Gabe Newell has been talking about the projects Valve are working on. He says that one of the major aims of the company is to improve the usability of the Source Software Development Kit and the Hammer level editor. Newell says that the current tools are "very painful" to use, saying that "we probably are spending more time on tools development now than anything else."
Newell made the comments on the latest Steamcast , where he was asked if Valve would ever update the Source SDK, and their Hammer level editor. He said "oh yeah, we're spending a tremendous amount of time on tools right now. So, our current tools are... very painful, so we probably are spending more time on tools development now than anything else and when we're ready to ship those I think everybody's life will get a lot better.
"[It's] just way too hard to develop content right now, both for ourselves and for third-parties, so we're going to make enormously easier and simplify that process a lot."
This isn't just good news for developers. Modders and map makers use the same Hammer level editor that Valve do, and Hammer's UI has hardly been updated since it was used to create Half Life in 1998. A less fiddly and more powerful version of the software would both make it easier for budding mappers to have a go, and ultimately enable the community to create even more impressive mods and maps for Valve's games.
[via CVG ]