1. Preview: Flatline

      written by Ray Benefield
      Less than 3 weeks to Halo: Reach folks. We are inching ever closer. Good news is the blog is actually starting to get some decent attention. I just started transferring my Forge Lessons one at a time every other day yesterday. And what do ya know? Lesson 1 was featured on Gamasutra this morning: Level Design Lesson 1: First Impressions. Not too shabby... with that and the featuring of the series at TCE and Forgineers I can't go wrong. ;) Anyways, today I'm previewing one of my planned gametypes for Reach. It is simple, but complex and clever all at the same time. I'm hoping it will catch on like Hot Potato and Conquest has. Introducing a new way to slay... Flatline. (Thank you Time Glitch for the great name suggestion)

      The Basics

      Alright so first things first, I love evade. It reminds me of Armored Core's quick boosting and dashing in Gunz: The Duel. It allows you to instantaneously change your direction and re-position you in order to throw your opponent off guard. I love the concept of being able to out maneuver my opponent so I really wanted to fully utilized evade. Evade is all about horizontal maneuvering so I decided that my new gametype was going to remove your ability to maneuver vertically. So in comes 0% jump height. The game is meant to be fast paced so let's throw in some increased speed to get your juices pumping... maybe 110% or 125%. Finally let's reward people for being able to maneuver extremely well being able to avoid fire for a decent amount of time while in combat. Your reward is faster shield recharge rate. And since I love evade so much you can do it as many times as you want, in comes infinite equipment usage. And now we have what I now call Flatline.

      The Results

      So here are the gametype settings:

      • Faster Movement Speed
      • Infinite Equipment Usage
      • One loadout featuring Evade as the armor ability
      • Quick Shield Recharge Rate
      • No Jumping

      The result of all of these put together is a fast paced slayer gametype that revolves around utilizing evade to out maneuver and out play your opponent. You are rewarded for taking cover to recharge your shields or just plain being good at not getting hit. You are able to traverse the map very quickly in order to hunt down your pray. There will be no shortcuts available to you and the only height advantage that you can achieve is by natural landscape height. Some of you may feel that infinite Evade is going to make it to easy to avoid shots and stay alive. If this is true I may be upping weapon damage.

      The Uniqueness

      The reason this gametype is going to play uniquely is because it forces you to use paths that you may never have used before because you can no longer jump. Railings can no longer be jumped over but they can still be shot over. Rocks now act as if they are massive columns that you can't just jump over. Imagine maneuvering around Swordbase with no jump and no jetpack. While that seems frightening at first remember moving around it as an elite with evade... now imagine moving through it much faster. Swordbase now becomes a pretty small map. Players are now more predictable in their paths making the gameplay not much about flanking and tricking your opponent, but now a game of who can out maneuver and out shoot who. I look forward to fully playtesting this on every map imaginable. It requires no special maps so not only will it play on default maps, but it will play on any map that you make that is designed to play Slayer. Maybe together we can find out what level design aspects really make this gametype shine. Imagine the possibilities of a low to the ground ramp that you can't just jump over because of the railing there. It makes you move different, it makes you play different. It is a whole new game for us to play within the Halo: Reach engine.

      See you guys tomorrow with Forge Lesson 14.


      IxFlashPointxI said...

      Seem's nice... I like. It seems really basic but looks like it could play really well...
      Am I spelling really wrong? It looks ike its off to me...

      Anyways, I really like the gametype and I would love to design maps with you for this. I could even make them by myself if you would like, you would just need to tell me what you want as of design and such.

      Also, we need to get together or chat over Xforgery or TheCustomExperience and I will explain my new gametype to you.

      Neo Arkitect said...

      Remaking some old maps from Goldeneye would go great with this gametype!

      GodlyPerfection said...

      I know right Neo... it is going to be a blast to play and I can't wait. And flashpoint you always seem to catch me at the weirdest times lol. Anyways, you read my going underground post. If you wanna design a map and I'll help you polish it then that's cool, but I've gotta design my own stuff for a while.

      IxFlashPointxI said...

      Yeah thats cool, I think it would be cool to design a map for this too... Just give me the basis of how you want the map design, just like how you outlined like the linear design of conquest maps.

      I'll try to design a map for it later on sketchup, I just need a basis.

      Silver0range said...

      Yeah, I'd love to create a map for this if it turns out to be enjoyable and I have no brilliant ideas of my own (hopefully that won't be the case).

      I'm envisioning a large central courtyard with pillars and height variation - perhaps ramps or something you could roll off of for shits and giggles, and overhangs and catwalks that will have a good view but will not be able to jump down into the courtyard to chase fleeing prey. Yeah, this sounds sexy.

      Legolum said...

      o.o, Didn't think you played many if any PC games, much less gunz. If only wall jumping was possible in Halo (as something to set up), I'd be right on top of making a Gunz gametype.. still, this sounds really, really fun and should give the game some fast pase gameplay. What about weapons, though? Which would you use? I would think only human weapons. AR, pistol, prob no sniper or DMR because then people would do more camping then rolling. Swords for side arms?

      BadCompany Brik said...

      Hmm. I think Evade allows you to jump over some small obstacles, that maybe go up to knee height. I'm not positive, but you might be able to Evade over the railings on Sword Base.

      The only problem I might see with this gametype is that hiding spots that were really good can now become amazing. For example, High Vent on Swordbase was really good because there weren't that many ways in. You either went up the conventional way, or you Jetpack'd in from the outside. Now there will only be a single way up there.

      All in all though, this seems really interesting, and I can think of some great map ideas I could design to play it on.

      Silver0range said...

      I think we'll have to wait and see how it plays. Personally, I don't think camping with high vantage points or any of the power weapons (or any weapons at al) should be limited. In fact, I think the fast movement of evade will certainly reduce their power by a great deal. I don't think I've seen anyone getting a 1-shot sniper kill on an elite in a diveroll =P.

      Beyond that, camping might become a lot less useful if its hard to try to pick people off from a vantage point while watching your radar for super-fast ambushers.

      Sotha said...

      I made a post on your thread in XF. See my full statement there.

      But I think it sounds like it will be a lot of fun, once it's properly balanced at least.

      There are just so many possibilities and different ways to implement modified jump height/gravity options. I can't wait to start working on my ideas! (see XF).

      StingerSplash01 said...

      Time to make for lost time, I like the gametype mainly for the reason that it forces you to play differently, people nowadays take jumping for granted to point where the moment they get shot they jump. Something to keep in minds though Elites by default run as fast as a sprinting Spartan in Reach. So that means they already move approx. 25% faster and adding another 25-50% means your actually looking at a 50-75% increase in speed in relation to Spartans which are the yardstick in Reach.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      But who said the gameplay was going to feature just Elites? Spartans have evade too.

      StingerSplash01 said...

      I didn't think spartans had evade, as I the only thing I've seen was that it was elite-specific.

      IxFlashPointxI said...

      Theres a leaked vid showing evade as a spartan

      Legolum said...

      Elites can use sprint as well as spartans can use evade, but in matchmaking they cannot. so for custom games, you will see it, for matchmaking never.