Since its introduction in Halo 3, Forge has been an important part of the online Halo community. The creation suite allows users to make their own levels and share them with the world.
Doing so, however, hasn't always been easy. Though far easier than building a game from scratch, you still had to spend some quality time with Forge to get a grasp of what was and wasn't possible. In Halo 5, developer 343 Industries looks to expand Forge yet again, adding long-requested features that should speed up the map-making process considerably.
343 Industries describes what went into the changes in a Halo Waypoint blog post:
"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."
It details a few of the new improvements in the video below, with the team going far more in-depth over on the blog. By far one of the biggest additions is the ability to group objects and move them as if they were one. This means a player could craft a base on one side of the map, group it together, copy it, and then transport it to the other side of the map. After all, why do the work twice when once will suffice?
In addition to the grouping feature, this new version of Forge will have more than 1,600 objects for gamers to play with. Players will have more control over map lighting, colors and much more, with more ways to create levels that are truly their own. Players can begin crafting their own personal level using any of the game's Arena or Breakout maps, but 343 Industries is also including three "Forge Canvases," which will allow players to build the level of their dreams from scratch — including one set in space.
343 Industries brought in members of the Halo Forge community to take the new Forge for a spin, and it looks like they are more than pleased with what they've seen so far. Each player spent a week with the development team working on a new map, offering suggestions for the team that were then turned into nightly updates.
Forge won't be available in Halo 5 at launch on October 27, but will be coming as a free update to the game in December. Judging from what we've seen so far, it looks like it will be worth the wait.