Using Valve Hammer Editor to Create Worlds for


The Valve Hammer Editor is copyright 2001-2002 by Valve LLC, Michigan Detroit U.S.A. All rights reserved.

Half Life, Half Life Counter Strike, and other mods are copyright 1997-2002 by Valve LLC. All rights reserved.

This page is (C) 2003 -2004 amckern


Last update


11th December 2004


Welcome to the Valve Hammer Editor (Hammer /WC /VHE) overview and tutorial. Hammer is the tool created by Valve that enabled the Half Life community Level Designers and Artists to create the geometry and game play you experienced in Half Life, or one of its Mods. Hammer allows you to build the ground, sky, walls, ceilings and shapes for your levels. You will then apply textures, props, prefabs, lights and sounds to give them a realistic appearance. Half Life was created using literally thousands of these assets that you may appropriate to create the base for your own level. You may also add your own assets where applicable. Finally, you'll add the game objects that allow other players to interact with your world.


Creating levels is an extremely complex and time-consuming process, and the following is merely the starting point for those who want to learn the basics of building worlds for the Half Life engine. If you've done game design before on 3D or near 3D game, you've probably worked with tools like Hammer.





Basic Terms

Learn what all the Jargon Means


Setting Up Hammer

Ready to start with your map, well you need to set up Hammer first

Steam Set up

Use this topic by Mobiltune, to learn how to set up Hammer to make Maps for Counter Strike 1.6


WON Set up

Use this sub topic, to learn how to set up Hammer to make Maps for WON Half Life


Making a Simple Room, and your first map

Your First map Simple


Knowing what to put into a map to make it work

Now you have your map, lets add the contents


Hammer Resource Types

Learn What Hammer uses, how it stores its RMF Files, and more


Creating Brushes to Fit Your Needs

Time to make a support pillar


The Camera

Time to get some complex skills, First skill is the camera


More complex brushwork

Making brushes as ramps


Selecting Brushes

How to chose a brush, which you want to work on


Brush Power Tools

A look at Hammers Nasty Tools, Carve, and Hollow


Flipping, and Turing Brushes

How to get that brush to move an exact angle, with out the messy turning handles


Advanced Texturing and Alignment

Learning the Texture Application Tool


Invalid Brush Types

Make a brush, and then destroy it


Working With Concave Brushes and Loose Faces

How to fix some of the results of nasty brush work, such as carve, and invalid brushes


Enter the Entities

An introduction to how Half Life entities work


Counter Strike Entity Overview

Lets look at Counter Strikes Most Common Entities


Lighting the Map

No use having a bitch black map, even when Counter Strike has Night Vision Goggles, This section covers the 4 major styles of lighting a map


Working With Light Colours

How to make your maps have colour lighting


Adding Sky to Your Half Life Level

Time to go out side, and play


Types of Compile and Their Advantages

Learn how to get your map complied, and what the different styles of compile do to your BSP


Optimising Your Level

Advanced options on compiling your map


Factors That Cause Levels to Bog Down

Learn about bad R_SPEEDS, leeks, detail, wire frame mode, and more


Troubleshooting Visibility Leaks

Got a leek, learn how to find


Plugging Leaks

Now you have found the leek, lets plug the hole


Final Word

More links, extra help, and legal rights






Revision History


-          New Design

-          Removed some useless information

-         Made each chapter its own page

-         Written in MS Word - No Longer Composer 4.7