Tutorial 3: Importing an Environment to a Tag Format

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In this section, you will use Halo 2 Map Editor Launcher to import your .ass file into a scenario_structure_bsp file, which is the format Halo 2 uses for its levels.

1.      Start Map Editor Launcher.

2.      From the Level Compiling tab, click the Browse button, and then browse to the .ass file you exported in Tutorial 2. This file will be in your data\scenarios\multi\mylevel\structure folder.

3.      Select the file, and then click OK.

The Compile Level button at the bottom of the window is now enabled.

4.      Make sure the Compile Only button is selected.

Later you can try lighting your level, but for now we just want to get it imported.

5.      Click the Compile Level button.

A command prompt appears. This is Halo 2 Tool compiling your level into a scenario_structure_bsp and creating an appropriate .scenario file.

6.      After a few moments, your level will be finished compiling, and you'll see the message "Press any key to continue" displayed at the bottom of the screen. This allows you to scroll back and see if any warnings were listed by Halo 2 Tool while it ran. After reviewing any warnings, or not reviewing them, close the command prompt window.

Your level is now ready for editing in Halo 2 Guerilla and Halo 2 Sapien.

At least two files make up a Halo 2 level, which is what Halo 2 Tool just created here. A finished level will often contain many more, some of which follow.

.scenario: Contains most of your level's settings, such as which sky your level has, what its description is when choosing a level in the game, what weapons and items appear and where, what locations players spawn in, and so on. This is what you'll be editing in Halo 2 Sapien when you place weapons, items, scenery objects, and so forth.

.scenario_structure_bsp: Contains your level’s actual architecture. The geometry you export from 3ds Max eventually ends up here. Notice that this is separate from the .scenario file, which means that updating your level's geometry doesn't affect anything else you've placed within the level. Be careful when you move walls or modify your level's architecture that you find and fix any items that might end up outside the world or stuck inside a wall.

.scenario_structure_lightmap: Contains your level’s lighting information. Eventually you'll want to light your level. This can take a long time to compute, but it's definitely needed if you want a truly finished product. The scenario_structure_lightmap itself also requires a .bitmap file that's created alongside it.


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