Valve Hammer Editor
||It has been suggested that this article be merged with Source SDK to Source (game engine). (Discuss) Proposed since March 2015.|
VHE with Half-Life 2: Deathmatch map "Carousel" open.
|Original author(s)||Ben Morris|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
Valve Hammer Editor, formerly known as Worldcraft and now commonly called Hammer, is Valve Software's map creation program for their game engine, Source. Old versions of Worldcraft also supported Quake and Quake II. Versions prior to 4 supported exclusively GoldSrc, Source's predecessor. The current version only supports Source. It is freely available to anyone who has purchased a Source based game as a part of the Source SDK, or downloaded the free-to-play first person shooter Team Fortress 2.
Ben Morris originally released the original Worldcraft in September 1996 as a tool for creating custom Quake maps.  On July 14, 1997, Valve hired Ben Morris and acquired Worldcraft for use in Half-Life.
Level design with Hammer
Prior to the release of the Source engine, the only construction blocks in Hammer were a set of simple primitives called brushes. These can still be used in older GoldSrc games, however, some features of version 4 and above, such as displacement maps, are not compatible with GoldSrc. Many level designers who work with both Source and GoldSrc games usually keep an install of 3.5 to avoid using unsupported features in a GoldSrc game.
Valve Hammer Editor version 4.0 saves a level file in the .vmf format by default. Before this, it saved a level file in the binary, proprietary .rmf or text-based, human-readable .map format. The .vmf format is a simple file that contains all the information about a level. It originated because of Half-Life's reliance on the Quake engine, and has remained as a result. The .vmf file is converted into a .bsp file that the game can load using tools from the Source SDK.
- Valve Hammer Editor v3.5 Download
- Valve Developer Community, Official wiki dedicated to editing the Source engine.
- Zoner's Half-Life Tools, alternatives to the GoldSrc compiling tools.
- TWHL - A large, active mapping community with support for both GoldSrc and Source engines.
- Blue's news Archive - Many old Worldcraft and Quake related articles.
- Interlopers.Net - A guide on the format and interpretation of the .vmf file.