What the HEK?Edit
The HEK is a package put together by Gearbox Software which allows owners of HaloPC who've downloaded the CE expansion pack to create custom maps and map components, such as weapons and vehicles.
It is basically the same tools Bungie used to create Halo, but adapted to the changes made to CE's game engine. Like Custom Edition, the HEK is also free and officially unsupported. The HEK also has a tutorial which explains how the maps are made.
The kit can be downloaded here.
- Used to compile resource data. It's a command line program which takes arguments. Several user interfaces have been created for it which make it more user friendly, such as Tool++.
- Used to open and modify tags and settings. Definitely a program you want to get familiar with if you want to make custom weapons, vehicles, etc.
- Used to populate maps, add spawn points, weapons, vehicles, AI, etc., directly on the level geometry, similar to the HaloPC modder's tool named [SparkEdit].
- 3rd party software
- HEK Plus
A third party program capable of extracting tags from maps, including single player maps shipped with Halo. It can also protect maps, so that it's tags can't be extracted. Much debate has been raised over the issues of ripping vs. protection
- 3D Modelling and animation software
- A free 3D modelling program which can be used to create custom geometry and animations. This is a partially disabled version of the retail product 3Ds Max.
- A professional 3D modelling package.
- Drawing programs
- Making new bitmaps requires a drawing program able to export a .TIF image with an alpha channel
- It's free, and has what is needed to create custom bitmaps.
The HEK TutorialEdit
Included with the official HEK download. A basic tutorial on how to create a map, from level geometry creation in a 3D modelling program, thrue tool, to the final in-game test run
Some examples of what can be done with the HEK