1. The Best Tools for the Job Edit
You will need many tools to make the best mods, some of the most important and/or popular being as follows.
- HMT (Halo Mapping Tools)
- HHT (Halo Hacking Tools)
- PPF Studio
- Halo Editing Kit (HEK/HEK Plus)
2. Tool Overviews Edit
Read above for a list of popular tools.
- HMT allows you to edit various values and flags. It has the unique ability can import/export models and inject bitmaps. You can also use this tool to PMI along with other advanced techniques commonly used in modding. HMT is also the only tool able to edit the Demo edition of Halo (called Halo Trial), without any extra modifications.
- HHT is very efficient because it has most of the capabilities as a tool such as HMT, along with it's own special features. The most common use for this program is swapping dependancies. For example, if you went to the pistol tag in the weapons branch, and swapped the projectile dependancy to a rocket, your pistol would then fire rockets. This is much preferred to swapping metas, as doing so allows for specific customization, and doesn't cause the data corruption involved with meta swapping.
- SparkEdit allows you to move, duplicate, swap, and import items into a level. It is the easiest way to edit the scenario, and allows you to change the entire layout of a map. Another option is it's CE-compatable cousin, Swordedit.
- HEK is a complicated set of tools that require Halo Custom Edition to use, as it is specifically designed to make custom content for said edition. However, it does have it's own place is modding, and allows you to do things that aren't available through any other tool.
- Guerilla is the Custom Edition equivalent to HMT and HHT. It can do everything that HMT and HHT can do, and more. Its capabilities even overlap that of Sapien; however, unlike Sapien, it does not have an in-game view, which makes it difficult to do much with positioning objects.
- Sapien is Custom Edition's SparkEdit. Like SparkEdit, it allows you to move, create, and switch things out. It also allows you to place things like Trigger Volumes, AI encounters, cutscene flags, and netgame equipment for multiplayer games. It also allows you to place teleporter points, spawn points, Race points, and just about anything else that has to do with the game. Sapien is also where you compile your scripts in a level. Sapien is capable of doing lightmaps for a level; depending on the size of the level, it can be very time-consuming. It shares this capability with Tool.
- Tool is often the final step when it comes to editing or making a map; it is also used to get models, animations, and everything else you do in 3DS or GMax in-game. Tool is also used to process sounds, hud-messages, bitmaps, and lightmaps, as well as many other things. Tool is run through the command prompt; however, there are versions of Tool that have a graphical user interface (GUI).
3. How to use them Edit
- HMT is the easiest tool to use. It's also great for learning. There are two main uses for HMT. One being to swap metas, the second to edit their properties.
- For example. If you wanted to switch a Warthog to a Scorpion in the Halo Trial map BloodGulch, you would open the vehicles branch, then select the Scorpion. Copy the meta offset, and then select one of the two Warthogs. Past the meta you copied into the spot containing the warthog meta, and save. However, if you want to, say, make the shotgun fully automatic, you would open the weapons branch, then click on Shotgun. Select '0' under the drop down menu for Projectile/Trigger. Change 'Ammo Per Shot/Round' to 0 and make both minimum and maximum rates of fire anywhere around 15 or higher.
- The most common use for this tool is probably to switch the properties of something. For example, you could open the map 'b30' (The Silent Cartographer) and expand the Bipeds tag. Then, click on cyborg, and on the right side, click on 'Spla'. Now go to the bottom and click on the box with the tag in it. Select the elite sheilds and press 'Swap'. Now click 'Save Changes' and your character now has Elite sheilds.
- This tool is mainly used for moving and duplicating items, along with switching singular items. Note that this program only works with the full version maps. Here's an example of what you can do with it. Open up, say, bloodgulch. Now, click on the tree in front of one of the bases, and click on the button with the two papers. Click on the new tree if it's not already selected. Now, look for the tree buttons at the top, one of them should be pushed in. Click on the hand, and click on the tree again. Hold the tree and move it to wherever on the field that you want. Now click the save option under 'file'. And you just made a new tree on the map.
5. Advanced Tutorials Edit
- Halo 2 CE Modding: go to http://www.h2ek.com/resources/hce-tutorials/index.html
- HEK Tutorials: http://www.halomods.com/index.php?topic=Tutorials
- HMT Tutorials: http://halo.bungie.org/misc/pchackingtutorial.html?page=hmt3
6. Trouble shooting Edit
- Please back up your original maps and mods (if you want to keep them). If you lose your maps, you may have to reinstall the game. Unfortunately, if you worked hard, this may cause severe loss of game data or progress. You may be able to re-download the maps from the internet.
- If when you try to test your mods, it says 'Gathering Exception Data', then you have changed the map too much, and will have lost any work you have done on that map. This can be reversed, but usually with a lot of work restoring.
- If you switch bitmaps via injection, and all your maps have the changed bitmap, you need to re-inject the original bitmap. If you don't have it saved, you have to either deal with it, or do the same thing as for the maps.(Note use the eof and update botton for only that map :).
- If you decide you need it, you can insert the Halo disk, then open it from My Computer. Once opened, it will ask if you want to reinstall or repair corrupted data. Selecting this and selecting repair all will correct anything you have done to mess up the game. However, if you do not save any changes you've made elsewhere, you will lose anything the disk replaces. Also, you may have to re-download updates.