Half-Life 2 Map Editing Optimization Guide

Checking your progress: Know your enemy

Half-life 2 has some very usefull commands to show how well your map runs, what it's chocking on and what is rendered but cannot be seen.

Most of these commands require the HL2 developer console. So learn to use it!

It's the same place as where you entered the codes for your godmode-cheats you had to use to finish HL2.

Showing visleafs

If you want to know how your level is divided into visleafs you should compile your map in gl mode, and then use a program called "Glview.exe" to view this gl-file.

In expert compile mode (I hope you know how that works) make a new configuration, called Glview (this allows you to use it for all your maps), and create the following commands:

Executable	parameters
$bsp_exe	-Glview $path\$file
Glview*		-portal $path\$file.gl

*the command for Glview isn't known by Hammer , so youll have to find it yourself: press executable, and browse to Glview.exe (in the sourcesdk\bin directory)

make sure both commands are set to run, and press GO! You can use your mouse and the WASD-keys to move around your level when in Glview. They 1 and 2 keys toggle world-brushes and portals. Glview won't work if there is a leak in your level, or any other error that may fail vbsp.

Note that Glview has a bug where it can't open files located in a directory with a dot in it. For instance, trying to open "C:\steam\your.username@hotmail.com\mapsrc\testmap.prt" will make Glview look for "C:\steam\your.prt". It's very sad Valve made a stupid mistake like that, but it's just the way it is. Either use the copy command in Hammer to move the files Glview needs to a path without a dot in it, or download my version of Glview ( at your own risk, offcourse ) which doesn't have this annoying bug.

Ingame you can also use the console command

mat_leafvis 1

to show the visleafs in your level as you walk through them.

Showing framerate


cl_showfps #

in the console, where # is:

0 - Off

1 - Displays a simple meter

2 - Displays a more advanced meter

Showing what is rendered


mat_wireframe 1

to show everything the engine draws, including models, but only their outer lines ( you can toggle it off with "mat_wireframe 0" ) Therefore, you can see through walls to see EXACLY everything the engine draws. If you were Weeble or Bob, you wouldn't see the pipes without mat_wireframe on.
Mat_wireframe is usefull to check if and how your hints, occluders and areaportals are working.

Showing what is chocking your framerate



in the console to get a screen with graphs for various types of systems. For a good list of what each means, check out the HL2 wiki about showbudget.

You can toggle it off with "-showbudget". Quite logical, no?

You can also use one of these commands to toggle various effects, and using an fps-meter to determine the impact of that system

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