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Hello,

My name is Jon, or in the Halo 1 community everyone knows me as Fight. I am here on behalf of the whole competitive Halo 1(Xbox) community that still travel and lan all over the United States for our love of the game. I have no background in developing at all and I've been sort of blindly directed to this forum to seek help. That being said, let me give you some information on why I'm here. The original Xbox is now more than a decade old and all of our equipment is becoming dated and slowly but surely going to become unusable. The players of the Halo 1 community have been discussing a solution to this problem, not a short term "patch on a popped tire" but an actual solution. Halo 1 is the original tournament shooter of consoles and has been given no care or love by Microsoft. Let me explain what I mean by it has been given no love: the downloadable version of the game on xbox live marketplace is poorly emulated and lags during any sort of intense battling over lan which obviously when playing at a professional level makes the game unplayable; and the anniversary edition released last year did not even include the original multiplayer which is all we care about. As time has went on, we can see and feel a significant increase in frame rate drop and lag for both the box hosting the game and especially the box joining the game which seems due to the age of the equipment and not the best of care for the equipment over the years. Halo 1 competitive play is primarily 2v2 and 4v4 which means only 2 boxes are only ever needed for a match. With that being said, our dream is to have two programs of Halo being emulated on one pc and then sent to different monitors or maybe one pc running each program and then connected through lan with controllers just plugged in via usb. Because Halo 1 has to be played on an original xbox we still have to carry all that equipment to every lan which includes the xbox's, controllers, timers(for tracking objectives in competitive play), and worst of all...25 pound flat screen tube tvs because the original xbox creates input lag on 95% of lcd monitors(this can only be noticed if you are very familiar with the game). That is 1 xbox, 2 controllers, 1 timer, and a giant tube tv for every 2 people at a lan. All of this equipment ia aging terribly and becoming a hassle to travel with. We want it to become just a 4 controllers, a pc and a lcd monitor per team. Like I said, I am not knowledgeable of emulation development at all and only a small handful of players are but all of us would help out in any shape or form so we can see this come to fruition which includes donations. We are looking for assistance and want to know if the emulation programs in development could be the solution to our problem. We want to never have to worry again that one day we couldn't play our favorite game with the friends we have made in the community. Just imagine if someone said you could never play Quake again, or Counterstrike 1.6...that is our fear right now. We want our game to be timeless. My words might seem a bit melodramatic but they are very sincere. This is the first mod forum I have contacted ever for this reason so I will be checking it often. Any help, input, collaborative efforts, or even redirection to maybe another forum would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I will let the developper talk about his software but I'm not sure any lan capabilities are already implemented. This is still quite a work in progress now.

However for your specific proble have you looked at the PC version of Halo?
I know about input lag with LCD TV (post-rendering processing is a *****) but I didn't know there was xbox-specific input lag. Does it still happen noticeably with computer screens?
 

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I will let the developper talk about his software but I'm not sure any lan capabilities are already implemented. This is still quite a work in progress now.

However for your specific proble have you looked at the PC version of Halo?
I know about input lag with LCD TV (post-rendering processing is a *****) but I didn't know there was xbox-specific input lag. Does it still happen noticeably with computer screens?
The input lag comes from the conversion to analog signal. There is no vga cable for the original xbox, only third party component to vga which still is only a "band-aid" to our real issue which is decay of equipment over time and inconvenience of playing on dated electronics. The pc version of halo 1 has a totally different aiming system and network coding that does not include the patented "magnetism" aiming system. Halo 1 on Xbox has only local multiplayer and LAN capability. All we want is the original mulitplayer game playable with controllers via usb on pc. If im correct, Xeon was the first emulator to try and run Halo 1 but was never complete or am i mistaken?
 

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Moving this thread to a more fitting forum section.

Okay, for starters, you're getting a bit ahead of yourself. Before this project could ever come to fruition, Halo has to be emulated in it's entirely first. Without that, your goals are completely crushed. Xeon only played the first level, and didn't work for everybody. Even then, the render states are completely misinterpreted and everything looks broken.
 

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It'd take a dev with the right set of skills what, 6-12 months full time to properly wire everything up on top of cxbx? So if the community is dedicated enough to scratch together ~100k, it's totally doable.
 

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No, he is asking about the emulation status of one specific game and its online capabilities. Being judgemental won't help.

No, he said it right here

The pc version of halo 1 has a totally different aiming system and network coding that does not include the patented "magnetism" aiming system.
 

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There are a few routes that would make this possible;
  1. Take the only 'emulator' currently running Halo: Xeon, reverse engineer it (or ask _SF_ for it's sourcecode) and fix all bugs in that. Pesonally, I don't think this will work since _SF_ seems to have dropped off the earth or something, and reverse-enginering sounds like a lot of work that could better be spend elsewhere.
  2. Get another emulator to run Halo. For this, the most viable ones to get results within an acceptable timefrime, are (IMO) :
    • Cxbx; Perhaps blueshogun could be motivated with a few donations, but I wouldn't want to bother people like him in such a way, as most emulator-coders are hobbyists, not programmers-for-hire.
    • xqemu; Espes is definately on the right track with his qemu-based hybrid xbox1 emulator. The premise is qemu's fast cpu emulation, combined with a OpenGL-based (and thus largely portable) simulation of the rendering. However, xqemu as of now doesn't run much yet, so Halo will be a long way off...
    • Another option is Xbox1 support in MESS (the consoles-emulating sister-project of MAME). But that project won't support Xbox1 anytime soon (only recently the Chihiro driver in MAME got some well-deserved attention). However, once capable mamedev's (like David Haywood, R. Belmont, Angelo Salese, Samuele Zannoli and others) would work on it, the result would be a future-proof, portable Xbox1 emulator (supporting more than 'just' Halo).
  3. Rewrite the entire game (as has been done for games like Theme Hospital, Outcast and others). Perhaps the orginal artwork/graphics/sounds could be used to save some time, but otherwise this would be even more work than the "use & extend Xeon"-option.

Anyone got something to add to this?
 
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