Source SDK basics

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I covered the process you need to go through to access the unreal engine editor in my post ‘UE3: Your first level’

In this Tutorial I am going to show you how to access the editor for Valve’s Source engine, for games such as Portal, Left 4 dead and Half Life 2; The editor is a set of tools called ‘Source SDK’

Steam:

As you are using a copy of one of valves games, it will not surprise you that you can access the source SDK via the steam window.

Open up you steam games list. (Games > View Game library)

This is where steam will list all the games associated with your steam account – installed ones in white, non-installed games in Gray.

At the top of the list you should see a search bar and a drop down menu. In the drop down menu, select ‘Tools’ to show a list of tools available to you.

This is where you are able to install the SDK’s and editors for a range of games available on steam – only useful if you have the game in question!

We are looking for the Source SDK.

Currently you will see a few available ‘Source SDK’ options. Just choose ‘Source SDK Base’ Double-click or right-click and choose Install.

Steam will then begin to download and install the program for you.

 

If you can’t see any ‘Source SDK’s’ in Tools – If this is the case then steam doesn’t think you have any Source engine games. Re-install your source engine games and try again.

 

Once the SDK is downloaded run it like you would with any game or tool from steam > double click or right click and choose play game…

This will bring up the Source SDK.

If a full screen application starts, with a menu like in half life 2, portal etc… you are running one of the updated SDK base’s which is just a stress tester.

The source SDK will look like the following image:

Source SDK window

Source SDK window


Applications:

  • Hammer editor – Hammer is the Source SDK map editor. In this tool you will be able to build custom maps using the techniques I discuss on this blog.
  • Model Viewer – As the name suggests, this application allows you to view  in-game models and animations.
  • Face Poser – The face poser tool is used to create choreographed sequences. a correctly rigged character allows you to use audio to create facial and skeletal animations, position actors in the world and add triggers to the scene.

Documentation:

These two links will lead you to the documentation available for the Source SDK – Release notes and reference documents (The Valve developer community wiki). Here you can find some great information and support for the use of the source SDK.

Utilities:

  • Create a Mod – Unfortunately this is does not make your MOD for you, but rather it sets up the required files and folders that you need to start a Mod.
  • Refresh SDK content – If you have some configuration problems with the SDK, this option re-copies the original files from the source SDK steam cache.
  • Reset Game configurations – This resets all the game configurations to default settings, if you are suffering from configuration errors.
  • Edit Game Configurations – Change game configuration settings

Links:

  • Valve Developer Community – Link to the Valve developer community website
  • Softimage XSI Mod Tool – Link to the tool required to create 3D models and import them into the source engine.

Other:

  • Engine Version – Which version of the source engine you wish to use. Valve have updated and changed the engine with a game release (HL2: Episode 2 had quite a few changes).
  • Current game – Which game you wish to edit, mod or map for. Select the game from the drop down – this list changes depending upon the ‘Engine version’ selected.

 

Thats it…

Now that you have the Source SDK, you can begin looking into mapping for source engine games – check out the very active communities and beging playing around.

More tutorials will be coming to VG-LevelDesign.com soon, so come back soon!


One Response to “Source SDK basics”
Brandie Zawadzki Says:

thanks for this super information ill recommend your wordpress blog to every single one of my class mates as we have been looking for this since i can remember.


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