Frequently Asked Questions
Last updated: 12/18/2020 @ 9:23 PM CST
Just wanting to know some basic information about the project? This is the place to check.
What is Blamite?
Who leads the project?
The project is led and was created by haloman30, who is also the Founder and CEO of Elaztek Studios.
Where does the name 'Blamite' come from?
The name of the project was originally came from the library that Assembly (a popular Halo modding program used to edit cache files for Xbox 360 and PC Halo titles) uses to operate with blam! tags, which was named Blamite. Blamite itself refers to the ammunition that Halo's Needler uses, which is a pink, explosive crystal named Blamite. This is also where the design of Blamite's logo comes from. The actual word 'Blamite' came from Blam, which was the codename for Halo Combat Evolved and became the general name to refer to Halo's engine, stylized as "blam!".
When did the project start?
Blamite's earliest code dates back to 2016, with the project file and codebase being based off of that original code. At the time, it was based off of the example code from Dear Imgui, with some remnants of that old code still lingering today. However, most of the work from 2016 up until 2019 was disorganized, and back whenever haloman30 was a young teenager and inexperienced with C++. As such, the starting point for "real" forward momentum with Blamite is early 2019.
What language(s) is the engine written in?
The engine and most newer tools are written in C++. Earlier codebases for some of the editing tools are written in C#. Some other simpler, specialized tools are also written in C#. Eventually, the entire codebase will be written entirely in C++.
Can I download and/or use Blamite for my game?
Not currently, though some day we hope to change that. Stay tuned ;)
What state is Blamite in currently?
As of the time this FAQ was last updated, Blamite currently has a functional configuration system, diagnostic logs/reports, basic tag support, VERY early 3D and 2D rendering, a work-in-progress editing suite, and a handful of other underlying technical features. Thus far, the majority of the work done on the engine has been with backend systems, rather than anything that is presented to the user. We are currently undergoing a migration from Direct3D 11 to BGFX, and when using Direct3D, a fully functional command prompt and debug menu are also functional.
Curious as to what our current and future goals/plans are for the engine? You'll find that information here.
How long do you plan to develop Blamite?
We plan to continue developing Blamite for as long as we continue to exist, and as long as we (or others) are using it to make games.
Are you going to release Blamite as open-source?
We cannot commit to this for sure, but we are absolutely looking into doing this within the very near future.
Will Blamite have support for user-generated content (such as an in-game map editor, mods, etc)?
Yes. Blamite is being built with mod support in mind, both in the traditional sense of altering base game content, as well as enabling users to create new content using the same tools we use to make our games.
Will games made using Blamite include a 'Custom Edition' with access to the engine's development tools?
Generally, yes. This may vary on a per-game basis, but assuming we don't pursue any sort of online-only game (which we currently have no plans of doing), you'll likely have access to the majority of our editing tools to play around with for each game we release.
Will there be support for community-run dedicated servers?
Yes. Any games we develop which include a multiplayer component will include dedicated server software which a normal user can install and host their own server. We plan to do more than the typical custom game stuff with this, such as having servers be able to specify mods/maps and have players download them from our website upon connecting - but those details will be ironed out in due time.
What operating systems/consoles will Blamite run on?
As of today, Blamite will run on Windows 7 and above. We are slowly moving away from Windows-specific code with the goal of having Blamite run under Linux as well - though this isn't currently a primary focus due to our smaller team and limited testing ability.
Will Blamite be made available as a standalone game engine, like Unreal or Unity, for other developers to use?
This is something that, in time, we would like to explore. The current (very rough) vision is to have a model similar to Unreal, where anyone can have full access to the entire source code, and only pay after they earn X amount of money from the game. We're many, MANY years from this being relevant however.
Blamite vs. Blam
Want to know what differences will exist between Bungie's blam! engine and Blamite? Check here.
Will Blamite use tags?
Yes. In fact, it already sort of does! There aren't many tag classes introduced at the moment, but the foundation of the tag system already exists and works.
Will Blamite's tags use the same formats/layouts as their blam! counterparts?
It depends. The original tag layouts will be used as a general reference, and we'll try to stick to them whenever and wherever it makes sense. However, Blamite is at the end of the day it's own engine - and so there will absolutely be some significant changes to tag layouts (as well as what classes even exist). From an underlying technical perspective, the actual format of individual tags and maps will only loosely resemble their blam! counterparts.
Will there be a HEK/Halo Editing Kit for Blamite?
Yes. Part of Blamite is to create a brand new, easy-to-use, unified editor (currently named Foundry) which will act as the default editor for developers and cartographers to make games and levels with.
Will any of the original blam! tools exist?
Yes. Sapien, Guerilla, and Tool will all exist as part of Blamite's editing suite. The backend functionality of the classic tools and Foundry will be the same - so any broad improvements will apply across the board. For those who like the old-school tools, you'll always have those to use as you more or less always have. For those who are more used to modern unified editing environments, Foundry will be there waiting for you.
Will Blamite's versions of the original tools be identical to their blam! counterparts?
Not identical, but similar. Each tool will be loosely based on the original in terms of the general look and feel. However, some adjustments and enhancements will be made where needed/desired. In the case of quality-of-life or UI improvements, we'll generally include settings to allow those who want a more traditional experience to do so.
Will there be any new tools unique to Blamite?
Yes. In addition to Foundry, we'll also be creating our own specialized tools as needed for various features. While we can't promise that each and every one will be released, you'll likely see at least a few new faces alongside the more familiar ones.
Are you properly documenting your engine?
Yes! We're putting a lot of time and effort into documenting things as well as possible. We use Doxygen for source documentation, with full archives of each and every build that gets made. We're working to ensure every class, function, namespace, method, and so on get documented properly. In addition to this, we periodically create fully hand-written Guides which act as a more general-purpose knowledgebase for end users. We want to avoid the issue Bungie had of poor documentation - and are working to actively avoid it. If we're going to use this engine for the next decade or more, we'll need to do the right things early on to make it possible.
There's a few easy misconceptions to make about our project - this is where we try our best to clear those up.
Is Blamite a reverse-engineering project?
No. Blamite does not aim to utilize any Bungie, 343 Industries, or Microsoft source code. In addition to the obvious legal ramifications, we also aren't actually trying to create a 1:1 replica of any of the old engines. Make no mistake - we're trying to create a modern game engine, with modern features, for the modern era. What we're doing is making a modern engine that superficially presents itself as those older engines. The engine will look and feel like blam!, but in terms of the actual code underneath it, there will be little to no resemblance to the original blam! engine. We wish to avoid the failures and issues that Bungie went through with the early versions of their engines.
Will Blamite have support for any blam! maps or tags?
Most likely not. We won't stop users from creating tools to do this if they want (or even stop them from uploading it to our Download Center), but we aren't putting too much considerating towards having any capability of loading or importing any official Halo content. Would it be cool? Sure. Will we invest time and effort into making sure this will be possible? Probably not.
Can I import Halo Custom Edition content into Blamite?
No. I mean, if you want to make it so you can, by all means go ahead. But this isn't anything we'll be working on. If you have raw assets, however, you'll be able to import those just fine of course. You won't be able to just take tags or maps from Custom Edition and shove them into Blamite however.
Got questions about helping out? This is the place to look.
Are you looking for developers?
Yes - always! The #1 thing that will help Blamite come to life faster is having more people around to help.
Are you looking for artists, composers, or other non-programming positions?
Yes and no. If you're in one of these categories, you're free to apply - but keep in mind, it's going to be a while before any true game development can happen. Right now, the primary focus is on creating the technology to power the game. If you're okay with waiting a few years to do anything and want to be largely on standby until needed, you're more than welcome to apply.
How much experience do I need to have to join the team?
The more the better, though our only true requirement is that you're competent in C++. We formerly had use for people who were more comfortable with C#, but as we're phasing out our old C# codebases and moving everything to C++, this isn't really something we're looking for at the moment. That being said, we don't need you to be a total pro with C++, just competent enough to code mostly independently. A major bonus is if you have any experience with 3D or 2D graphics programming.
I know C++, but I don't know much about blam! or the Halo games. Can I still apply?
Absolutely! Pre-existing knowledge of Halo and/or blam! is not required. It's a bonus for sure, but since our engine is entirely original at the code-level, this is generally not required. Just keep in mind that you may run into rare cases where things need to be altered to better suit the look and feel of blam!, even if it may not make as much sense outside of that context. If you're okay and prepared for that - then apply away!
I've got skills, but I don't have much of a portfolio...
That's fine. A portfolio is a plus, but if you can demonstrate that you're competent in C++ through other means then you'll be just fine.
If I join the team, how much time am I expected to put in to the project?
There are no fixed time commitments, as this is largely a hobby project. However, we do ask that you can commit to at least a few hours a week. Above all else, however, we ask that you maintain consistent communication with the team through Discord.
Can I get hired as a paid employee?
Unfortunately, not yet. None of us are going to make any money from Blamite or Elaztek for a long time. However, as time goes along and we have a game and/or engine that can be sold and generates significant profit, you'll almost certainly be compensated if you made any significant contribution. That being said - don't plan on getting any payment anytime soon. Should Blamite and Elaztek start to gain financial footing, then compensation will start being discussed. Until then - all positions remain unpaid, and we can't commit to ever being able to - as we don't know what the future holds for sure until we get there.
I don't have any game development skills, but I like the project's idea and want to help! What can I do?
Spread the word! The biggest issue right now is that nobody really knows who we are or what we're doing. If more people in the Halo community (or just the world in general) knew what we were up to, then we'd have a better shot at bringing more people onto the team - and thus, means that Blamite grows and evolves exponentially faster.
I have good ideas! Can I join your team and give them to you?
You can share ideas, sure. We do not (and never will) have any job openings for "idea people". Almost anyone can come up with good ideas. Only people with talent and skill can execute them. That being said, if you have feedback you'd like to share with us - feel free to post it on our forum or Discord and we'd be happy to lend an ear!
There's a few easy misconceptions to make about our project - this is where we try our best to clear those up.
Does Blamite use any Bungie, 343 Industries, or Microsoft source code?
No. We want to actually use this engine to make games - games that we earn a profit from, and potentially even make the engine itself a product in itself. For any of that to be legal, we cannot use any official source code. We never have - and never will.
Can you be sued for any of your work on Blamite?
While we aren't lawyers, we're very confident in saying that no, we cannot. As stated above, this isn't a reverse engineering project (which actually IS legal), nor is it aiming to actually replicate blam! from any technical side. On top of that, blam! isn't a product in itself, and none of the concepts of blam! that we use are copyrighted, trademarked, or patented. Our engine is, at the end of the day, its own independent creation that only resembles blam! on a superficial level.