Racetrack Starting Grid

For my first Halo Reach Forge Guide, I’ve decided to cover a topic that’s a little on the “niche” side. There are a lot of great Halo Reach Forge-made Racetracks out there. Map design aside, there is one common challenge all racetrack forgers face. Reach’s default “Race” game-mode doesn’t include any form of countdown at the beginning of the match. Players are dropped into their spawn points, free to go as soon as they load the map. This creates a problem: not all players finish loading the map at the exact same time. This means that players who load the map a little faster than the rest of the pack get a slight head start.

So… How the heck do you create a proper start to a race in Halo Reach? I’ll show you!

Before we get going, let’s take a look a look at the starting block I constructed for my Coastline Racetrack. It’s more simplified that what we will be building today, but it follows the same basic principle, and will help you visualize what we are working towards.

As you can see, the drivers spawn onto a platform, with a short wall blocking their path. I’ve created 3 rows of spawns, to accommodate large groups of players. Several seconds after the start of the game, another platform appears under the drivers, essentially raising the floor, and allowing them to drive straight over the walls that had been holding them in place. This means that all players have time to load the map and spawn into place, and then get their bearings for a few seconds before the race actually begins. This in turn creates an even start to the race, with no players getting an early jump thanks to a shorter load time.

*** Please note that I do not take credit for inventing this method. I created this starting-block by taking ideas from several different online Forge guides, and tweaking them to fit my purposes. If anyone knows of any other Halo Reach Racetracks that use a similar “gate” mechanism for a starting-block, please let me know and I’ll feature them as examples.***

It Keeps Getting Better

While the starting block I created for Coastline works just fine, there were several improvements to the design that I wasn’t able to implement due to both available space and budget constraints. I wanted to create a gate system that would hold the drivers more tightly in place, both front-to-back and side-to-side. I also wanted to get more drivers in each row, so the pack would’t be as spread out at the start of the race. I wanted something that would look more like this:

I also wanted the starting block to include some kind of signal to let the drivers know exactly when the race would begin. A countdown light or something. Like this:

So…. now that we have a picture in our minds of what we want to build, sit back and watch this tutorial video for a step-by-step guide!

Stay tuned…. the next episode will cover how to build the starting lights!

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