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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: turn debugging mode off (default)
- 1: some debugging information
- 2: verbose debugging information
- 4: even more debugging information
Number "1" will print developer messages to your console, number "2" will do the same, except now the messages will also write to the top-left of your HUD. Number "4" would do the same what 1 & 2 does, but now it will add some more on-screen info like where the clients crosshair is pointing (Shows the crosshair of all the players in multiplayer) and shows hitboxes and boundboxes (Only if there is an error with that object like collision and "Client stuck on object...")
(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: