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coldacid

Anyone here making Source mods?

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Just curious. I finally got myself HL2 and Portal, and I wouldn't mind talking to anyone here who has developed an HL2 mod about what they think about using Source.

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Uh, yeah.

...

Any Source engine modders or devs? I want to get opinions here, something you won't find in the documentation, or unbiased on VDC.

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My experience with the Source SDK was horrible. I found their "documentation" (if you want to call it that) was either out of date or plain wrong. I'll give you an example. I wanted to set up a simple way to test shaders that I have written using another engine (ORGE3D), the documentation that had on their wiki was out of date (can't blame it I suppose since Valve doesn't update it, the community does) and their forums were no help either. I never did get shaders to compile properly, not even their shaders.
Can't say much about actually working with the actual code, I was able to compile it fine, but I never worked with it myself.
Hammer was also a pain because it would crash every 10 min. Luckily I found out how to fix that, I don't recall how, but I remember I had to search for awhile because Valve didn't have anything to help.
/end rant
Anyway that was my short experience with the source SDK, if you're lucky enough to get things set up properly I'm sure you'll have less hair loss than I.

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I was keen to make Source mods as soon as HL2 came out, but they burned me too much with HL1 that I gave it a boycott.

The HL1 SDK was actually really good, once you got up to speed. Just being able to create some new entities and have the rendering, physics and networking "just work" was well worth using it as a base for your games. I'm guessing that the Source SDK would be pretty much the same.

My gripes tho:
* The HL1 SDK contained some incorrect structure definitions (i.e. the code was compiled with a different header than the one that was given out), which had to be reverse engineered before us modders could make use of them.
* When the SDK was updated to allow us to use animation blending, we weren't told that only the client would calculate the blending properly. This caused the server's hit-box information to be incredibly wrong, which causes bullets to just go through people. This meant that we wasted *months* of work on animations that just had to be thrown out.
* The fix for the above problem (i.e. the server-side code) was always promised to be coming in the next update. However, that update was cancelled as soon as HL2 was announced.

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Quote:
Original post by coldacid
Any Source engine modders or devs? I want to get opinions here, something you won't find in the documentation, or unbiased on VDC.


I made a Source mod... once.... *stares off into the distance with a haunted look in his eyes*

Erm, yeah... lets just say it wasn't what I'd call a fun experiance, although I was down in the guts of the vechnical code and coming across undocumented features and multiple inheritance a-gogo.

As echo'd by others, the dcocs aren't a great deal of help and in general it was just a pain.

I think I swore about it a few times in my journal back in the day; although I did get a 6 axel vechical going, which something at least...

Now, excuse me, I need to go and pour vodka on my brain to suppress the memories once more...

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Ouch. Jroggy, phantom, how long ago were you guys making use of the SDK, though? Was it pre-Episode 1? Between Ep. 1 and Orange Box? Since Orange Box?

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Pre-EP1, that's for sure.

The doc quality might have improved since then, last time I mess with Steam it was via Garry's Mod and Lua which saved a bit of pain (but not as much as I would have liked, it just made hacking it more abstract); however I'd doubt the code comments/quality has been improved since then [smile]

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Quote:
Original post by Jroggy
My experience with the Source SDK was horrible. I found their "documentation" (if you want to call it that) was either out of date or plain wrong.

Same here. their documentation is basically a wiki written by the community., and a couple of "Getting started" tutorials by Valve.

The tools seemed ok, on the whole. Badly documented, of course, but fairly powerful and not too hard to use. It's the code that's painful.

On a school project, we did manage to make a full-blown mod (or I suppose technically it'd be more correct to call it a total conversion. We did change pretty much every game mechanic, and use all our own art assets), so of course it's possible to get some pretty neat things done.

We were a team of 10 or so (2 programmers), working for a month to pull this off.
For simpler things which don't require too many changes to the code, it's not too hard to get going.

But working with the actual code is a pretty nasty experience. Can't recommend that. [grin]
Too much macro magic, weird inheritance hierarchies and undocumented features. And too few comments.

This was in the spring 2006, so a bit over 2 years ago. I guess that'd put it before Ep1 as well, IIRC? I have no reason to believe that it's been significantly improved since then though.

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