Forging Ahead Index

Forging Ahead: Origin Story

Part 1 | Continuing with the Forge theme of the past few articles, this is the first in what will be an ongoing series about crafting maps in Reach’s Forge mode, from tinkering to designing to play testing.  In the first installment, we establish the premise for the series and look ahead to where it’s going soon.

Forging Ahead: Testing Ground

Part 2 | Taking lessons learned from the budget limitations of Halo 3’s Forge, we explore the planning process for a large-scale BTB map in Reach using entirely objects from the Forge palette. In planning the foundation of the map, we test the limit of the new Forge’s ability to create enough terrain to support ground vehicles and come away impressed.

Forging Ahead: The Big Picture

Part 3 | With Forge stress tested to make sure it can build a big team battle map, we move on to identifying the key design goals of the map, and then constructing a foundation to achieve them.

Forging Ahead: Dead Ends

Part 4 | With a foundation set for the map, we test out how well suited the space is for ground vehicles, and get a hard lesson in vehicle physics. The map layout gets its first major revision to account for vehicle handling and to vary the base approaches.

Forging Ahead: Home Sweet Home

Part 5 | After the first major redesign, we start the process of building out the bases and segmenting the sight lines, and in the process make a pair of breakthroughs which solve key problems with the maps flow.

Forging Ahead: Another Set of Eyes

Part 6 | After another breakthrough on the design of map’s foundation, we begin the process of blocking out the major sections of the map for infantry and vehicles. And along the way, get a couple of big assists on base design from some impromptu playtests.

Forging Ahead: Battle Plans

Part 7 | With the major components of the map roughed in, we add a much needed layer of polish and prepare the map for its final play test by adding in the weapons and designing the spawn layout.

Forging Ahead: Cut & Polish

Part 8 | After a few weeks of mostly solitary development, Crossroads gets subjected to its first round of play testing. We look at what kinds of feedback came from the sessions, and the adjustments made in response.

Forging Ahead: Back to Basics

Part 9 | In the penultimate update on Crossroads we zero in on a series of refinements, with a final polish pass on base design and vehicle movement.

Forging Ahead: Ship It

Part 10 | After weighing how much the layout impacts players perception of scale, Crossroads gets on last polish pass to address infantry movement, and goes through the final round of playtests.

Forging Ahead: Used Canvas

Part 11 | After a brief hiatus on map making after wrapping up Crossroads, we take a step back to evaluate how Forge has evolved from its Halo 3 iteration, and how effective it is as a map creation suite.

Forging Ahead: Whirwind Tour

Part 12 | We kick off the start of a second large-scale map on Forge World by searching for an ideal BTB space, and then speed through the development of the first, untested iteration.

Forging Ahead: Herding Cats

Part 13 | The results of the first playtest on Sandybridge is in, and the verdict was a resounding thumbs down. We look at what went wrong, and undertake a near total map rebuild to address it.

Forging Ahead: Unfinished Business

Part 14 | Forging Ahead breaks its hiatus for a final look at the possibilities – and limitations – that Reach brings to map makers.


  1. Jake
    November 23, 2010

    Epic map dude. Really made me think about the layout of a few maps I’ve made. Very interesting to see the finished result after reading how the map has been evolved and refined. The amount of thought gone into this really shines through on the map. Loving the concept of the neutral bomb being over the middle.
    All in all, a learning experience for everyone. Keep it up 😉

  2. Greynade
    November 29, 2010

    Yeah, man! I’ve been checking in on this blog a couple times, and have been pretty eager to play the map. Just downloaded it now, and I’m looking forward to whipping it out when I’m leading a big custom game party. Thank you for your excellent forgey contribution to the Halo: Reach community!

  3. DonkeyManda
    December 10, 2010

    hey, awesome map, PLEASE do another b log whenever you continue your map making! also, hopefully gets put into matchmaking! =D

  4. Lashandra Benard
    December 3, 2011

    French TGVs have been using 300 km/h (186 mph) as their standard cruising speed for many, many years now, and they’ve recently started to go faster on scheduled routes. Germany has TGV-type trains on its high-speed network.

    • craZboy557
      September 27, 2012

      Ok, this is probably relevant to something, maybe in one of the entries, but to me and I’m sure the rest of us this just sounds like giberish.

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