This is the Read category

A collection of text posts, including Poll Questions, Text Interviews with moddersand Phillip’s Blog. All posts are written to encourage friendly debate and discussion.

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HalloweenVille Three Mapping Challenge

Well, this is unexpected, ay?

I got an email from somebody about mapping challenges and was a little brusque in my reply and then a couple of days ago somebody else asked about another HalloweenVille Mapping Challenge. I said “NO!”, but then I was thinking it’s not too hard to run a challenge.

I am sure you would have liked more notice, but I’ll understand if you are all busy.

Theme Details

I want modders to create a map that scares players. Simple jumpscares will not do. Atmosphere and build-up are what is needed, along with a suitable setting.

There MUST still be combat and/or puzzle solving. Simply making a scary scene is not acceptable for this challenge.


The deadline for submitting maps is:

Monday 31st October 10pm GMT

That’s 20 days, with 3 full weekends.

General Advice

DO NOT GET TOO AMBITIOUS. If you can’t build it in 2 weekends then think smaller.

Something is bound to delay your progress. Leave time for testing, bug fixing and polishing!


Please get somebody to test the map before submitting.


I’m not sure yet if there will be prizes.

Judging Criteria

The winner will be chosen by a readers vote lasting 10 days after the release of the mod.

General Rules
  • Maximum two maps per mapper per entry.
  • 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 and RunThinkShootLive.Com the right to release the map as part of the HalloweenVille Three Mod.
  • Maps must not appear on ANY other website 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_hvt.bsp
  • All entries must be sent to: no later than the deadline.
Final Thoughts

Get the basic concept working before polishing the visuals. Being almost totally dark is not the only way to make things scary.

I will do my best to release the mod on the weekend after the Monday deadline.

10th October 2016 23 Comments

Week 40

Well, I’ve already started watching horror movies this October. So for this month’s The Ville Retrospective event, I’ve decided to go all-in for the Halloween theme. This week it’s a horror-filled Double Feature!

Starting at 10am EDT on Saturday, which is 3pm UK time and 4pm CET time, I’ll be streaming HalloweenVille and HalloweenVille Two. I haven’t played them before, so I’m psyched – although I have to admit I can be a bit of a wuss when it comes to horror games. Watch me cower!

I’ll also have a game to give away on the stream.

6th October 2016 1 Comment

October 2016 General Chat

Hi guys, Unq here again, posting while Phillip is on sabbatical.

So, not too much has been happening here at RTSL although we’ve had a handful of new mods posted in the last month, and of course the usual weekend streams are still going. I have some spooky streams planned for this month.

It’s already October, autumn is here and more importantly Halloween is coming soon! Any good costumes planned? Anyone setting up a haunted house perhaps?

Happy October!

4th October 2016 21 Comments

New Maps in the Hall of Fame

I’ve been playing and streaming the Classic of the Month maps for over a year and a half already, hard to believe.

I’ve definitely played some that are probably stretching the “classic” designation. But I’ve played a few others that are definitely worthy of the “Classic” name – so much so that I’ve decided to add them to the Hall of Fame.

21st September 2016 9 Comments

Week 37

This weekend, I’m continuing my Classic of the Month event, where I play a classic GoldSource release. I try to pick some from the Hall of Fame and some that aren’t on the HoF list. This month it’s Smart Decoy. It’s one of my all-time favorite Half-Life map packs, and one I’ve always considered a hidden gem because not many people seem to know about it.

The stream will be on Saturday at 10am Eastern time / 3pm UK / 4pm Central European time.

15th September 2016 17 Comments

Week 36

Darren has also decided to take a sabbatical. So I will be picking up the The Ville Retrospective event, at least for the time being. I haven’t played this week’s Ville so I figured I’d give it a shot, but don’t expect commentary as insightful as Custom Gamer!

This week it’s the overdue AmbushVille starting at 10am EDT on Saturday, which is 3pm UK time and 4pm CET time.

I will also have a game or two to give away on the stream.

8th September 2016 1 Comment

September 2016 General Chat

OK, first things first: this is Don posting now. I’m not taking over the RTSL site, but I offered to be an interim admin to keep things going while Phillip is on sabbatical.

I’m going to simply be keeping an eye on the site. The regular weekend streams of The Ville Retrospective, Classic of the Month, and Source of Fame will resume shortly and we’ll keep those going. New maps and mods will still be posted in this interim time.

In case you don’t know me, I am Don AKA Unq (short for Unquenque) – Half-Life fan and mapper since the early days. I’ve been a part of the PlanetPhillip/RTSL community for over 5 years, and I currently run the Classic of the Month streaming event where I pick a new Half-Life or Op4 mod to play.

3rd September 2016 16 Comments

I’m Taking a Partial Sabbatical

Hi Everybody,

I have some surprising news.

Over the last few years I have felt increasing pressure running the site. Remember, in various forms, I have been running the site for almost exactly 13 years. That’s a long time. During that time I have spent thousands of hours working on it. I feel that I’ve done a pretty good job at promoting SP maps and mods.

Recently, it has felt more like a burden than a hobby. Every weekend is planned around streams and work that needs to be done on the site. Every week day, most my free time is spent doing something related to the site.

I need a rest. A proper rest. Not just a few weeks. Even during my “holiday” I felt obligated to check in and see what’s happening. That’s wrong.

I heard something on The Goldberg’s last night. Somebody said “I just wanna ride my bike and play video games”. And that’s exactly how I feel. It’s time for me to be a consumer not a creator.

I feel that I have been trying to promote SP Half-Life stuff alone, of course I haven’t, but that’s just how it feels. I have tried so many different projects, initiatives, ideas and events. Some have been mildly succesful, others failures, but at least I tried.

One of the reasons I renamed the site from Planetphillip to RunThinkShootLive was because I wanted more community involvement. Something more like LambdaGeneration, but that takes a lot of work and it never really had the effect I had hoped for.

The new RTSL Discord server has brought with it yet more hassle.

I have been thinking about closing the site for a few years now and over the past few months that feeling has become stronger.

Unlike last time, which was a reaction to a big problem with ModDB, I will be giving people and myself time to transition.

2nd September 2016 103 Comments

Poll Question 358 – How many Achievements have you attained?

In What The Headcrab! Episode 19 I talked about a post on Reddit that said that only 1% of people who have played Half-Life 2 had attained all of the statistics. I couldn’t find a page that said only 1% had all achievements but I suspect it was a play on the current 1%/99% theme in today’s world.

Then later that day, I was playing a single player mappack for Black Mesa called Small Lab and I started to get some achievements. The funny thing is that I haven’t even played the game yet and when I do, I might even have most of them attained.

I’ve never been a big fan of achievements but I understand their appeal. Perhaps we could have Attain November, just like we did last year with HARD November?

18th August 2016 25 Comments