This release includes the new Hammer editor.
Half-Life: Alyx Workshop and Hammer tools

The moment that many a mod maker and custom content creator have been waiting for is here. Half-Life: Alyx now has a beta release of Workshop content and Editor tools that anybody can make use of. This means that as of today, custom content built off of the Half-Life: Alyx version of Source can be created and shared with the world via the Steam Workshop.

Creators can make everything from a new VR physics sandbox, their own Rube Goldberg machines, new scenarios, and more. Since this is built off of the very VR game, Half-Life: Alyx, you can even do something like create the world's largest Multitool environmental puzzle. You could even do something like create an extra scenario (or several) focused on City 17. Really, the only limitations here will be your imagination, talent, and whatever possible limits there are in the game engine itself.

The biggest new inclusion in this release is the new Hammer editor. This first beta release of the Alyx Workshop tools includes the following tools and resources:

  • Hammer, the latest version of the Source 2 level editor.
  • Material Editor, the tool for creating and tuning materials in Source 2.
  • ModelDoc, a tool for viewing, editing, and compiling models with animation, collision, and other gameplay attributes.
  • AnimGraph, our animation tool used to create complicated animation setups with blends and transitions.
  • Particle Editor, for making new particle effects.
  • Subrect Editor, for creating smart texture sheets known as "hotspots."
  • Source Filmmaker, the Source 2 cinematic renderer and animation tool.
Also included with these tools are several sample maps. Valve has opted to include them in order "to demonstrate and explain how (they) authored enemy encounters in the game, as well as showcase some new features of the Half-Life: Alyx level art pipeline including tile meshes, static and dynamic cables, and texture hotspotting." Not only that, but Valve has included the entire set of maps from Half-Life: Alyx as editable sources for reference. Additional features and tools will be provided in future updates.

To help get would-be content creators started, Valve started to write a Half-Life: Alyx Workshop Tools documentation.

As part of the Half-Life: Alyx Workshop update, Valve also added a native Linux version of the game. This release uses the Vulkan rendering API. This also means that Vulkan was added to the Windows release as an option for the rendering API used. Vulkan may result in better performance for some users, depending on their hardware configuration.

Other changes to Alyx include some small tweaks to the spectator view for the game and "additional fixes." That can all be read about below or from the Steam Community announcement.

Spectator View
The spectator view (the view other people see when watching someone play) has received a few small updates as well. The spectator view now supports two zoom levels, and can be run in full screen mode by adding -fullscreen to your Launch Options in Steam. There is also now an option to draw the Spectator HUD directly in the SteamVR "VR View" window, so your spectators can see the HUD along with any other SteamVR overlays you use.

Additional fixes
Fixed some occurrences of the player's in-game hands shaking, GPU optimizations for rendering fog, and CPU optimizations for NPCs.