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A gaming and technology blog by TWHL admins Penguinboy and Ant. A music blog by TWHL users Ant and Hugh.

Half-Life Rain

By Chris 'autolycus' Bokitch

(tutorial originally by Freon)


Rain in Half-Life?" Yes! You've been all dreaming of it! This tutorial file explains how you can easily add rain in your levels.

You've gotta see this in the game for the full effect.


Step #1
Place the rain.spr file (available in rain.zip) in the valve\sprites directory.

Step #2
In your level you need 3 entities for each drip (so copy/paste these entilies in the area you want the rain to fall, and space them, more or less, depending the rain intensity):

  • place one env_beam entity anywhere in your level.
  • ...and two info_target entities, one for the start of the water drip and the other for where it ends (call them s1/e1, s2/e2,... or something like that). You may place them on the same vertical line if you want the rain to fall straight to the ground. But if you want to add a wind effect, move all the end entities several units away from the start entity in the top view of you editor.

Step #3
In the env_beam, you now need to...

  • specify the "Start Entity" (put s#) and the "Ending Entity" (e#).
  • Set the "Life" to 0.
  • Set the "Width of beam" between 16 and 32 (regarding how phat you want the drip to be).
  • Then in the "Sprite Name" section, enter "sprites/rain.spr".
  • Set the "texture scroll" to about -20 for a fast rain (You can slow down the rain or accelerate it but you always need a negative number).
  • To improve the rain quality in the "Flags" enable the "Start On" and "Shade Start" flags (the rain will shade on its top border).


Below are a few tips for improving the rain effect.

  • As you can see in the sample level, rain is much better in outside places :).
  • In order to improve the rain feeling don't choose a hot sun-burned desert sky. You can specify which sky to use in the "Map properties". You may want a cloody sky so use "dusk" (the one in my level) or "night" or a strange alien sky.
  • You'd get a better effect if you use a "env_light" with a gray-blue light quiet dark.
  • Use also a "func_water" on a non-flat soil as in the sample level (it looks so cool in software!).
  • And at last put in the middle of you rain zone a ambient_generic using "ambience\*waterfall3.wav" (a cool rain sound from the valve pak).
  • Have a look on the the sample map.

Feel free to e-mail Freon if you have some issues. You can also modify the sprite, change it (blood rain, snow or whatever). And try everything you want with the env_beam to improve the rain fx.


For a more concrete illustration, check out the example map linked below.