From Valve Developer Community
More recent Valve games each have their own SDK or Authoring Tools:
- Left 4 Dead Authoring Tools
- Left 4 Dead 2 Authoring Tools
- Alien Swarm SDK (free to all)
- Portal 2 Authoring Tools
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Authoring Tools
("Authoring Tools" means that source code is not provided.)
Authoring tools currently shipped as beta with their respective games
We're in the process of changing how the authoring tools are distributed for the following games:
- Team Fortress 2
- Counter-Strike: Source
- Day of Defeat: Source
- Half-Life: Deathmatch
Previously these tools were distributed together in a single package (the "Source SDK" application), which resided in a totally different folder from the games. We're moving towards a model more similar to L4D and CS:GO. The SDK tools are currently shipped with the game by default, so all you need to do to get the tools is launch the game to sync it to the latest build. Please note that the tools are only avalaible for Windows.
Now look in the bin folder. (E.g:
[steam]/steamapps/common/Team Fortress 2/bin) You should see several new batch files in the bin folder, which can be used to setup the proper environment and launch the tools:
Use these batch files to launch the tools. The SDK launcher is no longer used.
If you have issues getting these to launch, make sure you don't have an environment variable named VProject set. If you do, the tools will use this instead of detecting the correct environment variable.
Installation of source code and launcher
The following instructions are appropriate if you need to download Source code. If you only need the authoring tools, they probably do not apply to you.
See: Source SDK 2013 for the latest instructions.
The old instructions are below:
Click here to install the Source SDK. For future reference, or if that doesn't work:
- Open the Steam window.
- Go to the Library.
- Change the list to Tools.
- Find and double-click on the Source SDK item.
- Read over the dialog box and click Download and Install / Next to continue
- The Source SDK will then be downloaded to your computer via Steam.
Once Steam has finished downloading you can launch the SDK from the Tools tab. You can also create a desktop shortcut by right-clicking on the SDK in the Tools tab and clicking Create desktop shortcut from the context menu that appears.
When you first run the SDK it will spend a long time extracting its downloaded archive to loose files on your disk. This will not happen again until the SDK is next updated.
After that, you will be able to select a game and run any of the tools provided by the launcher. However, you will run into problems unless the game you want to work with is fully up to date. You can make sure it is by launching the game and quitting once you get to the main menu.
Where do I go from here?
If you want to learn about how to create content for the Source Engine in general, the main page of the Source SDK documentation is a good place to start.
Bugs and Issues
- Read the Source SDK Release Notes for information about the latest SDK release.
- See the Source SDK FAQ for answers to general SDK questions.
- For level design and Hammer editor issues, see the Level Design FAQ.