SPV3 is a total overhaul of the original Halo, adding new weapons, vehicles, enemies, features, graphics, extended levels, new levels, new story terminals and much much more. Featuring a total playtime of over 24 hours on Heroic and Legendary difficulties, SPV3 is the largest and most feature rich Halo campaign to date. And to top it off, it is built with gameplay as a focus first and foremost, meant to expand on yet capture what made Halo Combat Evolved one of the best first person shooters of all time.
Minimum Recommended OS Windows 7 ESU (32-bit); Any Linux distro w/ Wine/Proton Windows 10/11 21H2 or newer (64-bit); Any Linux distro w/ Wine/Proton & Zen kernel CPU 4 threads, 2.5 GHz, 2010 or newer e.g. Core i3-2100 8+ threads, 4+ GHz e.g. Core i7-7700 GPU 1GHz, 2 GB 1.5+ GHz, 4+ GB RAM 4 GB DDR3-1600 16+ GB of DDR4-2400 or better Storage ~15 GB unused 15+ GB unused (SSD) Note: Our team members and beta testers have access to a surprisingly large variety of hardware. We occasionally update a catalog of Hardware Performance here.
The current releases of the Loader (1.0.0-0370), installers (1.0.0-0370, AmaiSosu 0.4.3), and related software are compatible with Windows 7 SP1 and up on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. A later release may drop support for Windows 7 due to the increased difficulty in supporting an operating system that is no longer supported by the company that made it.Software development kits are also dropping support for Windows 7, so supporting Windows 7 will become increasingly difficult in the future. So, unlike Windows 10/11 users, Win7 SP1 and Win8/8.1 users will still need to install additional software and Windows updates so our installer and launcher software can run. SPV3.3.1 might use “single file”, all-in-one EXEs, but even these may require the prerequisite software to run.
On the bright side, Unofficial support for Linux distros has been spotty at best and has always required workarounds. Even our internally tested set of instructions (thanks to NekoGuy and JediMasterChief) requires workarounds to run .NET Framework apps and to load the Halo Custom Edition extension “OpenSauce” into the game. Until official, native(-ish) support is implemented, these instructions will be recommended for anyone trying to run SPV3 on a Linux distro. Ideally, our C# .NET software will eventually be built as separate Linux and Windows executables–packaged together for 3.3.1 if ready by then–and our Linux–specific executables will automate Wine/Proton configuration.
To put it simply, SPV3 is and always has been a “standalone” mod built on Halo Custom Edition’s engine with the OpenSauce 4.0 extension.
As implied in the previous section, SPV3’s MCC compatibility has always been limited to “disable Custom Edition’s DRM if you own CEA”. Many of SPV3’s features require additions provided by the Custom Edition extension (“mod”), OpenSauce. This extension was only ever built for two or three versions of Halo Custom Edition. It would need to be overhauled to support the other three Windows XP-era desktop ports of Halo:CE i.e. Trial, PC/Retail (distributed via DVD-ROM), and the demo for MacOS. For SPV3 to work on MCC, we would need one of the following:
These issues and many more are now being tracked at HaloSPV3/SPV3-Known-Issues on GitHub. Issues we’d logged on our old, private issue tracker will be manually migrated to this public issue tracker over time.
Initially, SPV3.3.1 was planned to have soundtrack updates, updated marine stickers, new Firefight maps, and more. However, everything but firefight is now being reconsidered for release.
For some context, SPV3.3.0 was the final major release of the mod, with little to no plans for future editions besides possible Firefight maps. Because of this, its source files were utilized for the development of Halo Legacies within Custom Edition. While this doesn't necessarily mean everything was overwritten, there may be some regressions as there hasn't been a new compiled build of SPV3 since February 2021. Everything would need to be retested to make sure it works, and as SPV3 is no longer our main focus, this would be out of the picture.
What this means is that, depending on the difficulty of reverting our source assets from Legacies (for Custom Edition) back to SPV3, the updated soundtrack and marines' stickers might not make the cut.
Now, we do have theoretical solutions to this issue. However, both involve patching the tagset and have their own potential drawbacks:
Given these issues, we don't want to promise anything upfront in case we're unable to commit to them—after all, SPV3 is for all intents and purposes complete, while Legacies is now our main focus. However, in case anyone is interested, here's a more in-depth look at what we were planning to include for SPV3.3.1:
Jafet has been hard at work remastering the soundtrack from its 2016/2017 rendition. At the time of this writing, He’s already completed a remaster of the SPV3-original tracks and their alternative mixes. Although they aren’t finished yet, the Lumoria and SPV3 Definitive soundtracks are also available for prerelease purchase. The 2016 albums and Jafet’s other works are available on his Bandcamp. What he has completed will hopefully be converted for use in SPV3.3.1; they would replace their older counterparts or placeholders, as is the case for Lumoria.
With the release of SPV3.3, we'd gotten a great deal of criticism regarding certain immersion-breaking stickers on our new marines' gear—particularly the more outlandish ones with references to real-life pop culture (e.g. anime, games, etc.) and memes. Some of these stickers were also risking copyright infringement, and so it was important to remove them. Now, don't get me wrong; it's certainly amusing to see a desperate marine run up to you while his helmet is sporting his favorite 2D waifu, but it's a bit too silly. It's important for comedic aspects to feel fitting within the game, rather than just slapped on—and so after taking these critiques to heart, StephenWest revised the assets to be less ridiculous and more in-line with expected UNSC marine stickers. These assets are ready to be converted and imported to the map dev environment. “Changing the marines would take literally minutes once they’re compiled”, said Weaver900. Speaking of Weaver…
We promised more Firefight maps—er…not promised. We said we’d build you some more playgrounds when we have time and interest in doing so. It just so happens Weaver900 came along with both of those to spare! After we shipped the Rockslide and Engine Room firefight maps, Weaver put together several playgrounds for all you…to share with one another. Playgrounds don’t grow on trees, so make sure you give thanks to Weaver for the maps—and Arecaidian Fox for the eye candy.
Note: All maps need music and marine updates.
Codename: Covieship (aka Covenant Hangar / Cruiser)
"In their hubris, the Covenant claimed dominion over the stars. They were wrong."
Utilizing the Truth and Reconciliation's hangar bay, this multi-floor fighting arena is complete with either waves of defending Covenant soldiers, or hordes of Flood infestors. When playing against Flood, the level's appearance will match that of SPV3's Keyes.
This map just needs a few tweaks, such as gravity lifts for player locomotion between levels.
"As Reach fell, human defenses became staging points for Covenant offenses."
Lobby is a completely original Firefight map which takes place within a Covenant-occupied human structure—or a lobby, hence the name. The map features auto-turrets, which may or may not be replaced with weaker variants, and the number of which has been reduced to one for now.
It also needs to be tested for unusual crashes, which shouldn't be happening anymore.
"Through muck and mire came ancient horrors, daring to take the galaxy once more."
Taking place within the familiar swamp of 343 Guilty Spark, this foggy arena is more or less complete. We’ll continue to playtest it before release to ensure you get the quality you
While we’re adding the new Firefight maps to the main menu, we’ll also go ahead and polish other parts of the main menu—e.g. update graphics for no-skulls firefight, change names and descriptions (Action will be changed to Interact/Reload), update the music, and improve user experience wherever possible.
For the few who care, Linux compatibility will slowly become as official as possible for this mod for a Windows XP game. To start, we’ll be delivering Linux ELFs in addition to Windows EXEs whenever possible.
SubhadeepJazz (our senior UI designer and post-processing artist) is teaching Arecaidian Fox how to work with the main menu UI elements. During the learning process, he’s come up with various ideas to use as practice while he gets used to the HEK and OpenSauce tool sets. Stay tuned for a chance to taste what the chef is cookin’!
Many issues in the launcher and installers have been fixed, but not compiled; some of these fixes depend on a solution to the age-old Windows error “The Process Cannot Access the File Because It is Being Used by Another Process”. This error affects the installation, configuration, and game-loading procedures and is typically caused by unrelated processes (e.g. File Explorer) opening SPV3’s files and refusing to share them. If we were running on a Linux-based OS, we’d use a built-in system app to override this error, but Windows doesn’t have this. Instead, doing so on Windows requires complicated code reliant on undocumented and accidentally-published Windows “kernel” functions. Although several other software have implemented this convoluted workaround, its convoluted nature has been a major PITA while adapting it for SPV3’s needs. After resolving this issue, we can resume work on public betas of our launcher and installers.
Masterz is dusting off the SPV3/Legacies(CE) asset repository. In section “Plans for 3.3.1”, we touched upon the issue of SPV3’s development environment being mixed with and overwritten by early work on Halo Legacies—a mod inspired by Metroid Prime which is now being developed for Halo 4. No doubt, you want to hear more, but you’ll have to wait until we talk about it next month. Regarding the “mixed” development environment, changes made during the early development of Legacies will need to be reverted to work in SPV3. Online version control systems had been used in the past, but had fallen out of favor for a few different reasons and our SeaFile solution was shut down due to the costs of hosting a server. As a result, we have no backups of the asset repository we can fallback to, so we have to guess about what used to be. We can get “hints” by extracting assets from the 3.3.0 map files, but the map compiler (tool.exe) changes and optimizes tags unpredictably when compiling maps—what we extract might not have been what was originally fed to the map compiler. Only a handful of these hardcoded changes have been documented by the Halo:CE community.
That’s all for now! Next month, we’ll catch up with Masterz and the rest of the Legacies team and discuss the history of the Legacies project—starting from its conceptual stage and its Custom Edition roots to the latest developments targeting Halo 4. In November, we’ll go over various plans for what we plan to do with SPV3 after releasing 3.3.1.
—Beethovenus and BinToss of SPV3
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