Tired of being ignored is more like it.
Time has taught me patience, but frankly I’m tired of waiting and asking. I’ve been polite. I’ve gone through the right channels. I’ve done what any person who desperately wants some answers would do: Conduct myself in a professional and courteous manner, and hope that I will be given the answers to my questions in time.
Things have not turned out as I’d hoped.
Since Halo 3 was released, it seems like nobody in charge has given a Grunts behind about Custom Game creators. For the uninformed, we proud few are the ones you see diddling around in Forge all day and Custom game lobbies to create unique gametypes that usually play nothing like Halo at all. We do this because we enjoy the creative freedom that Halo allows us, and we like to see what original content we can come up with to give us a break from your standard Halo gameplay. This stuff can branch from simple Zombies maps to full-blown mini-games like Pinball or Double Rainbow. It’s a wonderful world.
A world that has been repeatedly and consistently ignored by whoever’s in charge of the Halo franchise, be that Bungie or 343.
Let me tell you all a little story. When Halo Reach came out, every custom game creator out there was super excited. We were happy to get to play with Armor Abilities and all the new gametypes Reach offered. What we got was a disaster. Anyone with enough experience with gametypes will tell you that somebody at Bungie QA did not do their job, or simply didn’t care. Juggernaut alone is testament to just how little work went into custom games in Reach (You cannot change any Juggernaut traits at all, despite them being customizable in the menu). Almost every gametype has some kind of huge bug in it that can be replicated quite easily. Anyone with a brain can see that it was not up to par, and anyone who cared wouldn’t have released them in such a state.
Yet, it never got fixed. The only gametype that got any attention was Infection, and that was because Jeremiah (God bless the man, the only Bungie employee who ever gave a crap about the playerbase) needed to push out Alpha Zombies for matchmaking. Custom game creators like myself cried out for fixes, but none came.
I digress. The past year or so has been a dark one for customs. Nobody makes them because nobody can. All the possibilities are dried up, and we’re hoping so badly for Halo 4 to be our second coming. But, only being a little over a month from release… We have heard YOINK ALL about Customs in Halo 4. They’ve answered questions about this map, or this mechanic, or this weapon; Pretty much anything the regular playerbase wants to know, 343 has given an answer on.
But what about us?!*
- Is VIP in the game?
- Can these new Flood models be turned off in favor of regular spartan models? Can we give them weapons/AAs/Mods?
- How about AAs, can we still place them in the maps?
- Can you force players to have certain armor mods/specializations in customs without them unlocking them first?
- Can we get any details at all about Forge other than “It exists AND LOOK SHADOWS!”?
- Are there any new options for player traits, or weapon traits, or anything of use at all for us?
- Are there any new features or options at all that were built with us in mind?
Most of these are simple yes or no questions, yet most of them have gone completely unanswered. Hell, most of them aren’t even acknowledged. It seems that just because we don’t have a big enough community, we don’t get a voice and we don’t get to know anything about what we care about in Halo 4 the most.
But, I have hope. I have hope because I remember one day a few months ago, before most of the big Halo 4 news started to break… I sent a small letter to our lovely bs angel about custom games in Halo 4. It was a short letter, not too many paragraphs, and it explained just a few points of what the custom games community is looking forward to in Halo 4, and maybe how the design team could do a few small things to help us out. She politely replied and said she passed it along to those who could do something about it. It was a beacon, but we never heard a word about customs since.
343, I know you guys are listening. I know you care. It is very obvious that you care a great deal. So please, please throw us Custom Creators a bone and give us some information. Answer just a few questions. Please give us something to look forward to. We are a battered, lonely little community that could really use some love right about now.
I hope that you poured as much passion and care into Halo 4’s custom game options as you have with the rest of the game, because Halo 4 looks amazing. Thank you for the game, and best of luck in finishing it up.
I feel that this individual’s reply encapsulate’s my concern perfectly:
> - Can these new Flood models be turned off in favor of regular spartan models? Can we give them weapons/AAs/Mods? Perhaps. <mark>Don’t see why you would want to though.</mark>
This, right here, is exactly what I’m afraid the developers are thinking right now. I’m terrified because they don’t think things through like custom game creators do. We don’t look at Flood and think “Ok, this is a gameype for zombies. Okay.” We think “How can I use this for something original, maybe even involving two sides of human players, each with different traits? Hmm…” and then the cogs start moving.
These gametypes are not limited to their base function, and that’s something Bungie NEVER realized, and something that many people still don’t realize. I saw tons of Infection variants in my time with Halo 3 and Reach, and stuff that went far beyond the confines of “Humans vs. Zombies”.