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vmflib: a Python package for creating Valve Map Format (VMF) files

vmflib is a python package to help developers create maps for VMF-compatible video games procedurally using Python 3. The VMF format is best known for its use in the Source Engine and its many games.

Current Status

This project is far from feature-complete, but there's already a lot you can do with it. See the examples directory for some easy-to-read demonstrations of how vmflib can be used to produce some basic maps.

If there's something you wish to contribute, message me or send me a pull request. Contributions are welcome. If you're doing something with vmflib or using it in a project of your own, let me know -- I'd love to hear about it!


Current functionality is pretty basic, but it's enough to get you by. This is the basic workflow:

from vmflib import vmf

m = vmf.ValveMap()

# do stuff with m


You can modify world attributes such as the sky name: = 'sky_day01_01'

Or create a Block and add it to the world:

from vmflib.types import Vertex
from import Block

block = Block(Vertex(0, 0, -512), (1024, 1024, 64), 'BRICK/BRICKFLOOR001A')

If you'd like to quickly start playing with vmflib interactively, simply navigate to the folder where you cloned this repository and run

$ ./ 

You now have a clean ValveMap object to tinker with called "m".
Try calling m.write_vmf("testmap.vmf") to output it as a VMF file.

Or just type "m" to view the map's markup immediately.

CTRL+D to exit.



The functionality of this package is spread out across a handful of included modules. Here is a run-down of the modules that exist so far and what they do:

  • vmf: Core classes used in defining maps, most notably the ValveMap class.
  • types: Classes for representing some special data types that exist throughout the VMF specification (Vertex, RGB, Bool, and so on).
  • brush: Classes used for modelling and representing basic geometry in the map (Solid and Side).
  • tools: Classes that provide higher-level management of brush geometry (just Block for now) These abstractions don't exist within the VMF spec, so it is up to the tool (e.g. Hammer, or this library) to manage them internally.
  • games: A package containing modules providing game-specific helper classes
    • source: Classes that provide abstractions for entities used across all Source Engine games.
    • tf2: Classes that provide abstractions for entities specific to Team Fortress 2 maps.

Try an example

Here's a simple way to see what vmflib can do, by running one of the included examples and compiling/running the map using the included build tool.

This example will install the map into (and launch) Team Fortress 2. If you would like to use a different Source Engine game, just replace "tf2" in the instructions below with "hl2" (for Half-Life 2), "css" (for Counter-Strike: Source), "hl2mp" (for Half-Life 2: Deathmatch), or "gm" (for Garry's Mod).

You'll need:

  • a Windows environment (either using a basic Command Prompt or cygwin) or Linux
  • a local copy of this repository
  • Steam running and signed in
  • Python 3
  • wine (if you're using Linux)

If you're using a basic Windows command prompt (cmd.exe):

  1. cd into the vmflib directory where you cloned this repository.
  2. set PYTHONPATH=.
  3. python3 examples\
  4. python3 tools\ --game tf2 outdoor.vmf
  5. If there are no errors, the map will be installed and the game will launch.

If you're in a cygwin shell:

  1. cd into the vmflib directory where you cloned this repository.
  2. export PYTHONPATH=.
  3. examples/
  4. tools/ --game tf2 outdoor.vmf
  5. If there are no errors, the map will be installed into the game you selected. You will see a message explaining how to launch the game with the map you just built.

If you're using Linux:

  1. cd into the vmflib directory where you cloned this repository.
  2. examples/
  3. export sourcesdk=/path/to/windows/steam/sourcesdk/directory
  4. tools/ --game tf2 outdoor.vmf
  5. If there are no errors, the map will be installed into your native copy of the selected game (not the windows/wine copy; we only use the windows copy for compilation purposes) and launched.


vmflib is provided freely under the Simplified BSD License. See LICENSE for full details.

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A Valve Map Format (VMF) package for Python







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