm at my cutoff. I've gotta run, but I'll check in tomorrow and perhaps wade into another thread. There may be some more stuff to talk about then. :) Cheers!