The Source Development Kit... SDK. Many of you have downloaded it and are eager to start on your development with Source - big or small. These tools are probably not for everyone. I'll tell you right now, I am quite experienced with Hammer since its Worldcraft days and yet I still need to get used to the new 4.0. If you're looking to jump into this world of mapping... read the documentation thoroughly. THEN come crying for help if you're still having troubles. I look to try and help people here, yet I don't since they are such repeated questions and would even be answered in the SDK Documentation. Who should have the SDK? Mod Teams and anyone who is interested in getting into modding on Source (whether it be maps, models, or textures). You shouldn't download it for the sake of having it and trying things out if you have no direction for yourself at all. I will attempt to answer some common reoccuring questions regarding the SDK: Why can't I get it? You must have preloaded HL2 or have CS: Source installed with Steam -- chances are you don't have it if it doesn't show up in the Tools section of the Play Games. Why isn't Hammer configured? For me, it automatically configured Hammer. For you, that may not be the case. Valve has even published how to set up Hammer manually here: http://www.valve-erc.com/srcsdk/Hammer/html/Manually_Config_Hammer.html Where is the source code? This isn't the entire SDK. The source code and likely more example content will be released shortly after Half-Life 2 has (November 16th if you haven't heard). Why does Hammer crash? Hammer eats a lot of RAM. Make sure other programs are closed while running it. That may help or else your system just sucks. Why won't my map compile? There are several reasons. If your map won't compile, be sure to post the log in any help seeking thread you may post. Why is my sky black or screwing up? You have not specified a valid sky name. Go to: Map (at the top menu) -> Map Properties -> Go to the second one down and input a valid sky name. To find a valid sky, go to texture browse, under filter type in 'sky', you will then see a bunch of sky images. Be sure to just type out the first part of the name (i.e. de_cobble) excluding any: ft, lf, dn, bk. Some valid skys are: cx, de_cobble, de_piranesi, hav, italy, jungle, office, sky_dust. You must have a sky in order to prevent leaks and it must be the 'skybox' texture. How do I make terrain? See this tutorial: http://www.insurgencymod.net/team/slicky/tut/tutfile.html How come the Paint Alpha won't work? Make sure the displacement texture is one that has 'blend' in the name. However, for me it isn't working at all (even with a blend) texture and if anyone knows the solution, please let everyone know. How do I create that sexy water? RTFM: http://www.valve-erc.com/srcsdk/Materials/water.html How tall is a player? 72 units. Why are there no prefabs? Source does it differently from Half-Life where there won't be any prefabs in the place that you're used to. As Griever put it: "Using the entity tool, select 'prop_physics', 'prop_physics_clientside', prop_static', etc (depends on whether you want the object physically simulated or not). Add it to your level, right click and go to properties, from there you can select the world model, etc." Not too bad coming from a guy who only started mapping yesterday. Remember to first read through all of the SDK Documentation... it was made for a reason. Other useful resources: The Wavelength Valve ERC Collective I will try and update this as much as I can.