Custom Gold Source Engine build from a scratch
Unkle Mike (aka G-Cont, aka Дядя Миша) - main developer
HLFX.ru & CS-Mapping.com.ua forum members - help, support, testing
CortexReaver, nemyax - English translation
Xash3D Engine has been tested for compatibility with many of Gold Source games and MODs. At this moment it should provide you an ability to successfully complete almost any existing singleplayer Half-Life mod without compatibility problems. Some mods can be not totally compatible, if they are too hardly modified or using some very specific or unstable features of Gold Source engine. Also multiplayer part of Xash3D engine is not fully completed yet because of lack of some important information and hidden source codes of Gold Source engine. So in most cases multiplayer mods should work good in a local or a LAN game, but some features can not work or work not exactly as under Gold Source engine. Check a detailed list of tested mods and a list of tested maps in "Features" section. A full list of Xash3D Engine features is also there, plus a guide on how to get work Half-Life and its' mods under Xash3D (in English and in Russian).
Xash3D limits are not just higher than Half-Life ones, they also can be tuned in gameinfo.txt file.
- MAX_EDICTS is 600 - 4096 (versus 900 in Half-Life).
- MAX_TEMPENTS is 300 - 2048 (vs. 500).
- MAX_PARTICLES is 1024 - 8192 (vs. 4096).
- MAX_BEAMS is 64 - 512 (vs. 64)
Careful limits reduction can save RAM in mods which don't need many edicts. Also MAX_EDICTS parameter is broadcasted from server during a multiplayer session, it adjusts clients to new conditions automatically.
These limits are engine-hardcoded and can not be tuned by user.
- MAX_VISIBLE_PACKET is 512 entities (256 in Half-Life).
- MAX_MODELS is 2048 unique models (including sprites and bmodels)
- MAX_SOUNDS is 2048
- MAX_SENTENCES is 2048 (1534 in Half-Life)
- MAX_USER_MESSAGES is 191 (128 in WON Half-Life)
- MAX_TEXTURES is 4096 (2048 of them can be used for VGUI)
- MAX_MESSAGES is 2048 (1024 in Half-Life) (quantity of messages in titles.txt)
- Maximum size for indexed textures is 4096х4096 (vs. 512х512 in Half-Life)
- Maximum size for true-color textures is 4096x4096.
- MAX_MAP_MODELS 1024 (256 in half-life)
- MAX_MAP_LEAFS 32767 (8192 in half-life)
Note: other BSP-model limits are specified by compiler tools and don't depend on the engine.
Xash3D allows to get more accurate value of current lighting level, because it considers lightstyles and their current values. The player's lighting is taken directly from renderer and considers all lighting types, including entity light and dynamic light.
Half-Life supports decal save only on world surfaces and very rare on doors, elevators and other moving models. Xash3D saves decals on every brush model. Decal transition between levels is also maintained (implemented in Half-Life, but doesn't really work).
This technology allows to load entities from external .ent script file. This script can be produced by the external ripent.exe application or by engine's facilities by typing the entpatch command. If the command is entered when a map is loaded, a new entity patch will be created.
Xash3D supports following BSP-map formats: Quake 1, Half-Life, Half-Life Blue Shift. Besides, Quake 1 external bmodels are supported (medikit and ammo models). Note: it is recommended to play Quake 1 maps in Deathmatch Classic mod to prevent stuckness of player because of the difference between hull's sizes of Half-Life and Quake.
Xash3D allows to precache models "on the fly" that helps to avoid nasty PF_PRECACHE_ERROR. Also Xash3D doesn't crash if a model or sound wasn't found.
Before switching to a next map Xash3D will analyze its state (without unloading the current map) and decides whether correct changelevel procedure is possible. In case of any error in a next map the engine will signal about it in the developer's console, and the changelevel will be aborted. The error message also contains troubleshoot tips that can make level designer's life easier, because such errors are most difficult to diagnose and fix.
To display credits and exit the game after, run the pfnEndSection command with oem_end_credits argument. The credits code is placed in menu.dll and can be changed by user at his discretion.
Xash3D entities behave more stable on moving platforms and don't shift away on sharp turns.
It allows to tie one entity to another, taking into account movement and rotation of the former entity. You can see an example in SDK - a crossbow bolt that correctly attaches itself to func_pushable, func_rotating, func_tracktrain and other brush models.
Xash3D has a powerful console autocomplete system that allows not just print command lists, but also describe all of them during the search. For more comfort you can type "makehelp" in the console, and the engine will generate help.txt that contains the list of all commands and variables with short descriptions. Map, movie, background track, cfg script, save, weapon (give command), sound (play command), game directory names input is also assisted by the autocomplete feature.
Most Quake engines are restricted to the parent directory with specific name, which doesn't matter when you make mod, but very uncomfortable when you make total game conversion and therefore replace the parent directory. Xash3D doesn't restricted to specific folder, and the parent directory is defined by the launcher. This way you can make your own game that doesn't depend on Half-Life.
Dedicated server has the autocomplete feature now, your command history can be saved.
Background map is a map to be displayed as a menu background. You could see them in Half-Life 2. Xash has a simplier background map system - it doesn't depend on unlocked chapters (because original Half-Life has no chapters system) and it chooses the background map from the list. This list file must be named as chapterbackgrounds.txt and placed in scripts directory (if you don't have such directory, then just make it). Every list's entry is separated by new line. You can use any playable map as the background, but better don't use maps where player starts in a moving train, because it won't look good.
Turned off by default. Doesn't work with short sequences like switching on and off the light. It smooths light animation very well on long slow sequences like SlowStrobe or SlowPulse. Note: FPS rate may suffer from this option.
You can see such textures in original quake maps as glowing fields on a texture. Because this feature is caused by the Quake pallet's special features, the engine enables it for textures that have Quake or Quake2 pallet. This pallet is saved well after the simple conversion of wad2 files to wad3.
Improved model lighting includes per-bone lighting from static and dynamic light sources, and it also includes correct model lighting on every stage of long sequence execution, when model goes far enough from its real location. The best example is forklift.mdl Sprite lighting is a correct lighting of all sprites that is rendered in additive mode and had "alphtest" during the compilation. For example, blood decals uses the world lighting and doesn't glow in darkness. Both sprites and models don't just use the world lighting, but also consider lighting of the closest brush model if there is one.
Instead of a usual player image you can see his 3D model in the menu and track all changes right on-the-spot.
Hi, guys! The time has came and long-awaited updates of Xash3D Engine were released! Newest builds fix many problems, including very old ones and those which appeared following global changes applied to the engine during last two years of development. Also they brings better support for some mods, which had different problems with Xash3D initially (on any build). For examlple - Cry of Fear (mod version 1.0 - 1.55), Cthulhu: An Unspeakable Modification for Half-Life, Team Fortress Classic, Half-Life: Decay, Reissues, Chinatown Preview. As usually, there are some improved or newly added features too. You can download the final build of this year and see the full list of latest changes here:
If you install the engine in your first time, please, make sure to install all engine's files properly, including extras for "valve" folder. Otherwise some things will not work as intended or will not work at all. Detailed manual is here. For questions about mods' support refer to 2 new articles: #1 & #2. Remember that some nowaday mods (or their new versions) which depend on updated Steam Half-Life libraries may be not supported (or have to be patched with old or compatible versions of their game dlls to work with Xash3D). Also most of multiplayer mods were not tested thoroughly, but if you have your own experience & found some problems, please report. In most cases, any mods which worked correctly with old WON version of Half-Life, should work correctly with Xash3D too.
As for previous builds, the same rule works for this build too: DO NOT USE it with any of previously released versions of Xash3D games/mods, such as XashXT, Paranoia 2: Savior, Quake Remake, Area 51. Until they are not updated, they will not work with the new engine.
Fortunately, the XashXT update is already released also! So you can use it now with the latest engine's build. Since the version 0.65 a lot of things are added and fixed. Some of new features: support up to 64 weapons, better visual debugging system, faster grass code, faster code of dynamic lighting and world's rendering (including using a power of GPU for lightstyles and hardware interpolation of lightstyles), better fog, partial support of terrains from Paranoia 2, advanced mirrors' rendering (including mirrors reflecting in each other), special events for spawning Aurora particles from studiomodels (5040-5044), totally new studiomodels renderer with a support of LODs, bone weighting, jingle bones, inverse kinematics, multiple blending of sequences, per-vertex lighting for prop-models, added sunshafts (like in Crysis or Paranoia), Opposing Force-like ropes, better tracktrain control, new entity trigger_dsp_zone for better DSP effects, new entities func_transporter и conveyor_setspeed for better control of conveyors... Just grab it and explore the new possibilities!
Along with new engine's build we're also proud to present a new Unkle Mike's project - Quake Wrapper (QWrap). It's a mod for Xash3D Engine which can launch original Quake game and its mods. It makes no changes to Quake's gameplay, but provides more handy game interface and controls. We decided to release it in the Games section, though it's not an independent game exactly. But this should provide a more comfortable way to release potential updates/information or discuss the project, because it quite differs from common Xash3D-related things and Half-Life theme.
If you'd like to support Unkle Mike and
buy him some beer inspire him for further development of Xash3D, you can donate him some money via:
Hello, if you are new with how to use Xash3D Engine to run Half-Life and its' mods, this manual is for you. Just follow the instruction and have fun!
Original Xash3D Engine by Unkle Mike (Windows version) supports wide variety of Half-Life mods, from simple 1-map mods to mods which change everything...
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