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Setting up Hammer 3.4 [Print this Article]
Posted by: Bulk
Date posted: Feb 24 2003
User Rating: 5 out of 5.0
Number of views: 10602
Number of comments: 0
Description: A step by step guide
Ok folks, this little guide is going to get you set up with Hammer 3.4 (Formerly Worldcraft). For tutorials on actually using it, head on over to the beginner tutorial section.

If you don't already have hammer, download it here

When you first run hammer, you will immediately be presented with a nice error message looking something like this:

user posted image


Go ahead and click on "no" seeing as your using this guide you wont be needing the help file for this. Once the options dialog appears (which can be access from tools -> options) first switch to the "Game Configurations" tab. You should be presented with a dialog much like this:

user posted image


Lets run through what each of the options are.

Configuration: This lets you define a name for your configuration. You can set up more than one here, one for each mod you want to work on. Let start by defining a configuration for normal Half-Life. Click on the "edit" button, then on the new dialog press the "add" button and enter "Half-Life" then click close.

Game Data Files: "Game Data Files" otherwise known as FGD's are what define each "entity" and the options they have. Click on add, and browse to where you installed hammer. In that folder, you should find a file called "halflife.fgd", most mods have their own FGD. You will note the TFC FGD is included in the hammer install. So select the half-Life FGD and click on open.

Texture Format & Map Type: This is an unused feature. Originally Valve intended to let hammer users edit other map types, such as Quake and Quake2. This has now been dropped, and you can't edit these options.

Default Point Entity & Solid Entity Class: Just what point and solid entities are is not for this guide, and will be covered later on. These options let you set a default entity for those two types, and is purely for time saving. It is recommended you choose "info_player_start" for point entity, and "func_wall" for solid entity.

Game Executable Directory: This should be set to the directory where you installed Half-Life such as C:\Half-Life or C:\Program Files\Half-Life. You should not include the executable on this setting, so C:\Half-Life\hl.exe would be wrong.

Mod Directory: This should be set to the directory where the mod files for the mod you are working on are located. For normal Half-Life this would be C:\Half-Life\valve for example. For TFC it would be C:\Half-Life\tfc, so for now set it to the valve folder in the place you installed Half-Life.

Game Directory: This should be set to the base game directory, so this would be the same as above, the valve folder in the place you installed Half-Life.

RMF Directory: This is the folder where saved RMF's (hammer's map files). I recommend you create a sub directory in your hammer folder called "maps" (you may find there is already one there). Then go ahead and set this to that folder.

Thatís it for this tab, now move on over to the "Build Programs" tab.


Before we continue, I want to make a point about "Zoners Compile Tools".

Get them! Zoners tools, and specifically the custom builds by Tony 'Merl' Moore are far far superior to the default valve compile tools. You can download the latest build right here. There are instructions included with the files on how to install, but it isn't hard.

Ok, now we have some real compile tools installed, its time to tell hammer where to find them.

Configuration: This will be a drop down list of all the configurations we defined on the "Game Configurations" tab. You should only have one set so far, so leave it on "Half-Life".

Game Executable: This should be set to the path to hl.exe, the Half-Life executable e.g. C:\Half-Life\hl.exe.

CSG, BSP, VIS & RAD Executable: These should all be set to the paths for each compile tool. Zoners tools are called hlcsg.exe, hlbsp.exe etc. So an example for "CSG Executable" would be C:\Hammer\hlcsg.exe etc.

Place compiled maps in this directory: This should be set to the "maps" folder in the mod you want the map to be for. For this example, this needs to be set to C:\Half-Life\valve\maps for example. For TFC it would be C:\Half-Life\tfc\maps etc.


Next up we have the "Textures" tab.

In this tab we will define which texture wads we want to load up each time we run hammer. A wad is like a package of textures. Texture wads are usually located in the mod folder, so in this instance all the wads we want are located in the valve folder in the half-life directory.

The wads you should always have loaded, and are located in the valve folder, are as follows:
  • decals.wad
  • halflife.wad
  • liquids.wad
  • xeno.wad

You can load other wads, which you can get from other mods, or from texture sites on the web. However not all textures are free for use, please check the copywirte before using them.

There are several wads that you should never load, as they contain no useable textures. These wads can be found in many mod folders, and are as follows:
  • cached.wad
  • fonts.wad
  • gfx.wad
  • spraypaint.wad

Remember: Ignore those wads.


The rest of the options are fine on their defaults, and are pretty self explanatory.

So go ahead and click on "OK"! Once that's done you will need to close and re-open hammer to load the wads.

Happy mapping!

If you have any further questions, why not drop by our forums?

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