Halo 3 logoI’m a big fan of the film clip/screenshot feature of Halo 3 and check the Bungie Favourites every time I load up Halo 3. Recently they haven’t been updating this as much and this left me wandering the Halo 3 Files Forum in search of some decent clips to watch. Then it hit me, what if someone had made a video from a game I was in, how would I find it? Well Bungie’s site makes a lot of stats available but finding all the games with assets, even for just yourself, is a tiresome and manual process. I didn’t fancy looking back over the 1000 or so games I had played, checking each one for assets (screenshots and film clips created by players) so I created the Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic.

The Asset-O-Matic (development name: Halo 3 Assets Finder) actually stemmed from an earlier idea, I was going to log every game recorded by Bungie and make a database of all the games with assets, build a website around it and let people search on almost anything; date, player name, game type, map, length of match, number of clips/screenshots, well you get the idea. I did some quick maths, and it wasn’t good. I could do it slowly and not cause a Denial Of Service on Bungies site or I could do it faster and risk taking Bungies website offline. Doing it slow meant it would take days, even months to log every game and then the data would be immediately out of date. The faster option wasn’t much faster and risked getting me banned from Bungie.net and even Halo 3. Then I realised, most people will only be interested in clips/screenshots from games they were in. I spent the better half of a day re-coding my application and threading it so I could keep tabs on the results in real time. The results are what you see below, the Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic

The Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic

As you can see, I record a lot of information, all of this will be stored in a local database in the final version so you can update overnight and browse the results at your leisure. The current layout is for testing purposes, the final version will allow you to search the database, rate the results, look better with organised information and be easier to use.

A brief overview:

What does it do?
The Halo 3 Asset-O-Matic scans the game history of any Gamertag you specify looking for matches with Assets (screenshots/film clips).
How fast is it?
The development build took just over 50 minutes to scan my entire game history, that’s 1052 games at the time of writing.
50 minutes!? Can’t we speed that bad boy up a bit?
The program is currently single threaded, adding extra threads to prefetch the game data will speed things up a lot. My concern with this method is that if the program becomes popular it could cause a DDOS (Distributed Denial Of Service) on Bungie’s site. I will look at adding an extra thread or two to the program to check the speed difference. Ideally I will be able to discuss with Bungie how the program affects their website and adjust it accordingly before public release.
When will you release this?
There is no current release date but I’m expecting it to be soon. The database code needs adding and then some tests on adding a few extra worker threads to speed things up. Keep checking back for a release date.

Over the course of testing this I found a horde of film clips that I enjoyed watching, knowing I was in there somewhere. You never know, you might find that you’re the unwitting star of someones video, just like I did….