Half Life 2 & Source Engine Tweak Guide

Author: Koroush Ghazi

Last Modified: March 2009


It's been three years since Half Life 2 was released, and to this day it remains a favorite of gamers everywhere. So much so that Valve decided to extend the game by releasing new 'episodes' of Half Life 2 periodically, with HL2: Episode 1 being released in 2006, and HL2: Episode 2 being released in late 2007. An Episode 3 will be released at an unspecified date in the future, concluding the storyline of these episodic chapters. Opinions are mixed as to whether episodic content release is a particularly satisfying way of telling a story, especially since it was originally planned for each episode to come out within a short space of the previous one. Be that as it may, Episode 2 of Gordon Freeman's journey introduces a range of features and surprises, so I'm sure fans will forgive and forget the long wait from Episode 1.

When I first wrote the HL2 Tweak Guide, it proved immensely popular, and over time it has been updated several times. Unfortunately in recent times I haven't kept it as up to date as I should have, primarily due to the demands of writing many other new guides. However I have now taken the opportunity to completely revamp the guide, rewriting major portions of it to bring it fully up to date with the latest build of the Source Engine, which is being used in a range of games released by Valve, the latest being HL2: Episode 2, Team Fortress 2 and Portal. So while the guide is ostensibly for Half Life 2, it applies to all Source Engine-based games, hence the retitling of the guide. Given the technical improvements in the Source Engine over the past three years, it is definitely a fine platform for the new games Valve is releasing. As usual, this guide contains all the basic to advanced details you need to be able to tweak and customize HL2: Episode 2, or your Source Engine game, to look and perform the way you want it.

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Note: This guide has been significantly updated as of HL2: Episode 2. Importantly, the tweaks in this guide also apply to every other Source Engine-based game including all Half Life 2 variants, CounterStrike: Source, Day of Defeat: Source, Vampire: The Masquerade, Portal, and Team Fortress 2. Make sure to refer back to this guide for updates.