The cost of modding


May 17, 2003
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I wonder if Valve, in thier drive to make HL2 as mod friendly as possible, will adress the issue of the relative cost of various modding tools. You can produce textures with a shareware image tool such as Paint Shop Pro, (Photoshop is better, but not always nessesary). Maps can be produced with Hammer (free) and there are plenty of free sound editing tools. On the other hand, to produce game models seems to require a very expensive piece of software. It seems ludicrous to madate using XSi after all people produce mods for free, and they increase the value of Valve's game. I hope they see sense and release the conversion tools nessesary to make models for HL2 using free software.

errr... ok, just read that Valve will be releasing a free version of XSi. Wahhoo - go Valve. This sort of makes this thread redundant.
Just because Valve Chose to make their models with XSI does not mean that XSI will be required to make models.
I believe that within a very short period of time after the release of HL2 you will be able to use Milkshape and 3dsMax to work with HL2 models.

Right now you can still create youre mesh and import it into whatever tool you'll be using when HL2 is here.
The realy critical part will probably be the animation stuff (including facial expressions).

Milkshape, while not being nearly as feature rich or powerfull as 3dsMax, is capable of creating models for almost all the popular games out right now. A simple importer/exporter plugin is usualy all thats needed.
Dont sweat it, inexpensive tools wont be a problem.
Yea, but milk shape is more or less, totally useless, models aren't good looking, or well made...

They should make a plug in for lightwave. Cos, personally i find that a lot better than 3dmax.
uhhh xsi already have released the free version its on their site for download right now
there already is a plugin for 3DSMax for converting to .xsi, and i'm sure there's one for lightwave.
Just use Milkshape, best pricetag ever, free. Unless you reinstall and forget you didn't uninstall it, then you get a Milkshape where you can't save. I started playing around to make a Ppsh, this is how far I got before I had to close it from too many programs open and lose my progress.
they were talking about some free 3DSmax lite version too
Gmax? Soemwhere i read that Valve was thinking about supporting Gmax for modders....
Yeah.. Gmax is the lite version from max, but you cant work with stuff like meshsmooth and you cant render things.
Originally posted by SidewinderX143
there already is a plugin for 3DSMax for converting to .xsi, and i'm sure there's one for lightwave.

Conversion tools are pretty good for translating model and UV data (with exception from lightwave to max files...couldn't ever figure out how to do that properly and preserve UV data). Though, my main concern is support for animation data. What if you're to do a total conversion that requires all kinds of new animations or a complete overhaul of animations? I've toyed around with various universal conversion tools and none of them seemed to want to convert properly from say lightwave to max. This is why I'm hoping for a direct import/export plugin for programs like max, lightwave, and maya. They have a plugin for lightwave out there for Ued 2.0, so I could only assume someone would make something similar for HL2. All I can do is cross my fingers.