User:Chipsnapper2/HL2 Xbox Research/Original Experiments

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A series of research and experiments to make a custom map compile and load on <Half-Life 2> <Xbox> Half-Life 2 (Xbox).

What we know

  • BSP files from the Xbox game disc load on old engine builds of HL2: 1
  • The compile switch needed for VBSP and VRAD: -xbox.
  • Users have been able to compile and run entirely custom maps on Xbox before: 1 2
  • A general sense of how to load custom content into XZP files: Link
  • Version 19 BSP files compiled for PC will work on Xbox

What we don't know

  • Texture names: they differ between HL2 Xbox and PC, so BSPs from Xbox are full of missing textures.
  • How to make old versions of VBSP, VVIS and VRAD not crash constantly on modern operating systems and PC hardware

Daily Logs


We have a version of Source SDK dated December 2004, it has been able to compile maps for Source 2004. Compiled maps have been tested in builds 2153 and 2547. I am attempting to contact User:AndrewNeo to see what he knows about Xbox compiling.


The 2004 versions of VBSP and VRAD do not contain the -xbox parameter. This parameter still lies in the source code, but modern leaks such as CSGO will not create the correct version of BSP that we need, even if we did re-enable the parameter.

The 2004 version of the SDK we have is Version 2 of Steam Depot 211, also known as sourcesdk.gcf, dated 12/01/2004. It's too early, the -xbox parameter was added sometime in 2005.

Version 16 of Depot 211 was the January 17, 2006 update to Source SDK, which added HDR compile abilities for use with HL2 Lost Coast. This update either broke or removed -xbox.


The discovery has been made that any version 19 BSP will load. Lightmaps do not work, and the map is missing the xbox specific stuff, but still, it works.