BridgeVille

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

1st July 2017

BridgeVille is the third mapping challenge in The Hammer Cup 2017, a series of five mapping challenges spread throughout the whole of 2017, each with a different theme.

The focus of this theme was the clever and interesting use of a bridge.

This mod contains 19 official entries and 1 unofficial entry.

Episode Two is required to play this mod.

Basic Details
  • Title: BridgeVille
  • Filename: hl2-ep2-sp-thc17-c3-bridgeville
  • Size : 190MB
  • Author: Gabriel Ch. AKA Omeqa / Kop, Agameofscones, Ian Spadin AKA Idolon, Rekurer, IMakeLevels, Lucia, Stonie Blue AKA BlueASIS, Dirk Destiny, HighFire​, Ethosaur, Alex Marcu AKA melc311, OJJ, Event Horizon, Sockman, Michael McGee AKA HQDefault, 1upD, krassell, Abdulhamid Cayirli AKA Crowbar, Pancaked, Maki
  • Date Released: 05 May 2017

Download Options

Download to your HDD 190MB]
You can still use it with Gauge once you have downloaded it.

Manual Installation Instructions

If you require more help, please visit the Technical Help page.

  • Copy the hl2-ep2-sp-thc17-c3-bridgeville folder into your …\Steam\SteamApps\Sourcemods\ folder.
  • Start or restart Steam
  • RTSL.THC17.C3.BRIDGEVILLE should now be listed in your “Library” tab.
Theme Details

Given the whopping number of entries (and especially those from first-time entrants!) in ToxicVille, we decided to keep the theme simple and straightforward for this third challenge in The 2017 Hammer Cup: BridgeVille.

The map must feature a bridge, and the player must cross the bridge at some point in the map. The gameplay itself is your choice – as always the map can be action-packed or puzzle-heavy or anything in between.

There are drawbridges, footbridges, natural bridges, energy bridges as in Episode 1, and of course vehicle bridges as seen in the Highway 17 and Freeman Pontifex chapters. Maybe the player has to fix or build the bridge – or maybe even destroy it!

But those are just our suggestions – what else can you think of and build?

The size, type, and location of the bridge is totally up to you. We’re open to pretty much any interpretation of “bridge” as long as it’s featured in the map and crossed by the player.

Entries

Listed as they are displayed in the mod itself, which were randomized after the deadline.

Mezzanine by Gabriel Ch. AKA Omeqa / Kop
Bridge Story by Agameofscones
Accumulator by Ian Spadin AKA Idolon
Night Train by Rekurer
Station 8 by IMakeLevels
Bridge Battle by Lucia.
BlueOS by Stonie Blue AKA BlueASIS
One Good Turn by Dirk Destiny
Under New Management by HighFire​
Smog City by Ethosaur
Bridge Ambush by Alex Marcu AKA melc311
Suspended Operation by OJJ
Ravineside by Event Horizon
Time Bridge by Sockman
TimothyJZombie by Michael McGee AKA HQDefault
Double Crossed by 1upD
Sunova Bridge by krassell
Fog of War by Abdulhamid Cayirli AKA Crowbar
DiaBalllIcal by Pancaked
Heron by MAki (unofficial entry)

Reviewing

If you decide to use the Per-Map Opinion Images, please either watch the video below or use the VilleReviewTemplate.txt file. Thank you.

Winner and points

First place: Fog of War by Abdulhamid Cayirli AKA Crowbar – 99 points
Second place BlueOS by Stonie Blue AKA BlueASIS – 90 points
Third place: Sunova Bridge by Krassell: 61 points.

Congratulations to the above and to all the entrants.

Full points for each entry can be seen on The Hammer Cup 2017 Spreadsheet.

Judges

Phillip, Don and Jim are the judges for this challenge.

RTSL Community Voting

Community Voting closed on Monday, July 17th. Thanks to all who voted!

Menu Music

Brane Scan by Kelly Bailey from Half-Life 2

Release Versions

0.9 – Judges and Entrants. First versions of maps.
1.0 – Does not contain an intro video or any Steam gridview images. May contain minor issues with maps.

Credits
  • The RunThinkShootLive.Com introduction video was made by Jeff Muñoz (ThatoneJeff)” and he also significantly helped with logo design – thanks Jeff, you ROCK!
  • K12T6 and Abraham Lee AKA ihonnyboy for the background map. Make sure you watch it as it is more than just a static background.
Custom Gridview Images

This release contains no custom gridview images. Futures versions will.

General Mapping Challenge Rules

Maximum two maps per mapper per competition.
The map must be original and not have been released publicly before.
The map must run in system with only Ep2 installed
By entering the competition you grant PlanetPhillip.Com & RunThinkShootLive.Com the right to release the map as part of the Ville Mod.
Maps must not appear before the release and for one month after the release of the mod.
No assets from retail games other than HL2, HL2: Ep1 or HL2: Ep2 are allowed.
Other assets are allowed with written permission from their original authors, which MUST be included in the entry.
Phillip’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into about it.
The map MUST have a proper name.
The map MUST have a proper filename: MapName_ABC.bsp (ABC is replaced with the code for the mapping challenge)
All entries must be sent to: [email protected] no later than the deadline.

Sponsor

This challenge was not sponsored. If you are an individual or company and interested in sponsoring a challenge, please contact Phillip ([email protected]) to discuss the options.

Videos

Coming Soon.

Screenshots

Coming Soon.

Reader Recommendations
Avoid It!
Think Twice
Maybe
Play It Later
Play It Now!

11 recommendations, average score: 4.82 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0.15 (what's that?)
Total Downloads
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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 14 comment(s) with meta review data.

Installed:
Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 13 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 3 Hours, 27 Mins
Shortest: 1 Hours, 15 Mins by
Longest: 6 Hours by rikersbeard
Total Time Played: 48 Hours, 19 Mins
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52 Comments

  1. Great maps with bridges!
    I really like it!
    Play it now!!!

  2. Yaay, BridgeVille is realesed. Will play through ASAP!

  3. Sounds like an interesting challenge, not enough bridging in most mods!

  4. Play It Later

    Please do not take this review personal or direct, this review is based on my opinion solely and will include what I honestly thought of all maps in this Mod.
    This is the very first time I ever write a review here. Excuse moi.

    Mezzanine by Gabriel Ch. AKA Omeqa / Kop
    It is okay

    Map is “Okay” all the way. Basic, simple and there was no confusing parts that made the player not know what to do next, it was straight to the point. Can be improved by detail and brushwork and displacements (On the surrounding area), but other than that, it’s a fine entry.

    Bridge Story by Agameofscones
    It is bad

    This map is useless and I only liked some nice brushwork there else it would have gotten a “It’s Dire” rating from me. I don’t get the point of this, mapper achieved his point well.

    Accumulator by Ian Spadin AKA Idolon
    It is good

    Accumulator is a nice map which took me some time to complete, it’s a bit challenging at parts but other than that I didn’t see a lot wrong with it. Not a bad map and it’s fun to play.

    Night Train by Rekurer
    It is okay

    Night Train was fun and made EASY (Which is not very good) until I got to the point where I didn’t know what to do next so I actually ragequit from the map. The voice acting needs to volume up because I could barely hear anything because of the game’s music. The map needs to have a more clearer direction on where the player needs to go. The infinitely spawning combines only made it more reasonable for me to ragequit at that point… It would have gotten an “It’s Good” rating if the issues I stated were adjusted properly. It’s not bad overall.

    Station 8 by IMakeLevels
    It is okay

    Station 8 was nice until I reached the ending and I felt it was a fast map. It felt like another usual map that took place in the White Forest theme so I can’t really be surprised with what it contained. Was an okay map overall.

    Bridge Battle by Lucia
    It is okay

    After having a hard time beating the chopper because of lack of healthkits and the number of annoying props that were on the bridge, the helicopter crash point did not work properly which got the map stuck and I eventually ragequit from there. It was a fine map overall, another one to take part in the White Forest theme.

    BlueOS by Stonie Blue AKA BlueASIS
    It is great!

    This map was very nice, but not new for my eyes, I liked the point of it though, but I didn’t see it heavily relate to bridges by conventional definition (Wikipedia definition keppe). Overall it was fun and an interesting entry with its custom content. However, I did not like the bright lights a lot, they were quite annoying at some points, likewise for the music which after some time would get very irritating for me to hear over and over again and I did not wanna hear it anymore! The ending was fun and tricky! I thought the map had somehow connected to my discord.exe and it executed some chain of commands which is all done via game (Yes my brain went that far) but then I realized it was just funny timing with sounds. I don’t have many friends on discord anyways. The steam chat bit was funny as well, but it did not work out well in my case because my laptop’s chat message popup overlay is kinda bigger 😀

    One Good Turn by Dirk Destiny
    It is okay

    I had some thoughts about this because of how basic everything was, but at least it didn’t have a lot of errors / mistakes there so it’s on the safe spot. It’ was a fine map overall.

    Under New Management by HighFire​
    It is bad

    I apologize HighFire but the truth must be spoken! A lot of the map’s lighting was just off and the theme that it was set at (The environment, the area surrounding playable area) is just random! The reason this map is not getting “It’s Dire” from me is because I, for some reason, liked the Ravenholm-like area where the ceiling texture was black. Dunno why, my brain is off sometimes .-.

    Smog City by Ethosaur​
    It is great!

    Smog City is a beautiful map if only it had more detail and STUFF into it. I liked the theme overall but it can be majorly improved, nothing else to point at here except for the annoying lighting bugs that existed, but oh well.

    Bridge Ambush by Alex Marcu AKA melc311
    It is okay

    Yet again another straight to the point map that took place in the white forest theme, I liked the surrounding displacement environment in this one, other than that is just the usual content to have.

    Suspended Operation by OJJ
    It is okay

    Map felt “empty” , needed more detail inside rooms, more reasonable objects that should be there, it takes place in a rather odd (unfitting) place imo, and the moment I saw the door outside being used as a cover from the sniper I was like “Nah, I thought this was there temporarily for playtesting only”. Overall it’s an okay-map and author needs to learn more about detailing the F*** out of his map.

    Ravineside by Event Horizon
    It is bad

    I felt the sudden change of theme was off, the combine base was not properly built or followed the conventional combine brushwork design, interior lighting was not good as well. NPCs didn’t do much unless :TRIGGERED: . The strider did not move an inch nor made a sound hence made it unknown on its location, after I killed it nothing happened and I decided to ragequit from the map. Needs a lot of modifications / improvements overall…

    Time Bridge by Sockman
    It is good

    Time Bridge had a nice concept but was poorly executed. Map did not have enough detail and players should have FELT major differences in vision/area as he traversed through the… time bridge! Overall good concept but poor execution.

    TimothyJZombie by Michael McGee AKA HQDefault
    It is okay

    This map just shows how racist combines are and how we, as humans, despite being rebels, are very bad on treating with people different to our race. I feel there was a subliminal message behind this map!!! I can feel it!!! We must do something!!!
    On the serious note, a funny map, not a lot of action gameplay, I’ve read that the map cutscenes screw with the cvars if disconnected midway so I did not do that, but because of that it’s gonna get an “It’s Okay” from me, because I did not “FEEL” like a zombie, and the action bits of the map were short and it took part in the White Forest ThemeeeeeaaaAAAGH!!!

    Double Crossed by 1upD
    It is okay

    Another straight to the point map (How many times did I say that up until now), gameplay was fine, lights were fine, overall it was a fine map, kinda felt weird that I’m going inside a combine dropship in the end, would have made sense if I played as a combine.

    Sunova Bridge by krassell
    It is great!

    I liked the theme here, there wasn’t really a lot of adrenaline action gameplay in here except the final battle of the map, overall it was a nice environment to play in. I liked this map and the fact it took place somewhere other than White Forest!!!

    Fog of War by Abdulhamid Cayirli AKA Crowbar
    It is good

    The map is so close to reaching “It’s Great” on my rating if only it hadn’t that much FPS lag! It needed more optimization, overall it was a nice map, the theme could have been bettered on, the part where the bridge decided to drop all the cars was nice as well. Good map overall!

    DiaBalllIcal by Pancaked
    It is bad

    Map felt empty, was short as well, however the final dancing zombies had me laughing. Overall it was… “Bleh”.

    Heron by Maki
    It is good

    Good activity overall, map had good lighting, good structure, not a lot to talk about here.

    Was a fine map in general.

    1. Gosh darn it, the helicopter was stuck. I was scared that would happend. Thanks for the review!

  5. Play It Now!

    I went into this mod with good expectations, with the only rule being to make a bridge there were lots of possibilities. If you are only here for a TL;DR : Great maps, great fun. Go play it now! Now to the single reviews for all maps:

    Mezzanine
    It is good

    At first I got stuck on spawn. I had to restart and then played it, the theme itself was pretty nice. And it was quite a unique bridge. And also there weren’t any other Antlion maps in this contest. What I found though was this map was quite boring, and sometimes it wasn’t clear where to go. The map was nicely designed but I think there were too few things to do. Overall still a pretty good map!

    Bridge Story
    It is bad

    Although this wasn’t a serious entry (I think) this is still not a fun map. It was way too short and you couldn’t basically do anything. The idea wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t fun. Althoug I don’t give it a It’s dire because of a small easter egg, which made me laugh. Some people might enjoy this map, but I didn’t. If it was longer I would’ve been open for better reviews!

    Accumulator
    It is great!

    This was one of my favorite maps. The design is nice, the map overall was fun, and the combat enjoyable. I never really had problems with knowing where to go, once I did, but that was more my stupidity. The map is in a held in a “small” space, which is good. Don’t have more to say, a nice looking map that is great fun to play.

    Night Train
    It is good

    This map started of very very good. I loved the overall idea of a Heist / Ambush. Sadly I later didn’t really know what I was doing, I lost direction and the transporting of all the crates was quite boring (Although the combat was nice). The design was good and the combat was always fun.

    Station 8
    It is great!

    This was also one of my favorite maps. This map reminded me of the bridge level in L4D2, which it was probably inspired by. The beginning created a scary atmosphere, knowing that Station 8 was just attacked and there were probably no survivors. Going over the bridge was fun, good battles and good fun.

    Bridge Battle

    This was my map, I completed it by procrastination on reddit, and sipping coffee after coffee listening to Post Malone songs. I think this map turn out good doe. But I have to admit, of the 18 days of time I spent about 16 on just designing, afterwards came the Gameplay part. Because of this, the gameplay is quite short, and has quite a sudden end. And I don’t thin it was well optimized (I have a good pc, so I can’t notice. But my playtester said it was a bit choppy) But overall, I think this is my best map yet.

    BlueOS
    It is great!

    It is great, but I didn’t really enjoy it. This is more of a prefrence, but I don’t like HL2 Maps that aren’t really in HL2 Style, and go for a paralel universe kind of theme. Although, this one was still good, and made me accept something new. But in the end I wouldn’t play it again. Still, play it!

    One Good Turn
    It is okay

    This map was enjoyable, the design was okay, the combat was very fun though. It was a little short doe. I enjoyed it having the RTSL Spray too. The map looked a bit, empty, and one little thing I noticed was you don’t die instantly when falling in the water. You get 25 damage every so often, sorry for mentioning this, but I’m kinda a perfectionist. The map was obviously one of their first maps, and for that it was pretty good!

    Under New Management
    It is good

    The design wasn’t the best I ever saw, but therefor it was quite long and very fun. I enjoyed playing this map. It was a mix of a canals map; the one where you first shoot the helicopter in that small bunker, and some ravenholm maps.You can see the maker of this map didn’t have that much experience with the Hammer Editor, but still achieved something great! The only problem I had was that the bridge played such a little role in this map that it could’ve simply been left out and it wouldn’t change anything. Keep it up, make more good maps!

    Smog City
    It is good

    The idea is the most creative in this contest, a city built around huge pillars connected with bridges, ruled by combine somewhere in nowhere, supplies are scattered. This map also has a stealth mechanic, which was very good. But I have to say this map felt a little stretched and too long, and so it got boring after a while. If it was a little more action packed or maybe not so long it would’ve been an “It’s Great”. Still, don’t miss out on this map!

    Bridge Ambush
    It is great!

    The design and lightning is top notch in this map, probably the most beautiful map in this contest. I would also personally give you the “Best Skybox design” award. But the gameplay wasn’t the best in this, there were a couple manhacks, a couple soldiers, and some rollermines. After that, the map was finished. The gameplay should’ve been a little longer. Also, it wasn’t really clear that you had to jump down into the water. At first I thought that jumping down there would
    kill you.

    Suspended Operation
    It is good

    This map was fine, at some parts I felt like the mapper was tired of his map, like the inhouse parts. The combat was great, the design was good on some parts and meh on some parts. The rebel “doors” which looked nice, were taken from a Coast map. Which isn’t bad, just something I would like to mention. OJJ, continue making maps. This was a nice start!

    Ravenside
    It is okay

    By the title I expected a Ravenholm map, which it wasn’t, which wasn’t the worst thing that could’ve happend. But this map wasn’t very good. The bridge was unique for this contest though, and it collapsing on some parts was nice. This map was way too huge and I quickly lost track of what to do. Overall it was way too dark, the ambient should’ve been set up a little. The end battle wasn’t that good with the strider barely hitting me, and me barely hitting the strider.

    Time Bridge
    It is good

    This had a completly different take on a bridge. A time bridge, as the same suggests. This map also wasn’t the most beautiful map ever, but it did it’s job. It really seemed like you went through time, although some overlays and sounds to make it seem even more like you went through time would’ve been good. But this map was nice.

    TimothyJZombie
    It is good

    This was quite a unique idea which I never saw before. Playing as a zombie, it even had cutscenes! This map had a similar problem as Under New Management, the bridge played such a small part that it could’ve just been not there and it wouldn’t matter. The end scene was stretched way too long. But this still was a good map! I enjoyed playing it.

    Double Crossed
    It is good

    This map was quite plain designed, which isn’t bad, but I found it to be boring. Although this isn’t a bad map at all, 1upD continue making maps please, make something way better next time! 🙂

    Sunova Bridge
    It is great!

    This probably wasn’t the best map on this list, but definently the most creative map overall. At first I was kinda sad that the gnome was gone so fast already, But that it came back later was quite nice This map was quite long in playtime, and quite big in size. The combat was good, the design was good, and so a very great entry.

    Fog of War
    It is great!

    Man I liked this map so much, which only came later on really when something special happend, which I will mention in a spoiler tag in a bit. The map design was very good, the fog was a bit too heavy, even for the name being Fog of war. Now for some spoilers including some of this map, of ep2 and some of L4D2: I myself love destruction, L4D2’s plane crash, L4D2’s Bridge collapse, EP2 Trainbridge collapse, the exploding house in the last level of EP2. But this Bridge crash was wow, the car alarms going off when the bridge slowly crashes down, and you actually being on the collapsing bridge and your gameplay being affected by it was awesome. But this is also quite a prefrence, some player might not like it.

    DiaBalllIcal by Pancaked
    It is okay

    I personally hate maps that are just designed on dev textures, some can master it, but that happens super rarely. And this wasn’t a case of that. Sorry, but the only thing you had to do is get a ball in a hole, fight like 5 soldiers and some Hunters and go. If you go on the low effort Dev texture design style, atleast make a long map, that has something more complex behind it. And this had absolutely nothing to do with a bridge, you actually just had a single brush, probably 64×128, which was just a dev texture plate, that isn’t a map for the bridgeville contest. Although some players might like this map, I didn’t. But I don’t wanna demotivate you Pancaked, please continue to make maps. 🙂

    Heron
    It is WOW!

    I hate to rate the late maps the best, but hat’s just how it is most of the time, of course, they sent it in late and so had more time, so it will be better. But this map was really good, the design was good (Although not better then Bridge Ambush imo). The combat was fun, this map also was the only one with a functional crane on it. At the end you also fight an APC. That fight was kinda boring, but it served it’s purpose. Overall a very good map.

    Conclusion

    This mod was quite fun, the expectations were pleased and it went even better! The mod is very long, so I didn’t play everything in one sitting, and nobody should. Or else you just want to get everything over with after 15 maps, and so the last 5 maps don’t really have a chance. A great contest again, and I’m glad to be a part of it!

    1. Heron wasn’t late – in fact, it was done in about a week. It was just entered as a Bonus Map, like Cannon Beach was in CombinationVille.

      1. Why was it a Bonus though? He just wanted it to be not qualified? If that is the case, f*** me. I had way more time and didn’t even do it half as good! He deserved that title all the way then!

  6. Yes, it’s a cliché, but this really has something for everyone.
    Download it now or the bunny gets it!

    I’m working on some comments for each map – but don’t expect anything very serious.

  7. Play It Now!
    Mezzanine by Gabriel Ch. AKA Omeqa / Kop
    It is okay

    The map starts with a nice initial view, although you start in a weird spot that feels awkward. I like that this map has a big natural bridge, it is the only map that did this I think. On the other hand the natural bridge is full of human structures and later becomes a human bridge anyway. I think there is wasted potential there. The natural bridge also doesn’t look as good as it could, but I know it is way harder to make a natural bridge look good than an artificial one.

    The map has problems, but I enjoyed it. It has a good flow with one exception, it has an acceptable length and I had a sense of progression. The problems outweigh the good aspects though, which is why it gets this rating. The architecture of the buildings is too simple, too blocky. The choice of textures is not ideal. There is a lack of sound and music that makes this map feel very empty, but it also somewhat helps with creating the atmossphere, but it wasn’t consistent enough for that.

    While I had a sense of progression in terms of location, there isn’t progression in complexity or difficulty. All enemy encounters are almost the same. The enemies just stand at a certain position and start firing once they see you. Either make them assault the room, once the player passes an invisible trigger, or put them in scripted sequences with some idle animation until the player attacks them. The combat still was okay.

    The main problem of the map is when you have to jump to the other roof through the window. It wasn’t clear to me at all why I am supposed to do here, and when I finally reached the other side, it felt like I’m doing something wrong. Besides, you can easily loose the crates you pull from the other roof and make it even harder. Players might also miss that completely and jump to the lower truss area and skip half of the map like that.

    Bridge Story by Agameofscones
    It is bad

    Honestly for what it wanted to be it could be alright, but the map does a very weird mistake towards the end. First saying that the story was successful when I’m disappointed doesn’t make it good, and second: Why do you hope that I enjoyed it when the point of the map was to be disappointed? That is a contradiction that happens in seconds and honestly makes an already really simple and short map completely pointless.

    Accumulator by Ian Spadin AKA Idolon
    It is good

    Overall a very solid and polished map that just lacked in some aspects, which is why it doesn’t get the best rating. While the outside areas looked really good and sometimes beautiful, indoors consistently was lacking detail and looked very boring. The map has a really nice flow, bringing you all over the place, vertically and horziontally.

    For me this map doesn’t do a good job of implementing the theme of bridges though. Sure, there are a few tiny bridges, but those are really not relevant for the map at all. That didn’t hinder my enjoyment though. The combat was solid most of the time, but one of the encounters towards the end was weak, where the enemies are on the other side and lots of them are stacked on the same spot and you just snipe them with the crossbow.

    The puzzle in this map disappointed me. It is a good puzzle, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the theme, and that is a missed opportunity. It would be simple really, instead of pushing away a random object, the crane could push something somehow to create some sort of bridge that would allow you to get across. Another section I didn’t like was the final fight. First the music didn’t fit at all. Second why aren’t the cars puntable with the gravity gun? I want to punish soldiers that take cover behind cars, because that is really fun and satisfying.

    Oh and now I remember that I also didn’t like the pool of Zombies at the start for the following reasons: 1. They aren’t really a threat except the Zombine that doesn’t pay attention to you at first. Because of that I could just try to avoid them, but that can lead to frustrating situations once you reach the other side and realize that you can’t reach the ladder without a boost and it is just annoying if I had to kill all zombies.
    2. The most efficient way to kill all zombies would be to just use the crowbar, with no disadvantage at all, but that would be extremely tedious.
    3. Because of that I have to use a shotgun, but that feels like I’m wasting tons of ammo, because the zombies don’t feel like a threat, as I said.

    Apart from these issues I enjoyed the map though.

    Night Train by Rekurer
    It is okay

    In the past I would have given this map an “IT’S DIRE” rating, but there are things that I can appreciate here. The bridge is huge and seems like the author put a lot of effort into it and there is custom voice acting. There are a lot of things I didn’t like though.

    1. The Author is front loading TONS of objectives, which is annoying and I will forget about half of them anyway. It forces you to wait at the start until the guy on the radio stops talking and just wastes your time. Why not just tell me the first objective, and then update it any time I complete an objective? Oh wait, the guy on the radio actually does contact you when you do an objective, but you can’t hear anything he says … because of the music. The simplest solution would be to decrease the Volume of the music any time the radio guy is speaking and increase it again when he is done. Besides, the way the objectives are told to me is clearly inferior to me than guiding the player through level design.

    2. Why is the crossbow hidden in an extremely weird corner, even though it is a really important and a game changing weapon? I can only imagine how frustrating the map must be without it.

    3. Why can’t I break the item crate at the start? You are breaking fundamental rules of the game for no reason.

    4. The music is too loud. Whatever the author did, the volume is not the same as in the main game.

    5. There is zero cover in the lower truss area and the AI behaves very weirdly.

    6. Why can I go through shields and why are they red? I went the wrong way when I reached the upper part of the bridge and had to run all the way back, but maybe I wasn’t supposed ot be able to walk through the shields anyway?

    7. You’d think that the map tells you to look for a BLUE train to distinguish it from all other trains, but nope. Almost all trains are blue. It took me ages to find the spot where I’m supposed to plant the bomb, I even noclipped back to the spawn to check the map, but the image is misleading. I thought I’m supposed to destroy the combine train, not some random human train.

    8. To plant the bomb you have to press a button? What is the point of all this? If you think of a narrative like this then implement it properly. Besides, the bomb explodes almost immediately and kills me, which is frustrating and makes no sense anyway.

    Station 8 by IMakeLevels
    It is great!

    Disappointed that the map is so short, but at the end I always prefer quality over quantity. Still, the main problem of the map is that it lacks a climax. There are a few other minor issues. The ending is weird (even without the Bug), fighting multiple AR2 enemies at long range without a proper long ranged weapon (Magnum please?) was annoying. The texture scale of the grass at the start was very high for some reason, making it very ugly, and PLEASE mark small physics objects as debris.

    Other than that it is an awesome map. Really enjoyed it. I love the small enviromental events and almost mini games that reminded me of episode two, without ripping it off completely. The map looks great, I especially liked how the collapsed part looked where the combine are shooting the zombies from. The map also has a great flow and felt really smooth, I never got stuck even though you not only move forward but also vertically.

    Bridge Battle by Lucia
    It is okay

    This map pissed me off. The ambient sound of the shields stack so much that it was so damn loud, I had to mute the map to be able to play it. I guess the author doesn’t play with headphones, cause otherwise I couldn’t understand how he/she would miss this HUGE problem. There are a lot of other problems. The chosen music for the encounter was way too short for it. The enemies get stuck on all the physics props, which is the only reason the map isn’t unfair (on hard). Hordes and hordes of enemies attacking you from the exact same spot, that isn’t fun to me. Multiple times enemies got stuck in the spawn area, forcing me to throw a grenade there so the map can continue.

    The chopper fight would have been alright, but you quickly see it’s pattern making it feel very artificial. Also the chopper often drops the bomb in the exact same non-sensical position. It also can shoot me through the trees that completely cover it’s visbility. Other than that it was fine though. After that a hole appears but this part completely confused me. I jump down the hole and want to reach the console, but there is an invisible wall. I have no idea what I’m supposed to do here. I noclipped and reached the other side of the bridge like that.

    Then I need a key for some arbitrary reason. I have a huge arsenal of weapons, but I need a key for some rusty old lock. The key is in some weird corner and the color is grey, which is the same color as the floor. A good thing I can say about this map is the enviroment, it looked good, but other than that I didn’t enjoy it. I still give it an “IT’S OKAY” rating simply for the effort and the visuals.

    BlueOS by Stonie Blue AKA BlueASIS
    It is WOW!

    Awesome map. Great music, great visuals, fun floating mechanic, all new rules are established properly, it has a nice length, clear progression of complexity and narrative and a great surprise ending that reminded me of games like Undertale and Pony Island. Although there was a little more potential with the ending that wasn’t used I think. Loved it.

    One Good Turn by Dirk Destiny
    It is good

    A solid map with solid combat. It doesn’t look great, especially the lighting, but it was enjoyable. The second fight maybe had one too many enemies and the gunship was too easy. Honestly not a lot to say about this one, but that doesn’t have to be a negative 🙂
    Although that probably means that it isn’t really memorable.

    Under New Management by HighFire​
    It is okay

    Hmm. I like the initial round path upwards and the map has a good length, but it was too long. You can easily miss some of the ammo at the spawn and then run out at the first fight really fast. It was also not clear to me that I have to jump down with the airboat. Instead of a ramp, that part of the railing of the bridge could be broken, but I also just don’t like how deep you fall there.

    The map clearly orientated on the airboat section from Half-Life 2 and a little bit on Ravenholm, as much that you could call it a rip-off if you wanted to. Maybe the author did that intentionally to get more used to the tools and gain more experience about level design. Whatever you want to call it, it means that I had to play sections I already played, but inferior versions of those.

    I also didn’t like the “Ravenholm” sections at all. The author didn’t understand what makes Ravenholm what it is. The huge corridor which is filled with tons of zombies might look like an impossible task first, but in reality you can just sprint past all enemies and be fine. Later two hunters spawn out of nowhere, but I could just shoot both with the alt fire of the AR2 and kill them immediately.

    The lighting is wrong, the highlights on the walls are way too bright. Look how official maps do their lighting. Have one normal light with a very low brightness, like 5, and put it close to the lamp. Then have a light_spot with a very high brightness, like 400 (depends on the room obviously), and put it in front of the lamp.

    At the end you have to stack crates to get over a fence, which I also didn’t like. Instead of making the crates indestructible, the Author could have just given me indestructible props, like barrels.
    Overall it was an okay entry that wasn’t boring, but has lots of problems. It has effort put into it and is one of the longer entries, but most sections felt like filler.

    Smog City by Ethosaur
    It is good

    This map gets some extra points from me for taking place in an usual enviroment, but the execution is a little lacking. Some of the texture choices are honestly awful and the scales seem to be much higher than they should, resulting in very blurry textures. Right at the start the map tells you “Items are scarce, look carefully for them” which I thought is completely pointless and annoying. Besides, the map defeats the point of that hint itself, by placing items in every trash can you can find, making it very predictable.

    I liked the stealth mechanic, but again the execution wasn’t ideal. After I stealth kill the first enemy I go into the Cafe and get instantly spotted by enemies I didn’t know about. That is frustrating. For stealth there should always be opportunities to know beforehand about enemy positions, especially at the start. You can’t instakill some of the combine soldiers later, even though I sneaked behind them too. There is a metrocop which I wanted to stealth kill, but then my NPC allies started shooting that enemy which didn’t kill him instantly.

    Doing instakills also didn’t feel rewarding, because usually there was only one enemy around anyway which would be no threat if that enemy spotted me. So at the end the stealth mechanic is a poorly executed gimmick, but still appreciated. There is a lack of complexity and difficulty.

    I also didn’t like the puzzles, because they have nothing to do with the theme. Instead of placing cubes in containers, it should have something to do with bridges. The teleports around the map felt arbitrary. I didn’t like the final section with the blue grav gun. The player gets the blue grav gun at the end of Half-Life 2 for a very specific reason. To subvert expectations, bring a surprise and make the player feel overpowered for a short period of time as a reward for all the hard work, but then fight Striders and two Gunships simultanously as an escalated challenge.

    Here the blue grav gun is just a tiny section where you fight a few enemies which oppose zero challenge and that makes it feel pointless. I still enjoyed the map, but as I said the execution on some of its aspects is weak. It doesn’t feel like the author had a clear vision which he focused on.

    Bridge Ambush by Alex Marcu AKA melc311
    It is okay

    The map offers a really nice enviroment, but not much else. The car felt completely pointless. Giving me the car right at the start seems like the author wants me to hop in and drive it, but you have to get off it seconds after anyway. Besides, there are things to explore before. There is a lambda symbol close to the start next to the bridge, which was really weird. The lambda logo is sprayed on the wall and the floor and it looks really bad. When you pick up the items, enemies spawn and attack you, but the soldiers can’t really reach you so you just chill there and wait for the manhacks and destroy those first.

    When you want to go back up, you can’t just walk because the slope is too steep, you have to jump and do weird things. Problems like this give the map a very bad impression, and if there isn’t much else, that is the only impression I’m getting. Later when you have to jump down to the water it feels very wrong. It is unrealistic, you couldn’t survive a jump like that in real life. That’s just Half-Life 2 physics, but even in the main game of Half-Life 2 you never have to make a jump like that.

    After that there is another small fight and that’s almost it. No climax or anything. Still giving this map an okay rating because of the enviroment.

    Suspended Operation by OJJ
    It is okay

    The gravity gun made this map more enjoyable than it had any right to be. The areas you fight enemies in are not well designed for combat at all. Without the gravity gun it would be either very boring or frustrating. Towards the end you fight a hunter in a tiny room which completely defeats the point of the hunter. When you fight the gunship it barely moves, making the fight very static, boring and trivial.

    While running away from the gunship three enemies with AR2 start attacking me and I have barely any cover. On hard difficulty this is too much random damage that forces you to play cheesy. When the shields deactivate the shield props still have the “activated” skin, which made me think that the shields aren’t deactivated. When you fight the Strider you have no cover except the rocket crate, which the Strider then shoots with its beam, killing you instantly.

    But I guess the author didn’t want you to take cover, because the Strider only shoots its beam which you can dodge. The problem is how am I supposed to know that, especially when the Strider shoots with its normal weapon before while driving the car? It’s not a bad map, but it has a lot of problems. I like that you get around a lot, I liked the sniper section, the joke at the end was alright too.

    Ravineside by Event Horizon
    It is okay

    Right at the start of the map is a SUPER bright light, but the tunnel is pitch black. When you move across the wooden bridge the movement is very sluggish, use clip brushes to make it smooth. Combine are using human car batteries to power their structures? I can barely see the moving glass platform and I have floaty movement on it. When I take out the battery at the end, the bridge moves, but I didn’t notice that. The bridge moves so fast that when you turn around and look at it, it already reached the end. That just confused me, I was thinking “Was that like that before?”.

    When you fight the Strider you can’t fight it properly, because the height of the railing is the same as the player height, you have to awkwardly jump to shoot the strider. Going all the way back to the beginning of the map for no reason felt like an anti-climax. Apart from these problems the map was okay. You get around a lot, fight a few enemies here and there. Destroying the wooden bridge was an okay event, but there was no reason for combine soldiers to stand there, which devalues the moment.

    Time Bridge by Sockman
    It is okay

    I don’t like the idea, nor the execution. It never felt like I’m traveling through time or something and replaying the same area multiples times with barely any change became boring very quickly. Even when the map turned dark, it just felt like time passed a little, not like I traveled through time. Combine wouldn’t use headcrab canisters when they are fighting on the ground themselves. The geometry is blocky and the choice of textures isn’t ideal and some textures have weird scales. It’s an okay map. You get through it without any major hiccups, you have a little bit of combat and a little bit of mystery, but as I said the execution is not good.

    TimothyJZombie by Michael McGee AKA HQDefault
    It is bad

    Could have been an okay map with charme, but falls flat on its face. The moral of the story is: To get what you want kill everyone. I first thought the author wanted to play around with that, but nope. Also why are you telling me to disable raw mouse input? The author could have just used viewcontrols and everything would have been fine. The combat was awful. When the metrocops destroy the doors, an enemy starts shredding me from behind instantly. After I kill that enemy there is another enemy behind me, shredding me with his SMG, and after I kill that one, another enemy is appearing behind me. Also the bridge is completely irrelevant for this map and feels like an afterthought to make it fit the Ville. Btw “racist bastard” doesn’t make any sense. Zombies aren’t a race of humanity. And the conversation just ends there. Was that supposed to be funny? It was just awkward. If I had zombie arm models that would improve the map greatly.

    Double Crossed by 1upD
    It is okay

    An interesting map with two possible paths, but my problem with that is that the paths are completely distinct and have no connection to each other. They even end in the exact same way, making the whole thing feel pointless. I still enjoyed it, but there isn’t a lot to it because of this. I liked the apartment with the rebel type though and how he screamed at me 🙂
    The combat was not ideal.

    Sunova Bridge by krassell
    It is okay

    At the start of the map the gnome is well executed but felt pointless at the end and resulted in an anti-climactic ending. There is a huge and impressive bridge area, but most of the map takes place in ugly and claustrophobic corridors and vents, which completely boggles my mind. Movement on the wooden planks was not smooth at all which could have been fixed with a few clip brushes. Later you fight three hunters in a tiny corridor which completely defeats the point of hunters. If the bridge area wasn’t so impressive I would give this map a worse rating. Disappointed that the bridge area is so underused.

    DiaBalllIcal by Pancaked
    It is dire!

    The invisible walls in this map are extremely annoying. The hunters are the worst enemy the author could have chosen for that single encounter, since they can barely move and when they charge towards you, they hit an invisible wall. The mechanic of moving the ball is completely forgotten after you shove it into the hole. I expected that mechanic to become more complex, but after you kill the hunters the grate at the start disappears for some reason, with no indication about it anywhere and the map ends.

    Heron by MAki (unofficial entry)
    It is great!

    The map starts with a jaw dropping view, but disappoints a little in the combat department. Killing zombies with the magnum became boring too fast and the fight against the combine was ruined by that single combine that stands in the door, which stopped me from going into the room and just stay where I was and snipe all enemies, making the fight very static. I liked the APC fight at the end though. In my first playthrough I didn’t like it, because the MG of the APC can be really annoying, but other than that the fight is set up really well, forcing you to move around. And “repairing” the bridge with the crane is a nice and unique idea. Unfortunately the map isn’t that long, but it was worth it for that initial view alone.

  8. hope someone can help me here …. as of the last 8 months many of the “villes” have been stuttering really bad …. some even stop for around 6 to 7 seconds but then continue .. tried disabling multicore and vsync …
    is there any additional files to download in “tools”( i have just noticed i dont have the half life sdk installed ) …. just annoying ….
    im using a core i5 ,8gb ram and a R9 270x ….. plays all other games fine … up to date drivers … any advice ?

    1. when are they stuttering? Maybe you just encountered the classic Half-Life 2 bug where if you quicksave close to an autosave you get stuttering for a few seconds. When I say classic I mean after the Steampipe update.
      Some of the maps in this Ville are very demanding, mine for example. Maybe you are playing with 8x MSAA or something? That is a performance killer.

  9. Heinz

    I played the first 12 maps and say….WOW….what a bunch of really nice and good build maps….thank you for a good time! will play the rest of the maps now…

  10. Play It Later

    Overall I think this mod is a mixed bag, but the highlights are very much worth playing.

    I wrote these reviews during/directly after playing each map. Some are much longer than others because I guess I felt like writing more about them? Also I wrote a lot of them without much respect for grammar or complete sentences. I tried to clean them up but there’s bound to be some garbage in there somewhere.

    My scores tend to be lower than other people’s, which I don’t try to do on purpose. Anything other than a Dire rating means I did at least find something fun or interesting about the map

    Mezzanine
    It is okay

    Figuring out where to go halfway through the industrial building part was a bit weird (I jumped out the window to the opposite roof but that felt like it wasn’t supposed to be a jump since jumping off a window sill is kinda hard). Shotgun dudes right behind doors is kinda mean but overall I think this is an improvement over the previous version I played.

    Bridge Story
    It is dire!

    i was disappointed

    Accumulator

    This was my map so I’m not reviewing it. I plan on doing a post-mortem as a video at some point.

    Night Train
    It is bad

    “Hack these three terminals, don’t be seen” is immediately followed by a cop looking directly at a terminal. I’m not sure if there’s something clever to do here. Instead I climbed up a ladder and that caused the cops to attack me. Then I shot dudes a bunch, clicked the three terminals, and then couldn’t find a blue train with a bomb so I gave up. Also there’s some areaportal issues with the ladders.

    Station 8
    It is good

    The best one I’ve played so far. Kinda janky in spots but it’s a -ville entry and that’s kinda expected. Some neat gameplay setups with the double decked bridge that I would like to see explored even further. There’s some regular combine soldiers with AR2s which seemed odd? idk if all AR2 combine are SUPPOSED to be elites but that seems to be the convention.

    Bridge Battle
    It is bad

    The bridge was kinda narrow for how many physics objects there are on it. Navigation was annoying because of it and hunters were also oddly effective if you let them squish you into a wall. At one point a hunter didn’t feel like attacking and was taken out by the sniper. The final battle feels like a worse version of Truss’ final battle, which I’m guessing you based this on. The helicopter liked to hide behind some trees right after it did a bombing run, so i was never actually able to hit it once. (I quit after a few attempts.)

    BlueOS
    It is okay

    A for effort, C for gameplay. The most difficult puzzles were basically the same as the first few but with slippery physics puzzles in the middle. The OS virus thing was neat but the ending didn’t feel earned – there’s no real story other than “this OS is bored so it’s evil I guess?” You could have the same map but make the story about how the OS is degrading over time, causing glitches to appear. I’d also be interested in puzzles that you have to repeat but solve in different ways because glitches have blocked the standard solution.

    One Good Turn
    It is okay

    The first combat encounter is kinda rough, I just about ran out of ammo and had very little health at the end. I stayed at relatively low health throughout the entire map, really. Decent standard gameplay overall, although not particularly creative in its use the bridge (could just as easily be a door you open). Also, the very concept of a bridge being built like this is hilarious. I’m not sure if it’s meant to be a joke but it’s a pretty good one.

    Under New Management
    It is okay

    Overall structure is nice but a bit odd I think? currently it requires that big wall running underneath the bridge that both looks weird and requires some obvious invisible walls. It wouldn’t take too much to restructure the map such that there is no wall and you’re just trying to get to the other side of the bridge.

    Combat encounters were a little odd: The large room with a catwalk and a bunch of metrocops tore me apart as soon as I entered, so I just sniped people through the doorway instead (which can be fun with a magnum or crossbow but pistol sniping is just tedious). You aren’t required to kill the helicopter before progressing onwards (and killing the heli with the airboat gun felt a little odd to me) so I ended up with the heli hovering over the exit, so I backtracked through most of the map to have a closer path to the airboat so I wouldn’t get shot up so much. Also, the two hunters seemed to come from thin air the instant I pressed a button but maybe I wasn’t paying attention? They’re very easy to kill if you run back (through an entirely empty room of no cover) and grab some sawblades, which I’m not sure was the intended way to kill them. I do have to commend you for the length of the map, a more polished version of this could be a proper campaign level.

    Smog City
    It is great!

    Cool atmosphere that I’d love to see realized in more detail. Gameplay was creative – Stealth kills were satisfying despite their jank, the secrets were well placed (I don’t think the warning at the start of the map was needed), and the gravity gun puzzle was good. The gameplay is solid and doesn’t have any rough edges, but it also doesn’t play it totally safe. I wish I had more to say about the map because it’s one of my favorites from this contest.

    Bridge Ambush
    It is good

    Short but sweet. The structuring of it at the start was a little odd – I decided to look around for secrets before going on the bridge, found the lambda sign, and triggered the combine assault (which I thought was a bug in the map as I assumed the bridge was the correct route). Using toxic goo in the tunnel to force the player into keeping the jeep felt odd for some reason. Putting a jump in would solve what’s probably a non-issue but also give the map a nice climax that lowering the bridge doesn’t really have.

    Suspended Operation
    It is bad

    Almost every combat encounter in this map feels like I’m fighting against the map instead of the enemies. For instance: The sniper section seems to indicate that I should hold the door in front of me as I back into another room, which just lures me into a cramped space with a grenade-wielding zombine (which doesn’t end well). Most of the indoor combat sections are oddly cramped and don’t let you get distance from the enemies, and most of the outdoor combat sections have enemies shooting at you from several directions (which is made worse by the dark lighting). There’s also not a lot of downtime. Just about every part of the map has enemies in it and that doesn’t make for great pacing. Also the strider will just walk to the end and start shooting at the bridge even if you don’t go there (which I discovered as I drove the jeep directly into the gate instead of the road with two combine fences that still appear to be on).

    I do have to commend you for the detailing and layout of the map, which wraps in on itself in some interesting ways. I just wasn’t able to find much fun.

    Ravineside
    It is okay

    Decently fun, although very dark and a little obtuse at times. There’s a battery puzzle that offers you a bunch of grenades to toss at a target at the other side of a pit, which I did for a few minutes with nothing happening. Then i shot the button with my pistol and was allowed to move on. Making my way from the broken glass window to the area below also felt like it wasn’t the right thing to do, but I did it anyways because that’s all I had left to try. The strider battle felt more like a battle against the handrails being head-height.

    Time Bridge
    It is okay

    I think I enjoyed the concept more than the map. The setting itself wasn’t super interesting and the changes in time periods were pretty insignificant but it was enough to make an alright map. I’d love to see this idea expanded further.

    Timothy J. Zombie
    It is good

    Maybe the most entertaining map of the contest so far. The concept and plot points range from morally questionable to downright stupid but it feels very aware of itself and the map is remarkably well put together. It’s a well-produced piece of schlock that I enjoyed quite a bit.

    Double Crossed
    It is great!

    A really clever map. Being able to safely scope out the map before doing a “real” run through the map was a super cool idea. The combat was decent (all the combine gathering around a closed door once I opened the gate was an awkward battle to manage) and the hunter battle location in particular was a very believable location. The biggest disappointment is that, unless I missed something, the map ends the same way either way you play it.

    Sunova Bridge
    It is great!

    This map is really good if you pretend the last fight doesn’t exist. It’s a unique and really well-realized setting with some good gameplay and has a decent length to it.

    Minor grievances: The beginning section is a bit awkward to navigate and it isn’t immediately clear which direction to go, which can lead to getting trapped rather easily – I got to the gnome chamber with 21 health to spare. The sniper is introduced without warning and it feels like you can’t properly perform that section of the map until you know what to expect. There were also a few combat sections where I wouldn’t immediately rush into the room, causing the combine to all rush me instead and bunch up in the start of a linearly organized combat section. I’d kill a bunch of combine in the same spot and then walk through a few empty rooms that seemed set up for much more interesting combat.

    I could not figure out the final combat sequence (One combine ball + three hunters = still two hunters that will instantly trap you on both sides because the room is a cramped donut) and it totally shot down the good mood I was in from the rest of the map, but I’m willing to give this a high rating for what the rest of the map does.

    Fog of War
    It is good

    This map somehow follows the same exact formula as the previous that pissed me off so much: Well-realized setting, solid gameplay with some minor hitches, a finale involving a cool setpiece and a gunship/RPG fight followed by a second unnecessary climax that has too many hunters.

    Minor grievances: Punting the cars while trying to keep in cover from the autoguns was awkward. Lifting planks from one location to another was even more awkward. The first time i encountered the bridge collapse segment, I actually ran backwards and stood on the trusses underneath (and got stuck as a result).

    DiaBallical
    It is dire!

    The map starts with a “puzzle” that feels like either a protest against the theme or something the designer realized wasn’t fun and left in as a joke. This is followed by a battle that offers cover only at long-range and also only offers the player a shotgun (unless you want to just punt the same few barrels at a group of hunters, which I’m guessing is the intended way of doing this part). I feel like this map was just making fun of me.

    Heron
    It is good

    Short but sweet. I appreciated the fact that this didn’t do the same sort of weapon progression that every map seems to do (crowbar, pistol, smg, etc.) and just went straight to the magnum, but it felt much better suited to sniping combine in a warehouse through a door rather than taking care of two poison zombies in a stairwell. I kinda wish there was more combat (combines attacking you during the APC fight, a longer APC section in general with more pieces of cover to dash between) but the map executed everything it wanted to do in an inoffensive manner.

    1. Maker of Bridge Battle here, sorry you didn’t enjoy it. Well, what can I do..

      The Helicopter battle wasn’t based on Truss, never heard of that. I thought of it myself. And yes, the Helicopter shooting through trees. I was aware of that, I tried block LOS but that didn’t work for whatever reason.

      1. could have used “block bullets” as a workaround 🙂

      2. The problem was more that the helicopter would do its bombing run and then sit in the trees for a moment, making it difficult to aim the bombs correctly.

        Truss was an entry for VerticalVilleTwo. I recommend trying it out!

  11. Play It Now!

    I decided not to rate the maps individually, because I honestly found something to enjoy in each one. Instead I’ll comment on memorable moments. I’m also including a “bridginess” score to reflect the quality of the bridge crossing, or its integration into the map, or something. Actually it probably doesn’t mean much at all.

    Any flippant remarks mean I couldn’t think of anything original or insightful to say; no disrespect is intended.

    May contain traces of spoiler.

    Mezzanine

    Standing on a window ledge. I’ll never make that jump. I didn’t make that jump. And I fell to my death.

    I made the jump. The rest was fun. Man, I need to get better at jumping.

    Bridginess: A-

    Bridge Story

    Before bridge story: fetch water, chop wood.
    After bridge story: fetch water, chop wood.

    Bridginess: Ommmmm

    Accumulator

    First play: Being rushed by soldiers while trying to dodge a sniper – not fair!
    Second play: Oh, that’s how you get rid of the sniper!

    This is a brilliant map with lots of choices for play and exploration. I was still finding new things on the third play. I missed the gravgun the first time but had no trouble completing it. That good level design!

    Bridginess: not so much, but it’s so good who cares!

    NightTrain

    There is so much good stuff in this I really wanted to like it, but in the end it defeated me.

    I’m a bad driver at the best of times, but having to dodge a chopper and infinitely spawning soldiers while dodging barely-visible obstacles and not lose the boxes was just too much.

    Also, that train car still looks kinda grey to me.

    Bridginess: A

    Station 8

    This is definitely a favourite. Sure it’s short, but it feels like a real journey.

    I got both boxes from the truck before it fell! (OK, maybe not on the first try.)

    Bridginess: A+

    Bridge Battle

    This was good fun with a nice helicopter set-piece.

    I wonder how many other people though it would be a good idea to jump down the hole in the bridge to get to the console? Spoiler alert – it wasn’t.

    I can’t stop thinking about poor Bob the sniper trapped in the attic with no way down. I hope his bucket isn’t full.

    Bridginess: A+

    BlueOS

    Boo! An abstract map! It’s MiminimialismVille all over again!

    But wait: there’s great music and trippy but coherent visuals. And then, two different types of bridges for the price of one.

    I didn’t stop smiling all the way through this. Yay!

    Bridginess: Fish (Surreal A+)

    Under New Management

    Hello, obvious but slightly incongruous lever. You want me to pull you? OK then.

    Lights! Boxes! Zombies!

    Bridginess: B

    Smog City

    I’ll just sneak up behind this guy and take him out …
    COMBINE!!! (bang!)
    … Gary, I had that!

    A really fresh look mixing combine with other vertical architecture. Not sure what the glowy blue circles did; I asked Gary, but he was no help at all.

    Bridginess: A-

    Bridge Ambush

    I have a feeling I missed something. After I got down to the water I walked around and fell off the edge of the world, where I was attacked by 3 ethereal inter-dimensional roller mines, and died. When I got to the other side there was only one, who looked pretty lonely as I punted him to join his friends.

    Bridginess: A+

    Suspended Operation

    The combat was good, with lots of different vertical levels to make it interesting.

    However, the gunship needs to understand that the rocket crates are there for my use, and disintegrating them is bad sportsmanship. I explained this is no uncertain terms. Then it shot me.

    Bridginess: A

    Ravineside

    Wow, a rope bridge wide enough to drive a bus across and a strider dancing by itself in the corner. Maybe those mushrooms were past their best-before date.

    No shortage of bridges, even ones created from car batteries. Bye Mr. Strider – don’t mind me.

    Bridginess: What do you think, floating plank?

    Time Bridge

    Whoa, Gary – look at that. That is NOT the way to lay bricks on an incline. You stay here and try to shore it up while I cross the trans-temporal portal bridge and look for some decent bricklayers.

    Nope, none here.
    None here either. What’s going on?
    Wait – there’s a guy in a suit. He’ll know what to do.

    Bridginess: Wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey

    TimothyJZombie

    Ohhhh. Grrrrrr. My Liiiife. Do we need any more milk? Ooooooohhhhh.

    Bridginess: A+ (loved the end scene)

    Double Crossed

    You take the high road and I’ll take the low road, and I’ll have some combat afore ye.

    This is a good concept. It could have been great if there was some sort of pay-off for using one or the other path.

    Bridginess: A and A

    Sunova Bridge

    Great atmosphere – restricted spaces alternating with a bottomless death pit that didn’t scare me at all, oh no.

    I’ve never been good at combat it confined spaces. Against three hunters I died. A lot.

    Gnome? I don’t remember a gnome. That was a nightmare. Wasn’t it?

    Bridginess: Don’t look down. Don’t look down.

    Fog of War

    This had some serious lag issues which made combat annoying. I assume this was a consequence of the middle set piece, which was certainly impressive.

    I did fall into the drink several times until I figured out what to do.

    Bridginess: A+ (aaaaaaaah – splash)

    Diaballicle

    Dev textures. OK. Dev textures with invisible walls? Dev textures with invisible walls that trap you if you climb on two stacked barrels??

    Why do you hate me?

    All together now: Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ undead, stayin’ undead.

    Bridginess: Seriously, why do you hate me?

    Heron

    I could spend all day luring zombies and headcrabs into barnacles. My therapist is on speed-dial.

    Looks good, plays great.

    Bridginess: A+

  12. I tried to add my comments, but it said it was reported as spam! If it does show up, sorry for the extra blank lines and the “it’s dire”, neither of which I could remove.

    1. Unq

      Yeah it landed in spam for some reason. I fixed it up for you.

      1. Anon_1526503

        Thanks!

        P.S. Login timed out. Is there a way to delete a comment in the edit window?

  13. The fact that everyone is taking my map seriously has me immensely satisfied and amused. Dirk Destiny is the only one who has truly absorbed the Bridge Story experience.

  14. I didn’t make notes while and after playing each map, so I don’t ‘qualify’ to rate the Ville, but it would have been a PIN. I just did a 1 – 10 rating as it helps differentiate the choice of winners. which with this overall excellent Ville was difficult. Fantastic numbers of maps too. My 9/10 and 10/10 ratings were so close, it could have gone any way and I’m wondering if the order of playing influences it….hmm.

    Mezzanine 9/10
    Bridge Story 1/10
    Accumulator 10/10 wow!
    Night Train 4/10
    Station 8 7/10
    Bridge Battle 9/10
    Blue OS 2/10
    One Good Turn 6/10
    Under New Mgmt 7/10
    Smog City 8/10
    Bridge Ambush 6/10
    Suspended Op 7/10
    Ravinside 4/10
    Time Bridge 6/10
    Timothy Zombie 8/10
    Double Crossed 7/10
    Sunova Bridge 9/10
    Fog of War 8/10
    Dia Ballical 1/10
    Heron 8/10

  15. JamaicanDave

    Another bumper crop of entries. The quality varies, as expected, but some were very nice. However the stand out map for me was Heron. This style of map is definitely my cup of tea. Beautiful looking with an authentic feeling environment and nicely paced encounters. You can soak up the atmosphere whilst exploring and the combat is balanced and fun. Some mappers fall into the trap of throwing everything and the kitchen sink at the player, equating the number of npcs and how hard combat is with quality. My advice (particularly to newer mappers) is show a little restraint, I think Maki’s maps are great examples of this.

    While on the topic of advice, I noticed quite a few maps had horrible light blue shadows on movable props and/or suffer from too much bloom. Make sure to use env_shadow control and env_tonemap_controller in your maps. Set them up once and it’s very easy to copy and paste into future maps with just the occasional minor tweak.

  16. Personal Favourite
    Bridgeville Challenge.

    Twenty free maps, some duff, some just lacking a bridge and some outstanding, what’s not to like? There is something for almost everyone. Mappers can judge and criticize and players can point out what they liked or loathed! I would say play it now but “Fog of War” to name one makes this a Personal Favourite.

    Mezzanine:
    It is okay

    An okay little map in a little industrial zone with some interesting combat with some sneaky grenading! Climbing where some jumped I finished this easy little map but I think I missed the bridge part of the challenge!

    Bridge Story:
    It is dire!

    Er… Er… Er… I cannot think what to say on this one.

    Accumulator:
    It is great!

    A very polished and competent map this one and to me personally it was very enjoyable. No bridge but lots of bridging between objects and a lot of aerial work, always fun. There are some nice climbing puzzles and plenty of combat for a small, tightly packed and bright map. It had a simple story element that fitted just right. I liked this one.

    Night Train:
    It is okay

    I had many issues with this map, not withstanding the fact that it took forever, with the killing of some twenty thousand combines before I located the train to blow up! Agh, this was a real infuriating map even though it looked nice!
    Replay went better but the car can barely navigate all the furniture on the track and I lost patience and many lives trying to play it and righting it with the grav-gun! Too many combine and a constant barrage from the air left this map unfinished…

    Station 8:
    It is good

    Good dramatic start with the station under attack across the damaged bridge and the gnome! Pretty scenery with nice ambience leads to a combine and zombie fight on the bridge with some nice trigged events to help your progress and hinder theirs! Clever thought out mini-mission is cut short when Dog makes himself known and we hear from Alyx as we fade to black.
    It’s great and you are left wanting more.

    Bridge Battle:
    It is okay

    This map felt the opposite of the previous one. Yes it looked and played fine but I found the helicopter fight too hard and died too many times to laugh it off! I was so chessed off I let my tea go cold as the red screen flashed again and again! I cheated the chopper and continued to fight. A key, yay so retro! Not my favourite map but it was okay excepting the helicopter!

    Blue OS:
    It is good

    Nicely done puzzle map with new dynamics to pleas those who love this stuff. That was until the overhead hover thingies got too fiddly to control and I got derezzed over and over and… Esc… new game. I gave up as it became just too hard to control!

    One Good Turn:
    It is good

    Just a nice map, nothing special but some nicely paced combat and a gunship fight that was not near impossible! It has a very bright environment and a turntable bridge to drive your car across after all the combat and some minor peril. One good turn and the fun ends as you speed across the bridge. Nice map.

    Under New Management:
    It is okay

    Warehouse district fighting and a reappearance of the very nice armed airboat but a somewhat worrying absence of a bridge or bridges! Nevertheless combat was good and the airboat makes light work of that combine chopper and spectators! It was an okay map to play in and I had fun.

    Smog City:
    It is great!

    I liked the dark gloomy atmosphere in this one and the height as I climbed up on piping in this underground cavernous interior space. There was lots to do and doors to open using a triangular energy box and stealth did have a role to, but it was a hit and miss affair. Hit one in the back of the head and then his mates are staring at you bang, bang! The bridging elements were nicely done and I loved this maps sense of achievements as I progressed.
    Combine guns zapping enemies into being was quite the surprise, but my MG spoke well!
    Great map, felt very combine and even had tranporters and the blue grav gun to finish.

    Bridge Ambush:
    It is great!

    Pretty scenic start as you leave the car to cross the big bridge underneath! Not clearly marked but I found it exploring. Confusing at first because water often means death! There is a lift mechanic to raise and lower the centre section of the bridge, which the combine do after a surprise ambush as you return to your car! So back under after some caretaking and it’s a fast ride into the flooded tunnel to finish. A flooded tunnel so high up? A great little map, fun to play and nice to look at.

    Suspended Operation:
    It is bad

    A good start but getting past the first sniper is near impossible! Then the confusion begins and I find myself hiding from a rampaging strider wearing my getaway car for a shoe! At this point I am lost to this map and quietly resign defeated as the strider melds into the overhead walkway!!!

    Ravineside:
    It is okay

    Cross the bridge, fall, fall, fall what the headcrab! I try again after a dinner break, moving slowly, jump over that thin-looking wooden slat and I’m actually going to make it! This combine facility runs on 12 volts; yeah actual car batteries no wonder the archaic wooden bridge collapsed! Combat is light and there are some switches to activate with battery and grenade.
    You have to drop out of a high window to fall on the new, more modern combine bridge surprisingly not dying.
    Removing a battery releases the high sprung-loaded bridge that shoots out faster than sight!
    Do I fight the tiny, stuck against the wall dancing strider? No I feel it is a cruel sight and I cross and finish the map with a sigh. Oh hum…

    Time Bridge:
    It is good

    Oh gee it’s that man again! “Is it that time again” again, again, again and again! Is the mapmaker just being lazy? You keep traversing the same map but each time it changes subtly and the enemies are different, as the environment seems to decay. It actually plays quite well and is somewhat interesting driving you on to see where the modder is taking you. At last G-san is back and your journey ends walking through this oddly compelling mod. Not bad at all.

    Timothy J. Zombie:
    It is great!

    Set funny bone to tickle and enjoy this silly episode in a zombie’s life! The dialogue is handled nicely in cut scenes and there is some blue crate handling for exercise. “I didn’t realise zombies had families” said the metro guard and I laughed as Timothy replied “Racist bastard!” and walked out. This is a simple skit involving Tim’s search for another blue box to open the bridge crossing. There is a very creepy barman, odd I have never been so close to one of these before, sort of a weird feeling and I learn of the great combine conspiracy from a zombine!
    Tim is told to go tool up involving a swim and an armed assault on the combine by yours truly. I return to that selfish rebel with the many blue crates of which I only asked for one and he sent me off, but now I am armed.
    Timothy crosses the bridge in a long exposition shot as the map fades out.
    This is silly and fun. The last time I was a zombie was back in “lAST zOMBIE” a very strange b&w third-person mod… I think I’ll replay as Tim again…

    Double Crossed:
    It is good

    Well there is a bridge and you can cross it twice, both under and over, but that is all. Not a particularly memorable map but a very well executed combat segment firmly entrenched in the good old Half Life mould. Combine, hunters and a sniper to all add to some short-lived but entertaining fighting in a nicely decorated area, just like a chunk snatched from the game. It is not special but is very good and I played it through a few times. Not a tough challenge but fun. The combine transport at the end I hope its stolen or I’ve made quite the mistake!

    Sonova Bridge:
    It is great!

    First off top marks for the pun! A surreal start to a mod that has you firstly running unarmed with metrocops following and then you activate a portal to meet an axe-wielding gnome! Following his lead you are out on boarded walkways crossing the narrow abyss between the structures. Nice but a sniper makes it a little riskier!
    A window ledge drops you in it and the combine and metros are in your face but at least you are armed now. Close quarter combat seems this games thing along with pesky sniping!
    Al last a real bridge and a challenge to cross barely intact just to arrive at a nasty firefight with combine and a trio of hunters! Defeat stares you in the face until your enemies are thwarted by the one and only axe-wielding gnome. A what-the-headcrab ending to a nice climbing mob with a bridge and a guardian gnome…

    Fog of War:
    It is WOW!

    An epically scaled bridge for this entry and as in Half Life 2 you are traversing the underside first. Gaps on the walkways are handled very well as you use the grav gun to heft planks over and they snap into place. On some mods this manoeuvre would be difficult at best!
    Those combine heavy pounders are never a joke at the start and I took a few goes before I realised the mechanic needed to advance and fall onto the under bridge trestles. Mind the zombies!
    Back on top it is a straight up firefight with lots of ammo and cover as you move around suspects hunters to appear at any moment. But it is relatively quite up to the battlements where a ladder climb brings back health and amour and ammo.
    The main part of the bridge is reached by a non-returnable jump and there are rockets and an RPG by a flare. Hunters at last! A gunship is too easily dispatched and crashes under the bridge with a lot of noise and a shaking as the entire structure dips alarmingly!
    Amid the noise of car alarms from sliding cars I die again and again, cursing this broken mod for not working, again and again I try to move before sliding to my death! I check on RTSL, just two reviews to check, but I realise I’m missing something.
    Noclipping I hover watching the amazingly complex bridge collapse and realise my error seeing the far walkway. Timing my run I slip and slide between falling cars and make the other side on my second or third attempt.
    A sort of repeat of the first section gets me up close and personal with hunters and combine and I find my way on as it ends.
    This is simply outstanding; you could not get any more Bridgeville than this amazing work. A collapsing bridge in the fog with lights and plays perfectly on my old Jurassic PC! Marvellous!!!

    Diaballical:
    It is bad

    Dev textures, now I know what they are, are back and so is snooker! Pot the orange for a trio of manoeuvre-challenged hunters that are just too easy to do away with; oh hum drum… But wait a zombie disco, things are looking up, oh it ended! Erm well… I liked the dancing zombies!

    Heron (The Bonus):
    It is great!

    A beautiful looking map with a bridge, always a plus in a Bridgeville map and a working crane to. Now that’s a bonus! There is a lot of zombie killing to get to the crane to lift the central core of the bridge up to connect the route through. Nice idea leaving the crane to hold the bridge centre in place. An APC gives a final challenge to this little mod, ducking and diving as you snipe it with the RPG. A satisfying end to this epic challenge of mods and a sweet little map.

    Conclusion

    Can anyone complain about free content? This had a great number of mods to play love and hate and then review, but remembering each map becomes a little hazy when there are no memory jogging pictures yet on RTSL! I replayed most a few times as I wrote my reviews, sometimes changing my previous opinions and also finding some so easy and enjoyable to replay again and again! A well-crafted challenge met by some great modders.

    1. Thank you 🙂 glad you enjoyed “Fog of War” so much. Sorry about the trouble you apparently had 🙂

      1. I forgot the “think” and “Run” part of RTSL and you left a very mean strip of roadway to indicate where to run! 🙂

        1. @rikersbeard haha well said 🙂

      2. Thanks for reviewing my map 🙂 Yes, afterwards I see the Helicopter Battle was quite hard. He shouldn’t be able to shoot through the trees. 🙂

  17. Play It Now!

    Bridgeville is going to take you a long time to finish. Twenty entries of varying length and quality. Definitely one to check out.

    Mezzanine
    It is okay

    Not a bad start. A little unchallenging up until the very end when the elites showed up and got the drop on me a little. I guess the majority of the map took place on a bridge, but there wasn’t much interaction with the bridge itself. Still, not a bad start.

    Bridge Story
    It is dire!

    I feel like I accidentally booted up Minimalismville again… Well if the aim was to disappoint then this certainly delivered. I had a bit of a chuckle about the secret parkour message, but this is pretty lazy. If it was always going to be short and lacking gameplay then it should have at least had impressive visuals. But nope. It’s dev textured. Also, I’m not sure of the cause, but the sky was glitched and it really hurt my eyes. Intentional or not, it either means it wasn’t tested or it’s another lazy cut. Really not happy about this one..

    Accumulator
    It is great!

    This one was good fun. I like that all of the space is used at one point or another. You see the goal immediately and then snake your way around trying to get to the damn thing. One slight hiccup where I needed to get into a vent and the boxes needed to do so had come to an untimely end at the hands of… myself and a crowbar. Fortunately, a tiny backtrack and one file cabinet later and I was good to go. Overall, I enjoyed this one. The combat was varied and the puzzles throughout were highly entertaining. One part that did fall a little flat was the hunter fight. The area was far too cluttered for the hunter to maneuver, so I just hunkered down behind a car and blew it away with a shotgun.

    Night Train
    It is okay

    If frustration was a map, it would be Night Train. I liked the briefing and the little map at the start. The whole setup was pretty cool, like a mission in Payday 2 or something.Then it all went a little off the rails, no pun intended. I’m not sure if I was supposed to stay hidden but I immediately killed the two metro cops on the top level and then mowed down all the others below. None of them seemed to react however. I ran around for a while looking for the consoles and got very very bored. I’d say the map is far too large. Then when it came time to blow the train and the action kicked off I became downright infuriated. There is far too much clutter on these tracks to drive the muscle car, let alone keep a crate in the cage at the back. Also, snipers and vehicle sections DO NOT MIX. In the end I left the car and simply took the crates along the lower level to the end. It was dull as hell, but I didn’t keep dying to infinitely spawning enemies and cheap shots from the sniper. To top it all off, it was glitchy. The gravity on the lower level of the bridge bugged out and everything started floating around down there…

    Station 8
    It is great!

    I loved this one. Just some really solid combat against combine soldiers across a crumbling bridge. There are some great set pieces and some very clever little details, such as a battery dropping down in front of you from above, prompting you to look up and spot a supply cache. Amazing. I also liked that there were environmental hazards to use against the enemy. Some of these I didn’t notice at first, so I would have a small shoot out with the combine, then spot the trap in the corner of my eye and use it to finish them off. It felt very empowering and is exactly why this is a blast to play. The ending was a little weak, but it’s the kind of thing I’ve done in the past so I can only assume it was done that way to save time.

    Bridge Battle
    It is okay

    The briefing at the start seemed to be glitches as I think there were three messages but I only saw two, the second one only flickering up for a fraction of a second.The fight with the combine was not very challenging as they all ran straight for me, not actually firing most of time. The ones that I didn’t gun down, the sniper took out for me. Then I waited around for about five minutes waiting for something to happen. I attempted to get over the forcefield by moving all the props to the end of the bridge. I started lobbing grenades in every direction before finally accidentally killing a soldier that had hidden in their spawn area and hadn’t come out. Next thing I know, I’m having to fight a hunter chopper with little to no cover, not to mention that it kept dropping its individual bombs off the bridge so I had to wait for the carpet bombing every time. I died a few times… I almost gave up. Then, after finally taking it down, it was scripted to crash in a specific way and… well. It was on the wrong side of the bridge so it took so long it actually was pretty funny. Then of course, I had to move all the props again to progress to the key hunting section. The final battle with the hunters was again a little easy thanks to the sniper. Some nice ideas but this one was executed a little poorly.

    BlueOS
    It is great!

    Excellent. I love the concept and some of the notes were quite hilarious. The whole thing felt like it was inspired by games like Portal, SUPERHOT and a little bit of Undertale, right at the end. The gameplay was solid and actually pretty challenging in places. One tiny gripe. I fell off the floaty blocks in one room and got trapped between the blocks and the support columns. I had to cheat to get out. Otherwise, absolutely solid entry.

    One Good Turn
    It is good

    While this is by no means the prettiest map, it’s certainly got some fun little gameplay sections. The goal was obvious from the start which is always nice to see, and there were some nice little pickups at the start for people who explore a little. Also, weapon gating so that the player cannot progress without a crowbar is always a plus in my book as well, and something that you don’t actually see very often. I usually make a point of avoiding the crowbar if the mapper doesn’t make it essential. The use of explosives to progress through the warehouse was nice as well and the final battle was actually pretty damn challenging. A very good entry.

    Under New Management
    It is bad

    Again not the most attractive map, but this time… I’ll be honest. About halfway through I forgot there even was a bridge in this map. I certainly never crossed it either. More like I bypassed it. On top of that, the gameplay got stale pretty darn quickly with the zombies. Thankfully I had the gravity gun and saw blades because otherwise, yikes. Finally, spawning enemies behind players is a cheap move any way you cut it. Saying that, the hunters actually spawned in front of me because I turned around fast enough. That fight was at least challenging, but wasn’t enough to boost the score in my mind.

    Smog City
    It is great!

    Pretty interesting one. The area in which the levels take place is certainly unique and I really like the idea that you have to search for items. However, I think there may have been a little too much to go around. It became a little predictable, finding items in every single bin. I like the stealth mechanics as well, though my resistance buddies began one-shotting metrocops from across the room. Not sure if that’s a bug or intentional. Either way, I enjoyed this pair of maps overall.

    Bridge Ambush
    It is good

    First and foremost, this map looks great. The design of the bridge and the surrounding area are very attractive indeed. The concept is pretty simple. The player is attempting to cross the bridge and the combine stop them… though I am curious as to who raised the bridge as there was nobody at the controls when I got there. The combat is unfortunately a little flat. A handful of manhacks and combine soldiers with SMGs. With the gravity gun in hand the combine on the bridge were easily dispatched with their own manhacks and the combine below were mostly cleaned up with a well placed grenade. Sadly, it just seems as though they were rushing me and attempting to batter me with their guns. If you’re going to ambush somebody, maybe take some ammo with you. 😛

    Suspended Operation
    It is bad

    It’s certainly an unusual looking map. I like how the flames in the starting area don’t give off any light whatsoever. Haha! Anywho, onto the map. The layout is a little complicated in places which is fine until the player is under heavy fire from a gunship. When the player get’s lost while under attack and with no way of defending themselves it can get quite frustrating. There are also a couple of instances where there are very noticeable invisible walls which are just a massive no no. If the player can do something within the space you designed that you don’t want them to, you need to go back to the drawing board, not plop down a block of impassible air. Finally, I don’t know how it would have panned out if I had missed my shots when fighting the gunship, but the strider boss battle only worked because it was limited to it’s main gun. If the gunship hadn’t been taken out before destroying the rocket cache then this would have been an incredibly frustrating fight at the end.

    Ravineside
    It is okay

    I honestly don’t know what I was supposed to be doing in this one. There was a bridge, there’s no question there. But after crossing it, I took out a load of combine. I had to place some batteries in boxes to open doors and destroy some other batteries to disable force fields. Then, I reached the top of the structure, pushed a button and the bridge vanished? After that, I ran around for a while but couldn’t find anything else to do. I dropped down to a lower level full of zombies and headcrabs and killed a strider that was just standing off in the distance. I assume I finished it. If not, I’m giving this a low score for bad conveyance.

    Time Bridge
    It is good

    I actually really liked this. It is great to see how things became more and more dilapidated during each iteration. Also the different enemies moving into the area as time goes on. However, at the same time I cannot shake a feeling of… missed potential. It would have been fantastic to see consequences of my own actions during each iteration. For example, if I had broken the supply crates in an early version then they wouldn’t be there in a later one. Or perhaps being given a choice as to whether to eliminate the combine OR the zombies and then the future events depend on which side survived. I’m sure this would have been a lot more complicated however. However, this is still a really nice entry.

    Timothy J Zombie
    It is great!

    Well, this was quite simply ridiculous… and I loved it. Quite a welcome change of pace and an… interesting side to play as. The environment was also very nicely designed and the cutscenes, while a little slow, were quite amusing. I’m not really sure what else to say about it.

    Double Crossed
    It is okay

    This appears to be a sequel to one of the Toxicville entries if I’m not mistaken. Something bothers me about the skin on the guys in white. It looks quite MSPaint-ish. Anyway, onto the map. It’s alright. I’m not 100% sure what the deal is with the one arctic camo guy who yelled at me before I blew him away. I was then greeted by a radio and a voice told me to hand myself in. Screw that I thought, After blasting my way through the combine I got stuck behind a stack of boxes (Seriously, don’t make your player’s only means of getting back out of secret areas destructible). Then, I climbed onto a combine dropship for some reason. After that, I restarted and did as the voice said and walked past all the combine and… climbed onto a combine dropship… Oook? Well, I have no idea what the story was here or who was crossing who exactly, but the map was reasonable in terms of design and slightly challenging if you chose to fight your way through, which I recommend.

    Sunova Bridge
    It is great!

    The gnome says ThatsRidonkulous, the environment says Crowbar, but I was shocked to find that this was neither. I really enjoyed this one to a point. The combat throughout was fun, there were some nice goodies if you explored a little, there was humour there too and even the gunship fight was fun. However, what the hell was the deal with throwing three hunters, plus overwatch soldiers into a pair of tight corridors!? That whole section frustrated me to the point that I’m only giving this a great when everything up to that point was a wow. Hunters work well in open arenas but a single one in a tight space can be tense, but three of them in a tight space is not good. I’d take out one with an AR2 energy ball before one of the others body slammed me into a corner and I’d get absolutely massacred. No. Bad.

    Fog of War
    It is great!

    I have a feeling that I missed something here. I could not make any of the jumps that I needed to make in the lower sections of the bridge. If there is a legitimate way to get across that wide a gap then I’m afraid I do not know it. Likewise if there was any hint in the map, I totally missed it. I had to cheat every single time. Such a shame because otherwise this map is solid. The combat sections were frantic and amazing, especially the finalé where I found the gravity gun and tractor tyres make short work of hunters. Also, the incredible bridge collapse after taking out the gunship. I was bricking it the whole way across.

    DiaBallical
    It is okay

    A bridge, a locked grate, a ball, a hole and a maze. Actually not a bad little challenge and the Hunter fight at the end seems as though it was just there to liven things up. After completing the challenge, you cross a small bridge and then get your reward… That’s it. I’m not sure what I was expecting but I’ll admit, it caught me off guard. Not bad. Shame it was dev textured through.

    Heron
    It is WOW!

    Very nice. The environment is beautifully crafted and the gameplay is nice and interesting. Theres some nice variety to the combat, like fighting zombies and headcrabs on a barnacle infested stairway for example. I certainly would not have thought of raising a bridge that way either, but it worked. The gameplay did fall a little flat at the end with the APC boss fight, but it makes a change from throwing in another Hunter or Gunship battle. I liked this one a lot!

    1. thanks for the review, you were supposed to use the wooden planks to cross the gaps in Fog of War.

      1. So I wasn’t the only one then 😏

        1. yeah the problem is that the wooden planks are not established as physical objects, so some people complete ignore the plank, it fades into the rest of the geometry.

    2. Thanks for the Review! 🙂
      Quite unfortunate… I built in a system that combines would be pushed into line of sight, which probably didn’t push him enough for you to see..
      Also, there were lots of nodes for them behind the cars and stuff, which worked rarely for some reason… welp, I hope you enjoed it! 🙂

  18. Play It Now!

    20 maps will take you some time to complete. Like other -villes, the quality varies but this one is the best of 2017 so far in my opinion. These reviews were written right after I completed each map.

    Mezanine
    It is okay

    The map is OK, in my opinion. The bridge is natural, unlike most of the entries. The combat was alright. But the part that you have to jump across the building/stacking the crates to climb was little bit frustrating because the crates can fall into the water below and are lost forever.

    Nothing memorable, but it’s still good.

    Bridge Story
    It is dire!

    Is this a troll entry? What is this?

    Accumulator
    It is good

    The map is very opened and there was much to explore. I actually played the map wrong on the first, blind playthrough. I thought that you need to get the crossbow first and kill the sniper last. After playing the map correctly, it is still enjoyable. The music for the fight with the Hunters is kinda dull though.

    Wait, where’s the ‘bridge?’ I don’t see any!

    Night Train
    It is good

    This map reminds me of a mission from Payday 2. The heist setup was neat.The voice acting was too quiet, I could barely hear him over the sound of gunfires and music. Also why do I need to interact with the terminals again?

    The train car was easy to miss, it took me 5 minutes to find the correct one. I think the train car should be easier to notice by having it marked with a device, a flare, or something. The sniper and the driving section does not work well. The Chopper should come after the first or second crate was delivered, it was draining my health like crazy. Also the crates can fall off the car very easily.

    Despite my complaints, I still find this map enjoyable.

    Station 8
    It is great!

    This map is so good! The quality is almost comparable to Valve’s. I really like the intro, the gunships wreaking havoc on the opposite side of the bridge was spot on.

    I didn’t know the falling battery was supposed to tell me that there’s a supply crate above me, so I thought it was there for some laugh XD.

    The only bad thing is that the map was too short. The ending can also be anticlimatic if you fire a grenade into the Combines before Dog throw a car at them.

    It kinda bugs me that it kinda conflicts with Half-Life 2 storyline, when Station 8 was under attack, Gordon was under the first mounted machine gun in the game near the canal.

    Bridge Battle
    It is good

    Ey, the map that’s in the main menu! (I think.) It’s a decent map. The bridge could be longer and have more cover though. A Hunter was stuck inside the cave and didn’t come out and fight.

    The fight with the Chopper was little hard. Whenever it carpet bombs the bridge, it will use the trees as cover. By the time it comes out, the player have like 5 seconds to throw the bomb before it blow up. (The steel beams of the bridge already made it hard to aim!)

    I think you should put an invisible wall on the hole when the player have to blow up the terminal with a grenade. The player might think they need to interact with it and get stuck down there forever. For some reason the key is next to a wooden, corner-like thing which doesn’t make much sense.

    BlueOS
    It is WOW!

    This one….It’s so GOOD! A puzzle map is a good break from a lot of fighting you had in the previous maps. The concept is very creative and excellent. I couldn’t stop admiring the environment and the music, I was smiling the whole time! The ending caught me off guard, it reminds me of Undertale. I like how the story turns from happy to grim, it sounds like those horror stories I’ve read.

    The only bad thing is the first encounter with the “glitch”. It requires a well timed jump to get pass it.

    Also, the Steam message at the end was a nice gimmick.

    One good Turn
    It is good

    Another good map. Nothing memorable though. But still enjoyable to play.

    Under New Management
    It is okay

    Well, HighFire! I’ve played your maps in Toxicville and MinimalismVille and I see that you are improving! The lightning, in some areas, is too bright. The “Ravenholm” section doesn’t make much sense. How can a warehouse is connected to an indoor town full of zombies?

    The bridge doesn’t have any roles in the story, you just pass by it. Keep going, HighFire. Don’t stop improving!

    Smog City
    It is good

    I like the fact that we’re in a different environment. A town inside a chasm. I like the stealth mechanic. But I think it should be told earlier, because by the time it told me I was sprinting across the chasm and was smashing the Metrocops’ heads with my crowbar.

    The machines that spawn/teleport Combines and the portal thing was a nice addition. The stealth mechanic works too well for fellow Rebels though. They can kill Combines before I see them!

    Also, I like the super Gravity Gun at the end.

    Bridge Ambush
    It is good

    While the visual is great, the map was really short. All you have to do is running under the bridge and lower the middle part of the bridge. It was OK, but I think there could be more.

    Suspended Operation
    It is bad

    I have mixed opinion about this map. While the first half of the map was fun, the second half started to become very hard to me. The indoor areas for CQC were small, the distance between you and the enemies is too close.

    The fight with the Strider at the end was frustrating, you have a small amount of time to dodge its laser cannon which has a considerably large radius. (Also, for some reason the bridge can withstand a lot of shots from it) I had to control my rockets and dodge its shots at the same time.

    The question in the end text made me chuckle though.

    Ravineside
    It is okay

    Not good, not bad. Just an OK map. Inside the Combine’s base was a little dark. Also, I don’t think the Combine would use car battery to power their stuff.

    The bridge at the end extends too quick that it confused that if it was there before. The Strider seems to be stuck, because I didn’t fight it during my playthrough.

    Time Bridge
    It is good

    The concept is cool, G-Man’s speech adds foreboding and grim mood to the map. While the map is repetitive, I feel some atmosphere the creator trying to give us. It shows us what will happen to Earth if Gordon wasn’t there and the war went on until there’s nothing left.

    It bugs me that at the beginning you can see G-Man’s speech in the subtitle, but you can’t hear him.

    Timothy J. Zombie
    It is good

    I guess this is what happens when you give a zombie guns. I really like the ridiculousness of this one. It’s so hilarious to play as a zombie who can run, swim and use guns. It felt like a GMod comedy video. The cutscenes were nice too. But the ending cutscene takes too long and should be shorter.

    Double Crossed
    It is good

    It seems that 1upD is trying to give stories to his maps for the Hammer Cup. I respect that, I’m really excited if the story would continue in the next -ville! It worked well so far, in my opinion. The combat was OK.

    I didn’t know there was 2 endings to this map. When I obeyed the voice in the radio, I laughed so hard when it worked and the map ended without having to fight the Combine! I hope the Dropship was stolen or something or else I might be in trouble here!

    I can’t wait to see what will be the next episode of this story.

    Sunova Bridge
    It is great!

    So I was held captive by the Metrocop, something happened, I broke out and escaped. I destroyed what appeared to be a giant energy orb and I happened to lost my mind after absorbing its energy. Now I’m hallucinating, I’m seeing a Gnome with an axe helping me. A friendly (and somehow quite disturbing) companion.

    Everything was decent about this map. The “bridge” part was nice, I was trying my best to not look down!

    The end battle was kind of a bummer. You are trapped inside a narrow, closed room against 3 Hunters and Combine Soldiers. It was hard. If you don’t have quick reaction and if you waste your AR2 balls and SMG grenade, good luck finishing this fight without getting cornered by the Hunters.

    Also the part where you have to press E to break the vent grate, it was a nice puzzle but it took me some time to figure it out.

    That pun though.

    Fog of War
    It is great!

    Holy hot dang! The Autoguns! By the time I saw them this map already earned a bonus point, you don’t see that often in a custom map. Nice work on another good map, crowbar. The custom red metal beams on the bridge looks nice. Am I on the Golden Gate?

    The bridge collapsing was dramatic, I feel like I was in an action movie!

    The Gunship sometimes get stuck under the bridge during the fight. The fight at the end was too hard for me. I don’t know if it’s just my incompetence or the fight itself. I kept dying over and over to the 4 Hunters. The map also lagged my PC hard too.

    DiaBalllIcal
    It is bad

    Now, I don’t complain if you use dev textures for your map. The player facing the end of the map was kinda misleading. The fight with the Hunters was unfair, you have only a shotgun ans some barrels to shoot their exploding darts back at them. You cannot even jump down! If that was a thing, the fight would be easier.

    I saw some comments and I think the Combine Soldier didn’t spawn for me.

    I like the zombies dancing at the end though.

    Heron
    It is great!

    Why is this an unofficial entry! It’s on par with Station 8 in terms of gameplay! The visuals was well done!

    I like that you don’t have a lot of guns to use in this map. Just your trusty six shooters. That’s a nice gimmick.

    It’s kinda weird for me to repair the bridge by lifting a part of it out of the water.

    Also, the APC fight at the end. It is a static target, unlike Gunships and Striders. But it’s something different, I respect the creator for trying using a different enemy for your RPG.

    Conclusion

    For me, BlueOS deserves to be the winner of this Ville. Coming in second place with Sunova Bridge. And the third place….I can’t decide! Between Station 8 and Fog of War, I can’t pick one. I have to think about it.

    Heron deserves an honourable mention, despite being an unofficial entry.

    1. I don’t know why but when I edited my comment, it removed all of the headers. Also, I completely forgot about the Gunship using its belly cannon in One Good Turn! I’m sorry Dirk, I completely forgot about that! That’s something memorable for sure!

      1. I’ve fixed it. It’s nothing you did wrong.

  19. Phillip's Favourite

    I truly loved this collection of maps. Yes, there are some plain maps, some strange maps and some absolutely fantastic maps. I am amazed at the variety of maps and the creativity of the entrants.

    PLEASE NOTE: the following review may NOT be representative of my judging score. For example, I might love a map but feel it didn’t really use the theme very well. This review is mostly about each individual map as a stand alone release.

    Below are my thoughts for each map. Obviously this review contains spoilers, as do the videos!

    Mezzanine by Gabriel Ch. AKA Omeqa / Kop
    It is okay

    As with many maps I play, I’m not always sure I have completed the map the way the designer intended. That leaves me worried – what did I do wrong?

    The whole feeling I have with this map is that the idea was sol;id but the setting didn’t feel real or make sense. I hated dying as soon as I feel off as there was no obvius reason for it. Invisible walls don’t inspire confidence in me. The gameplay was quite interesting but with such a small area the enemy and weapon progression wasn’t as smooth as it could have been.

    All in all, it was fun to play but the attention t detail should have been higher.

    Bridge Story by Agameofscones
    It is okay

    I’ve been trolled or taught a lesson. Life goes from point to point and you travel over bridges to get to those points. It’s the journey that matters. Or, the designer just made a pointless walk map. I couldn’t get to the extra point. Did you? Without cheating, I mean.

    Accumulator by Ian Spadin AKA Idolon
    It is great!

    Hard to believe this was made in such a short time. There’s a contrast between details and lack of detail here. The parts that matter have detail, the parts that don’t, don’t. Clear allocation of time. When I first finished the map I asked myself, where is the bridge, but the question should have been how many mini bridges did I use?

    That’s what the author decided to do and I liked that. There’s plenty of combat situations and a few different ways of approaching them. With a little more work, I would have believed this was Valve quality.

    Night Train by Rekurer
    It is okay

    I got lost. Not so much geographically, but I feel the initial directions were way too long and then I kept forgetting what to do and not being sure where to go. The constantly spawning Combine were boring and the lack of perceived direction bugged me. I didn’t even finish it.

    Station 8 by IMakeLevels
    It is okay

    This was a well planed level design. Set the scene, make the route clear, introduce the obstacles and let the player play. I don’t know how hard it is to make things look believable as a far as distances are concerned but there were too many parts that just looked boxy.

    The gameplay was straight forward with a few nice touches. The ending felt artificial and a little silly. My advice would be to make the distances harder to see and don’t worry about fading to black once the objective has been reached.

    Bridge Battle by Lucia
    It is okay

    An interesting start, even though I don’t like text on the screen, but it quickly fell to pieces. What was I supposed to do? Was I supposed to disable the force-field? If so, how? There was way too much debris on the bridge and I spent more time throwing it off than I did trying to destroy the helicopter!

    All in all, a promising entry but let down by lack of design clarity.

    BlueOS by Stonie Blue AKA BlueASIS
    It is WOW!

    As the image says WOW! What a great entry. Clever, well built, looks great, plays perfectly, some humour, you are not punished too much for mistakes. Without doubt a potential whole mod here.

    Obviously, it’s hard to get away from a feeling of Portal but tat’s not a criticism, just a statement. The art direction is top-notch and with some careful story integration this could be really fun.

    Can’t thank the author enough for making such a cool entry.

    One Good Turn by Dirk Destiny
    It is okay

    It’s good to see mappers have a clear objective when the build a map. This didn’t look that great and it had some issues with combat but its basic structure is good. The combat was introduced both times when it was possible for players to move backwards and control the encounter.

    I’d like to see the author remake this in a year’s time as I am sure it would show that the idea was sound it just needed some polishing.

    Under New Management by HighFire​
    It is bad

    I was disappointed by the invisible wall right at the beginning. Sure, only an idiot would jump into an area of toxic waste, but that’s my choice, right? I didn’t really feel that the author used “bridge” very well. I know we said that the player didn’t have to cross the bridge but I spent most of my time driving around or killing huge rooms of zombies. Not really what I wanted or hoped for.

    The whole thing was too boxy and probably too big.

    Smog City by Ethosaur
    It is great!

    Not sure I understand the name but I felt this was a nicely produced map. There were some interesting ideas around the pipes and the teleport feature. I did feel that perhaps this was too big and there was too much empty space and the map would have benefited from a smaller, tighter configuration.

    All in all, I had a lot of fun playing it.

    Bridge Ambush by Alex Marcu AKA melc311
    It is good

    Definitely a good looking map but I feel it is let down by lack of combat. Also, it’s possible to simply jump off the cliff either side of the bridge and escape the map – leeches would have solved that.

    Not really much more to say about this one. Almost a BBB – Beautiful But Boring.

    Suspended Operation by OJJ
    It is good

    I definitely enjoyed this one even though it felt unfair at times. Plenty of walkways, which I suppose are bridges, and I got lost once but overall it was fun to play. It didn’t look very nice though and feel the author needs to work on lighting.

    Ravineside by Event Horizon
    It is bad

    Once you get outside you realise that this has been made by a learner. It often seems that they compensate ability for size. Making things larger seems to draw attention away from the lack of details. There are plenty of things that don’t make sense in this map, at least to me. My advice to this author would be to avoid trying to put too many different ideas into each map. Keep it simple AND believable. Question everything. Things like Why is this bridge here? What is this room for? Why would there be zombies here?

    Time Bridge by Sockman
    It is good

    I very much enjoyed the concept used here. The implementation was a little weak in the sense that the area where the player was could have been better designed. I also felt that more “times” could have been included. For example, the first couple of pass throughs could have been weaponless and then each one a new weapon added with the rocket launcher last.

    Anyway, all in all, a really solid idea

    Timothy J Zombie by Michael McGee AKA HQDefault
    It is good

    I’m torn between an “It’s okay” and “It’s good” recommendation. Visually, it IS good and the whole thing feels more or less realistic but the design choices leave me feeling “Meh”. The blue boxes were artificial and perhaps the author could have used cans instead and the player had to collect 5 . Then it would have become a reflection on today’s society where people collect cans for money and seem like zombies walking the streets. Maybe I am projecting too much here but that would have worked for me.

    The combat was fairly well done but what I am complaining about is the combination of zombie and combat – it just didn’t gel for me.

    Finally, the text. I didn’t like it at the start, in the middle or at the end. I always feel that’s a failing on the designer’s part. If you can’t communicate without it, then you need to do something else.

    Double Crossed by 1upD
    It is okay

    Visually, it was fairly simple but it had some interesting design choices. The bridge was more symbolic and I would have liked to have seen that taken further. Perhaps a standoff between rebels and Combine with the player given the same choice as he was: walk across or fight across.

    The combat was quite nicely done and this could probably be improved upon if the author wanted to take the idea further.

    Sunova Bridge by krassell
    It is great!

    I LOVED THIS ENTRY. Mostly for the concept of the huge concrete walls but the gameplay was top notch too. I talk about “conceptual grandness” which is a phrase I stole from UnrealSP.org and I think it fits perfectly here. I could easily see a short mod based around the idea of these two walls and the player’s journey to either reach one end or the top. Each side of the wall is stylistically different as would be the gameplay. Anyway, enough about that.

    The map featured a bridge which must be crossed and whilst it didn’t offer alternate ways to do it, it did offer some very cool gameplay areas. The final battle initially seemed unfair but actually was fairly easy with the final sequence being memorable too.

    All in all, I thought this was a fantastic entry and might even replay it – which is HIGHLY unusual for me.

    Fog of War by Abdulhamid Cayirli AKA Crowbar
    It is WOW!

    This was a BRIDGE! Oh boy, what a simple but great entry. A huge bridge and you need to cross it. You start in the middle which itself was a clever move and then it got better and better. I didn’t like the dark setting but that’s a personal preference and has no bearing on the map or my judging.

    The set piece of breaking the bridge might and I stress might have been better until the end or maybe it could have been done in two stages with the bridge leaning a little during the hunters section. The under section was just long enough and the wood planks jumping into position was good – it’s pretty annoying to have to fiddle with them. My only complaint is that if you dropped one it seemed impossible to pass, but I didn’t try for too long, so I could be wrong.

    All in all, this was an absolutely fantastic entry and perhaps made the best use of the theme.

    DiaBalllIcal by Pancaked
    It is bad

    It’s bad in the sense that the bridge theme didn’t really feature, couple that with the fact that the combat was strange and made no sense and the ball featured for a few moments at the beginning.

    If the author had taken the ball idea and used it to create a larger, proper bridge piece by piece and each piece need the ball put into a hole with combat each time, I might have scored it much higher, but as it stands, I didn’t like it.

    Heron by Maki (unofficial entry)
    It is great!

    Beautiful as always from Maki and well-crafted. It was made in less time than the full length and features some simple combat areas with a simple puzzle and a simple Boss Battle at the end. I have used “simple” three times because I want to highlight to new mappers that simple is NOT a bad thing. A simple idea with a great execution in a map that looks great, will always beat a complicated but poorly created map.

    I enjoyed the two types of main enemy each it very different design areas – zombies in tighter corridors and metrocops in the larger open storeroom.

    All in all, another great entry from Maki.

    Summary

    WOW, just WOW. I really feel that this was one of the most interesting Villes ever. The types of entries were as always varied but there were some core concepts that could easily be made larger.

    The theme was explicit in some and more implied in others. Some were detailed, others more simplistic.

    I really did get excited each time I started a new entry to see how the theme had been interpreted. I feel a BridgeVilleTwo could happen.

    I’d like to thank everybody who entered – I hope you all enter again and hope that you benefited in some way.

    1. The first “IT’S WOW” I got from Phillip 🙂 Thank you!

      1. I might drop it down to an “It’s Great” though, just to keep you hungry.

    2. Is it just me or are you muted in the video where you play through my map? (Smog city) I see you talking but I heard nothing, only in-game sounds.

      But anyway thanks for playing.

  20. Play It Now!
    Mezzanine
    It is great!

    I really REALLY enjoyed this map. It was interesting to explore and I enjoyed the layout and ideas it had, even though it did seem a little too spread out in some places. The soldiers at the end almost killed me off but I managed to get the car and sped off into the sunset. I was gutted when this map ended. I wanted more!!!

    Bridge Story
    It is bad

    Didn’t appear to be much but I couldn’t get this to work properly anyhow. Sadly, I suffered weird graphics that corrupted my view of the world.

    Accumulator
    It is WOW!

    What an inventive take on the idea. This map has extraordinary design and I loved the way everything linked together without ever being frustrating. LOVED IT – what a fantastic map!!!!

    Night Train
    It is okay

    This might have been one of the best of the bunch. But, for me, a map which constantly re/spawns the enemies is something that I simply find annoying, sorry.

    Station 8
    It is good

    I love the layout and overall design of this. In fact, I wanted more. I wanted a longer bridge to explore it was that good. Shame about the rough ending however. This is a great, if short, map!

    Bridge Battle
    It is okay

    Nice idea but once the ship appeared I lost interest because it felt too constricting. I just didn’t click with this one… sorry.

    Blue OS
    It is okay

    Looks good. A puzzler but I didn’t take to it, not really my cuppa tea.

    One Good Turn
    It is good

    I liked how it was all based around a locked door which leads you all around the world only to get back to where you started. It’s quite simple but fun and the rocket battle was done well I thought. Good map but could have had a little more to it!

    Under New Management
    It is good

    I really enjoyed the old skool simplicity of this. This design was basic, but great fun, and I liked it a bunch. However, I thought the idea to backtrack later was a little vague and silly… Esp as it lead nowhere special but to the other side. Still, this worked and I enjoyed playing it.

    Smog City
    It is WOW!

    One of my favourite maps. I loved the stealth of it, even though I sometimes felt the lit parts weren’t lit well enough. Wow this is a great map and one I can play again for sure. I do wish the crossbow would have been a given from the start and then there could have been more enemies in distant areas… Loved this.

    Bridge Ambush
    It is good

    This was great but it did also feel a little unfinished perhaps because it was so short? I dunno but I did like the wealth of boxes and ammo and the two fights where great – esp running them down for the first one!! lol. Yeah this was good but I wanted more from it.

    Suspended Operation
    It is great!

    I really did enjoy this in every way. I thought it was interesting and balanced very well. The design was superb and if I had to poke holes in this then I’d want less gloom and more light/lights. It just didn’t have a vibrant feel at times… However, I did enjoy this map a bunch – right up until that impossible to kill Strider!!! Must admit, it was funny to see the rocket ammo box destroyed, nice idea! Great map.

    Ravineside
    It is great!

    Another map I really liked. The design once again is superb and makes the adventure interesting. Must admit, I didn’t get the Strider being there but I killed it anyhow … only to be treated to a lame ending.

    Time Bridge
    It is great!

    Very innovated concept and the action was quite well balanced too, but perhaps a couple more enemies… Worked well, a great map and another I genuinely enjoyed!

    Timothy J. Zombie
    It is great!

    Maps like this always take me back to Alien vs Predator on my Atari Jaguar in the mid-90s. It’s an idea I don’t normally enjoy however – probably because I simply prefer to be the marine/soldier! But I enjoyed this because, I might have looked like a zombie, but I was still just good ‘ol me with me flashlight/weapons/etc. This game has been done incredibly well and with tons of humour. However, I guess it could have been a little better because I feel it had some superb ideas amongst its silliness and could have been great. Must admit, I did expect that long bridge walk (at the end) to finish with a humorous kill by that ship… but it never happened!

    Double Crossed
    It is great!

    Enjoyable map. Feels larger than it actually is and I enjoyed the action throughout. I thought the ending was a little lame but overall a really good map!

    Sunova Bridge
    It is WOW!

    Loved the start which, of course, I died on my first attempt. Afterwards, is far easier but we then get to meet our new best friend! But I’d have liked this to be more obvious to the player with clearer audio as I didn’t realise the little thing was doing his stuff at first… The map throughout was amazing with its use of the makeshift walkways and I enjoyed the battle scenes too. The sniper scene is superbly done!

    Amazing. Great fun with an alternative design style and a high reply value. That gnome…. lol

    Fog Of War
    It is great!

    I loved the structure of the design throughout and it’s really impressive with some nifty ideas. I feel I shouldn’t mention some things in case I spoil the basic puzzles (which are actually good ideas). Especially the first one, before we fall to progress under the bridge – I loved this!! I must admit to be disappointed by the Hunters however, it didn’t fit in with the rest of the map imho. Good map with some stunning creativity, but I am unsure about the replay value once completed…

    DiaBallical
    It is okay

    Hmm yeah… Hunters are always a bit too dumb and can be annoyingly frustrating at times so it might have been better to have the action another way? It was good but I doubt I’d play it again. The ending was funny! lol

    Heron
    It is WOW!

    I was absolutely gutted when this map ended. It was THAT good. I wanted it to be longer and last for hours but alas it was quite short. However, the quality is superb, and I love the initial parts that worked incredibly well (on the stairs). I enjoyed using the revolver but perhaps the shotgun here on this map would have been my personal pref… Also if it had one failing, it was the lame ending. I enjoyed it but perhaps seeing combine soldiers emerge across from the other side of the bridge – just after the armoured truck is destroyed – would have been good? Especially if it had collapsed half way during their attack! But, I gotta say, this is a brilliant map!!

  21. I don’t think there’s been a mapping challenge with so many good maps since the release of Liberationville imo. Much thanks to Philip and the modders!

  22. Unq
    Play It Now!

    Yet another great Ville result! I always thought the idea of BridgeVille was simple but pretty open to interpretation, and we received a good variety of maps.

    This was the toughest challenge that I’ve judged in terms of choosing my top 3. There were honestly 5 or 6 that could have made that list, it was hard narrowing it to 3.

    Mezzanine

    Very cool opening area, and I liked the use of a natural rock bridge – though it turns out later to be not completely natural, with a number of structures to make your way through. I liked the details in parts of this map, like the thumper & generator down in the water. And the idea of the antlions using webbing to disable the generators was clever and I’d think something along those lines could be fleshed out in a bigger map.

    I found the crate-stacking part to reach the building on the right to be pretty dodgy. And I would really liked to have seen a puzzle or something more interesting when you’re under the bridge rather than just a simple ladder to get back up. Overall this entry has some neat ideas but is kind of meh on the gameplay.

    Bridge Story

    Not really going to spend time talking about this one, it didn’t have anything going for it other than the weird sky effect.

    Accumulator

    A really solid map here. I liked how you start in the car – although on one playthrough it didn’t quite work right. There was a good mix of enemies, and other than the odd ladder-to-locked-door area I had no trouble figuring out how to progress. A nice tough ambush at the end provided the cap on a good mix of combat and finding your way through.

    While the map had really nice vertical progression and great use of space, I don’t think a bridge really featured in this entry. Yes, there were a number of catwalks but no real central bridge which could have cemented the map together around a central focus point. But overall it was an enjoyable romp that really felt like part of Episode 2.

    Night Train

    Well, I was overwhelmed in the briefing. It’s a good idea for a map like this, but we players are dumb and need reminders. The first time I played this map it took 45 minutes and it was incredibly frustrating. And in what messed up world can you call this a “Blue Car”?? I cursed your name many a time.

    Yeah, that’s 20 minutes of my life I’m not getting back. And I found this map incredibly hard, even with all the health. The infinite Combine wore me down bit by bit and I eventually had to turn on god mode to finish the map which is not something I do often. Is there even an RPG in the map? One train car holds a rocket crate, but in both playthroughs I never found the launcher.

    This map has some nice ideas and I liked how basically the whole thing took place on a huge bridge. But it’s so damn frustrating to play. I mean, at least stop the infinite Combine at some point and give me a few seconds to look around. Cmon, man.

    Station 8

    A decent cross-the-bridge map here. I really liked the multiple levels of the bridge and how you had to use both. A couple of the scripted sequences as you make your way across were pretty cool and helped liven things up. The combat is straightforward but the end is really sudden and ultimately disappointing. I’m not saying every map needs a boss battle or anything, but the sudden end caught me off guard since I was expecting a bigger finale. Overall a competent but somewhat lacking map.

    Bridge Battle

    This map was a mixed bag. There were some good ideas – like trapping the player with the forcefield and getting help from a friendly sniper – but other decisions were really questionable – like not giving the player any way to replenish health during what turned out to be a really long battle with the chopper since it kept dropping its mines out of my reach (off the bridge). So I found the chopper battle really hard both times I played this map, between losing some bombs off the side of the bridge, and then the chopper’s flight path taking it into the trees where it was impossible to see. Then after the battle, you see a console under you but if you drop down there it’s not solid and you fall to your death. Once you figure out that you need to drop a grenade to blow the console, you get the kicker of finding a padlock that you need a key to open, which breaks the standard we’ve been trained on in the official games, of being able to open padlocks with the crowbar or grav gun. Overall a decent map but it had some strange design decisions which made for a really frustrating experience.

    BlueOS

    Quite a clever puzzle map here. I really liked both the progression of puzzles and the way the variations are introduced to the player. And the custom textures and sounds go a long way toward making this map ‘feel’ different. But at heart it’s still parkour which is generally terrible in the HL2 games. The ‘bridge’ connection is present (buttons create bridges for you to use) but I think this didn’t really make a good use of the theme since I wouldn’t say bridges are the main feature. But it is full of clever touches (love the Steam message at the end) and is fairly polished – overall one of the standout maps in BridgeVille.

    One Good Turn

    I liked the opening scene of this map. You can kind of work out the general path you need to take to turn the bridge – although the readability could have been greatly improved by doing away with the horrid red/white striped barrier and letting the player get a clear view of the surroundings. The surrounding scenery is a little blocky as well, the vista could have used some polishing even though it doesn’t affect the gameplay. Overall a well-done map that doesn’t do anything outside the ordinary. Good but not great.

    Under New Management

    Some good ideas in this one, but the real problem is that there are so very many ideas. It’s too much, and the map has a total lack of focus. The chopper fight was a decent idea, but for me it just sat there off to the side so it was a sitting duck. There’s a zombie section in the middle that’s just warehouses & hallways but no real interesting situations or locations, and the section was a weird interlude. The mapping itself was somewhat blocky and the lighting was overbright in spots. And I noticed you never actually cross the bridge. This was a decent map but had a lot more potential, hopefully the author can use this as a stepping stone to do better things in the future.

    Smog City

    I really liked this map. The only semi-strike against it is that bridges aren’t really the central theme, but it’s still one of the top entries. The location and atmosphere is unique – especially for a mod filled with bridges – and your progression through the huge open areas is cleverly done. The combat is solid (with optional stealth in some areas), and the finale is pretty tough so I ended up just running for it on my first time playing. I wasn’t quite sure what was happening with the ‘rifts’ but the effect was cool and it’s a clever way to surprise the player. Overall a really solid map, I loved the different atmosphere.

    Bridge Ambush

    This was a decent map, my main complaint was that it’s very straightforward and there’s little surprising about it. I did like the roundabout path you have to take to drop the bridge section and cross it in the car, although unfortunately you can jump into the water right at the start and kind of skip a fair bit. This map reminded me of Truss from VerticalVille 2 quite a bit, and I wish it perhaps had taken some more chances and did something unexpected. That all said, it wasn’t a poor map by any stretch, just not outstanding in any aspect.

    Suspended Operation

    I loved the opening to this map. Right away you see not only 2 of your key enemies later on (airship, strider), but a cool lighthouse right in front of you – and in the distant darkness, you can kind of make out what might be the bridge you have to cross. The rest of the map is pretty solid, with only a couple of flaws (the weird floating door at the sniper area, and I really didn’t like how the hunter was used in the cramped room). And the very end, where you’re stranded on the bridge, is a bit of a letdown. But the meat of this map is very good – nice winding path through, an interesting bridge with buildings, and solid combat. I especially liked how the gunship blew up the rocket crate. Good entry.

    Ravineside

    I can’t say I liked this map much. There were several things broken: the ladder right at the start of the map wasn’t functional, the strider in the ravine was just dancing in place facing the rock wall and never turned around, you get poor feedback on the grenade puzzle (not to mention that the damn blue fringe does not turn off when the main forcefield turns off – although this seems to be a problem in many of the Ville maps sadly), and the kicker is that after making your way through the whole map, crossing the suspended footbridge, making your way all the way through the Combine base, and extending the new bridge, you just end up literally right where you started the map. It makes the whole thing feel futile and not in a humorous way. This map needed to be rethought just a little bit, and needed a ton of playtesting and polishing.

    Time Bridge

    An interesting concept here, where you’re playing similar areas over and over but each one is different (I suppose you’re traveling through time from the name, but it isn’t really clear). I did find this entry fun, since I really like the idea of different twists on a similar area. But the differences here (enemies, weapons, environmental differences) aren’t spicy enough and I think the concept could have been pushed further while still maintaining familiarity among all the ‘times’. This was generally a good map but overall it did feel repetitive by the end.

    Timothy J. Zombie

    OK, in short: decent concept that you don’t see every day, but poor execution and ultimately not a fun map. You of course play as a zombie, but to convey the story there are a ton of cutscenes, and they’re painfully slow. And somehow you still get the HEV, so you can use the flashlight and pick up batteries – and eventually you get to use some weapons too. I know these Villes are limiting not only time-wise but also that you have to run under Episode 2, but I think having you play as a zombie with an HEV and weapons is just not a match for this challenge. And I wouldn’t say it was a solid use of the bridge as a central theme.

    Double Crossed

    First, I really liked the direct follow-on from where the author’s ToxicVille map left off. Then, curiously you get a choice of paths (pacifism vs. conflict). However the pacifist approach doesn’t end up being that interesting (you supposedly “turn yourself in”, and the meat of the map is certainly in the hard road. I really liked the fight against the hunters, since you have to make do with an atypical set of weapons so I ended up using the grenade box to my advantage. Overall a competent entry but I don’t think the choice of paths was intriguing enough, and while the main path was fun and challenging, there wasn’t really a satisfying payoff at the end.

    Sunova Bridge

    This map had one of my favorite uses of the bridge theme. The high rickety wooden bridges were unique, and the penultimate battle on the cramped bridge was well designed – though I did find the final battle to be way too cramped with the hunters and locked door behind you. Overall this was a solid map though, I did quite like the mysterious opening sections and the gnome. And I loved the look & feel of the narrow but impossibly high rickety bridge areas and I think that idea should have been expanded in this map. Still, a solid map that I enjoyed.

    Fog of War

    A great opening view when you start this map – and I really liked the concept to make the entire map take place on (and under) the bridge. I think it took a lot of tricks to pull off, but the result is the best map in the challenge in my opinion – and the best map I’ve played by this author. It’s not without flaws – for example, I hated the autocannons that could shoot at a perfect 90 degrees to reach you when you’re at the end of the first section (felt like they cheated). And down under the bridge, I just didn’t get that the planks would work to cross the big gaps (I used a barrel to jump the first one, then a crate with a barrel on it to jump the second, longer gap). I thought I was being clever but at the time I was thinking these jumping puzzles were just too hard – but by using planks of course they’re not the jumping puzzles I made them out to be. This map has a good mixture of enemies in the combat areas, and a great eerily calm area under the bridge where you’re pretty much left alone to figure out the right way across. The collapsing section of bridge (which is pulled off pretty well and was certainly tense) is definitely the highlight – but the action is great throughout.

    DiaBalllical

    I have to be honest, I didn’t get this map. OK, there’s maybe an interesting mechanic with punting the ball with the gravity gun – but where’s the use of the bridge? And why all the invisible walls? It made fighting the hunters ridiculous. I didn’t like this map at all and I don’t think it had much interesting design thoughts behind it.

    Heron

    Talk about an awesome opening view. You can kind of work out your general path and goal from the start, although there are some surprises in this map. I loved the use of the crane to “fix” the bridge, and the final battle was not quite unique but certainly uncommon. A great bonus map and a great addition to this pack.

  23. I suddenly realised I hadn’t posted my feedback on some of the maps from my judging. It’s very late but I hope that some of these comments are useful.
    I won’t be posting comments about every map. Only those where I think I can help.

    Accumulator

    I liked this map very much. An interesting layout which could with more time become a really well detailed area. There are mini-games sprinkled through the map such as the fun of leading the zombies into the sniper fire towards the beginning. These kinds of mini-games are the key to making a great level. Each area should contain a new game with new rules.
    Some signposting issues along the way made it difficult to understand where to go next which was a little frustrating. Where this map falls short is with the use of Combine soldiers. With the exception of shotgun Combine, they should always be kept at a distance and in groups of 2 or 3 with some cover. They should never be allowed to run directly up to the player. I mowed them down like grass and they never presented any challenge for me. In future design your map to get as much game play (in terms of time) out of as few combine as possible.

  24. One Good Turn

    There’s some nice ideas in this map. The physics see saw with the explosives I particularly liked.
    Unfortunately it does also fall into some familiar traps. The player isn’t gated into the first combat area and so I just ran past the Combine and into the next section. The second combat area is more interesting than the first but there are too many Combine and no separation from the player meaning some simple strafe circling with the shotgun is all that is needed to finish them off. Throwing in the gunship at the end feels like a needless gesture. Nothing original here unfortunately.

  25. Station 8

    Man this map has so much going for it.
    In case anyone was wondering… the small little bite sized elements of gameplay in this level is exactly what you should be peppering your maps with. Small mini-games that allow the player to tinker and explore.
    Take the truck hanging off the edge with an item crate in the back. I don’t have a gravity gun, so it’s a risky choice to jump on the truck to get the goodies… even though I might never be in serious danger it’s similar to the crumbling ledges at the beginning of episode 1 and puts the player in a position to make a choice.
    Overall the map is just a series of these encounters across the span of the bridge. Each one has a clever solution or you can just run and gun it. While offering a smart, one shot solution (explosive barrel etc…) is satisfying, repeating the same set up over and over can spoil a good idea.
    The map itself is a little too symmetrical to feel natural but the detailing is still really nicely done.
    A small glimpse into what this mapper is capable of. Let’s hope we see more full sized projects in future!

  26. Bridge Battle

    A nicely detailed if unfinished map. I’m a big fan of the gravity gun as some will know so being able to move cars and barricades around always makes me happy, but in this case it doesn’t really add up to much. The combine run mindlessly onto the bridge for a while and you mow them down thoughtlessly. Throwing grenades to try and clear out soldiers in the distance was fun but being stuck on the bridge got fairly dull after a while.
    Then the chopper fight which is almost impossible due to the wide range of the choppers flight pattern. It took me forever to bring it down.
    This map certainly begs the question… has there ever been a really good tactical combine gun fight in any of the Ville entries this year? I can’t think of one. It’s a shame because with an AR2, some ammo and just a handful of combine keeping their distance, the challenge and interest could have been greatly improved on this map in my opinion…

  27. Bridge Ambush

    Never guess how the player is going to play your map.
    I tried to punt cars at the first group of combine (of which there were too many by the way and all of whom were completely suicidal) but found that the cars we’re not puntable.
    *sadface*
    The player should always be able to play the map their way not yours. Realising that I couldn’t pummel them with broken vehicles I doubled back for one that worked. Hopping in the car I had a little fun running the numerous (suicidal) combine over one by one.
    When I was done with that I drove the car off the end of the bridge… which was sort of an accident but hey, why not huh?
    I liked the river level crossing. The combine were less suicidal at this point although I suspect that was more by luck than judgement. Triumphantly I climbed the ladder at that far end and up onto the raised part of the bridge, lowered the bridge section and… oh… um… was unable to finish the map.
    This maps looks great but the maker was too busy with one particular player experience in mind to miss out on some very key elements that broke the map.
    When getting your map tested… don’t try and fix the map to make players do what you want them to do… watch what they actually do… see where the players find the fun… then enhance those areas!!!

  28. Ravenside

    There’s some interesting ideas here and some terrible ones. Mapping quality needs to improve of course but some areas I found to be convincingly Combine.

    Why do so many mappers give you exactly the weapon you need, just before you need it?
    If you play through the game you’ll discover that Valve always put the player at a disadvantage for a while before they give the player the weapon that will turn the tables. It’s a really good tip to help provide challenge as well as give the player a sense of achievement. A new weapon should be a reward and a level up all in one!

  29. Heron

    A great looking map that eases you into the gameplay before presenting the bridge problem to solve. Using the magnum as the single gun was an interesting choice and shows how you only need to give the player one weapon in a map this small. I’m always distrustful of maps that give me all the weapons I could ever need at the beginning. When I encounter that I know that design problems will follow.
    Not sure if zombies and magnum is the most fun combination but it leads the player to play the map a particular way… having to back up to make room as the zombies close in.
    The metrocops are presented here as target practice which is a shame.
    The obligatory vehicle battle at the end wasn’t exactly challenging either.

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