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Halo Custom Edition: Misc

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Halo

Up to date as of February 08, 2010

From Halopedia, the Halo Wiki

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The logo for Halo: Custom Edition. This appears in the background while downloading Custom Edition.
Screenshot of Halo 2: New Mombasa, a user-created map based on the Halo 2 E3 trailer.

Halo Custom Edition, sometimes abbreviated Halo CE (which is also often accepted as an abbreviation for Halo: Combat Evolved), is a free expansion that requires a key code of Halo: Combat Evolved by Bungie Studios, which was ported to the PC by Gearbox Software. Halo CE was released by Gearbox as an unsupported version of the original game. However, users do not need to pay to play it, as it is downloadable from selected websites.

Contents

Features

Halo Custom Edition has the ability to load and play user-created content and maps created with the Halo Editing Kit (HEK). Many custom levels have been created by dedicated members of the modding community and have been posted for download at a large number of websites, like Halomaps.org, which is the Custom Edition website.

Custom maps may contain entirely new content, including:

  • Level geometry
  • Bitmaps
  • Weapons
  • Vehicles
  • Bipeds
  • Sounds
  • Game Interfaces
  • Level Scripts and Interactivity
  • Objects
  • Special Effects
  • Animations
  • HUDs
  • Single Player Modifications
  • AIs in multiplayer maps
  • AI Encounters
  • Cinematics

An arguably better net-code was put into Halo: Custom Edition as well. It has noticeably reduced lagging for some, but for others it made it worse. Also, a Rules feature can be viewed by pressing the F2 button (with default settings). It displays all of the specifics for the game-type currently being played in the server.

In addition to the Rules feature, pressing F3 (by default) will display the name of all allied players above their respective green arrows, so long as friend indicators are enabled in the gametype. This is extremely useful on large maps, where locating a specific player would otherwise be extremely difficult.

With the Halo Editing Kit, AI characters can also be added in a map. This has allowed some map makers to create their own mods that can be played like a campaign mission with checkpoints and objectives, and with some skill, cutscenes. People can also make "teams" of AI that will fight each other. The player can fight alongside Elites and Grunts against Marines, or vice-versa. Also, some map makers have made some entirely new biped AIs, such as retroactively adding Brutes to the Halo campaign.

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Limitations

The engine has become frustrating to many map developers, as more complicated features require more complicated procedures. Theoretically, everything possible with the Halo 2/3 engine is also possible with Halo CE, but is often imperfect. Mappers allow boosting through continuous damage indicators, usually behind the player, to speed up the vehicle. This has been modified to deal 0 damage, but still shows arrows indicating damage on the HUD. There are also possibilities of dual-wielding, although still imperfect. The user converts it into one weapon, replacing the secondary trigger(grenades) for the secondary weapon trigger, although when you pick it up, you instantly pick up two instead of one. One of the most frustrating was the limited space for tags, one of the problems the Custom Mapping Team has faced. This has not been a concern to many mappers, though.

Community

Several modding communities have emerged since the advent of Halo CE. One of the most prominent communities is Halomaps.org which has the most updated multiplayer custom maps. Modders use the Halo Editing Kit to incorporate custom models, images, physics, and data into an easily distributed .MAP file, which is compressed and uploaded. In the game, many clans establish themselves to fight one another on custom maps. They train intensely on some maps, which extends and steepens the learning curve for many players. Halo Custom Edition has also been used for several Machinima videos. As such, there are several modded versions of existing maps, not to mention some completely new maps designed specifically for Machinima. Another popular idea is to make map series which is like a video game series, but much smaller.

Popular Maps

Some extremely popular maps have been made, and can be seen as the highest rated maps on Halomaps.org. Some of the most popular maps of all time include:

  • CMT Snowgrove - A map made by the Custom Mapping Team, and features almost entirely custom content, including effects, sounds, and animations. It is shaped like a crescent, with a large network of inter-cliff tunnels, providing multiple routes of attack and excellent sniper spots. In the middle are three bases, two containing teleporters linked to the main home bases. Some of the more notable weapons are: a modification of the BR55HB SR Battle Rifle with an under barrel grenade launcher, the Spartan Laser, the cut-down flamethrower, a Halo 3 Type-25 Carbine and an MA5K assault rifle.
  • Coldsnap - A very large, snowy map. It contains two bases: the Red Base contains four different Warthog variants, four jets, and two Longswords whereas the Blue Base has Warthogs, four jets, four Scorpion tanks and a Mythos. The Mythos is a walker vehicle, with a cannon attached on top, which is believed by some to be a small MAC cannon. This map is frequently played and is by far the largest custom map ever made.[citation needed]
  • Hugeass - A massive map with a large hilly plain separating the bases and serving as the primary battlefield. Two hangars in the sides of the cliff walls surrounding the map serve as the bases. They contain two Pelicans, two Longswords, four Rocket Warthogs, a few small cloaking vehicles called Tachikomas, based on the manga Ghost in the Shell, and a large, white scorpion-like vehicle named the Scorpion Tank. The map is so large that the default fog-plane is visible, causing only half the map to be visible at one time. This can be fixed using several Developer Mode commands.
  • Yoyorast Island - A race-based map filled with walkways as well as a few vehicles, mainly Warthogs, and fan-made Mongooses. These Mongooses are of the same design as the ones cut from Halo 2, due to balancing reasons, and have been praised for their similarity to the Halo 3 Mongoose. It contains some excellent sniping positions, a Warthog race course, and even a "secret room". This map is designed for the Race game type, but is also designed for CTF.

Halo Editing Kit

Main article: Halo Editing Kit

Available for download from any Halo Community Website, the Halo Editing Kit, commonly referred to by its acronym, HEK, is a repackaging of the development tools that Bungie created and used in the development process of Halo. The Halo Editing Kit was released for the creation of custom content for Halo Custom Edition. It is a free, unsupported add-on released by Gearbox Software.

This editing kit includes, Guerrilla, a game resource and tag editor, in addition to Sapien, a mapping and object placement editor, and Tool, a map resource compiler. Most original content must first be modeled in 3ds max (or Gmax) and then converted to a HEK friendly format using the Blitzkrieg exporter and Tool to be edited or added to a custom map. This allows users and players to created completely original and barely similar maps.

Third party program, called the Halo Editing Kit Plus, is able to rip everything from a map, including the BSP. This allows users to mod maps entirely. A very often modded map is Blood Gulch, with more changes than other maps. However, some mappers use the HEK+ to protect their maps to prevent users from ripping anything from the map. Before downloading HEK it is recommended that you have a base knowledge on computer animation and 3D designing.

Developer Mode

Main article: Developer Mode

The Developer mode, commonly referred to as the devmode, is an external program used to execute commands in Halo: Combat Evolved for the PC. It is used by map designers to test out maps they make. Devmode is only available for LAN use and is usually considered to be a single-player only variation. The only way for it to work in multiplayer is to download a small application which allows you to enable or disable devmode without restarting the game, thus allowing you to enable it within a multiplayer game, and disable it when the game is over, or the game will crash. Even then most of the cheats can only be used by the host. However, clients may not be able to fully see the effects of the cheats. It is also a common mistake of new users to attempt to cheat while online. There is a dev-mode for Hosts online, but it has to be downloaded, and can't be used on other servers without an rcon.

Related Links

External Links

  • Download Halo: Custom Edition
  • Halo PC at Gearbox Software
  • Bungie Studios
  • Halomods wiki
  • Halomaps.org website

This article uses material from the "Halo Custom Edition" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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