Compiling under VS2008

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In this tutorial you will learn how to get the Source SDK to compile under Visual Studio 2008 and/or Visual C++ Express 2008. There are several things you're going to have to do to get it working. Before you begin, create your mod.

Warning:This page assumes you are compiling the latest Orange Box source code.
Tip:You do not need to install any Platform SDKs. Both VS2008 and VCE2008 come with the required libraries.
Note:You will still encounter occasional "precompiled header skipped" warnings after following this guide. Don't worry, they're harmless!

Install Visual Studio 2008

If you do not have Visual Studio 2008, you can download Visual C++ Express 2008 for free from Microsoft.

Upgrade to Service Pack 1

If you installed VS2008 before August 2008 it will probably need updating to SP1. The service pack will presumably be offered through Windows Update eventually, but for now you'll need to manually download it:

Service Pack 1 improves error reporting and fixes issues with Intellisense database corruption (" cannot update program database" / "Cannot open program database file"), alongside other improvements not directly relevant to the Source SDK.

Open the solution

  1. Launch your copy of Microsoft Visual Studio.
  2. Select File->Open Solution from the menu and open the Game_Episodic-2005.sln solution located in your mod's src directory, select the one that matches your version of Microsoft Visual Studio. Note the "HL2" portion of the file name will correspond to the selection you made in the mod creation step. If you selected mod from scratch, "Scratch" will appear there instead.

Upgrade the project files

Visual Studio will prompt you to upgrade the project files. If you've been working on your mod in a previous version of the VS you'll probably want to have it make a backup of the project file, though this is a good time to do a backup of the entire source tree yourself anyway. Otherwise you can just do the conversion in-place.

Tip:For clarity, you may want to rename the project file from whatever_2005.sln to whatever_2008.sln.

Fix debug compilation

Tip:You don't actually need to compile a debug build thanks to the PDB files Visual Studio generates in release mode. Sometimes you'll find that variables won't be unscrambled correctly when you use a PDB however, and you also miss out on all of Valve's useful #ifdef DEBUG'ed code. It's up to you: debug builds are slower and larger than release builds.

Right-click > Properties on the Server and Client projects (multi-select both of them). Making sure that you are working on the Debug configuration (top left of properties dialogue- you may need to first select the Configuration Properties item in the list on the left) change Configuration Properties > Linker > Input > Ignore Specific Library to libc;libcd;libcmtd (an extra 'd' on the end).

A function also needs commenting out from public\tier0\memoverride.cpp:

void __cdecl _invalid_parameter_noinfo(void)
{
    Assert(0);
}

Get rid of the whole thing. Remember to launch your mod with -allowdebug!

Fix missing symbols

If you see missing symbols such as: ConVar_Register you'll need to add tier3.lib to the Link Libraries folder.

Disable /Wp64

You'll receive warnings about the Wp64 option. You can ignore them if you like, but it's a simple matter to sort them out too: right-click > Properties on both the Server and Client projects, then change Configuration Properties > C/C++ > General > Detect 64-bit Portability Issues to No.

Install the DirectX SDK (for shaders)

To create new shaders you will need the MS DirectX SDK (March 2009). Once installed, follow the instructions below to incorporate it with your project.

  1. Go to Tools - Options: Projects and Solutions - VC++ Directories
  2. Select "Include files" and add "...\Microsoft DirectX SDK (November 2008)\Include"
  3. Select "Library files" and add "...\Microsoft DirectX SDK (November 2008)\Lib\x86"
  4. In the Solution Explorer, right click the client project and select Properties. Navigate to the Linker -> Input pane.
  5. Select the 'Additional Properties' row and click the '...' on the right hand side of the row
  6. Add user32.lib to the list that appears. Separate it from any other entries with a new line.
  7. Repeat for the server.

Missing vc80.pdb

You may encounter these warnings after trying to compile one of the other tool/library projects included in the SDK. You see it because your code has been compiled with VS2008 (VC9), whereas the SDK's .libs were compiled with VS2005 (VC8).

The warnings prevent the compilation of PDB files. The easiest way to fix them is to build the library which is generating them yourself!

Fix grenade_tripmine.cpp

If you've started from hl2mp code and get error C2039: 'OnTakeDamage_Alive' : is not a member of 'CBaseGrenade', go to line 31 in game/shared/basegrenade_shared.h:

 //Tony; Compromise! in episodic single player, inherit CBaseCombatCharacter for the barnacle interaction, otherwise this will never get called.
 class CBaseGrenade : 
 	#if defined( HL2_EPISODIC )
 		public CBaseCombatCharacter
 	#else
 		public CBaseAnimating
 	#endif
 	#if defined( GAME_DLL )
 		, public CDefaultPlayerPickupVPhysics
 	#endif
 {		//Tony; the ugliest class definition ever, but it saves characters, or something. Should I be shot for this?
 	DECLARE_CLASS( CBaseGrenade, CBaseAnimating );

Replace this with:

  //Tony; Compromise! in episodic single player, inherit CBaseCombatCharacter for the barnacle interaction, otherwise this will never get called.
#if defined( HL2_EPISODIC ) || defined ( HL2MP )
#define GRENADEBASECLASS CBaseCombatCharacter
#else
#define GRENADEBASECLASS CBaseAnimating
#endif
 class CBaseGrenade : public GRENADEBASECLASS
 	#if defined( GAME_DLL )
 		, public CDefaultPlayerPickupVPhysics
 	#endif
 {		//Tony; the ugliest class definition ever, but it saves characters, or something. Should I be shot for this?
 		DECLARE_CLASS( CBaseGrenade, GRENADEBASECLASS );

Don't forget to add HL2_EPISODIC to your preprocessor definitions!

Fix a compiler crash

Note:This fix applies only to Alien Swarm source code

The 2008 compiler crashes on line 341 of client/c_vguiscreen.cpp:

dist = c_x / tan( M_PI * scaled_fov / 360.0 );	

Replace it with:

float dist_denom = tan( M_PI * scaled_fov / 360.0f ); 	 
dist = c_x / dist_denom;

This can also be fixed using the following :

dist = c_x / (float)tan(M_PI * scaled_fov / 360.0f);

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