Yesterday, Mike Durand made this post over at the Steam Forums, and today at 11am PST our wishes came true! Here is the message from Mike.

I wanted to let you all know that I have finished testing the SDK update and it will go live tomorrow morning. Thanks very much for your patience while I spent extra time testing it out.

The main purpose of this release is to get the updated content creation tools in the hands of the community. The next major release will include the client and server DLL code for Episode 2 although there may be a couple of minor releases before that to address any problems.

Here are the interesting things to know about the release:

  • The new SDK contains tools for creating content compatible with both the Ep1 and Orange Box versions of the Source Engine.
  • By default the SDK launcher will launch the Orange Box versions of Hammer, Face Poser, and Model Viewer.
  • Adding '-engine ep1' to the launch options for the Source SDK tool will set the launcher to run the Ep1 versions of Hammer Face Poser, and Model Viewer
  • There is a .vmf file for one of the shipping Portal maps in the ‘sourcesdk_content’ directory – testchmb_a_05.vmf. I will add an example map for Team Fortress 2 in a subsequent release.
  • When running the Orange Box versions of the ‘studiomdl’ and ‘vtex’ you should include ‘-nop4’ on the command line to bypass our Perforce integration with these tools. I will eliminate this need in a subsequent release.

We’re launching the new SDK on the morning of 11/07 so that I can be available to make fixes as soon as you get your hands on the SDK. Once it goes live please post to this thread if you see problems. We aren’t able to release this version of the SDK as a beta so I will try to act as quickly as possible to fix problems and put out an update.

If you haven’t done so, restart Steam to take full advantage of the SDK update. You might also want to take this time to delete all of the junk that is in your HL2DM/CSS/DoDS/whatever game you are using to build Portal maps in and clean up your directory structure.


People are reporting some issues with Error models and invalid textures in Hammer, keep in mind that old VMFs may not work correctly with the Orange Box SDK. If you need to use them and don’t want to undo all of your work, use the -engine ep1 flag when starting the SDK (and don’t delete your extracted content) and things should be fine.