This is the Phillip’s Blog category

A variety of post themes, including articles, ideas, stories and rants.

Follow the Phillip’s Blog releases via RSS


Remaining Mapping Challenges’ Dates

I’ll be honest and say I wanted to fix the dates for the whole year in January and release them but as it turned out, it was better not to due to the addition of the new 50-Hour format.

Below are the dates of the remaining mapping challenges in 2017.

I do not envisage changing them but I will be open to the possibility.

Black Mesa Challenge 1: 26 July to 21 August

YAY! Finally, got this agreed. Initially, I was going to be working with the Crowbar Collective but cancelled at the last minute and now I’ll be running this alone. Like all other mapping challenges, this one WILL have a theme but unlike all other mapping challenges, it will be for Black Mesa (obviously!).

I have also added another week to this challenge to help with modders new to the BM set up. I actually wish I had finalised these dates sooner and could have give modders even more time to get comfortable with the engine etc – sorry.

50-Hour Mapping Challenge 3: 9/10 September

With the last two 50-hour challenges having over 20 entry maps each, it would be crazy not to do at least one more. As for the previous two challenges, the theme will be open enough to fit 50 hours of creation time. Think of these challenges as more experimental gameplay styles than traditional HL2 releases.

The Hammer Cup Challenge 4: 20 September to 9 October

Challenge 4 of The Hammer CUp will be 19 days and have a theme that requires entrants to balance design, polish and gameplay.

The Hammer Cup Challenge 5: 8 November to 4 December

Challenge 5 of the Hammer Cup will be a special theme and has an extra week.

50-Hour Mapping Challenge 4: 16/17 December

Another 50-hour challenge to finish the year. And no, it won’t be XmasVille or SantaVille, or RudolphVille – in fact it WILL NOT be related to Christmas at all.

Final Thoughts

As I said, I wish I had set and announced these dates earlier, especially the Black Mesa one, but I didn’t, so sorry. Here’s hoping for a spectacular release of SP maps between now and the end of the year!


15th July 2017 7 Comments

Second 50-Hour Mapping Challenge

Just a very quick post to let you know that the second 50-Hour mapping challenge will be announced at 10pm Central European Summer Time on Friday 7th July 2017.

Full details will be announced then, along with all the rules and the theme.

The deadline will be 12pm Central European Summer Time on Sunday 9th July 2017.

And, yes, the header image is a vague clue, but it’s NOT TheSimpsonVille!

If you have ANY questions, except related to the theme, please don’t hesitate to ask, either here in the comments or by email ([email protected]) if you prefer a private answer.


2nd July 2017 11 Comments

RTSL Graffiti

I am very pleased to announce that some exclusive RTSL graffiti has been created by Monkeymo and I would like to thank him for all his hard work.

We worked together to get exactly what I was looking for but he did all the work. After some feedback from the modders over on the official The Hammer Cup 2017 SMC Discord channel a grunge/grimmy feel was settled on.

Crowbar converted the images into VTF (files that can be used by modders) and made the demonstration map, from which the image below have been taken and I would like to thank him too.

The graffiti is available for use by any mapper and no entry to any mapping challenge is obligated to use them. They can be used in any non-commercial Source release but a credit to Monkeymo and RTSL MUST be included.

In future, I may offer a small prize (or even extra points if the judges agree) for clever use or placement of the graffiti in maps entered into mapping challenges.


15th June 2017 3 Comments

The Hammer Cup 2017 – Challenge 3 Dates

Hi Everybody,

Just to let you know that challenge 3 of The Hammer Cup 2017 is going to start Wednesday 31st May 2017 at 11am Central European Summer Time.

I will be posting the theme details along with the regular rules then.

For this challenge, there will be a compulsory email format submission, along with an optional chapter image format, details of both will be in the post.

Standard rules will apply.

I will answer any questions you have except those related to the theme.

If any mapper is interested in creating a bonus map for the challenge, please let me know. You WILL NOT get to learn of the theme early but you will be allowed to submit your map later than the entrants. You WILL NOT receive any points either.

Starting Sunday, I will begin a tease countdown on the RTSL twitter account.

Thanks for reading and remember, finishing Half-Life is just the beginning!

Oh, BTW, no the header image contains NO information, clues, hints about the theme, so don’t try to guess!


24th May 2017 3 Comments

50-Hour Mapping Challenge – MinimalismVille

Hello and welcome to the first (of many or maybe last) 50-Hour Mapping Challenge – MinimalismVille.

Below are the details.

PLEASE READ THEM CAREFULLY.

As always, if you have any questions, you can either post a comment or if you require a private reply, send Phillip an email: [email protected]


12th May 2017 11 Comments

The Hammer Cup 2017 Fund Raising Livestream – May 2017

Hello everybody. This weekend, starting at 2pm Central European Time on Saturday 13th May, I will be livestreaming to raise money for The Hammer Cup 2017 Prize Fund.

ALL money raised will be added to the fund.

However, it’s not going to be simply me playing and you watching, with the occasional donation – OH NO!

If you want me to keep playing you will have to pay. It will work like this:

  • Starting at 2pm, a minimum of 3 Dollars will need to be raised WITHIN THAT HOUR for me to continue after 3pm
  • Starting at 3pm, a minimum of 4 Dollars will need to be raised WITHIN THAT HOUR for me to continue after 4pm
  • Starting at 4pm, a minimum of 5 Dollars will need to be raised WITHIN THAT HOUR for me to continue after 5pm
  • Etc

I will attempt to stay online for as long as the money keeps coming in, yes, for as long as the hourly target is reached!!!

I am sure there are some devious people who will pay to see me suffer – in fact, I am counting on it.

Remember, All the money goes to The Hammer Cup 2017 Prize Fund, so it’s for a good cause.

At this point, I plan to play Prospekt and some other longer mods (probably past Villes), probably even an hour or two mapping. – but I am open to suggestions for other things.

Anyway, I hope you can join me and as always, if you have any questions, suggestions or comments, please don’t hesitate to post them.

Don’t forget that all RTSL are now on the YouTube channel: https://gaming.youtube.com/c/Planetphillipcom/live.

Hope to see you on Saturday!


10th May 2017 7 Comments

50-Hour Mapping Challenge Next Weekend

Starting Friday 12th May 2017 at 9:59pm Central European Summer Time, there will be a 50-Hour Mapping Challenge.

It is NOT part of The Hammer Cup 2017.

The Deadline for submitting entries will be Sunday 14th May 2017 at 11:59pm.

The theme will be appropriate for the time period.

Theme details and standard details will be announced next Friday.

Dev textures will be allowed. CALM DOWN.

I will be giving away Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II to the best entry.

There might be another judge in addition to me.

This is the first time I have run a mapping challenge like this – it might be a disaster or it might be fun – let’s see.

I will answer any questions you have now, EXCEPT if related to the theme – so don’t ask.


5th May 2017 22 Comments

12-hour LiveStream, Saturday 28th January

Hi Everybody,

This weekend, I will be live-stream for hopefully 12 hours starting at 12pm Central European Time on the RTSL YouTube channel.

I will only be playing maps and mods for Half-Life games, so no Unreal or Red Faction etc like last time.

In addition, I do not have time to set up all the mods before, so some of the stream will be me getting everything installed and working, which may be educational in itself.

Last weekend, I played a bunch of other mods and didn’t get to play Point of View, Human Error, so I will start with both of those.

Depending on time, I will also stream any other map or mod that is suggested on the stream or I fancy playing.

Once finished, I will be editing the stream into individual videos for the RTSL channel.

That’s it for now, if you have any questions or mod suggestions, please let me know.


26th January 2017 7 Comments