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Mr. Green Gaming

Map Tutorials for dummies.

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Hi there!

In this tutorial, I'm going to explain you, in a very simple, and easy way, how to make a simple room, with some lights, and props, and even a working radio, in the game.

1. Meet n' Greet with Hammer.

At first, I'm making the simpelest thing you can make in hammer. A brush. *see part 2 later on this thread.

A brush, is a block, that you have made in hammer. It is walkable, and consider it as a wall, floor, ceiling, but also stairs, player stop, and even activating something, or guiding something.

The first thing I want you to do, is start hammer. Do this by starting Steam, and dubble click on the steam icon. The usual window will pop-up (I really think you've seen it before) with things like: Store, Community, Games ect. When your in that window, select the "Tools" tab.

You will now get a list of available tools that you can download, or use. If you havn't downloaded "Source SDK", do this now.

Source SDK doesn't only have Hammer world editor. It also has Face Poser, Model viewer, Creating a mod with the Source engine, and some other things.


Source SDK

If your finished downloading, or done reading, choose the selected game (in the above picture I have chosen the Engine version of "The Orange Box", and the "current game": Half-Life 2: Episode 2. It's best if you make maps in gmod with this config, because the engine version of gmod is Ep2.) and run hammer.

It may say "updating" or "making files" or something, just leave it loading, it should be done in a few moments.

Now, your already in hammer! :D


Hammer World Editor

When your in hammer, and your new, get a bit used to it. Select some buttens, click somewhere.

And when your done fucking around, lets get started :P

As you can see, Hammer is devided in 4 squares:

The upper left is the "In-Game" view, which shows you how it supposingly would look ingame.

The upper right is the "Top" view, you see it all in top down.

The lower left is the "Front" view, you see it from the front.

The lower right is the "Side" view, you see it all from the side.

The last 3 black boxes are for editing. The first is only for looking, but you can still select it. Only you cannot draw brushes in them, and it's a bit well, hard to make brushes or anything in them.

And there is the left sidebar. This is where all the editing begins.

I'm not saying all of them, only the ones you are going to need now: (definitions aren't correct, but that's how it's easy to reconise them)

The Pointer: When you click this tool, you can select everything in your map. From entities, to brushes. And move them, resize them, dubble click to edit them ect. It's some sort of Red cursor, can't miss it.

The Block tool: You are going to use this tool a lot. Together with the Entity, and Pointer. With this tool, you can "drag" brushes. Brushes only come in square, but you can make them whatever form you want. But we'll get to that on another tutorial.

So far, that is all you need to know about this tutor, for preparing yourself with hammer! It's not hard, but you have to have:

- Patience. Oh yes, there will be blood.

- Insight. If you fuck one thing up, usually, you fuck up the rest too.

- Skill. You have to learn. You will get faster, and more in-tume, with Hammer, in the months, years or whatever so to come.

- Imagination. If you can't think of ideas in Hammer, you can't build it. You'll be stuck with a dead project serveral times, because of the lack of ideas. You can steal them, but if you want to be good, you have to think of unique ideas of mapping insight, and architecture.

Next time, you will finally learn how to make a simple room with some lighting, props, textures, and working things!

Untill next time! *I'll make part 2 AFTHER my Exams. So in about 3-4 weeks from now.

For your sake, and for the ones who know it, please don't post "Oh, I already knew that", or "Hey, your grammer/vocab sucks"', or "That's incorrect. You see...".

I will edit it. Thank you. But don't be annoying, to say thinks like "Oh, your dumb". I've heard this from several beginning mappers. I don't know anything. I've been mapping for just 2 years. I do it for free-time. I've stopped doing bigger projects.

Some extra info:

Making maps like "cs_jungle" or "rp_evocity" don't take 1 or 2 months. They can well take over 1, 2, and even 3 years in development.

Edited by Botervloot
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2. Making the room PART 1

It's quite simple to make a room. You just have to know how. And when you know how, you think: "Wait, that's it?!"

At first, your camera *on the left top screen, which has NO squares in them* may be "fucked up". It's not. It's just not on a "ingame" setting. To do this, click on "Camera", and select "3D Shaded textured polygons". You still won't see anything yet, because you don't have anything in your map.


The "Camera"

Now let's build a floor.

First, draw a square with your mouse on the "Top down view" square. It's the right top one. Try making it 1024x1024 times the size. It's easier later on, and I can work with you with that size. If you can't get the size, "scroll out" a bit. You should see more, and then be able to make it.


And when you hit enter...

....It should look like this....


Then, you have made a square! That you can walk on, BUT not even close of being a level. Yes, not even worth the titel level.

Now, to make a ceiling, hold "SHIFT" and drag it upwards from the side view. Try making it 1 new "square". It's supposingly 9 smaller squares, but sizes can be changed/differ.I choose to move it up 6. It's a bit high, usually walls are 2 high. This is what you should get:


Now you have made a ceiling!

To make a wall, make a long brush, and put it next to the square:



Then drag it down with the side view, and press enter:

Now you have a wall!

To copy paste it, just hold "SHIFT" and drag it to the other side, so it makes a hollow square from the side view.

Your not done you. Repeat this, only from the front view. And also drag it to the other side.

When your done, you should have this:


You can leave it like this, or drag the sides, so that it makes a full square from the top view, instead of a "unfinished" one.


But it's shit. Why? Find out next time on:


Also, these are the upcoming tutorials:

3. Textures, Decals, Overlays, and Entities.

4. Props, basic Lightning, and Compiling.

5. Advanced Lightning

6. Making a 2d, 3d, and normal Skybox

7. Making custom Decals, textures, Overlays, and Skyboxes

8. Doors. Doors, and more doors

9. Advanced brush technique

10. Every other tiny bit, that might come in handy for making a map.

Stay tuned!

Edited by Botervloot
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Left4Green is being annoying. The pictures CANNOT be moved, nor be made visible with text. I can't change it, it should say *at the 5th picture:

To make a wall, make a long brush with the top view, and drag it down with the side view. Copy paste it *hold shift* and put it on the other side, so you have 2 walls. But your not there yet. Use this same technique and apply it to the front view. Then your done with walls.

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  • 2 weeks later...
What I usually do is set my texture to nodraw, then when creating the brush, it applies it automatically. All you have to do from there is add texture to the visible sides. :P Easiest optimization ever.

True, but eh, it's just going to be a room for starters :V

And why not start them off on the right course by using nodraw straight away, rather than them picking it up at a later date?

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I'm looking forward to seeing if you make your working radio any differently to the way I made mine.


8. Doors. Doors, and more doors

Hopefully func_pulley_constraint will be covered in this :P

I've been making a castle map, with a func_physbox gate that gets pulled up // down by a button (Will be replaced later) , except it likes to re-open the door after closing all by itself :/ (Using logic_counter to toggle it)

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  • 1 month later...
bump: Why not make a big brush > hollow?

I only do that if I'm making a test skybox, for the light_env.


- When you resize it, it might cause leaks.

- You don't select 1 brush. You select them all.

- If you are going to texture it, it's really annoying.

- It's a solid design. You can't change anything about it. When you do, you destroy the whole room.

And it's that, or 10 seconds work, making regular room.

I'll bump this later to continue. I've been having some duties needed to be done. I'll start with this tomorrow.

And Btw, this is really a beginners thing. You don't need to know the above stated thing. Yet.

Edited by Botervloot
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Textures, Decals, Overlays and Enitities

Hi again!

Now, I'm going to explain you a few things about Textures, Decals, and Overlays.

Textures are actually pictures, which you can use to put on your brushes. You can resize them, change lightmap scales, make them yourselves, and they come in all kinds of forms, like concrete, wood, plaster, metal ect.

For now, I'm just explaining some simple things about them.

To apply a texture to a brush, simply click on the texturing tool, and choose a texture from the texture browser:


As seen on the picture

This Window should open:


In here, you can choose textures right away, or simply "search" for the textures.

If you type something like "Concrete" in the Filter, it would search for anything concrete. Or atleast, with something in that name.

It should look something like this:


Not every Source game has the same textures, like TF2 versus L4D, but they usually have the same name for the texture.

Then you highlight the brush *click it* and then click the texture applicator. You now have a new texture for your room!

It would look something like this in the game *with only 1 brush highlighted and textured*


In my case, I have selected the first texture, which is "concrete/blendcbunk_conc01"

It still looks a bit repetitive no?

Let's apply some decals and overlays to it.

Decals and overlays are mostly the same. Only decals have a solid position, whilest you can resize and reshape overlays.

Let's search for a decal shall we?

Open the Texture Browser, and type in "decal". Select the first one for starters *decals/alienflesh/shot1*

To apply a decal to your map, select the decal tool:


And click somewhere in your map:

You can see a tiny "+" like spot in your map.


And when you come closer, you will see this:


It's very tiny, but there are different sizes of decals, and also different kinds of decals. You can choose big ones, small ones, bullet impacts, details, signs ect.

Now on to the overlays. As said before, overlays are almost the same as decals, only they can be changed in size, and angle.

To apply an overlay to your map, search in the Texture Brower for "Overlay". I'm taking the first one on the second line, "overlays/bloodpool1"

To apply an overlay to your map, simply click the overlay applicator, and then click somewhere on your map:


As you can see, it looks a bit different then the overlay. The squares on the sides are for resizing. Click on the Map View Window *in my case, I'm using the "side x/y", and click on the squares, now resize it like you would do on a brush. You can see it's getting bigger, but don't make it too big, it will cost quality as well *from the overlay*. You can also change the angle of the overlay, by clicking on it.


It's normal that the colours don't match, since you can differ in sizes, the map editor cannot follow your actions on the overlay, and therfor the colours change a bit.

Now also, for compiling your map. First, make a spawn point with the next tool, the entity tool.

First, a bit explanation about the entity tool. The entity tool a very common used tool, it can be used to spawn, well, entities, or objects that usually don't show in the game, but make the backbone of the gameplay, like the "light" entity, this entity lightens up a part of an area, or ambient_generic, that makes a sound. But also many other things, that I'll explain in the future.

To make a spawn point, simply click the entity tool, and then click on your map. If you click on the Map Grid views, you might wanna click "Enter". But I usually click in the map itself.

It would directly spawn a green figure, with glasses. This is the default one. If this is not the case, dubble click on your entity *with the Point tool, the cursor icon, if you forgot* and then search for "info_player_start". That's the spawn point for nearly every game.

It should look like this:


Now, compile the map. Compiling is making the map itself. It might take a while, and it's best not to do anything else but watch it compile. You can see different options, like Run BSP, Run VIS, Run RAD, Turn on or off HDR ect. And expert options.

I'll keep it basic for a bit, and not explain the Expert options with compiling.



Turning this to NO is NOT advised. The map won't compile the brushes, and enities at all.

Turning this to ONLY ENTITIES, then only the entities will be spawned.

Turning this to NORMAL, spawns everything. I usually make this normal.

(BSP is the map itself, Binary Space Partition.)


VIS is what you can see in the map, just to be basic with you.

Turning this to NO is NOT advised. The map won't compile properly, not showing water, and not "benching" at all.

Turning this to FAST is recommended for taking a quick view of how your map looks. Everything is compiled, only it's not fast, since the VIS leafs are build quickly.

Turning this to NORMAL is recommended for the final map. Everything is compiled proper, but it takes a lot longer.


RAD is the lightmap scales, how it compiles the lightning, brightness ect.

Turning this to NO is NOT advised. This makes the map not render any light sources or lightmaps.

Turning this to FAST is also NOT recommended. The map doesn't look really good afther this.

Turning this to NORMAL is advised. The map compiles like it should like in HL2, for instance.

My setting looks like this:


It will compile a lot faster, and since it's for testing, the HDR is turned off. And the map is fullbright, which means everything is lighted. This is bad, not every map looks all lighted. To make this go away, make a "Light(...)" in your map. But I'll continue this later on.

First, click on "file", and then press "save as...". You then *for this test* fill in "testmap". Then save it.

Let's compile it shall we? Press OK to start compiling.

Remember, don't do anything else, just watch it compile.

Here is what mine looked like:


The colour of the blood is normal, since it's fullbright, the colour doesn't render. This is with overlays. They sometimes render lightmapscales as well, and since there is no light, there is no colour.


Edited by Botervloot
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  • 3 weeks later...
1 question, why do you prefer using orange box engine?

I think ep1 engine is easier.

There aren't so much options as in orange box, you can forget many things learning more of them.

Wrong. There are more options in the Ep2 engine, the newer games/mods go with the Ep2 engine, and it works better.

But if you like Ep1 more, then do that. I use Ep2, since games like TF2, Ep2, Portal and all the new mods go with Ep2.

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I said that ep2 has more options so ep1 is easier.

Also sometimes i have got errors with ep2 :/ My camera looks wrong. (<3?)

Wanted to say that there are more options in ep2 than in ep1 so i were prefering ep1 :S

Mr. Darkness why are you spamming every topic? O.o

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Last year I was making a map for ZS, but since I have reinstalled my OS a couple of times in the meantime, I haven't been working on it for a year now. Today, I wanted to give it a try again, but I can't even launch Hammer, every game I select gives me this warning dialog:


I guess I was using 'HL2 Episode One > Counter-Strike: Source' last year.

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Last year I was making a map for ZS, but since I have reinstalled my OS a couple of times in the meantime, I haven't been working on it for a year now. Today, I wanted to give it a try again, but I can't even launch Hammer, every game I select gives me this warning dialog:


I guess I was using 'HL2 Episode One > Counter-Strike: Source' last year.

Have you started CSS? When you download, it still has to create the files in order to work, those files are needed for hammer.

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