View Full Version : [Portfolio] Which "Hammer" to use?

10-12-2011, 07:49 AM
Dear Steam Community,

I currently plan to work on a Portfolio for my Level Design Skills and there are a few choices now regarding Authoring Tools and SDKs.

I would like to create Maps and get them "good looking" with the currently newest Engine version available to the public (either in binary form or source code).

I'm a bit confused by now, since I never really focused on which SDK/Auth Tool now has the most recent public version of the Source Engine.

Is it the Alien Swarm SDK or the Portal 2 Authoring Tools? Or a different one?



Starving Hobo
10-12-2011, 11:56 AM
Go with EP2 in my opinion. Why choose something in 2D like Alien Swarm (IIRC...). Portal is all in the same style. HL2 et. al have a large array of different texture and model styles, as well as a large amount of models and textures in their own right. With EP2 you can create great looking outdoor scenery. With EP1 the textures are in my opinion a bit better to use but AFAIK EP2 has all EP1 content plus textures so yeah, plus more entities etc. available.

Also if I was you I'd go into the CS:S GCF and rip all the models and textures, then copy those over into the EP2 folder, as CS:S also came with some excellent textures and models.

It's a good idea to look at some HL2 levels in Hammer (decompile them from the GCF BSP files) so that you get an idea of the style and the way the level designers used the textures. I mean they were designed to go with certain sets, so often by looking at the HL2 maps you will see which textures mix well together etc etc.

Anyway good luck.

10-12-2011, 01:52 PM
You don't need to choose a specific game. If your using the Source sdk choose "Source Engine 2009" from the "Engine Version" menu. Changing the game you map for will only change the contents that you can use. EXAMPLE: HL2, EP1 and EP2 are all on the 2009 engine, but if you choose HL2 you will only get basic stuff, if you choose EP2 you will also get stuff from Episode 2, like hunters, trees etc. The thing changes if you are using autorithing tools (used for L4D 1 and 2 and for Portal 2), as they ONLY allow the content for the game they are deisigned for, and they can only use a certain source engine branch. In general, use the 2009 engine version in the source sdk, unless you want to map SPECIFICALLY for Left for Dead 1/2 and for Portal 2.

10-12-2011, 03:25 PM
Thank you for the great input :)

I dunno why, but the Portal 2 Engine Version looks best so far (most recent engine build available to the public afaik).

Question is, if large maps like a town area are possible with Portal 2 or if L4D2 or EP2 is better for this, because my first Portfolio map is in rough concept stages by now and a part of a town and the Nuclear Dawn Maps, for example, are rather big (and I opened them in a decompiled state and the L4D2 Hammer looks like to be able to handle larger maps than EP2).

More input would be welcome :)

10-13-2011, 08:18 AM
Don't use Portal 2 authoriting tools because you will ONLY GET MATERIALS FROM PORTAL 2. No concrete / combine / trains, just stuff from Portal 2 and nothing else. Same thing apllies for L4D authoriting tools. With source sdk you will get basic things from HL2 no matter what game you are using.

Game-specific authoriting tools and the Source SDK are seprate things.

10-13-2011, 09:21 AM
I would create a mod from scratch, since you can use several games' assets (up to three, I believe).

10-13-2011, 02:46 PM
Thanks for the info, guys :)

Mostly it only depends on the engine stuff like lighting etc and not assets. Most of the assets (models, textures etc) are already being worked on.

If I compare screenshots from EP2 with Portal 2 and look at features like the lighting, it looks better in Portal 2 to me, but maybe I am wrong.

I will test around a bit between Portal 2 and the Source SDK (EP2) :P