WiseHammer: Hammer without the SDK Launcher

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Note:This tutorial is old, and doesn't really apply anymore after a number of major changes to how Steam and the Source SDK operate. It is here solely for archival purposes.

This tutorial was originally created by wisemx.

Ported from SDKnuts.net to VDC by: Pinsplash (talk) 22:14, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

The purpose of this document is to save you some time by eliminating the need to run the SDK Launcher to load Hammer 4 with the proper game parameters.

Note: I don't have anything againt the SDK Launcher, Valve does a great job on it. Smile

When you load the SDK Launcher you have the option, in the bottom section of the SDK Launcher illustrated below, of setting the game parameter before launching Hammer.


This will make environmental settings for you and make sure that things like the map source folder, material folders and prop folders are correct along with the compile line options you will need.

You can however create Desktop Shortcuts.


. . .and Taskbar Quick Launch shortcuts.


Let's get started. . .

Right-click on your Desktop and create a new Shortcut.


Enter the following line in the Location input area: (Shown below) %sourcesdk%\bin\hammer.exe


Click Next, Give your Shortcut a name and click Finish.

Now Right-click on the newly created Shortcut and then select Properties.

The Start In area should already have the correct path, i.e. "C:\program files\steam\steamapps\AKG\sourcesdk\bin"

Note: In all of the paths I’ll display here AKG is where your Steam account name should be.

The Target area will need to be changed. First find the complete path to the Source game you want to create this Shortcut for. I’ll use HL2 for this example, the others are done the same way. On my system the full path to the HL2 folder we’ll need is: C:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps\AKG\half-life 2\hl2

We’re going to alter the current information listed in the Target area like this: %sourcesdk%\bin\hammer.exe -game "c:\program files\steam\steamapps\AKG\half-life 2\hl2"

Once you’ve done this, with the quotation marks as illustrated, click OK.

Try your new Shortcut now. Test to see if the information you set is correct by using File Open once Hammer loads. You’re good to go if you see the map source files for the game parameter you set. If not close Hammer and re-check your path then edit the information in the Shortcut.

Shown below are the paths for each of the Source mods. By the way, this will also work for your custom mods.

Half-Life 2: %sourcesdk%\bin\hammer.exe -game "c:\program files\steam\steamapps\AKG\half-life 2\hl2"

Counter Strike Source: %sourcesdk%\bin\hammer.exe -game "C:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps\AKG\counter-strike source\cstrike"

Day Of Defeat Source: %sourcesdk%\bin\hammer.exe -game "C:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps\AKG\day of defeat source\dod"

Half-Life 2 Death Match: %sourcesdk%\bin\hammer.exe -game "C:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps\AKG\half-life 2 deathmatch\hl2mp"

Note: Steam will need to be running for these Shortcuts to work. These should also work in Steam off-line mode.