Post news RSS Update: May 6, 2009

The current debate is should CMT use OS to bypass some of these errors, but at the expense of making it incompatible to all other versions, which while it may not matter to the people here, but it will end up reducing the amount of people who play SPV2, which is obviously a big issue to the team.

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First, an overview of what all this crap is.


Tagspace is the amount of tags allowed to occupy memory in a map. A map can only have certain amount of data in it. It's easiest to think of this like a bathtub which you can't allow to overflow. The water represents the non bsp tags. This includes EVERYTHING that is not bsp, unless it is a SP map in which case bitmaps and sounds (and I suppose strings too) don't matter. Now picture the person getting in to the tub (the BSP). If the person is large, the water will be displaced and overflow. In SP maps, this can be solved by cutting that person or bsp in two, and then loading it. Less space occupied by the BSP or person, less water displaced, no overflow. Tool will not allow this water to overflow. There is a varient of tool Kornman has made called tool_pro. While it allows maps to compile regardless, with the exception of UI maps (I assume since the bitmaps don't actually matter despite normal tools warnings) they will exception when the bsp is loaded into the tub and overflows it. Tool_pro is usefull for SP maps builders, as they can compile and check their tag_dump.txt or view the unstable map in HEK+ or HTC to view for dubplicate data.

It's important to note, that the data can be refed any amount of times, long as that tag is being loaded, no matter how many times or by how many tags, long as it is loaded once it won't effect the game.

Good ways to combat this as we have done in CMT SPV2 is to
-Use color change for anything that is going to have multiple colors, to save on model space
-use low poly coli models (share them with as many things as you can, CMT has discussed a shared weapon coli model that will cut down on tagspace and tagslots)
-not use LODs for things you know will always be center screen (warthogs for example
-using tags that will use the same data
-use scripts to call on things that you don't want compiled in every map


This is a much trickier and more is actually a more serious problem. Tagslots is the amount of slots the game has allowed for tags, both in tool, sapien, and ingame. The only solution CMT uses for this is cutting content from specific levels, making units like jackas/grunts brutes/elites cyborg/marines flood forms human/elite use the same footstep sounds, and making tags rely on some of the same dependancies. In short, the only way to get around tagslots is less tags.

An early warning to a tagslots problem is shown by sapien, as sapien loads your whole globals tag into sapien, regardless if you're working on SP or MP or UI maps. CMT uses a cut down globals.globals that allows sapien acess to new tagslots, but it also stops us from running rad using the master tagset, which is mine. For those interested, I'm attaching my globals that I use.


This is actually something we haven't run into a lot, other than in A10 due to the massive amounts of scripts used in the hanger cutscene, opening tutorial, and some of the drastic changes compared to easy/normal and hard/legendary.

I'm far from a scripting expert, but each time you open and close (script inhere that does such), it adds to the total you can have. Sapien gives you an error about a parsing error IIRC, I don't have the debug with it or any maps anymore to recreate the exact error

Version numbers

This is the hotly debated issue and Pardon Our Dust. There are 3 versions of Halo Ce. 1.04, which has about 800-900 players a night, but also includes a percentage of pirates using cracked versions. The 1.07 version was released on 2005 to stop people from halobooming servers (mainly GBX members taking down servers running leaked maps). 1.07 was the version released to replace 1.04 in 2005, and has many applications like Yellow which only work on the 1.07 version. 1.08 was introduced in 2008 to replace 1.07 which was the target of an updated haloboom. Open Sauce and IGM's MTV app are the two most important advantages that 1.08 has.

The current debate is should CMT use OS to bypass some of these errors, but at the expense of making it incompatible to all other versions, which while it may not matter to the people here, but it will end up reducing the amount of people who play SPV2, which is obviously a big issue to the team.

Using OS will mean that the player will have to have the maps AND the special .dll, and 1.08 to play, or they will exception out of the game. This is going to be a problem though our primary distributor, which is the Halomaps website. We don't know if Dennis will allow a DLL to be included with each map, as other maps that use OS in the future may crash when used with our DLL, and the maps may not even make it past the submission test, seeing as they will not work with all versions of the game, and will not work with the most recent version of the game without it installed. It also means you can say goodbye to bring the game over to a friends house or letting them try it, as 1.08 requires the game actually be installed. People running 1.04, who many are not pirates (jcap agrees about this too FYI), but who also legit players who only have it installed so they can play with a large number of people.

On a personal level with the team, we are putting the finishing touches on the mod. It's still going to take a while, but with the exception of boarding, (which we probably would have done just for fun in our free time if we weren't going to add it) we aren't going to be adding more than we already have. All that will really happen is you'll have more weapons crammed in a level, without a purpose and just because we can (ala spv1). Will it effect the mod that much? No, not really. Tagspace/slots is always an issue that rears it's ugly head, but it's not something that I feel will end up watering down the mod. The only mission that tagslots/space is giving us trouble with is b40, and there are still plenty of things that can be done to it that will allow us to have almost every extra thing we want and the map requires (tank, sparrowhawk). Using OS on the mod really won't make SPV2 really that any much better.

Now you can call me egotistical or whatever, but I am proud, and I speak for most of the team I think when I say this, of what we have accomplished within the bounds of the engine and game Bungie created way back in 2000/2001. I'm proud of what we've accomplished and what we've done with it, and to be honest, there's really nothing we feel we should or really need to add to it that isn't already there. Many people realize that this June 25h SPV1 will be 3 years old (and h2 coagulation 3 :-D), and frankly, even though the majority of what you see now was done in the mod in the past 12-18 months, we are ready to move on and try new things and be done with SPV2. Some of us want to leave CMT after this, some want to leave CE, and some want to stay. CMT will still be around after SPV2, and probably will remain a team up until the day the game finally dies, even if there is a whole new generation of members.

I do believe that hacks like OS are going to be the future of CE, and I don't have anything against using them or making 1.08 exclusive content in the future. And believe me when I say it, we have brainstormed ideas for post SP-v2 and some of those involve OS. For those of you who say that SPV2 will help bring people to 1.08 if released exclusively, it probably will bring some. By releasing for all versions and promoting that version 1.08 allows vehicle boarding will bring just as many (it's currently planned to be promoted when we release it, as well as built into the ui and/or load screens). If people do pirate to play SPV2, as I'm sure people will because it's single player and they don't have to worry about CD keys, SPV2 will just entrench them further into the game and community, and will likely make them upgrade and buy the game to play future content on 1.08.

I'm a firm believer in releasing SPV2 for all versions, and anyone with 1.08 to be able to have extra goodies like vehicle boarding. I do not believe, and do not want this to be locked to one version, especially after everything we've done to make this mod.


Do it.

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I like the idea of having extra stuff for the people with 1.08 and I think most people have it with the auto updater

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Why don't you make Halo 2 , Halo 3 even Halo Reach levels in Halo CE game?
This idea is fantastic! I'm sure I'll pay for you team if you've made such perfect maps.

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