Well, it's obviously subjective. We're talking about art, after all.TheKiltdHeathen wrote:Ah, okay. But really I wouldn't say they're over-designed; that's more a personal view issue, I would imagine. I don't think Bungie had a clear notion going forward what the role of the Forerunners was to be beyond "they set off the Halo's, left a bunch of artifacts, and disappeared." They're shrouded in mystery for a lot of the games, and I personally enjoy the expansion that we've seen. As well as the complexity of their constructs and facilities; they seem more on-par with elements such as the giant unidentified ancilla on the Halo 3 map Cold Storage. Or technologies like the Automated Turret equipment. Compare your picture of the Ark Cartographer to structures on Genesis, or even the interior of the Kamchatka facility, and it's not all that much more complex. There is symmetry, conformity, and a uniform cleanliness that does visually tie together. Even when you get the bits that have multiple moving objects, they work together in concert and do not compete visually with one another.tsassi wrote:They meant "intricate" not as in "small", but as in "complicated".
Which speaks strongly to the ideologies that we're finding prevalent in Forerunner society; order among complexity.
With constructs like a Guardian, they're a larger machine and not really comparable to architecture. We've never seen a construct as large as them, however there was a depiction in one of the Halo 3 terminals (I forget which one) of a Forerunner ship or construct that from what I remembered seemed pretty complex as well.
I knew from the get go that the Guardian was an extreme example, and that not all Forerunner designs have that amount of complexity. But it's easier to point out the features from something that takes them to the extreme. While a lot of the Forerunner structures of 343i are less complex, the same differences are there, just more subtle. Take for example that Kamchatka picture. Sure, it does have symmetry, there are some clear parallel lines and large flat surfaces. However, there are still a lot more orientations of surfaces and lines than you'd see in classic Forerunner designs, as can be seen on the darker parts of the foreground floor, as well as the ceiling. If you look straight down the middle, the wall angle changes constantly. The structure lacks the repetition I'd expect from Forerunner architecture.
In contrast to the Kamchatka picture, consider the one from Halo 4. If you look at the walls and the doorway, there are precisely three types of lines at play on each side of the corridor: one perpendicular to the floor, one parallel to the floor, and one in between. Every structure is then built out of these three lines which, despite the complexity of the scene, gives a clear sense of order. This is much more what I'd expect from Forerunner architecture.
When it comes to Genesis (in general) I think it's overall much cleaner than a lot of other Forerunner structures in Halo 5 because of the constant use of circles. However, if we look at the picture you linked, I think that back part where everything connects kind of ruins it. The circular part is certainly well-ordered, but then that order is messed up by the variety of angles and surfaces that don't seem to follow any common direction. And I stress that it's not just about the symmetry, which this structure obviously has. The repetition of shapes I think is an equally important part, and is what is missing in 343i's designs.
On a completely different note, I have to say that I don't personally like the expansion of the Forerunner lore. I preferred the mystery and their more passive involvement in the story. This obviously influences my views on Forerunner designs. For example, it means that while I acknowledge that Forerunners as a realistic culture would have different styles of design, I regard it as more important to have a unified style that gives an instantly recognizeable setting for the game. Also, I do not like how Halo 4 and 5 portray "active" in their Forerunner designs, which very broadly covers many parts of the architecture, as well as the existence of the whole Promethean faction. This, of course, has nothing to do with the above discussion of complexity, but is just a general remark on how I personally feel about 343i's take on Forerunners.