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Halo Custom Edition Article

How do I Make Halo CE maps

Before you ask How to edit/make maps - Read This

There is no one program that you use to make or edit Halo CE maps.  There are a suite of programs.  The process used to create a new map starts with creating the map geometry or Level BSP (Binary Space Partitioning) adding textures then exporting into a format that can be imported into the Halo Game.  The HEK - Halo Editing Kit - is a suite of programs that contains the various tools you will need to import the map geometry and textures and allow for placement of other assets such as weapons, vehicles and scenery.

Program Downloads

Halo Editing Kit (HEK) for Halo (CE) Custom Edition
http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?fid=411

3d Modeling Program
GMAX - (free)
http://www.turbosquid.com/gmax
note: you may use other 3D modeling programs but GMAX is the only free one fully supported.


The HEK
The Halo Editing Kit consists of several programs: (from the HEK tutorial)

Blitzkrieg (blitzkrieg.dle) 
Blitzkrieg is the exporter plug-in for 3D Studio Max.  This plug-in exports the model data (vertices, materials, smoothing group information, animations, etc...) from 3DS Max to the file formats (.jms, .jmp, .jma, .jmm, .jmt) used by tool.exe to compile a data tag that can be used by Halo.

Tool (tool.exe)
Tool is a multipurpose command line program that compiles and converts data that has been exported from other sources such as 3D Studio Max.  The data files that are created are referred to as "tags".  Running "tool.exe" by itself with no command line parameters will display a complete list of the available command line parameters and appropriate variables and variable formats.
 
Guerilla (guerilla.exe) 
Guerilla has a graphical interface that is used to edit the properties and resource references in the Halo data “tags”. 

Sapien (sapien.exe)
Sapien is used to edit or modify various aspects of a level that has already been compiled using Tool.   Sapien has a graphical interface that contains a 3D window that renders the game including the level bsp, models, and vehicles as well as playing sounds and running physics.   Sapien is used for many purposes, including the population of characters, weapons, items, scenery objects, and game play and mission objectives

It is highly recommended that you read the HEK tutorial that comes with the HEK installation BEFORE you start trying to edit or create maps.

There are numerous other third party utilities that have been created to assist in the development of Halo CE maps and they can be found in the Halo Utilities section of the website.  The most popular is HEK plus (HEK+) which allows for decompiling existing maps into their constituent assets.

Program Downloads

Section: Halo Utilities
http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?pg=1&sid=8

Halo Editing Kit Plus
http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?fid=1489


TAGS
The game Assets such as scenery objects, weapons, vehicles and the like are contain in "tags" these tags CAN NOT be added to existing map (*.map) files and must be compiled into the maps during creation.  The "tag" defines what each object is or does and how it is treated in the game.  You can find various tags in the Halo CE Tags sections of the website.

Program Downloads:

Halo CE Misc. Tags
http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?pg=1&sid=20
 
Halo CE Biped Tags
http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?pg=1&sid=34
 
Halo CE Scenery Tags 
http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?pg=1&sid=32
 
Halo CE Tag Packs
http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?pg=1&sid=33 
 
Halo CE Vehicle Tags
http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?pg=1&sid=30
 
Halo CE Weapon Tags 
http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?pg=1&sid=31
 

Getting More Help
Creating Halo CE maps is not a simple process. It requires that you learn how to use the 3D editing program, understand how map geometry is imported into the game and also how to populate the game level with game assets.  There are numerous user created tutorials, video and text, to assist in teaching you the various disciplines required for creating maps.  You can find them in the Tutorials section of the website.

Section: Tutorials
http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?pg=1&sid=23

Ghost's Tutorials
http://ghost.halomaps.org/

Search
The Halo CE maps website has a search function that will allow you to find maps, tutorials and whatever else is available from the website.  Please use it before asking in the forum.  For example if you want to find out how to make maps search for a tutorial "Map Making Tutorial" http://hce.halomaps.org/index.cfm?Search=map+making+tutorial

Please look for answers before asking questions.


 

[Posted: May-30-2007 11:14 EST -  (Link)]