This is just all kinds of Sweetness. Yay forge! - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:49 PM
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Default This is just all kinds of Sweetness. Yay forge!

February 9, 2009 - Last week, Bungie introduced us to Sandbox and the rest of the Mythic Map Pack. They didn't, however, reveal the coolest feature of the new, massive Forge map. Today, Dan Miller, Designer at Bungie, and Chad Armstrong, Playlist Designer, answer more of our questions and reveal the secret feature of Sandbox that is going to set the world of Forge designers on fire.

As it turns out, the ground floor isn't the only section of this map to get excited about. Bungie also reveals what they were hinting at with their Edge Awards acceptance video. All of that and more in this exclusive interview.

IGN: What makes the skyward section of Sandbox so special that it deserves its own feature story?

Dan Miller: The "Sky Bubble" in Sandbox is something so completely unexpected and awesome that it will completely change the way people work with Forge. Instead of a standard single space to build and play on, we give you in essence two spaces that people can build on and even connect together. It gives players the ability to make the next Ascension or even Guardian 2.0! In the beginning, when we were thinking about the default Sandbox, we felt something was missing; we needed to give players something that they couldn't get from Forging any other level. The Sky Bubble infinitely expands on the variety of layouts players can make with Sandbox and will rock your mom's world.

IGN: Tell us about the upper level. What can we expect there?

Dan Miller: At first glance, the "Sky Bubble" is just that, a massive invisible pocket of skybox hovering over Sandbox. In Forge, players can access this bubble by switching into a Monitor and flying to a nearby teleporter. Once through, they will find themselves high above Sandbox with a grid that stretches out below them that they can place objects on. If players try walking or driving on it, they'll fall into the abyss and die. By creating a space that is more or less air, it changes a lot of the rules people have had with Forge and Foundry. No longer are people required to wall everything off so players can't leave the playspace -- the Sky Bubble will make sure that players won't find their way out of maps again.

IGN: How important will the use of vehicles be on the upper areas of Sandbox?

Dan Miller: Due to the open nature of the map, players can build stuff like Air Battles or Mongoose Race Tracks with aerial jumps. We've added a fair amount of air vehicles to the level so that vehicular combat is definitely possible. Just with our testers, we've seen a crazy amount of creativity in the sky bubble. I'm very confident that we're going to get game modes and variants that will blow us away with the Sky Bubble.

IGN: All told, how much playable space is there in Sandbox compared to other big Halo 3 maps?

Dan Miller: With the main and sky bubble spaces, I'm pretty confident this is the biggest map of pure playspace we've ever made.

IGN: How do you expect the strategies to differ on the upper level from the ground floor?

Dan Miller: I think that potentially one of the coolest things is that players can play on both spaces at once with the use of a couple of teleporters. I can imagine some crazy sniper games happening with players in the air vs. on the ground level. Also, I think Sky Bubble spaces will have to be built far more carefully to prevent players falling off the side to their death.
IGN: The last two map packs have both had levels designed specifically for use with the Forge. How well has the Forge community held up this long after release?

Chad Armstrong: The Forge Community has continued to grow, and we're constantly surprised by the variety of work Halo fans put on their file shares. We've long grown accustomed to our own community surprising us, but the breadth of work expands far beyond the original vision we had for Forge. Competitions are played on fully customized maps. Screenshots are taken with delicately built sculptures. The Forge fans of the world have developed tricks and techniques that have transformed Forge into something beyond our expectations, and Sandbox is our way of acknowledging that the community has raised the bar. Sandbox is actually the second map we're releasing that was built specifically with Forge in mind (the first being Foundry from the Heroic Map Pack), and we're really excited to see what the community will do. Sandbox is the biggest offering we can make to the Forge community without modifying the Forge itself, which unfortunately is not an option for Halo 3. Having said that, the Forge community has been an inspiration, and our internal bar has definitely been raised.

IGN: Speaking of the upper levels of Sandbox, when will we see more on Halo 3: ODST?

Dan Miller: Soon, my good friends, soon. In the meantime, enjoy Sandbox and the Mythic Map Pack!
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