Source 2 Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Source 2 RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network 3 Reasons Budding Game Designers Should Dig Into Dota 2's Map Editor Tue, 21 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Serhii Patskan

Video games are not only fun to play, but also fun to make. Except when you're first starting out -- because it seems scary how much knowledge you must accumulate in order to make your first steps as a game dev. But if you're willing to get creative, there are other ways to learn game design that are considerably more enjoyable than trudging through piles of tutorials. 

If learning code is hard for you, then the best way to enter the world of game design is through in-game map editors. So many games have them, including Skyrim, Crysis, Counter-Strike, and more. But if you're an aspiring developer, then the one you should really be looking at is the Dota 2 map editor.

This is not just some random level generator, but a tool that can open the gates to professional game development for you. Here's why it's such a powerful way to learn.

You will learn how to design levels professionally

There are many ways you can start learning level design. Lots of people learn through creating modifications for their favorite games, but that's not always the best starting point. Creating maps in a top-tier MOBA game like Dota 2 allows you to really feel what it takes to design your first levels.

There aren’t that many great offers on the game market, but the one from Valve is truly intriguing. So, if you really want to enter the game dev, now’s the time!

All you need is to install Dota 2, if you still don’t have it, and add a free Dota "Workshop Tools" DLC to the install queue. It includes a whole package for creating, editing and scripting custom maps in Dota 2. The level editor is called Hammer and is very simple to use, which is great for those who only start designing levels.

The Hammer manual is simple and intuitive, so you will easily start creating your first custom maps for Dota 2. The results of your level design in Hammer Editor can be included in your future resume, if you are planning to apply for a job in game dev.

Make it easy for yourself and begin with a simple solo map, and later you can create full-fledged games within Dota 2, such as Roshpit Champions or Warchasers.

You will have a direct access to Source 2

You may have heard that Dota 2 has been recently transferred to Valve’s own Source 2 graphics engine. This is a huge step forward for everyone involved in the development of the game, including third-party developers. Here’s what Gabe Newell had to say about Source 2 in his recent AMA at Reddit:

“We are continuing to use Source 2 as our primary game development environment. Aside from moving Dota 2 to the engine recently, we are using it as the foundation of some unannounced products. We would like to have everyone working on games here at Valve to eventually be using the same engine. We also intend to continue to make the Source 2 engine work available to the broad developer community as we go, and to make it available free of charge.”

This is amazing news for all aspiring game developers! Now with this announcement anyone who wants to create content for Dota 2 will have a direct experience of working with the Source 2 graphics engine. With this kind of knowledge your qualification will be of highest priority and you can be confident that entering the game dev community will be easier than ever before.

Later you can start making your own games on Source 2 and Valve will be happy to see your games in their top lists. They really, really want people to use the same engine for all their projects, and they’re welcoming everybody who will follow their call.

You will start making real money

If the two reasons above are not enough to make you pursue the goal of making content for Dota 2 on a new Source 2 engine, then maybe this third reason will give you some food for thought. It may sound trivial, but money is always a good reason to start doing something in your life.

Valve fully supports their third-party developers -- it lets them receive payments for custom game passes and even shares a few percents on top. If you want to know more about the Valve reward system, then check out this official FAQ.

This is a really great deal, since right now there aren’t that many custom games with passes in Dota 2. This means that the competition is very low and you can enter this market with no drawbacks at all. There is only one condition -- your mods should be really good.

Hopefully, this information was useful to you. There aren’t that many great offers on the game market, but the one from Valve is truly intriguing. So, if you really want to enter the game dev, now’s the time!

Forget the Console Wars - Unreal Engine 4 is the Best Innovation of Current-Gen Sat, 25 Jul 2015 02:30:01 -0400 Bryan C. Tan

Since the current generation of consoles arrived, the great debate on which is better has rattled on. Which has the better framerate? Which has the better graphics? Which has the better games?

While some of that may matter every now and then, what's more important is what's behind the games we play, and that's the game engine.

Unreal Engine 4 (UE4), the latest iteration of Epic Games' state-of-the-art game engine, was released only last year. It's faster, simpler, and more efficient than its predecessor.

Although UE4 hasn't yielded any highly-acclaimed game releases as of yet, its one year in existence has already generated a great deal of evidence that point to it as a dominant leader in game development, and - more than any console - the best innovation of current-gen.

Architectural Visualization

If there's one reason why UE4 is called "Unreal", architectural visualization is probably it.

Since the release of UE4, a number of simply astonishing photorealistic environments have been made and gone viral, establishing UE4's status as something much more than just a video game engine.

The sheer power of the engine is put to good use to simulate environments that could easily exist in real life, providing a modern way of planning and conceptualization before anything beyond the confines of a screen gets built.

Cosy apartments, sleek buildings, sandy beaches - these are some of the many things that make us question our eyesight and think, "It's so real, it's unreal."

What's really exciting about architectural visualization in UE4 is that it presents a taste of the future of gaming, where consoles will be powerful enough to render ultra-realistic images all in real time. 

So while UE4 is helping architects around the world as a unique tool to attract clients, it's also helping gamers prepare for the day when what we see in games and what we see in the outside world will be one and the same.

HD Remakes

We're only a couple years into the current generation of consoles, so it makes sense that we're having an influx of remasters of some popular games, but what about older beloved games that aren't being officially remastered? 

Well, thanks to UE4, the greatness of the previous millenium might very well be returning with a bang, as some dedicated fans have utilized the capabilities of modern technology to help bring their favorite games up to modern standards. 

Games like Resident Evil 2 and Shenmue that have never been remade are finally being worked on by avid fans with the brains to update those classics for modern audiences. Resident Evil 2 Reborn by indie team InvaderGames is coming this summer, while Shenmue HD is coming whenever Korean Kid Nocon is finished with his grand but impressive project.

This is a promising start on the way to preserving some precious gaming gems. Many game publishers are unwilling to put valuable resources into games they don't see maximum profit in; that's why UE4 is such an important innovation.

It is the only way cherished games of the past can be brought back from the dead and compete in a contemporary market without having to go through all the corporate hurdles. All that's needed is a few passionate fans with the technological know-how, and that's definitely not something hard to come by.


Best of all, UE4 is free. Tools, updates, source code, everything: free.

After becoming one of the only completely free hardcore game engines on the market, flocks of people have used UE4 for all kinds of purposes, including film, education, and VR. But one use of UE4 has become rather popular as of late, and that's bringing characters never-before-seen in UE4 to life.

Where else can you see Mario all shiny, human-like, and lost in the real world?

When Epic Games announced in March that UE4 would become free for everyone and anyone, it opened doors to millions of people to try their hand at one of the best game engines ever, and in turn, increased its popularity tenfold. But it also set a precedent, as Unity 5 and Source 2 soon followed suit in becoming free game engines for developers to use.

Providing a suite of robust features free for everyone to use drives creativity. It enhances the production of all forms of art and entertainment, and builds a community of intelligent creators. 

By being available to anyone with a computer, UE4 ensures a bright future where anyone can flourish and succeed in any industry. It ensures a future where anyone can restore the past in any setting. It ensures a future where the lines between reality and imitation no longer exist.

Unreal Engine 4 is at the forefront of modern technology, and its power will no doubt help the gaming industry and beyond prosper from the current generation to the next.

DotA 2's Reborn Update: Part 3 Wed, 17 Jun 2015 19:40:54 -0400 David Fisher

In the last 4 days we have received news about DotA 2's "reborn" update. On the 13th I covered the new dashboard and user interface, and on the 16th we got news about custom games and the Hammer Level Designer. Today Valve has officially released the beta of DotA 2: Reborn.

As promised, Valve's Source 2 engine will be used for DotA 2's latest update. According to Valve, this new platform will "[include] technology for rendering improvements, performance optimizations, higher fidelity content, and richer, more dynamic games."

As always, here are the highlights of this new list of updates:

  • More Responsive Input: Source 2 supposedly lowers latency between issuing commands and heroes reacting to said commands.
  • Tiled Map System: Valve has changed DotA 2 to use a tile system for map editing, allowing for easier map authoring and terrain mods.
  • Enhanced Performance: Source 2 has been developed to run better on both older systems, as well as newer ones. Basically it allows for a higher system requirement ceiling, but also a lower requirement floor.
  • Multithreading and Streaming: Source 2 now uses all available CPU cores. Also, putting Source 2 applications in the background will still allow them to be fully responsive upon re-opening.
  • Better Audio: Source 2's sound system has better voice processing, and better threading to avoid sound sometimes cutting out.
  • Rendering: More detail, more lighting effects, better rendering and graphics in general.
  • Physics: Better cloth simulation, more stable animations, and so-on.
  • Multiplatform Compatibility: Works with PC, Linux, and iOS systems.

But that's not all. Valve will also be bringing Source 2 to their Source Filmmaker application as well, adding many new features while updating others. This includes integrating Filmmaker with the DotA 2 Steam Workshop, gameplay recording and editing, 64-bit compatibility, and many other features.

Valve also states that the new update to their servers will allow for better relay protocols which will allow for less latency issues during online play, better IP routing to lower ping and packet loss, as well as better DDOS protection for their servers - something that many other MOBA developers have yet to do.

If you want to try the DotA 2: Reborn beta for yourself, or read more on the subject you can find the update page here. Valve states that not all beta features are functional yet, but they will be constantly updating the client over the next few weeks and are planning to have a stable build ready for public use by the end of the 2015 International event.

DOTA 2 is getting "Reborn" as Source 2.0 nears Release Sat, 13 Jun 2015 12:31:31 -0400 David Fisher

After almost two years since its release, DOTA 2 is going back into beta as Valve applies its new Source 2.0 engine to the popular MOBA game.

Titled DOTA 2: Reborn, Valve has released the first of three pages of notes involving its plans for DOTA 2 to re-enter the beta process. According to the page, these changes will involve redesigning the in-game dashboard using a new user interface, fully replacing the current Source engine, and adding new features such as custom games and public lobbies. All of these features are expected to roll out with an open beta period that - according to the notes - will begin sometime late next week (Valve time).

While you can find these proposed changes to DOTA 2's client on this page, I will list some of the major changes below:

Dashboard UI Overhaul

As visible in the image above, DOTA 2's dashboard has been completely reworked, no longer hoarding all the menu options at the top of the screen. All categories that were originally separated or awkwardly placed among different sub-menus are now sorted into the following headers: "Heroes" for equipping cosmetics and browsing various hero stats, "Watch" for viewing replays or tournaments, "Learn" for tutorials and practice modes, and "Custom Games" for mods and customized maps that are available in the Steam Workshop.

Queue Streamlining

Players will now be able to start the matchmaking queue or enter a custom or public game lobby from any screen (above). According to Valve this was done to streamline the game-entering process so players can quickly start a game queue without leaving other menus such as the shop, armory, or player profiles.

Player Profiles

The Player Profile has also received a rework, now allowing users to see not only their friends' matchmaking ranks, victories, or total games, but also a comprehensive data chart that has information on everything from play styles to career accomplishments and recent activities.

Hero Browser

Hero browsing has received a complete overhaul, as the UI is no longer constrained to the left side of the screen. The image above seems to show store items on the bottom row, while the one above it displays item sets that the player has equipped in their loadout or owns in their armory. How separate items will be equipped to a hero is not yet clear.

Party/Guild System Changes

A last change to the dashboard is the party system. According to the notes page, players will now be able to:

  • quickly add players to their party without going through the right-clicking process already in place
  • voice chat among party members before a game begins
  • merge two or more parties together
  • broadcast when they are looking to join a party

Other changes to the UI are much more subtle, such as improved tutorial modes and greater explanation of gameplay mechanics in said tutorials. Already we can see that Valve has put a great investment into modernizing DOTA 2, and with announcements about Custom Games and how the Source 2 engine will affect gameplay coming early next week, fans are undoubtedly excited for what will be the biggest update in a long time.

Secret Valve Discussions About Half Life 3, Left 4 Dead 3, Tea, and More Thu, 20 Jun 2013 15:15:25 -0400 GameSkinny Staff

We all know Valve is a pretty huge company. As such, the developers, programmers, marketers, and everyone in between send each other a TON of emails. If only we could see what those internal emails and newsletters were about...Oh wait, apparently, we can! Sorta.

According to the dedicated news fan site, ValveTime, Valve has a full database of all the active projects mentioned in employee emails that have fully devoted project folders. Some of these include hints that projects like Half Life 3, Left 4 Dead 3, Source 2, and others, might currently be in the works!

Massive leak reveals inner workings of Valve

Apparently, Valve uses a bug-tracking and project management software called Jira to track and manage all the going-ons in the office. The software is meant for the Valve IT guys to make sure systems are running smoothly and hunt down any rogue problem-files.

Some sort of leak occurred and VavleTime was sent a copy of the complete Jira mailing lists and project folders. With this access, they kindly uploaded the list of 791 projects to pastebin here for our viewing pleasure.

Valve seems like an awesome place to work

Most of the projects are pretty standard office fare including and a few comical ones too. Some of my favorite funny mailing lists:

  • Pinball
  • White Russian
  • Thugz4Life
  • Soup Club
  • Tea Enthusiasts
  • Yo Dawg
  • MTG League
  • Mixed Martial Arts
  • Hackysack
  • Softball Team
  • Shirley Temple
  • RedShirt
  • Pub Trivia
Half Life 3, Left 4 Dead 3, and Source 2 found within Jira

Of course, Valve isn't all just is also games! Among this list there are a whole lot of exciting things mentioned. Before reading this next list, please remember these leaks have not been confirmed and are internal discussions. The following, while super exciting, are conversation and not necessarily in development:

  • Half Life 3
    • Episode 3
    • Episode 3 Movie
    • Ravenholm
  • Source 2
    • Source2 Artists
    • Source2 Builds
    • Source2 Characters
    • Source2 Entities
    • Source2 Minidumps
    • Source2 Proto-games
    • Source2 Tools
    • Source2 Triage
    • Source2_Assertions
    • Source2_Contentassertions
  • Left 4 Dead 3
    • left4dead3_assertions
    • left4dead3_contentassertions
    • Left4dead3_minidumps

As I mentioned, these are not necessarily in development. These lists represent mailing lists and/or project folders that the Jira software has recorded. There is no way to know what is being discussed within mailing lists or what type of files might lurk inside project folders. We can only hope.

I Want My Half-Life 3! Fri, 16 Nov 2012 20:49:11 -0500 Imayen Etim

Or, Crowbars for Nothing and Headcrabs for Free.

Ever find yourself asking: “What would Gordon Freeman do?”

I'll tell you what he would do: go to work, cause an alien invasion, in turn causing a military takeover of the science complex where he works, get thousands of people killed, get teleported all of the damn place and still have time to sit down and smack Isaac Clarke and his dead girlfriend with a crowbar.



Why, Dr. Freeman? Why would you do such things?

Because Dead Space 3 is coming out, and Gordon isn't happy about it. He, like many of us, are greatly anticipating his return. But as we log on to Steam, get shot in the head in Counter Strike and every so often put a new hat on in Team Fortress 2, we look for the flagship that gave us all of these great games.

Well, good news for everyone: “Source 2” is in development. Gabe Newell confirmed this last week:

"We've been working on new engine stuff for a while. We've just been waiting for a game to roll it out with."

They'll need a game to properly showcase the engine and draw a mess of attention to it, so what better choice than a game that would be a blockbuster title: Half-Life 3.


Speculation is swirling that it may become a reality.

Only a few points about game play have been released about this third installment, like the upcoming open-world format (with 50% more vents! I kid.) Other than that, all we've gotten are cryptic messages or blatant proclamations that the game is in the works, but with no satisfying explanations.


Both at opposite sides of the spectrum, neither filling the void.

I hope that all of this anticipation isn't in vain (I'm looking at you, Duke Nukem Forever). It has been 5 years since Half-Life 2: Episode 3 was originally supposed to have been released. At this stage, the game deserves a proper sequel. I'm giving the good folks at Valve the benefit of the doubt and hoping that they're focusing on making a quality game worth the wait, and not just enjoying the sight of their fanbase squirming in anticipation (although I'm sure they are).