Valve Hammer Editor 3.4 has had many changes made to it since version 2.1, and some of these changes mean that you'll need to set things up a little differently compared to what you might be used to.
Before You Start
Before you continue on to use Hammer, there are a few things you should keep in mind?:
Hammer 3.4 makes use of OpenGL for its 3D rendering. As such, driver compatability issues may exist, so be sure you are running the latest version of your OpenGL video drivers. Below are some links to the major driver pages.
Hammer 3.4 only allows for the creation of Half-Life (and Half-Life mod) levels.
In order for Hammer 3.4's 3D sprite preview to work, you must unpack the Sprites folder from your PAK file. For more information, see the Unpacking Your PAK tutorial. It is also recommended that you unpack your sounds and models folders from the PAK file.
The first thing you should do after installing Hammer is configure it's settings. The options settings can be reached by selecting Options from the Tools menu. There are six different tabs in the Option's dialog:
If you are going to use Hammer to compile your maps, you also need to setup the compile modes.
The Game Configuration options allow you to setup the editor to edit Half-Life and it's mods. A separate configuration is needed for each game or mod.
If this is a new installation of Hammer, there won't be any game configurations yet. Click Edit, then Add, and enter Half-Life (or whatever Half-Life mod you're setting up the editor for).
For new users, note that you can add more than one game configuration. This is handy if you plan on working on Half-Life levels and Half-Life mod levels.
Game Data Files
The game data file contains all of the entity information that will be used to create your maps. Hammer's game data files have the file extension .FGD. It must be present in order for you to create levels.
Click on the Add button.
An Open dialog will appear. If it doesn't show the contents of your Hammer folder, browse to it.
In the FGD folder, browse to and select the game .FGD that you require. Hammer ships with game data files for Half-Life, Team Fortress 1.5, Counter-Strike, and Day of Defeat.
You will be taken back to the Options dialog. You will see that C:\Valve Hammer Editor\halflife.fgd (or wherever you've stored the FGD) has been added to the Game Data File list.
Note: There is a new version of the Half-Life game data file available here. You can unzip it into your Hammer directory and use the same steps as above to add it as your Half-Life game data file. Be sure to remove the previous version of the game data file first.
Texture Format and
The Hammer editor is only capable of creating Half-Life maps. As such, these two options are locked on WAD3 (Half-Life) for the texture format, and Half-Life for the map format.
Default PointEntity and SolidEntity
Select a default point and solid entity here. This controls which entity will appear selected when you go to place an entity. It is only a time-saving device. I recommend using info_player_start as the default point entity and func_door as the default solid entity.
Game Executable Directory
The value here should be the directory where your Half-Life executable is stored. The value should not include hl.exe. For example, C:\Half-Life is correct, but C:\Half-Life\hl.exe is not.
If you are setting up the editor for a mod, the game directory of the mod should go here. For example, if Half-Life is in C:\Half-Life, and you're setting up Hammer for Team Fortress Classic, the Mod Directory value would be C:\Half-Life\tfc. For a normal Half-Life game configuration, the Mod Directory should be set to C:\Half-Life\valve.
This value should be the base game directory for Half-Life. Keeping with the above examples, this would be C:\Half-Life\valve.
Note: The above two settings are required for the search paths for displaying sprites in the 3D view. They allow you to use custom development directories rather than locking you into using the standard Half-Life directories. For the most part, it is likely that you will be using the standard directories.
The value here is the directory where the editor will store your maps. I recommend using the maps folder that gets created in your Hammer directory.
Note: As a point of trivia, RMF stands for Rich Map Format. It is the Valve Hammer Editor's proprietary map format. Before a map can be compiled, it must be converted from an RMF file to a .MAP file. The editor handles this conversion automatically, but you can also do it manually by selecting Export to MAP from the Files menu.
The settings in the Build Programs dialog affect how the editor handles things when you compile your map. If you don't plan on using the editor to compile your maps, then this section is irrelevant and does not need to be filled out.
Choose which game configuration you are setting up the Build Programs for here. If you've only created a Half-Life game configuration, that's all you'll have access to here.
Note: If no Configuration is shown, click on the Ok button to return to the editor screen, then select Options from the Tools menu again and click on the Build Programs tab. The Configuration you've previously created should now be listed.
Specify the game executable here. If you know the path to the Half-Life executable, type in the path and filename here, otherwise, click on the Browse button and browse to the Half-Life directory. Select hl.exe and click the Open button.
CSG, BSP, VIS, and RAD executable
This is where you specify the compile tools to be used. The standard tools are, in order, qcsg.exe, qbsp2.exe, vis.exe, and qrad.exe. If you are using Zoner's compile tools, they will be hlcsg.exe, hlbsp.exe, hlvis.exe, and hlrad.exe. By default the tools are stored in the Valve Hammer Editor\tools folder.
Note: There is another file, lights.rad, in your Valve Hammer Editor\tools directory. It contains information that controls the texture lighting when you compile a Half-Life map. If you move the compile tools to a different directory, you must also move the lights.rad file.
Place compiled maps in this
directory before running the game
Compiled maps must be placed in a specific directory for Half-Life to recognize their existence. This directory is the Valve\Maps\ directory, located in your Half-Life folder. For example, my Half-Life game directory is D:\games\half-life, so my compiled-maps directory is D:\games\half-life\valve\maps. If no Maps directory exists in the Valve folder, you must create one.
Note: If you are setting up the editor for mod editing, replace "valve" in the above example with the mod directory. For example, d:\games\half-life\tfc\maps.
You can leave these options at their default settings for now. Once you are familiar with Hammer, it is recommended you play around with these settings until you've got things set like you prefer. More information can be found in the General dialog page.
You can leave these options at their default settings for now. Once you are familiar with Hammer, it is recommended you play around with these settings until you've got things set like you prefer. More information can be found in the 2D Views dialog page.
You can leave these options at their default settings for now. Once you are familiar with Hammer it is recommended you play around with these settings until you've got things set like you prefer. More information can be found in the 3D Views dialog page.
Without any textures installed, you cannot create a map. The main Half-Life texture file is halflife.wad, and it is located in your Half-Life directory, in the Valve folder. To add it to your Texture list, follow these steps.
Click on the Textures options tab.
Note: You can also add liquids.wad, xeno.wad, and decals.wad using the above steps. There are a number of other .WAD files that may be available in the Valve folder, including cached.wad, gfx.wad, pldecal.wad, and spraypaint.wad - do not use these. These files are generated by Half-Life and will not be the same on all user's systems.
If you are going to use the editor to compile your maps, there are two different compile modes for you to use: the normal compile mode and the advanced compile mode.
Normal Compile Mode
The normal compile mode allows for one button compiling with no further setup other than what has been mentioned above.
Additional game parameters
- This is where you specify the additional parameters for the game
executable. If you are compiling a map for a mod, be sure to include
the -game <moddir> parameter as shown in the above picture.
-dev and -console, also shown, are good parameters to use when
Note: User's of Worldcraft 2.x may remember that the normal compile mode did not work correctly. This problem is fixed now, and the normal compile mode can be used without error, but the advanced compile mode is still recommended due to it's increased versatility.
The advanced compile mode gives you much more freedom over how the compile process is performed.
To make a standard compile setup, follow these steps:
Press the New button 8 times.
Eight check-boxes will be created.
Note: It is important that you select the commands from the Cmds menu rather than typing them in the Command text box. Although they may look the same, typing out the commands will cause problems in the compile.
Click on the 2nd checkbox line.
Click on the Cmds button and select CSG program. In the Parameters
text box, type $path\$file. It is very important that
"$path\$file" be typed correctly.
this puts the game in developer mode, providing extra debugging
information for you when you're testing your map.
Hammer is now setup for mapping. If you are new to mapping, it is best that you proceed to the User's Guide section to familiarize yourself with the basic functions of Valve Hammer Editor 3.4.