1. Post #1
    Mr. Chop's Avatar
    March 2010
    427 Posts



    http://steamcommunity.com/groups/fix_the_sdk


    Inspired by Pi Mu Rho's "SDK - Soul Destroying Kit?", we are a group of concerned Source engine Modders banded together for the purpose of petitioning Valve to give the Source SDK the support and maintenance it needs to remain an attractive propostion to veteran Modders and newcomers alike.
    -http://www.halflife2.net/2010/08/16/...estroying-kit/


    Personally I'm not a big fan of petitions, but this is just trying to get some attention from Valve. Please join up if you can so the ball can start rolling.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply United States Show Events Informative Informative x 1Optimistic Optimistic x 1Agree Agree x 1 (list)

  2. Post #2
    Get busy living or Get busy dying..
    Hawx's Avatar
    June 2009
    2,198 Posts
    Seems like a good idea, I have joined the steam group.

  3. Post #3
    Gold Member
    kukiric's Avatar
    July 2006
    3,108 Posts
    My only problem so far is that the source engine is getting outated and falling behind most commercial engines, but I still use it anyway.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Brazil Show Events Agree Agree x 6 (list)

  4. Post #4
    Gold Member
    Zally13's Avatar
    July 2008
    4,975 Posts
    Joined, I love Valve and Source SDK, but it's starting to feel outdated. I regret not having learned UDK because of this.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply United States Show Events Agree Agree x 1 (list)

  5. Post #5
    Gold Member
    J4censolo's Avatar
    May 2007
    3,055 Posts
    I guess I'll join. I'm pretty happy with how Source SDK is at the moment but it could definitely be improved.

  6. Post #6
    Vince W/Shamwow's Avatar
    January 2010
    653 Posts
    I joined, things need to be changed 'round here.(Source SDK)

  7. Post #7
    JohnnyBBuild's Avatar
    February 2008
    119 Posts
    Joined.

    Dicking around between UDK and SDK is like night and day. Like a New York skyline at night and a ugly cesspool of cardboard in the day.

  8. Post #8
    Gold Member
    chaoselite's Avatar
    April 2005
    368 Posts
    All I want is to make maps with models ONLY! would definitely see an improvement in detail.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply United States Show Events Disagree Disagree x 12Funny Funny x 1Agree Agree x 1 (list)

  9. Post #9
    I HAVE A SQUID FETISH
    IronPhoenix's Avatar
    April 2005
    8,217 Posts
    So, what is the purpose of the group...what do you want to see improved?

    Do you really want to end up with a package that loses all its accessibility just so you can have dynamic lighting or whatever.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply United Kingdom Show Events Dumb Dumb x 1 (list)

  10. Post #10
    I make awesome maps that never see the light of day
    oskutin's Avatar
    January 2007
    7,172 Posts
    I want "entity map" -thing to source.

    All I want is to make maps with models ONLY! would definitely see an improvement in detail.
    That ,will ruin mapping!
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Finland Show Events Bad Spelling Bad Spelling x 1Agree Agree x 1 (list)

  11. Post #11
    Gold Member
    chaoselite's Avatar
    April 2005
    368 Posts
    That ,will ruin mapping!
    I'm not saying make it mandatory that every mapper has to do it, but support for it would be phenomenal. I think visually source would see an improvement along with maybe a performance boost because models can use modular pieces and instance.

  12. Post #12
    windlab's Avatar
    August 2010
    7 Posts
    So, what is the purpose of the group...what do you want to see improved?

    Do you really want to end up with a package that loses all its accessibility just so you can have dynamic lighting or whatever.
    Most, if not all modders for the Source engine have encountered problems that stem from software bugs or poor usability.
    Problems that may be worked around, or bypassed using third-party tools, but simply don't exist in comparable game engine SDKs.

    The purpose of the petition is to see an improvement of the SDK workflow, the usability of the SDK tools, and community relations with Valve.

    There is a more complete outline of the issues at Interlopers.

    We are currently drafting a public letter to send to Valve outlining the problems modders face developing for the Source engine, and suggesting possible solutions for Valve to consider.

    We need Source modders to translate their frustrations to text and propose solutions to them.
    We hope to achieve that which individual bitching on blogs and forums never will: change.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply New Zealand Show Events Informative Informative x 1 (list)

  13. Post #13
    Gold Member
    robmaister12's Avatar
    January 2008
    4,969 Posts
    You can still do that, you just need to wrap the map in nodraw brushes. The source engine would have to become a new engine entirely if you wanted to do it with all models. That means moving away from the bsp format and getting rid of some really good things like PVS/PAS calculations, unless you wanted to dynamically calculate visibility (it requires a lot more work and will lower overall FPS). And you can still instance in Hammer and use groups/visgroups to make a map modular. There's even supposed to be something called Manifest which creates Photoshop-like layers or something like that, I haven't messed with it.

    I'll wait until Portal 2 comes out, along with it's SDK. If we don't get some major improvements on vertex lighting, cubemap quality, and the ability to use dynamic lights like you would regular lights, then I will consder joining the group.

  14. Post #14
    Fabulous Vailglorous Extraordinaire
    Haxxer's Avatar
    February 2007
    10,706 Posts
    Joined.

  15. Post #15

    August 2007
    48 Posts
    Why won't they just turn Hammer into Opensource Software, that would resolve most of them problems. Because the community could make a big deal of changes improving it! Still this would keep Source Engine itself profitable.

    But sadly that may never happen because of the history,

    Wikipedia posted:
    Ben Morris created and released the original Worldcraft in September of 1996 as a tool for creating custom Quake maps. [1] On July 14, 1997, Valve hired Ben Morris and acquired Worldcraft for use in Half Life. [2]

  16. Post #16
    Gold Member
    robmaister12's Avatar
    January 2008
    4,969 Posts
    Ok cool, got ninja'd.

    Anyways, the only frustrations I have are:

    -Maya 2008 64-bit SMD exporters don't exist, which is a huge pain in the ass when I want to export my finished models.
    -Change the Source 2006/2007/2009 compilers to the L4D2 style compiler that doesn't "crash" 2 seconds into VRAD. I've been expecting this update for a long time but it never happened.
    -I'll occasionally restore the Hammer window from minimize and the all of the 4 screens become unresponsive, even with closing and loading the map. I'd rather not have to cut into what I'm doing to restart Hammer and load my map up just so I can see it.

    Suggestions:
    -Halt the compile and automatically load the pointfile if VBSP detects a leak.
    -I don't have an ATI card, but my friend does, and it would be nice to see Valve release a patch for that annoying unreadable text bug.

  17. Post #17
    The Silent Rater
    Timenova's Avatar
    November 2009
    3,266 Posts
    I'll wait until Portal 2 comes out, along with it's SDK. If we don't get some major improvements on vertex lighting, cubemap quality, and the ability to use dynamic lights like you would regular lights, then I will consder joining the group.
    Pretty much this. If Portal 2 and the next Half-Life game sees no improvements, then it means Valve isn't concerned and something should be done about it. I personally don't see many problems with Source, but I'm clearly not noticing enough if many other mappers are finding problems.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply United Kingdom Show Events Agree Agree x 1 (list)

  18. Post #18
    Gold Member
    robmaister12's Avatar
    January 2008
    4,969 Posts
    -snip-

  19. Post #19
    Gold Member
    chaoselite's Avatar
    April 2005
    368 Posts
    Oh and fix Hammer so it fucking works for Vista/7 and doesn't crash and BSOD because I didn't close the map when closing Hammer, it's really annoying!
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply United States Show Events Disagree Disagree x 1 (list)

  20. Post #20
    Gold Member
    Pj The Dj's Avatar
    August 2006
    1,391 Posts
    So, what is the purpose of the group...what do you want to see improved?

    Do you really want to end up with a package that loses all its accessibility just so you can have dynamic lighting or whatever.
    Dynamic lighting only increases accessibility.

  21. Post #21
    I HAVE A SQUID FETISH
    IronPhoenix's Avatar
    April 2005
    8,217 Posts
    Dynamic lighting only increases accessibility.
    Read the post again. What i am saying is that a lot of people want unrealistic things from source. Please understand that unlike udk, the source engine is designed for a very specific type of game. It is also designed for people to be able to use it without needing a bunch of other tools.

  22. Post #22
    Gold Member
    darius_bielecki's Avatar
    June 2009
    1,679 Posts
    Joined, seems like a good cause.

  23. Post #23
    Gold Member
    Pj The Dj's Avatar
    August 2006
    1,391 Posts
    Read the post again. What i am saying is that a lot of people want unrealistic things from source. Please understand that unlike udk, the source engine is designed for a very specific type of game. It is also designed for people to be able to use it without needing a bunch of other tools.
    Source needs content made in other tools than hammer just as much as Unreal or any other game needs it.

    Edited:

    I feel like whenever the Unreal 3 vs Source argument comes up, personal ways of mapping seem to get in the way of the arguments for and against improvements. For example, removing reliance on strictly defined world bounds and adding better support for static models is met with absurd opposition.

    In the same way, great features of unreal's map editor go unwanted.

  24. Post #24
    I HAVE A SQUID FETISH
    IronPhoenix's Avatar
    April 2005
    8,217 Posts
    Source needs content made in other tools than hammer just as much as Unreal or any other game needs it.
    Not as such. UDK works in the sense that models are used far more extensivly than source. In source, you can make a level look quite good with just brushwork.

  25. Post #25
    Gold Member
    Pj The Dj's Avatar
    August 2006
    1,391 Posts
    Not as such. UDK works in the sense that models are used far more extensivly than source. In source, you can make a level look quite good with just brushwork.
    In the same way that you can using CSG. It's a little bit of a misconception that you have to use models. It's a couple of factors really. Static model support was extended to support precompiled lighting and the general consensus is that building maps out of blocks no longer cuts it. With those two in place, CSG can essentially be considered deprecated.

  26. Post #26
    Gold Member
    killer89's Avatar
    November 2006
    1,148 Posts
    All I want is to make maps with models ONLY! would definitely see an improvement in detail abnd butt rape our rigs with style.
    Fixed.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Finland Show Events Dumb Dumb x 1 (list)

  27. Post #27
    Gold Member
    Firegod522's Avatar
    March 2008
    11,530 Posts
    The thing is you can map with models and only models. Alien swarm is made out of a bunch of models believe it or not.

  28. Post #28
    Mr. Chop's Avatar
    March 2010
    427 Posts
    The "improvement" bit is not to extend it beyond anything the SDK already did (at least right now).

    Especially with the "2009 updates", mods are broken and it's become very hard to manage mounting content. Hammer crashes at rates unparalleled and the SDK tools are outdated and broken as well. We can hope that Valve will fix these soul-crippling issues, but some of us feel it would be better to contact Valve about it before assuming anything.

    The first course of action is repair. After that, anything new is up to Valve for consideration.

  29. Post #29
    Gold Member
    Firegod522's Avatar
    March 2008
    11,530 Posts
    I would like it if they updated vbsp to compile manifest files in the source sdk :argh:

  30. Post #30
    Facepunch Resident Alcoholic!
    sphinxa279's Avatar
    July 2007
    7,495 Posts
    Not wanting to steal the thread and be a whore but I'd rather not make a new thread:

    http://steamcommunity.com/groups/HammerMeHard

    Edited:

    Just for people who want to see my tutorials and a new budding community, competition is open for entry as well :3:

    (User was banned for this post ("Thread hijacking" - Benji))
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply United Kingdom Show Events Friendly Friendly x 1Dumb Dumb x 1 (list)

  31. Post #31
    Gold Member
    [CWG]RustySpannerz's Avatar
    February 2009
    2,048 Posts
    All I want for Source is both an easy way to import models and textures (without all the QC crap) and a better supported way to pack content into the map.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply United Kingdom Show Events Agree Agree x 2 (list)

  32. Post #32
    ♩♪♫♬
    Rooster Assassin's Avatar
    March 2009
    2,453 Posts
    I joined, I would love to see it get a good upgrade.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply United States Show Events Agree Agree x 1 (list)

  33. Post #33
    Gold Member
    HiddenMyst's Avatar
    June 2006
    6,610 Posts
    I want the ability to pan around in my viewports by holding mouse 3.

    Edited:

    Possibly model scaling by dragging the bounding box.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Australia Show Events Agree Agree x 3 (list)

  34. Post #34
    windlab's Avatar
    August 2010
    7 Posts
    The deadline for the letter being sent will be 1st September, after being carefully adjusted for Valve Time.
    Dear Valve/Gabe Newell

    Outline:
    [list][*]Valve's SDK tools have fallen behind standards expected from the userbase; specifically in ease of use as compared to those of Crytek, Epic Games, etc.[*]There is a lack of prior information regarding the SDK updates and subsequent potential to cause significant issues with mods or the SDK tools with engine/SDK updates.[*]Despite SDK's popularity - due to the massive Steam userbase for Source games - it remains outdated and inefficient compared to other toolsets.[/list]
    We suggest:
    [list][*]The individual or cabal tasked with the SDK maintenance interact with community actively.[*]An improvement of the SDK workflow, and the usability of the SDK tools, namely:
    [list][*]A simplification of the texture & model import processes for Source[/list][*]The release of the source code required to create new engine tools[*]Extending Hammer to allow the writing of plugins for it[/list]
    on behalf of
    The Modding Community
    Please note that this is not a list of bugs to be fixed, (post those at VDC Category:Feedback), neither is it a list of demands; these are all suggestions, some more feasible than others.
    We need descriptions of specific workflow, content creation and usability problems - problems that are generally not present among the Source SDK's competitors.

    Please comment with your suggestions and improvements, and this post will be updated accordingly.

    [list][*]Added release of in-game tools code suggested by Varsity[*]Added OS'ing SDK tools based on suggestions by saxon, & .eXeC!, coder for the newly released Nightmare House 2 [Removed][*]Altered wording from "We request" to "We suggest", removed more documentation suggestion for reasons mentioned here[*]Corrected spelling mistake, added sub-bulletpoints for workflow improvement suggestions and Hammer plugin ability, thanks vcool[*]Changed "Unreal" to "Epic Games", removed open-sourcing of SDK tools suggestion, thanks M[/list]

  35. Post #35
    remn's Avatar
    June 2010
    42 Posts
    Oh and fix Hammer so it fucking works for Vista/7 and doesn't crash and BSOD because I didn't close the map when closing Hammer, it's really annoying!
    Never had that issue.
    I'm running Win7 Ultimate 64-bit

  36. Post #36
    Everyone has a $1 title
    Skipcast's Avatar
    November 2008
    7,024 Posts
    I want the ability to pan around in my viewports by holding mouse 3.

    Edited:

    Possibly model scaling by dragging the bounding box.
    :flashfap:

    Agree a thousand times!
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Sweden Show Events Agree Agree x 1 (list)

  37. Post #37
    The Silent Rater
    Timenova's Avatar
    November 2009
    3,266 Posts
    A public letter to Valve/Gabe Newell summing up the current problems with the SDK and tools is currently being drafted, and you are invited to help out.

    The deadline for the letter being sent will be 1st September, after being carefully adjusted for Valve Time.
    A list of group member usernames (real name if specified) will be appended to the letter that day.

    Please note that this is not a list of bugs to be fixed, post those at VDC Category:Feedback.
    We need descriptions of specific workflow, content creation and usability problems - problems that are generally not present among the Source SDK's competitors.

    Please comment with your suggestions and improvements, and this post will be updated accordingly.
    It looks good so far, I hope they respond positively.

  38. Post #38
    Gold Member
    NinjaWilko's Avatar
    February 2009
    759 Posts
    Oh and fix Hammer so it fucking works for Vista/7 and doesn't crash and BSOD because I didn't close the map when closing Hammer, it's really annoying!
    I've had this a few times, very annoying indeed. Hammer also seems to like crashing every 2nd compile, but I probably just need to reinstall to fix it.

  39. Post #39
    Gold Member
    robmaister12's Avatar
    January 2008
    4,969 Posts
    More documentation on features of the Source SDK, including the creation of custom content.
    Not absolutely necessary, as we already have a MDL decompiler and several SMD importers/exporters, an extremely comprehensive library for VTF images, sound files are in commonly used formats, and there's some pretty good documentation on the particle format. However, it would be very nice to get some official documentation of exactly how all their formats work (highly unlikely to happen, and we already know our way around pretty much all of them)

    A simplification of the texture & model import processes for Hammer
    Again, not necessary, textures can be imported from Photoshop with File -> Save As... -> .VTF if you have the VTF Plugin. However, getting models to the SMD format from modeling programs without export plugins is a huge pain in the ass.

    Writing your own VMT and QC files is the simplest thing in the world if you just take a look at the VDC articles for them. Creating a GUI that spits out a 5-10 line text file is useless.

    Other than that, I'm liking it.

  40. Post #40
    windlab's Avatar
    August 2010
    7 Posts
    Not wanting to steal the thread and be a whore but I'd rather not make a new thread:

    http://steamcommunity.com/groups/HammerMeHard
    ...
    I came across your website a few weeks back when compiling a list of Source development blogs, and though I ultimately decided not to keep it, I did get a laugh out of the peculiarly apt name.
    Will you be creating text tutorials, or at least a transcript of the videos?

    Edited:

    Not absolutely necessary, as we already have a MDL decompiler and several SMD importers/exporters, an extremely comprehensive library for VTF images, sound files are in commonly used formats, and there's some pretty good documentation on the particle format. However, it would be very nice to get some official documentation of exactly how all their formats work (highly unlikely to happen, and we already know our way around pretty much all of them)

    Again, not necessary, textures can be imported from Photoshop with File -> Save As... -> .VTF if you have the VTF Plugin. However, getting models to the SMD format from modeling programs without export plugins is a huge pain in the ass.

    Writing your own VMT and QC files is the simplest thing in the world if you just take a look at the VDC articles for them. Creating a GUI that spits out a 5-10 line text file is useless.

    Other than that, I'm liking it.
    I do agree with what you wrote, and find the two tutorials on the VDC quite adequate; however, why is it necessary to edit text files to create a texture?
    There are many small things like this that aren't a problem when you get used to them, but will leave users of other engines wondering: why? That text file may well be necessary, but why are we exposed to it?

    Your first point I do agree with (it was suggested by another), as the the documentation is on a wiki to enable our contribution to the documentation, and think that on the whole, Valve has done its part.
    But it's for contributions like yours that the letter is here, up for critical examination.