Tutorial 6: Synching Tags and Launching in the Game

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Note: Tutorial 6 assumes that you have completed Tutorials 1 through 5.

Now that you've created a simple room, exported it, compiled it to a scenario_structure_bsp, and edited your scenario file with spawn points, you can try to run it in the Halo 2 game engine. To do this, you have to package your level into a .map file.

Halo 2 only loads levels from within .map files. These are single files that contain everything a level needs to operate—your architecture, your scenario file, any shaders you use, level descriptions, menu images, and so forth are all packaged into this single file. This has the benefit of making your level easy to distribute. Once it's packaged up, all another player needs to do is place that .map file into his My Documents\My Games\Halo 2\Maps folder, and it'll be available on the Custom Maps menu in the game.

To package your level

1.      Start Halo 2 Map Editor Launcher.

2.      Click the Packaging tab, and then click Browse at the prompt asking you to select a scenario file.

The Select File dialog box appears.

3.      Browse to your working folder and then to tags/scenarios/multi/mylevel, select your .scenario file, and then click Open.

The Package Level button should now be enabled. The Copy to Custom Maps Folder When Complete should also be selected.

Note: When you package a level, it creates the .map file in your working folder, in a folder called maps. If the Copy to Custom Maps Folder When Complete check box is selected, that map file will automatically be copied into your My Games\Halo 2\Maps folder for you. You need to do this to load the custom map, but if you want to avoid overwriting a playable level with a new version, simply unselect the check box.

4.      Click Package Level.

A command prompt appears, and Halo 2 Tool will begin packaging your level into a .map file. This will take 1 or 2 minutes.

The map file is now automatically placed in your Halo 2 custom maps folder. (If the Copy to Custom Maps Folder When Complete check box was not selected, you’ll need to copy the map file manually from your working folder's maps folder.

That's it! Start Halo 2 and load your level. Start a new multiplayer game, go to the Change Maps menu, and then press the right arrow to change to the Custom tab. If you haven't edited any of the default strings, it will show up simply called Halo 2 Level in the list.


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