In this tutorial, I'd like to explain how you can make a laser grid for your map. I will include the tags, screenshots and a mod for immediate use and reference.
The scen tag is in Eschaton meta format and provides you with a single laser that can be duplicated easily with a scenario editor like Eschaton or SwordEdit.
Download the tags
Here is the Laser Grid mod that applies the grid to both of the bases as seen in the above screenshots of the red base.
Download the mod
Now for the explanation of how this was made! You will need Eschaton 0.8 and a scenario editor like SwordEdit. You'll also need some things I mention below. It will help to have Halo Full, but it's not entirely necessary.
Open Eschaton now, we'll work with this application first.
Step 1: Conceptualize
The technique of spawning a projectile out of nothing can be achieved by using a combination of two ideas: scen tags with referenced effects (most easily found in Halo Full) and chain spawning (made with Halo CE's Halo Editing Kit (HEK)).
The scenery tag references an effect tag. This effect tag references a projectile tag. Diagram below:
Code: Select all
scen effe proj
Step 2: Extract the right tags
- Open a Halo Full map or a mod that contains the Glowing Drip tag, and recursively extract the scenery\emitters\glowingdrip\glowingdrip scen tag.
- Open my Chainspawning mod with Eschaton and non-recursively extract the weapons\frag grenade\effects\explosion effe tag.
- Open a Halo Full map or a mod that contains the Sentinel Laser Beam, and recursively extract the characters\sentinel\beam proj tag.
Step 3: Open and expand a map
Step 4: Import the extracted tags
- Check the option to skip duplicate tags when importing the Glowing Drip and Sentinel Laser tags.
- UNCHECK the option to skip duplicate tags when importing the chain spawning effe tag.
Step 5: Organize references
- Go under the Reference Swapper of our imported scen tag.
- Change the last referenced effe tag to our imported effe tag (the frag grenade explosion with a plus sign (+) after it).
- Double click this imported effe tag.
- Go under the Reference Swapper and null out everything except the first proj reference, change that proj to the imported Sentinel Laser projectile.
Step 6: Substitute a new model for the laser spawn point
In order to better manage the projectile's spawn location point in a scenario editor, we'll give it a more visible model with which to work.
- Navigate to the imported Glowing Drip scen tag and go under Reference Swapper. Select the mod2 and change it from mod2 scenery\emitters\single_marker_forward\single_marker_forward to mod2 powerups\over shield\over shield. In SwordEdit, this will make the scen look like the active camoflage powerup. (Weird, eh?)
Step 7: Null out the lagging decals and effects
The laser projectiles will create burn decals on anything they touch. This can really lag a map, even when the lasers are not in view. I very strongly recommend nulling the deca reference in the projectile's referenced impact effect tag, and for the purposes of a more equal grid effect, also nulling the burn particles:
- Navigate to the imported Sentinel Laser proj tag (characters\sentinel\beam) and go under Reference Swapper. Now decide which materials you want to null impact effects upon. It depends upon your application of the laser, what material it will impact in its "neutral" state, but since this will likely be something other than a biped's collision material (like stone, sand, grass, metal, etc.), then you only have to change one tag. In the reference swapper, double click on effe characters\sentinel\effects\impact dirt, then choose the Reference Swapper for that tag. Null out all the references except the snd! (sound) tag. If you want the laser to fire silently (to surprise the player, for example), then null out the referenced sound tag also. You might also change these to other values, like flame particles or a screaming sound...
Step 8: Rename the tags
This step is option and will help avoid overlapping names when modding with duplicate tags. You should rename the tags if you're using, for example, another set of Glowing Drip and Sentinel Laser tags for other purposes.
- With the expanded map and using Eschaton 0.8 or later, select the expanded map's tags and rename them to something appropriate, like laser_grid or whatever you decide.
Step 9: Reference the scen
The safest way of doing this is as follows:
- In Eschaton, navigate to the scnr tag. Wait for it to load. Choose the Reference Swapper. Scroll down to a referenced scen tag that you can afford to lose (like the a50 rock because it only has one spawn point in Bloodgulch). Now swap that scen for the laser grid scen.
Step 10: Rebuild the map
Now open the rebuilt map with SwordEdit. Make an archive backup of your mod first, for safekeeping.
Step 11: Place the laser grid's lasers around the map
In step 6, we changed the model to the model of the overshield powerup, which just so happens to look like the active camoflage powerup... Now we can use the square shape and small size of this model to make evenly-spaced laser grid lines wherever we want to place them.
- Select the camo-lasergrid thingy and move it near the general vicinity of where it should spawn.
- The red line coming out of the object in SwordEdit designates the path of the laser beam (the direction the object faces). Over large distances, this laser beam path might shift around a bit, but will eventually rest at a single spot in the same general direction.
- With the scen object still selected, set its Roll to 180 so that it's upside-down. Now you can see the precise spawn location of the projectile, where the red, green and blue lines meet. You will need to make sure that this spawn point is not buried in another object, or else the laser won't appear in the map. Be careful when placing the laser spawn point against walls to make sure it's not buried inside a wall.
- Place the laser beams precisely where you want, evenly spacing them by using the active camoflage's square model as a guide and by pretending the red coordinate line is the laser itself.
Step 12: Save the map
Only save once per SwordEdit session. Load map, mod, save, quit, repeat.
Step 13: Change the laser's impact damage to suit your needs
In the provided mod, the laser only does normal damage, it's not instagib. The reason for this is that you can't actually turn off the grid (yet, but that's coming in a later version).
- Load your mod in Eschaton and navigate to the Sentinel Beam proj that we're using for the laser grid. Under Reference Swapper, double click on its jpt! tag.
- Modify the meta Damage values in this jpt! tag to make it do more or less damage, skip shields, whatever you want.
Step 14: Make the scen model invisible
If you're using a scen with a placemarker model like the Glowing Drip or various emitter tags, then you can use those invisible models, or you can just null out the reference:
- Navigate to the scen tag in use and go under Reference Swapper.
- Change the referenced mod2 to mod2 scenery\emitters\single_marker_forward\single_marker_forward or just null it out.
Thanks for reading the tutorial, congratulations and good luck!
Here's what the laser grid looks like without Step 14: