Half-Life 2 Mod — Source Media Arcade

This isn’t just a mod. This is a utility that pushes the boundaries of user interfaces.

Source Media Arcade enhances your operating system by adding a full 3D virtual interface to your computer. Pictures, games, documents, and programs are all represented by physical objects with their textures dynamically generated using your own media. This allows every file to have its own unique look, literally opening the door to a whole new way of organizing and browsing your media.

3D objects can be interacted with to open files, launch applications, or even switch between running tasks.

The interface is highly customizable and the back-end is designed to be easily expanded beyond the mod’s initial capabilities.


• Launch applications or open files by activating in-game objects.
• Opens files and applications directly in front of the “game” screen.
• Displays your picture files in-game on virtual screens from their current location on your hard drive.
• Utilizes the DevIL image loader to support over 40 image file types that can be displayed in-game.
• Intelligently finds pictures associated with your non-image documents to be used as screens and marquee images on their 3D avatars.
• Organizes your files into playlists that can reference files from any folder on your computer or over a local network.
• Playlists can be auto-synchronized with specific folders so that they never become out-of-date. Files placed in these folders will be on the playlist the next time it is loaded.
• Allows file type filtering and other detailed options when syncing with folders.
• File avatars in-game are completely customizable allowing you choose their 3D model and associated images.
• All changes take immediate effect and are automatically saved to keep the experience as persistent as possible.
• Uses script-based model presets to organize available models into easy-to-use, expandable categories.
• Easily add your files where you want by pointing and clicking to arrange your 3D world just as you like.
• Quickly switch between predefined arrangement sets to spawn your files at different themed locations around the map.
• On average is able to display up to 70 file avatars simultaneously in “hi-res” mode. (Over 400 avatars in “low-res” mode!)
• Is able to load official as well as community made add-on maps from many popular Source engine games such as Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, and Counter-Strike: Source.
• Easily create new file avatar models.

The only thing it can’t do is repair your VCR or service your car.

This initial release, labeled BETA 1, is only a taste of the real scope of this project — this is a mod to keep on your radar.

Check out this “commercial” to see the SM Arcade in action:

Download the Source Media Arcade now, or read more over here.

Join the Conversation   

* required field

By submitting a comment here you grant GameFront a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.

2 Comments on Half-Life 2 Mod — Source Media Arcade


On May 23, 2011 at 4:31 am

The idea is pretty cool. However it will be very difficult to make it better than xp or 7. If you are wanting a better explorer experience you need it to be well organized so you can make your selections quickly. The 3d files idea is awesome, but how do you sort by file size or type? The files need to be better organized so you have less gaps to select your file. I see one major problem. This has to be a computer hog. You have to run windows. Then half life 2 on top of it. Hl2 alone is fairly huge. Unless, they designed it to be 30% smaller when used you could see a slower explorer experience. The big question is if this explorer is still open when you open a file or select a game. If it is a good 25-75% of your computer’s speed and memory are used up. Great idea. Interface needs ome tweaking but it is pretty good for beta. If you want to use this I would make sure you have 4 gigs of memory or more and a quad core processor so that only like 25% of your computer might be impacted at it’s worse

SM Sith Lord

On November 23, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Just want to let you guys know that the first full version of the mod has been released on ModDb and Desura.

New version is a complete re-write with too many features to list. Check out this link for the official user’s manual: http://www.moddb.com/mods/source-media-arcade/features/official-users-manual

To address Adam’s concerns, it performs the same as Team Fortress 2 when browsing your arcades.

When you launch a game, it releases its resources so that you can play the other game at (near) maximum performance.

When you close the other game and return to SMA, it takes a second to re-allocate its memory, but it’s still infinitely better than having to re-launch the mod.