Welcome to the Halo PC Editing & Development WikiEdit
The Halo PC Editing & Development Wiki is a newly created reference for editing Halo on the PC platform. This wiki will provide informations and tutorials related to Level Design but also Content Creation, Gameplay Elements Modification or User Interface Design.
This wiki is written both for beginners in editing games as well as those that are more experienced in video game editing.
About Video Game Development, Editing and Gameplay DesignEdit
This guide will cover many of the methods I use and have learned along the way after years of working with multiplayer gameplay.
Good gameplay design is all about balance and longevity.
It's easy to balance a game, but if you don't get inside the players head and keep them coming back you're going to be in trouble.
Most developers consider their job done when they have created a balanced game, though while Tic-Tac-Toe is a well balanced game it doesn't require enough strategy or variation to keep it interesting over time. It fails in the long term, though through its simplicity it has its niche. As a video game developer you don't often have that option, so you need to make something that keeps your players intrigued.
Though there are many philosophies for creating longevity for each genre, I'll leave you to figure out which to follow, or better yet to come up with your own and do something that breaks the standard model.
While you may outline what is necessary to create great gameplay, achieving the contents of that outline is not an exact science. It takes experience and vigorous testing. You will never achieve perfect balance without testing, no matter how adept you may be.
When creating your sandbox, you will always want to work in passes. Balance can't wait till the end, and it cannot be accomplished till the end. Get a rough foundation down and polish, working each piece into specific roles.
Balance by adding strengths, not weaknesses, give each piece a purpose and do not create redundant roles. Diversity is key, however keep in mind any new roles created must be able to fit into the existing gameplay model. A weapon can be cool and technically impressive, but if it has no other real purpose, it will only get in the way of your gameplay. Do not make additions just to have them.
It is also important to keep in mind that fairness is not balance, it is an ingredient. There should be a piece for every encounter, rounded enough to compete but not ideal for every situation. In short, do not make all purpose weapons. Resulting gameplay encounters require the player to use more thought when it comes to approaching a situation, to know when to attack and change the situation to fit their capability. Fast paced gameplay is fun, however allowing (not forcing) the player to think and outwit their enemies is a great deal more so.
When creating roles, visually such roles should be apparent to the user without an explanation. If a piece needs an explanation, it's a bad piece. You need visual cues so the player knows more or less what they're working with and what to expect. These cues should ideally be from both a passive standpoint such as model and textures, as well as from an active standpoint such as audio and visual effects.
When taking feedback from testers, never blindly take their advice, take their emotional reactions. If someone doesn't like how a piece functions, consider why they don't, rather than what they think you should do about it.
As you're personally testing your content (which is something you should be constantly doing), often look at the game as if for the first time and don't allow yourself to get too comfortable with it, don't ever get good at your own game.
Testing isn't just for balance tweaking, it is also of course for finding exploits and bugs. Always have your testers on the lookout for such things, however don't expect them to catch everything. Just because your testers don't find issues, doesn't mean they don't exist. You know better than anyone else where and what to look for because you know exactly what went into your content. Always actively be testing your content in an attempt to break it.