News The End of an Era

Yesterday marked the five-year anniversary of Halo: Reach: a game which was truly instrumental in bringing Halo's forge community to life. One of the biggest pieces of forge community history born during Reach's lifespan was a YouTube channel called TheHaloForgeEpidemic. What began as a way for [REDACTED] to showcase his talents as a mini game forger quickly evolved into a major community phenomenon. THFE map features become the most viewed forge content on YouTube and the channel thrived. With help from the talented commentator Bevans Law and the enterprising Oakley HiDef, THFE became a respected community group.

In January of 2012, I came on board in order to feature what we then called "competitive" maps on the channel. I eased in with big team battle maps because they were what I knew best. I soon began featuring a variety of core Halo maps and slowly began earning the respect of forgers from that side of the community. Around this time, Bevans departed from the channel and [REDACTED] ceased producing content for it. Since that time, [REDACTED] has had no direct contribution to the channel whatsoever. Instead, he sat back in the shadows: pulling the strings and taking 100% of the channel's (then considerable) profits for himself, despite generating none of them. To my knowledge, most of this money was spent on illegal drugs.

Oakley and I grew wary of [REDACTED]'s selfishness, but were driven by passion for Halo and the forge community rather than a desire to be paid. However, the thought of all of the money we were generating going straight into the pockets of someone who acted only as a parasite was unsettling. [REDACTED] was paranoid and wanted full control over the channel and all of the revenue generated. After a considerable amount of time, Oakley and I were granted a bit of freedom to make decisions for ourselves and we even received a small percentage of the money we were generating for a few months. Eventually, when the community began to dry up during Halo 4's life, Oakley chose to stop contributing to the channel rather than continue to deal with [REDACTED]. I pushed on, desiring to uphold the channel's legacy. I built a new team to maintain the channel and did my best to stay true to its origins. I was even able to divide what portion of the channel's revenue [REDACTED] didn't take for himself equally among them for a time. However, I constantly struggled against [REDACTED]'s paranoia and desire to push the channel in a more commercial direction.

Ultimately, I failed to stay true to THFE's legacy as my desire to provide informative, in-depth content and to feature only the best maps around clashed with [REDACTED]'s commercial intentions. As myself and my team strayed further away from the channel's commercial roots, [REDACTED] became more paranoid of loosing his free source of income. He attempted to make personnel decisions in order to bring new commentators onto the channel who would create dumbed-down content to appeal to a broader audience and maximize views. Naturally, this clashed with the ideals of myself and my team. For a time, I was able to override his poor decisions. As the community grew smaller with MCC's buggy launch, other channels scrambled to farm views and feature whatever content they could find. Meanwhile, my team and I stuck to our guns. However, motivation became more and more hard to come by and the team eventually fell apart. With only PA1NTS and myself creating content, the channel fell further behind the pack in terms of views. This did not bother us, however. We were, after all, committed to enhancing the forge community and to high standards of quality. [REDACTED] became increasingly worried of losing his grip on what had, in the past, been a money machine and decided once again to attempt to make personnel decisions. This time, without my permission and against my advice, he decided to bring on a former commentator from the channel's past. This commentator's skillset (or lack thereof) did not align with my vision for the channel, and PA1NTS and I finally decided we'd had enough.

THFE is, as of this day, defunct. If the channel continues to operate, know that it is but a shell of its former self; that it is maintained only to put money in the pockets of an individual who strangled the channel for years; that it is not done for the betterment of the Halo community; and that it is in no way a reflection of myself, PA1NTS, SOLIDSNAKEee, Master Debaytes, buddhacrane, Oakley HiDef, AbleSir Thomas, or any other entity that you should have a shred of respect for. It is no longer related to this website.

While I am sad to be put in a position where departing from the entity I have poured thousands of hours of working into over the past three and a half years and I am sad to see a piece of forge community history die, I am incredibly relieved to be free from [REDACTED]'s paranoia and parasitism. We had a good run. PA1NTS and I will be moving to the ForgeHub channel where we will continue to provide in-depth forge video content. You will find the Meet Your Maker contest winners as well as future map features and design talks there.

Now, let's look back on some of the highlights of this site's relationship with THFE.

Thanks to everyone who stuck with us and supported the team through our struggles against the channel's owner. What are some of your favorite memories of THFE?
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I can't say I knew THFE all that well, since I only discovered it back when Halo 4 launched, but I do remember some pretty good videos. Some of my favourite videos were the HC vs The World videos, as well as the In-Depth competitive videos.

With the death(?) of THFE, hopefully another channel will emerge from its ashes, and baptise the community with awesome forge and Halo content.
It's pretty sad to see a channel you watched since it's birth, go down because of one man's madness.

THFE was full of life back in reach before the halo community shrunk, I discovered this channel back in the summer of 2011 when I was bored out of my mind, the content it featured on it's channel made my jaw drop to the ground, I haven't seen so many minigames, infection and competitive maps that looked so much fun but I was hesitant to try them until I watched the videos, When I went back to my house I ran straight to my xbox 360 and downloaded maps like Toilet, jump rope, and a whole lot of infection maps and minigames.
I then watched THFE for a year and downloaded maps and played them in my lobbies every week, my friends and I had a lot of fun even the randoms we invited thought this was the best lobby they ever been to...
Sadly in the summer of 2012 my baby brother had passed away which made me depressed for a couple years, I didn't feel the joy of playing those maps as I used to so I turned away from THFE for a while, that was until January I watched a video about HaloCustoms, with the decrease and difficulty of finding randoms to join my lobbies, I then joined HC when it was in it's prime and met some cool and not so cool people and a couple crazy people *COUGH* shadowgirl *COUGH* I started visiting HC on a daily basis joining lobbies and having a great time playing minigames, clue, etc.

I only hope the end of THFE doesn't mean the end of HC.
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This is one of the sadder moments of my time in the Halo community in general. I really liked all of you guys in THFE and didn't know [REDACTED] all that well but when you guys were based on way back when I was glad to make acquaintance with you and AbleSir Thomas (Never forgot Tuesday Night Testing.)

Although this is an unfortunate development Psychoduck, I'll see you over on ForgeHub and I'm glad you'll still be putting out content and not letting that community go extinct. Forge on.
I should clear something up. While THFE is shifting from a source of new content to a collection of fond memories, HaloCustoms and the experiences here are not going anywhere. I am committed as ever to maintaining this website and participating in the forge community as a whole. HC should blossom with the launch of Halo 5.
I feel like if forgehub was to incorporate a customs tab, and have its own individual youtube channel, it would be way better than thfe and halo customs. If we could just incorporate the halo community into one site that would be better than have 2 or more sites.
Wow. I am stunned. I've been fangirling over THFE since the Reach days. I remember when I was a mere squeaker with the hopes of one day having a map of mine featured (Which eventually happened, and I once again state my gratitude for). It's unfortunate to see such a community wide pinnacle fall into the clasp of corruption, and I'm sure non of us will ever be able to truly understand just how unbearable it was working with the [REDACTED] figure. Thank you for the years of community content that has been provided by the hard work from the real THFE members, and may the community continue to grow as we sadly stem from a seed that has since gone sour, for as a dear friend of the community once said,

"It's not ogre- it's never ogre."
I presume askimg who [REDACTED] is would not be answered?
Cryptic Clue: Are we Vader or are we Dancer?*

*Responses to this clue in regards to the identity of [REDACTED] will neither be officially confirmed or denied at any point so please don't waste time posting guesses here. Alternatively this clue could in fact have no relevance to the true identity of [REDACTED] and you that you could be on a wild goose chase and is entirely grounds of speculation to those whom aren't directly involved.
How sad.
Cryptic Clue: Are we Vader or are we Dancer?*

*Responses to this clue in regards to the identity of [REDACTED] will neither be officially confirmed or denied at any point so please don't waste time posting guesses here. Alternatively this clue could in fact have no relevance to the true identity of [REDACTED] and you that you could be on a wild goose chase and is entirely grounds of speculation to those whom aren't directly involved.
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[REDACTED] is probably so paranoid after snorting all the cocaine that he bought using the stolen THFE money.

Cocaine is a helluva drug.
I only found out about HC through THFE. If it wasn't for all the awesome content you guys created I would have never forged the maps I wanted to be able to. I had no idea about this [REDACTED] business but that makes it all the more impressive that you guys pushed on. Thanks for all the great work and all the best with whatever you do next.
I always knew something was fishy about that guy.. I also never knew that his gamertag was ever [REDACTED]

before anyone says anything, the gamertag thing was a joke xD