Basics run down for compiling

A Forum Thread for GoldSrc Engine

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I know my way around Source pretty well, but get lost in GoldSource surprisingly.

Okay, something I've wanted to learn how to do is model and script for Gold Source.

You know, screw around with the core game mechanics of like, half life and stuff.

Before I start, lets say hypothetically I have a disability that prevents me from gaining anything from tutorials; and that I do best when given all the required assets and left to tinker with them until something happens.

What I need to know is, what does one use to COMPILE models for GOLDSOURCE. I know CROWBAR does well with SOURCE but goldsource, the textures are baked into the model file and crowbar doesn't seem to do that.

I know how to decompile and port Gold Source to Source, but lets say I wanna make models for Goldsource. 

Probably an incredibly complicated way of saying 
"What is a list of programs needed for compiling and animating for gold-source specifically? Specifically bare-bones requirements for a beginner."

And "Where/how are the weapon/NPC scripts? Lets say I wanna give the Opposing Force M249 100 bullets instead of 50. Lets say I wanna make the 357 use the pistol ammo reserve."

Stuff I know how to access in SOURCE, because everything has expanded outwards instead of compacted... 

I never was one to be good at communication. Back in school all they taught me was how to expand my words, not to shorten them down.


  • 7mo
    The303 avatar
    The303 Offline
    Member Joined 11mo
    Hello, I'm copying parts of posts I made on sven-coop forums that I posted for helping some others with the same problems you are experiencing.

    First the tools; this pack has the essentials as in the MDL viewer, the decompiler, and the compiler:
    HLMV, mdldec.exe, studiomdl.exe (in "tools" folder):
    Personally I highly recommend using GUIstudioMdl since I ve been compiling dozens of models with it and its troubleshooting abilities:

    For basic GoldSrc QC info there is some word docs in the HLSDK (Download through steam under "tools") and also this page I created recently gives a full rundown of GoldSource QC model compile commands:

    HLMV - Standalone: A superior Model viewer with drag-and drop and many new features and doesn't suffer from CPU hangups:
    P2MV: An alternative model viewer with some unique additions like additional model flags and dm_base/REMAP color changing previews:

    First for basic goldsrc MDL info is a partially complete (most info but no pics) model basics page for GoldSrc Model compiling Including requirements and limitations:
    (I will try to make a more complete image version soon)

    For texture creation you can follow my .WAD info page which is basically the same info you need to make 8-bit BMPS

    If you are a MilkShape3D user, it already has built-in exporters/importers out of the box.  Also if you are a MilkShape user get this for better UV unwrapping:

    If you are using blender you need Source SMD plugins:

     These recently got a GoldSrc export option however you must be sure that you have no blended weights or it wont export.  Use Quantize and Limit Total on all groups in paint mode to be sure.  If that fails, export as source smd and use Peterthegoats converter program:

     Found this great playlist a while back on blender modelling for goldsrc (uses the converter program; made before official goldsrc option):
    Also, a newer tutorial on making an animated helicopter.

    3DSmax was one the most popular of the choices pretty much because HL1 was made using it (skeletons use BIPED helper rig bone names).
    Modern SMD plugins here:
    Legacy (pre-2013) tools here:

    GoldSrc Player model quick rundown:

    The short:
    1. Decompile a playermodel with mdldec.exe
    2. Import the reference mesh SMD into your 3d program of choice (if you dont know which SMD it is look in the .qc file it is usually under body EX:
    //reference mesh(es)
    $body "body" "soldier_ref"

    3. Delete or hide the mesh, leaving the bones only and then scale your model mesh to match the skeleton.
    4. Skin the mesh to the bones, but keep in mind since you are using goldsrc each vertex is ONE WEIGHT (1.0) as in no partial weights across bones.
    5. Export your reference SMD
    6. Convert your texture to goldsrc-ready format (8bit indexed color BMP, no greater than 512X512)
    7. Compile your model with studiomdl.exe

    Also be sure that your model mesh is a decent polycount because there are too many badly done or ported models that are pushing 15~20k+ triangles and not only are bad for performance but animate badly due to topology not being made for hard-vertex weights.

    The long:
    Depends on what 3d program you are using as they handle quite differently from each other.  Most new people get their start with Milkshape3D since its the easiest to learn and has a lot of built-in tools/exporters so its the fastest out of the box since you don't have to install any plugins, just start importing.  The problem with milkshape is that its very old and slow for 3d modelling, but for edits and ports its okay.  There is an old step by step creation guide for a CS1.6 model which is similar if you would like to check it out:
    Webpage Mirror:
    Also get LithUnwrap here:
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  • 7mo
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    Yeah, well, that was The303 for you. If you have any problems, just ask him, he knows far more than me (and anyone i've seen). I might add, that Sven Co-op custom compiler can compile models without UV shifting, that is one of the major problems of old model compilers
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