Originally published at: Welcome to FORGERA - Share Your Spark - XboxEra
On Tuesday November 8th, Halo Infinite finally sees a sizeable update and the arrival of the Forge beta, unlocking the creativity and fun to be found in Halo Infinites incredible sandbox.
It will unleash a new era for Halo fans, with the most powerful and capable Forge mode we’ve ever seen, putting level and game mode creation in to players hands.
I’ve had the pleasure of working on Halo Infinite’s Forge since 2020, and this is without a doubt the most exciting moment – as the tool becomes publicly available, I am beyond excited to see just how crazy the community will get with unique modes and maps pushing Halo Infinite in ways I’ve never even thought about, or perhaps even dreamed were possible.
What I have been thinking about though, is how that community will discover and share that content.
While game modes and maps will be discoverable via the game itself and the newly announced Content Browser on Halo Waypoint, we wanted to introduce something a little more agile and more user driven.
So, we figured now was the perfect time to build and release FORGERA – a Halo Infinite focused progressive webapp, so that the community can let the best maps, modes and prefabs rise to the surface and share their creations with everyone.
FORGERA At A Glance
First things first, in order to utilise FORGERA, you’ll need to register – the application is designed to work with our existing XboxEra forums, so players focused on Forge can discuss their creations, organise game testing sessions via the wonderful folks at Playdates.gg and more in our existing community framework. We’ve linked these so that users can have their own Creator Profile as well as new functionality in the months ahead.
Signing up is painless and importantly, absolutely free – you can use any email address, or simply login in via your existing Google, Twitter, Discord or Microsoft accounts.
Once you’re logged in, the first thing you’ll see is the main page. FORGERA is responsive in design, so will fully support mobile browsing, but for the purposes of this walkthrough, we’ll use the desktop version.
The first thing you’ll notice is our Featured section – every week, we’ll feature up to three creations from the community, and the video team at XboxEra will also create bespoke video features for each of these to truly highlight what your map, mode or prefab is all about.
We have plans to get the community involved in what gets featured as Forge gets into the hands of the public, via a community poll in the forums, but our team will be paying very close attention to all the uploads we see on the site. You can see some examples of how featured content will look on our YouTube channel below.
In addition, we’re also allowing users to quickly filter with several options on display via a handy navigation bar – you can sort by “New” – showing you the latest uploads, “Maps”, “Prefabs” and “Modes” showing only content in that specific type that have been recently added, as well looking at all previously featured content, the highest rated and the most downloaded. If you know the name of the piece of content you’re looking for, you can also just search for that directly, as well as the your favourite creators by name.
Lower down the page, by default, the system will always show you the latest additions from the community in chronological order, and below that, is our FORGERA YouTube embed, showing the latest community features, as well as tutorials, and the latest episodes of our Halo-focused podcast, You Had Me At Halo and our Halo News series, also named DropPod (Sorry 343, we came up with it first!)
Sharing Your Content
We’ve designed the upload workflow for FORGERA to be simple, intuitive and most importantly, absolutely blazing fast. When first clicking publish in the top right of the app, you’ll be taken to the workflow page. There are four steps to publishing your content.
What are you sharing?
A new map for players to enjoy? Perhaps a new prefrab that can be placed on other peoples maps? Or even a new mode that can be played on any map? Pick the right genre of content and click next!
Depending on what you chose in step 1, there’ll be some variance ahead – importantly, if it’s a map, you can specify the type of map, be it Arena, Big Team Battle or a new minigame. If it’s a new Prefab, you can pick the closest theme it might have, be it UNSC, Forerunner, Human or even a “scripted” prefab. If you pick Mode you’ll be able to pick between things like Slayer, CTF, Grifball or Infection (and many more!). Once you’ve made your selection, click next!
An Eye For Detail
Now you get into the meat of your content – What’s it called? Did you work with some Forge collaborators and want to give them credit? Do you have a catchy description ready to go? Think of this section as where you can really go to town about promoting your design and content. Creators will be able to advise on recommended and optimal player counts, on which canvas the map was made and whether it has a custom mode or map needed to fully support it.
This is also where you get to upload all the sexy screenshots you’ve taken, and even chuck a YouTube link in there which will be featured in the content’s ‘gallery’ of images. If you have a favourite image that best represents your map, you can click the star to make sure that image is front and centre representing your map. And finally, most importantly, here is where you add your Halo Waypoint URLs to facilitate the actual DOWNLOAD of your content.
Prepare To Drop!
You’re nearly there! Think of this as your chance to “pitch” why people should download your map. You can treat this as creating a lengthy forum post with as much detail as you’d like. Design choices, map layouts, more images. Go big or go home.
Once you’re happy, click “Publish Now” and share your creation with the world!
This final step publishes the content directly on to FORGERA, but it also generates a unique Forum discussion post, where users can comment and discuss your content, and the comments will display in the forum and on FORGERA.
If you make updates or want to change things, you can not only edit the content on FORGERA (in terms of screenshots and all other details) but you can also edit your detailed forum post to include updates for users. You can even insert polls, and have users vote on changes to designs.
It’s pretty slick, if we don’t say so ourselves.
The content detail page also shows important information on what your content supports, and includes collaborators that helped bring it to life.
Sharing Your Content
FORGERA fully supports rich Opengraph embeds, which means a preview of your content will appear when you share your content URL on other platforms like Twitter, forums and Discord.
Not only that, but each unique piece of content will have a unique FORGERA QR Code generated, which you can use on other social media posts, or to include in YouTube videos. That way, no matter where your content goes, users will always find a way to get to where they can download it.
The Great Journey Begins
So that’s it! Your content is live, and players can view, download and comment on it.
We hope that new and veteran Forgers alike find FORGERA to be a useful addition to sharing and promoting their Forge content, and as we move from launch and into steady state, we want to hear from you – there’ll be a feedback section on our forums where you can let us know features and improvements you’d like to see as Forge grows and evolves.
For now, we’ve built functionality in our backend to add new game-types or canvases as they get added, so we should be able to remain fairly agile.
What are you waiting for? Sign up now and get Forging!
If you want to see a little more of Forge and of the site itself, I’ll be streaming LIVE on our Twitch channel putting the finishing touches on Curfew before making the map publicly available starting at 8pmGMT. Join me!