Before I begin I realize that I reference the Infection game mode quite frequently. I do not mean to single Infection out, but only to use it as an example seeing as it is present in both matchmaking playlists and frequently in custom game creations.
Hello everyone, I am not a frequent poster nor have I been playing halo a lot lately however, like the rest of you I am very excited for halo 4.
As a long time “forger” I would like to say that I have become pretty accomplished in making custom games that are fun to play or are marvels in terms of what a player made map can be given the limitations presented by forge. Regardless of how expansive it is, it will always have it’s limits.
However, this is not what I want to talk to you, the community, and 343 industries if possible, about. What I wish to bring up is not only stretching those limitations in forge but giving them a purpose.
I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I remember a time in halo 3 when random strangers could become great friends through laughter and appreciation of a fun and addicting custom game. We all know that finding a party with 16 players to play games like “Fat Kid” or “grifball” (before it was put into matchmaking) was a novel experience, Having the chance to play something not normally offered in game? astounding at the time. I loved having the opportunity to share with the community the maps I spent hours trying to get just right. I loved having the opportunity to hear 1st hand what people thought of my creations, whether it be through raised voices and laughter or simply leaving my party never to return.
Where did it all go? No one seems to care for custom games anymore because there’s no point to seeing YOUR custom map. Why should I, the player, after cycling through a list of literally thousands of maps labeled “free 10000000 credit mod”, “XXX HOT CHICK”, or “SUPER AWESOME FUN TIME MAP” feel that your map will be any different? Why should I play infection with you if I can go to matchmaking and play it there? You as a map creator can claim that your map and game type is “different” and “better” than the match made game but where will you ever find a player that will actually give you the benefit of the doubt after seeing all of the trashy player content available for them to look at on a giant list? In my Experiences it’s about 1 in 15.
When you look at matchmaking in Halo: Reach today what do you see? player made content everywhere across every playlist. You have access to infection, a staple game mode for custom game creators, and grifball which I can see is in it’s right because there isn’t too much variation. There are player made maps for slayer which look excellent however what we don’t seem to notice is how much it takes away from a custom game. Constantly bombarding the player with user created content makes a custom game feel, I would say, “nothing special”.
Now that I have finished explaining the situation I notice more and more every time I try to get a custom game party of 16 players going let me share my thoughts on what can be done.
Halo 3 was amazing in this sense. There was no way to play match making infection most of the time and people were more than willing to play user generated content and just have a good time. I suggest the removal of game types similar to party games such as Infection to be removed from matchmaking as it takes away from the point of forge. If games such as these are removed from matchmaking there will be a greater desire to get away from serious competitive play, make a quality game, and know that there is a large number of people who are willing to take a break from the normal halo matchmaking experience every once in a while to play something fun. I have found myself wondering what the point of making a map is when no one wants to play it, or I can have a party of 12 formed for me automatically in a matter of seconds in a matchmaking custom game.
But seriously, that giant list of downloadable user generated content? I’m not saying there isn’t a good number of quality maps in there, I’m saying that most of them are not and it kills the desire to give an honest map creator a chance to flaunt his creation, share it with others, and have fun along with his/her intended audience.
With that said, keep up the good work creating forge 3.0. The recent demonstration video gives me hope that many more, much more creative, maps will be made by the community and shared in such a way they become more accessible and enjoyable.
A matchmaking system for games like infection as well as player made content vying for the attention of the player sucks the point out of making a forge map that many players can enjoy anymore. If everyone is given the convenience of a matchmaking system to play a similar game that a player makes which could take well over half an hour to gather a full party for, the matchmaking game will take all the attention away from user generated content due to the time commitment. No one wants to play custom games anymore because of this, Map creators feel making a quality map is pointless due to lack of players willing to play, and too much access to user generated content like with the huge list of downloadable user content in Halo: Reach makes every player hesitant to even try a map some one has made to appeal to other people, not just themselves.