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Pkabooicu Offline
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CheeseJam Interview : Creator of HALO WARS map - 06-09-2009 , 01:55 PM

Cheesy-Jam, how are you?! I'm here to deliver you to the mercy of the viewers. Are you prepared?
Too bad.

Doin' good. I am never prepared.

But, of course, before you're thrown to your knees and devoured by the godless heathens that go to this site(I love you all), I do have a question or two about your new map, [html=http://highimpacthalo.org/forum/showthread.php?t=51515]Halo Wars[/html]. If you could indulge my curiosity.
My first question, the most obvious, what on earth inspired you to create a map in a First Person Shooter that attempts to function as a Real Time Strategy game?

The game Halo Wars inspired me of course! When I first played Halo Wars, I loved it. But, I felt it was missing all of the action that makes Halo so great. So I thought to myself, "Why not combine the two games into a level on Sandbox?"

Well, a second, and just as important, question is more focused on your plot. How do you survive in the desert when exiled from society? Or do the rebel armies eat their defeated opponents to gain their rich, juicy courage?


The Commander drops down all of the players necessities: Weapons, Vehicles, watermelons, and cases of Purple Drank.

"The Wraith spawns at the one minute mark (and one minute after it is destroyed). To drop it down, you shoot a pallet holding it up"
Doesn't it seem like you should be spending more for a tank than for one lousy infantry?(no offense to you bullet-sponges that happen to play on this map)
Furthermore, what happens when you accidentally shoot off target and blow up a key gravity lift that your pawns had intended to use in order to gain freedom?

They aren't just "lousy infantry", they are Spartans. In the game Halo Wars, a Wraith costs 350 resources, and a Spartan costs 300 resources. Plus the Wraiths don't come Fed Exed with a driver already inside like in the game Halo Wars. If anything, Spartans should cost more Wraiths because they are far more valuable.
A pallet is shot by the Commander to drop down a Portable Gravity Lift. There are no regular Gravity Lifts used, therefore there are none the Commander can shoot!

That makes sense... I suppose.
Now, my 360 is temporarily without new maps, but from the pictures, it seems like it might be possible for one commander to snipe the other. Wouldn't that just be the best way to win? Like... ever?

A Custom Powerup spawns every minute on top of the Commander, and the traits last for 90 seconds. One of the traits that the Custom Powerup gives the Commander is invulnerability.

Well, now you're just taking all the fun out of the game.
While I have to say that the creativity level on this map is off the charts, it also feels like a map with so many "triggered" functions would be full of bugs and potential game-ruining glitches. What say you to these accusations? How do you prevent the fun from draining out of the players' eyeballs?

All I could do was test, test, test! The Wraiths, Hornets, and Mongeese work perfectly 99%, if not 100%, of the time. The two Portable Gravity Lifts on each side are a little less inconsistent because when the pallet holding them up is shot, the broken pieces can throw off its falling trajectory. Most of the spawns for Spartans don't use the Portable Gravity Lifts, which still works 95% of the time, so there really aren't any game breaking problems. I think I did the best I could though.

95% is 5% too low.
And for that matter, how much time did you spend playtesting this game? You said you spent 30 hours making it, but that doesn't tell us how much you experimented with it using a full complement of stooges.

I must have tested at least five hours on all of the triggers and stuff. But as far as testing the actual gametype on the map, I didn't test it as much as would have liked. I really couldn't get enough people to play with me, so most of my playtesting was 3 vs. 3 or 4 vs. 4. I also did some 1 vs. 1 testing to make sure you die at the same rate as you do in Halo Wars.

Next question: Please tell us the story behind the name, "Nazi base." I'm aware this isn't a question. Deal with it.

Well, I was running low on budget, and had two bases left to build. Minor bases, but still bases. I decided to make a simple square base, using four double boxes as walls. I wanted the base to be very accessible, so I also put in four doors. The end result looked like a Swastika. I could tell right away, but didn't mention it to anybody. My friend chung_wii was checking out the map, and he blurted out, "OMG that base looks like a Swastika, haha! Let's call that base the Nazi Base!" The name stuck ever since.Or maybe it is all a conspiracy. My grandma did shake Hitler's hand once....

You.... You monster. I feel dirty talking to you...
However, the show must go on.
So, you said in your "process" description that for every problem you found, you found three more, and for every solution, two more problems.

Thus, assuming you found roughly 50 problems(fairly low for a map this complicated), and fixed 42 of them(also a little too low for a contest-winning map), then that means the finished project has 242 problems.
Why are you giving us a map with 242 problems?
That was a rhetorical question, and the answer is my fist.


Eloquent response.
Finally, you said this was your first real map, and I believe ReiKo said something similar.
Given that you two both won the contest, I'm forced to assume that either you're both gods at map design, or skill goes, contrary to my previous theories, backwards, from good to bad. How do you respond to this idea?

Or we are the only people who entered the contest, and both of our maps are equally bad.

Jokes aside, 'Halo Wars' was my first real map in Forge, but not ever in a video game. I used to constantly make maps in the Farcry series (Which has a far superior map creator I might add, too bad the game itself sucks). I have always been drawn to games with some sort of creation feature like Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts, n+, Boom Blox, Little Big Planet, and more.

Thanks for taking the time to read these questions, and I have to say, your name sounds like the grossest food.
Thanks for the interview, here's a picture of cheese jam to tease your taste buds.


Well... In either case, I love you.

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06-09-2009 , 04:25 PM



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