Using Halo 2 Map Editor Launcher

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Map Editor Launcher is a graphical interface for Halo 2 Tool.

Halo 2 Map Editor Launcher.

The Map Editor Launcher Utilities

Map Editor Launcher starts the three main programs of Halo 2 Map Editor: Halo 2 Sapien, Halo 2 Guerilla, and the Halo 2 game itself. Starting Halo 2  from the launcher runs the game in a window for quick level review.

Specific Tasks

Full Halo 2 Tool functionality is contained within four task tabs.

Level Compiling: Allows you to browse to an .ass file (exported from 3ds Max) and compile it into a scenario_structure_bsp used by Halo 2 and used to light the level. Better lighting qualities take longer to render, but the results can be worth it.

Text Creation: Allows you to add custom text files for level descriptions and territory names to the level. It also allows you to browse to an appropriately formatted Unicode text file and convert it.

Bitmap Creation: Creates a map shot for your level (i.e., the image displayed when selecting a level from the custom maps menu). Most levels use at least one custom bitmap—the terrain texture. Supported image file formats (i.e., .tga, .jpg, .tif, or .bmp) are converted to a .bitmap file that Halo 2 can read.

Packaging: Creates a playable Halo 2 level. All the separate files from Halo 2 Map Editor are packaged into a single .map file.

Courtesy of Halo Maps website
Halo 2 Vista Maps