By Unyshek -
Hey everyone! We're excited to be launching a new playlist today that features a community-made game mode, Roaming King. This objective-based mode harnesses the full capabilities of Forge for a unique take on the beloved King of the Hill game mode. In Roaming King, players will fight to control the constantly-moving hill as it rotates around the map. Unlike the Crazy King of old where the hill teleports to a random spot on the map on a set interval, this roaming hill will crawl around the map on a predetermined path. Although challenging, it's very rewarding to working with your team to secure the hill, clear a way forward, and add to your scoreline.
That said, we've included a full breakdown of the maps that will be featured in the Roaming King playlist, along with Content Browser links so that you can bookmark them and enjoy them in custom games whenever you'd like. After that, you'll be able to catch the full story of the mode's creation as told by its Forger, MartianMallCop.
In Roaming King, players will fight to control a constantly-moving hill as it rotates around the map.
It is said that somewhere in this shroud of mist, there lies a powerful artifact. On Backlash, lash out against your opponents through brutal guerrilla tactics. Push into the center tower to rain fire among them before diving back into the brush.
Plaza by 343 Industries
Bookmark this version that now supports Roaming King!
An intergalactic space station meant as a pit stop and rest area between the Outer Colonies. On Port 66, you will find yourself in intense deadlocks with the enemy, where you will be holding off the enemy through airlocks, pushing through the center atrium, and breaking your way through the enemy lines, causing havoc in their ranks.
A forerunner biological containment study that was fortunate enough to have never encountered the flood. In their isolation, some visitors believe they’ve seen a ghost. On Seclusion, expect swaths of open space with plenty of rolling hills as cover. Deceive the enemy and flank them through the tunnels that lay beneath.
A small seaside village among the rugged coastline of Cinque Terre. In Tourist Trap, you will find yourself bobbing through alleys and rooftops, cutting through buildings, and supporting your team from ever changing vantage points.
The architects were known to have never wasted any resource when they got their hands on it. This hydroelectric dam still stands, while they no longer can. Players will spiral around and through this architectural marvel, all while battling for air superiority with a vicious Wasp.
Behind The Scenes
We took some time to chat with MartianMallCop about designing this game mode, building it out in Forge, and his commitment to polishing the experience. Here's the story of how he built Roaming King, from the moment of inception to it's release of a final product:
Back at the end of 2016, the Doom 2016 Beta inspired me to try and see how Warpath could play in Halo, so I put it together on an older map called Pueblo, and I scripted the terminal on Strongholds one-base to move around the map under the ground, and it could only actually turn four times. Even though it was really janky, the movement was really shakey, but it was fun, I made a video on it on the ForgeHub Youtube channel and that was that.
Later in January 2017, Unyshek messaged me about implementing the mode on a few more maps so that we could explore the possibilty of making it a rotational playlist in matchmaking. Conveniently for me, this was also around the time that the Minigame mode came out with all-new scripting functionality, which gave us so many more opportunities for what we could do to make modes in Halo 5. So, I worked with Carson (Captain Punch) to actually develop the mode from scratch to fix some of the functional issues with the earlier version of the mode.During this process, my friend brought up the idea that if we were gonna build it from scratch we didn't have to just emulate Doom anymore, we could make it our own thing. After this recommendation, we decided to change the zone from "Stronghold functionality" to "King of the Hill functionality" to avoid a snowballing problem that was apparent in the earlier versions. This ended up working great, and a few other features followed such as the choice to not have the score rate increase with extra players, which not only empowers the individual to make more clutch plays, but also allows for more in depth teamwork where you can have one of your teammates in the zone, while you and your team can defend them from varying vantage points, and it just avoids having a entire teams dogpile in the zone.
The thing about Roaming King that makes it trickier to implement on maps than any other custom game mode I’ve seen is that the path has to be individually hardcoded into every level that's it's placed on, because all the map layouts are different. It’s not as simple as sticking a prefab down on a map and calling it a day. I have to place down markers as vertices for the zone to target and continue on to the next one. Along with this, time and distance calculations need to be made to make sure the zone moves at a consistent speed and repeats at every lap of the map without delays. After a while, Carson and I eventually developed a spreadsheet to do all the math for us. Even with this spreadsheet though, it currently takes approximately two hours to set up the zone’s movement on a map. Now imagine redoing that multiple times for some maps when the path needs to be rerouted after testing as well as adding it to maps that I had eventually cut or ran out of time for... it's a lot of work.
In general making this game mode from scratch was just a very humbling experience. There are a lot of things that came up that I had never really focused on before, that are actually really important – having to put together sound cues and visuals to make the objective or communicate things about the objective more clearly was a big one. Two other vital elements were including join in progress support to make sure the mode still functions properly when someone joins in late and accounting for latency in the zone's movement calculations.
Overall I’m glad the project is done so that people can enjoy it, and it will also free me up to begin working on some other projects!
He also wanted to make sure we mentioned the community members Nokyard, Yumudas, & SquallyDaBeanz who helped him throughout the Forging, scripting, and map optimization process. He stated that their contributions were invaluable over the months of development, and that they should be thanked for their efforts as well.
That should be it from us here, so jump online and give Roaming King a try today in Halo 5!