7 Images that inspire map ideas: Part 1 – The 7 Series

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

I’m not a mapper or modder (yet) but that doesn’t stop me from imagining maps when I see certain images or photos.

These 7 photos are ones that when I saw them I thought “Mmm, that might make part of a cool map.”

They are not in a particular order.

I should mention that no consideration has been made for engine limitation. I understand that engines can’t create everything in the images, but that doesn’t mean a clever modder couldn’t use the idea as simple inspiration, hence the title of the post.

All the images enlarge.

If you have images that do the same for you, please add a link in the comments.

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

I find this image quite scary. There is no obvious place to go. If something, and by something I mean liquid, comes down this pipe/tube/tunnel, you are seriously f*&ked!

Might make for a nice timed-event where you have to reach a certain point before the water drowns you. Or perhaps there is an escape hatch but it is carefully hidden and you need to follow the clues to find it.

Or even a race through various pipes with the jalopy.

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

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

I don’t have claustrophobia but I can’t say I like being it confined spaces very much.

The idea of bright and colourful places seems contrary to claustrophobia, since we always imagine it dark etc.

I feel trying to get a player a little panicked might be a good exercise and control.

Don’t worry, there won’t be a ClaustrophobiaVille!

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

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

I don’t play many horror mods but the few I have, used cheap scares.

You know the sort I mean, the flashes on the screen etc.

I remember the mannequins from nightmare house (I think) and that was great.

Here, I can just imagine hearing the bats coming but not being able to see them until it’s almost too late. I know this image is similar to the first one, but I felt it was different enough for a separate number. In this case, it’s the not knowing exactly what’s coming that is a big part of the emotion.

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

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

This was more about the idea of the unexpected. I’d like to be walking around city 17 and turn the corner and see a huge ship on its side. “WTF is that doing there?” Would of course be your first thought and perhaps that’s the point of the mod.

Just shock the player with the unexpected.

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

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

Well, I recently released ForestVille and I have to admit I was hoping for something strange, but 10 days isn’t really enough time to let your imagination run wild.

Perhaps it’s the limitations of the editor or the engine, but there aren’t too many Source mods that take inspiration from nature.

This particular photo just made me think of White Forest and how those tall rocks (?) could make an interesting section with headcrabs and antlions. Just a thought.

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

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

Okay, nobody likes mazes but this image got me wondering how a simple collection of blocks, doorways and drops could create something worth playing.

It may need to be put into an abstract setting to really work, but maybe something from Portal 1/2 could work too.

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

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

To me, this has Ravenholm written all over it. Running through the forest to avoid the zombies (you have NO weapons) to suddenly come out into a clearing and see this.

Can you find a way in before they catch you and once you do, are you better off?

Night descends the moment you close the door and things just get worse from there.

Reach to top and you survive but the traps and zombies stand in your way.
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

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10 Comments

  1. Ade

    There’s a few co-op maps with the structures you’re thinking of in #3 and indeed they make great surroundings for an antlion/vort infested area. Personally I’d love to see #2 or anything abstract and why not a real optical illusion put into a playable map.

  2. As an amateur mapper myself I don’t think it’s possible to pull off optical illusion like #2 in Half-Life 2 or Episodes. Something similir could definatly be achieved in Portal 2 but I can’t recall anything in HL that would allow for such a thing.

    Also, I think the reason not many people work with forest or nature maps is because the source engine is not the best at creating realistic terrain. It’s not very intuitive and it is certainly very frustrating and time consuming to create a good looking enviromnent.

      1. I can only see that being possible if you rotate the stairs so that they are sideways. I don’t think there is a way to rotate the NPC’s themselves but I may be wrong, I haven’t work with NPC’s that much.

  3. Ade

    OK I just made this but it’s tricky to put the player in the right spot to see it 😀 It’s a start, no?

    1. Ye I guess you could do it that way. The problem is that when rendering an high quality of the map the lighting will be much better and thus removing the illusion of the piece due to the difference in lighting that hits the blocks aswell as their shadows. If you were to do it like this I would expect you to have to mess around with the lighting for a very long period of time, more if the map is of reasonable lenght.

  4. 2muchvideogames

    isn’t the mod, Irreality, exactly doing what #2 is? Worth a shot.

    1. I never heard of Irreality before. I downloaded it and played it a bit now.

      Only played the begginning where it shows the cubes flying around the arch. I gotta say it didn’t feel 3D to me. It looked like a 2D sprite. And if it was 3D the lighting comes back up again. The first HL as nowhere near the lighting possibilities and realism that the second installement has.

      Also you could not look at it from diferent angles so I don’t see it being easy or worth implementing into a playable scenerio where you can move around or interact with it.

      I can’t speak for the rest of the mod as frankly it didn’t really appeal to me and I downloaded it just for the sake of checking it out and seeing how the illusions looked.

  5. “…ClaustrophobiaVille!…”, Please Phillip:)

  6. The first picture reminds me of the Water Hazard pipes you drive the airboat through.

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