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Got a question that is not answered in the Source SDK FAQ? Ask it here! Any sort of SDK question should be posted here. After they get answered, move them to the "Answered" portion of the page.

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List of Mapping Sites
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In Order to Better answer your Question along with optimization towards the page and for length needs, sections have now been added. If you have a certain problem under a topic then place in under the correct category. Not only Will this help with page length but also organization.

Level Design Issues

Problem compiling maps

I really need help and the problem that I am dealing with is not on the FAQ or on the help desk. This is the problem:-

*** Suppressing further FindPortalSide errors.... ***
Processing areas...done (0)
Building Faces...done (0)
done (0)
Creating default LDR cubemaps for env_cubemap using skybox materials:
 ! Run buildcubemaps in the engine to get the correct cube maps.
Creating default HDR cubemaps for env_cubemap using skybox materials:
 ! Run buildcubemaps in the engine to get the correct cube maps.
Finding displacement neighbors...
Finding lightmap sample positions...
Displacement Alpha : 0...1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10
Building Physics collision data...
done (1) (63996 bytes)
Error loading studio model ""!
Placing detail props : 0...1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10
Compacting texture/material tables...
Reduced 1164 texinfos to 619
Reduced 39 texdatas to 30 (1206 bytes to 950)
Writing G:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\[my steam name]\half-life 2\[My map name].bsp
17 seconds elapsed

please could some one help me. It is happening to every map I do even without any props!! Its got nothing to do with the props. I made a new map with no props and tryed to run it. The same thing poped up! -- 19:40, 16 Feb 2008 Unsigned comment added by Nuphduqwed (talkcontribs). Please use four tildes (~~~~) to sign your username.

What exactly is the problem? I see a few. Eaglebird 00:52, 17 Feb 2008 (PST)
You have some FindPortalSide errors, and you also have props outside the map. NO entity can be outside the map, no entity can have any line drawn from it to the void. It must be enclosed in world brushes. The FindPortalSide errors may be the culprit of a leak (wonder why), or bad areaportals. Eaglebird 00:55, 17 Feb 2008 (PST)
Bad areaportals would give an actual "areaportal does not seal off areas" (or something like that) message. Did you check for world brush leaks? There could be multiple causes. And, problems aside, does the map even run? --Darthkillyou 18:32, 17 Feb 2008 (PST)

Model scaling?

Hey, I'm currently working on a map for CS source. I would prefer to use a model over a brush for a large fan, but the only fan available is the small, 6-blade vent fan. I would be more than happy to use it if it were bigger. My question is, is it possible to scale it? Is it easy (Can I do it without a big software package like XSI)? and, furthermore, would it be illegal considering it's not moving in-between game packages (it will stay in CS:S)? I used the big, 8-blade portal fan for a bit, but for a few reasons, it's not quite what I'd like.. Thanks, Eaglebird 13:17, 6 Feb 2008 (PST)

Also on that note, would anyone know why phys_motor and func_rotate create a somewhat spastic rotation in CS:S? It seems to be rotating, but it also jerks at a pretty definite interval. Eaglebird 13:30, 6 Feb 2008 (PST)


Ive been mapping since 1.5 cs and just started using SDK to map for cs:source, so cubemaps are new to me... The problem i'm having is either with lighting or cubemaps...for example: ill be walking down a breezeway and see the walls change color, or ill step in a shadow and all the walls turns dark.. but when i step out they are bright... I'm sure its cubemap positioning, but ive tried different combinations and just get it to work out. The source sdk docs for "cubemaps" seemed unclear to me... what vital step am i missing? can there be too many cubemaps?

Dr0ski 01:32, 18 Feb 2008 (PST)

Error in sdk_faceposer.vmf map

When I test run the map, there are no scripts or speech for any of the NPCs. For example, when I move to a place on the map where a script starts, I receive a 'Scene 'scenes\ChoreoExamples\sdk_barney1.vcd' missing!' or another vcd. I know I put in the missing files in the correct folder as directed. Yet the program does not acknowledge this.

need help: Spawn point issue

I started about 2 days ago and I got a lot of the stuff down but when i try to play using run map under file it takes me there and everything is black so I went to the console and it said spawn point not clear and no matter where i put the entity info_player_start it always messes up and says spawn point not clear. Unsigned comment added by Moonkow (talkcontribs). Please use four tildes (~~~~) to sign your username.

Could you check to see if the compiling process is done correctly and without errors? (See this article) If there are errors while compiling your map and you don't know how to fix them, try posting here that section of the compile log (the part where the errors are declared), so that the nice people here can have a look at it. --Etset 10:48, 22 Jan 2008 (PST)

tools, tools tools?

When I am creating a map and use brushes such as triggers or fog, I compile and it shows up like in hammer Unsigned comment added by Octoplasma (talkcontribs). Please use four tildes (~~~~) to sign your username.

What exactly is the problem? --Etset 04:15, 22 Jan 2008 (PST)

If you are simply setting a brush's texture to tools/toolstrigger or similar and just compiling, then you are forgetting to do ctrl+t to turn a brush into an entity and from there selecting trigger_<whatever> Mikecodes 21:51, 22 Jan 2008 (PST)

Hammer crashes when I attempt to apply the texture tools/toolstrigger

If I select a large, solid brush, a single, grouped box, and attempt to apply this texture, I get an error and crash. I'm attempting to make a spawn zone, but I can't apply the texture to brush. Is the brush wrongly designed? Unsigned comment added by Askiba (talkcontribs). Please use four tildes (~~~~) to sign your username.

You may need to reset your SDK configurations to get this to work, you may have messed up a setting somewhere Mikecodes 21:53, 22 Jan 2008 (PST)

Hammer closes when i am done setting it up!

I don't know what is wrong with hammer, but it keeps crashing when i am done configuring it! --Gmodisawesome879 14:04, 30 Dec 2007 (PST)

You shouldn't have to set configurations unless you're making your own mod. If you can't find the right configuration, chances are you aren't running the SDK in the EP1 engine (for cs, hl2dm, etc) or orange box (tf2, portal, ep2) Eaglebird 19:33, 9 Feb 2008 (PST)

WARNING: msg overflowed for player

I am completely baffled as to why this message appears in my game console. I have come to a few assumptions but I'm not entirely positive whats happening. From what I've tried, it seems that having too many func_door's in your level makes this message appear. I have 24 of them spread across a 3 round map. It would be fine if it were just one warning, its not, it floods my console and eventually kicks me out of the level with the error message of "Disconnect: ERROR! Reliable snaphsot overflow..".(<- copied directly from my console) One might suggest removing doors but as far as my level design goes, I'm hard pressed to do so because of how I want players to flow through the level. I'm not sure if its having too many doors or not but a more detailed explanation as to why this happens will help me and others in the future ever receive it again. Thanks.

Update: I made the warning message disappear by removing some Prop_dynamics as well. This doesn't always work however, thats the source of my confusion. It seems to be a combination of things that cause this error to occur.

Can you post a log of what message is 'overflowing'? Along with that, could you post a compile log? Eaglebird 19:35, 9 Feb 2008 (PST)

TF2 Capture Rounds

Has anyone found out how to create multiple capture point rounds in TF2. I can get it working with just 1 round, however when I create 2 or more, the game will freeze at the end of the first capture round. I assume I am missing something regarding the transition, however I don't know what and I'm tired of watching the game crash.

Anyone got any input to this situation? Unsigned comment added by Meld (talkcontribs). Please use four tildes (~~~~) to sign your username.

Try reading this article: Creating a Linear Gameplay Map (TF2). I think it might help! If you feel your question has been fully answered, please move it to the Answered Questions section of this Help Desk. --Etset 04:42, 22 Jan 2008 (PST)

Post-compile drawing bug?

After I test my TF2 map, Hammer can't refresh its display windows. In other words, I can modify things in my map, but I can't see them being changed. I can refresh each window by changing their perspective, but it only shows things BEFORE I tested the map. The only way around this is to close hammer and re-open it, rather inconvenient. Has anyone seen this before? Xiphos 20:38, 25 Oct 2007 (PDT)

Odd, i test out my map with Hammer open, but usually minimized. try that, or even not having Tf2 open when the compile has finished.--Gear 22:23, 25 Oct 2007 (PDT)
I usually have no trouble testing my maps with hammer running. I suspect there's some sort of conflict in the renderers. That, or your OS is having trouble with it. Eaglebird 19:36, 9 Feb 2008 (PST)

I cant get my maps to run

No matter what I try..I just cant get CS: S To run my maps..when I choose the map..and click run, Nothing happens.

I don't use cs:s but are you sure your Maps are in the proper folders and are you sure that you didn't place them anywhere else?--Gear 19:21, 29 Oct 2006 (PST)
Not only that, but "nothing" shouldn't happen. If something's wrong, you should get a crash or an error message or something. If literally nothing is happening, I'd say it could be a game problem. Eaglebird 19:40, 9 Feb 2008 (PST)

Can't run rad or vvis, and ground doesn't block objects.

Cant run vrad: it says"planes+fakeplanes=max planes" How i can run rad? --Oskutin (Question moved here.)

My ground doesn't block objects. I cant run vvis. It says there are too much portals... --Oskutin (Question moved here.)

Could you post a compile log of vbsp.exe? Eaglebird 19:41, 9 Feb 2008 (PST)


ok so when I make a sky box and texture it the Maps textured become transparent and show only the textures on the box.... HELP MEH --sabre05 22:22, 16 Jul 2007

Maybe a little more specific.--Gear 05:51, 15 Aug 2007 (PDT)

Wait... What??? From what I can read, you tried to make a skybox, and then you textured it, and then something became transparent, and then you could only see the skybox??? --Darthkillyou 14:41, 16 Dec 2007 (PST)

Level Transition Freeze-Up

I've built two levels and set up my level transitions from what I gather, properly. The landmark entities both have corresponding names, and are in the same place, and the trigger is set up right and seems to activate the transition fine. However, once it starts the load, it never finishes and the game hangs up. Any ideas? ElecHeadMatt 15:18, 28 Jul 2007 (PDT)

Could be perhaps a problem with the map thats trying to be loaded. Consult that map first and see if it freezes on normal loading of that single map.--Gear 16:45, 28 Jul 2007 (PDT)

No dice, both levels load just fine, and don't seem to have any bugs or errors when loading. ElecHeadMatt 10:11, 29 Jul 2007 (PDT)

Funny thing is that happened to me yesterday. A level change occurred and well the game took a really long time to load. Sat there for ten minutes. Apparently the cause is when you place your mod or edit it over an existing version of your mod. Try to restart steam. That fixed it for me.--Gear 14:59, 29 Jul 2007 (PDT)

- I had a similar problem not long ago. You said "trigger," as in just one. Do both of your maps have a trigger_changemap set to get to the other one? If not, this is your problem. You can see what error the game gave you by going to the command console (~) and looking at the last error reported before the engine dumped you out, and that should give you a pretty big hint on what the real problem is (that is, if this doesn't fix it). --RigorMortis 08:21, 1 Jan 2008

Opening Model Browser crashes Hammer instantly

So, I was making a map for GMod with CS:S configuration (though same thing with DoD:S config) and when trying to make a ladder prop as a prop_static, opening model browser crashed hammer, sometimes with Windows error and sometimes with the "Memory can't be 'read'"-error. Does anybody know how to fix this? I'm currently reinstalling sdk. And I ran SDK with -engine ep1.

--Esa94 03:18, 10 Nov 2007 (PST)

I have the same problem, even with HL2 configuration. Not pretty. Reinstall doesn't work for me. --Darthkillyou 20:41, 17 Nov 2007 (

I Have that problem with only EP1 Engine games, Orange box games prop menus don't crash --Toxic118 13:38 Cst. 27 Dec. 2007

Strange, I'm only having the issue with Half-Life 2, everything else works fine including ep2 engine. I don't even receive an error though. Hammer just closes by itself. Unsigned comment added by Epyonxl (talkcontribs). Please use four tildes (~~~~) to sign your username.

Um... Now, it seems that all game configurations (HL2 being the stubborn one and not included) now work with the model browser. Arrght! Updates aren't changing anything! (I know, this isn't helping to solve the problem.) --Darthkillyou 18:43, 17 Feb 2008 (PST)

brushes are correct but don't light up

i made the brushes in my mod correctly but when i play the map the lightmap only lights up models and not the brushes but the flashlight does light it up. how can i fix it? if anyone can help then i would be able to finish the mod but if i can't get the lightmap to work then the entire mod will be areas with no light but the flashlight.(by the way this is the very first mod I've ever made and also the first map) (new to hammer editor and have no idea of how to record my voice for the mod)--Saleskital 03:56, 28 Dec 2007

Hmm... I'm not 1000% sure, but this sounds like you're using a VertexLitGeneric texture. Try changing the brush texture and see what happens. --Darthkillyou 18:38, 17 Feb 2008 (PST)

Working with Google SketchUp?

Is there any way to integrate the Valve SDK level designer (I think it's called Hammer?) and Google SketchUp? I've already designed a building in SketchUp and I'd like to bring it into the Valve SDK and put it into a skybox, sitting on the ground. Is this possible? Does any other 3D modeling software work with the Valve SDK? I can export SketchUp into an AutoCad format, would that help? Banaticus -- BAH 01:44, 9 Jan 2008 (PST)

The usual map file formats that Hammer recognizes are text files that have a specific structure (try opening up a .VMF/ .MAP/ .RMF file with wordpad, for example). That is, for Hammer to recognize a map file, the file has to be written in one of those "formats". I highly doubt either SketchUp and/or AutoCad files have the same "architecture", so probably the best bet would be to create a program that transforms one file format (SketchUp or AutoCad) into the other (.VMF file). I have no idea if such a tool exists, but it might not be hard to code it, I guess. Writing the output .VMF file would be easy (a simple text file, and you would have only world brushes, no entitites nor materials), so one would simply have to look at the structure of the input file (SketchUp/AutoCad/other) to know how to interpret it and read its information. --Etset 10:48, 22 Jan 2008 (PST)
Google SketchUp 6 can export as 3DS which can be imported in XSI 6 Mod Tool (XSI can import/export VMF). I haven't tried it though ... Watch out for convex brushes etc --Peter [AGHL] 14:56, 16 Feb 2008 (PST)
That might be a good solution! I also ran into an article the other day and forgot to mention it here... it can aid someone willing to write a program to transform files into VMF format: VMF documentation. --Etset 15:33, 16 Feb 2008 (PST)

Face Poser System

Making NPCs completely still during a scene

Whenever I have tried to implement a scene, NPCs seem to display a lot of "idle" behavior that I would expect to be cancelled out. They will glance around at nearby things and often will turn to the player even when their flags mark them to ignore him. What I basically want to know is, how can I make the player COMPLETELY non-noticed by the NPCs? (for a scene in which he's not supposed to be there) --Katana314 20:29, 30 Dec 2007 (PST)

XSI, studiomdl and Modeling

Source -> blender units ratio?

So,I just wanted to ask, how much source units make one unit in blender? I need this knowledge to start modeling in Blender, as this is not told in anywhere. I also would want to know, how to export the textures from blender with the plugin, should I UV map them and make the texturing mode get the UV's? I'll make it more clear if asked. --Esa94 05:21, 28 Jan 2008 (PST)

C++ And Scripting

Portal Bullets

I apologize if this is in the wrong spot, but it looked the best place to put it. I noticed in Portal that it has all of the hl2 models and everything. While playing portal, using the console, you can spawn the metro police for example wielding a pistol. The problem is that they cannot shoot you. They aim at you, the gun flashes like it's shooting but no bullets come out. Every hl2 gun will work in your hands though.

In portal, how can I (or anyone else) make the enemies actually shoot?

Evillordnikon 22:45, 17 Jan 2008 (PST)

CThread Usage

I am working on a University project using a motion controller as a means to control a prototype game using the Source engine... please see this question as an act of my desperation!

I am looking for a way to continuously grab some data for use in my mod from a socket (the motion controller data is already being sent via a socket). I thought that running my own thread would be a way to achieve this... I have created my own class CThreadTest which extends CThread (in threadtools.h).

Here is my code:



The call is on line 21 - within C_BasePlayer::Spawn() - here: c_baseplayer.cpp

My thread starts, runs and within the overridden Run() function enters a while loop which completes a simple 'test' (printing out to the console every second for X times) and finishes. My thread class is a singleton and I am starting the thread in the CBasePlayer::Spawn() function. However, when I load a map, my thread starts but the game world does not load until the thread has completed, suggesting to me that the thread is not running in parallel / concurrently with the game code.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated as I haven't had much luck searching the web, forums or asking experienced (HL2) coders. Perhaps another method to achieve my aim is a possibility? Please bare in mind I'm a fairly novice programmer =)

Kind regards,

Obli 09:42, 3 Dec 2007 (PST)


EDIT: My thread was running all along (!). I was incorrect to instantiate and run my thread in C_BasePlayer::Spawn().

As a test to determine if my thread was working I created it 10 seconds in to the game using:

  if(gpGlobals->curtime > 10.0) 

...and it runs fine!

If any official word regarding the use of CThread surfaces, I would still be interested to hear =) Now, on to using sockets...! --Obli 15:50, 6 Dec 2007 (PST)

Changing player direction while jumping

Hello, I'm working on a 3d side scroller in the source engine and want the player to be able to change direction while they are in the air instead of carrying the momentum they had when they hit jump. I've checked the whole gamemovement file and more and i just can't find that code. Maybe somebody knows where this code is? Angrycrow 05:29, 25 Dec 2007 (PST)

If you can't find it, perhaps it's "under the hood" (i.e. in the game engine itself) which would mean that it cannot be changed directly. It's probably part of the physics engine of the game, but perhaps there could be a work-around to "inhibit" that through custom code... I wouldn't have a clue. --Etset 14:42, 25 Jan 2008 (PST)

Sending player data from client to server

Do you have any idea where's the code that sends client data to the server in HL2MP ? I'm looking for it because I seem not to have any kind of information regarding the client's WorldToScreenMatrix() (or anything like it) from the server side, and I need it for some aiming code, and from what I've seen, some bullet dispatching code is done in the client side (like machine guns), and the RPG, grenades, projectiles are done on the server side. --Cippyboy 22:12, 13 Feb 2008 (PST)

Material System

materials don't show up in 3d view

When I make a Brush, it is a baby blue color and it doesn't show up -- 20:49, 9 Dec 2007 (GMT) Unsigned comment added by Octoplasma (talkcontribs). Please use four tildes (~~~~) to sign your username.

Did you put the material in the right folders? (And please sign next time.) --Darthkillyou 18:49, 17 Feb 2008 (PST)

Mod Files

Updating Client Files for your MOD?

After releasing the 12th version of my MOD, I must say I'm tired of creating an installer and patcher each time. It takes a while to do both, which means a delay each time I do it. Does anyone know of a freeware (read: not bullcrap shareware which is all I could find in searches) file update manager? Something similar to Steam's content update system would be perfect, where it periodically checks for updates to their files. Thanks.--Tj9991 18:54, 6 Nov 2007 (PST)

Umm, maybe try using SVN? That might help you release patches and small updates easily, but for the major versions I'd still suggest putting it BOTH into the SVN as the full game file pack (no need for installers :D) and to where you usually put them as an installer. I suggest you find out more about SVN here: Then if you need a free SVN host, try google code's svn: That would require you to make it open source, though. -- 13:32, 28 Jan 2008 Unsigned comment added by Esa94 (talkcontribs). Please use four tildes (~~~~) to sign your username.

Video Editing/In-Game


How do I initialize arrays inside shaders?

If I have myshader.fxc and it contains a global variable:

float coefficients[200];

how can I initialize it from withing the shader's .cpp file? -- 16:50, 17 Feb 2008 (GMT) Unsigned comment added by Christos (talkcontribs). Please use four tildes (~~~~) to sign your username.


Networking: Opening TCP Socket on Port 27015

I am trying to establish a TCP connection to port 27015 on a standard TF2 server using PHP's fsockopen, but the connection attempt keeps timing out. Doing a port scan through the range 27000 - 27020 shows no open ports, but how can this be possible? Does anyone know which port to connect to in order to establish a TCP connection with the game server so I can implement a web-based RCON panel? --TGAcid 16:42, 17 Jan 2008 (PST)

Can you restrict Team Fortress 2 classes?

Is there a way to restrict classes on a Team Fortress 2 map? I'm developing a map for snipers; I want to make it so that all the players spawn as snipers. They will still have all weapons. Can I somehow force this in Hammer, or do I have to simply set it with an admin option on a server? I've seen this done before (where, for example, everyone goes pyro and you have a melee only round). --Askiba 16:38, 11 Jan 2008 (PST)

The only way to restrict classes that I know of is through a server admin mod such as Mani or Beetlemod, which was most likely what you saw on the server you visited. I know we experimented with limiting classes/buildable objects during sudden death with Beetlemod. --TGAcid 17:49, 17 Jan 2008 (PST)

SDK not working correctly

Hammer crashes if I do anything - try to make brush, for example. Faceposer can't extract the phonems, writing "extraction successful but full recognization failed" or "Extraction complete", but it isn't! Re-installing SDK doesn't help. Earlier, I've used SDK, and it worked properly, and this problems came just after Orange Box SDK updates. But I don't have it! Please, help if you can.--1BloodYDoG1 06:55, 14 Nov 2007 (PST)

Have you tried the suggestion given here? If you don't own the Orange Box and run the SDK as is, it will be loaded for the orange box games. You should add "-engine ep1" to the Source SDK Launch options, like Woody suggests. Try that and see if it works! It seems to be causing a a headache to lot of people... --Etset 17:51, 19 Jan 2008 (PST)

Answered Questions


Cant use SDK suddenly

Only recently in the sdk main part with the different tools and stuff, down the bottom where it lets you choose which game to start the valve hammer editor or whatever with, it doesn't give me Cs Hl2dm or DOD, it only gives me choice of portal, TF2 and Hl2 EP2 which i don't have any of. Unsigned comment added by Fl4M3Z (talkcontribs). Please use four tildes (~~~~) to sign your username.

Go to tools > Source SDK > Properties > Launch Options Enter in -engine ep1, I don't know your exact problem but that will allow you to select the ones you want. --Woody 15:54, 9 Nov 2007 (PST)

Changing Ammo used

I want to change the shotgun to shoot pistol ammo. How do i do this? --Ferretboy54

Exactly same for you as well. its all within scripting.--Gear 21:10, 16 Sep 2007 (PDT)
Could you explain how i do that? --Ferretboy54
You might have to look at a few things yet I'm not to sure, might want to get more help, ill see if anyone else knows for you.--Gear 08:38, 17 Sep 2007 (PDT)

Well, if you are talking about singleplayer, you have to go to C:\%your_directory%\Steam\steamapps\%your_account%\half-life 2\hl2\scripts\weapon_buckshot.txt (if directory doesn't exists, extract it from gcf archive) and there change type of ammo. Don't forget to change the ammo in weapon_pistol.txt to shotgun's ammo or it wouldn't work properly.--1BloodYDoG1 11:08, 14 Nov 2007 (PST)

Thanks --Ferretboy54

Error: Missing frame start<61> - Any solutions??

I'm trying to compile a custom character model in Half-Life 2 and I keep getting this error message:

ERROR: Missing frame start<61> : 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000 1.570796 (etc .)

Screenshot: Screenshot_1_edit.jpg

The confusing part is that there shouldn't even be a frame 61 because the timeline was only 40 frames long. I've looked around for a solution but have not yet been able to find one. Any ideas, suggestions, or fixes would be GREATLY appreciated!!! Thanks. --User benmears

You could simply edit Skeleton_idle.smd and remove the offending frames or's a text file—ts2do 20:48, 4 Oct 2007 (PDT)
It's been established elsewhere that 61 is an error code, not frame number. --TomEdwards 08:45, 25 Nov 2007 (PST)
Fixed! XSI 6 starts animations at frame -2, which is causing this issue. You can fix it by editing box to the left of the animation timeline to read 0. :-) --TomEdwards 11:34, 25 Nov 2007 (PST)

I'm getting exactly the same error with a completely different model:


The QC is simply:

$modelname Police_animations.mdl

$includemodel "player\male_anims.mdl"
$cd "C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\SourceMods\testmod\modelsrc\Police_XSI"

$sequence hipswave "handships.smd" frame 0 80 fps 30

It's to do with the custom SMD, as there are no errors if I compile with that line commented out. And since the numbers are all exactly the same as benmear's, I'd say it was something specific to ValveBiped. --TomEdwards 08:37, 25 Nov 2007 (PST)

Fixed! XSI 6 starts animations at frame -2, which is causing this issue. You can fix it by editing box to the left of the animation timeline to read 0. :-) --TomEdwards 11:34, 25 Nov 2007 (PST)

tf2 with portal models

I was making a portal themed map for TF2 when I noticed that no portal models showed up in the list in the model viewer. How do I add portal models to TF2

You don't. They're separate products. Not everyone who has TF2 owns Portal, so the files are disconnected from each other. Also, it would be illegal to import the models in. Sorry.--Katana314 18:25, 19 Jan 2008 (PST)
For more information, see this article. This question is answered and should be moved by it's author to the Answered Questions section of the Help Desk. --Etset 04:27, 22 Jan 2008 (PST)

Hammer crashes when I attempt to create my first brush

When I open hammer, select a texture and attempt to create my first box, hammer appears to not register my actions, then seconds later it crashes. I noticed this problem after i tried to copy paste my work from a .rmf file from vhe 3.4 into source sdk hammer editor. --User:Dr0ski--

Any chances the .rmf file might be corrupted or not being correctly interpreted by Hammer? Try loading the file and moving around some brushes. If it crashes just by doing that, it could be either one of those two problems, I guess. --Etset 04:30, 22 Jan 2008 (PST)
Well I'm positive its not the .rmf NOW, because like i said i will start a completely new map and make my first brush, but right when i click:>freeze>crash. --Dr0ski 1:53, 27 Jan 2008 (CST)
Did you make sure hammer is configured correctly (read this page)? Also, in the Source SDK Launcher, is the Current Game selected to the game you want to build a map for? Have you also tried verifying the integrity of the Source SDK cache file (right-click on "Source SDK" launcher in Steam > Verify integrity of cache file)? --Etset 02:57, 27 Jan 2008 (PST)
I had a problem where my config crashed the editor, but this was due to the fact that I was running under the orange box configuration, and creating my own CS:S configuration while in hammer; it just didn't work.
I eventually figured out to run under the episode 1 configuration. :P Eaglebird 13:38, 6 Feb 2008 (PST)
Thank you for the input, I just tried verifying the integrity of the Source SDK and still no luck. Source SDK only gives me 3 options: Half-Life episode 2, Portal, and TF2...But then I opened Hammer and setup for Counter-Strike like the first time user guide tells me and then I find counter-strike in Source SDK.... I select 'couter-strike' and open hammer, and still when I attempt to create my first brush hammer crashes. If i run under the episode 2 configuration like Eaglebird suggested (yes i do have the orangebox), wont this make it not possible to map for CS:S? Dr0ski 17:08, 8 Feb 2008 (PST)
Oh you're trying to make a CS:Source map? Try reading this page: Using the Source SDK with Episode 1-Engine Games. It might help your problem. The thing is, the current (non-beta) version of the SDK needs to know if you want to edit Episode 1 engine games, or Episode 2 engine games. The link I gave you explains how to set the Source SDK to edit Episode 1 engine games (one of which is Counter-Strike:Source). It also explains how to revert back to editing Episode 2 engine games (HL2: Episode 2, TF2 and Portal) (it's the last sentence on the article). See if it helps!
Sidenote: when the current beta version of the SDK is "released" (in non-beta status), you will be able to choose directly on the SDK Launcher list what Engine & Game you want to edit. --Etset 03:19, 9 Feb 2008 (PST)
Cleaned up paragraphs, were a bit difficult to discern at first. Eaglebird 01:24, 10 Feb 2008 (PST)
Heeeeyyyy thank you for that information etset appreciate it. My problems solved. thanks for making my day :D:DDr0ski 21:53, 10 Feb 2008 (PST)

VMF files not appearing correctly in Hammer

I have a problem with my vmf files appearing incorrectly in the Hammer Editor. This problem began after Valve updated the SDK to include the Orange Box games. When I opened the SDK for the first time after the update, I noticed that the "Current Game" was Half-Life 2: Episode 2. I originally had it set to Half-Life 2 Deathmatch. Then I noticed all of my Hammer configuration settings for Half-Life 2 Deathmatch were gone & replaced with Half-Life 2: Episode 2 settings (thank you very much Valve Software). This didn't set well with me as I knew I then had to reconfigure Hammer for Half-Life 2 Deathmatch once again. So I followed the tutorial HERE & reconfigured my Hammer Editor. I can now view my .vmf files, but they look corrupted. Here's a SCREENSHOT of it. I also noticed after reconfiguring it, the SDK doesn't "copy the files" when opened like it did before. Maybe I did something wrong, not sure. Here are my CURRENT HAMMER CONFIGURATIONS. I also tried creating a new brush in a new map & that just crashes the Hammer Editor. I was well on my way to making a decent looking map as you can see HERE. I'm hoping at this point that it's my configuration of Hammer. At least that can be fixed. I spent many hours on what I have created & it makes me sad & angry that this is happening. Any help with this will be greatly appreciated. Thank you. --YPE 19:50, 12 Nov 2007 (PST)

Update: I took another look at where files are located in the sourcesdk folder & discovered that there are two hl2mp.fgd files, two vbsp.exe files, two vrad.exe files & two vvis.exe files. One of each in the "sourcesdk\bin\ep1\bin" directory & one of each in the "sourcesdk\bin\orangebox\bin" directory. So I reconfigured my Hammer again to use the "ep1" directory instead of the "orangebox" directory & applied the changes. However, the messages screen within hammer are still pointing to the "orangebox" directory as you can see HERE with no changes in how my Hammer Editor is behaving. What's going on here? Did Valve Software goof on the SDK update? --YPE 15:27, 13 Nov 2007 (PST)
Update 2: PROBLEM SOLVED. Take a look here: Cant_use_SDK_suddenly. Sorry, didn't see that until now. Thank you Woody! I don't know how you knew do to that, but it works great! Everything is back to normal & I can continue with my HL2DM map. :) I would like to leave this here for maybe a week or so, so others may be helped. Peace... --YPE 17:28, 13 Nov 2007 (PST)

3d Skybox probs in Portal

Ok - for starters, sorry if this is in the wrong place, as I'm new to this forum.

My 3d Skybox looks fantastic in my level, so long as you don't look at it through a portal. If you do, the skybox contents take precedence over the map's main contents and it looks really odd. Here are a couple examples: This first image is taken of the portal (I'm looking through the portal): Strange 1a

This image is of the same location, but I stepped through the portal so you aren't looking through the portal: Strange 1b

The below series of images shows me getting slowly closer to a portal, then stepping through:

Strange 2a Strange 2b Strange 2c Strange 2d

I'm not sure if this is something I did wrong or if it's a problem with the game engine. Any help would be greatly appreciated!! ---RigorMortis 16:57, 1 Jan 2008 (PST)

I got my answer from the steampowered forums: it's just the engine. It doesn't properly render a 3d skybox through portals. I definitely hope a Valve employee reads this and makes it their mission to fix this problem, as 3d skyboxes are awesome. --RigorMortis 17:15, 3 Jan 2008 (PST)
Looks like we're just going to have to wait for a fix! --Etset 10:48, 22 Jan 2008 (PST)

Problem fixing leak...

I have a func_useableladder entity that is leaking out of my skybox. The simple fix would seem to be-adjust the skybox to close the leak. The problem is when I adjust the skybox to fix the leak the map doesn't seem to want to compile. It gets about halfway through to BasePortalVis and then Hammer stops responding (according to windows). When my map compiles with the leak it doesn't run any "portal" anything. If I leave the skybox how it is the map will compile fine. This leads me to another question. Is there a limit to the size of the skybox brush? If I cut up the skybox will this help the compiling process? Also this is a deathmatch map. I'm new to map design so this maybe something simple. Thanks. 08:40, 14 Jan 2008 (PST)~SkiBo08:40, 14 Jan 2008 (PST)

Not experienced with the tools but here goes some help (hopefully):
  • If you need to find out where your map is leaking, try following the suggestion given in this part of the Leak article. Remember that the whole map must be sealed off by brushes, whether they be part of the skybox or not.
  • When you compile "with the leak" only vbsp.exe is run, and the compile process stops there (vvis.exe and vrad.exe are not run, see: Leak), and I believe BasePortalVis has to do with vvis.exe, so that's why it's mentioned only when the leak is fixed.
  • I can't be sure about this, since I'm not too familiar with the tools, but what's probably happening is the compile process simply taking a long time (Windows might think the process has become "stuck", but it still might be working). Is it a fairly big map? Does it have many details? That might be the reason why it is taking so long. Be sure to skim through the Optimization_(level_design) for help on optimizing your map (it can help in drastically reducing compile times!). There's a lot of useful information in there. One other page that is definitely worth reading is this one (external link).
  • Side note: you placed your question in the Answered Questions section. Next time look more carefully, you might not get a reply! ;) --Etset 16:26, 14 Jan 2008 (PST)
Thank you for the in depth reply. I will try these suggestions and hopefully solve my problem. Oh and thank you for moving my question to the proper area. :)SkiBo 18:47, 14 Jan 2008 (PST)

Trying to create a regenerating wall

I'm trying to make a wall with lots of health that resets its health every second. This is so that it can only be destroyed by a demoman using all 8 pipe bombs at once. I created a func breakable with 1000 health, and then a logic timer. Every 1 second, the logic timer sends the output 'sethealth <1000>' to the func breakable. However, when I run the map, the wall breaks as soon as the map loads. I've tried making the sethealth parameter higher or lower but it always has the same effect. Can anyone help? Chutup 20:05, 5 Jan 2008 (PST)

Don't worry, I worked it out on my own, I think. Once I took the <> symbols out of the parameter box, it works fine. Chutup 05:39, 6 Jan 2008 (PST)

cannot find textures for capture points

I am trying to texture with the tfc2 tutorial but there are no texture that they said should be there...why is this????

Are you referring to the prop_dynamic? --wisemx 06:48, 28 Dec 2007 (PST)

Fixed rather irritating title. --Baliame (talk) 07:44, 28 Dec 2007 (PST)

general portals

Is there a way to create "prey"-like portals in sdk? for example a door that leads into another part of an existing, or whole new level. Unsigned comment added by Spamos (talkcontribs). Please use four tildes (~~~~) to sign your username.

I think the answer would be: yes and no. To some extent I believe you could be able to use the new engine capabilities (introduced by Portal, specifically) to create the portals themselves, and that would allow you to interconnect two parts of the same map. As for using a portal to connect two maps, that might not possible, since when you change maps you must load the new map, and that not only takes a bit of time (i.e., it's not instantaneous like in "prey", but then again, in "prey" it probably was instantaneous because the portal lead to another part of the same map...I don't know), it will spoil the momentum the player might have had.
Plus, if a portal were to lead to another level, you would have to create the illusion that the player, who is looking at the portal, is actually seeing the other level. This can be easily accomplished if the "other level" starts in a relatively small area (you can actually create that same area in the "first level", and put a changelevel entity right after the portal, so the player is taken to the "other level").
In any case, the source code available in the SDK is not the most recent ("Orange Box") version so you probably can't do anything that is related to portals (unless you were to code it in by yourself), for the time being at least. --Etset 02:46, 17 Jan 2008 (PST)

A mod that only modifies client.dll/server.dll ?

I have the Source SDK and I'm working at a modification that involves C++ code. The thing is that Valve's philosophy of distributing mods basically means distributing new maps along with game mods while I want to have the same content as HL2/HL2MP/HL2EP1 only with different functionalities in the client/server dlls and wouldn't want someone that's playing my mod to also download the HL2MP maps for example.

Another odd thing is that I'm currently working on the HL2MP and every time I start the game outside Visual Studio 2005, Steam overwrites my DLLs with the original ones which is weird since I've disabled the automatic updates.

Is there a way to make a mod for HL2MP and keep the same maps in it?--Cippyboy 18:30, 9 Feb 2008 (PST)

Read about mounting content on the following pages:
By mounting GCFs of other games, your mod will be able to access those games' contents.
I believe you can also make your mod "mount" additional content via the GameInfo.txt file SearchPaths section (I believe an example of this is MINERVA, which uses no custom code by the way). However, you should also be aware that one should avoid mixing game content, because you can't assume that every player that has one game also has another, or all of them. Perhaps coding the actual mounting of the GCFs is a safer way and allows you to have some control over verifying it the player has that content installed or not. In any case, remember to warn players about which games they need installed in order to play your mod.
Although I don't know what's causing that issue with the DLL files, I believe you might be overwriting the original HL2MP ones when you compile your code, perhaps? (i.e. building your files to the \Steam\SteamApps\account_name\half-life 2 deathmatch\hl2mp\bin folder) If so, Steam detects that they are "corrupted" or "outdated" (or otherwise don't match the original files) and overwrites them with the ones it holds on the GCF files, which are already siting on your computer (hence the automatic updates thing not working). If that is the case, you should build your code to your mod folder, because the folder you're using is (might be, if this is the problem...) for the original dlls that the game uses to play HL2 Deathmatch online! The game automatically detects it if you try to change them (otherwise, anyone could implement cheats into the code that way).
This is not my "area of expertise" (come to think of it, none is...), so if I've said anything wrong please feel free to correct me! --Etset 09:23, 11 Feb 2008 (PST)
Thanks for the input. I was doing what you said because I couldn't figure out how to "mount" the game content, GCFs and whatever else there is, and that seemed like a good solution, until I tried running the game outside (I actually wanted to have 2 instances of the game running so I could debug server & client dlls separately, and see how they interact, although I saw that that's not possible, or is it ?). I managed to run the game with AppID 320 (HL2MP), but I have no maps in it. I tried copying one from HL2MP but it's missing textures and I see no weapon models.
I also tried the code version with the GCF, and I did filesystem->MountSteamContent(320) and it shows me an error Extra appid 320 but no steamappid, and that's kind of odd . --Cippyboy 22:04, 13 Feb 2008 (PST)
The only ways I know of (only because I read about it here on the wiki) are those two:
  1. Mounting content via the source code;
  2. Mounting content via the GameInfo.txt file;
For testing purposes you can (and perhaps should) use the gameinfo.txt file for the game to load content from one (or various) games. I gave the example of the gameinfo.txt file for the MINERVA mod, which looks like:
        Game		|gameinfo_path|.
        Game		episodic
        Game		hl2
With these SearchPaths I believe the mod is mounting both HL2 and HL2:Episode 1 content. But when you do this you're already assuming that people own these two games. If they don't own these games, when the mod loads up it will not find some files (textures, models, maps..etc), and it will not be (properly) playable. This is a kind of "static" content mounting, because you define that you want your mod to have contents from the games X, Y and Z, and that's it, you can't change these specifications when you release your mod to the public, and you have to warn them that they must own games X, Y and Z in order to play your mod correctly.
The alternative, as I see it, is to hard code that content mounting (which is what you're trying to do), and verifying if the mounting was successful (i.e. the person not only owns the game, but the content was correctly mounted and thus can be used by the game), or if the content mounting didn't succeed (i.e. probably the person doesn't own the game, or there was some error when trying to mount the content). As you see, this gives you more liberty in "dynamically" (as opposed to statically) detecting if the person has a particular game installed or not. If you choose this way of doing things, you must also hard code any dependencies that your mod has over a specific game, i.e. if a particular game content failed to mount, you don't want your mod to ever access content from that mod!
What you cannot do is extract some content from the GCF files and distribute them with your mod! You say you've extracted a map (bsp) file and used it. This is probably ok if you're just testing things, but you're prohibited of distributing your mod with any files extracted from the GCF files (or else you're violating the EULA -- this is explained in the Mixing Game Content article). Besides, it's more work than it's worth: you extracted the map file, but now you need textures~, models and everything else that the map uses.... It's much easier to just mount hl2mp via gameinfo.txt ("static" mount) or hard coding it ("dynamic" mount).
I have no clue about running two instances of the game ... (even if it's doable, it might be a heavy task for the processor... I don't know). You said you managed to run the game with appid 320 (HL2MP): try using the gameinfo.txt file to mount hl2mp (and/or other games: hl2, etc...) like I mentioned, and you will automatically have access to its content.
Regarding that error you had when attempting filesystem->MountSteamContent(320), I'm sorry but I can't be of assistance, as I don't know the inner-workings of these things. Keep experimenting with it! --Etset 04:30, 14 Feb 2008 (PST)

I was already using
SteamAppId				320

	Game				|gameinfo_path|.
	Game				hl2mp
	Game				hl2
And when I said I copied a map from HL2MP I meant I copied it from the maps folder, not extracted anything from the GCFs and there's really no point to talk about mixing content, since I first wanna fix the issue of just running my mod, then worry about other aspects. And I did experiment with the MountSteamContent thingy, and I have no idea what's going wrong. What I don't understand in all this is why doesn't Valve have a guide of what's the engine doing, step by step when it's starting ? Like, what files does it read and in what order, if you mount a GCF, was does it read from them ? From where does it read the menus, from where the levels ? And so on. You said that it overwrites my dlls with the ones from the GCF, well then when it runs HL2MP why does the executable load the dlls from the bin folder, and not from the GCF archive ? what's the loading priority ? I've just been bits of information spread randomly here, no direct guide. Only that "My First Mod" page which I followed but to no success.
I also tried running HL2 single player like that and it starts the same, I see the HL2 intro, the new-game/load game menus, and then when I click new game, there's no chapter to choose from. And I only included a gameinfo.txt in the mod folder. --Cippyboy 19:13, 14 Feb 2008 (PST)

For your mod, you should be using only files in your ...\Steam\SteamApps\SourceMods\your_mod_folder\, which means your .dll files should be placed in the following folder: ...\Steam\SteamApps\SourceMods\your_mod_folder\bin.

Having a "step by step" guide would be a very hard thing to create and maintain, simply because we're talking about a very complex system, and such document would be enormous! The rule is to divide things into modest-sized and (hopefully) highly informative articles that (together) make up the whole of the documentation. You ask for a Valve guide: I'm sorry but this is it! The Valve Developer Community is where all the information should be at. If (needed) information is missing, it can be promptly added in by whoever feels like writing it down! That's why this is in a wiki format ;)

I'm sorry if you still have some doubts, but I can only suggest that you keep reading and experimenting stuff. Also, I believe a very good suggestion would be for you to download some third-party mods and see how their files are structured! For example, take a look at MINERVA's gameinfo.txt file (MINERVA doesn't use custom code, so it does not have the client/server dlls, but almost every other mod has them). By doing that, and reading information here on the VDC, I'm sure you can achieve your goals. Also, look up e-mails of VDC users that might be willing to help you out with specific doubts (for example, check to see who contributed with useful information to a specific article and see if that person has an e-mail address you can use). Keep on it! :) --Etset 05:08, 15 Feb 2008 (PST)

A "step by step" guide is not very hard to do if someone actually knows the way things are loaded into the engine. Anyway, my dll files are placed in the Mod\bin folder, and another weird thing I found with the gameinfo.txt is that if I write
	Game				hl2mp
	Game				hl2
        Game				|gameinfo_path|.
HL2MP starts correctly but doesn't load my dlls, it's like he searches for a bin folder and if found, doesn't bother looking in other paths for the bin folder. But If I go to the previous method I don't understand why he checks for a maps folder, marks it as empty and then goes to the next paths but doesn't care to look for the maps folders there (because I assume the maps displayed in the create server list is based on what files there are in the maps folder right ? if not, where do I find this kind of information ?), why is that ? Why don't I see documentation anywhere about the ordering ? And I've experimented enough to get frustrated because a very simple thing has to be so complex in Valve's philosophy. And about mods with custom code : I don't think I've seen until now a mod with custom code that uses the original HL2/HL2MP maps (because that's my core problem), if you know of some, please tell me. I'm now trying to get although it's for HL2, but I don't think it has custom code.
LE:I changed the order of the search paths and it finally works. Now it's
SteamAppId				215

	Game				hl2mp
	Game				|gameinfo_path|.
	Game				hl2
There should a special page for this since if someone's trying to do the same thing they're gonna have a really hard time with it, considering that no one knows anything about this issue. --Cippyboy 22:56, 15 Feb 2008 (PST)
I believe the best order would be:
        Game				|gameinfo_path|.
	Game				hl2mp
	Game				hl2
Also, you're saying that HL2MP starts correctly? Do you mean you're running HL2MP from the Games dialog in Steam? You should be running your mod, not HL2MP. By loading HL2MP it's obvious it will not find your mod's dlls. Also, the gameinfo.txt file that you should be modifying is ...\Steam\SteamApps\SourceMods\your_mod_folde\gameinfo.txt.
I believe you might be a little confused about this, but it's really simple. If you place all of your files in the correct folders (already discussed above), all you have to do is go to the Games dialog in Steam and launch your mod from there. When the mod launches it's already using your custom dlls, and any content from the original GCFs can be used (provided that you added in the corresponding SearchPaths to the gameinfo.txt file).
I believe you thought that you had to run HL2MP first, and that after HL2MP had launched it would search for (your mod's) custom dlls, and other custom content on your mod's folder. This is not so. If it were so, how could you choose what mod you wanted to run? :) --Etset 11:28, 16 Feb 2008 (PST)
When I said HL2MP I actually meant my mod because my mod is 90% HL2MP (same maps, intro screen, just modified dlls like I said above). And the order I gave there for the gameinfo.txt is the only way for the mod to load my dlls and use HL2MP content. . What you recommended is just loading HL2MP but doesn't show any maps and we've already been through this. Issue solved :) --Cippyboy 23:13, 17 Feb 2008 (PST)

If the issue is solved, please move all the text of this question to the Answered Questions section of this page. :) --Etset 01:42, 18 Feb 2008 (PST)