New Map for Halo Reach: Sky Temple

Tanith’s inspirational Promontory got me thinking about building my own map for Halo: Reach. After a couple of weeks of evenings-and-weekends work, I present my first ever attempt at level design: Sky Temple.

It’s built high on the wall in the Lagoon area of Forge World, right between the two waterfalls. Here’s the layout:

The idea is that it’s a Sangheili temple, built out of the rock face. Two landing platforms accommodate the worshippers, who then make their way along the open plaza, past a pulpit, and through the forest of pillars to the inner sanctum and the altar. That’s where the sacrifices take place.

We played one round of playtesting today with the BBC team. We were 13 players – too many, as I’d designed the map for 4-on-4. I’d like to try it again with fewer people, so we can appreciate how it really works. My next map will have to accommodate more players. Watch your step, too – there are a LOT of places you can fall through. Our one playthrough had 30 deaths by falling. I have to admit, that *was* kind of the idea with this map – be careful or you’ll fall to your death. But that’s possibly too high to be amusing. If it’s annoying I’ll have to do something about that.

The weapons placement is obviously beta – everything needs adjusting.

Other points:
1 – Blue team spawns near a tower with the plasma launcher, Red team spawns near a tower with the focus rifle. All other weapons are placed symmetrically.

2 – The grav hammers are on platforms under the main level, where their names are written.  The platforms are just close enough together that an elite can jump across, if he crouch-jumps and the timing is perfect. Spartans fall to their death.

3 – The sniper rifle spawns ON TOP of the pillar marked on the map. You need to fly there with a jetpack, or use the grav lift on Blue side. It involves some jumping.

4 – The Banshees are crippled on this map by the fact that the sky is finite. I didn’t know this when I started, but players are actually physically restrained from flying much higher than the altitude the banshees spawn at. The map is too high up the cliff, and Banshees can’t actually gain any altitude. It’s a shame, but I might have to remove them.

5 – There are actually THREE grav hammers on this map. One of them is in a secret location that only a person with a jetpack can get out of.

All of your thoughts and comments are most welcome. If everyone could tell me one thing they like and one thing they don’t like, that would be super super useful!

A study in Cardboard

I suspect that we’ve all battled friends, siblings or imaginary dragons with cardboard tubes wielded as fearsome Swords of Legend. Some of us have probably built forts from discarded boxes, and I bet that one or two have purposed cardboard tubes and boxes into crude but amusing robot costumes.

This kid makes all your shit look prety weak:

The fact that many of the weapons articulate is particularly impressive, as is the young man’s faithful recreation of the various firing and reload animations.

I need gun – lots of gun

Rusty told us about this on Sunday, but it’s time to share with the whole Objective 514 community: the U.S. Navy recently tested a new toy:

“The railgun uses electromagnetic energy instead of explosive chemical propellants to fire a projectile farther and faster. The railgun […] will ultimately fire a projectile more than 230 miles (370 kilometers) with a muzzle velocity seven times the speed of sound (Mach 7) and a velocity of Mach 5 at impact.”

Check out LiveScience’s full article here. Choice quote:

I never ever want to see a Sailor or Marine in a fair fight.” – Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations.

Moer liek n00bstick, m i rite?

Zombie hunters rejoice! The AA-12 tactical shogun is here!