Mapbase is a mod for Source 2013 which improves the engine and entities to be more capable and stable for mapping and other kinds of modding without changing too much of the game itself. It's designed to be used as a platform for mappers to build their maps on and for larger mods to draw code from. Mapbase contains 50+ new entities that could be used in maps (particularly logic entities), hundreds of new I/O/KV (Inputs/Outputs/Keyvalues), heavily reworked FGDs, and more, allowing Mapbase to serve as a massive package of general-purpose fixes.
Mapbase is NOT an improved version of Hammer. Mapbase is a mod for Source 2013 itself and maps using it must be played in Mapbase or a mod running its code in order to function correctly. Mappers would create their maps based off of this mod and larger mods with their own unique changes would draw from Mapbase's code and assets. Mapbase does not use any licensed or leaked code.
Mapbase is currently only built around Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 2: Episode Two via Source 2013 SP. Other games are not currently supported, although a MP branch of Mapbase is currently in development, which will extend Mapbase to Half-Life 2: Deathmatch.
Most of Mapbase's changes are quality-of-life improvements that could largely only be noticed in the editor. The original goal of this project is to alleviate the craziness and inconvenience of mapping and modding for Source without changing too much of the game itself.
- 80+ new entities (mostly logic-related), including new filters and ports/replications from newer engines
- Hundreds of new I/O/KV (Inputs/Outputs/KeyValues) added to existing entities
- Custom implementation of VScript as of v4.0
- Heavily revised and reworked FGDs
- Custom shaders with various subtle improvements, including projected texture fixes and radial fog originating from the Alien Swarm SDK
- More all-around entity flexibility
- Countless miscellaneous fixes and improvements
It also has a few new features mostly specific to Half-Life 2 (or at least singleplayer) mapping:
- Optional gameplay features (NPCs capable of using more weapons, etc.)
- More map-specific file capabilities (actbusy files, talker files, etc.)
hl2_gamerulesentity capable of modifying game behavior in various ways
Mapbase originally started in February 2018 as a prototype, but the current project began in August-September 2018.
Mapbase was created by Blixibon from a set of FGD improvements and various code changes previously brought from project to project. Mapbase's original goal was to take advantage of code access to allow mappers to do more things with the engine. The February 2018 prototype mostly just contained a few basic code changes and an early version of the map-specific file system. It was shelved in favor of other projects at the time.
Blixibon later returned to the project several months later and made its existence public. As time went on, Mapbase (and Blixibon) became a part of various Source communities and projects, which allowed Mapbase to steadily gain more traction, a wider scope, and a following. Mapbase started to become a heavily augmented (yet relatively vanilla-looking) Source 2013 as a whole, introducing custom shaders, additional NPC animations, and various open-source changes from all over the community.
After a rigorous testing and code review period, Mapbase released at the end of September 2019. Mapbase has continued to receive periodic updates and new features since its release. In May 2020, a programmer experienced with scripting VMs (reductor) created a custom implementation of VScript running in Source 2013, basing it off of Mapbase and contributing it to Mapbase's GitHub repo. This implementation was officially introduced to Mapbase users a month later in the v4.0 update.
As of July 2020, Mapbase has satisfied almost all of its goals. A MP branch is one of the last remaining milestones and is currently in development.
Mapbase uses its own wiki to hold most of its information and documentation. There's too many changes to post all of Mapbase's modifications on the VDC directly, but relevant fixes and features originally created for Mapbase have still been added to or have been mentioned on the VDC in a similar fashion to other mods and may continue to be added whenever necessary.
Mostly just large or niche Mapbase features should be documented here; Most will not be marked as Mapbase fixes or will stay on the unique wiki.
Mapbase was started and mainly created by Blixibon, but it couldn't have been done without contributors, community repositories, and the VDC itself. You can find the full credits page here.
More links can be found on the ModDB page.