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Hired Gun

Hired Gun

Hired Gun was a medium sized development team created internally within Microsoft Game Studios, headed by project leader Jo Clowes. The team worked on the port of Halo 2 from it's original Xbox edition, to a new and improved Windows Vista exclusive.

The team consisted of approximately 50 members, divided between port coding, the development of the map editor and new multiplayer maps, as well as software testing.

Their project, which became dubbed "Halo 2 Vista" or "H2V", was developed between early February 2006 and April 2007. Hired Gun provided patch support for the game up until October 2007, after which the team were dissolved and redistributed within Microsoft Game Studios to work on other projects.

Halo 2 for Windows Vista Project

For 'Halo 2 Vista', the team worked on a number of improvements to the game, including but not limited to:

- A new Map Editor.

- Improvements to the game engine, e.g. ability to scale to higher resolutions and apply Anti Aliasing in-game.

- Addition of higher quality global texture compression, also and most notably the weapon textures from 256x256 pixel to 512x512 pixel texture sizes.

- Improvement to lighting enviroments, through recoding of the game into Shader Model 2.0.

- Integration of Games for Windows Live client into the game.

- Addition of Achievements to game, both in Campaign and Multiplayer.

- 2 exclusive new Multiplayer maps.

- Improved Heads-up display and menus.

Game Support & Patches

Hired Gun released Halo 2 Vista, after numerous last minute delays, officially on June 8th 2007 to the US and parts of South America, Canada, Australasia, Europe and Asia. Hired Gun released two patches to support the game:

v1.01 (May 2007)

     - Removed the ".ass File Error" obscenity from the Map Editor.


     - Support for Games for Windows Live 1.1 client.

v1.012 (October 2007)

     - Numerous bug and crash fixes.


     - New widescreen resolution support (e.g. 1440x900).


     - Support for Games for Windows Live 1.2 client.

Hired Gun Team

Jo Clowes was interviewed by Gamespot at GDC in 2007, in regards to the new features in the game and its impending release.

Hired Gun showed off Halo 2 Vista at the Consumer Electronics Show 07, running the game across LAN on multiple Dell XPS 710 gaming computers. This earned the game a "Dell XPS Certified" award, which can be seen on the back of all Halo 2 Vista game boxes.

Other high ranking members included; Jim Geist as Engineering Lead, Matt Van Gorder as Art & Design Lead, Evan Brandt & Domenic Keoplin as Test Leads and Matthew Priestley as the Producer.

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