About RUN. THINK. SHOOT. LIVE.

OVERVIEW

Welcome

  • Hello and welcome to RUN. THINK. SHOOT. LIVE.
  • This page contains everything you need to know about the site, except the Privacy Policy and the Terms of Use.
  • If this is your first visit or if you are an old-timer then I am sure this page will offer plenty of useful information.

  • If after reading this page you still have questions, please don't hesitate to use the contact page.

Quick Overview

  • RUN. THINK. SHOOT. LIVE. lists and reviews single player maps and mods for the Half-Life series of games.
  • It currently lists over 1300 maps and mods, with 45,00 comments, of which nearly 10,000 use Recommendation Images.
  • It also includes over 50,000 screenshots, more than 300 poll questions, 535 commenting members and 400 other articles about gaming.

Type of Content

  • In addition to the single player maps and mods, the site generates related content, including various types of podcasts and articles.
  • The main menu contains READ and LISTEN menu items that dropdown to show sub-categories of content.

Recommendation Images?

  • The site has a unique rating system called Recommendations. There is a special section on this page that explains it in detail.

Our Community

COMMENTING
  • Every visitor can comment, even non-members.
  • Enter your details in the Name (Website and Email are optional) and then type your comment.
  • IMPORTANT: If you haven't made an approved comment after 3 days of registering, you account is deleted.
  • Please feel free to express your thoughts, ideas and opinions, but be respectful to others at all times.
  • EVERY single comment is retro-actively moderated. This means every comment is checked after it has been posted.
  • Anything deemed inappropriate is removed. This could be foul language, rude or offensive remarks, links to warez or other illegal activity.
  • Negative comments are allowed, of course. If you have something negative to say about a map, mod or post please keep it polite.
  • All comments with links, including images, are held in moderation. This is to ensure that readers are protected from inappropriate content. Please do not try to bypass this process.
  • Please do not use a Recommendation Image within a reply to another comment or review.
  • Type long or detailed comments in a normal text editor first. That way if something goes wrong with the commenting system you at least have a copy of your comment.
  • Please keep comments "on topic" and useful. Examples of comments that have been deleted: "WTF???", "CRAP" and "Help me Please".
  • Format long or detailed comments. It makes it easier to read and therefore easier to understand.
  • You can edit your comment within 15 minutes of posting it. You can not edit the Recommendation Image though but you can updated it in a new comment.
  • Your email address will never be given to any third party.
  • If you don’t have a website, please DO NOT enter things like: "http://none". Just leave the field blank.
  • Please don’t add your name to the bottom of your comment. Your name is already recorded in the comment, so there’s no need to repeat it.
  • Please keep your comments on topic. Off-topic comments are edited or removed.
  • If you have something you want to say that is off-topic, please use the General Chat posts.
  • For the map and mod comments, it is possible to add what is called a Recommendation Image. You must be registered and logged in to use this feature.
RECOMMENDATIONS

Overview

  • The Recommendation System is the foundation for much of the site.
  • It provides a visual representation of a reader's review, but it also is used as the rating system.
  • A recommendation can be added to a review or comment but cannot be used on its own.
  • It should not be seen a replacement for a proper review, just a visual representation of that review.
  • To avoid spam and false recommendations, you must be a registered and logged in member of the site.
  • Registration is easy and free. You can register here or login here.
  • You can only add recommendations to maps and mods.
  • A map or mod must be finished before you post a review and recommendation.
  • If you have any trouble using the Recommendation System, please use the contact page and send the details.

How to use the system

The process to insert a recommendation into a comment is easy:

  • Click the image directly above the comment text area to make your recommendation.
  • Only one image can be insert into a comment. Clicking the image again will deselect it.
  • Write your comment and click Submit Comment when you are finished.

How It Works

  • Each recommendation counts as a score out of 5.
  • This is used to create numerical data which can be manipulated into graphs and filters.
  • In the excerpt of every map or mod is a bar showing the number of different recommendations.
  • In addition, there is some text showing how many recommendations have been made and the general consensus.
  • The number of recommendations is also a link to the Reader Recommendations section of each mod page.
  • Within each map or mod page more details are displayed.
  • The first thing is the average rating bar. This displays the average rating based on the number of recommendations and the score of each one.
  • It also displays the Standard Deviation score, which will be discussed later on this page.
  • Under the average bar and text is the pie chart, which displays the number of individual recommendations.
  • All this information is produced dynamically, so adding or changing your recommendation will change the display.

The Readers’ System

  • The readers’ system consists of 5 basic levels; Play It Now, Play It Later, Consider It, Think Twice and Avoid It!
  • In addition to the 5 basic levels there is also one other; Personal Favourite. This counts as the same score as a Play It Now!, but just highlights the fact that it is one of your favourites.
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

The Personal Favourite image should be used for maps and mods that you consider to be the best of the best. There is no limit to the number of Personal Favourite maps and mods you can add the image too. Scores 5 out of 5.

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

The Play It Now! image should be used for maps and mods that you believe are worth the time and effort to download and play. They don’t have to be large, multi-map mods, they can be one-map efforts too. Scores 5 out of 5.

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

The Play It Later image should be used for maps and mods that you believe are very good and should be played by everyone. However, this map or mod is not good enough to stop what you are doing to play it. It should be played when you have time, rather than making time for it. Scores 4 out of 5.

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

The Maybe image should be used for maps and mods that you believe could be enjoyed by some players depending on the gameplay. Careful consideration should be given to the description, screenshots and other reviews. Scores 3 out of 5.

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

The Think Twice image should be used for maps and mods that you believe only serious SP HL fans will enjoy. Perhaps this has very specialized gameplay or design. Perhaps it’s not that much fun to play but offers something interesting. This is not a map or mod for everybody and only serious students of SP maps should download and play it. Scores 2 out of 5.

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for all Half-Life games

The Avoid It! image should be used for maps and mods that you believe are not worth the time and effort to play. This should have nothing to do with any bugs or problems, just purely the gameplay etc. Scores 1 out of 5.


Phillip’s System

  • His images are different from the readers' system.
  • He has 4: Play It!, Maybe, Avoid it! and WOW, which is his Personal Favourite.
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

"Don’t bother wasting your time with these maps or mods." Scores 1 out of 5.

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

"These maps and mods might be worth playing but check the screenshots first." Scores 3 out of 5.

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

"Yes, play it, you will probably like it. Scores 5 out of 5.

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

One of his favourite maps or mods." Scores 5 out of 5.

Maps and mods that have this recommendation are the ones seen via on the Phillip’s Recommendations page.


Personalized Recommendation Images

  • Personalized recommendation images are available to members who make a minimum donate of $25.00.
  • If you want to be part of this programme, please make a donation via PayPal and you will be contacted to discuss the details.

Here are two examples. You can see that the user now has their name written and the icon in the bottom right is changed to a personalised one. Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

How It Is Used

There are a number of dynamically generated pages that use the data generated from The Recommendation System.

All the pages using The Recommendation System can be found on the EXPLORE menu item.

  • Readers' Recommendations: This dynamic page displays the highest rated maps and mods. Highest rated means the average score.
  • Phillip’s Recommendations: This dynamic page displays the maps and mods where Phillip rated them as WOW. They are displayed in chronological order, with the most recent at the top.
  • Hall Of Fame: This page displays maps and mods that are considered the best of the best. For maps and mods to appear they must have an average rating of 4.5 or over and have received at least 25 recommendations.
  • Most "Personal Favourite" Recommendations: This dynamic page displays the maps and mods with the most Personal Favourite recommendations. They are displayed in order of the most recommendations at the top.
  • Standard Deviation: The standard deviation (SD) of a set of values is a mathematical measure of how far apart the individual values are from the average. Given that the average isn’t always a good indicator of the overall set, the SD gives a better understanding of the overall set of values.
  • Let’s consider the following, very simple example – a post with only 2 recommendations and an average score of 3. The possibilities are:
    • 1. Both recommendations are "Maybe" – and in this case the SD is 0 – which means that the average is very representative of the individual recommendations
    • 2. One "Think Twice" and one "Play It Later" – and in this case the SD is 1 – which means that the voting isn’t that uniform and the average is not so close to the individual values
    • 3. One "Avoid It!" and one "Play It Now!" – and in this case the SD is 2 – which means that there is a significant divergence of opinions in the votes, better read the individual comments.
    • As you can see, the SD gives a measure to what you mean when you say that you need to look at the individual comments instead of the simple average – if you see a high SD you know that there will be a significant variation in the individual ratings without even looking at the summary bar on the post excerpt or the piechart.
    • What this means for the reader is that it is possible to view two very different lists: one where the maps and mods have a very low SD, called Highest Consensus and another list where the maps and mods have a very high SD, called Highest Divergence.
  • Recommendation Wall: This page allows you to display the Recommendation Images in various orders. You select a year and then decide how you wish to order them; by rating (with all Phillip's first), by date and by mod. Each image links to its respective review.

Per-Map Opinion Images for Mapping challenges

In May 2015, Per-Map Opinion Images were introduced for the Mapping Challenge releases. These allow readers to add opinion images on a PER ENTRY basis. However, a main recommendation image must still be used to count towards the rating. The opinion images are ONLY for visual guidance.

Here is an example comment using the images:

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

As you can see, there MUST be an introduction or some text before the opinion images, to clearly separate the main image from the opinion images. It also helps to give the reader of the comment an overview before reading in detail.

In addition, the HEADING code has also been used to separate each entry. A few moments used to format your comment will encourage readers to read and respond to it.

As with the main recommendation images, these can ONLY be used by registered and logged in members.

SEARCHING

There are few ways to search the site, each with advantages and disadvantages.

  • For Maps and Mods: Probably the best way to search for these is on any of the PLAY archives.
    • These pages have a "realtime" filter, making it extremely easy to filter the list and see the results immediately. There are detailed notes on the bottom of each page.
    • However, you cannot search for specific text WITHIN the post, the author's name, for example.
    • To search for content within a post, please use the regular search, which is accessed via the magnifying icon () on the top menu.
  • For Other Content: To search for other content, please use the regular search, which is accessed via the magnifying icon () on the top menu.
  • Using TAGS: Tags are descriptive keywords that allow you to filter maps and mods.
    • You can use tags on the PLAY archive pages' "Realtime" filter.
    • Or you can visit the Tags page and display maps and mods which have those tags associated with it.
    • To search for content within a post, please use the regular search, which is accessed via the magnifying icon () on the top menu.
  • Using The Timeline: The Timeline page is a complete list of publication dates and post titles.
    • The simple way to search here is to use your browser's CTRL+F.
    • At the bottom of this page, is a small matrix of years and months archives. Clicking a link from this matrix will display posts in an excerpt format.
TAGS

Overview

  • Tags are really just descriptive keywords or short phrases that get associated with maps and mods.
  • Tags allow readers to quickly locate maps and mods that contain elements they enjoy.
  • A tag should be self explanatory; by seeing a tag, it should be very clear what it describes.

Game Specific?

  • Tags are not explicitly connected to individual games.
  • For example, clicking Crossbow will display a list of maps and mods that have been tagged with that word – irrespective of which game they were created for.
  • However, whilst this is conceptually true, the reality is slightly different. Some tags are by definition directly associated to some games. For example, Hunters are only used with Half-Life 2: Ep 2 maps and mods because they currently only appear in that game (Arctic Hunter, anyone?) and there are plenty of other examples.

Ways to use Tags

  • The best way to use tags is to use them as filter criteria in any of the PLAY game archive pages.
  • The tags are not displayed in the table because that column is hidden by default, but you can search for the actual tags and those maps and mods that have that tag will be displayed. Try it, you'll be amazed at how cool it is.
  • Tags can also be used via the tags page. Selectying a tag will display maps and mods which have those tags associated with it, in excerpt format.

Tagging Concepts

  • Tags are NOT a list of elements within each and every map. That would mean they couldn't be sued for filtering.
  • For example, the tag Headcrabcould probably be added to 99.99% of all Half-Life maps and mods, but that defeats the purpose of having that tag because you wouldn't want to sue it to filter maps and mods.
  • Most tags use the plural, except for weapons. There might only be one Hunter in a release, but it is added to the Hunters tag.
  • Please note: tags have to be manually associated with each map or mod, so even though plenty of maps and mods contain the crossbow weapon, only the ones that have had it manually added will be displayed.
RSS FEEDS

Overview

  • RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication.
  • Essentially, information is sent to an "RSS Reader", instead of having to visit a website.
  • "RSS Readers" can be online services or applications installed on your computer.
  • Headlines are sent to "subscribers" of feeds as soon as new content is published.
  • Unlike newsletters or other email based subscription services, you don’t ever need to enter personal details. Subscriptions can be created and deleted in seconds.

How to use RSS Feeds

You have three basic choices.

  • 1: Use a client/application/program installed on your computer. These are normally fully-featured and give you plenty of control on how the feeds display.
  • 2: Use a web-based service. Feedly is a popular choice as it allows users to view the feeds from any computer connected to the internet via a web browser.
  • 3: Use your browser. All up to date major browsers can read feeds: some natively, some with extensions/addons.

RSS Feeds Available

There are lots of feeds available, including:

In addition, each category and tag archive has an RSS Feed link at the top of the page.

Each post, irrespective of category, has an RSS feed for the comments, meaning you can follow the comments on any combination of posts you choose.

A more detailed explanation, along with links to free reader software can be found at Wikipedia: RSS Feeds.

FEATURES

This section highlights various features of the site that can often get overlooked. Many of these features are unique to the site.


Meta Review Data

This is an optional feature that you can add when you make a comment of a map or mod. You add how you installed it; manually or via MapTap, which difficulty you used; "Easy", "Medium" or "Hard" and finally how long it took to play.

All those details are recorded and displayed in the main part of the post.

The Meta Review data is optional, but you must enter all 3 points or none at all AND you must have finished playing the release.


On This Day

This page displays posts that were published on the same calendar day in previous years.


Random

This page displays one random excerpt from the PLAY category. Refresh to page to see another random selection.


100 Comments

This page list the latest 100 comments. It's the perfect way to stay update to date with what's being said.

MISCELLANEOUS

Filecloud, FileFront and Download Errors

Having so many files to download is a big problem for small sites like this. It can use resources on shared servers that force people to move to much more expensive servers or new hosts.

In an effort to avoid this (the site had been forced to do this once already), an agreement was made with a website called Filecloud (WebArchive)and for a year or so the files were served through them.

Then, they decided to focus on another one of their projects called SpeedTest.Net and closed the file serving site.

This caused huge issues and finally FileFront agreed to server the files.

Everything was great until they decided to change the paths to the files. None of the previous links worked and the customer service was not helpful at all. From that point on it was decided to serve all the files from a dedicated server.

However, there are still LOTS of links on the site that are out of date and dead.

These will be fixed eventually.


People Who Have Helped

Whilst the site is essentially all Phillip's own work, there have been a lot of people who have helped in various ways.

Phillip would like to take this opportunity to thank them all. Below is a list of the people he can remember helping. If you have helped and are not listed here, please accept his apologies and don't hesitate to use the contact form to correct the mistake. You will be added to the list immediately.

The list below is in no particular order.

  • Simon/Sparks Simon added a lot of information into the databse for the List views. He also updates the TREE page along with running the PP Newsletter.
  • Don/Unq Don added almost all of the syndicated reviews, as well as giving extensive help with the technical aspects of the games for MapTap and some mod conversions.
  • Adam Adam has written a lot of code that makes the site unique. He has also helped out on little coding issues I come across from time to time.
  • Dino Dino wrote the plugin for the Recommendataion System, without which the site would not be as interesting.
  • Alex/Herr_Alien Alex created MapTap and the installer for the PP Steam Menu.
  • Piledriver Piledriver supplied a lot of screenshots, many of which I didn't use, for which I profusely apologize.
  • Stanley D. Dunigan Stanley wrote extensive walkthroughs for all the games and allowed me to repost them.
  • William Barnard William converted Stanley's walkthroughs into PDF versions.
  • 23-down 23-down is my "Missing Mods" spy. He is constantly looking out for maps and mods that are missing from the site.

In addition to the above, there are the many people who donate money to keep the site alive and those who donate games. Thank you all.

Ten Four Website and Reviews

Back in August 2012, we received permission to syndicate approximately half of each Ten Four review. Ten Four was one of the early and great Half-Life mod review sites. Unq kindly added the reviews and we even kept their award system.

In mid August 2015, it became clear that the Ten Four website, which was initially hosted by TeleFragged and then passed onto AtomicGamer, had gone offline, along with the whole of AtomicGamer.

Permission was sought from the owner to publish the full review of each mod and was granted. It's a shame to see such a historic site disappear but at least the reviews are still available.

To see all the maps and mods that have Ten Four Reviews, please visit the Ten Four Reviews tag.

PARTICIPATE

There are three main ways to participate on the site.

  • Events are ways to update older content on the site and encourage viewers to play maps and mods that they may not normally have considered.
    • These events provide motivation and focus to update the content and allow new content to be created based on the events. For example, podcasts and articles are often written as a consequence of the events.
    • Each event has some sort of theme or overriding commonality and has its own page, which provides the viewer with all the details.
    • Maps and mods are updated and have screenshots and a working download included.
    • 2015 will see at least 2 events run.
    • Below are the details of the events run so far.
  • Mapping Challenges allow mappers to improve their skills and time management.
    • Mapping Competitions started in January 2010.
    • Approximately 2 or 3 are run every year.
    • They vary in length from 10 days to, in some cases, 90 days.
    • The current average length is 17 days - that's 3 complete weekends.
    • Some competitions have prize money, others some games and sometimes no prizes at all.
    • In 2014 the name was changed from "Competition" to "Challenge". This was done to encourage more mappers to enter.
    • 8 Days before a challenge starts an announcement is made on the site and Twitter.
    • Each challenge has a very specific theme.
    • There is no single page for Mapping Challenges/Competitions, but all the releases can be found by using the link below.
  • Live Streams: Watch Phillip (and maybe others soon) and laugh at his oxymoronish "Awesome crappiness" playing style.
    • Live Streams started in 2014.
    • Phillip plays through various maps and mods, either simply because he is adding them to the site or because it is part of a larger event.
    • Once the Live Stream is over, the video is uploaded to the site's YouTube Channel.
    • All initial playthroughs of Mapping Challenges are live streamed and advertised in advance, as is other exclusive or First Seen on RTSL content.
    • No account or registration is required for viewers to watch the live streams and they can join in the chat on the Twitch page during the stream.
BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP

Overview

Registering on RunThinkShootLive is free and only takes a few moments. You email is never shared with commercial partners. Please see the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for full details.

Benefits

Here are the benefits of being a member:

  • Able to add Recommendation images
  • Able to add Meta Review Data to comments
  • Able to see which releases you have reviewed
  • Planned expansion of the member profile

Non-Members

Non-members can still download all the files and comment on all the posts.

DONATE

Overview

The site is more or less financially self-sufficient. I have a few text ads at the bottom of the index page and this generates enough income to cover file and media server costs. The site is hosted on and supported by NodeCraft and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them. I have no hesitation in recommending their services.

Money

However, there are more costs involved than just the server costs, these include payment for specialist services etc. So, if you would like to donate, please use PayPal and send the amount to phillip@planetphillip.com. If you have any problems, please let me know.

Games

If you have any Steam games that you wish to donate, either to me personally, or for giveaways and other prizes, please add me as a Steam Friend and send them that way. Let me know how you would like credit.

Expertise

I am always looking to improve the site, so if you can commit to a project and have skills that you feel the site could benefit from, please contact me.

WHAT HAPPENED TO PLANETPHILLIP.COM?

Overview

When I first started PlanetPhillip.Com I thought the name was pretty cool. Planet... was popular at the time and it was my site, so the combination of Planet and my name seem good.

The problem is perception. Too many people view the site as a personal blog and it's not. It's a database of SP releases. To break away from the perceived limitation of a personal blog, I decided to re-brand the site.

On 2nd January 2015, PlanetPhillip closed and RUN. THINK. SHOOT. LIVE. opened.

The new domain uses the same database and nothing has really changed for users. Yes, there is a new design and hopefully navigating is easier and better, but all the previous rules about commenting etc are the same.

Visiting PlanetPhillip.Com should forward you to the same page here on RTSL.

Twitch and YouTube Channels

I won't be changing my Twitch channel or YouTube channel name. I'm not sure if that's even possible.

BLACK MESA WORKSHOP

May 2015 saw the posting of the first single player map for Black Mesa retail game.

I'm posting this short article to pre-answer some expected questions.

Black Mesa Retail

In case you missed it, Black Mesa has released a retail version of their free mod. Unfortunately, it still doesn't include the missing Xen section but eventually it will. Even more unfortunately, the Xen section WILL NOT be added to the free mod version.

The retail version is said to include many improvements over the free mod version (see this image comparison) and not just visual improvements.

Apparently the free version will always be available.

One of the benefits of the retail version is the workshop. This is an official hub for people to add custom content that users can easily add to the game - but NOT the mod (at least not as easily, if at all).

What the Workshop means for RTSL

The workshop changes the way maps and mods will be posted on the site for games that include a workshop. Thinking waaaay ahead, it's most likely that Half-Life 3 will use this feature and RTSL will no longer need to host the files (see below) or worry about installation (See even further below).

Speaking personally for a moment, I have always worried that the Steam workshops would make websites like this one useless, but if we can keep users posting helpful reviews then perhaps it continue.

So, onto some specific issues...

Is it compulsory to use the Workshop?

NO! If you want to release your map via RTSL or anything website you can do that. Just like other Source games, you can create the maps and just have them installed manually.

Will MapTap manage Black Mesa releases?

Currently, MapTap doesn't manage Black Mesa files but it is on our list for the next main release.

File Hosting

Whilst it might be possible for me to host the files of each release on my server, I have decided to simply link to the release's workshop page.

The reason is that if authors update their release, and you have installed it via the workshop page, the file get updated automatically.

I don't expect this to happen very often but it's a benefit of the workshop and we should take advantage of it.

I will be keeping a copy of each release on the RTSL Server for possible use in the future but I won't be publicly linking to them at this time.

Can I make a Multiple Location Release?

Yes, but I wouldn't recommend it if you plan on updating the release. If you release on the Black Mesa Workshop, I will link to that page.

Will MapTap manage Black Mesa releases?

Currently, MapTap doesn't manage Black Mesa files but it is on our list for the next main release.

Retail OR Mod?

I haven't tested whether the SP maps released on the workshop page work with the mod version of Black Mesa.

I currently don't have the mod version installed. If in the future I install it, I will attempt to test each map and possibly add a TAG to help users locate content that does work with the free mod version.

Manual Installation

I'm pretty sure that it IS possible to take the VPK (the format used by Black Mesa) and manually install it. However, since I am linking to the workshop page, I will not be including those details in the post itself.

It's so easy to use the SUBSCRIBE button in the workshop, why make life difficult for ourselves?

The details for running the maps should be included in each workshop page. If they don't I may add them myself.