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Halo HUD | by rykennedyan
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Halo HUD

UPDATE: HaloHUD will be out by Friday. Will support a 1680x1050 and other resolutions initially, with more to come later. Stay tuned...


Q: How do I get this? Where do I get this? When do I get this?

A: End of June. Follow me on Twitter to get up to date information and to participate in development. As you can see, some features are still missing, the font isn't finalized, I haven't had the time to find a good screenshot, etc... If you do have the time and would like to help, read the update below.


Q: Why do this? This is completely impractical, Halo is teh suxxorz, etc...

A: I was inspired to do this when I was trying to figure out how to integrate my TweetScanner Rainmeter skin into my desktop. Starlight and HaloHUD are the results of this inquiry. Finally, after I discovered that the music progress and weather radar fit perfectly with the health bar and the enemy radar, I decided I had to do this. Thankfully, everything else just fell nicely into place.


As for practicality, I'll repeat what I said below: this is a personal challenge for myself and I am inclined to call this art more than a intuitive and productive desktop solution. Any appreciation of my work by anyone besides myself and my friends is just icing on the cake. Speaking of which, I must say thank you to everyone for the complements and praise. It means a lot.


Finally, I do enjoy some Halo 3 from time to time, yes I played Halo 1-3, and, yes, I actually read the books, but I didn't do this because I'm an obsessed Halo fanboy. No, I did this because I'm an obsessed Rainmeter fanboy.


Q: Do a TF2 version! Do a Metroid Prime version!

A: I'm a fan of both of those games, especially TF2, and I have thought about doing this for those titles and others, but I don't think I would find it as fulfilling. I've been working with Rainmeter for 4 months now, and I've had great results. At first, my focus was productivity, usability, and an overall better experience; Starlight Desktop is where I ended up. As is, it is perfect...for me, so I don't see the need for anymore major changes or to actively continue doing this type of work. If I am ever as inspired as I was for Halo HUD again, I will of course do more. After this, my only plans are to polish up what I've already done. Well, that and to use all this free time to instead go outside and enjoy my summer as much as possible!


Don't let that stop anyone else from doing other games, though, because I'd be glad to see more like this. Maybe I'll even help them out after I'm done. There's definitely potential for other games to get the desktop treatment. :)




UPDATE: In order to make sure Halo HUD looks as good as possible when it's finished, I need some good screenshots! If you're interested in helping, I need shots that show 1-5 players of the same team on the screen and do not impede the visibility of the different HUD elements. The more the better!


I'm also interested in some actual game footage. Vista, and other windows versions, are capable of displaying animated backgrounds, either through .wmv or the proprietary .dream format. If anyone has the recording capabilities, I would prefer HD Halo 3 footage, specifically with a battle rifle in it. I do not have the necessary equipment - or the time - to do this on my own, so if you're interested in improving this desktop many times over, this is how.


Email links and images to, and, of course, anyone that submits content that is distributed with HaloHUD will be properly credited. :)


Thanks everyone and keep your eye on my twitter account for more updates!




UPDATE: If you want to stay current with Halo HUD's progress, just follow me on Twitter: Rykennedyan. I'll hash tag all Halo HUD updates with #HaloHUD. I plan on making a HaloHUD twitter account in the future, but that won't be until I actually release it.




At long last, here is what I've been working on for the last few weeks:


Halo HUD


Everything you see here, apart from the in-game 3D art, is done entirely in Rainmeter using my own art and Rainmeter skins. It's very much a work in progress, but this screen shot showcases all the basic functionality that I wanted in Halo HUD.


Here's an overview of all the features:


Grenades - Each grenade launches a specific application. I currently have them set to, from left to right, Pidgin, Steam, Foobar, and Firefox. Yes, I've yet to do a Frag Grenade icon. ;)


Power Drainer - Opens a Shutdown menu. You can choose Shutdown, Restart, and Sleep


Health Bar - Displays current track progress, with artist and title above it.


Battle Rifle and Ammo Count - Displays current unread message count from Gmail and the Battlerifle opens Gmail.


Ammo Clip - Top clip is download traffic; bottom clip is upload traffic.


Radar - As of now, all this does is download and save an image for the local radar from Weather Underground. I'm currently editing a GIMP script which will automatically crop and edit the picture to display properly upon download. What you see here is the intended look. It also displays the current temperature.


Time and Game Type - Display current time and date.


Blue Score and Red Score - Display current CPU and RAM usage.


Player Callsigns - These behave just like my TweetScanner skin.


Battlerifle Ammo Display - Displays current battery status; it shows 0 in this picture because I'm using my desktop which is not on a battery.


Also, the visor outline is done in Rainmeter as well.


Like I said, this is still very much a work in progress. My goal is to finish by the end of this month, unless of course there's a huge demand for it. :) I'm currently in the midst of a second pass at art and code, while finishing the scripting for GIMP. I'm also trying to figure out a font to use that actually looks like the Halo 3 HUD's font; any ideas?


This has been a lot of work and there is still much left to do. In addition to this Rainmeter skin, I plan on making skins for RocketDock/ObjectDock (w/o icons) and Launchy.


I did this simply to see if I could. A personal challenge, so to speak. I can't argue that this is a productive or practical desktop solution, like Starlight Desktop. I would call this art, more than anything else, but I'm sure there are some people out there that would use this. This is for me, first and foremost, but also for anyone else who appreciates my work.


One more thing, you can set each skin to display on top at all times, for that ultimate Master Chief desktop experience. :D


Stay tuned and get your screen shots ready!


If you have a account, here's a link to the image I'm using:


Slayer 024

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Taken on June 19, 2009