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A resource for Halo Custom Edition and MCC modding, with unique means of rewarding content creation and support. Have a wander to see why we're worth the time! - EST. 2012

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  1. Today
  2. But I can't archive you.
  3. Someone should make a release for this!
  4. Yesterday
  5. There is a small issue with delay_skip_2.lua which is if the last player in the server quits, the script will skip to the next map. I have fixed it here... delay_skip_3.lua
  6. That's a fair point, and I agree. My two big Halo projects, Invader and Chimera, are open source and publicly available for all the world to see. As for if I'd delete either project's source code, well, I am certain I'd never do that. That being said, I have not been offered a job at any sort of gaming studio that works on Halo in an official capacity, so admittedly, you only have my word (and no proof) to go by at this time regarding that. I always recommend archiving things you care about.
  7. I meant like using a different client for every other custom map :v fragmenting the playerbase and what not...
  8. When developers make their source code inaccessible and then themselves inaccessible, that's where the problems begin. Any developer that does this, intentionally or not, is doomed to have their work forcibly replaced. Time will tell if Kavawuvi is taking enough steps to end this cycle.
  9. Same. The first party client is shit.
  10. Here we go again... looking forward to that future where we have to use some third party client for every custom map :v (I'm looking at you, bigass >:v)
  11. Map protection always had the most insulting excuses to justify it and these days if you ask why people did it, they try to act like victims. They were always selfish assholes high on chasing popularity at any cost. Leaving their work to rot is good karma.
  12. There is absolutely no valid reason to protect maps, but with protected maps, map makers decided to consciously and deliberately corrupt their maps so that only the stock game can load the map. Because we have tools that trivially defeat all common forms of map protection, then I think it is reasonable for modders and scripters to not be always expected to go through the hassle of adding support for what is basically complete bullshit. This does mean that a backlog of a few hundred maps will not be supported by these mods and tools, but again, these maps are easily fixed. Invader can easily and instantly detect most common forms of map protection, and Refinery can reverse most common forms of map protection. If you want to combat map protection, then these are your best friend.
  13. Last week
  14. I also thought I recalled reading something from another source. Decided to do some googling. Supposedly adding option1 to the end of the shortcut URL will do it as well if you wanted to use the shortcut.
  15. We go over how the saber files manage textures, and how to add textures to a level when the dependencies are missing links: tex_mod:
  16. This tutorial is on how to add inherited animations and more importantly, functional animations to a biped. Let’s say, for example, you want to make a grunt able to drive a warthog. The first thing people have thought of is to swap the warthog_d seat with ghost_d, but that’s wrong, and bad! It breaks the animations of others, it breaks scripts, ect. What you’re gonna want to do instead is inherit animations and edit the modes block in the jmad. Before you start, I suggest making a backup of your mod, this will come in handy later when we deal with the modes block. Animation Inheritance We'll be inheriting warthog_d animations from the marine to the grunt, so the first step is to open the jmad tag of both. After that, go down to the bottom of the grunt jmad, hit the gear on the 'new inheritance list' to add a new element, and set the inherited graph to the marine jmad. After that, add as many 'Node Map' elements as there are 'skeleton node's in your inherited graph (check back at the other jmad for this. For marines, this is 70) and add 'node map flags' so that you have as many as your node maps can fit divided by 32, rounded up. You'll then want to cross reference the names in the skeleton nodes of both the grunt and the marine for this next step, so I would suggest taking out a notepad and copying them down with their number in each respective list. For each entry in the 'Node Map' under the new inheritance list, you'll want to add in the number corresponding to the name of the skeleton node in the grunt jmad that is identical to the marine skeleton node you are on. If there is none, type in -1. After that, go through the 'node map flags' and check every flag who's corresponding value in the nodemap isn't -1. The second page uses the second numbers next to the checkbox, third page third, ect. Once done, it should look something like this. After this is done, you'll want to make new elements in your grunt jmad for all the new animations you want. while I'll only show one, for our purposes you'll want all 8 animations named warthog_d:, as well as any other warthog animation if you want to give the grunt full access to all of the seats and boarding. You'll likely want to name your animation the same as the one you're taking, for example warthog_d:acc, copy the values and flags from it, except you'll want to leave the shared animation data block with no elements, as well as add the element number of what animation you want to copy into the shared animation index, and add the marine jmad to the shared graph reference. Additionally, you'll most likely want to flag translate root and scale only on each animation to ensure your biped does stretch out to marine proportions. When you're done, it should look like this, and repeat as necessary for your needs. Modes block Editing Now, you may think you'd be done. You have your animations after all, right? Technically yes, but the game will never actually call them up like this, and that's where one of the easily overlooked blocks you scrolled past to get to inheritance comes in, the modes block. This dictates all of the actions a biped can do, and the animations associated with them. (This is also separate from the mode tag, which is the model) What you’ll need to add to your grunt's modes block is warthog_d, warthog_p, and warthog_g, as well as warthog_b_d, warthog_b_p, and warthog_b_g if you want them to be able to board. However, the block needs to be in a certain order. While it is possible to remake the entire block to fit these in, I suggest instead making the jmad in another version of the same map, and then importing it into the map you’re working on, as this sorts it correctly. Open up the jmad for the marine (or anything else that does what you want your biped to do). Copy the names of the main block into your jmad’s main block at the end of it, and then export. Once you’ve exported, reimport the files into the version of the map you’re actually working on, thus sorting all the files. From this point you’ll want to fill in the blocks with all the relevant sub-blocks for the actions you’ll need. You’ll need to fill in weapon class, weapon type, and sets with any for nearly all blocks, but may need more for blocks where players can use their weapons. You’ll also need an enter, an exit, an idle, and an ejection under action for seats such as warthog_d. You may also need to add overlays, and overlay groups. Warhog_d as per the marine needs aim_still_up, grip, acc, and look_still_up, and remember, keep them in order. The actions and overlays need to reference animations, Overlay groups are set by number in the idle block of a vehicle, and sometimes the enter and exit as well, particularly for something like passenger seats where you can aim and shoot in them. These need to be set up for your character to lean, look around, aim their weapons, and other essentials such as those. You’ll need to probably create an overlay group, as well as a few new blend screens, which the overlay group will reference. For warthog_d, you’ll make an overlay group named warthog_d:aim_still_up, and have 3 entries in the blendscreens. Warthog_d:acc, warthog_d:aim_still_up, and warthog_d:look_still_up. The node mask index should be -1 on all of these except warthog_d:aim_still_up, which should instead be 0. Basically, just copy values from the spartan. acc and aim_still_up should generally look like this regardless of vehicle: Make sure the animations are pointing in the right place in the new blend screens as well. Once you’re done with that, and you’ve added them to the overlay group and the overlay group to the idle, you should have a grunt who can successfully enter a warthog driver seat. This information should be applicable to a great many things, such as giving any biped any weapon (involves that weapon class section), getting elite players into sabres, and much more.
  17. I thought about it! But since I'm one of the judges, there would be an inherent conflict of interest. Using a custom P8 texture crashes the game. Using a custom 16-bit texture results in a black texture. So you can't get it to work with just using a Custom Edition map format like what Invader produces, thus you'd have to replace these files instead if that's the case and use the somewhat different engine version 7 (which is the same as stock Halo PC) formatted MCC map.
  18. Add a tc21 tag and you could win some cash c: ALSO! Iirc there does seem to be support for 16 bit textures, and p8 textures in the ipak; however, I dunno if there is a corresponding imeta value.
  19. This one's a doozy. Let's begin. CEA supports loading Custom Edition maps. However, on further inspection, it does not actually properly support Custom Edition maps, and asking employees from 343 Industries for assistance does not seem to be particularly helpful. At best I’ve been told to “wait for modding support” and at worst, I’ve been… uh… not told anything and just completely ignored. I have my own reservations regarding how this is being done with little to no community interaction and mostly in secret, but that’s not relevant here. We’ve done some of our own research by way of taking custom maps and seeing what happens. We did this to see if we could get the Refined set of maps to look correct on CEA, so here are the results. Getting the maps to even load CEA requires the base maps to be compressed using a chunked zlib format. CEA requires the file size in the map’s respect .fmeta to be correct. CEA requires the map to replace a stock map (note that setting the file name in the map file, itself, is not required - merely renaming and setting the fmeta file is sufficient) CEA also requires Custom Edition’s bitmaps.map, sounds.map, and loc.map to be copied into the maps folder (NOT compressed) Invader supports building MCC maps. When built with invader-build -g mcc-custom, the maps are generated compressed and a matching .fmeta file Bitmap format support CEA does not support 16-bit bitmaps. This is the default setting for lightmaps and is what tool.exe generates. These textures will instead show up as black. CEA does not support P8 bump textures. Custom Edition does not either, but while Custom Edition simply doesn’t render the bitmap, CEA instead crashes. This is worth mentioning because the stock Infinity that came with Halo PC actually has a P8 texture despite being made for an engine that does not support it. Workarounds: Use invader-bitmap to regenerate the bitmap as 32-bit if you have source data OR you are using a tag that wasn’t extracted by a tag extractor and/or modified by last-resort. You may get a quality improvement in this case! Use last-resort to convert the bitmap to 32-bit if you are using extracted or modified tags and you do not have source data. There won’t be any changes in quality, but it’s better than nothing. HUD scaling and positioning CEA has effectively increased the resolution of the HUD from 640x480, but it does so in a way where it tries to be backwards compatible with 640x480 HUD placement Since CEA scales HUDs differently, most elements have to be modified for them to look correct. Also, some HUD elements may be placed differently, since CEA has a widescreen “fix” of its own that tries to turn a 4:3 HUD into 7:3, 16:9, 16:10, etc. Workarounds: You may need to rescale your HUDs by a factor of 2, disable high resolution scaling, etc. to get the HUD elements to be sized correctly You may also need to reposition HUD elements in some cases. CEA may potentially break things like the sniper ticks and numbers which may require further adjustment HUD colors CEA has repurposed the green channel in HUD elements to control things like intensity and alpha, thus they had to make the meters show up as monochrome. Because elements are monochrome, multi-colored elements (e.g. Refined’s Xbox-style heat meters) are not possible in MCC. Also, some colors may appear to be more washed out with lower alpha if the green channel is too high. The empty color may look wrong, too, since this green channel seems to determine the opacity of that (even though empty has an alpha channel?) Workarounds: Monochrome elements: Set the green channel to 0. This will result in your HUD bitmaps appearing to be magenta in your image editor, but they will show up as monochrome in-game. Lower green may result in the empty color not appearing, while higher green may make the colors washed out with lower alpha, so you may need to fiddle with the green channel if you aren’t happy with the result. Colored elements: Create separate HUD elements and bitmaps for each color and use the HUD interface tag to set the color. This may sound like it’ll be complete hell to implement and that it’ll probably also look bad, and that’s because it will. Jackal shields CEA changes the jackal shields to match the Jackal’s rank to attempt to imitate Xbox behavior. This may end up resulting in your own custom shields looking incorrect. Workarounds: Change the tag path of the bitmap (or shader?)? This needs testing. Refined never had this issue, but the issue exists nonetheless since it’s something the stock CEA game does do. Anniversary models In singleplayer, CEA has a separate ‘anniversary’ renderer that replaces all the assets with assets inspired by Halo 3 + Halo Reach (or as we sometimes call Halo Threach or 3ch). This obviously does away with most of the visuals assets used by the base engine besides HUDs. Custom assets may not appear correctly or at all in the new renderer. Level geometry may not look correct assuming it even appears. Workarounds: Doing anything with the CEA anniversary renderer is outside of the scope of Refined, so we have not bothered looking into any potential workarounds. We just recommend not using anniversary graphics while using custom assets… or even stock assets since they also have issues. Wait until some sort of editing tools are released for manipulating Saber3D stuff. We don’t care. Custom sounds CEA replaced the sound system and uses a proprietary engine, FMOD. Custom sounds (or higher quality sounds) will not play or will use the older (or anniversary) sounds from the FSBs. Sound environments don’t work correctly. Reverberation does not work correctly, sounds are not muffled, and distance attenuation is very basic. Workarounds: Halo PC Anticheat MCC uses anticheat which requires that files match a checksum in order to load successfully. Loading these maps while anticheat is enabled will fail. These maps cannot be played on matchmaking (and possibly not on whatever custom games browser 343 Industries is working on) due to it requiring anticheat to be enabled. Workarounds: Disable anticheat and only play singleplayer or with friends. Remind yourself that CEA’s matchmaking is in a broken state even if its many issues can be (and have been) easily fixed, and then cry yourself to sleep each night as nobody does anything about it. See this post for information on disabling anticheat: Conclusion At the time of writing this, it is currently impossible to make the Refined experience on MCC up to par with Refined on Halo PC (both the retail version and even the more broken Custom Edition), and this may be the same for most custom maps. And really, support for MCC in its current state is experimental at best with the latest builds of Refined. It is highly recommended to play the maps on Halo PC as released by Gearbox for the best overall experience unless you want to play co-op. To summarize: The HUD colors will always look slightly washed out due to the shader being different. The Xbox heat meter gradients are infeasible to implement, and even if they were easy to do, they wouldn’t look correct, nor would the rest of the HUD. The sound system is in a pretty broken state. Using custom higher quality or uncompressed sounds is not possible without reverse engineering and replacing the FSBs (FMOD sound bank, not front-side bus), thus it will only be as good as the audio that came with MCC, assuming the sounds did come with it. MCC also has a number of issues on its own ranging from annoyances (banshee engine/contrail audio tied to frame rate, cutscenes locked to 30 FPS and looking even worse with an unlocked camera) to game breaking issues (input issues). Therefore, even if MCC perfectly supported these maps, it would still be an inferior experience, with the only notable redeeming qualities being a fixed water shader and co-op. And, of course, it is also not possible to play the (Semi-)Refined multiplayer maps on matchmaking (and possibly their custom games browser) due to anticheat, thus you will be restricted to custom games with friends. Halo PC does not have this issue (or any of the other issues listed above), and you can play the fixed maps on servers running the original maps. And, to quote myself from another Discord when asked about Refined vs. Halo PC: Considering porting maps is not a simple process and the results are always going to be inferior to the original, one must ask the question if it's even worth doing at this point.
  20. To play Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Steam, with mods, you must disable Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC) or simply 'anticheat'. If you don't do this, you can get VAC banned on Steam which may lead to consequences like being unable to play multiplayer or worse. Option 1: Desktop shortcut. Here's how to get a desktop shortcut with the official icon. First get the original game shortcut which can be placed automatically as you install the game, or manually add it later by doing the following: Find Halo: The Master Chief Collection in your Steam games library list and right click it. Select Manage. Inside the Manage sub-menu, click Add desktop shortcut. Once you have a normal Halo MCC desktop shortcut, do the following: Copy and paste the shortcut Steam made for you, then rename it 'MCC NonAC' or whatever you like. Edit the properties of the shortcut. In the URL field, replace steam://rungameid/976730 with steam://launch/976730/option1. To finish, select OK. Be careful not to accidentally run the original if you have installed mods. Or just don't have the original at all. Option 2: Through the Steam games library. I personally find this method to be annoyingly repetitious but if you have lots of games, this can be a way to keep your desktop clean. Navigate to Halo: The Master Chief Collection in your Steam games library. Launch the game using the big green PLAY button. (Shown in the picture as blue CANCEL since I already clicked it.) Two windows will appear, one is a prompt. In the prompt, select the option that says "Play Halo: MCC Anti-Cheat Disabled (Mods and Limited ..." Press PLAY and enjoy your mods worry-free!
  21. That's a good point, I didn't realize it didn't ask I'll mention that in the next tutorial I record
  22. Oh very interesting. I have been launching it from desktop shortcut. I just tried launching it from library and I got the prompt you must be talking about.
  23. Which version are you using? Are you on steam? Are you launching from the library, or from the short cut?
  24. I don't get anything asking me anything. The game just boots straight into the main menu after a couple splash screens. Maybe because I'm on Windows 7 or installed the game more recently?
  25. The goal was more so to explain a brief over view in how to use the tools, and the roles tags make. Kinda like a dip your toes in the water kind of thing, use a little bit of everything. I just didn't want to overwhelm a beginner. I do plan on creating more in depth tutorials when I get into things like creating your own weapon. Then we'd have to discuss all the parts that make up a weapon, and how the weapon gets referenced in the level. I do appreciate the feedback though c: And I don't understand what you mean about anti-cheat? It asks every time when you try to start the game.
  26. Keeping the tradition going of starting with a Bloodgulch mod. Classic. An interesting first choice for a mod but possibly misleading since that weapon will only spawn once. To add weapons to multiplayer you have to add the weapon to the globals weapon list, put the weapon into an item collection, and then place the item collection into the scenario as a netgame equipment. I think... it's been a while. Might have been better to just show how to mod the existing pistol? And I feel like people are underestimating the importance of explaining how to disable anticheat and why. Otherwise, good job showing this process in a more approachable way.
  27. This is part two in an ongoing series explaining how to mod halo cea. See part one here: In this tutorial we will go over our modding tools and learn how to use them by making a small mod. commands: invader-bludgeon --all -T invalid-indices -T invalid-enums -T out-of-range invader-refactor -M no-move -c model gbxmodel invader-strip --all invader-build -g mcc-retail -c -n levels/test/bloodgulch/bloodgulch links: Reclaimers Library: https://c20.reclaimers.net/ tutorial competition: https://opencarnage.net/index.php?/topic/8261-oc-tutorial-contest/
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