SiN Episodes: Emergence

SiN Episodes: Emergence

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SiN Episodes SDK - Installation and Setup
By soer4769
This guide will go through how to install and setup the SiN Episodes SDK.
   
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Introduction

The following guide will teach you how to install and setup the SiN Episodes SDK, part of the Source Engine which the game is build upon, to begin creating maps and mods for SiN Episodes: Emergence. Another version of this guide can also be found on the Valve Developer Community (VDC), more on this at the end.

This guide will however NOT teach you how to use any of the tools included with the SDK and it is assumed that the user either already knows afterwards how to use them or is willing to learn more about their usage through both external sources, as well as other guides that may be available elsewhere on steam - when the time comes.
Setting-up the Source Development Kit
Download and install
To install the Sin Episodes SDK, either try to enter this adress in your web browser steam://install/1317 or follow the steps below:
1a. Hover over the Library tab on steam and then click on the Tools tab.
1b. Hover over the Library tab on steam, click the filter button above the search bar and then check the Tools option in the dropdown.
2a. Double-click on the Sin Episodes SDK entry.
2b. Search for 'Sin Episodes SDK' in the seach bar and then double-click on the entry in the list; make sure the 'show only ready to play games' button is disabled or it will not show up.
3. The Sin Episodes SDK will now download to your computer.
4. Once it has been fully installed, you will be able to launch it from your steam library.
(a: old library design, b: new library design)

Should you not be able to install the SDK to your computer from either of the options listed above, which some people have had problems with, you can choose to download the full package from the Dropbox[www.dropbox.com] link here instead and unpack it to your Steam's common directory for the SDK listed below.

Installation directories
By default if you have downloaded the game and SDK to the same place as your Steam folder, the base locations will be:
- Game: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\SiN Episodes Emergence
- SDK: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\SinEpisodesSDK

If you instead have downloaded it to an external drive (like the D: drive in this instance), the path will instead be:
- Game: D:\SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\SiN Episodes Emergence
- SDK: D:\SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\SinEpisodesSDK

Use these locations throughout the guide everytime there is a mention of content inside any of the base folders. If you want to create a desktop shortcut, do so by right-clicking on the Sin Episodes SDK entry in your Steam library and clicking Create desktop shortcut from the context menu.
The SDK Package
The SiN Episodes SDK includes the following content:
  • Hammer Editor - Source level editor.
  • Faceposer - choreography creation tool.
  • HLMV - Half-Life Model Viewer.
  • Suite of command line compiling utilities, such as studiomdl and map compiling tools.
  • Three example maps (arena_office, se1_docks04, se1_highrise01).
SDK SteamPipe Fix

By default when opening the Hammer Editor or any other tool for that matter from the SDK for the first time, they will crash upon launch with the error message 'Can't find steam app user info', which is possibly due to the SteamPipe Update which changed the namescheme of the user-specific named folder found in SteamApps to common and made the SDK unable to locate the programs.

To fix this, simply create a new text file with notepad and call it SteamAppData with the file extension of .vdf in SinEpisodesSDK\config and place the text below inside of it - you will have to create the config folder manually as it does not come bundled with the SDK. Once the file is saved, all of the programs should now launch without any problems.

"SteamAppData" { "AutoLoginUser" "common" }
Loose Beta Build

The game provides a Loose beta build everyone can opt into, which upon doing so redownloads all of the content for the game (~1.1 GB), with the difference from the standard build being it essentially unpacks all of the VPK files (Valve Pak; uncompressed archive files) to SiN Episodes Emergence\SE1 - meaning it is not needed to extract any of it with Third Party Programs everytime you perhaps want to modify some of the game's content. To install it:

1. Go into your Steam library.
2. Right-click on SiN Episodes: Emergence.
3. Click on properties.
4. A new window will open, here click on the Betas tab.
5. Then select 'loose -' under the beta to opt into.

You can now close the window and Steam will automatically download the content for you.
Extract the Example Maps

There are three example maps included with the SDK, one being from the arena gamemode and two from the singleplayer campaign, but they are located inside of a VPK file and need to be extracted to open them up in the hammer editor; as the SDK unlike the game does not have a beta build that unpacks the files.
  • To do this you will need to download GCFScape[nemesis.thewavelength.net]
  • Open SinEpisodesSDK\vpks\depot_1318.vpk and go to sesdk_content\mapsrc.
  • Right click on the vmf files and extract them to a folder that can be deemed useful to store them, like SiN Episodes Emergence\SE1\maps\decompiled.
  • Once extracted open up hammer, file->open in the top menubar and find one of the maps on your drive.
You can use these example maps to find out how the developers have made certain things in the game and can also be useful for if you want to learn how to create your own arena gamemode map.
Additional setup
The icons in Faceposer are broken
All of the icons inside of Faceposer are missing and this is not a problem unique to SiN, but to fix it download this zip file[steamreview.org] and extract the folder gfx to SiN Episodes Emergence\SE1 and restart Faceposer. The icons should now show up correctly.

Get access to all maps in hammer

There are only three official maps from the game included as example maps to open up in the level editor, but what if you could get access to all of them instead? This is a very simple procedure and can be done by downloading a decompile tool, but will however not produce one hundred procent exact results to the originals and may only be for learning and usage of some parts of its content in your own maps. Also when decompiling other people's maps, do NOT under any circumstances use others content in your own maps - even parts of it, without permission beforehand.

First of download and extract BSPSource[github.com] to your computer, once done open up the file inside named bspsrc.jar (you need to have Java installed[www.java.com] on your system before you can do this however). A window will pop and ask you what map files you want to decompile, here either click on the Add button and select the individual map files (those with a .bsp extension in SiN Episodes Emergence\SE1\maps) or select all of the map files manually and drag and drop them all into the box; then simply click on the Decompile button. Be sure not to select any with the same name as the example maps earlier extracted, as this will just override them with inferior imprecise decompiled counterparts.

Find a destination folder where to place the decompiled map files into, like SiN Episodes Emergence\SE1\maps\decompiled and it will automatically convert them into .vmf files that you can open up in the Hammer Level Editor. If Hammer ever gives you a warning with 'For your information, 2 solid(s) were not loaded due to errors in the file', just ignore it and press OK. You should now have access to all of the map files.

Make it easier to create maps with prefabs

Creating a map can take a very long time, especially if you should make a bunch of the stuff from the campaign all by yourself within your own level. This process is not always needed however as I have created a pack of 256 premade fabrications, also called prefabs, which can easily be imported into your level and works out of the box without much hassle to get them working. These prefabs are sectioned into different part: environmental which have some sort of property, interactable where the player is able to make the object do something and world which are mostly static world elements.

The pack covers a wide range of stuff found throughout the campaign for you to use and can be inserted with the click of a button while also being capable of being used multiple times without any conflics between the individual instances. Finally the pack also has an example map for the arena gamemode to show the basic setup for how to create one from scratch.

Download prefabs here[soer4769.dk]
Where do I go from here?
Go learn more
The SiN Episodes Level Creation page is a good place to go if you are familiar with Source mapping already. If not, you will need to master the basics of Source level design first.

If you want to learn about how to create content for the Source Engine in general, the main page of the Source SDK documentation is a good place to start.

3kliksphilip Tutorials - Beginner Source SDK Tutorials

Bugs and Issues
Post all issues you may have in the Sin Episodes Steam Discussions Board. If you have a bug specific to the Sin Episodes SDK or game and are able to replicate it, perhaps even know a fix, please add it as an entry to the Sin Episodes Bugs page.

See the Source SDK FAQ for answers to general SDK questions. For level design and Hammer editor issues, see the Level Design FAQ.

Community
The SiN Community is from what I know of no longer around due to Ritual Entertainment's buyout, which led to the series' and eventually community's death, however the Source Engine Community itself is still thriving to this day with new games and mods releasing all the time.

Valve Developer Community (VDC) - Wiki about everything Source.
Source Modding Community[discord.gg] - General Source/GoldSource Modding Discord Server.
Source SDK Steam page - Source SDK Steam Community.
Valvetime Forums[www.valvetime.net] - Source Modifications Forum.
Interlopers Forum[www.interlopers.net] - General Game/Half-Life Forum
The End?
Thanks for taking the time to read this guide and I hope it has provided all of the information you need to begin your journey into creating possible maps and mods for the game.

As stated in the introduction, the majority of the content found in this guide is taken directly from the Valve Developer Community, and is done because I wrote the same content found there and wanted to share it with more of the community found here - as I have read comments from people interested in how to get started mapping for the game but may be unaware of the VDC's existence and also might just want a simple 'How to get started!' guide without having to use too much time searching the web for answers.

It is also a perfect place to find it as this hub is SiN Episodes's primary community hub at the time of writing - mainly due to it being an old game, and is where people might expect to find it in the first place, as it is where you begin your adventure for more information regarding the subject if you just bought the game on its store page.

If anyone finds any information in this guide misleading, not describing something well enough, contains any spelling mistakes or just unsure of anything; please write a comment below and I, or possibly someone else, will try to answer/fix the problem as good and fast as possible.

I hope to create more content and guides for the game over time, anyways thanks again and have a wonderful day!
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9 Comments
thewarsend Jul 3 @ 3:28pm 
@soer4769 I couldn't find it anywhere and I was about to give up. Thank you so much!
soer4769  [author] Jul 3 @ 2:45pm 
@thewarsend Odd, I will take a look at it in the future, until then you can download it here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7oil2ttg3vea7pr/SinEpisodesSDK.zip?dl=0
thewarsend Jul 3 @ 2:36pm 
@soer4769 I already tried that. Clicking that link leads me directly to the main store page. It looks like Steam got rid of the SDK. You can only get it if you had it before.
soer4769  [author] Jul 3 @ 2:31pm 
@thewarsend I have fixed the link above, seems when you enter anything in an url clause steam will automatically add ' https://' in front of it if it is not there, anyway enter 'steam://install/1317' in your web browser and it should install :)
thewarsend Jul 3 @ 2:04pm 
@soer4769 I bought the game weeks ago. I just tried to locate the SDK, I tried both the link and the tools section and it is simply not there. I don't understand why.
soer4769  [author] Jul 3 @ 1:32pm 
@thewarsend You need to have the game to gain access to the sdk, also you can find it in your library by enabling the 'tools' option
thewarsend Jul 3 @ 1:23pm 
I can't seem to locate the SDK. Can anyone help?
soer4769  [author] Jan 28 @ 1:41pm 
@mephrite I have just added prefabs to make it easier to create levels :)
Mephrite Sep 28, 2019 @ 3:45am 
Thank You very much! :) Now I need to wait for Holidays for some time to check it! :)