How Halo 3's Forge Mode Led One Dev to Get Hired for Halo Infinite

How Halo 3's Forge Mode Led One Dev to Get Hired for Halo Infinite

A neat story for fans of Halo's level-crafting suite.

Halo 3 is officially out on PC as part of The Master Chief Collection today, marking the first time that Bungie's trilogy-ending installment has been available on the platform. The timing of the release could hardly be more auspicious, as 343 Industries is just about to give a first look at the campaign for Halo Infinite, which will be its third title in the main series. To mark the occasion, a handful of 343 developers are sharing their personal stories about Halo 3, and one of those tales may make fans of Forge mode very happy indeed.

GameSpot's Eddie Makuch collected memories and anecdotes from 22 developers at 343, many of them now working on Halo Infinite, in order to illustrate just how important Halo 3 was to many of the folks who are now stewarding the series. One of the developers sharing their stories is Nick Bird, credited as Forge Quality Assurance on Halo Infinite. Halo 3 was the first in the series to introduce Forge, its powerful and (for console games of the era) unmatched toolset for creating custom multiplayer levels and new game modes. Bird was a Forge power-user, and all those hours spent on Halo 3 in the late 2000s are now informing Infinite.

"I spent hundreds, probably thousands of hours in Forge, so much so that I had to create a second profile just to keep additional maps I created," Bird says. "Even then I would get friends to come into the session to save a map so I could figure out what to delete to clear some space. My time in Forge and the Forge community eventually led me to pursue a career in the industry, and ultimately landed me a position to work on what I love in a franchise I love."

Over a decade later, Halo 3's Forge is actually becoming more powerful thanks to new updates. | 343 Industries/Bungie

A few others on the Infinite team also credit Halo 3's Forge with eating up their time and/or helping inspire them to get into development. It's reassuring to hear so much about Forge from these devs for two reasons. First, Forge was confirmed early on for Halo Infinite, but as with most of the game, we don't have much of an idea of what it'll look like. Although it is popular, campaign and multiplayer typically get more attention than Forge. Knowing there's old Forge diehards on the Infinite team should be something of a reassurance for fans of the tools.

Second, the work that's being done on The Master Chief Collection both for PC and Xbox has actually added in new features for Forge on the older titles, from relaxing item restrictions on certain Halo 3 maps to adding new precision editing and rotation tools across the Forge suites for multiple titles. 343 isn't confirming anything of the sort just yet, but hopefully these tweaks indicate some of the features and quality-of-life perks that'll be baked into Infinite's Forge suite from the start.

Unfortunately, it might be a while yet before we see what fans will be able to create in Halo Infinite. On July 23 at next week's Xbox games showcase, we know we'll be seeing Halo Infinite's campaign, but unless 343 has some surprises in store for us, we'll need to wait a bit longer to see other Infinite modes. With the Holiday 2020 launch for Xbox One, Series X, and PC fast approaching though, now might be a good time to revisit Forge in older Halo titles to get your creative energy flowing.

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Mathew Olson

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Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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