Enter The Battle Grid

Video By Ratman7891 (Ratman7891 = Ratan Phamber ∴ Me)


I thought I’d start off with a video of it that i have made. That was also my first ever YouTube video, i know you’re thinking where has he been his whole life? Truth is i didn’t just want to put up videos of me breakdancing and breaking my back, but something useful and not embarrassing… like breaking my back. I don’t breakdance by the way. So what is this you ask? Well why don’t i tell ya? This is The Halo Battle Grid version 1.0 Custom Multiplayer Map for Halo: Reach. I went downloading for some maps and to my surprise there weren’t that many well thought of designs, with the exception of a few. So i like 3D design, so i thought why don’t i make one. Using the Forge World Map i was able to construct this Forerunner and Tron inspired boxed in arena, using up all $10,000 and bringing down many of my resource quantities to 0. The Map took me 30 hours to construct, refine and debug. This includes the time taken to add spawn points and test them so no one spawns outside the world and falls straight into their death which is the ocean. The Map is symmetrically designed and accurate down to the last 0.1 point of measurement.

Screenshot of The Halo Battle Grid 1.0

Screenshot of The Halo Battle Grid 1.0Screenshot of The Halo Battle Grid 1.0Screenshot of The Halo Battle Grid 1.0Screenshot of The Halo Battle Grid 1.0

Here are a few more screen shots showing it’s structure and symmetrically designed form. Now then, there are indeed a few interesting features possibly not seen anywhere else (well i haven’t seen them anywhere else) that i have incorporated into this map. One thing you’ll notice is the grid-like floor and ceiling, but this isn’t just a grid thrown in, the grid on the floor is actually situated just on the surface of the ocean, which therefore gives a shimmering feel to the floor. Trust me it looks much better standing on it than seeing it through a picture or video.

Screenshot of The Halo Battle Grid 1.0

The second thing is the attention to structure and design, rather than just platforms your Spartan or Elite can walk on, which seems to be how most of the other Maps i have seen are build like. I wanted this to look as good as it is playable. Everything has been taken into account, including gameplay. I have tested weak spots, strength spots, high points and low points, even hiding spots or points where mass destruction can occur, however at the cost of your invisibility to others. The Battle Grid has been designed to be balanced.

Screenshot of The Halo Battle Grid 1.0

Another awesome thing is the invention of this (picture above). This is a lift constructed of various pieces of Forerunner architecture and two one way shields. One side of a shield prevents access by pushing the player away, and the other side doesn’t just give access, but sucks in the player. Therefore by placing them inside this contraption with the accessible side down, if the player jumps up inside it they are immediately sucked up and pushed out of the top. Hence Lift. Much better making one than putting in a man cannon or teleporter.

Screenshot of The Halo Battle Grid 1.0

And of course, there’s The Watcher. This is my little A.I. that lives in this prison, that guards the place making sure no one escapes. You might be thinking whaa? But yes making a story up as i build helps inspire to develop it better and in the way it has become. More pictures of this map can be seen on my Flickr Photostream under Halo: Reach Forge Maps (Link Below).

Screenshot of The Halo Battle Grid 1.0

Thanks for reading and go ahead, download and play, and of course, like it if you like it.


My Flickr Photostream: View

My Flickr Halo: Reach Forge Maps Photostream: View

Download Map for Halo: Reach here: Download


P.S. Of course those that know me, know that i wouldn’t just make something without a few secrets. Here’s a picture to help you and remember this can lead you to become the most powerful Spartan or Elite on the map…if you can get it.

Screenshot of a Secret in The Halo Battle Grid 1.0

Bungie Jumped Where No One Else Could

My love for the Halo game franchise reaches beyond just that of general gamers. I love the gameplay, the intricate story, the graphical and artistic detail and also something which people often forget…the company behind the creation, Bungie.

It all began with two people. First Alex Seropian in May 1991 where Bungie was founded and later Jason Jones. The two worked side by side to produce amazing games such as “Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete” a sharply detailed role-playing adventure game based on exploration developed in 1992 for yep the Mac OS (Woohoo *chokes*). I really like the tagline for the game being,

“Kill your enemies. Kill your friends’ enemies. Kill your friends.”

The next in line was “Pathways into Darkness” a unique first person adventure shooter created in 1993 for yeppers Mac OS. This was their first commercial breakthrough.

After this, came the first game of theirs that i have actually played. For those who play games deeper than the average playing will notice hundreds of so called “Easter Eggs” or hidden secrets in the Halo games based on this. The game is “Marathon”. This trilogy of games is a sci-fi first person shooter developed in 1994, about a Security Officer who must defend his ship against countless attacks from an alien race known as the Pfhors. Hmmmm Master Chief, Covenant…. Anyways the ship he must protect also has AIs known as Leela, Durandal and Tycho in which one of these begins to act weird and cause trouble. Hmmm…..Halo…Pillar of Autumn…Cortana…Serina. So many similarities. Even untrusted AIs going rampant which in this case for Halo is the 343 Guilty Spark. Even the Mjolnir armour can be seen in both.  You may or may not know all these names that i am throwing at you -besides that apple pie- but they are indeed characters in the ever extending story that is Halo. Many, including me, think of Marathon as the building blocks and possible spiritual predecessor to the Halo Saga. This is where you begin to realise that everything Bungie make in some way tie in together. Their passion succeeds continuously game after game.

After this and before Halo, two more games were made. The first being the Myth Series developed in 1997; a real-time strategy game with once again great graphics and a great story following through. I love this incident. One of the biggest mistakes Bungie has ever made (i think it’s the biggest) was that the sequel to this game “Myth II – Soulblighter” had a serious bug in it, in which the uninstaller would erase the folder that the game was installed in. If then however a user installed the game to the root of their hard drive, the uninstaller would in fact erase all the contents of the users hard drive. Now that is both scary and hilarious but it cost more than a million dollars to fix…Ouch. Luckily it is said that the bug was replaced before the game was actually ever sold to any consumer, except for the marketing lady who found the bug, yep a clean wiped drive, all her dirty videos collection on mud, dirt and soil erased…she didn’t really have dirty videos on mud…or did she?

The second game and their last before halo, was Oni, a 3rd person shooter/beat ‘em up about a dystopian Earth where pollution has dwindled Earth’s population. To make things worse although all the nations of the world have joined together into one collective group, the police force in which the protagonist works in is not all what it seems. This plus the main enemy, a criminal organization known as the Syndicate, make the protagonist’s quest for self discovery and of course saving the human race indeed more difficult than eating a Tiramisu cake, well for me that is. The game is obviously influenced by Ghost in the Shell as the protagonist is a woman code-named Konoko who does in fact look similar to Ghost in the Shell’s Motoko. Hahah Konoko…Motoko…talk about influence, but  i would also call it inspiration. Music from Myth, and to me it seems some sound effects and armour permutations from Oni were also Easter Egged into Halo, or included through inspiration…or inspiracluded. If you ever work out where in fact Bungie have secretly put the Myth music track “Siege of Madrigal” in Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo: ODST and Halo: Reach then you are in fact awesome. If you haven’t then you are still awesome but just a tiny winy bit less hahaha, just kiddin’ i love you all, even you little monkey. But really if you do find them then you will be amazed at where Bungie have hidden them and how to activate them. I indeed tried all of them and darn are they really funny.

Bungie didn’t start out as a professional straight up organization with all A stars. They began as a few people having fun and doing what they love most, making games on the Mac OS platform for people like us to enjoy. Inevitably they grew and grew. And it is this that lead to their current ultimate baby…Halo.

Released in 2001 Halo is a super detailed, story focused game which began life as a Real-time Strategy game, then 3rd person shooter and then ultimately became a 1st person shooter. The game was originally codenamed “Monkey Nuts” and later “Blam!”. It is based on an all out war between humanity and an unprovoked enemy known as the Covenant. This however is too brief as there is also a greater threat, threatening the galaxy and possibly the universe. This threat is the Flood, an infectious parasite that consumes all life-forms in order to live and spread. A super intelligent pre-human race known as the Forerunners found a way to contain them, until the Covenant naively released them once again, threatening all that lives. The game story features far greater detail than just this but to know the most you can means to play all the games a few times over, finding all secrets and hidden story information, read the books, read all the Wiki, Wikia, Bungie and Halo Waypoint website page on Halo inside out, read the comics/graphic novels and there are probably more that i just can’t remember right now, including the still to be released Reclaimer Trilogy, beginning with Halo 4. Wow sounds like Star Wars now. Halo is too big a universe and so many new posts will be done on this.

Possibly Bungie’s biggest mistake and best decision was to sell the game to Microsoft, the PC company. I believe is was the best decision dominantly because the Microsoft had the power, the knowledge of the gaming market, hands on the world next largest console the Xbox and of course the money to build. The game in my opinion would have been just as amazing without Microsoft, however i believe it is Microsoft’s input that got the game out into the world. The reason why it was the worst decision, but inevitable was that as soon as Bungie would feel it is time to end it at a perfect story ending, Microsoft would know that more money is to be made from Halo, and also the fans would be wanting more, and so the way the business world works, you lose partners and you gain partners. On March 31st this year all Halo server data will be transferred to 343 Industries Waypoint website and Bungie will not be continuing anything based on the Halo franchise…sad face indeed. Many fans of Halo seem to be annoyed at Bungie for this, but it is not their fault and is simply the business way of life, the rest of us know that Bungie are the true geniuses that began it all and without them there would be nothing. Already with 343 Industries newly released remake of Halo: Combat Evolved, know as Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, i have noticed that it just doesn’t feel like a Bungie game anymore and not feeling like a Bungie game means not feeling like a Halo game. In all the Halo games the main protagonist the Master Chief was this hard, rough and powerful Spartan soldier with limited speech and movement. 343 Industries are doing a great job so far but the Chief all of a sudden began to move and animate a little bit too much and soon i was beginning to feel the hard, rough soldier feel slightly fade away, not completely but enough to irritate beneath the skin. Also Bungie knew how to polish a game because even the little fades in visual and audio content that 343 Industries seem to miss out immediately irritate me. But we knew this would happen and we knew the game would change without Bungie, but the key is to be open minded and hope Halo 4 does a good job. Follow Bungie at Bungie.net.

If you have an hour spare then have a watch of this video about Bungie’s 20th Anniversary. I found it very amusing and interesting. Or if you want you can skim through it.

Bungie Documentary: “O Brave New World”. Video from YouTube by IGNentertainment.

I’ll end this transmission with my words to Bungie. Thank you for filling our gaming hearts with awesome games and giving me hope that the world hasn’t yet lost its imagination. Can’t wait for your next awesome game series which we are aware is in development. May you continue your goal for world domination and succeed. Thanks for reading folks.


P.S. Watch out Bungie you’ll be seeing a job resume one day, in fact I’ll be sending one all the time, after all, what’s more important is working with a team of super talented people that not just know how to make awesome games, but know how to have fun with it.