My Halo Wars Experience + Modding

Hi there Halo Fans! I just wanted to throw in my contribution to the Halo Community by talking about my experiences modding Halo Wars Definitive Edition. I started modding in June and have learned quite a bit! Thanks to the (small) modding community and some help from the Devs in Halo Wars 2, my personal mod has pushed forwards through the challenges I faced.

Probably good to introduce myself now than later. I’ve been a Halo fan ever since 2010, my first Halo game (and rts) being Halo Wars on the 360 Arcade. My friend used to bike over his console to my house so we could switch off playing it, eventually that led to me buying my own console and getting Halo Wars, Halo Reach and Halo 3. I’ve had the most fun with Halo than any other series combined. Battling against the Covenant on Harvest, fighting the Flood on Earth and killing zombies on pre-patch Sword Base. Also had some costume get ups for halloween and comic cons!

Since Halo Wars was my first Halo and my first RTS, it will always have a spot in my heart, but after playing Halo Wars 2 (great game!) I realized my gem game had lots of issues about it, but couldn’t do anything about it. I liked to complain about both games, saying how “Halo wars 1 did this better” “halo wars 2 should have had this” “man why can’t people do x y z” which was pretty petty of me. Eventually I found my way into the modding corner of the internet for HW and forked over the money for the steam version.

Early on, the modding was confusing, hard and annoying. Having things not work correctly, or at all. But with time, things got easier and I realized how flexible this little port was. I could add my own units! I could change stats! This was great! Exactly what I wanted to do, but eventually craved for more. Changing models, icons, sounds, factions, buildings. All possible! I was able to add the Halo Wars 2 power system to balance the tech levels and units, add new factions and units. Create things like Katyusha Warthogs and Flood Scorpions. The biggest feat I’ve been working on was making Halo Wars into a PC RTS. Having builder units able to create anything without the restraints of building lots or teleport pads, creating micro dependent units as well as a different way to play the game. Instead of having one way to counter a unit, you now have 2-3. Instead of just rushing to spam Gauss hogs, there’s stages to the game. Early game phase units, mid game phase units and late game phases.

Its absolutely amazing going through all the game files and finding things intended to be put in, but never could be due to the collapse of Ensemble Studios. Things like Falcons, E3 2007 Buildings or Nuke Silos.( or Halo 2 Scarabs, Gorgons and Heretics ( Most of these assets were never finished, some were almost there, but I won’t know until I find a model editor. One thing is for sure, this game sure loved its diverse file types.

Thats about it haha, you can view my progress as I crank through the Halo Wars files for my personal mod, Spearhead Overhaul.( If anyone has any questions, please ask! I absolutely love answering them, the Halo Wars modding scene is pretty unknown (might have to do with the copy paste of all the flood mods). If you want to get into HW modding yourself, I’ll introduce you to the places I started at! Hopefully with the successful release of Halo SPV3 ( more people will get into the possibilities of modding. Even without official mod tools, its possible!

Also! Special thanks to a certain Creative Assembly Dev, they helped me with some of my issues during my mod phase (including confirming that HW2 runs on the HW1 engine, after I asked since I saw all the same file names and file types when I cracked into HW2 code)

psssst. If any of you guys know programs that can open ugx files / transfer them to a file type of a 3d model program tell me. Same with ddx files. Any help is appreciated.

As a final end off, did you like Halo Wars? How about Halo Wars 2? Anything you would change / add? Personally I found HW2 to be a much more balanced game, more enjoyable than HW1, while HW1’s campaign story is stronger.
Still, thank you 343 for continuing the beloved RTS lines!

Sorry OP, but we don’t actually allow discussions involving modding here on Waypoint. Glad you’ve been having a good time though