We constantly banged on our ideas

“There’s really no one key to making a good map,” explained Mansfield, “The trick is that we do a lot of testing, and we’re fans of all the games we’ve worked on, like Halo. When creating the Castle Map we sat down to discuss it and in the end our finished project was nowhere close to what we started with.”

“That’s because we constantly banged on our ideas – and I don’t mean the same five people – but the whole company. No matter who you are or where you’re at, you get to come in and play the game, then all ideas are accepted.”

-Map lead for the Castle Map Pack at Certain Affinity, Ryan Mansfield (as quoted in this VG247 article written by Dave Cook)

It’s hard to believe that the last map pack (Castle) in the first wave of them for Halo 4 has been out for over a month, but it’s true.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to put as much time in as I have on the previous packs (Crimson and Majestic), but my time spent Daybreak, Outcast and Perdition has been enjoyable. I’m a sucker for new environments in a fictional universe I care about, so anytime a new play space comes out there’s already a ninety-nine percent chance I’ll be happy with it.

What struck me about the article was how much a multiplayer map is a living, breathing thing. I realize there is a creative process involved, but the idea of everyone being able to stop in and offer feedback – and that all of it is considered – is something that doesn’t always work out so well, i.e., the “too many cooks in the kitchen” illustration.

However it seems Certain Affinity, the studio responsible for developing the Castle Map Pack (among others for the Halo Universe) has found a way to let all the cooks stop by whenever they want and give feedback – for any of you that have worked in an office environment this is no small feat.

It’s great to see how the process works of bringing these maps out into the wild, and hopefully we’ll see more from Certain Affinity on the Halo front as the franchise continues to grow.

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