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For instance, every map in Portal has what appear to be sprites over a texture indicating the obstacles you'll face (see screenshot). Are these resources compiled into the source as byte code, or is it possible to extract them from installation files? Obviously I understand copyright implications, and I am only interested in using it for a recreational project. Instead of recreating them, I wonder if they can be extracted.

Portal Map Obstacles

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

You can save yourself a lot of trouble and just download them here.

But as for your question. It totally depends on the game, but usually they are not compiled into the source as byte code. Often times they are available in the resource files found in the same directory as the game install. But really there's no definitive answer on this. Theoretically the texture files will always be extract-able, it just depends on how much work you want to devote to it.

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Thank you for posting that resource! Of course, it would still be nice to know the answer to the question :) –  Brian Reindel Jun 9 '12 at 21:58
    
Textures (and other resources like models or sounds) are mostly in big games like Portal "compiled" in some sort of data packs in byte form. It would be really hard (if it would be possible) to get them. –  zacharmarz Jun 9 '12 at 22:53
    
@zacharmarz Of course it would be possible, but it doesn't mean it would be practical. So yes, really hard. –  Byte56 Jun 9 '12 at 23:08

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