Source SDK: Mastering the Source/Application Browser
The Application Browser is a window of programs that acts as the main directory for the Source SDK. The Application Browser opens as soon as you begin running the Source SDK, and offers navigation to all of the features that Source offers. The Application Browser contains approximately 4 applications, 2 documents, 4 utilities, and 2 links. The Browser also features a drop box that determines what model of the Source SDK, and what video game you'll be running the Hammer editor with.
Applications are programs used for creating original material in the Source SDK. Source features four different applications that offer a wide variety of developer tools.
Hammer World Editor
The Hammer World Editor, or simply Hammer for short, is the level editing program supplied by the Source SDK. Hammer is one of the main tools we will be covering in this book, as it is one of the most fundamental programs in the entire SDK.
The Model Viewer, located directly underneath the Hammer World Editor in the Application Browser is a simpler program used in the Source SDK. It allows you to open and extensively view different props and models from a game's files. This is helpful when viewing and understanding item appearances and dynamics, as well as character and sequence animations.
The Face poser is an application located underneath the Model Viewer in the Application Browser. It allows users to edit and create custom facial expressions for character models to be used in-game.
The itemtest is an application located underneath the Face Poser in the Application Browser. It allows users who've made their own custom items, weapons, or clothing a set of resources and programs for them to test their items and test for flaws and compatibility.
The Documentation section of the Application Browser features two external links that can help you with the Source SDK.
The Release Notes button offers an external link to a page on the Valve Developer Community wiki, that features a complete list of all updates on the Source SDK. This link can also be found on the home page of this book, under Section Three.
SDK Reference Docs
The SDK Reference Documents button is an external link to the Main Directory of the Valve Developer Community wiki, a site that features a list of pages and tutorials designed to help train others how to use the Source SDK. This link can also be found on the home page of this book, under Section Three.
Utilities are a set of programs and commands located on the Application Browser of the Source SDK. There are four utilities to choose from, Create a Mod, Refresh SDK Content, Reset Game Configurations, and Edit Game Configurations.
Create a Mod
The Create a Mod utility is a program that allows you to create your own stand alone game in the Source SDK. This utility will be covered thoroughly in this book, as it is one of the most important programs in the Source SDK.
Refresh SDK Content
Reset Game Configurations
Edit Game Configurations
The Links section in the Application Browser contains two external links in order to help user experience.
Valve Developer Community
Clicking this button will open an external link to the Main Page of the Valve Developer Community wiki, a site designed to train people how to use the Source SDK. Note that this is not the same as SDK Reference Docs button located under the Documentation section of the Application Browser, that link takes you to the Main Directory, not the Main Page.
Softimage|XSI Mod Tool
Clicking this button will open an external link to the website for the Softimage Mod Tool, the choice model making program for Valve Corporation.
The Engine Version drop box is located on the bottom panel of the Application Browser. This is where you select what model of the Source SDK you will be using when running the Hammer Editor. This is not the same as what we went over earlier, with Source SDK having different versions for different games. This concerns the different models of the Source Engine that have been updated over the years. There is a total of four models of Source, Source Engine 2006, Source Engine 2007, Source Engine 2009, and Source Engine MP.
Source Engine 2006
Source Engine 2007
Source Engine 2009
Source Engine MP
The Current Game drop box is located underneath The Engine Version on the bottom panel of the Application Browser. This is where you select what game you're going to run the Hammer Editor on.