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A resource for gamers and technology enthusiasts, with unique means of rewarding content creation and support. Have a wander to see why we're worth the time!


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About Kavawuvi

  • Birthday 04/10/1995

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  • Contributed
    $100 (US) to Open Carnage

Computer Details

  • Name
    Black Comet
  • Central Processor
    Intel Core i7-6700K
  • Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-Z170-X-Gaming 5 ATX
  • Graphics
    MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming 8G
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    2x 8 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4
  • Storage
    250 GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD; 2 TB Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM HDD
  • Power Supply
    EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G2
  • Case
    Fractal Design Define R5
  • Display
    Acer G257HU smidpx 25" 2560x1440 60 Hz
  • Keyboard
    MAX Keyboard Nighthawk X9
  • Mouse
    Logitech M510 Wireless Mouse
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Home

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  1. Why would you want to do this? By using Blender, you can create much larger resolution lightmaps. In the screenshots, I increased the lightmap resolution to 64 times its original resolution, so lightmaps that were originally 256 x 128 are now 2048 x 1024. I can't go too overboard with this because there is a 16 MiB limit for bitmaps tags, and this limit is for all bitmaps in the tag rather than individual bitmaps. It's also worth noting that Blood Gulch has plenty of lightmaps with overlapping UVs, causing issues such as twin shadows to appear. Also, lightmaps may not take full advantage of the bitmap's resolution. Blood Gulch's ground lightmaps, for example, only utilize 23% of the available space on the lightmap. Blender could potentially improve this by giving you the option to remap the UVs. Lastly, you have more control over the lighting, and lighting can be made to be more realistic, if desired. Why would you not want to do this? While these lightmaps are amazing, the process for doing this isn't as simple as running one command and then being done with it like with tool.exe. I am working on something that can simplify this process, but it will definitely always be a multistep process. Also, generating these lightmaps is consuming and resource intensive. It is, in fact, far more intensive than tool.exe for obvious reasons - you're generating higher quality, more realistic lightmaps, and such lightmaps are more computational heavy than the low resolution lightmaps that tool.exe makes. On my Intel Core i7-6700K, it takes around two hours to bake Blood Gulch's lightmaps, during which my PC is barely usable due to the rendering having around 100% CPU utilization. Most people who play Halo Custom Edition use much slower, older CPUs and thus may require far more time to generate the same images. There are several ways you can reduce render times. Lowering the image quality by reducing samples and/or resolution can improve matters, but you have less fine detail that can show up in a lightmap. Also, CPUs with more cores such as the Intel Core i7-8700K or the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X will likely result in much better render times. Using Linux with a less demanding desktop environment such as XFCE or KDE may improve render times, as well. You can also just render lightmaps when you aren't using your PC such as overnight. Compared to many modern games, Halo Combat Evolved's current baked, low resolution lighting is rather abysmal, but it is much faster. Therefore, the choice becomes a matter of asking yourself: Are better quality, more realistic lightmaps worth the time required to make them?
  2. Watching it will soon be mandatory as per our updated Posting Guidelines. You may as well get a head start.
  3. Yeah. They pay way too much attention to detail. I'm really upset that the physics actually make a lot of sense despite it being science fiction. First of all, they use the ship's acceleration for gravity rather than the floor just emitting gravity for an unexplained reason. This brings too many interesting scenarios and that Really. Pisses. Me. Off. And where are the energy shields? Isn't a space battle supposed to be whose shields last the longest and then the loser surrenders? Actual space battles are STUPID. And why aren't the consoles exploding and randomly murdering the people using them? I Am So Tired Of This Not Happening It Really TAKES ME OUT OF THE STORY. I really hope they fix these issues in season 4 or I'm just gonna have to go back to watch Star Wars The Next Generation because the original is SO MUCH BETTER.
  4. The Expanse (seasons 1-3) @Tucker933 suggested it to me about a month ago. Around five days ago, I decided to watch the first season, and yesterday, I finished watching the third season.
  5. HDLP or Halo Dedi Launcher for Penguins is a script is intended for those who are new to hosting Halo servers on Linux, and as such, this takes care of the following tasks: Installing Wine and Screen* Downloading the Halo Custom Edition dedicated server and maps (especially useful for people on a data cap) Setting up a dedicated user for the Halo server to improve security Setting up a Wine prefix for your servers Creating server directories Deleting server directories Starting servers Stopping servers *Currently, for installing Wine and Screen, it requires apt-get. In the future, I'd like to support other options for installing this software, such as for users on CentOS, but as this script was really only thrown together in less than the span of a day, only apt-get is supported for now. If it detects wineconsole, 7z/7za, and screen as being valid commands, though, then you should then be able to use this script regardless. The Halo Custom Edition dedicated server and maps are all hosted courtesy of @Vaporeon. To use this script, simply upload hdlp.sh to your Linux server and run it. In the future, maybe I could write some commands you can use to download and execute it, instead. Also, note that SAPP is not currently installed for you - only vanilla servers are generated. For now, you will have to do this yourself. I may add this in the future, but from what I've heard, later versions of SAPP do not work well with Wine and sehe doesn't seem to care, therefore having it install Wine for you might either give you an enhanced server or a server that won't start. Download (.zip): hdlp.zip
  6. Using a VPS requires a lot more setup than a game server, but the value is much, much better. Even if dedicated game hosting was $5, a $5 VPS can potentially host two or more servers or even be used to host other things in addition to your server, such as a web server. You can also use whatever player cap you want, too, rather than paying for a player cap. So here are the requirements: A basic understanding of Linux, namely the command line interface - It isn't hard to learn, but it can be daunting to people unfamiliar with command line interfaces. A basic understanding of computer hardware, namely CPUs and RAM - Your VPS provider isn't going to know what kind of hardware you need for something. SFTP client to remotely access your VPS's files - Most FTP clients support SFTP. This is because most VPSes do not come with an FTP server due to it being massively insecure. SSH client to remotely access your VPS's command line interface - I recommend PuTTY There are some other notes you should know: You are getting what is called an "unmanaged" VPS. An unmanaged VPS means that your VPS provider is NOT going to help you set up your VPS or troubleshoot any problems with your software. They probably don't even know or care how Halo, Wine, or Linux works, so please don't ask them to fix your Halo server. An unmanaged VPS is cheaper, however. If you cannot do this and are not willing to learn how to do any of this, do not get a VPS. If you are, then here's a quick write-up of what you must do:
  7. Something like this was similar to an idea I had, actually. My idea was being able to distribute a .zip or .7z of all of the tag files necessary to compile the map (or maps if this is a map pack), and you'd include a .json file inside of the root of this archive to determine the maps in the archive. There are quite a few benefits to this approach: You only distribute a single archive of the tags for your map(s) rather than individual cache files. You only send your tags and not the tags included with the game, potentially saving space when distributing maps, especially multiple maps that are in the same tags folder Also, your maps are invariably and indisputably yours, because you do not include any assets from the original game with them, nor are they being run through tool.exe when being built. A single archive files means you send each tag only once rather than the same tag for each map file, saving space if distributing a map pack. However, there are plenty of downsides and obstacles: Map loading time is increased in order to build the necessary cache file(s) when they're needed. This can mostly be solved by caching the map files, only rebuilding them if a tags folder they depend on is changed, but this negates any space saving benefits. Everyone will need the Halo Editing Kit tags folder present, particularly one that matches their language, otherwise you'll have issues such as Spanish speaking players seeing only English assets as well as, potentially, mismatched tag data. Including the entire HEK can be easily done and the EULA allows it to be distributed in whole, but it will make the download size larger. I don't know where you can obtain a non-English HEK, but it probably wouldn't be that much effort to rip the installed bitmaps.map, sounds.map, and loc.map files and distribute only the English HEK. Invader may produce files slightly different to the files made by tool.exe, and revisions to Invader may produce slightly different files from previous revisions. Either will result in not being able to join multiplayer servers with the slight differences. Removing the check or just checking tags rather than the resulting maps could also solve this problem, but would you want to risk issues to occur if the user has a different map file? It's less effort to rip your tags because they're already in HEK format, ready to be used. Although map protection is a futile endeavor, some map makers may still want it as an option with reasons such as for distributing betas or for preventing modifications and preserving the original mapper's intent. Simply accepting the fact that your map will be ripped regardless of if, how, and/or why you protect it will solve this issue for you. Sapien, Guerilla, and tool.exe all assume a single tags directory. Therefore, for this approach to be cohesive for both mappers and players, all of these tools will likely need to be modified and/or replaced. For Guerilla, MEK replaces it through Mozzarella, and this open source alternative could simply be modified, if needed. I'm sure MosesofEgypt would be happy to accommodate Invader's ability to use multiple tags folders. Sapien has no known, complete replacement. This tool is required for compiling Halo scripts as well as populating scenario tags. tool.exe has no known, complete replacement, but I'm sure MosesofEgypt is working on replacing a lot of its functionality.
  8. I did more work on Invader on and off in the past week. HUD works, effects work, but particles and lights are broken. Also, some particles appear to freeze the game. Yet again, use map_name to load this one. Do not load it any other way or the game will crash. Download here: tutorial.7z
  9. It's Cuddles the Conduit
  10. I've known this for several months. Are you sure you're posting in the right section?
  11. Stuff looks a lot better than what it did before. It's still not playable in multiplayer, the HUD is still totally broken, vehicles are screwy, and plenty of other stuff doesn't work. However, crouching works, running around is now normal, fall damage is normal, and first person animations look correct. You can download this map here: Once again, use map_name to load the map. Do not load it any other way or else your game will crash. Note: To save space, every time I post a tutorial.7z file, I will purge the older tutorial.7z file. I am not saving these, so do not ask me for a copy.
  12. Invader can now create (barely) playable map files. You can download this map here: Be sure to load with map_name unless you like exception errors.
  13. a classic which definitely gets things going for me
  14. Models work now. Here's the cyborg model imported from an Invader-built map into the one map that everyone mods. Though I guess model animations aren't as finished as I thought they were. I tried importing the Invader built animation tag and... well... this happened. He's so happy, he doesn't want to leave the warthog even when you press the action button. Fixed
  15. Invader is a work-in-progress, open source tag data compilation tool. What this does is it converts a tag file, such as a .damage_effect file, into tag data Halo can use. While I can't guarantee anything will come of this, I'm giving this a try at the very least. Why do this? I'm bored and I want to work on something other than Chimera for a change. How long has this been worked on? Since 2018-07-25 What could this (theoretically) do? There are several uses for a tag compiler. Building (your) maps While the obvious use is building a map, many argue that when you compile a map with tool.exe, then the resulting map belongs to Microsoft. Often, these people will cite the End User License Agreement and tool.exe specifically, despite the fact that neither the Halo Custom Edition EULA nor Halo Editing Kit EULA indicate anything about tool.exe. Regardless, by using an open source tool such as Invader, you can be sure that your map file is yours because I'm not a huge asshole. Distributing and loading (your) maps via tag folders By only distributing only your tags when distributing your map, you can save space, as clients and servers will already have all of the Halo Editing Kit tags installed. Also, you do not distribute any Bungie/Microsoft created assets by doing this - only your content. This can also help with organization, too. Rather than replacing the tag files in one tags folder, you simply override them in a second tags folder that's dedicated to your map. Larger cache files Cache files are limited to 384 MiB (402653184 bytes) of data. Any more than this and Halo will refuse to load the map. As a result, tool.exe may not allow such large map files to even be generated. In maps with large amounts of internalized assets such as custom bitmaps and sounds or large amounts of BSPs, it can be very easy to run into limitations. A potential new cache file format Halo limits the amount of tag data that can be loaded at once to 23 MiB (24117248 bytes). This includes all tag paths, the tag array, the tag data header, all non-BSP tag data, as well as the currently loaded BSP tag. Normally this isn't a problem for most multiplayer maps, but many large singleplayer maps with heavily complex geometry can get constrained by this. By compiling the map to a format that supports loading BSP tag data to load into a space separate from tag data, you could make bigger BSPs as well as use more tag data. There are some hurdles to such an idea. For one, Halo CE would need to be modified to support this format, and this would require changing how BSPs are loaded into memory. Also, Sapien and tool.exe will have to either be modified or replaced to support the new format. Roll the screenshots BSPs and shaders working (after being imported to a map via Eschaton) Loading the map (almost) works. Models are broken and the game crashes after a few seconds, but it lived long enough for me to take a screenshot.