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Source SDK: Making a single player mod

By design3 of http://www.design3.com/ | Published Sep 19 2011 08:00 AM in Game Programming

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[/center]As most of you are probably aware, the Source Software Development Kit (SDK) has recently been made available for free. In honor of this release, the design3 team wants to exclusively share a tutorial with the GameDev community that will teach you how to make a single player mod for Half Life 2: Episode 2 (a game supported by the free Source SDK). Without further adieu, we present to you design3’s “Source Choreography & In-Game Cinematics” tutorial.

Source Choreography & In-Game Cinematics

In these 27 chapter videos you’ll explore Valve’s dynamic Faceposer toolset to develop choreographed NPC sequences. These will include custom dialog, facial animation, and blended gestures - each containing multiple actors, conditionals, and events.

Various sequences are then connected and additional interactivity can be integrated via the powerful input/output response system in Hammer for endless possibilities. You can even harness the in-game camera to dictate how players can, or should, experience the action as it unfolds.

Let’s get started...

First you’ll need to download the support files.

Chapter 1 - Getting Started

A detailed overview of what will be learned in the following chapters.


Chapter 2 - Creating A Mod In The SDK

Learn to create a mod for the source engine using the SDK.


Chapter 3 - Running The Game

Start up Half Life 2 and learn to activate the developer console.


Chapter 4 - Copying Server & Client Dlls

See how to copy the server and client DLLs into your own mod folder.


Chapter 5 - Extracting Content

Learn to extract materials and models for your mod using GCFScape.


Chapter 6 - Hammer Build Program

Modify your Build Program options to make your mod work in Half Life 2.


Chapter 7 - In-game Level Example

Check out an in-game playthrough example to see what you will be creating in the following chapters.


Chapter 8 - Hammer Level Example

A brief look at what you can create using the choreography and cinematic tools in the Source SDK.


Chapter 9 - Recording

Learn to create custom sounds for your games. Using Audacity, we'll record sound files and show you how to get them into your games.


Chapter 10 - Creating Sound Scripts

Create scripts so that your game can locate and play your custom sound files.


Chapter 11 - Creating Captions

Learn to create captions for your sound files. This allows players to read the dialog text and follow along to what is going on in your game more closely.


Chapter 12 - Overview & Setup

Familiarize yourself with the Face Poser tool within the Source SDK.


Chapter 13 - Lip Syncing

Using Face Poser, sync your character's lips to the dialog of your custom sound files.


Chapter 14 - Hammer Input Output System

Using the Object Properties menu, you'll learn to use outputs and inputs for Half Life 2.


Chapter 15 - Logic Choreographed Scene Setup

Learn how Face Poser communicates with Hammer to make your scene function properly.


Chapter 16 - Character Motion & Gestures

Using the info_target entity you'll learn to trigger your character's movements and gestures while building your scenes.


Chapter 17 - Combining Animations

In this chapter learn how to combine two animations to create completely new ones. This is useful if you don't plan to create your own custom animations for use in Half Life 2.


Chapter 18 - Adding Characters

Most scenes in your games will have more than one NPC interacting with your main character. In this section you'll learn to create additional characters and give them a part to play in your scene.


Chapter 19 - Facial Animations

Using flex sliders and custom expressions you'll learn to create unique facial animations for your characters.


Chapter 20 - Looping & Relays

Using the logic_choreographed_scene entity, learn about loops and relays that will further allow the player to interact with objects and triggers in the scene.


Chapter 21 - Troubleshooting Methods

Learn several ways to troubleshoot problems you might encounter while modding in Half Life 2.


Chapter 22 - Responses Systems

Create an AI response system that will fire off responses when a player interacts with an NPC.


Chapter 23 - Teleporters & Debug Points

While testing your maps and scenes its good to have debug points. These will allow you to test your map without triggering events that may occur further into your game level. This saves precious time when trying to debug problems and make fixes within your game.


Chapter 24 - Timing Cameras

Learn to set up cameras and trigger them with certain events. These cameras can be used to show multiple angles of your scene and events.


Chapter 25 - Console Commands & Map Locations

A list of other useful console commands and map file locations.


Chapter 26 - Level Walk Through 1

Part 1 of a recap walk-through, this video reviews the entire process of putting together the finished game level shown in the tutorial.


Chapter 27 - Level Walk Through 2

Part 2 of a recap walk-through, this video reviews the entire process of putting together the finished game level shown in the tutorial.


We hope you enjoyed the “Source Choreography & In-Game Cinematics” tutorial series. Please visit design3.com/source-engine for more Source tutorials covering topics such as:

Source Level Design
Source Machinima Choreography
Source Machinima Cinematography
Left 4 Dead Mapping
Custom Props & Animation with 3ds Max
Custom Props & Animation with Maya
Source Vehicle Scripting
Source Choreography & In-Game Cinematics
Source Creature Rigging
Modifying and Recompiling Source Characters
Portal 2 Mapping Basics

New Source content coming to design3

We’re currently working on a playable Portal 2 mod as well as a “Portal 2 Advanced Mapping” tutorial, which will be available soon at design3. Stay tuned and be sure to check it out!

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