Welcome to the Valve Developer Community! From here on you can forget Valve; every page you see with an edit tab, including this one, is likely written or at least altered by someone in the community (though Valve staff are sometimes among them). If you want to do the same, go right ahead! Otherwise, take a look at the Categories or run a search to find what you want.
Cross-Purpose and General Development
- VERC - Valve Editing Resource Collective. This site's predecessor, which offers primarily HL1 resources (Official)
- Game-Advance.net - Very small new modding community. Focus is on Source engine, but forums exist for other modding as well. Hosts modding projects.
- HL2World.com - Half Life 2 Knowledge Base
- Nem's Tools - Several useful Source tools including GCFScape
- TWHL - Mapping community and tutorial site with busy forums for HL and SOURCE mappers.
- Wunderboy.org - Several useful Source tools including VTFTool
- C-SEC - Japanese Source modding and mapping development site, including with translated many SDK documents to Japanese.
- Gamedesign.net - Some helpful modding and mapping tutorials.
- GamesModding.com Tutorial Database - A list of almost every Half-Life 2 modding tutorial out there.
- Handy Vandal's Almanac - One of the original top editing resource sites for Half Life, contains some HL2 info. Linked to in Worldcraft's help menu.
- Interlopers.net - News and general resources
- LevelDesign.nu - A large Swedish game-dev community which covers texturing, mapping and modeling.
- MappersNation.com - A New Half-Life 2 Community & Mapping Site.
- Mapcore - A great place to get mapping, modelling and texture help from industry pros.
- Mod Database - Free listings of mods for almost every moddable game. A great database full of tons of information on mods that are out there.
- Modhelp.net - A developing modding community.
- Mod HQ - Comprehensive news resource for Half-Life 2 modifications and Steam related content in general. Valve visits it. Why not you?
- PixelGames - File reviews and downloads, real friendly editing site based on community!
- The Snarkpit - Mapping and modelling community site
- Sourceblog - General tutorials (Many on Texturing/Skinning)
- SourceWiki - Unofficial and older Source Wiki
- Wavelength - One of the original sources of HL1 editing material, now steadily servicing HL2
- HLFallout.net - Up-to-the-minute coverage of modifications and Valve/Steam.Contains other features as well, such as interviews and walkthroughs. Valve posts/visits the forums, so join the community today!
- Creating Worlds - A large number of articles focusing on the design aspect of level design
- Custom Source Tools - Source Mapping Compile Tools - Faster, and more helpful with errors over the V Tools (Includes 64bit, and Linux versions)
- ZHLT - Zoners Half Life Tools - Faster, and more helpful with errors over the Q Tools (Includes 64bit, and Linux Source Code)
- Madedog's E-Portal - A small amount of great step-by-step tutorials.
- Shammers Forums - A small community, with a couple of useful tutorials.
- Edit Life - Mapping articles, entity list, error documentation and forums
- Half-wit 2 - Another collection of Mapping tutorials
- Hl2Mapping.com - A Friendly helpful, mapping community.
- I Wanna Map - You wanna map, We wanna help. For Tutorials and help
- Mapping-area - Tutorials on Mapping, Beginner to Advanced, all in french!
- NiRiDa Studios - Comunidad Española de Edición en Source - Spanish Community for the Source Engine edition tutorials.
- zombie's * Edited* Optimization Page An in-depth guide to optimizing your maps.
- RobotChaos Map Making Tutorial - Along with a few other things (Sprays, etc.) - Has a small ever building step by step tutorial on making maps taken from a beginner's perspective.
- SdK Central - A small but growing community with map submissions, tutorials and overall help.
- SDK Nuts - Source Mapping, Materials, Modeling and Code.
- SourcePrefabs.com - Great source for download-able prefabs to use in Hammer with a growing community.
- Spillmodding.no A norwegian mapping community with more than 130 tutorials for more than 13 engines!
- zombie's Optimizing-page information on optimizing your map
- TAz00.com 22+ Tutorials on Mapping, Beginner to Advanced, 10+ Maps with source files included!
- DispEd - Precise displacement editor used to make geometric shapes in the style of "Quake 3 patches."
- Мир Half-life2 - Сайт про маппинг для Half-life2 на русском!
- Cannonfodder's Tools - 3DSMax Importers and Exporters, Dispgen - Displacement Terrains from heightmaps, StudioCompiler - Model/Texture Compiler/Decompiler, winBSPzip - BSP Packer
- RnL Forums' Lightwave Plugins - Lightwave mesh export plugins. Not currently available, but may be in the future.
- Insects Infestation - II SDK modeling Export models to Source engine tutorials for 3DSMax, Maya, MS3D, XSI, FRAG.
- CG Talk The largest and most useful model discussion/news site on the internet.
- Digital Tutors - Excellent video tutorials, free and packaged, for using SoftImage|XSI and Adobe Photoshop
- Redemption - Modeling tutorials and blog for XSI and HL2 Source
Sample Source Code
- CSM2 - Map Downloads,Tutorials and mapping help forums.
- 17buddies - French community of gamers - Map Downloads, tools.
- Dimension Studios - Professional level design team. Order Source and Pre-Source maps. Also view tutorials in the forums.
- Day of Defeat Directory - Directory for custom maps, files and links to other Day of Defeat: Source sites.
- LanManiaX - The largest map database for HL\HL2.
- The Nightlight Mapping - Maps devoted to realistic locations.
- The Ascendancy - What you're trying to live up to. Database of the very best HL2DM maps.
- PlanetPhillip - Commentary and Analysis of Single Player Sci-Fi First Person Shooters. Contains a very large database of HL1 and HL2 SP maps.
- Inevitable Maps - Custom maps for the Source engine.
Image Creation and Editing
- Adobe Photoshop - The standard image editing tool in the industy, used by professionals all over the world. Very expensive.
- Paint Shop Pro - A cheap alternative to Adobe Photoshop. For those who don't want to break the bank.
- Adobe Photoshop Elements - Low-cost, consumer version of Photoshop with high-end features such as colour management removed.
- Paint.NET - An open source .NET based image manipulation program.
- The GIMP - Completely free, open source image editing software available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and other UNIX operating systems. Complex to use, but powerful, scriptable and endlessly modifiable.
- Wally - Simple freeware texture/decals/skining editing program.
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
- Maya 3D - Excellent modeling and animation package. Considered to be one of the best among modders. Also expensive.
- 3D Studio Max - Powerful tool for modeling and animation, one of the industry's best. Expensive.
- Blender - Free, open source modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, interactive creation and playback library/engine/IDE.
- Milkshape3D - Low cost, popular and simple to use 3D modeling program.
- Lightwave 3D - Excellent modeling & animation tool. See Lightwave for links to HL2 exporters. Like every other high end package, it is considered to be one of the best by its fans. :) Expensive, but less so than others.
- Softimage|XSI - Program used to make models & animations for HL2. XSI Mod Tool is available for FREE.
- Wings3D - Free, open source Nendo-alike natural modeling IDE.
Content for your project.
- 3d.sk - Human Photo References for 3D Artists and Game Developers (large source -partly free)
- Morguefile.com - Lots of free photos. Anything from fruit to cement factories.
- ShutterStock - 700,000 photos/vectors/illustrations/images/etc avail by subscription. All royalty-free.
- TextureRef.com - Online repository of Texturekits and high-res Photo References for Artists (small source - partly free)