Welcome to the Halo Waypoint Community Spotlight! The Halo community is without a doubt the most active, creative, and talented group of gamers in the world. This feature series will be covering some of the best and brightest our community has to offer: from forgers to machinima makers, podcasters, bloggers, artists, writers, and much more. Get to know some of your fellow Halo fans, and you just might grow to appreciate the games in a whole new way!
Today’s feature is about one of the most creative and talented forgers around: Pete the Duck!
With an official website of his very own (idleduck.com) as well as regular features and appearances on Halo Waypoint, Pete the Duck has dedicated hundreds of hours and dozens of videos to exploring the wonderful world of Forge. In particular, Pete the Duck has a passion for discovering the hidden potential of Forge mode. Almost every time I watch one of his videos, I see a new custom map or game type that seems flat-out impossible… yet Pete has found a way to build it and make it work!
Pete the Duck’s videos are also a great learning tool. Each episode of Forge with Pete begins by showing off a new map and game type, then goes on to teach us how it was made.
Pete the Duck was kind enough to answer a few questions for us:
CruelLEGACEY: Do you remember your very first experience with Forge mode? Did it fascinate you from the start, or did your interest grow over time?
Pete the Duck: As a Halo fan that loves to build things, Forge is something that I’ve always been interested in—although I definitely didn’t start out using it the way that I use it now. I can remember my first real experience with Forge was building a SWAT map in Halo 3 on Foundry. It turned out awful!
I tried making Infection maps for a while after that, but one fateful day I created the Flaming Ninja Challenge obstacle course. It was the first successful thing I had created, and the positive response was quite compelling. Later I made a few custom games during Halo 3, like Knockin’ Zombs (remade for Halo: Reach), but for the most part I continued to focus on creating obstacle courses.
One of the cool things about working on the Flaming Ninja Challenge was that I learned all of these unexpected ways that objects interact in Forge. For example, in Halo 3, golf balls bounce off of shield doors. To most people, that’s probably a useless fact. But when This Spartan Life announced their Halo 3 Rube Goldberg machine contest, I jumped on the opportunity to put all these tiny pieces of Forge knowledge to work:
I later had the chance to participate in a few episodes of This Spartan Life, and I credit that experience with pushing me to get more involved in the Halo community. That led me to host Last Forger Standing and start Forge with Pete, but behind all of it is me just having fun with Forge. I’m just a Halo fan that loves to build things.
CL: You have a knack for creating unique and unusual game types. What draws you to creating these sorts of experiences, rather than more traditional “Slayer” or “CTF” maps and gametypes?
PtD: Thanks! I like to do what I feel like no one else is already doing. I think I can make a larger contribution to the Halo community that way. There is already a lot of traditional content being created in Forge, where there doesn’t seem to be a lot of focus on the more unusual uses for Forge.
That’s one reason I am so thankful to 343 Industries for hosting Forge with Pete on Halo Waypoint! It’s great to see that kind of unusual Forge content in the spotlight.
CL: When creating new game types in Forge, do you have a clear goal in mind from the moment you start? Or do you experiment with forge until an idea strikes you?
PtD: A little bit of both, actually! Sometimes I’ll have a clear concept and then I’ll try to discover a way to make it work in Forge. Rock-Paper-Scissors is a great example of that—I spent 2 days brainstorming how to make a functioning score mechanism for that game. I knew what I wanted to do, I just didn’t know how exactly to do it.
Other times I’ll see something in Forge that inspires me and I’ll build a concept around it. Duck Hunt is probably a good example for that—originally I was going to build a wack-a-mole map, but when I saw the way that golf balls and landmines interacted, I decided to build a map around that specific interaction instead. It might seem like a subtle difference, but I definitely didn’t intend to build Duck Hunt from the beginning.
Of course, having a concept is just half the battle. Often when I’m building something, it won’t work like I expect it to or I’ll come across an unexpected quirk in Forge that I have to overcome. That’s why I started a series of videos called Forge Quacks – I was encountering so many “problems” that I decided to start documenting them!
But sometimes, I’ll know just what I want to build and exactly how to build it:
CL: Based on what we’ve seen of Forge mode in Halo 4 so far, what new feature are you the most excited to explore?
PtD: Of what has been revealed so far, I think that Player Trait Zones are going to be the most universally useful new feature for Forgers. Traditional maps will be able to have unique spaces like low gravity rooms, while there will be nearly limitless possibilities for obstacle courses and mini-games.
I’m also excited that Forge objects will cast shadows, although I’m looking at that from a functional aspect instead of a cosmetic one. For example, creating a puzzle where the solution is visible in the pattern of a shadow on the ground. Or having the safe path through a field of landmines be a narrow beam of light. It is a cosmetic change to Forge that could end up creating a lot of fun possibilities.
CL: What feature would you most like to see added to Halo’s forge mode in the future?
PtD: Now there is a fun question! Most feature suggestions I’ve heard from the Halo community tend to focus on cosmetic or convenience issues—while they’re good suggestions, they wouldn’t let you do anything more with Forge than what you can already do.
I want to do more with Forge.
And when it comes to doing more with Forge, it really comes down to the objects and gametypes we have access to. And so with all that in mind, what I would most like to see added to Forge is an AI-controlled stationary turret that can either be universally hostile or allied with specific teams. I think there could be a lot of creative uses for that kind of object, both in traditional maps and nontraditional maps like obstacle courses and mini-games.
I put together a series of digitally altered screenshots to demonstrate how I imagine something like that working. It would use the machine gun turret’s tripod, but you could set it to use any weapon:
It might look a little funny, but just imagine what you could do with an object like that! Did you know that at one point, the concept for Halo 3’s High Ground multiplayer map had AI-controlled turrets shooting at players coming up the beach? Those were cut during development, but I think there could still be a place for such an object in a traditional multiplayer map! How about being able to add your own perimeter turrets to define the boundaries of your map, like Halo 3’s Snowbound?
Or you could use them to create AI-controlled Sniper Rifle turrets for a multiplayer training map, gauntlet, or obstacle course!
Or AI-controlled Rocket Launcher turrets for a new breed of Rocket Hog Race!
Or AI-controlled Needler turrets for an insane and hilarious mini-game!
Or a variety of AI-controlled turrets that use delayed spawn times and respawn times to appear in waves, challenging players with a Firefight-like survival experience in a small arena!
Or, instead of containing players to a small arena, use the full breadth of a Forge environment, creating what would effectively be a singleplayer mission, with AI-controlled turrets in place of enemies!
CL: Any upcoming projects you’d like to mention (or tease)?
PtD: Tease? Oh, I love to tease! While I’ll be creating a few more videos for Halo: Reach before November 6, I’m also planning something for after Halo 4 launches...
I’d like to once again thank Pete the Duck for taking the time to chat with us. To see more of his amazing creations visit www.idleduck.com.
You can also visit Pete the Duck’s official thread right here in the Waypoint forums!
Don’t forget to nominate someone for a future Community Spotlight Feature!
Thanks for reading!