1. A letter to Forge

      written by Ray Benefield
      So while browsing around this morning I stumbled upon the blog of the lead designer of Red Faction: Armageddon, Jameson Durall. He has quite a few really valuable posts on Game Design that I think you guys could benefit from if you want to get into the industry. After seeing this I got to thinking how long it takes for a level designer to get feedback for the work that they have done in a game. Can you imagine building your map and only just getting true feedback 1-3 years after you have initially designed it? What we have in Forge is something truly special and we all owe Forge a great deal for all that it has allowed us to learn in such a short period of time. As forgers, we do not have to wait for a game to be released to get our feedback. We just build and test and tweak. Here is my thank you letter to forge which discusses how powerful it truly is and how it is shaping game/level designers left and right.

      Dear Forge,

      I would like to thank you for all that you have provided for myself, my friends, and my fellow forgers. You have given us the ability to bring our creations to life. We have spent three long and satisfying years with you as you grew into your teenage years. And through those three years we have grown with you. Thanks to you thousands of halo players around the world have delved into the world of game and level design without even realizing it. You give us something that many professional game and level designers wish they have. A way to design, create, playtest, and obtain feedback from the real gaming community in as little time as a single day. Game designers and level designers wish they had that kind of power. We are all grateful for what you have provided for us.

      With you we do not have to wait for a job in the game development industry in order to gain experience. We just need to simply put in our Halo 3 or Halo: Reach disk so that we may build our creations in our own time. With you we do not need to wait for the end of a game's long development cycle of two to three years in order to show our creations to the gaming community. We just need to share it with our friends and our favorite communities. With you we are able to get feedback from our creations in order to help us learn and grow in our design skills. With you we have experienced what it is like to be a true game designer and a true level designer without requiring those two to five years of experience that jobs require. With you we have learned how we may appease our players. With you we have access to a large player base in which we can share our ideas. With you we are breaking into the game development industry.

      I wish that game designers and level designers saw in you what we do. Instead of having to wait years to find out if our crazy game and map ideas will be enjoyed by the community, we only have to wait until we finish building our creations. At that point all we must do is share it with the rest of the Halo community which takes a matter of seconds. If I were them I would take the time to build and test their level designs through you. If I were them I would experiment with new design theories by putting forth their ideas through you and getting immediate feedback from other Halo players.

      Forge... it is because of you and you alone that I have been able to create my level design theory lessons. I have called them Forge Lessons in your honor. And I will use them to help teach other aspiring game and level designers. I will forever be in your debt for the future that lies ahead of me. It is because of you that I have learned how to design great games and maps for all players to enjoy. I did not learn from some class in some college. I learned because of what you have offered me. If I fulfill my dream of being a game designer and one day a game development company owner it is because I have learned so much from you. Thank you Forge.

      Before I go I want to let you know that I am looking forward to your step into adulthood. Halo: Reach is your big debut my friend. All those who did not believe in you before will regret that they did not see the potential that you hold. I hope that you open yourself up to all of those who have not had the time to get to know you as we have. I know that you are not as advanced as all of those other level editors out there, but do not feel bad. You are the easiest to befriend for those of us who are quite shy towards level design. I guarantee that you will always be my best friend. I owe you my life because you have set myself and many other aspiring designers in motion. I shall stand by you the whole way through and introduce the world to the knowledge that you hold inside of you. Now that you have coordinate editing, rotation snapping, object phasing, and such a large sandbox to play in you will be much easier to share. I guess I have your father Bungie to thank for that.

      Thank you Bungie for the child that you have raise. He is going to change the world. I can guarantee that.

      Your loyal friend,

      Raymond Benefield
      GT: GodlyPerfection


      GD27 BlueDevil said...

      Amen, PRAISE THE LORD!

      IxFlashPointxI said...


      Legolum said...

      *everyone claps*

      Cerberus Beast said...

      Namaste, Ohm, Amen, Allahu Akbar, Amein, it matters not the word. This letter need not even be written in words. It is written in the soul of anyone who has aspired and does aspire to utilize the Forge to the fullest extent that they are able. Thank you, Bungie. It's not just a 'map editor'.

      Neo Arkitect said...


      Legolum said...

      hey, you guys wouldn't know if you can build invasion maps on Forge world, do ya? or are they forced on the 2 "big team maps"?

      GodlyPerfection said...

      Actually you can forge invasion maps on Forge World Legolum... good news for you eh? lol...

      Legolum said...

      Yeah, apparently I dodge EVERY q & a possible that talked about that o.o.

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