As promised I am beginning a series in which I show some of my forge creations and give a bit of insight into my creative process. I want to make it very clear that while I am quite capable in the field of design I have no experience creating games or the worlds associated with them other than my forge dabblery. That said, my views on this subject are just that, my views.
Cop Out came from many places, it’s first purpose was to take a model I knew worked very well and replicate it with the idea of learning some things along the way. The second reason for my creation of Cop Out was to pay homage to one of my absolutely favorite Halo multiplayer maps, Lockout.
What I found during this process of recreation is that while Cop Out is very much an homage to my much beloved Halo 2 map, the tools available to me made it difficult to recreate the map exactly. As this progressed and I was faced with the issues of trying to recreate the gaming “flow” versus a pixel by pixel remake was that I found new ways that made for more interesting gameplay through use of Armor Abilities, primarily jetpack.
Man Cannon Tower- The space I have dubbed man cannon tower is very nearly identical to the original space in Lockout that housed the large room with a lift that brought the player up to the main level of the map. In Cop Out the lift is still present but I opted to not have the two shafts down either side of the lift that allowed players to drop from the main level into the room itself , instead I added a lower level platform outside both sides of the room that allow players to drop over the edge to escape or ambush rather than through the two drop shafts.
The Green Room- The green room in Lockout was always a fun section of the map, and this area has been quite faithfully represented in my homage. Players can drop into the green room through the hole in the middle lower section or enter it from the interior of Man Cannon Tower. The room itself sports some sharp angles that provide cover for players in the room, but its contained space makes it easier for attackers to pin people down in it.
The Ballroom- The Ballroom is the center area of the map on the top level, in old Lockout it was a scene of constant grenade spamming and some pretty wizard sword fights. This area remains largely untouched save for the sniper tower being accessible without jumping across any chasm.
Rocket Tower- Rocket tower is named for the rockets placed on top looking directly across at the Sniper Tower, this area of the map again remains largely unchanged save for the paths leading to and from. The tower provides minimal cover from sniper fire and some 90 degree angles to try and get the jump on unsuspecting players.
Triple Room- Triple room is similar to its predecessor save for the extra level directly above it, this area can only be reached via jetpacks or careful jumping from the Rocket Tower. To balance this decision the platform is ripe for a few good grenades to be tossed up onto it, which when they explode will ignite the fuel cells blowing anyone unlucky enough to be standing there to timbucktwo. For a touch of casual chaos, I also added a turret to the upper window of Triple Room that is highly exposed but in the right hands could control portions of the map.
The paths to and from the primary combat areas were the most troublesome when trying to recreate Lockout, so instead of spending hours stubbornly forging every tiny detail I opted to try and recreate the flow or feel of the area rather than an exact remake. These areas were changed to address ideas I had of what sort of combat I would like to see taking place in them, adding a second path from the Man Cannon Tower room has added an entirely new combat area which could prove to be very unique.
Weapon placement on the map is largely true to Lockout, with rockets being on Rocket Tower, the sniper rifle on Sniper tower, a DMR facing the Man Cannon Tower, the Sword in the drop down from Triple Room, and the shotgun in the Green Room. Both frags and plasma grenades are on the map as well.
What started out as a project to learn from the masters while honoring a most treasured map turned into what I feel is some of my finest work to date. I’m O.K. with the majority of the design coming from Bungie because the additions and tweaks I’ve added make it my map just as much as theirs. The rule of thumb when doing your own work that takes or borrows from another artist’s creative vision is that your own work must use the content in such a way that it’s not the other persons work with a bit of new flash slapped on top. I truly feel that what I’ve accomplished with Cop Out does things the right way.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my thought process and be sure to keep checking back for news maps and some community forge content that has caught my eye.
If you are interested in playing Cop Out for yourself you can download it from my file share (here). Comments or questions are always welcomed, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.