In 2007, the original Forge mode was released in Halo, giving players the chance to collaborate and create brand-new, unique experiences for the game's multiplayer. With each installment in the franchise, Forge mode has been improved upon, and with Halo 5: Guardians, 343 Industries is looking to take "a giant leap forward," removing as many constraints as possible and giving players "more power and control than ever before."
" As we developed our vision, we challenged ourselves to think big, for Halo 5 and the future beyond. We compiled our ideas, scoured the internet for community wish lists, and stirred it all together. Rather than just tack a handful of new features on top of what’s already there, it was important to examine every nook and cranny to make sure even the foundations for building with Forge were up to snuff," said design lead Tom French.
"Building with Forge was a slow and methodical process, and we felt that was the first thing we needed to fix. We wanted to streamline building so users could build faster, build prettier, and build MORE, MORE, MORE! We took philosophical cues from professional level editing tools to redesign our core systems to make them more powerful while maintaining fluid controller-based editing. It was important for us to rip out arbitrary restrictions in order to unshackle map builders, empowering more creativity with every piece placed, enabling imagination to run rampant, and find ideas that we never even expected."
To that end, here's just the beginning of a giant list of changes players can expect in Halo 5: Guardian's Forge mode.
Controller Based Editing 2.0
- Improved Control Scheme – Revised controls keeps users hands in the default “home” position so there’s less reaching for buttons which speeds up the building process. Don’t worry long-time Forgers, it took the Forgers we brought in a little bit to get used to but even the most hesitant were soon up and building maps at full speed.
- Multi-Select/Edit – Users can select and manipulate up to 64 individual objects at one time (more if combined with Groups); movement, rotation, property editing, everything you’re able to do to a single object.
- Free Camera – The camera no longer snaps to objects being edited. Users can freely position the camera to find the best vantage point to edit from. To orbit around selected objects like past Forges, simply click the right-stick to “lock on” to the objects and click again to cycle between multiple zoom levels.
- Contextual Control Helper – This lets the user see, in real time, what each controller input does. Users can change from “basic” settings to learn the ropes, “advanced” for the power user controls, or turn the helper off once everything becomes second nature.
- Grid/Rotation Snaps – Switch between multiple grid/rotation snap settings quickly to help align objects perfectly with each other. The bulk of the Forge specific assets are built to a grid so they interact perfectly with each other, making building even easier. There’s even a very small grid snap that can be used to fix z-fighting without making “bumps” or very precise grid editing.
- Precision Editing – Precision editing returns to enable fine tuning of object placement. On top of that, there’s a power user trick we call “double analog” precision that allows for even finer manipulation.
- Smart Magnets – Magnets no longer snap objects while moving them around. Instead they draw connection lines between magnets that will snap when the input is released. Additionally the camera can be aimed at magnets to influence which ones will snap giving extra precision when building with magnets.
Over on Halo Waypoint, you can find the massive list of changes and tweaks for Forge mode.