Source SDK 2013

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Key points

The Source SDK uses the Valve Project Creator in order to generate the required platform specific files.

Setting Up (All Platforms)

Setting up the Source SDK Base

Install Source SDK Base 2013 (multiplayer or singleplayer depending on your mod) from Steam->Library->Tools or from the links below:

Getting the code

Method one: Using the GitHub Desktop client (Windows/OS X)

  1. Download and install the GitHub Desktop client
  2. Open the Source SDK git repo and click "Clone to desktop"

Method two: Using the command line (Windows/OS X/Linux)

  1. Download and install the git CLI from here and choose the build for your platform.
  2. Open the terminal/command prompt and run this command:
git clone

Method three: Downloading the ZIP archive

Note: You will need to update the code manually whenever changes are committed to the repo

Download from here

Setting up (Platform Specific)

Source SDK 2013 on Windows

Step One: Installing Visual Studio

Although Source SDK 2013 currently does NOT compile with Visual Studio 2015 (bug report) you can still use VS 2015 as IDE and compile the code with the VS 2013 toolset.
Just install both VS 2013 and 2015, open the solution in VS 2015, and skip the dialog where VS 2015 tries to upgrade your projects.
  1. Download and install Visual Studio 2013.
  2. Download and install the Multibyte MFC Library.

Step Two: Installing the Microsoft Speech SDK

  1. Download the Microsoft Speech SDK
  2. Extract install files and run Microsoft Speech SDK 5.1.msi
  3. Copy C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Speech SDK 5.1 to <SDKROOT>\sp\src\utils\sapi51 or <SDKROOT>\mp\src\utils\sapi51 depending on your mod.
  4. Open sphelper.h and fix the following errors:

Line 769

   const size_t ulLenVendorPreferred = wcslen(pszVendorPreferred); // no size_t

Line 1418

   static long CoMemCopyWFEX(const WAVEFORMATEX * pSrc, WAVEFORMATEX ** ppCoMemWFEX) // missing long

Line 2368

   const WCHAR * PropertyStringValue() const
       // Search for the first NULL and return pointer to the char past it.
       const WCHAR * psz = (const WCHAR *)lParam; // moved this from for init
       for (; *psz; psz++) {}
       return psz + 1;

Line 2560

   SPPHONEID* pphoneId = (SPPHONEID*)((WCHAR *)dsPhoneId); // improper casting

Line 2634

   pphoneId += wcslen((const wchar_t *)pphoneId) + 1; // improper casting

Step Three: Compiling the Source SDK and preparing project files

  1. Navigate to <path-to-git>\sp\src\ and run createallprojects.bat and creategameprojects.bat
  2. Navigate to <path-to-git>\mp\src\ and run createallprojects.bat and creategameprojects.bat
The Everything solution also contains the Game solutions along with other tools.
  1. Open everything.sln for the desired mode (Singleplayer or Multiplayer).
  2. Select the everything solution, located under the Solution Explorer list, then from the middle menu, right next to the Auto drop down menu, change Debug to Release.
  3. Right Click on the everything solution, then select Build Solution.


If something fails at the end then simply rebuild the solution.
The client.dll is going to be generated in <path-to-git>\sp\src\game\client\Release_mod_hl2 and <path-to-git>\sp\src\game\client\Release_mod_episodic
The server.dll is going to be generated in <path-to-git>\sp\src\game\server\Release_mod_hl2 and <path-to-git>\sp\src\game\server\Release_mod_episodic
The current latest commit of the source SDK (0d8dceea) will crash on startup, unless you are using the beta-branch of the Source SDK Base 2013. In Steam, go to Tools > Source SDK Base 2013 Multiplayer, right click > Properties > Betas to opt into the beta. This requirement will go away in the very near future. Without the beta, you get two popups about "Entry Point Not Found" in hl2.exe, and then the debugger breaks on engine.dll

Step Four

See Source SDK 2013: Shader Authoring.

Source SDK 2013 on OS X

Step One

  1. Install Xcode 4.2.
  2. You will also need to have "Command Line Tools" installed. You can find this at Xcode Preferences -> Downloads -> Components.

Step Two

Run the following scripts to generate project files.

You'll only need to run the scripts for the base gamemodes you're creating a mod for; sp for single player and mp for multiplayer
cd <SDK_ROOT>/sp/src
cd <SDK_ROOT>/mp/src

games.xcodeproj and everything.xcodeproj will be generated in the src folder.

Step Three

To compile the tools, server and client libraries open everything.xcodeproj and games.xcodeproj in Xcode and build the projects (Product -> Build).

For OS X 10.10 and above, you'll need to change the Base SDK to the latest SDK for all targets in both projects.


When successfully built client.dylib and server.dylib will be created to load with the desired Source SDK Base 2013 (singleplayer or multiplayer).

Source SDK 2013 on Linux

Due to the usage of the Steam Client Runtime, a Debian or Ubuntu based distribution is required and this tutorial is adapted for them. You can take the risk of trying with another GNU/Linux distribution but keep in mind that you will have to adapt the commands and this tutorial may fail.

Step One: Getting the basic C/C++ development tools

You should already have these, but to be sure, you can run the following command in a terminal :

sudo apt-get install build-essential

AMD64 (64 bits) users will need to download and install additional packages to target the i386 (32 bits) architecture, this can be done with this command in a terminal :

sudo apt-get install gcc-multilib g++-multilib

Step Two: Preparing the Source SDK 2013

Just run the following commands (by replacing [SDK_ROOT] by the location of the Source SDK 2013) :

cd [SDK_ROOT]/sp/src
cd [SDK_ROOT]/mp/src

games.mak and everything.mak will be generated in the src folder.

Step Three: Downloading, installing, setting up the Steam Client Runtime

The Steam Client Runtime will help you guarantee compatibility with most GNU/Linux distributions. It is required to install it in "/valve/steam-runtime", if you don't like this and wish to install the Steam Client Runtime elsewhere : symbolic link is your friend. We are going to assume you want to do the first option. Run the following commands in a terminal, make sure to replace "[USER]" by your login and "[GROUP]" by your group name (on Ubuntu, the login and group name are identical) :

cd /
sudo mkdir valve
cd valve
sudo wget
sudo tar xvf steam-runtime-sdk_latest.tar.xz
sudo mv steam-runtime-sdk_2013-09-05 steam-runtime
sudo chown <USER>:<GROUP> * -R

Run the "./" script in the "steam-runtime" directory, select the architecture and configuration you wish to target, say "Yes" to everything related to updates.

Before compiling the SDK, you have to run the (chroot) environement, this is done by running the "./ --arch=i386" script.

Step Four: Time to compile

In a terminal (like always), "cd" into the "sp" (singleplayer) or "mp" (multiplayer) directory of the SDK and the "src" directory, just run the following command to compile :

make -f games.mak

If everything went well, you should have the "" and "" files in the "game" directory to load with the appropriate Source SDK Base 2013. You can get more instructions on using the Steam Client Runtime by reading the "README.txt" file in the installed runtime directory.

If you have an error about "objcopy", edit the "devtools/" file and change the "OBJCOPY" variable so it points to the default "objcopy" program.

Setting up on Steam

See Setup mod on steam.

Other information

Adding new files with the Valve Project Creator

  1. Add instructions on how to here.
  2. Open hl2.vpc with a text editor and edit this line or something.

VPC generates project files for all of the platforms that the SDK supports, so if you want to add files to your project in a way that will allow you to easily build on other platforms, consider using VPC. For example, to add a file to a multiplayer game, you could add a line to src/game/client/client_hl2mp.vpc.

Directory structure

  • game - Runtime files for the mods themselves. Any mod content will go in here.
  • src - All the source code for that kind of mod. The root of the src directory contains .sln or root level .mak files for building the source.
    • common - A few files used by the server and client DLLs
    • devtools - Scripts and utilities that are used to build the source. These are called by the makefiles and projects and you probably won't need to interact with them directly.
    • game - All of the source code for the DLLs.
      • client - Code used by client.dll (or client.dylib or There are also game-specific directories under here.
      • server - Code used by server.dll. There are also game-specific directories under here.
      • shared - Code used by both client.dll and server.dll.
    • gcsdk - A couple of tools used to build the DLLs.
    • lib - Binary versions of the libraries that the source code depends on. This is also the build target for vgui_controls, tier1, and mathlib.
    • mathlib - Math utilities used by the game.
    • public - Header files for all of the DLLs and libraries that are used by the game. Also includes a few source files.
    • thirdparty - Third party libraries needed to build the source. At the moment this contains only the Google Protocol Buffers (protobuf) library.
    • tier1 - Useful utility classes. Builds into tier1.lib
    • utils - Various development utilities
    • vgui2 - Source code for vgui_controls, which is used by client.dll.


Unable to find RegKey for .vcproj files in solutions (Windows)

MSB8008: Specified platform toolset (v120_xp) or (v120) is not installed or invalid (Windows)

  1. Select all Project Files
  2. Right-click on the file, then choose "Properties"
  3. Choose "Configuration Properties"
  4. Under "Platform toolset" this -> (v100)

(Project->Properties->Configuration Properties->General->Platform toolset = Visual Studio 2010(v100))

Issues with "min" or "max" from Steam Runtime when Compiling on Linux

Copy and paste the following lines:

#undef min
#undef max

to the beginning of the following files: