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I'm just starting to look into creating Source mods for HL2 and I'm a little bit confused. I've gone through some tutorials on level creating to get the basics and it seems to me that it's all that really goes into the creation of a mod. I know I'm wrong so could someone please explain to me where the programming comes in? Is it more than just sticking NPCs and objects on a map?

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You can create levels -- place existing objects in them and specify their behavioral parameters to an extent -- without programming. Programming in mods generally comes in to play when you want to modify or tweak the intrinsic behavior of things in the game, or create entirely new kinds of things with unique AI or effects, beyond what is possible by the stock engine and object library.

For Source specifically this tends to include things like entity behavior and AI, networking, rendering effects, and UI.

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    \$\begingroup\$ So I could create a mod with a story line and all without much programming as long as I kept the entity behavior at it's default. Right? I'm just trying to do this for fun and possibly learn a little programming with it down the line. For now I just want come up with something that's fun (if only for me) to play. \$\endgroup\$ – Robert Jul 29 '11 at 6:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, you can make a "complete" half-life 2 modification without any programming, providing that you are content with the default behaviors. You can also make minor modifications to behavior using the scripts (for instance changing the weapon functionality). Have you considered working as part of a wider team, although there are less now, there are still a considerable number of actively-developed Half-life 2 mods, perhaps you could utilize your skillset there? \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Russell Jul 29 '11 at 12:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would love to join a team but my "skillset" currently consists of me watching a couple of tutorials on level design in Hammer. I can make the levels and build the mod but I haven't really done anything notable. I might try and see if I can find a team willing to take on an "apprentice" of sorts. \$\endgroup\$ – Robert Jul 29 '11 at 14:09

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