This package includes an updated version of the Hammer Editor, the Source level editor program, an updated version of Faceposer, Source’s choreography program, some example resources to help build new maps, and an updated suite of “command-line compiling utilities”, which sounds… uh, lovely. Hammer is loathed by many Source modders, and with good reason – it’s notoriously unreliable and unstable. This new version does have some improvements, but it is still the same Hammer everyone loves to hate. Or hates to hate. But certainly not loves to love.
Valve says they’re working more on tools now more than they ever have before, but we’re not sure if the results can really be seen here. But hey, this is a beta. Maybe Valve’s saving the impressive stuff for the full release? Hell if I know.
You can also join two mailing lists: the Portal 2 Mapping list, and the General Source Mapping List, which is interestingly named “hlmappers”. Any problems you encounter with the tools can be sent to the appropiate mailing list. And no, “lacking Episode Three” is not one of those problems.
Let us know what you think of the new mod tools in the comments section, be it praise or unadulterated hate.