Getting Custom Content (materials, particle systems, sound) to Work?

So, I’ve been mapping for a while now. I don’t have any official releases, but I do build a lot, I just never really finish anything.

I’d like to try making my own content to use in game, but I have no idea how to get it to work in Hammer, and then in the game itself. (HL2 Ep2 and L4D)

Could anyone with experience, please explain the entire process. I can make my own vmf’s and vtf’s, but with Pakrat I have no idea how to code the locations of the $basetexture’s and all, because I can’t specify a folder since it’s embedded in the .bsp. This is just one example of the process I don’t understand.

Generally we don’t want to sit and hold someone’s hand through stuff that’s already out there…

Well, I tried google, but I never was able to dig up a decent tutorial on this.

Thanks for all the links, I’ll look them through. If I can find it, then by all means, rate me dumb.

You could most likely just search the forums also.