I'm just wondering how source games have their own executables?

For example, Portal 2 has portal2.exe, LF42 has left4dead2.exe, Garry's Mod has a hl2.exe that displays gmod icon and has Facepunch Studios etc. in its metadata.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If you have the source code for a game engine you may build your own exe just like you would build an exe from any other C++ code. I'm sure that's what Portal 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 are doing because those are Valve's own games. For Garry's Mod it might not be the same answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Romen
    Jul 24, 2023 at 18:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Romen Can do it with SDK ? \$\endgroup\$
    – RAVEN.exe
    Jul 29, 2023 at 6:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ I believe the Source SDK is meant for making mods for games. So you use the exe from the game you are modding. \$\endgroup\$
    – Romen
    Jul 31, 2023 at 14:15

1 Answer 1


Altering the "hl2.exe" Icon

  • Create your Icon (has to be 256x256p) and save it as an interlaced .png

  • Find a .ico converting website and make convert the .png to .ico (Gimp Is a free Image editing application that can also save as .ico)

  • Download and save the .ico in"\steamapps\sourcemods\MODNAME\resource" as "game.ico"

Now It should display your Icon, If not then restart your PC

More about Source Engine Icons can be found at: https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Making_Icons_and_Integrating

These steps can also

  • \$\begingroup\$ This answer would be more useful if it at least summarized the steps from the tutorial, so even if a reader can't find that document, they can make progress by reading the information in your post. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Aug 23, 2023 at 11:08

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