Valve Software has made the tools for editing Half-Life: Alyx’s levels open to the community. In a new blog post on the official site, the developers have announced the release of the tools as part of the Steam Workshop support, an initiative by Valve to support the modding community.
The tools will allow for the creation of new levels, models, textures, and animations for the Half-Life VR game, along with letting creators upload their mods to the Steam Workshop for anyone to try.
Valve intends to continue updating and adding to the tool kit while still in beta. The first release includes the current editions of the following software:
- Hammer, the latest version of the Source 2 level editor.
- Material Editor, the tool for creating and tuning materials in Source 2.
- ModelDoc, a tool for viewing, editing, and compiling models with animation, collision, and other gameplay attributes.
- AnimGraph, our animation tool used to create complicated animation setups with blends and transitions.
- Particle Editor, for making new particle effects.
- Subrect Editor, for creating smart texture sheets known as “hotspots.”
- Source Filmmaker, the Source 2 cinematic renderer and animation tool.
In addition to these VR tools, the developers have included several sample maps to demonstrate how they authored enemy encounters in the game. These maps can be used as a template for understanding how the developers used features such as tile meshes, static/dynamic cables, and texture hotspotting to create the game’s levels.
If this is your first time messing around with these kinds of tools, the developers have also begun work on a Half-Life: Alyx Workshop Tools documentation, a guide for how to implement and best make use of the tools and software currently in the beta. Over time more documents will be added, especially as new software and tools are made available.
In GameSpot’s Half-Life: Alyx review, Michael found it to have “elevated many of the aspects we’ve come to love about Half-Life games… Even when familiarity starts to settle in, its gameplay systems still shine as a cohesive whole. And as it concludes, Half-Life: Alyx hits you with something unforgettable, transcending VR tropes for one of gaming’s greatest moments.”
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