Purpose: To import our prop into a custom map using the Hammer HL2 Map Editor.

Objective: To understand and exercise the principles involved in importing a prop in to a HL2 custom map.

Open Hammer

  • Launch the SDKLaunch.exe program shortcut from your desktop (if it’s not already open)
  • From the Source SDK menu, double click the Hammer Editor program

Note: If you receive any game configuration errors when attempting to launch Hammer from the Source SDK Menu, use the following as a guide to update/troubleshoot your Hammer Game Configuration.

Troubleshooting the Hammer Configuration

From the Source SDK Menu

  • Ensure the Current Game: HL2, and Engine Version: Half-Life 2: Episode One are set
  • Under Utilities double click the Reset Game Configurations
  • Attempt to launch the Hammer Editor again. Accept any warnings by hitting OK or saying yes
  • If you still cannot launch the Hammer Editor, under Utilities double click Refresh SDK Content, and again Refresh SDK Content
  • Exit Steam entirely by right clicking the Steam icon from the system tray
  • Wait a few moments again and launch the SDKLauncher.exe program from the desktop and attempt to launch the Hammer Editor again. Accept any warnings by hitting OK or saying Yes. The goal is to get into the Hammer editor one way or another.
  • Once inside the Hammer Editor, from the Tools menu. Select Options and setup your configure Hammer options as follows:
  • rom the Game Configurations Tab, set the following fields as follows:

  • From the Build Programs Tab, set the following fields as follows:

At this point, your Hammer Editor should have no further issues. If you continue to experience any issues, try launching HL2 from the Steam > My Games menu and playing HL2 for a few minutes to update the system file paths and repeating the instructions above.

Hammer Overview

  • Open the Source_SDK_Sample_Files shortcut from your desktop and copy the Noesis_TimeBomb_Final.vmf file. This is a sample map file to place our prop in to.
  • Open the materialsrc shortcut from the desktop and navigate up one folder and open the mapsrc folder and paste the file her you copied previously (Noesis_TimeBomb_Final.vmf)
  • Launch the Hammer Editor from the Source SDK menu (if you don’t already have it opened) and open the map file via File > Open > Noesis_TimeBomb_Final.vmf and click open.

  • The top Left window is the Camera View
  • The top Right window is the Top View
  • The bottom Left window is the Front View
  • The bottom Right window is the Side View

Hammer Navigation 101

From the Camera View, the following Hotkeys will allow you to navigate the scene.

Note: Right click inside the Camera View to make sure it is the current active window.

Camera Hotkeys:

Press (Z) to control the camera perspective.

  • Move your mouse around and it will mimic very closely how you would look around the level inside the game.
  • By scrolling your mouse wheel forwards and backwards, you will navigate forwards and backwards throughout the scene. Combine this with looking around with your mouse and you can navigate in any direction.
  • For more precise control, utilize the WASD keys to move forwards, strafe left, backwards, strafe right. Combining the WASD keys with the mouse wheel you can move around the map very fluidly.

Orthographic (Top, Front, Side View) Hotkeys:

  • While holding the (SPACEBAR), LMB click drag to navigate around the scene in any direction
  • Use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out

TIP: If you wish to locate a selected object in the Camera View in any other Orthographic View, do the following:

  • LMB select any model, wall or entity in the Camera View
  • Press CTRL+E and all of the Orthographic Views will frame the selected object in the center of each View

Object Properties Window

We are now going to review the most common window a HL2 Mapper will see (besides the Views) – the Object Properties Window.

  • Navigate to the large central room and select a vehicle
  • Press ALT+Enter to open the Object Properties of the vehicle

The Object Properties window contains nearly all of the editable information any component in a map contains. That being said, the contents of this menu can vary considerably depending on what is selected.

To observe this keep the Object Properties window open, navigate through the scene until you find a different kind of model or entity, like a light. Notice how the contents of the property window changes. Spend at least 5 minutes becoming familiar with the Navigation keys and selecting objects in the Camera View.

  • Load Our Custom Prop
  • Click on the Entity Tool and go to the Objects field (as shown below)
  • Type in prop_physics
  • In your Camera View click anywhere in the map on the floor, preferably before the car blockade, as we will need our Dynamite Prop to move the cars out of the way.
  • It will first be displayed as a Red box, this is because we have not chosen a model for the prop_physics entity.
  • Press ALT+Enter to enter Object Properties
  • Select the World Model field and click Browse (on the right side of window)
  • You should find an Advanced3DDesign folder, explore this folder, or:
  • Using the Filter option at the bottom of the Model Browser, type: time
  • From either method you should be able to locate our TimeBomb prop
  • Select it and press OK
  • Back in the Object Properties window click on Apply

Feel free to place as many of these around your map as you like. Each one will pack a powerful explosive punch when thrown via the gravity gun in game (we start with a gravity gun in this map).

Once you have riddled your map with dynamite props, it’s time to compile.

  • Feel free to save your work in the Scenes Directory under Haus of Mapping Curriculum Project Path.

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