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Developer is a console variable in the Source engine that enables various levels of developer debugging options. This includes entity diagnostic information which will be printed to the console and also at the top of the screen.
Valid values are:
- 0: No debugging information (standard behavior)
- 1: Standard debugging information (extra console messages, etc.)
- 2: More debugging information, messages can appear in the top-left of the player's HUD
- 3: Same as 2, but with more console messages To do: Does this introduce any of the debugging stuff otherwise associated with 4?
- 4: Highest(?) level of debugging information; I/O events print to console, bounding boxes can show up on objects with VPhysics errors, etc.
developer 4 adds additional on-screen info like where the clients crosshair is pointing (not in HL2/Source 2013, shows the crosshair of all the players in multiplayer) and shows hitboxes and boundboxes when collision anomalies or errors occur.
To do: Better details here!
Developer mode can also be enabled via the -dev or -developer command line switches, either as a shortcut or Steam command line. The Left 4 Dead series relies on this switch in order to load into developer mode.
Other console commands and variables that a developer may find useful include:
If you are looking for information about being a developer for Valve games, you may instead find these pages useful: