As you may or may not remember, the last time we updated, we said:
...our plan is to release A50 in its entirety - Brutes, new BSPs, and all - around late January/early February.
Internal issues and misfortunes have forced us remove part of that statement. Our new BSPs are not ready and a few of our updated art assets are not done – and we do not foresee them being done within the next few weeks. We could delay the mod again, indefinitely, until those things are implemented. Or, we could sack them and push towards coming in at least somewhat close to our scheduled release.
After careful deliberation, we've decided to go ahead and, for the first time in a few years, release relatively on-time.
Barring catastrophic failure or some other immediate emergency, The CMT SPv3 version of The Truth & Reconciliation will be released on Friday, February 24th.
Operating on a map-by-map release structure means that we can continue to add to and refine SPv3 between each release; consequently, rather than try and continually hammer away on the same map for months and months, we feel it'd be better to release more frequently and retroactively update older releases as new assets are made and gameplay elements improve. We're not treating A50 as "unfinished" - we're making it as best we can with what we have - but we're absolutely planning on revisiting and further revamping it down the line. Some models will not be as high-res as others and we won’t have all the gameplay additions that we had hoped to include, but we feel that this is preferable to keeping you guys waiting potentially forever for things that may or may not ever meet our initial goals. We cannot say for sure which features will make the cut and which will not - a much needeed upgrade to our aging Battle Rifle and an up-resing of the stock BSP are on the way, whereas new Grunt and Pelican models might not make it - but anything that doesn't make the cut by release will certainly be used later on.
In the meantime, feel free to satiate yourself with a batch of fresh screenshots taken from a near-final version of the map, and remember to check back on the 24th!!!
(I went ahead and made a new thread because the old one is on page 2 and full of angry people saying mean things; if it's really bothersome feel free to move stuff around)
So, the more discerning among you might have noticed that there's been something of a shortage of publicly shown content lately, and that's for a couple of reasons. The first is that our artists are close to finishing off the heavy-lifting for our first release (The Truth and Reconciliation), diverting our focus toward gameplay balance, encounter design, and other things that can't really be demonstrated with small, easy “here's-a-picture” updates. Not that we'll be cutting off the flow of information; there's a shiny new trailer at the bottom of this announcement (wait, don't leave yet!), and we've got some more concrete details on our first map release a little further down the post.
The second reason is that CMT has undergone a massive and fundamental internal shift in the past couple of months. The changes and reasons for them are numerous (and, to some, perhaps a bit obvious); it would take more time than it’s worth to explain them all - we've completely reworked the way we handle internal communication and testing, for one - but the two end results are that we've experienced a dramatic improvement in consistency, organization, and development speed, and that we've rebuilt the team's hierarchy to look something like this:
-Team & Content Lead
-Gameplay Balance & Direction
-Level Design Lead
-Gameplay Balance & Direction
If you tl;dr'd (shame on you), this means that Masterz has stepped down as Team Leader and has handed the reins over to Teh Lag. Lag's guidance has been instrumental toward bringing both the team and the project to where they are today; the change is supported by every member of the team. Masterz has his own reasons for agreeing to step down, which he can share when/if he cares to (no need for all that in a formal update).
So now that we've got that out of the way, here are the details I promised about public release #1: our plan is to release A50 in its entirety - Brutes, new BSPs, and all - around late January/early February. Until then, a steady drip of new media and material will continue to be provided; now that many of the mod's core components are in place and functional, we can delve deeper into the elements, processes, and lines of thought behind SPv3's development, giving you guys in-depth looks into what makes the mod as unique and expansive as it is.
Below is one such video – it provides a recap of what we’re setting out to do, an overview of some of what can be expected in A50, and a first look at the updated level (and some for-real gameplay!)
We'll have another formal announcement in about a month or so with more precise information on the upcoming release. Until then, enjoy the video, and keep your eyes trained on Halomods for the latest updates and information.
Originally Posted by The Manual
Custom Mapping Team, or CMT, is comprised of some of the Halo community's oldest, best, and brightest talent, brought together under the common goal of making the most complete, fresh, and entertaining campaign mod in the game's long and storied history. As the culmination of several years of work and experience, SPv3 is the most comprehensive modification of Halo 1's campaign yet, extensively revising and adding to the core gameplay while completely overhauling the visuals and audio.
This first release contains the level "The Truth and Reconciliation," or "a50." Future releases will continue to refine and build upon the groundwork laid here, with new additions and major enhancements retroactively applied after significant milestones. Make sure to regularly check the official forum at http://www.halomods.com/cmt for more information and updates on future releases, along with developer updates and exclusive media!
There are two different maps you can download - which one you want depends on whether or not you plan on installing Open Sauce.
The .map can be played with or without Open Sauce, but is missing several secondary visual and gameplay features that rely on OS scripting.
The .yelo can only be played with Open Sauce, but contains the complete experience. Specifically:
If you have any questions or issues, make sure you read the included CMT Manual first!
1. Extract the .map or .yelo from the .rar you downloaded.
2. Place the .map or .yelo in your Halo Custom Edition\maps folder.
3. If using the .yelo, make sure there is no .map with the same filename inside your Halo Custom Editon\maps folder.
4. Open the in-game console, type in "map_name a50", and hit Enter.
To uninstall, simply remove the .map or .yelo from your Halo Custom Edition\maps folder.
The latest Open Sauce installer can be found off the OS Google Code Page. We highly recommend you install OS - the process incredibly simple and non-intrusive, and the benefits are immense. The only requirement is that you update a properly installed copy of Halo Custom Edition to 1.09 and do not use XFire while you are playing the game (seriously, even having the XFire process running can make Open Sauce crash, so make sure that you’ve completely ended the program!)
CMT SPv3 Team Members:
Teh Lag - Team Leader and HCE polymath
Masterz1337 - Co-Lead, gameplay balance, and encounter design
Ifafudafi - Co-Lead, gameplay balance, and effects
Arteen - Encounter & level design
Boba – Concept, 3D & texture art
BobtheGreatII - 3D art
ChokingVictim - Programming
Conscars - 2D art
Dano - 3D & texture art
Flyinrooster/Roostervier - 3D art
H3freak - HUD design
Kirby422 - Scripting, encounter & level design
NuggetWarmer - 3D art
ODX – Animation
Shadowspartan - Programming & Tools; Tag references
Siliconmaster – Lighting
SlappyThePirate – 3D art
Warsaw – HUD design, gameplay balance
Xalener - Sound design
CtrlAltDestroy – Tag references
Hunter/MartynLeeBall – 3D art (Shotgun high-poly model; publicly released on Halomaps.org)
Neodos – Concept & 3D art
NeurologicalDisorder – 3D art (Warthog model; not present in this release)
Sin0w - Scripting, encounter & level design
Yoko/Mendicant Bias – 2D & 3D art
Kornner Studios & the Open-Sauce people:
Kornman00, TheFieryScythe, Choking Victim and Shadowspartan
We also would like to credit the people at Bungie Studios (past and present) for Halo 1, 2, 3, ODST and Reach, upon whom our mod relies so heavily!
As always, an enourmous debt of gratitude is owed to Bungie, Microsoft and especially Gearbox Software for allowing this community exist, thrive and continue to do what we love for a game we love. Thanks for letting us stay around and thanks for giving us the tools to do this!
We also owe our friends at Modacity.net and Halomaps.org for being great platforms for this humble community to stand on.
After several months of deliberation and experimentation, we at CMT are ready (and happy) to reveal our next big project - The Silent Cartographer: Evolved.
What exactly is TSC: Evolved?
Unlike CMT's previous SPv1/2/3 mods, which refined and added to existing campaign maps, TSC: Evolved is a complete, from-the-ground-up reconstruction of b30. While the dialogue and story will remain unaltered, the BSP and all encounters will be rebuilt from scratch, both providing a fresh perspective on the classic Halo 1 campaign and allowing us to take full advantage of the expanded range of gameplay options our improved and augmented sandbox provides.
Why not do a fully custom map?
When a50 was released, it was made very clear to us that after almost decade, playing through the stock campaign for the six-hundredth time simply wasn't going to cut it for most people. However, while the idea of moving to a completely custom map was on the table, it'd have meant committing ourselves to many more unknowns - original script, voice acting, and such - than we thought would be worth gambling the team's future on. Doing a full-level-remake, we believe, hits a happy medium, allowing us to create a much newer experience without banking on too many uncertainties.
Will I need Open Sauce?
This will be a tough pill for many to swallow, so we'll put it as bluntly as possible:
TSC: Evolved will ONLY be distributed as a .yelo. You will be REQUIRED to use Open Sauce.
Our plans for the map are too large in scope and scale to accommodate the restrictions that retaining non-OS compatibility would place us under - by fully committing to Open Sauce, we can not only do more with the level, but we can get it done more quickly. Even if we did try to keep all our scripting and tagging vanilla-friendly, squeezing under the .map limits would mean cutting far more than would be worth the time investment.
What about SPv3?
The majority of the team are pouring their effort into the new level, but Masterz1337, Arteen, and Kirby continue to augment stock maps under the original goal of "completing" the SPv2 vision. More detailed information on what they're doing and when you'll get to play it will come at their pace and discretion.
So are you just putting the SPv3 Truth & Reconciliation stuff into a new map?
While the existing assets are used a baseline - throwing out all our models and weapons is hardly practical - we've had several months' time to iterate and improve. Objects which hadn't yet received a proper visual overhaul, such as the Plasma Rifle and Rocket Launcher, sport brand new models and skins; the vast majority of particle effects have been treated to another huge revision; and the weapon set, as well as having undergone dozens of changes and tweaks, has been expanded with, among other things, a new take on the Pistol and the return of the BRG.
Are you going to "evolve" the rest of the campaign?
What we do after TSC: Evolved will hinge on how smoothly the development process does (or doesn't) go, and how well it is (or isn't) received on release.
When do we get to play?
Things have not yet crystallized to the point where we can offer a solid release date. As soon as the end is in sight, we'll let you guys know.