Post tutorial RSS How to Map for Varion !

This will help you to setup source sdk for varion aswell as various techniques that we use to help you to make a new communtiy map for varion.

Posted by on - Basic Mapping/Technical

This tutorial is to give some insight into level design for Varion.

This tutorial will show you:

- Setup Varion
- Techniques
- Polishing

Setting up Varion:

Once you have downloaded Varion you will want to make some new levels for it. The first thing to do when you start is to open source sdk you can get this tool free with any source game (most of them anyway :P). This has various tools in for level design open up hammer editor. When the tool loads go to options.

Once here go to Config > Edit then add "Varion". Go down and then click Add once clicked add the following fgd: hl2, hl2dm, Varion (In Varion dir). Most things on there can remain as default but you can change them to info_player_start etc if you want to.

Game Exe:
Hl2 Directory (Don't write this go to your hl2 in steamapps)
Game Dir:
Varion Directory (Main folder of Varion)
Hammer Vmf Directory:
This can be anywhere you want it's where your Vmfs are stored. (Varion maps is best place)

Now leave everything should be all good in general.

Now go along to the tab Build Programs:

Fill in like this:
Game exe:
$SteamUserDir\half-life 2\hl2.exe
Compiled Maps:
This should be your Varion maps folder.


There are many techniques for levels. Varion uses brushes around some of the edges of certain brushes to make it look nicer and more detailed. We use a certain color scheme in each map we don't have loads of colors in one map. As Varion is for all computer uses we want it keep it nice and optimized so try keep brushwork tidy and no overlaps this will increase compile time and gain better fps.

Spawn Points:

Try to keep spawn points far away from each other as it will stop people from spawn camping. The spawns used in Varion are. Info_player_horde (Team Horde), Info_player_breakers (Team Breakers), Info_deathmatch and Info_player_start.

The game types are loaded by our new game type system so you don't need to specify any entities in the map. (Capture flag and other game types will need new entities but currently don't have those mods coded yet).

No draw is used in source engine as it doesn't render the brush side which is on to save memory use age. We first use no draw for whole map and then texture them map with the Toggle Texture Tool.


Varion maps are at a high standard in brushwork so we go back over the whole map checking for any signs of brush overlay or bugs in the map. We look at the map and make sure there is no exploits which are visible such as jumping on lights and camping. These can be easily fixed with clip texture.

Once done we optimize the map and make sure there is no big frame rate drops.

Final Words:

We really want to push community maps for Varion as the community is what has got Varion so far. If you do want to create a map and it is good enough for the version we will put it in a map pack and release in a further update as a community update. This will get the community more involved in the mod.

Thanks for reading and we hope you make some new maps and enjoy playing Varion.

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