Halo 5 developer 343 Industries has finally pulled the curtain back on the series' returning Forge level creation tools, and the studio expects fans will think it was worth the wait.
The short version? 343 has significantly overhauled the tool and have given it abilities more in line with an internal development resource, albeit in a manner designed around a controller. In a post made to the Halo Waypoint blog, Halo 5 head Josh Holmes explained that the team recently invited several well-known Forge creators from the community — whom 343 lovingly referred to as "cartographers" — to try the new tools, which they show in the video below.
In the blog post, 343 emphasizes how much community feedback has directly affected the new Forge design. "Throughout their visit, the cartographers provided feedback and feature requests that were then turned around in nightly updates from the Forge team," Holmes writes. According to Forge design lead Tom French (whose epic beard you may recognize from his time at the now-defunct Pandemic Studios as lead designer on The Saboteur, released in 2009), "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."
French cites features including the revised control scheme, "multi-select and edit" abilities, a free camera, contextual control helper, more robust rotation and copy options with smart magnets and snapping as well as more powerful scripting tools that can be applied to almost all of the mode's more than 1600 objects as reasons for the new Forge's potential appeal to Halo fans.
The blog has an enormous amount of information for Forge users to pick over. They'll have some time to ponder the possibilities. While Halo 5: Guardians launches on Oct. 27, the Forge component is not expected to be available until December.