The Hammer Cup 2017 Short Story Event

I am pleased to announce another short story event. I hope this becomes a yearly event.

I would like readers to write a short story that uses one of the maps as its setting or one of the first four themes from the Hammer Cup 2017; Defend, Bridge, Toxic and Teleport.

This is an “event” NOT a challenge or competition. I am calling it an “event” because I would like to encourage as many people as possible to submit stories. I don’t only want people to submit if they think they can win.

I have no plans to offer a prize.

The maximum word count is 2,500, but that DOES NOT mean you must write that many. Even really short stories can be fun to read.

I understand that not everybody who uses this site is a native English speaker but the submission MUST be in English.

The submission must also be suitable for over 16 years old children to read. If I feel a submission is inappropriate for some readers, I will not publish it.

As with my previous story events (TREE Story event No.1 and TREE Story Event No.2) I will publish the submissions as a PDF, making it easier for people to read.

The deadline for submission is 31st December 2017.

Please email them to me directly: [email protected]

They can be part of the email or attached as .txt files.

DO NOT send them as word documents or other word processing formats.

DO NOT post them here as comments.

If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to post them here.

19th November 2017 10 Comments

Opposing Force Birthday Livestream

As Half-Life 2 just becomes a teenager, the venerable Half-Life inches closer to a whopping 20 years since release! But that celebration is next year at this time.

However, its sibling release Half-Life: Opposing Force is turning 18 years old this very weekend, and we’re celebrating with a full Op4 livestream just like last year for HL!

I (Don) will be streaming Opposing Force starting Sunday the 19th at 1pm Eastern US, which is 6pm in the UK and 7pm in Central Europe.

The stream will be on the RTSL YouTube Channel.

17th November 2017 5 Comments

Re-Poll Question 001 – Have you Crowbarred Barney for his ammo?

In Half-Life, it is actually possible to kill Black Mesa guards and collect their ammo.

When PasserbywhoplaysHL asked the question “Have you Crowbarred Barney for his ammo?” I was shocked. Partly because I didn’t know you could and partly because it seemed pretty heartless.

I know it’s “just” a game but I feel that my actions within the game (within certain limits) should reflect my behaviour in real life. I don’t have fun just running around killing and shooting stuff. I want to play as part of a story etc, which is why MP has never appealed to me.

What about you?

Original Poll

You can find the original poll here: Poll Question 001 – Have you Crowbarred Barney for his ammo?

Time to vote
[poll id="34"]
About This Post

Back in 2006, I started a weekly poll. Each question was designed to encourage discussion, rather than simply “Yes!” or “No!” answers. Well, 2006 is a long time ago (11 years at the time of posting this) and the readership has changed. People have come and gone, as they always do, so I thought it might be fun to ask the same questions again.

Perhaps, the different readership will answer differently based on the years that have passed or perhaps they are simply different types of players. That in itself is an interesting question – a bit like new players to the franchise often prefer Black Mesa to the original Half-Life, simply because they never experienced HL when it was first released and have a completely different frame of reference.

Anyway, I plan to re-post all the questions in the same order, although not necessarily every week. So, if a new interesting question appears I will miss a week of the re-poll.

10th November 2017 18 Comments

The Hammer Cup 2017 – Challenge 5 – FusionVille

We’re here at last: the final challenge in The Hammer Cup 2017!

For this challenge we want you to pick 3 themes from the 2016 and 2017 Hammer Cup challenges, and creatively combine those themes into your perfect fusion map.

The deadline for submitting maps is: Monday 11th December 2017 – that’s two extra weeks!

8th November 2017 19 Comments

Half-Rats: Parasomnia

for Half-Life

July, 1883. Half-Rats is, as he usually seems to be; down on his luck and fretting for the future.

One fateful night, he carelessly decides to drown his sorrows with strong libations – and he runs up a tab at a pub he knows he can’t pay…

Remarkably; Instead of a reproachful speech and coarse removal, he is instead told a tale he can hardly believe.

A tale involving great riches, but even greater peril. If he was not so desperate, he wouldn’t conceive of embarking on what could be a wild goose chase to locate a forgotten and virtually unknown town.

Half-Rats’ doubts were abated somewhat when the publican shews his utmost sincerity – albeit in a strange and effusive manner – and draws him a rude map.


Total Downloads: 1315th November 2017
7 Comments and 1 recommendation, most really enjoyed it!

Half-Life Art – October 2017

As readers may know, starting in October 2017 I am really trying to use Twitter to promote the site and its content.

Part of that is a daily series of tweets that inlcude one Half-Life related image.

Searching Twitter is actually pretty hard and not all the tweets appear, so I have decided for the Half-Life Art and maybe a few other tweet series, I will be creating archives on the content/tweets. Here is the first one.

I like the idea of running a monthly poll but I can’t guarantee I will do it each and every month. The poll is at the end of the page.

Please feel free to comment on your favourite piece of art.

Each Image is a link to the relevant page.

1st November 2017 2 Comments

November 2017 – General Chat

Well, the clocks have gone back, the mornings are brighter and the release of Black Mesa is another month closer. YAY!

Got lots of things planned for November but you know what?, I’m not going to tell you because it seems that every time I mention them here, I never do them.

In a couple of weeks there will be the fund raising stream, for the Hammer Cup 2017 prize fund – so I hope you can join me for that.

There’s a few things I have been working on regarding the site but mostly fixing lots of little issues.

I hope to tell you more soon and so other ideas I have.

So, here’s to a fun and hard-working November.

What do you have planned?

1st November 2017 11 Comments

Your Screenshots: Sinister

Today sees the launch of a new monthly event called Your Screenshots.

Each month I will set a theme and readers will send in screenshots that fit the theme.


The screenshots must be taken in the Half-Life series of games (Black Mesa included) or ANY released mod for those games, including multi-player mods.

Post-processing is allowed but must be stated when your screenshots is sent.

No set-ups using Source Film Maker is allowed.

I will run the event for six months and if it is successful, I will continue it.

There is no prize. I decided to not have a prize because I want as many readers to enter and I didn’t want people being discouraged thinking that only “artists” should enter.

The idea has been shamelessly stolen from the BBC: Your Pictures.

29th October 2017 6 Comments