Halo 2 Tool Level Creation

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Halo 2 Tool is a command-line application that brings data from exported 3ds Max files into the Halo 2 Map Editor tools. It also compiles completed assets into playable levels for Halo 2.

Operating Halo 2 Tool

Halo 2 Tool operates from the Windows Vista command line and provides feedback through plain text that appears on the screen.

To access the command line

1.      On the Windows Vista Start menu, click Run.

2.      In the Open box,type cmd, and then click OK.

If the command line is unfamiliar to you, Windows Help is a good resource for information.

Commands are given to Halo 2 Tool as additional parameters on the command line. These parameters are separated by spaces after the name of the application itself. It is perfectly acceptable if the parameters wrap to multiple lines. For example, the Halo 2 Tool command to create light and shadow data for your level looks like this:

C:\<Halo2ArchitectDirectory>\H2Tool lightmaps C:\Halo Work\data\scenarios\gladiator\gladiator" gladiator low

In this case, lightmaps is the command parameter, and the following input parameters configure the command. Every command offered by Halo 2 Tool uses a different number of input parameters, so be sure to read about them in detail. Additionally, typing Halo 2 Tool from the command line with no parameters will print a list of available commands and the parameters they require.

Note: Many level designers find it helpful to create batch (.bat) files that automate the input parameters to various Halo 2 Tool commands. For information on batch file scripting, see Windows Vista Help.

Halo 2 Tool Commands

Level Creation Commands

structure-new-from-ass: Converts geometry from an .ass file into an editable level.

lightmaps: Generates shadows and indirect lighting for a map.

new-strings: Imports a level's location names and menu description.

build-cache-file: Compiles a Halo 2 level into a runnable .map cache file.

Texture Creation Commands

bitmaps: Converts image files into Halo 2 texture bitmap tags.


Courtesy of Halo Maps website www.halomaps.org
Halo 2 Vista Maps