343 Releases Never-Before-Seen Footage From Halo 2 Development

343 Releases Never-Before-Seen Footage From Halo 2 Development

The Master Chief wields two SMGs.

Image: 343

In Halo, “the sandbox” often refers to the weapons and vehicles on a map at any given time: all the toys you need to play with. But for a whole different set of Halo fans, this sandbox is the game itself. Whether by Forge or Ambitious modding projects As SPV3, playing with the very heart of the game itself is part of the franchise’s legacy. Now Microsoft has made that even easier after releasing a comprehensive collection of modding resources for Halo: The Master Chief Collection. And as a surprise, some of these resources contain never-before-seen images of Halo 2development dates back to the early 2000s.

Today, Microsoft official published documentation for Halo: The Master Chief Collectionmod tools, in particular Halo 2 and Halo 3 (other entries in the series should receive documentation at a later date). As spotted by Halo modder Kiera on Twitterpart of the documentation for Halo 2 contains material straight from Bungie around the early 2000s. Along with it comes some development footage that few have seen so far.

A screenshot of the Developer Tools for Halo 2 shows reflective surfaces.

Screenshot: Microsoft/Kotaku

What’s cool about these images is that they show the inner workings of Halo 2engine. One of these images illustrates the “screenshot_cubemapcommand. I won’t claim to fully know what it does, but based on the documentation, it is used to generate reflective surfaces, as we see in the old documentation photo provided.

Halo 2 development images show rendering techniques.

Image: Microsoft/Kotaku

Another neat pair of images shows debug informationlisting data when a model uses specific weapons or plays various animations.

Halo 2 development footage shows debug information for animations and visual effects.

Screenshot: Microsoft/Kotaku

Various debug information is listed above a Spartan firing a gun.

Screenshot: Microsoft/Kotaku

Like many behind-the-scenes shots, these are hardly glamorous. But they are still cool. The development of Halo 2 is a story of high ambition at the cost of overt crunch, much of which has been openly discussed. Various materials from the game’s development have already been seen, while others remain out of reach, such as the legendary demo from E3 2003 (which 343 recently pondered finally make playable). Today, a little more has emerged.

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