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A resource for Halo 1 modding and tech, with unique means of rewarding individual content creation and support. Have a wander to see why we're worth the time! EST. 2012

Kavawuvi

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Everything posted by Kavawuvi

  1. Well, I guess we don't need a competition for this month.
  2. Good news to MEK users: Mozzarilla now supports creating both PCM and Xbox ADPCM sound tags! It does not yet support Ogg Vorbis, though, so I'm not going to put it on the list until that's completed, but if you want a GUI-based program that can generate sound tags and you're okay with being limited to uncompressed PCM or low quality ADPCM, you now have an option for that.
  3. The Halo Editing Kit sucks and everyone knows it. How do we replace it? I made a list of stuff that needs to be done and stuff that has already been done. Why should the Halo Editing Kit be replaced? The Halo Editing Kit is unmaintained and unsupported. It contains plenty of bugs, and it is not very user-friendly. It also contains numerous limitations and restrictions that may make sense with the limited 64 MiB memory of the original Xbox but not a PC game even from this time period. It was also made for much older systems (pre-2004 systems), and while it still works with modern systems due to Windows's robust backwards-compatibility support, issues have crept up in the past that make some things worse than what they were in the past (Sapien and Guerilla have UI issues, for example). Also, to use the Halo Editing Kit, you must agree to an additional restrictive license that takes away your freedom to use their software. Invader, on the other hand, uses the GNU General Public License version 3.0, and Mozzarilla and Refinery are part of the MEK which use the MIT license, a license with even fewer restrictions than the GNU GPL. But the worst of all is that the Halo Editing Kit is closed source and nonfree. Locking down the source code is not only unhelpful to the modding community, but if people begin relying on the software, it proves to be detrimental to the modding community. Why? Because if the software stops being actively maintained and supported, the modding community ends up having to rely on this unmaintained and unsupported software, resulting in potential complications and issues. If issues arise (bugs, limitations, or better ways to do things have been found), there is no way to update the software without resorting to reverse engineering and modification of the binary, so people end up being stuck with the limitations and bugs of the older, closed source software until this happens. Because the closed source tools technically already exist, fewer people are inclined to replace them despite their problems, so in a way, the closed source software ends up being worse than not having the software in the first place. What needs done? Questions we can answer right now: How do you edit your tags? Use Mozzarilla. How do you make string list tags? Use Mozzarilla or invader-string. How do you make HUD message list tags? Use Mozzarilla. How do you make your bitmaps? Use invader-bitmap (for color plates) or Mozzarilla (for DDS files). How do you make your fonts? Use invader-build. How do you make sprites? Use invader-bitmap. How do you make cubemaps? Use invader-bitmap. How do you make your sounds? Use invader-sound. How do you make animation tags? Use Mozzarilla. You currently need to use closed source software to make the .JMA files. How do you make physics tags? Use Mozzarilla. You currently need to use closed source software or an outdated version of Blender to make the JMS files. How do you make model tags? Use Mozzarilla. You currently need to use closed source software or an outdated version of Blender to make the JMS files. Questions we cannot answer right now: How do you compile your scripts? We don't know yet. How do you make .scenario_structure_bsp tags? We don't know yet. You currently need to use closed source software or an outdated version of Blender to make the JMS files. How do you make collision model tags? We don't know yet. You currently need to use closed source software or an outdated version of Blender to make the JMS files. How do you place your objects? Besides manually placing them in Mozzarilla or placing them in Blender and using an old invader-scenario tool I wrote to apply them to a .scenario tag, we don't know yet. How do you bake lightmaps? We don't know yet. How do you build your maps? Besides invader-build which isn't 100% feature complete, we don't know yet. Milestones to achieve? Making a HUD from scratch: Requires being able to edit tag data (use Mozzarilla) Requires being able to create 2D texture bitmaps (use Mozzarilla or invader-bitmap) Making a simple multiplayer map: Requires being able to build a map (use invader-build) Requires being able to create scenario tags (use Mozzarilla) Requires being able to edit tag data (use Mozzarilla) Requires being able to place objects (use Sapien from the HEK) Requires being able to compile BSPs (use tool.exe from the HEK) Requires being able to bake lightmaps (use tool.exe from the HEK) Making a new object completely from scratch: Requires being able to make animation tags (use Mozzarilla and a closed source program) Requires being able to make model tags (use Mozzarilla and a closed source program) Requires being able to make physics tags (use Mozzarilla and a closed source program) Requires being able to edit tag data (use Mozzarilla) Requires being able to make sprites (use invader-bitmap) Requires being able to make cubemaps (use invader-bitmap) Requires being able to make a HUD for weapons, units, and vehicles (can be done fully in Mozzarilla, optionally using invader-bitmap for bitmaps) Requires being able to make collision model tags (use tool.exe from the HEK) Making a new campaign map: Requires being able to edit tag data (use Mozzarilla) Requires being able to make string tags (use Mozzarilla) Requires being able to create scenario tags (use Mozzarilla) Requires being able to make sprites (use invader-bitmap) Requires being able to create sounds for voice acting (using invader-sound) Requires being able to build singleplayer maps (invader-build works, but it cannot yet place firing positions correctly, so use tool.exe from the HEK for better results) Requires being able to compile scripts (use Sapien from the HEK) Requires being able to place objects (use Sapien from the HEK) Requires being able to compile BSPs (use tool.exe from the HEK) Requires being able to bake lightmaps (use tool.exe from the HEK) Making a complete game: Requires being able to edit tag data (use Mozzarilla) Requires being able to make fonts (use invader-font) Requires being able to make bitmaps for interfaces (use Mozzarilla or invader-bitmap) Requires being able to create sounds from scratch for various effects (use invader-sound) Requires being able to make multiplayer maps (incomplete) Requires being able to make campaign maps (incomplete) Requires being able to make objects from scratch (incomplete) Where do I get this stuff?
  4. I've noticed there are several unfulfilled script requests. Let's fix that, together! If you complete one of these script requests, you can earn a set number of tickets. The number of tickets earned will be indicated above the link. Here is the process: Reply to the linked script request topic with your script. I recommend attaching your script to your post as links can go stale after a while. Reply to this topic with the link to your post to ensure your reply is seen. I'll probably still see your post even if you don't reply here, but I recommend posting here just in case I don't. To get a link to your exact post, click the share button on the top right corner of the post and copy the link. If I verify your script works correctly, then you will be credited tickets. If it does not work correctly, I will reply to your post telling you what is wrong so you can fix it. Verify that your script works correctly before posting. Starting next week, on every Friday at 18:00 UTC, bonus tickets will be awarded to the person who earned the most tickets this week from this contest as long as that person completed at least two (2) requests that week. These tickets do NOT need to be in your possession to win, thus the standings are not reset at the end of a Monthly Raffle month (unless, of course, the end was on a Friday), and you can use your tickets the moment you get them. If there is a tie, though, then the prize will be split between the winners. The current bonus is 4 tickets. Bounties 15 tickets Squad System 5 tickets VIP escort gametype 4 tickets Animate a biped Disable fall damage under certain situations 3 tickets Vote for lo3 Spawn weapon to the passenger Expanded weapon respawn timer Prevent portal camping Change points for an item (A market) Remake of "Breakout" Gametype Block wdel $n with the flag 2 tickets Disable Rod or Rox or OS, or camo Weapon Layout script breaks CTF Custom spawns Suicide Area Vehicle spawner Record Stats Frag spawns Block Access to Map Area Disable Ammo Pickup (claimed by giraffe) Current Standings (non-staff) giraffe: 2 tickets (1 request) TIP: Lower ticket values will typically take less time than higher ticket values (with the exception of 5 ticket requests), but, of course, they have a lower reward. If you are trying to get the bonus tickets and you are one or two requests away from the request requirement, try doing these! For more information on the monthly raffle, check out the FAQ. Lastly, happy scripting! This mini-contest will go on until either there are no more scripts or there isn't any activity.
  5. I've increased the bounties of most of the requests above. I've also reduced the minimum script count to enter in the Friday mini-contest from 3 to 2. Go ahead and grab yourself some easy tickets, as this offer won't last forever. Note: Any scripts completed that were requested in the past 7 days will also be awarded 6 tickets as per the monthly raffle, but they will not be counted towards winning this contest. The +6 tickets do not count towards the Friday mini-contest as this is operated separate from the Monthly Raffle (though only non-staff can still participate since it uses raffle tickets), so you are not at a disadvantage if someone else is on the ball with the latest script requests. That said, I still recommend completing recent script requests as you get more tickets for doing so. Anyway, I've put the current standings now that someone has actually completed a script request from this list.
  6. Ammo sets maximum ammo, not loaded ammo (which is what mag does).
  7. If you want to disable ammo pickup for the entire game, one trick is to set the maximum (NOT starting) ammo of all weapons to 0. This means that the weapon will spawn with ammo, but since the maximum ammo is 0, it starts with more than the maximum amount of ammo, thus you cannot pick up any more ammo. If you want this and you don't know how to do it, then I suggest making a SAPP script request here: https://opencarnage.net/index.php?/forum/60-sapp-script-requests/
  8. A few people have asked me whether or not Pokémon’s first core RPG entry to home console is good. Here is my answer. If you want a tl;dr, skip to the bottom section. Note that I played Pokémon Shield, but this review pretty much applies to Pokémon Sword, as it’s the same exact game except that two of the opponents are different and there is a slightly different selection of monsters you can obtain. Pokémon If you don’t know what Pokémon is, this might not be the best review to read to learn what it is, but I’ll sum it up. Basically, this video game takes place in a world where there are magical creatures known as Pokémon. You can capture these monsters in capsules known as Poke Balls, and you can use them to fight other monsters and make money. Many of these monsters also have have some sort of a threshold where they can “evolve” into more powerful Pokémon, usually having better stats and attacks. Technically, this is more like metamorphosis which occurs over a short period of time than actual evolution which occurs over millions of years. This threshold usually involves leveling up, but some monsters have different other requirements, and some have multiple evolutions. The games are rarely clear on these, so experimentation is encouraged. This game features 81 more of these monsters as well as updates to existing ones in the form of “Galarian” forms. Many of these are quite well designed, but some of them are kind of… eh? Gameplay Pokémon is a now a video game series that is older than many of the people who play it. It has built up a large fanbase, and it is one of the largest grossing media franchises in the entire world. Despite being over 18 years old, many of the core mechanics of the games have stayed mostly the same: it’s an RPG where battles are turn-based where, in most cases, the faster monster moves first. Players may have up to six monsters (known as Pokémon), each monster knows up to four attacks that the player can choose from once per turn, and many of the attacks that inflict damage to the other monster can do extra (super effective) damage depending on the type of monster being attacked. Turn-based gameplay like it's 1996! Now on home console. (for the seventh time) My only complaint about the core gameplay is that it’s too slow, as battles take far longer than necessary. There is a pause between each Pokémon doing anything, and there are often many other things that make the pause even longer. Text boxes appear, for example, make things a bit longer. Various other effects such as healing from leftovers or damage-over-time from poison or weather take a bit too long, especially when multiple monsters on the field are experiencing such effects and the game has to go through each of them one at a time. Indeed, most of the gameplay is you watching things happen rather than you actually doing anything. This has always been a problem with the core RPG titles, and I feel they could be made to be more consise. Story The story involves you and your rival, Hop, taking part in the Gym Challenge in the new Galar region. You have to collect eight badges, and then you can challenge the champion, Leon, who happens to be Hop’s brother. Meanwhile, Sonia, the professor’s assistant, uncovers information about a legend in Galar’s past, and these happen to be relevant to the game’s story. So basically, like most of the past games, bad things happen, and the box art Pokémon appear and have stuff to do with it. Usually the only bad things that happen are Hop stopping you every 20 minutes to remind you that he plans to be the very best or Sonia making you look at murals and artwork while telling you how it relates to a legend. Like nearly all of the past Pokémon games, the story just isn’t very substantial. This isn’t to say that there aren’t any good parts to it, because it gets a LOT better near the end. Also, this isn’t to say that Pokémon needs a grandiose story line. However, for a simple story, this game has way too much button mashing dialogue that is usually, at best, vaguely important, and there are some points where it doesn’t give you much time to actually play the game. Often times, when an exciting thing does happen, one of the characters steps in to save the day rather than letting you do it. This puts me off, as it almost seems like the only parts of the game where you actually directly contribute to the story are few and far between. This is in stark contrast to the days of the first Pokémon games where you get to singlehandedly defeat a criminal organization while simultaneously crushing your neighbor’s hopes and dreams mere minutes after he realized them. It’s like the handholdingness is now finally a main feature in the game’s canon, and that just doesn’t sit well with me. Gym challenge The Gym challenge is, like most of the past games, a gauntlet where you must defeat eight different stronger opponents, earning a badge from each of them. Obtaining these eight badges gives you the opportunity to challenge the champion – your end goal. Like past games, you have to complete a small challenge for each gym leader to have the opportunity to battle them. I personally thought that many of the first few challenges were quite enjoyable. However, many of the later ones became more of a series of battles rather than an actual challenge. This leaves me torn as to which part of the game is better: the part with the better gym challenges (beginning to mid) or the part with the better story (mid to end)? Camping and Friendship Camping is a new feature added into the game which replaces Pokémon Refresh and Pokémon Amie. This feature allows you to interact with your Pokemon in a few ways, including talking to them, waving a weird wand in their face, playing catch with a ball, and cooking curry. Gotta catch 'em all? Not anymore! Now it's Gotta cook 'em all! Now fill out that Curry Dex. You can camp nearly anywhere including indoors in some areas for whatever reason. This can be useful for quickly healing up your Pokémon without a Pokémon center, and it provides a decent amount of experience points. Sorry. You're probably going to be long forgotten when Giga Sword and Giga Shield come out next year. Hopefully you won't be cut! Also, this gives you several new ways to increase Friendship, a stat that was merged with Affection, that, when high enough, this will provide varrious passive bonuses including an increased critical hit ratio, the chance to endure hits that would otherwise KO, and the chance to shrug off non-volatile status effects like paralysis. It is also a requirement for certain evolutions, such as evolving Eevee into Sylveon, Umbreon, or Espeon, or evolving Togepi into Togetic. Personally, I think merging affection into friendship was a good improvement. I never understood why it had to be a separate stat, as that overcomplicated things, so doing this made sense. Poké Jobs Poke Jobs are a new feature added to the game which allow you to train your Pokémon by sending them off to the wonderful world of free labor. While you can put any Pokémon in any job, different jobs are better for different Pokémon types, netting more experience points. Most jobs are explicit on what they want, but there are some jobs that are vague on this such as a job that only specifies it wants “intimidating” (Dark type) Pokémon. Hello, there! Welcome to the world of free labor! (image source: Serebii.net) Sending an individual Pokémon off to a Poke Job may not be as fast as training it, yourself, but you can send a large amount of Pokémon off at once, and you don’t have to interact with them until after they have completed the job. This can ultimately be more efficient, plus you can send Pokémon off to train while you aren’t playing Pokémon. Unfortunately, Poke Jobs have a slightly annoying thing to them in that, when the Pokémon return, they’re each put back in the PC in the first available slot rather than where they were organized originally. If you have a lot of Pokémon, then you may end up having to search for them. Generation gimmick: Dynamaxing Past generations of Pokémon games have introduced some sort of new mechanic or gimmick into battles. This generation is no different, as it introduces Dynamaxing. Dynamaxing allows a user, once per battle, to transform one Pokémon to a giant version of itself for either up to three turns or until it is switched out. This Pokémon gets its max HP increased, with a maximum Dynamax level resulting in a doubling of its HP stat. In addition to this, all of its attacks increase in power, have additional effects, and bypass protection moves for 25% damage. They also are unaffected by various other moves. Bigger means better, right? Personally, I’m not a fan of this gimmick, as I think the game has been made less fun as a result of it being added. Not only is it broken, but it drags on the battle for longer than needed. Since Pokémon have their HP doubled, they end up taking longer to defeat. Not only this, but they also gain the ability to spam extremely powerful moves for three turns without any drawbacks. Yes, both players can use this mechanic at any time, but that doesn’t make it any less balanced. It more sounds like whoever comes up with these mechanics ran out of ideas. Admittedly, this has made the game somewhat harder than past games, since most gym leaders use this mechanic against you. However, if you use it against them, then it doesn’t matter very much. The Battle Tower (post-game) also allows you to use dynamaxing, but most trainers at the start of your winning streak will not use it, so it can often times make for an instant win button. Graphics 2D sprites, when made well, are timeless. It is a lot harder to do that with 3D, and as a result, many 3D games age like milk. There are games that do it right, though. For example, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door is a 3D game that will probably always look good due to its art style and fluidity, but a slightly newer game, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, just doesn’t quite hold up. The same applies to Pokémon games. The core RPG Pokémon games prior to X/Y were all in 2D, and, in my opinion, none of them look particularly low in quality. Even Red/Blue/Yellow and Gold/Silver/Crystal, which were either monochrome or had a more limited color palette, stand quite well on their own. Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald were also fully 60 FPS games, and Black/White/Black 2/White 2 were 60 FPS during battles, and this extra fluidity greatly enhanced the presentation of the game. X/Y then bought the series to 3D. These games featured minimal texture filtering and low-resolution textures, and the frame rates were notoriously low, especially in larger battles. As a result, these games simply did not look good. Sun/Moon/Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon, however, greatly improved the graphics and presentation of the games, and the frame rate was better. They might not look extremely stunning, but for a small 240p display, it didn’t look bad, either. When I went back to my Pokémon Y game or Omega Ruby game, the difference was stark. Now that the core series is on a home console, the games should look better, right? Well, yes. These games render at HD and textures and shaders are noticeably improved to match the much higher resolution. Compared to Sun/Moon/Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon, this improvement is drastic. However, compared to other games that also run on Nintendo Switch hardware like Super Mario Odyssey (which looks better AND runs at 60 FPS) or even third-party games like 2016’s DOOM (which also looks better), it’s clear that there’s a lot of room for improvement for these games. Halo: Combat Evolved (2001) looks better than this! Ground, scenery, and foliage textures and texture filtering just don’t look all that good, many of the animations look very dated or otherwise off-putting, the water just doesn’t look very good when standing only a short distance from it, and the frame rate leaves something to be desired. Perhaps the most annoying problem is the insanely low draw distance of most objects. Things like berries, Pokémon, and people do not appear unless you are within their viscinity. This not only applies to the Wild Area where such limitations may make sense, but it also applies to towns. The Onix in Motostoke is one of the biggest offenders, as I’ve ended up running into it countless times. It’s an improvement compared to other Pokémon games made by Game Freak, but when you compare it to other Nintendo Switch games, it falls short. The Wild Area There is a new area of the game to explore: the Wild Area. This large, open area allows you to control the camera, and it allows you to encounter a wide variety of Pokémon. Initially, you’re only allowed to capture low-level monsters (you can still defeat the higher-level monsters), but defeating gyms increases the cap. Once you’ve completed the game, all Pokémon in the Wild Area will be become at least level 60. This means that most of the Pokémon that evolve from reaching a certain level can be evolved by simply leveling them up once. You can also find a wealth of items and use a separate currency, Watts, to purchase various items including better types of Poke Balls (not apricorn balls, sadly) and TRs (a “new” kind of TM that breaks on use but has more useful moves). When you beat the main story, Watts become very easy to accumulate. There are also berry trees which provide you with numerous useful berries. Some of the trees provide berries that can help you with training, too. Lastly, the Wild Area features a new form of battling called Max Raid battles. This allows you to team up with other players to battle a powerful Dynamaxed Pokémon. If you defeat it, you get the opportunity to capture it. You also obtain quite a few useful items,. Some of these items include berries, new moves, treasures, as well as items to increase the power of your Pokémon. They also have a difficulty scaling from one to five stars, with more stars meaning better items as well as better stats if you capture it, but it is also a higher difficulty. Once you’ve completed the game, most of them will be five-star battles. The Wild Area is easily the highlight of these games. However, the Wild Area is marred by numerous technical and graphical issues. Unfortunately, with the low draw distance in this game, things like trees and Pokémon are impossible to spot from a distance. The dynamic weather is also a little problematic, as you can’t see which parts of the wild area have what type of weather without looking at your map. If you change areas, the weather around you simply changes, instead. Lastly, enabling online connectivity infamously makes the Wild Area stuttery and slow, and it ends up getting filled with random players. You may think, at first, that this means that the Wild Area is suddenly a MMO, but these players actually only move around in random directions every few seconds, and talking to them just gives you a random item or scripted dialogue. Not with that crappy, fixed camera, it wasn't! Perhaps the largest issue with the Wild Area is that it just isn’t big enough. All-in-all, it’s a fantastic concept. In fact, I’ve spent a lot of time in this when playing, but the execution falls short. Going back to the main routes of the game is also jarring because you are suddenly using a fixed camera. The whole game would have been better if this didn’t happen, but alas, tradition strikes again. Fewer Pokémon than before? Traditionally, Pokémon games have included all of the Pokémon species from past games, adding onto the roster with every generation of games. These games do not do that. Pokémon Sword and Shield are not the first games to feature a smaller Pokedex – an item used to record the different types of monsters you have captured or enounctered. That honor actually goes to Sun and Moon. However, Sword and Shield are the first core RPG games (not including the Let’s Go games or spinoffs) to not include certain species of Pokémon, as these games have removed over half of the complete roster. This has understandably resulted in a large amount of backlash beyond what Game Freak, the developers, probably would have predicted. Game Freak has given several reasons for this culling, and according to them, it seems it mostly had to do with time constraints such as needing time to make better animations. While it is true that they have improved on animation quality, this only appears to be in some instances. Most animations are visually and functionally the same as they were in Sun/Moon, especially when it comes to battling – most of the core gameplay of this game. Quality of life and other improvements This game features a number of other improvements. Many of them target people who play online competitively, but not all of them are for just those players. You can now use multiple amounts of certain items at once on a Pokémon up to as many items that will have an effect. For example, you can use 25 Rare Candies at once on a Pokémon to boost its level by 25, where before you had to press A three or four times per candy, but it will limit you to 15 Rare Candies if the Pokémon is level 85. This also applies to the new Exp. Candies (mostly obtained from Max Raid battles), which provide a set experience depending on the size of them, often times giving you more than one level at times if your Pokémon is a low level. This is, in my opinion, one of the best quality of life improvements to come in this game. Also, if you level up a Pokémon multiple times at once (such as through multiple Rare Candies or giving it a massive amount of experience), you can now press a button to skip watching the Pokémon leveling up. You will be prompted with all of the moves it learned from leveling up after it’s done leveling up, and it won’t evolve until after this as well. This makes training low-level Pokémon up much less tedious. Final thoughts This game has a lot of improvements going for it. They have fixed quite a few issues from the past games, as well as making it much easier and more efficient to train Pokémon. At the same time, they have failed to fix quite a few core problems, and they have introduced even more problems in the series for the sake of animation quality – something that they did not significantly improve on in most aspects. Not only that, but the Wild Area, while it has a lot going for it, also feels like a missed opportunity at the same time. All-in-all, this game seems like it was rushed to production, and that leaves my impression of the game fairly mixed. Also, unfortunately, Game Freak are not known for updating or expanding upon existing games except to fix bugs, so this is most likely all we will have, and while it’s a solid game, it seems to miss the mark as much as it hits it. Pros Lots of new, good content Many quality-of-life improvements Wild Area Many new features Cons Fewer Pokémon Slow battle system Story is not very interesting for an RPG Performance and graphical issues, including a low draw distance Fixed camera in most places of the game
  9. I've been posting screenshots around the various Halo communities, and I figured I may as well make a topic for this. Here's a mini-FAQ to answer a few of your questions: What is Dark Circlet? Dark Circlet is a program that can render Halo Custom Edition cache files via OpenGL. While I do have far more plans than just simply rendering maps, more information will be made available as Dark Circlet is developed. When was Dark Circlet started? End of December 2018 Who is developing Dark Circlet? Only me (Kavawuvi) Will Dark Circlet be open source (and under what license)? If it is released, then yes. If so, it will be open source under the GNU GPL version 3. What is Dark Circlet written in? C++, GLSL What graphics API does Dark Circlet use? OpenGL 4.3 What system requirements will Dark Circlet have? Here are the current, tentative system requirements. CPU: x86-64 with SSE4.1 - Penryn [Intel], K10 [AMD]* RAM: 4 GB** GPU: OpenGL 4.3 - ATI Radeon HD 5000 series [AMD] | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 400 series [Nvidia] | Don't [Intel] OS: Windows 7 or newer (64-bit); Ubuntu 18.04 (64-bit)*** * If you don't meet the CPU requirement, you may still be able to compile it for your own system. ** While 4 GB technically isn't required to open Dark Circlet, Dark Circlet may allocate over 1 GB of RAM with some maps. If you don't have enough RAM, your system will be starved for resources. *** Dark Circlet is not limited to Ubuntu as the only compatible Linux distribution; it is being developed on Arch Linux. Also, if you don't meet the OS requirement, you may still be able to compile it for your own system. As Dark Circlet is developed (and possibly optimized), these may change. However, do not be surprised if an older PC that could run Halo Custom Edition cannot run Dark Circlet. Supporting hardware from a decade ago may be difficult or impossible for me to do by myself. Screenshots
  10. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild did bring something unique and new to the series that was actually interesting, and, for a first game in the series to have open world in it, they did an excellent good job it. It has replay value to it, too, if you want to try your hand at Hero Mode and, if you bought the DLC, the insanely hard Master Mode. There are also many ways to tackle different problems, and there is a massive variety of content to explore and enjoy even without buying any DLC. Pokémon, on the other hand, tries to play it way too safe. They added exactly one thing to the battling system: bigger Pokémon. Not only is the mechanic uninteresting since they had (and removed) Mega Evolutions which were basically bigger, stronger, cooler versions of the Pokémon, but it's also broken: ANY Pokémon can do it at ANY time without sacrificing a held item, unlike Mega Evolutions They get 2x their HP, the whole "super effective" stuff basically gets thrown out since your Pokémon can now sponge nearly everything They can spam Z moves for three turns. Such moves not only partially bypass protect, but they can now raise your stats, lower your opponent's stats, change the weather, set up entry hazards, inflict status, delete Reflect/Light Screen from the field, trap your opponent, and more. See this page for a list of effects. They are immune to moves like Encore, and, if they have a Choice item, their item is temporarily disabled (thus they are no longer Choice locked) I'm sure these games take a non-trivial amount of time to develop. However, the latest games have showed just how rushed these games were. Removing half the roster, including some of my favorites like Ampharos, Skarmory, and Dragonite, doesn't quite sit well with me, as they said they did it for time constraints, but the game seems way too rushed for that. Really, if you want my honest opinion, I don't think the switch to 3D really has been kind at all to the series. Especially in the postgame, the character animations are often just plain bad. For example, rather than the box art legendary Pokémon having an animation for turning around, it walks in place and turns on a swivel. There is also a part of the game where a Pokémon uses an electric type attack on a door to unlock it, and the game simply cuts to black and plays the sound of it happening rather than showing it happen. It really seems like they put most of their time towards Pokémon Camp animations, a completely optional part of the game, rather than the actual cutscenes you have to watch to complete the game. I'm worried that they'll probably do what they did with Sun/Moon: release a "director's cut" version of the game for full price. This game, should they release it, would have stuff that should have been in the game on Day 1.
  11. I'm considering whether to go with Vulkan over OpenGL right now. I originally planned writing an OpenGL renderer and writing a Vulkan one later, but writing a Vulkan one now may be better for performance, especially on Linux. This does mean that this renderer will not run on certain old hardware, and it will take a little longer to write. According to this page, this is the hardware you'd need: Nvidia: GeForce 600 series or newer AMD: Radeon HD 7700 series or newer Intel: 6th generation Core (Skylake) or newer See Nvidia or AMD requirements Obviously, it will be difficult for most people to obtain such hardware since some graphics cards that meet the requirements cards cost almost as much as a copy of Halo (around $20-$40) and most people cannot seem to afford that, either. However, I don't care, because it's my project and I can do whatever I want with it.
  12. Here's an update for the month of December! Normally I post these at the start of the next month, but I felt like not doing that this one time because it's my project and I can (mostly) do whatever I want with it. This update is a bit smaller than last update, but it's also just as important as it introduces a new tool: invader-sound. As the name suggests, this tool allows you to generate sound tags. You can either opt for 16-bit PCM (you will need either the latest builds of HAC2 or Chimera to enable these in Halo!), or you can use lossy compression through Ogg Vorbis. Xbox ADPCM is supported, too, and you do NOT need to pirate obtain the original codec to use Xbox ADPCM with invader-sound, but note that ADPCM is worse, compression ratio and quality wise, than Vorbis. If you're unsure as to what to use, check out the readme. Added New tool: invader-sound Generates sound tags Added colors for various diagnostic messages depending on the user's terminal invader-info: Added `-T external-tags` which indicates the number of tags that use external resource maps, including indexed tags invader-info: Added `-T external-bitmaps` which indicates the number of bitmap tags that use external resource maps, including indexed tags invader-info: Added `-T external-loc` which indicates the number of loc tags that use external resource maps, including indexed tags invader-info: Added `-T external-sounds` which indicates the number of sound tags that use external resource maps, including indexed tags invader-info: Added `-T external-bitmap-indices` which indicates the number of externally indexed bitmap tags invader-info: Added `-T external-loc-indices` which indicates the number of externally indexed loc tags invader-info: Added `-T external-sound-indices` which indicates the number of externally indexed sound tags invader-info: Added `-T languages` which lists all languages valid for the map separated with spaces invader-info: Added `-T external-pointers` which indicates whether the map uses external pointers (sometimes occurs if built from tool.exe due to a bug with indexing raw data) invader-info: Added `-T tags-external-pointers` which list tags that have external pointers that were not indexed Changed invader-extract: Tag IDs are now set to FFFFFFFF when extracted. This will make extracted tags more reproducible independent of the map being extracted. invader-info: Now outputs some details in color on some terminals Fixed invader-build: Fixed an issue with some old device_light_fixture tags being treated as device_control tags. This generally did not result in gameplay issues, but it may have resulted in a prompt to "activate" it when the player was close to the object. invader-build: Fixed converting radians to degrees with the lens_flare rotation scale invader-extract: Fixed converting degrees to radians with the lens_flare rotation scale As always, the latest build can be retrieved from https://invader.opencarnage.net/builds/nightly/download-latest.html
  13. Invader is a work-in-progress, open source, cross-platform toolkit for creating Halo: Combat Evolved maps. There are a number of tools that come with Invader: invader-archive - CLI program for creating archives of all of the tags required to build cache files invader-bitmap - CLI program for generating bitmap tags invader-build - CLI program for building cache files from scenario tags invader-compress - CLI program for compressing cache files invader-dependency - CLI program for listing the dependencies of a given tag OR the tags that depend on a given tag invader-extract - CLI program for extracting tags from a map invader-font - CLI program for generating font tags invader-indexer - CLI program for generating a list of all of the tags in a cache file or resource map (useful for invader-bitmap) invader-info - CLI program for getting metadata of a cache file invader-resource - CLI program for generating resource map files (i.e. bitmaps.map, sounds.map, loc.map) invader-sound - CLI program for generating sound tags ... and (hopefully) more programs to come! You may be wondering, why am I taking time to replace the Halo Editing Kit, something that already works fine? I'm glad you asked (or I asked?)! The Halo Editing Kit... ...is closed source. This means that you cannot make changes to it or add functionality without resorting to modifying the .exe file directly. Also, information has been obfuscated away through compilation. Invader is open source. ...is unsupported. Since it's closed source, you cannot rely on the developers to issue any updates to fix problems with the program. If they never update it, then it is the final version you get. An ideal program should never need updated, but the HEK is very far from ideal. Because Invader is open source, anyone may fork and support Invader at any time. ...is limited. Since it's closed source, you have to modify the .exe file directly in order to make changes to it. If you don't, you're limited to building 384 MiB cache files. Also, singleplayer maps are tied to the resource maps you built them with, thus users must have the same exact bitmaps.map and sounds.map you used to ensure the correct assets are displayed/played. Invader does away with most of Halo's arbitrary limits, even the 384 MiB cache file size limit (it's 4 GiB now!). ...was made for older PCs. As robust as Windows's backwards compatibility may be, even it has limitations, especially with Win32 GUI programs like Guerilla and Sapien. Invader runs natively on 64-bit x86-based PCs. ...is slow. This is due to thousands of unnecessary checks as well as the program, itself, not being compiled with optimizations. Building all stock multiplayer maps with tool.exe takes over 4x as long as Invader. ...only works on Windows. Not everyone uses Windows, and Wine compatibility on Linux is, at best, a mixed bag especially in regards to the GUI-based applications Sapien and Guerilla. Invader natively runs on both Windows and Linux without having to worry about Wine. tl;dr: You can't guarantee the Halo Editing Kit will continue to work indefinitely, and it doesn't meet all of our needs anymore. Invader is here to fix that. I recommend reading this post for more information on why it is important that the Halo Editing Kit should be replaced: Please note that Invader is a work in progress. Using it would be nice, but it is limited. With invader-build, stock multiplayer maps are very close to perfect, while singleplayer maps and maps with scripts work but may have issues with AI, scripts, and detail object collection tags. Also, invader-bitmap cannot process sprites, yet. Lastly, Invader is untested for macOS. As such, macOS is not supported, but it will most likely work just as well as it does on Linux if built correctly. Here is a FAQ composing of some of the questions I've received: What is Invader? Invader is an open source replacement of various tools in the Halo Editing Kit. What license does Invader fall under? GNU General Public License version 3. Note that, for numerous reasons, this is specifically version 3 and NOT "version 3 or later" like what many GPL-licensed projects do, so if a GPL version 4 comes out, then you cannot use this project under that license. Where do I get Windows builds? https://invader.opencarnage.net/builds/nightly/download-latest.html Where do I get Linux builds? Currently you must build them from source. If you are on Arch Linux, you can use the package on the AUR to help you do this. Is Invader finished? No. Where do I get the source code? https://github.com/Kavawuvi/invader What operating system can run Invader? There are probably dozens of operating systems that can run Invader in some form since it's open source, but it's been at least tested on Arch Linux which is what I use to develop it. How do I compile Invader? I've written some instructions on the readme. What HEK functionality can Invader do right now? tool.exe build-cache-file, tool.exe windows-font, tool.exe bitmap Is there a tutorial on how to use Invader? No. Is there a 32-bit version of Invader? No. How can I contribute to the project? I recommend reading https://github.com/Kavawuvi/invader/blob/master/CONTRIBUTING.md Basically, there are several ways you can contribute: One of the most important things you can do right now is test Invader and report issues at https://github.com/Kavawuvi/invader/issues or here on this topic. You can also contribute directly to the project by fixing issues listed there. Simply fork the repository, fix the issue, and submit a pull request for me to review, ensuring you adhere to the standards I set in the CONTRIBUTING.md file. If I don't approve your changes, I will leave a comment explaining why. Source code: https://github.com/Kavawuvi/invader Builds: https://invader.opencarnage.net/builds/nightly/download-latest.html Original version of this post (for posterity):
  14. I've added images, most of which were from my own gameplay. Anything not mine has been credited. Images are also captioned, too, if you want to read a slightly snarky remark on it or something.
  15. I've just updated the list, since my new invader-sound has been pushed to the master branch of Invader. Right now, it does not do Xbox ADPCM. Then again, neither does tool.exe unless you obtain the codec from the Xbox SDK. So, your only option for lossy compression is Ogg Vorbis for now. The MEK sound compiling branch is still in the process of being merged from what I have heard, so it may be a while before you can get that through the MEK easily. However, it can do Xbox ADPCM without requiring you to commit morally questionable acts or be an original, licensed developer for the Xbox system, so there ya go. Update: I added Xbox ADPCM support to invader-sound. Merry Christmas!
  16. Thanks! Yeah, I'm personally not a fan of boiling reviews down to a score out of 100 (or 10.0 as IGN likes to put it), as I think such a rating system is waaaay too arbitrary. But, if it was me doing it, I would've probably given it more along the lines of a 6/10 or 7/10. There are way too many areas where the games are just plain mediocre, so it just feels unevenly cooked - seemingly a classic symptom of a rushed game. But despite everything, I enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) playing Pokémon Sword. I think the game is good, yes, but certainly not $60 good. Fortunately for me, I got the game used on eBay, so I didn't have to pay full price.
  17. I'm updating the list to reflect the latest community developments. Basically, we can now make sound tags! Mozzarilla now has a fully-functional sound tag generator. This tool supports generating sound tags using arbitrary sample rates (I haven't tested this myself - I'm just going by what they said in the Halo CE Reclaimers chat). It isn't in the master branch, though, so you'll need to poke around the MEK repos if you want to test this. Invader is getting a sound tag generator soon, too, but there are a few things left for me to work out (Xbox ADPCM encoding, mouth data, and resampling of sound data to Halo's supported 22.05 kHz and 44.1 kHz formats) before I start uploading builds of it. You can test it if you want, though, if you're willing to compile from source. Both tools support .wav files with the common 16-bit and 24-bit signed PCM formats. Obviously, if you generate an uncompressed sound, you will only get 16-bit uncompressed samples, and Halo decompresses Vorbis audio to 16-bit samples, so 24-bit is going to mostly be useful for convenience.
  18. (Icon is by SteamFox) Chimera is a mod that adds additional functionality to Halo Custom Edition. Features: Enables player_magnetism without requiring HAC2 or devmode Fixes descoping issues in multiplayer servers Fixes aim assist, enabling it for both the movement and aiming versus just aiming (chimera_magnetism) Adds diagonals to analog input when in multiplayer servers (chimera_diagonals) Mimic's Xbox's automatic uncrouching when using analog input (chimera_auto_uncrouch) Enable anisotropic filtering without using config.txt (chimera_af) Override HUD with splitscreen HUD (chimera_split_screen) Allow video input to continue playing even when tabbed out (chimera_tab_out_video) Disable multitexture overlays (chimera_block_mo) Disable multiplayer map fade transition (chimera_skip_loading) Disable zoom blur and pixelation (chimera_block_zoom_blur) Make objects' movements appear much smoother to take advantage of higher framerates (chimera_interpolate) Allow mouse users a more granular sensitivity control (chimera_sens_mouse_<h/v>) Set deadzones for controllers (chimera_deadzone_looking and chimera_deadzone_movement) Show budget information for map developers (chimera_budget) Disable the 30 FPS lock in cutscenes (chimera_uncap_cinematic) Throttle your frame rate to a set frame rate (chimera_throttle_fps) Prevent your vehicle from aiming for you (chimera_block_vehicle_camera_leveling) Fix the scope when scoped (chimera_widescreen_scope_mask - requires HAC2 widescreen fix) * This feature requires Halo Custom Edition to function properly. Cyan features are enabled by default without user input. Green features are disabled by default and require use of the console to enable them. Use the chimera command to list commands. Download (build 49): chimera build 49.7z There is also a Discord server: https://discord.gg/ZwQeBE2 FAQ Very frequently do people ask me the same questions about Chimera, so here’s a little FAQ about it. How do I install Chimera? Place chimera.dll into your controls folder. What OS do I need? Windows 7 or newer OR Linux with Wine 3.0 or later. Older versions of Windows or Wine may work, but they are unsupported. If you are on an unsupported operating system, do not submit bug reports. Is there a list of commands? All commands are listed in the help menus using the chimera command. Is Chimera compatible with HAC2 and Open Sauce? Yes. Is Chimera compatible with HaloMD? No. Will Chimera be integrated with HAC2 or Open Sauce? No. What levels of interpolation do what? This graph details what levels do what: Note: Off is 0, Velocity is 1, Low is 3, Medium is 6, High is 8, Ultra is 9. Ultra has the same level of interpolation as High, but no distance check optimization is in place. Will interpolation work on frame rates higher than 60 FPS? Yes. Objects are jittery with interpolation on. Here is what I'd do: First of all, if you're not using the latest version of Chimera, install this. If you have vSync turned on, try turning it off. vSync causes poor frame pacing in Halo and can result in dropped frames even on fast hardware. If you need to throttle your framerate, use chimera_throttle_fps 240. If you need to play without tearing, use HAC2's borderless window feature (play in -window and set resolution to Windows's resolution). Using -vidmode always enables vSync. If you're getting bad performance (lag spikes or average frame rate dropping below refresh rate), turn your interpolation setting down. It's likely your PC cannot keep up. I recommend these settings if you want to use chimera_interpolate 3 or higher: If you're going to use chimera_interpolate, I recommend you have at least these specifications. These should get you chimera_interpolate 3 (low), max Halo settings (make sure you aren't locked to 30 FPS), 1080p, at approximately 60 FPS: CPU (Intel): Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (3.0 GHz) or better CPU (AMD): AMD Athlon II X2 250 (3.0 GHz) or better Graphics (Intel): Intel HD 3000 or newer Graphics (Nvidia): NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT or better Graphics (AMD): ATI Radeon HD 5450 or better RAM: 4 GB Note: These values are listed only for reference and are recommendations. The chimera_interpolate command does not directly utilize the GPU, nor does it use a large amount of RAM for interpolation, but your game will run better if you have enough RAM for the rest of your PC. If you're getting good performance but your interpolation setting is less than 9, try turning it up. It's possible the object in question isn't being fully interpolated. Is the retail version of Halo supported? No. Halo Custom Edition on version 1.10 is the only version supported by Chimera. Are versions of Halo earlier than 1.10 supported? No. Does Chimera work with scrim mode? Client-sided features (interpolation, anisotropic filtering, zoom blur removal, etc.) are not affected by scrim mode. However, the server-side Lua script, which includes fixes for lag and analog movement, will not function. Does Chimera automatically update or have update notifications? Currently, you are responsible for keeping Chimera up-to-date, and if there is an update, you will have to come back here to get it. Notifications are planned, however auto updating will not be included. Why are Chimera releases slow? Chimera does not function on donations, thus development is done on a portion of my personal time. If it takes a while, it takes a while. SPV3 includes Chimera. Are you in CMT? No. Can I install Chimera on my Mac? Yes. Install Windows, buy the Windows version of the game (if you don't own it), install Halo Custom Edition 1.10, then place chimera.dll into your controls folder. I can't install Windows on my Mac. Can I still install Chimera? Yes. Simply buy a PC, install Windows on it (if Windows isn't preinstalled), buy the Windows version of the game (if you don't own it), install Halo Custom Edition 1.10, then place chimera.dll into your controls folder. Older downloads If you need an older version of Chimera, here are older versions:
  19. Love this song! Reminds me of an old friend of mine (in a sort of funny, non-mean way).
  20. I've been working on my take on sightjacking. This functions similar to HAC2's sightjacking except: You can see the player's reticle You can see the player's ammo, battery, and and heat You can see the player's grenade selection and count You can see the player's weapon You can see the player's armor color You can see the player's health and shield status You can see the player's motion sensor You can see the player's respawn time It works with vehicles Since it's not restricted to showing you the player's first person view, so I felt calling it "chimera_spectate" instead of "chimera_sightjack" was more appropriate. Here's a video demonstration: