Development Tools Overview

This section contains information on the tools and related programs necessary for content creation related to Level Design for Halo PC.

The tools used for creating Halo game assets are a combination of both custom created tools and commercially available tools.

See the section Creating a Development Environment for information on where these tools and exporters should be placed to allow editing for Halo.

Textures and graphics can be created using any graphics package that can export or save in the .tif graphics format (Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, etc...). 

All the levels as well as models and animation in Halo are created using 3D Studio Max and Character Studio.  Plug-ins for exporting from 3D Studio Max to the data formats that get converted to Halo data "tags" are required.   Exporter plug-ins exist for 3D Studio R3, 3D Studio Max 4, and 3D Studio Max 5.

The following sections give a brief overview and description of the tools and their function in the development path for Halo.

Blitzkrieg (blitzkrieg.dle)

Blitzkrieg is the exporter plug-in for 3D Studio Max.  This plug-in exports the model data (vertices, materials, smoothing group information, animations, etc...) from 3DS Max to the file formats (.jms, .jmp, .jma, .jmm, .jmt) used by tool.exe to compile a data tag that can be used by Halo.

Tool (tool.exe)

Tool is a multipurpose command line program that compiles and converts data that has been exported from other sources such as 3D Studio Max.  The data files that are created are referred to as "tags".  

Running "tool.exe" by itself with no command line parameters will display a complete list of the available command line parameters and appropriate variables and variable formats.

Guerilla (guerilla.exe)

Guerilla has a graphical interface that is used to edit the properties and resource references in the Halo data "tags".

Sapien (sapien.exe)

Sapien is used to edit or modify various aspects of a level that has already been compiled using Tool.

Sapien has a graphical interface that contains a 3D window that renders the game including the level bsp, models, and vehicles as well as playing sounds and running physics.

Sapien is used for many purposes, including the population of characters, weapons, items, scenery objects, and game play and mission objectives.