Halo 5 Forge - Map Preview: Armory Grounds

This past week I have decided to try my hand at building a map in Halo 5's forge. This is not something I have done before, but I figured I would give it a go to see how the process was. 

My first map is based off of the map "Training Grounds" from Titanfall. Since I needed to basically learn the basics and tools for forge I figured going off of a known map layout would be a good first approach. I also felt that I could make a good "Big Team" map. Here is a quick preview of what I am working on. I am probably 90% done with this at this point.  I just need to tweak some of the small details and also figure out why the strongpoints aren't capturing while testing. 

Warframe - I can't stop playing this game

I have had a small obsession recently with a game called Warfare on the Xbox. It is a free to play PC/Xbox/PS4 game that came out about six months ago. I picked it up initially and played it for a few weeks and then put it down. It came out on the consoles right around the same time as Destiny and it a lot of ways it is the same sort of game as Destiny, except that it is third person to Destiny's first person. It is a loot based, quasi-MMO. You play as a Tenno, a being of some sort that can inhabit bodies call war frames. The story is pretty thin, but the gameplay is quite fun and I honestly think it does right what Destiny was trying to do.

It is a loot grind, which means you will be playing the same missions over and over, but it does succeed in providing you all those juicy item drops that and loot based game does. Recent updates have made the game much more playable on the consoles with a controller and I have found it is one of the few games on the new Xbox that consistently has people chatting in it. 

There is something done right about this nice, mindless online component to Warfare. It is almost all cooperative so if you are the type of person who doesn't enjoy or isn't good at online competitive play, then you can still get into the community here and enjoy your time online. The pacing is just right with the loot you get where you can still keep progressing forward and building more gear for your Tenno. 

What surprised me the mot though is how well the developer has done the FTP aspect. You can earn almost everything in the game without paying a single dollar. The purchase platinum in the game basically gives you really cool cosmetic upgrades and also allows you access to what they call "Prime" versions of war frames and gear. So, I'll admit that I gave the developer $20 and picked out some Platinum to get some cool additional gear. 

The Console Wars Are Back!!!

Alright, E3 is done and we have our new consoles coming out this fall. The Xbox One and the PS4. I have no idea what this point which one I plan on buying. Even before Microsoft's reversal on its DRM policies I didn't totally write the Xbox off. I currently live in the Live ecosystem and I love it for the most part. After checking out what Microsoft showed at E3 though, I can't help but feel that I am not the target audience for the Xbox anymore. 

For me the console is going to primarily be a gaming console. Not a media center, not a streaming device. A lot of what Microsoft showed appeared to be focused along those line. I don't even pay for cable and the only streaming service I use is Netflix. And let's face it Microsoft, I am not going to use Xbox Music. Stop trying to make it happen. It seems like a lot of the services for the Xbox I will just never use. The whole cloud computing component does seem interesting though and I am not as down on the Kinect as some people are. Both can offer some really interesting gaming features in the future. The problem at this point though is that I just haven't seen good examples yet of how they would be used. 

Now Sony had an impressive showing as well. The core gaming components seem more along the lines of what I want and after seeing the initial interface preview, I like the concept of a social network around gaming that they are building. Being able to share gameplay videos, chat with my friends and see what people are playing is compelling. I like how it isn't just trying to tie into Facebook, and to be honest I am more attracted to target social networks for the various hobbies I participate in. Being in a community that focuses on gamers will lead to more meaningful conversations about gaming rather than trying to wade through the volume of people of Facebook that don't care. I probably spend more time these days on Goodreads talking with people about books and reading than i do on Facebook itself. 

What really has me excited more than anything else though is just the fact that I am seeing the heated debates once again showing up on the internet. The console wars are back and it is sort of satisfying to see the vigor at which people want to fight over the console. I think this next year is really going to be fun in the gaming world.