WARNING: WALL OF TEXT AHEAD (Skip the intro and get to the point if you must).
I’ve just finished browsing through videos on YouTube about Halo: CE and Halo 2 Vista map editing. Tutorials, finished maps, machinimas, you name it. I don’t have the patience, time, or skills to make a map with those tools, and neither do I have Halo: PC or Halo 2 Vista. None of my friends play them either, which would make the point of a custom-made map almost moot.
Earlier, I spent most of my day organizing my Forge maps on Halo: Reach and watching videos on YouTube about Forge maps. Some of them were exquisite and I further contributed to the disorganized mess of maps on my lengthy list. Forge is a fantastic tool. However, it is also very limited.
Halo 4 needs a proper map editor.
Picture this: You turn on your Xbox 360, put Halo 4 in, select “Map Editor” from the main menu, and jump in. You are able to edit terrain, create and import custom textures, alter the texture on weapons and vehicles, edit default vehicle speed, weapon rate of fire and other attributes, all in one custom map.
You should be able to perform the following actions in the editor:
-Easily edit terrain in a manner superior to that of Far Cry 2. (ie. form caves and overhangs)
-Raise and lower the level of different areas of water, rather than a master height. -Waterfalls and rivers (with currents) would be optimal.
-Have complete control over the skybox, with the ability to create or import a picture from a preset gallery provided in the game by 343i or your own from a computer.
-Create fog or mist and have complete control over lighting and effects. You can do it in RPG Maker XP, for Pete’s sake.
-Other extensive environmental effects including rain and snow.
-Weapon placement. Floating weapons should not act like they do in Reach.
-Vehicle placement. Individual weapons and vehicles should have an option to make them unavailable for pickup by the player… just for scenery.
-Tree placement. There should be a library ingame of different tree models.
-Vehicle and weapon texture library for changes. Also able to import from a computer.
-The ability to place bots, custom bots, fires, smoke, shattered vehicle hulks, bloodstains, and small innocuous objects.
-Ammo packs should make a return, as should breakable glass.
-The ability to create 3D objects without a complicated process and store them on your Xbox 360 for further use.
These, among other obvious things, would be great features. 343i could easily implement them in a map editor, given a few months to develop it. The following are examples of what I want to quickly, easily, and efficiently have the ability to do with the map editor:
- Dig a hole in the ground with terrain tools.
- Fill the hole with water.
- Use a lava texture from the library or somehow import one from my computer.
- Change the color of the water to red.
- Remove surface waves.
- Add a kill barrier to the surface of the lava.
- Add red lighting to the water.
There you have it! Crude, but effective lava. What I’ve always wanted to do was build the Titanic sinking and host a Slayer match on it. It would be frozen in mid-sinking, of course. (I’m doing this in Forge World, but with big ugly grey objects, land everywhere, and a bright blue sky, it just doesn’t work).
- Add night skybox with no clouds, no moon, but full of stars.
- Fill map with dark water.
- Import necessary textures.
- Build ship with 3D objects and import to map.
- Position ship properly, tilt forward at necessary angle.
- Add gates and doors to limit access to aft areas of the ship.
- Add invisible barriers on gates, as they would be low enough to jump over.
- Create lights where required.
- Import lifeboat objects and add 2 floating in water. They’re not vehicles, but if you melee one, it will float away.
- Add weapons.
- Add spawn points.
- Slightly lower water kill barrier inside ship, and make windows below the water level indestructible.
- Set loadout camera and set map preview image.
- Alter weapon textures to better suit the year 1912. (Lol)
Imagine playing a game of Team Slayer on Titanic! It would be so intense, and relatively easy to build, if you had the patience. It would be even cooler if you could make it actively sinking and put enemy Elites all over it, but…
This may be an unrealistic dream, but it’s one I sincerely hope 343i can make come true. I know I haven’t been very specific about how exactly you’d import stuff or make 3D objects, but I’m not a game designer, I’m merely an idealist. Please discuss and comment, and tell me about anything I’ve missed or suggestions for improvement. Thanks!
PS. Could you ever imagine Halo 4 dying with a map editor like this? Coupled with an amazing Campaign (with a Campaign map editor perhaps?), an even better Multiplayer (Matchmaking Custom Games anyone?), Firefight (map editing for that too?) great Customs, and folders for our maps, Halo 4 would never die!