I want to compile the "Half Life 1" source code, but I don't have Visual Studio 6 or 2002 or 2003. There are a few projects which have ported the code to Visual Studio 2008, but they don't work. How do I compile it for Windows?

I am new to the game development scene; I know I probably shouldn't be jumping into something so advanced, but I want a fun project. If any one could point me in the right direction, that would be great!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Out of curiosity: why are you compiling it? Do you intend to mod it? \$\endgroup\$
    – Wackidev
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 0:44

1 Answer 1


Yes, that's a good question - why exactly are you trying to recompile Half-Life?

If you intend to mod it, you may be able to find a modder community that has a cleaner base code that will compile easier. Think something like ioquake3, just for Half-Life instead.

If you're trying to just tinker with the source code and teach yourself how to program, then a much better bet would be to find a cleaner base code that's more updated. Excellent examples would be Half-Life 2, pulled directly from Valve through Steam, or, again, something like ioquake3. I was able to compile ioquake3 with absolutely zero work - I just downloaded it, opened it, and compiled it.

Really, I don't know how beneficial it is to try and clean up crusty old code. Beginners will learn much more by getting involved in the mod community. Experts would probably pull out their old Windows 98 machine, boot up VS6 and go from there ;-)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah thanks for the answer! :) I have tried Half Life 2 but VS 2005 keeps giving me error after error after error. Then if I do get it working its missing DLLS. Been on the Steam Support forum for that and no one has been able to help :( I might have better luck here when I have the inspiration to try it again! Thanks for the speedy reply! :D \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 23, 2012 at 1:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Be careful about who you say that too, just having the Half Life 2's source code could get you in big trouble. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 23, 2012 at 1:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oops... I ment Source Engine. Sorry.. I was sort of half asleep when I made this thread. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 23, 2012 at 8:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ You actually can get the HL2 source code by buying the game itself on Steam - they're big supporters of the mod community at Valve. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 11:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I have the whole orange box. Il fire up the SDK one of the days and see if I will be able to solve it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 23, 2012 at 18:24

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