CombinationVille

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

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

Two weapons and two types of enemies. That’s it!

What interesting combinations could be created?

By limiting those two aspects of a map, it was hoped that mappers would look for unusual combinations of weapons and enemies and also force the player to think creatively.

Basic Details
  • Title: CombinationVille
  • File Name: hl2-ep2-sp-ppmc-combinationville.7z
  • Size : 46.10MB
  • Author: The_Blazer, Mark Allan, Justin Carlton AKA Sneakyspeckman and Jason Gimba
  • Date Released: 23 July 2014

Download Options

Download to your HDD [46.1MB]

You can still use it with MapTap once you have downloaded it.

Manual Installation Instructions
  • Copy the CombinationVille folder into your SourceMods folder.
  • Restart or start Steam.
  • CombinationVille should now be listed in your Library tab.

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

WHY NOT USE IT WITH MapTap AND SAVE YOURSELF THE HASSLE!
Custom Grid View Icon

The file above comes with 4 grid view icons. To use one, select “Grid View” in Steam (top right corner). Make sure you have saved the image to a location on your computer – you can’t use it from the compressed archive directly. Right click on “CombinationVille” and select “Set Custom Image”. Then browse to where you saved the image and choose it. Then click “Set Image” and that’s it.

Of course, you can create your own custom image if you prefer.

About the CombinationVille theme

For this competition, mappers had to create a map that only has two weapons and two types of enemies.

The challenge was for the mapper to find an interesting combination of weapons and enemies, that force the player to think and play in a unusual manner.

Only TWO weapons were allowed to be used in a map. One MUST be the crowbar. The other can be any other weapon. This does not mean only two weapons at any one time. This means the same two weapons ALL the way through your map. Players CAN NOT drop weapons to pick up others. Please note, if you choose to use one of the Combine Soldier types as one of your enemies and they drop a weapon that weapon must be the weapon the player uses. You can’t say they can have three weapons if the soldiers drop it. NO. The player is only allowed to have two weapons all the way through the map.

Only TWO types of enemies are allowed in the map. Now, this is a little more complicated. Firstly, Combine soldiers come in three types. Each one counts as a NEW enemy in this contest. Please make sure you understand that and the note above about dropping weapons. Secondly, mappers may use what I will call “Secondary Enemies”, these are things like Hopper Mines, Turrets etc. Basically, automated machines. Snipers, gunships etc will count as main enemies, as will manhacks.
IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS ABOUT THE RULES, PLEASE CONTACT ME ASAP.

The key is to create interesting combinations that challenge the player to think. Don’t select manhacks as one of your enemies and the crossbow as one of your weapons unless you can create a way for the crossbow to destroy a lot of manhacks in one go. It would probably be a terrible combination otherwise.

The mapper can create traps and settings that can kill the player, so don’t think it simply has to be an open area. Definitely not, smart design will win this competition.

VMFs

If an entrant supplied a VMF file for other mappers to look at, it’s in the VMF folder. You DO NOT have permission to use the VMF file as base for a publicly released map without PRIOR written permission from the author.

Entries

The entries within are listed as they are in the mod:

Canal Flight by The_Blazer
The Nest by Mark Allan
Volatile Energy by Justin Carlton AKA Sneakyspeckman
Bonus: Cannon Beach by Jason Gimba

If an entrant included a ReadMe file it can be found in the ReadMe folder.

Prizes

1st Place: A $10 Steam game.

Menu Music

Metalwerk by ‘Christiaan Bakker: www.anicator.com

Credits

The PlanetPhillip.Com intro video was made by Spartan301
Also, thanks to the authors and The BetaTestersCollective.Com for testing the mod package and some maps.

Vote for the winner

Before voting, please consider how well the map fitted the theme of the competition.
Voting closes Saturday 2nd August.

Videos

The playthroughs/walkthroughs below are provided by PlanetPhillip. See more of my playthroughs on this site: VP: PlanetPhillip.


The Cannon Beach playthrough below is provided by Custom Gamer. See more of his playthroughs on this site: VP: Custom Gamer

Screenshots

Click on the tabs below to select the size of screenshot you would like.
All sizes are the same screenshots, just in different resolutions.
WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.

1024 x 576

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

1366 x 768

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

1600 x 900

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Reader Recommendations
Avoid It!
Think Twice
Maybe
Play It Later
Play It Now!

20 recommendations, average score: 4.3 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0.81 (what's that?)
Total Downloads
  • 1,967
    Overall
  • 0
    Today
  • 4
    Last 7 days
  • 70
    Last 30 days
  • 330
    365 days
Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 17 comment(s) with meta review data.

Installed:
Using Gauge: 3 Users
Manually: 14 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 1 Hours, 11 Mins
Shortest: 0 Hours, 30 Mins by CK_The_Boss
Longest: 2 Hours, 20 Mins by PlanetPhillip
Total Time Played: 20 Hours
Jump to a review
Phillip says Play It!Play It LaterPlay It LaterPlay It LaterThink TwicePlay It Now!Play It Now!Play It LaterPlay It Now!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It LaterThink TwicePlay It LaterPlay It LaterPlay It Now!Play It Now!Play It LaterPlay It Now!

Help me create more and better content - please support me on Patreon

Help me create more and better content - please support me on Patreon

92 Comments

  1. Phillip says Play It!

    So, here we are. It’s been released and it was probably one of the fastest releases for a mapping competition. I had more free time than usual and put it to good use.

    Onto the mod proper.

    I have to admit to being slightly disappointed. I really felt the theme would have some interesting and creative maps and whilst I more or less enjoyed each and every map, I’m not sure that the modders created what i was expecting.

    That could easily have been my fault for not expressing myself clearly.

    Anyway, onto the maps.

    Canal Flight

    This started with two really nicely designed areas, although I completely misunderstood the first area. These were followed by a race down a canal, that left me wanting more. I never really felt the combination was interesting.

    The Nest

    I have to admit (again!) that at first I really didn’t like this. but as it went on, I started to enjoy it more and more. I feel the whole concept was well done, but feel that the visuals let it down. It would have been interesting to have seen this re-created in different environments. For example, a car park with better lighting etc.

    This is my winner of the competition, and I have voted for it.

    Volatile Energy

    Phew! Where do I start with this? This map had by far the greatest conceptual grandness and ambition but I am left feeling that within a competition like this, it needed much more tweaking and beta testing.

    I also feel it broke the rules of the theme by adding new gameplay elements and that was never the intention of the theme.

    When you finally understand what you need to do (see my videos above if you need help) it is both frustrating and challenging.

    Cannon Beach

    This is the bonus map and has some great touches. Jason always creates cool maps and this is no different. I actually found it too easy, which is incredibly unusual for me.

    Visiually, it is great and the general design is also well-thought out, but I was left feel cheated. Destroying the strider was too easy.

    Final Thoughts

    The way I approached this was to consider what would happen if I swapped weapons. if the gameplay was almost no different then the mapper didn’t really get the theme right.

    A good example of this is in Cannon Beach. It’s impossible to play it with the bubait and antlions. This shows the map was designed around that combination, not just made and then the combination added.

    probably not the most successful competition, but we have at least 4 great maps to play and they are all very good.

    So go play them and ENJOY!

    Don’t forget to vote for your favourite.

    I will leave the vote open for ten days from today.

    1. I should probably add that even though I selected The nest as my winner, I feel that combination of Fast Zombies and Grenades to be a terrible combination. yes, it’s not what you would normally have and that in itself can be fun, but there was nothing about the design that felt built for that combination. There was no where for me to hide while I dropped a grenade, for example. Changing the grenade to the shotgun would have made it much more fun. Then instead of having just one location of ammo, shotgun pellets could have been left in various places.

      1. I think otherwise. Dropping grenades behind you in a chase where you can not stand and fight was really fun and intense. I think the only thing that made is terrible was not giving us a crowbar to break the objects in are way, and making fast zombies fall on the box stacking puzzle (as if stacking boxes wasn’t hard enough!).

  2. Play It Later

    I agree with Phillip, The Nest was the best map, and this was the only one that doesn’t seem to be based in HL.

    Canal Flight: The first section I liked, although the vent treks were too long. As for the combat, After killing all the combine and turrets, leaving me with 7 health, it only gave me 2 small health kits before a giant battle with barely any objects to break up the sights of the combines. There was plenty of healths kits in the arena, but how am I supposed to get to them on low health?
    The battle with the chopper was annoying too. the ramp before it gets you stuck so the first thing you do is get out and do it all on foot (which I don’t think your supposed to do). You can also get ahead of it, which makes the bombing brutal and too hard.
    I played The_Blazer’s Endville map, and it was more fun than this. The map needs more Bata testing.

    cannon Beach (I know I’ve missed a few, but Phillip has summed them up for me): I enjoyed this one a lot, and it taught me that you can stun Combine with seeds. The whole map was thought out well, and it gave me a fresh version of the mechanics. One little criticism, how did the Strider die? I was busy smashing the wooden boards. You should show it die when zip wiring back down.

    1. how did the Strider die?

      By smashing the wooden boards, you release a large hook, that swings down and hits the strider.

  3. Play It Later

    POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD!

    Canal Flight
    Decent map, pretty brave to do a vehicle section even with the extended time the start section was a bit annoying purely due to the long vent to get back up perhaps instead there should have been some brushwork around the ladder preventing the player from taking the box up as the solution here is just frustrating. The SMG didn’t really feel like it particularly fit the level design as enemies were at times too far away for effective use.
    Also I’m pretty sure that the enemies never combined. You are either fighting one or the other and there is no cross over. It’s a decent map but it feels like the competition theme is holding it back in this case.

    The Nest

    The environment is the highlight of this map, there are some great ideas around it and you really find yourself interacting with it. The real detractor is the combinations. This may just be personal preference but I don’t find headcrabs fun to fight, they’re ok in small doses but the gameplay around them is pretty much figuring out where the hell they are and with hordes of them this gets tedious fast. I think the mapper expects the player to run but in the midst of a navigation puzzle it’s not clear where to run to. Grenades vs headcrabs are ok if you catch them unaware, it’s quite satisfying to clear a swarm of them before entering a room but against fast zombies it’s a bad match. You can take them on easier by cooking grenades but I don’t know how many people would know to do that if they haven’t played HL2DM. Even with grenade cooking fast zombies are extremely mobile and tend to get in your face making fighting them with a grenade (a weapon that requires distance) very awkward.

    Volatile Energy

    This was hugely ambitious and the gadgets were awesome. Though the visual language really isn’t strong enough as to where the panels were. Once you know about the panels you can find them fairly easily by listening for the sound of the energy beam (also some of the panels cast weird shadows) this is the kind of map that would probably benefit from a read me because I’m fairly sure the only reason I could play this one is from skimming through Phillips play through before hand. Some of the gadgets are a bit janky and towards the end the combat gets a bit ridiculous but the citadel style shield chargers give a generous amount of health which balances it out. The author gets considerable mileage out of the gravity gun with the new gadgets which I didn’t feel was particularly in the spirit of the competition also the 2 enemies are only ever encountered separately so the enemies aren’t combined either.

    Cannon Beach
    It’s a fun map and I think it exemplifies the theme quite well, being restricted to just the bug bait really changes your approach to combat if you know that throwing bug bait on a soldier forces them into the burning man dance animation it does make the combat a bit more involved. The strider reveal is awesome and Phillip’s dialogue concerning it made me laugh (I don’t think it was meant to but as I would paraphrase it he basically says “oh no! a boss! … sucks to be you” as he sails off into the distance).
    The finale is still a bit of a weak point for me, the visual language pointing out the crane hook and the relationship to the Strider isn’t strong enough and it’s very easy to hack away at the wooden planks in order to get at the door without realizing that it has anything to do with defeating the strider. That said the strider brain on the hook is a nice touch.

    Conclusion
    Though these entries are all good quality and fun to play as far as I understood this competition was about really focusing on interesting interplay between 2 enemies and a single weapon (I refuse to count a crowbar as a weapon) and I don’t think any really achieved this.

    1. JG

      I did not know you could “cook” grenades. Do you mean rolling one and then picking it up while it’s live to throw it at someone before it explodes? I’m not sure it would have made that Fast Zombie segment any easier though, since their lunging is likely to bring the grenade right back to your face!

      1. Yeah, you drop it and pick it up with some practice you can do this pretty much as soon as it leaves your hand that’s as close to cooking as half life gets. Throwing the grenade closer to the point of detonation just means the fast zombie has less time to get away and in the time it takes for a grenade to detonate a fast zombie can be on the other side of the room.

        It’s not a perfect technique but it’s the most effective technique I found.

  4. before i play “combinationville” i would like to thank phillip for all these mods ( and maps ) we have on a regular basis …. planetphillip has become a intergral part of my day and for that i would like to thank phillip and his team ( including all the guys who send maps and mods to the site )
    THANKS GUYS !

  5. JG
    Play It Later

    A mixed bag of entries. I think every map had a least one or two major quirks, despite the extra time. Additionally, the theme wasn’t terribly specific and was confusing as a result.

    Also, what the heck was with the infinite, or nearly infinite, enemies this time around, guys? 🙁

    Canal Flight

    Canal Flight is the most traditional of the entries. It reprises a number of moments from the Water Hazard chapter and presents a remarkable variety of environments, including an Airboat chase. It’s also the only entry to give the player a normal gun, the SMG. Perhaps because of that, it doesn’t feel terribly encumbered by the theme. It’s basically an ordinary Water Hazard map. It didn’t feel unique. There weren’t cases where I was like, “Here’s a use for the SMG I never considered” or “Here are some Metropolice used in a way I haven’t seen before.”

    It was all competently assembled though. The only thing I objectively disliked about the map was all the jumping and duct crawling at the start.

    The Nest

    I really liked this map on a conceptual level. The player seeks safety at a radio building that has a horrible infestation of Fast Headcrabs. Its foundation is crumbling due to the erosion they cause and it’s up to the player to send out a distress call before the whole thing collapses.

    Even though the outdoor area is extremely plain, it does communicate a sense of desolation and hopelessness. It actually reminded me of the area at the start of Grand Theft Auto V, of all things. The interiors, technically plural, are exquisitely detailed. I think one of the great things this map accomplishes is creating a flow that, despite the openness of the layout, barricades areas without feeling hamfisted about it. This is a difficult thing to pull off, but the level manages to do it, at least in the first half.

    As with Dysprogue, my problem with this map came from the combinations themselves. The Fast Headcrabs never pose a tremendous threat, but the fact that they never seemed to stop spawning was a huge annoyance, especially since the map is expecting you to solve puzzles along the way. You are led all the way to the top of the building, only to realize you have to go back down and face the crabs all over again. It felt very drawn out. In the second half, taking the Crowbar away from the player didn’t make any sense and felt like a bug. There had to be a more graceful way to handle the blockage here, especially since fighting what seems like infinite Fast Zombies with Grenades sucks. There’s no other way to put it. At least if you’re going to do this, let me have a way to corral them in a tight space so I can blow them up. I just kept running around in circles hoping they stepped on the Grenades I was throwing, until I realized this wasn’t going to end and I actually had to head back up.

    Still, the map was structured in a way that was generally self-explanatory. It’s a good example of show-not-tell puzzle design. I feel it flubs the core part of the competition, though, despite bringing a unique environment to the table.

    Volatile Energy

    Man, this one was rough. If I hadn’t skimmed through Phillip’s run, I wouldn’t have gotten past the first room. This isn’t Zelda. The player isn’t trained to bang on random walls with a Crowbar in search of secret, breakable panels. And even knowing that, I still wound up with 1 HP by the end and had to resort to cheating thanks to an infinite onslaught of Poison Zombies, a ridiculous Combine ambush afterward, no health in sight and a janky custom weapon that was just as likely to hurt me as my enemies.

    I also don’t think it really fit the spirit of the competition. Yes, it involves the Gravity Gun, but by inventing all sorts of strange, gimmicky accessories for it, it essentially created analogs for different weapons rather than trying to build clever puzzles around the natural state of the Gravity Gun

    Given the author’s strong maps in AmbushVille and DefendVille, this map was really out of character. Also, I could be mistaken, but it didn’t seem like there were Autosaves near the start.

    Cannon Beach

    Yes, the bit with the crane hook. Really, it came from trying to accomplish too many gameplay objectives with one object. We had to kill a Strider, we had to unblock the way forward and we had to use the Crowbar to do it. Not to mention the whole hook mechanism is held together with duct tape. Once I got it working, I really didn’t want to touch it anymore. There were probably issues with the angle of approach, the height disparity between you and the Strider and not doing anything to call out the hook.

    I generally like how the rest of the map turned out though.

  6. squishy44

    I wish I could have entered but work got busy so I had little time to work on the map. I’ll still continue on with it to make it a proper release.

  7. Think Twice

    Perhaps I played this too late at night, or perhaps my wits have finally abandoned me and I am unable to process basic puzzle solving.
    I never usually noclip through levels, I really do try and solve them, but I skipped about half of this mod through compounding frustration.

    Canal Flight:
    – This map was actually my favourite. Whilst I thought the combination was very dull, the content that was there was very good. I actually enjoyed the airboat section a lot, it’s been too long since I’ve experienced a good Half-Life driving sequence.
    Whilst I think this one would fail to be the winner simply because the theme wasn’t well represented, it’s the only map I cleanly enjoyed start to finish

    The Nest:
    – My second favourite, but not without some obnoxious flaws.
    The author assaults the player with and endless swarm of fast headcrabs, and then later fast zombies, using the weapon designed to tactically flush enemies out of hiding. I know the competition was to use weapon/enemy combinations foreign to the player, but the waves of rush type enemies without forewarning made this map extremely frustrating. Perhaps if there were more strategy involved, this may have been a more enjoyable experience.
    The messy, and labyrinthine map exacerbated these issues tenfold.
    I should really be ashamed about turning on noclip for a large part of this one.

    Volatile Energy:
    – I gave up on this one entirely.
    There was obviously a lot of polish and work put into it, the location was excellent, and it started by presenting some interesting gameplay mechanics.
    Then in the room with the Gravity Gun, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to continue past that point.
    Noclipping through the door left me with nothing but a crowbar and a gravity gun against a scripted onslaught of enemies. I quit here, perhaps I’ll come back to it.

    Cannon Beach:
    – Sweet visuals, but flawed gameplay.
    I was excited for this one, and I really enjoyed the opening. However, the excitement dulled at the force field puzzle. After (again) noclipping to solve it after a long time of trying, I was then faced with combat, whereupon I could do nothing but throw pods and wait for antlions to do the work for me. After the locked white doors past the set of barricades, I noclipped through to find antlions couldn’t join me.
    At this point I turned on impulse 101 and played the map normally.
    I’m sorry, I’m sure this must have been a great map, perhaps I’ll revisit it.

    As much as I hate to be negative, I really did not enjoy this one. My capacity for frustration and being stuck ran out at The Nest, and I passed through large sections of this release.
    If I had to vote for a winner, I would say Canal Flight. Not because it portrayed the theme best, but because it was the only map I enjoyed and completed properly.

    Although for real, the reason I had a bad experience is probably because I’m just a bad player.

    1. I don’t usually response directly to criticisms of maps because we all have subjective views but I wanted to address two points you raised with Cannon Beach. In these cases I think it might be because you were tired.

      Firstly, the Force-Field puzzle. To me it was quite obvious that I had to throw the bug-bait into the room to get the antlions to remove the switch/cable, the same way they had with the padlock at the beginning of the game.

      Secondly, the “whereupon I could do nothing but throw pods and wait for antlions to do the work for me”. That was the point of the bug baits. The author had decided on that “weapon” and that’s what you had. You probably know that when you throw a bug bait at the combine it causes them to stop firing, which you can use to crowbar them. Whilst it may not be the most fun way to progress, it was the kind of gameplay I was looking for with the theme – something a little different from normal.

      1. Ade

        JG and I had a little fight last night about this, as Anicator was also stuck there. Originally the trigger for the antlions to attack the plug was bigger and there was no need to [SPOILER AHEAD!] break the glass [/SPOILER]. So it was fine in testing but after he changed it, he didn’t consider such a small change would break the game (for what is now officially 2 players) and simply released without testing. I am not here to bash you, JG. I’m just here to stress, for all mappers, that a test of a final version, even if it’s the only test, is imperative.

        Also I’d like to touch on another matter, the playthroughs being available for a few comps now, the votes might change significantly as players might ‘cheat’ their way into finishing a map that would otherwise be broken for them or too frustrating. This goes for both the entries and the bonus map. So I’d suggest, besides keeping the names out of the mod, and even out of the post til votes end, for objective opinionating purposes, to also keep the playthroughs out of the post til votes end.

        1. I didn’t break the glass to turn off the force field.

          1. Ade

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMPtjzFUmLk&t=24m30s
            I don’t think you can get the antlions close enough for them to turn off the force field simply through the roof opening, aka without breaking the glass.

            1. I did break the glass that time, but other times I didn’t.
              I’ll try again now

        2. Well, I can’t duplicate being able to drop the force field without breaking the glass. I must have either been mistaken or incredibly lucky if I did do it.

      2. I revisited cannon beach.
        You’re right, the fact I was playing tired, and after 2 entries I didn’t enjoy really did not help me here.
        The force field puzzle was a little awkward, since my personal canon is that the glass texture used is usually unbreakable, so I didn’t even think to try.
        The white doors stumped me again, until I realized the third thumper could be turned off.
        I think that either the button could have been on the other side of the thumper (so that I saw it right away), or the thumper could be barring progress in a more obvious way. As it was, shutting down the third thumper gives little reason for the white doors to unlock like that.

        Progressing past this was a fantastic second half however.
        I’ll agree with Phillip here, each weapon was used well as an individual tool and also in conjunction (macing a soldier whilst using the crowbar).
        A shaky start marred this second half the first time around, which was a shame, because this is by far the best release of the competition, and not just because the author had more time to polish up the bones of the map. It was probably the best just from an idea and design standpoint.

        Also, interestingly, I picked up a grenade at one point.
        I guess you must have forgotten to untick “Don’t drop grenades” on one of the soldiers.

        1. Ade

          I also recommend this be played with small pauses in between. It cannot be released as individual maps, it would be tedious to install them all, but maybe we can educate ourselves to stop for a while and take our minds off especially after a not so enjoyable entry. This helped me after the first map of the mod, as patience can wear thin and gameplay can be affected by previous entries, both positively and negatively, and judging might not be fair.

        2. JG

          No, I’m fairly sure it wasn’t that. As I explained in the original contest thread, I think there’s a brief moment whenever a Combine Soldier pulls a grenade where, if he gets killed, the grenade isn’t active yet and gets dropped as an item. As such, they can drop grenades if they are killed in that moment, which is hard to do intentionally since the Antlions are doing most of the killing, but I’ve done it a couple times by accident. Out of dozens, if not a hundred runs… 🙂

  8. Canal Flight
    Short but sweet for me. I have a love for the airboat, so I’m always happy to hop into the driver’s seat, especially when it is implemented well, where you get some speed without having to stop every five feet to open a gate. I didn’t have any issues with it. It also had some decent gameplay variety.

    The Nest
    I hate fast headcrabs. I like the idea, and the environment, but I just don’t enjoy the headcrabs… It certainly did a better job with the theme than I did. I did enjoy the initial exploration of the building, however.

    Cannon Beach
    It’s rare to see a map with the antlions, even more rare to see one implemented well. The bit left on the crane was hilarious.

    Volatile Energy
    Uhg, so much I could talk about. I entered for two reasons. One was the chance to flesh out the gadget ideas I’ve had for a while. Two was the deadline extension. Even with the extra week, I only managed about the same time I might with the usual 10 days. I also made a huge mistake, Combine architecture doesn’t have a lot of x/y axis blocks, so I wound up spending most of my time on brushwork instead of gameplay. The map wasn’t even fully playable until just before the deadline (and it desperately needed play testing). There was so much more I needed to do. With the exception of the ending scene and the mechanics themselves, I wasn’t happy with how it turned out. Also, I think I had more Hammer crashes during this competition than I ever have before. Those infinite enemies at the end? They weren’t supposed to be there. You can thank a last minute crash for that getting overlooked.

    The other maps were enjoyable (except the headcrabs, but that’s just personal bias). It seems I didn’t have the trouble that other did. Personally, while The Nest was more creative with the theme, the airboat wins it for me.

    1. JG

      Ah yes. Taking a page from the Forest Train School of Accidental Infinite Enemies. It happens. 🙂

      1. I made a mistake? Psh, never! 🙂

  9. Play It Now!

    I felt that this was a fairly strong competition, even if there were only three entries plus the bonus map. All of the maps had something to offer.

    Canal Flight
    As others have noted, this map is more conventional than the others. I turned the valves before I’d even left the vent, so I didn’t have a problem with the first section. Making the player go through a long vent if they miss a jump does seem unnecessary. Otherwise, it’s a bit of slow pacing to start off with that works well. The large canal environments look pretty good. The pushable wagon is a fun touch. A little more could have been gotten out of that mechanic, even if it was just pushing it down some stairs to bowl somebody over. The segment where you are fighting metrocops up close is a little harsh. The final chase in the hovercraft works fine. Having the helicopter start carpet bombing immediately might be a bit much, but dodging the bombs to get to the ramp helps provide a climax, even though you don’t take the helicopter down.

    The Nest
    This was my entry, and there are a lot of things I could say about it. I will say that it turned out more or less as I had hoped. The extra time was a boon for me, and allowed a lot of testing and polishing. Without this polishing, the map’s redeeming features would not have even had the potential to counteract its frustrations. I apologise to anyone who found the map utterly confounding. To those who found it somewhat-confounding, I hope that you enjoyed the experience.

    Volatile Energy
    All maps benefit from beta testing, some more than others. This would have be one of the latter, I feel. I had no clue how to get out of the opening area until I watched Phillip’s video. It’s a cruel irony as well, because I enjoyed listening out for new energy spots after I had cottoned on to the pattern! The final meltdown at the end was another case of this. Closing the circle around the map is a nice touch, but there’s no obvious direction to go, so it took a while to find the end. Having some doors close to force the player towards the exit would have been appropriate.

    Outside of these sore points, I enjoyed the map. It had a puzzle element to it that was internally consistent once you’d gotten used to the logic. Playing with the different energy tools was fun, and ramped up nicely. I don’t feel that the use of the gravity gun here was against the spirit of the competition. Or if it was, it’s not one worth condemning. It’s a creative way to give the player a variety of tools despite a small palette of weapons.

    Cannon Beach
    This was a very solid map. I don’t have much in the way of criticism. The map was structured very nicely, and the light plot was worked in effectively. You don’t interact much with either the autoturret or the rebels, but helping out rebels who are in boats and pinned down by an autoturret is a nice change in context for both elements, while still feeling like it belongs in the HL2 setting (You might say that it was a Canon Beach.) The antlions are used much as you’d expect them to be, with a bit of recurring black humour at sending them to their deaths to save your own skin, moreso than Valve ever did in the main game. Then they watch you despondently as you ride an elevator away. Poor antlions. I can imagine some people being confused by the strider’s death at the end of the map, but it worked perfectly for me. Smashing the boards, realising that the hook is flying, and turning just in time to see the strider being swatted.

    I’m a big fan of exploring locations that are sprawling but thematically contained- like how Lost Coast takes place in a single monastery and its surroundings, and how the early Silent Hill games are sets of large buildings that you exhaustively explore. I understand that you sometimes have to have the player punch through, say, just a few rooms of a larger building, and that this can be used to produce a faster pace (Mirrors Edge is a paradigm example of this), but I have a soft spot for getting to know a space. There was definitely an element of this in the map being contained enough to give you a tour at the very end. There were some shades of Lost Coast in using an elevator to do this, although the player’s progress being horizontal rather than vertical makes it rather a longer ride!

  10. Play It Now!

    So where to start? I really liked this competition, and I really wanted to do a map with alyx, but I lost motivation before I even began-perhaps I can use the idea in the future. Anyway, onto the entries.

    Canal Fight

    First area’s puzzle was cool, I really enjoyed the loops (despite long vent crawls), but I didn’t know you could +use the valves, and when I found out I felt they could have been spread out more to encourage exploration. The connection between the valves and rising water wasn’t really there. I felt a pipe should have been connected to the wall near the drain pipes. I got excited when I got the smg because I thought the grenades would be used in a cool way, but they weren’t. I liked the pushcart, though. The fight when you first go outside and are exposed to the HDR attack was very punishing. Very little hard cover + super accurate smg cops = bad day. After that I think the author tried to do too much in too little space. The pacing felt off, and the canals didn’t replicate valve’s well, and as a result were kinda of boring. And the helicopter carpet bombing was difficult to dodge in such a narrow space. Overall, strong start, but lack luster finish.

    Demo (forgot to record after death):
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/385nzorxt2t0m2g/ihon_canal_fight1.dem

    The Nest

    I like the setting, and the exploration focus was awesome. You can get a lot of health at the start, but you end up NEEDING it. The headcrabs were extremely annoying at first, but I liked what the author was trying to do. They also messed up my exploratory flow as I was heading up the house, but that wasn’t a bad thing. Thankfully the HCs left me alone as I got to the upper floors. Which reminds me: the visuals were great (with the exception of lighting), but the destruction in the house felt odd. I think there were too many right angles and the boards weren’t broken like boards. I enjoyed the loop back down to activate the radio tower. The house collapsing was pretty cool, and I liked how you got your grenades first this time around. But I got reminded of something I learned after Ravenholmville: give the player a crowbar. I got pinned by fast zombies and almost died form a point blank explosion. Overall, great ideas and great layout, but the gameplay could use some work (why not poison zombies instead of fast zombies?).

    Volatile Energy

    Those stupid Zelda panels. If their give away sound could be made easier to pick out in the background (or moved away from louder objects) and there was some more visual language on the panels this could have worked better. There was one point I was trapped and listening for the buzz sound, but I couldn’t hear it. as for the gadgets? I actually liked them. It was neat to figure out how each one worked and the stick-of-death you get at the end was awesome. The infinite zombies + maze was a bad idea. Fun at first, but became sour. As for he ending task? I liked how it compounded as you moved stuff around, but the soldier waves could have been spread out. Despite its flaws, I really like the grandness and “puzzleness” of this one; its the winner for me.

    Demos (I thought I broke the map several times):
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/1e6kj295dkej2nn/ihon_vol_engy.dem
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/nnvtr0aeew8tbt0/ihon_vol_engy2.dem
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ut2pk2fhpxb9m2k/ihon_vol_engy3.dem
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/mzgud4i1kkzcpb1/ihon_vol_engy4.dem
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/a5jhjjjrfpjm0wg/ihon_vol_engy5.dem
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/c8vwxixho8649fr/ihon_vol_engy6.dem
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/7awhwa2915y1dcm/ihon_vol_engy7.dem

    Cannon Breach

    A classic JG map: loops, bounces, quirky humor, secrets, and great visuals/presentation. I wouldn’t be surprised if some soldiers were running standoffs. It kinda reminds me of one of his other releases… Anyway, the pacing on this one felt strange. It was kind of short, and, as Phillip said before, this map felt too easy. Most of the time the combat was just “throw bugbait at soldiers. Step back” If anything, the soldiers didn’t pose much of a threat. Perhaps if they had been armed with ar2s,and had turret backup, they would be able to have those cool standoffs you get in Nova Prospect. Then again, considering the competition, it would be difficult to get around those standoffs without additional weapons or complected scripting. The number of antlions felt kinda small too. The combat got more interesting when you didn’t have antlions. I remember a soldier ambushing me, and I had to bugbait him so I could get in crowbar range. The Strider fight was interesting. It felt strange that it was real the meat of the map, but I still enjoyed it. I noticed JG had done some clever scripting to get around ep2’s nerfed Striders. The crane kill was cool, but I felt it could have been more climatic- alas, I don’t know how that would be done. I was actually surprised the Strider never used its warp cannon, could have been cool. The antlions were a bit smarter this time around (breaking padlock and plugs). Could have been fixed with some well placed/scripted soldiers or turrets. But hey, maybe the vort camp you got the bugbait from had been training/teaching them. Nice map, but with some pacing issues due to the competition.

    Demo:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/kpqzosm0423jq8u/ihon_cannon_breach.dem

    Each map has something going for it, all of them might not be “your cup of tea,” but each is worth a look.
    Ooooo…JG left his vmf-well, I’m off.

    Edit: dang it, forgot the Play it Now! rating.

    1. Ade

      There was a visual hint actually, for Volatile, but I guess not obvious enough: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=290459841

      1. Yes, that’s right but it’s very subtle and considering we weren’t told to expect that it seems unfair. Coupled with the fact that the hanging cable opened the door and was “grabable” it made it really hard to figure out what to do.

        1. Ade

          The cable was not a problem for me. Once it did damage on me, I left it alone, and went looking for other ways out. For me the loud buzz coming from behind the wall was the hint, I noticed the visuals on a 2nd playthrough as I started this 2 or 3 times due to lack of autosaves and me thinking I broke the level cus of a faulty custom prop in the ggun area. It did take me like 5 mins to figure out the sound part and move on, but it was worth it and that’s still a lot better than 30 mins spent in a Tobias (I think that’s the name) level! where his visual language is wrong and inconsistent with everything you’ve known til that point, and his triggers are a pixel hunt, and he does this repeatedly throughout the map. And if in 5 mins you still don’t get it, the area you’re in is small enough to just start pressing Use on everything and whooshing the crowbar around, and be done with it quick enough not to rq, while in an open area where the solution is not in E or cb reach, it can become really painful.

      2. That’s actually how I realized what to do, I noticed the little crack and the buzz. I just wish the buzz was farther away from the sparking cable. The language was only really a problem when trapped above that bloody ramp.

        1. Ade

          If you mean the small room between glass doors and on a forcefield, again, I got lucky there and after trying to grab stuff around starting from the ceiling, ggun made that sound that something was pickupable and as I pointed bit downwards, a panel fell off, whoops! But yea, Anicator spent quite some time, there, too, though there’s not much left to do but again interact with the walls, if not with the crowbar like thus far, then with what else 😛 I feel I enjoyed that map the most compared to the other players and that’s a shame.

          1. I kick myself for not making the first panel a different color than the background wall. It would have been an easy fix to help the player out. As for being locked between the doors, I figured there was little for the player to do other than look for a panel. Perhaps that needed a visual cue like some of the others. Also, I planned for the thing on the ceiling to vaporize any items you were holding and make it more obvious that you didn’t need one of them, but I had no time to attempt it. It probably would have helped Phillip’s play through, since he assumed the map was broken pretty quickly. To be fair though, it actually did break for him once, and I haven’t a clue how it happened.

    2. JG

      That’s actually not clever scripting on the Strider – it’s a mode. 🙂

      Episode One gave them an “Aggressive Shooting” mode which you can enable or disable. Instead of doing their normal, regularly timed shots, they’ll start burst firing if they stay on the same target long enough. It makes them much more fearsome and dangerous.

      I think almost all the Combine battles are driven by standoffs and enemyfinders. It’s sort of become my thing now. Even the soldiers that seem to break away and come after you, they just do that on their own. It’s quite nice.

      If you have any questions about the VMF I can help. I would suggest for clarity’s sake that you turn off the “vollight” layers and the “perimeter” layer. Makes it easier to see what’s going on.

      1. Unfortunately, that shooting is so aggressive that you can’t really use it when the player has to be anywhere in the open. Otherwise it might be used more often. A good half the map in EP1 was used to teach the player how dangerous it was before they ever had to leave cover.

        I think I’ll take a peak. My attempts to use standoffs never seemed to work for me. The npcs would ignore them for the most part.

        1. JG

          I’ll probably do a write-up on my web page at some point, since I’ve been meaning to do that since Forest Train. In the VMF, just looking at the first battle (everything prefixed with the name “c1”), you should be able to dissect the ai_goal_standoff, the ai_battle_line, the npc_combine_s, the npc_enemyfinder (who belongs to the same squad as the Combine and acts as an invisible tattletale) and the info_hint_nodes positioned near the cover props the Combine use.

      2. Oh, I knew it was running the aggressive behavior, I was just surprised the Strider didn’t “snipe” me as much despite the sparseness of cover. I can’t wait to see you combine standoffs with assaults and battlelines–you ever look at d3_c17_07_d?

        1. JG

          The Strider has a couple governors on how it fires at the player. There’s a minimum time and a minimum distance the player can move before getting fired upon. I tweaked the minimum time a bit using a point_clientcommand, so I think he only has to look at you for about 1.5 seconds instead of the normal ~2.5, but not the distance.

          There was also the issue of target prioritization. What I wanted to do was have the Strider focus on the Antlions whenever he didn’t see the player and create a mechanic where the player has to use the Bugbait to lure Antlions into the open to distract the Strider, and then make a run for it while he was distracted.

          The problem is that the Strider’s targeting is very sticky. Initially, I tried to use ai_relationships to make the priorities equal, but that basically meant he stuck with whatever he saw first. When one was slightly higher than the other, he pretended the others didn’t exist at all.

          Sometimes you can get lucky and run that whole dock without getting hurt much at all. Other times, the Strider will get a bead on you and won’t let go. The unpredictability, to me, was enough to imply taking a cautious approach. Usually when you present a player with a bunch of staggered cover placement like that, it’s visual shorthand for “take it slow.”

          d3_c17_07 is the Alyx standoff and it’s quite an enjoyable battle and one of the few highlights (imho) of the return to City 17. You can definitely see the cover usage there as the Combine make a very tactical advance to where Alyx is. I’ve never personally found Assaults to be that useful. Because each Combine Soldier needs their own set of Assault points for the system to be truly useful, it always seemed like a ton of overhead for fairly minimal gain. I might study that map and see what they are doing with them there.

          1. I found assaults to be really good when you don’t want npc to be in cover. If you’re using assualt’s standard behavior npcs tend to stay at the assault point, until the need to reload, and then return to the assault point. This comes in handy if you want enemies to “suppress” the player (I know soldiers do it normally). I think this what valve intends in the assault on Alyx. Once one side makes it there they spread out and just fire bullets at the player ’till the timer goes and one soldier rushes Alyx while the rest cover. Its also useful to make npcs advance because the default ai likes to sit back and suppress. I found them to be mostly useful for getting npcs to spread out (with the clear on arrival flag), since assaults can be “interrupted” by danger sounds (grenades/rockets/gunship fire). They also mesh in interesting ways with standoffs. It makes the npcs not stick to the assault points as much. In my revamped defendville map I had 2 soldiers using assaults with a standoff that made them very aggressive, so they basically provided covering fire for the unscripted troops. Assaults seem stupid at first, but they can be quite dynamic and handy once you realize there offensive, defensive, and scripting implications.
            (side note: a little known fact is that if you name two assault points the same thing, one will be randomly chosen unless your using the assault multiple times, in which case the npc selects the one that wasn’t used last. This is one of the things the devs talked about in ep2_outland_10.)

            Hey, you know how soldiers don’t have a peeking animation for cover_low nodes? I always toyed with having a timer disable and enable some cover_low nodes for the soldiers as they advanced with that crouch running animation. I haven’t tested it yet (or thought of a map to use it on), but it could be interesting.

            1. JG

              Yeah, it’s too bad they don’t use the crouch-run in their normal behavior. Personally, I would have loved if they supported taking cover next to walls (i.e. peek around wall, shoot). Sometimes it’s easier to justify taking cover next to support beams and whatnot.

              There are a lot of extra animations and behaviors that necessitate using Standoffs or Assaults. People who just spawn a bunch of Combine and tell them to run are missing out on half the things they can really do, and I think that Alyx standoff is a great example of that. The Combine look smart in that battle.

              I didn’t know that bit with the Assault names. That’s useful to know, since one of my biggest gripes with the Assault system is the sheer number of entities it requires to set up. And because passing soldiers will “secure” nodes and therefore block others coming up behind them, it felt like every soldier needed their own set of Assault entities.

              I’ll have to study the Alyx setup someday, because in my mind, I’ve always treated Assaults like a glorified and reactionary version of the old aiscripted_schedule run technique.

      3. Ade

        The aggressive mode was also used in ‘The forgotten journey’ in the winning map, as player wasn’t meant to linger in that area and fight the combine.

  11. Play It Later

    Another handful of interesting maps were made this competition and they all have their ups and downs but on the whole, the quality level was high considering the short time frame. I look forward to seeing what else these mappers produce in the future.

    Now onto the review…

    Canal Flight

    The visuals of this entry were very nice considering the short time frame of the competition. However, I feel that this was at a detriment to the gameplay. I didn’t feel that this entry succeeded in using the weapons to defeat the enemies in an interesting way as I believe that was the intention of the competition. Even using the standard combat, the fights felt lacklustre, with the enemies pretty much standing in place taking pot shots at me while I moved between what little cover was available. The only reason I felt challenged was because I needed to take out so many enemies without any health pack resupplies.

    The initial puzzle was interesting but forcing the player to crawl to the beginning of the jumping section feels like the player is being punished somewhat for being bad at jumping puzzles. I also think a quick way up to the boarded off area should be unlocked once the player has finished the jumping section once. I jumped across after a number of failed attempts only to realise I needed the crowbar to get through which meant I needed to jump down and fetch it before trying the jumping puzzle again which was really frustrating. I believe some external testing would have picked up these issues straight away.

    The use of the airboat was reminiscent of the airboat sequence in HL2. I was intrigued with how the airboat may be used, especially when the chopper appears, but it didn’t eventuate with anything new which was disappointing. I also found the need to dodge so many obstacles very tedious which ruined the fast flowing feel of the airboat. I think if all the different obstacles were spaced better so that they are still possible to dodge when the player is moving at full speed, the flow would have been better.

    Overall this entry was good to look at and the puzzles were enjoyable but the combat was very mediocre. Bonus points for a reasonably designed airboat sequence.

    The Nest

    I really enjoyed the environment and atmosphere of this map. I felt the beginning of the map really evoked a sense of isolation and foreboding before entering the main area. The biggest problem, I felt however, was with the infinitely spawning enemies. On initially encountering the fast headcrabs, I assumed that there was just a larger than usual swarm so I decided to stand and fight them off. After much tedium I died because there was no end. My second attempt had me try to run past them. Unfortunately, jumping puzzles get very frustrating when headcrabs block your path mid-jump and you die as a result.

    The main puzzle was a good example of showing the player what the objective is and letting them explore the environment to solve the puzzle. I initially felt quite confused until I realised that I needed to use the grenades I picked up to continue. Some subtle environmental hints may have helped alleviate some of the confusion but I liked not having obvious signposting, allowing me to work things out for myself. The problem I had with the puzzle was that the headcrabs would keep attacking me while I was trying to workout what I needed to do which was very distracting and annoying. This was even worse when having to deal with the fast zombies because the crowbar was taken away. Trying to work out where to go while being attacked by an endless stream of zombies and not being able to defend yourself effectively was a nightmare. The combination of grenades against fast zombies was a bad match-up without an interesting setup much like Phillip’s example of using a crossbow against man-hacks.

    Overall, I really liked the level design and the puzzles but infinitely spawning enemies and bad weapon/enemy match-up turned a good map into something I though was irritating and tedious to play.

    Volatile Energy

    I think this was the best map in the competition, once I found out about the hidden panel thing. The environment was very well constructed and polished. It really felt like I was in a Combine facility. I also liked the way I was opening up each section of the circular corridor, which gave a nice sense of progression.

    The new gameplay mechanics via the powered widgets was interesting. The biggest problem was that the widgets were not introduced to the player at all with the first widget being very well hidden. I needed to watch the beginning of Phillip’s walkthrough to find the hidden breakable panel, which shows a failure in the level design. Once I understood that the hidden breakable panel was a recurring mechanic, I was able to identify them easily using sound and the gravity gun’s animation when it identifies an object it can pick up. Additional signposting that the panels can be broken is definitely needed. Also, a more contrasting colour for the widgets might help the player identify that the widgets are different and can be picked up.

    On finding each of the new powered widgets, I was quickly able to work out their purpose. I did have trouble finding the gravity gun, though, because the back-lighting of the storage areas were far too bright and I couldn’t identify any of the objects.

    As a side note, I’m not sure if the widgets were entirely in the spirit of the competition because some of the widgets could kill enemies on their own without needing to be punted by the gravity gun. Regardless, I found the gameplay with the widgets interesting and fun, once I understood what was happening.

    Towards the end, the difficulty ramped up dramatically with the infinitely spawning poison zombies and later Combine soldiers. Luckily the wand widget I had was very good at killing everything. Still, trying to juggle killing enemies and opening doors became quite tedious.

    Overall, the visuals were excellent and the new gameplay mechanics were interesting and fun but the map failed straight out of the gate because the new gameplay mechanics were not explained clearly enough to the player,effectively blocking the player within a minute of starting.

    Cannon Beach

    This was a very well designed map with a high level of detail paid to the visuals. The fly past at the end of the level was also a nice touch.

    The combat felt very easy but I guess that is to be expected when using the antlions because they are very efficient at dispatching the Combine Soldiers. I was expecting more of a challenge with the Strider too. Something like actively using the antlions as a decoy to distract the Strider but I found I was able to run past without needing to take cover. The ending fight was also somewhat anti-climactic because it was far too easy to break the scaffolding with the hook. I think it would have been much more satisfying to see the Strider splatted if there had been more of a fight to knock over the scaffolding.

    Overall, this was a fun map to play with very nice visuals and scripted sequences, even if the combat was on the easy side. Another entertaining map from Jason Gimba.

    1. Ade

      I had same issue in Canal flight, technically I had to go through the long boring vents 3 times, and so I noclipped 2 times out of 3… that is bad.

    2. I think this was the best map in the competition

      Yes, it might have been the best map from a fun point of view (was you figured out what to do) but was it the best map based on the theme? To be honest, I almost wish I had disqualified it before the vote. There was technically more than one weapon and the author should have checked with me first to see if it was acceptable.

      1. Ade

        Technically there was only 1 weapon, since you can use E to pick up only 1 of the new gadgets, the battery/rod, and cannot kill with it. The other weapon-like gadgets cannot be picked up and cannot be used without the ggun.

      2. If the author had changed the gadgets- let’s say he used rechargeable car batteries to power doors, saw blades to cut wires/ropes, and an infinite supply of explosive barrels- you would have a similar experience to what you have now. I think its all well within the confines of the competition.

        1. I see exploding barrels and saw blades as different from creating new things. Also, the weapon you get is way too powerful. And let’s be clear, I am the final arbiter on the rules and he should have checked with me first.

        2. JG

          I get what you’re saying.

          From my vantage point, it’s not really showcasing the Gravity Gun as much as it’s showcasing custom-made weapons that just so happen to require the Gravity Gun. If I made an instant death trigger_hurt and parented it to a func_physbox the player could pick up with the Gravity Gun, am I really demonstrating a clever use of the Gravity Gun, or am I demonstrating a custom weapon I made?

          1. Yeah, I see what you guys are saying. And I can’t think of an equivalent for the stick-o-death.

          2. As I mentioned, I entered this competition as an excuse to turn these ideas it a reality. From one perspective, I’m perfectly within the spirit of the competition. From anther’s, I wasn’t (and yes Phillip, I admit, I suspected it wasn’t quite what you were aiming for, but I wanted to make the map anyway). The trouble with the gravity gun is that anything you pick up becomes a weapon. A saw blade and a death trigger will kill an enemy just the same. I had additional ideas as to how the gadgets would be integrated with the gravity gun, such as the grenades only charging when picked up with it, but again I had no time to teach the player or test it (which I kind of failed at anyways).

            Though I suppose the end result is well enough. It seems like there was at lease one map to enjoy for most in this competition, and one that wasn’t the respective individuals cup of tea.

      3. Hec

        Hey Phillip. With all respect I think you’re being quite hard about considering Volatile Energy subject to be disqualified, because that was a kind of uncertain point in the rules you wrote.

        You know if you have been stated NOT ENVIRONMENTAL WEAPONS ALLOWED, I think that would have been more clear.

        I also think the main weapon all the time was the Grav. Gun. because you can throw stuff available in the environment and that turns the GG into a weapon, even in the regular HL2 gameplay, you know you can throw at zombies, CMB soldiers and even headcrabs, a brick block and that is deadly.

        1. Don’t worry Hec, I haven’t disqualified it. I just said I should have considered that from the beginning. ALos, his weapons are not environmental – they are specifically built and that’s not hat I was looking for from the competition.

          Using the things around a player is perfectly acceptable, but making very powerful weapons seems to break the spirit of the theme.

          1. Hec

            Oh, OK, now that’s clear enough. 🙂

    3. JG

      Using the Antlions to distract the Strider was definitely the point of the dock sequence between buildings. It doesn’t always work that way though because sometimes the Strider will fixate on the Antlions on his own and not spend a whole lot of time attacking you. If I could do that part again, I’d probably make it a bit more deliberate (i.e. he will focus solely on you unless you throw the bugbait somewhere).

  12. Play It Now!

    This is a unique competition … and allthough theres just 4 entries ( including jasons ) they are all of the highest quality and great fun to play
    CANAL FLIGHT took some time to suss out ( scouse lingo for how the hell do you do this ) … but as with all good maps some perseverance i managed to get around it ….
    this reminds me of “route canal” in hl2 .. and its been nicely done in this map … however a gun on the airboat would of been nice but would of gone over the limited amount of weapons allowed for the map … overall a excellent entry
    THE NEST … well like phillip this took time to get into ….. however the actual mapping was top notch and the use of lighting and textures was of the highest quality ….. the headcrabs were so annoying and they came from everywhere but with time i was able to kill them …. overall not too bad … excellent design but not my favourite
    VOLATILE ENERGY … what can i say … have you got a spare few hours… well thats what i thought when i started this ( and i actually needed to check phillips walkthrough for this one ) ….. a unique system of activating doors and consoles and this is what sets this map out from the others ….. a totally awesome map and the winner in my book
    CANNON BEACH … as with all jasons maps ( and mods ) this is a excellent map and extremely enjoyable to play …. jason have proved himself in the hl2 modding community and he,s up there with the likes of adam foster, leon brinkman and matt glanville …. the only problem is the source engine/hammer editor must be coming to its end of life status,so unless valve do release a source engine 2 then these guys will move on to more modern engines to create their magic
    so “VOLATILE ENERGY” is my winner with CANAL FLIGHT in a close second place … and another thankyou has to go to “phillip” who without these competitions and maps my day would be alot more boring … keep up the great work phillip and all the best mate …. “

    1. JG

      I don’t think I’d be quick to move on to Source Engine 2 if and when it happened. As graphical fidelity increases, there’s a real sense of diminishing returns for the amount of work required, even with improved workflows.

      Besides, I still like how the Source Engine looks. I like working within limitations and trying to make things look as nice as they can despite old technology. I’ll probably be the wacky guy making the Half-Life 2 equivalent of The Core. 🙂

      1. I suppose it will depend on whether they release modding tools for it right off the bat. I would think so, but you never know… and I would have to learn a whole new editor.

  13. Ade

    Looks like a tie!

    1. Yep, but still a few days to go.

  14. Louie

    Can anyone get this work on Linux OS?

    Thanks

  15. Ade
    Play It Now!

    OK so I tried my hand at doing playthrough videos, here they are: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZxfppgDeOdv6YNpDjDJpwuKOvpotxUzT no commentaries cus I think my mic has some static and I wouldn’t have had much to say anyway given the fact that it wasn’t a first playthrough.
    The packaging itself still has some issues, like map end not going to the main menu but showing only an Ep2 background menu, and no message being shown when saving (it did not show up in testing as we didn’t try to play the maps and tbh I’ve never seen this bug before).
    I do have some ideas from my first playthrough:

    Canal Flight
    The sound of the crickets while going through a vent in the beginning of a map is the exact feeling you get from the player: boredom.
    Apparently falling gets me thru those vents again? wow! And when I thought I was out of there, I realize I need a crowbar, but have to pass through the vents a 3rd time? Oh my… noclip ftw.
    The CP accuracy makes this a brutal mod. At least there’s some driving in it, but the chopper time mines are definitely overkill. I was trying to go in between bombs so missed the jump. And once you miss the jump it’s impossible to get back on track and try again if there’s an infinite amount of bombs being dropped on your head constantly.
    The end part is weird, half white half black (was not there in the 2nd playthrough).
    In conclusion, I think the smg is the worst possible weapon to give as a 2nd weapon, I’d rather have the pistol since I couldn’t rush through CP, it was pure death so chose to snipe em 1 by 1 which would’ve been easier with any other weapon.

    The Nest
    Now although it hurts the player right from get, it replenishes player’s health quite fast.
    It’s weird to jump same road blocks inside the playable area but not those surrounding the area; invisible walls are very obvious.
    The style of the house I’d say is pretty unique, and the rest of the players tried to describe it in many ways and certainly deserves all its praises.
    My memory quickly fading away with the years is kind of nice, as I still get to enjoy bits of the maps I tested only a few days before, like this door that opens up to reveal the abyss at my feet! (And it still got me in the video playthrough, was like the 4th time playing, so, kudos for a cool moment.)
    Whatever you do, do NOT open the 2 doors on ground floor!
    I think the enemy waves are better now after some tweaks but I can’t really tell, having played this in beta testing. From what I’ve read it’s still hard to focus on what to do with crabs all around, but it’s hard to tweak without new eyes on this, as it gets really easy from 2nd playthrough on.

    Volatile Energy
    Being a sucker for combine architecture, this 1 hooked me from get. And the intro is rather sweet, too bad I have no idea what to do next.
    And once I did realize, I found it an interesting way to continue, too bad a lot were stuck here too long to enjoy it.
    The new mechanic looks pretty darn cool, we can all agree.
    I kept hurting myself while trying to put custom props into the 3 slots and found out: no autosaves! I bugged one of the custom props (I think I grabbed it and moved it behind the walls) and thinking I needed it, I started the mod a 3rd time. Why were they there, I thought I had to build something out of them.
    The rest, although confusing at times due to doors randomly opening and closing to force the player down a path, was pretty enjoyable.

    In general after testing a mod I wait a few months before re-playing so I can enjoy it. In particular, I wanted to enjoy these maps and also not be influenced at the glass part in the bonus map, which is why I didn’t re-play that map and review til today.
    As you can see from the vid, it’s hard to get the antlions close enough to the plug without breaking the glass, and idk how many tries it would take to do it, but didn’t care to find out. The map flows nicely, and I could still enjoy it and had a slight moment of hmmm what to do next before disabling the last thumper to trigger the combine to open the doors of the main building, so hooray for my memory fails. It was still fun to sacrifice dem antlions to clear the path for me, after in the beginning I cleared the path for them. I also had a laugh while throwing bugbait at G-Man in the final bit 😀

    Overall, nice competition even though the first playthroughs of the entries were all frustrating in different percentages. And I must say, the vids being re-plays, just LOOK at the time spent on each entry – granted, I didn’t try to do speedruns. This, albeit controversial mod, with split opinions on deciding a winner – were they all that good, or that bad?!-, is actually one of the best competitions in the Ville series, imHo, if we consider the general goal here.
    I agree, not all had the perfect combination of weapons or enemies, which is really easy to figure out but hard to pull off. It’s actually kind of constraining once you realize the mandatory crowbar is best used on (any type of) headcrabs, since they go down in 1 whoosh, and manhacks, which require 2 hits. Slow zombies would’ve also been an option, as they can be hacked down without losing any hp with the proper technique, but combined with other enemies, they would’ve been a nuissance since they require 5 or so hits, and overwhelmed, the player would’ve probably used the other weapon. From this pov, The Nest half nailed it. Now the 2nd weapon could’ve been anything imo EXCEPT the god damn smg which is the worst possible weapon in the arsenal. And regardless of the 2nd enemy at this point, all entries except the first 1 made me combine the 2, since I could shoot crates with the smg, especially since author puts it so out of reach that I have to be under fire to crowbar it… The Nest succeeded in making us switch between the nades we have to throw to unblock doors, to the crowbar to defend ourselves from the swarming crabs, while waiting for that nade to blow up faster. I’m not sure if in Volatile Energy, after we get the ggun, if we encounter any panels that MUST be crowbared and cannot be taken off with the ggun, but I, at least, found myself hacking away at the combine as the exploding balls were sometimes out of reach, so it worked for me. And Canon Beach has 1 spot where we can’t kill a combine with JUST bugbait hehe so we’re forced to switch to crowbar to finish the enemy while he’s still dizzy.
    Where were we? Ah yes, the general goal… I think that’s to get people to simply release, as one can polish and linger and postpone a release til infinity…
    Anyway, I’m always amazed by the sheer amount of mapping and gameplay that some mappers can cram into an entry, with only few days or weeks available. So congratulations to all entrants, and to the ones that have not yet played, what are you waiting for? Just don’t get too mad, give them a 2nd chance/play and you won’t regret it.

    1. Ade

      Forgot to add that having the antguard still alive and kicking for a few seconds was a really nice touch.

  16. Play It Now!

    Overall some interesting maps to play.

    Canal Flight – I quite enjoyed this one. It’s not extremely original, but you find yourself in some difficult situations with limited resources and have to use something in your environment to help you.

    The Nest – I thought this had great design but I didn’t like the enemies at all. The fast headcrabs seemed to spawn endlessly and the end part where you fight the fast zombies with grenades seemed a little ridiculous. The layout of the map was terrific though and I enjoyed exploring it.

    Volatile Energy – I had a real love hate relationship with this one. I wasted a huge amount of time trying to get started on this map before having to watch Phillip’s video to figure out what to do. I thought you were supposed to grab the hanging wire and hit or drag it somewhere. Once I got into the map I really liked the new element. However, as I went along the enemies started spawning which really lowered my enjoyment of playing the map. Also, I ended up losing the element needed to move forward in the map with no idea how to get it back other than reloading. This happened right where the spawning started which was too bad.

    Cannon Beach (bonus) – I loved playing this map. Having to use the ant lions including sacrificing a few to progress was a good element. The visuals for the harbour environment with the ships and the gunfire was terrific. The only thing I didn’t like was that the destruction of the Strider was much too easy. I didn’t even realize that is what was going to happen; I was just trying to get into that room. If the hanging beam had been put somewhere else where the player had to see it and consciously trigger the attack it would have been better. But overall this was a great map.

    Of the 3 competition maps I would have to say I liked Canal Flight the best. It was fun to play all of the way through. The other 2 maps had great points, but the spawning enemies and somewhat buggy behaviour (for Volatile Energy) knocked them down for me. Cannon Beach was the best map though and if the ending was made a little more difficult it would be a classic.

    1. That was a nice review – well done.

  17. Play It Now!

    Ok, time to write my review.

    Canal Flight – Developer Commentary.

    So yeah, my map. What weirds me out about this is that some people seem to have hated it in their guts, while others described it as fine or even enjoyable. I think that this is directly correlated to the jumping section at the start. My best guess is that players who are “used” to jumps, or play bhop/deathrun maps on other Source games, did not have too much of a problem with it, while players who just wanted to play the damn map hated it.

    This is entirely my own fault and I should have thought up a better way of getting the player back to start. The problem was that by having a direct connection to the initial area (with the two valves), I would have allowed players to simply bring the crate there by carrying it with the +use command, which is not the aim of the puzzle. The result of that and my hurry to finish the area ASAP was the air duct section. On second thought, I could have simply put a more easily-traversable corridor with a small hole that the crate could not fit through.

    Then we have the huge drain room section, where you meet the metro cops. The problem here was that I was against using the pistol in my map because it made the CPs very underpowered, particuarily in the airboat section, where the SMG allows for a specific behavior that I wanted. Particularily, SMG metrocops deal very little damage when you’re in the airboat if you are going at high speed, but if you go slow or stop, they will deal extreme amount of damage. This was allowed on purpose to discourage the player from just going slow and avoiding all the traps.

    The helicopter section was initially going to be much longer, I even made some paper plans for a few areas, but I ran out of time and could not complete it, so I just cut it short and made the helicopter carpet bomb early to still provide some challange.

    Then we have the biggest problem of my map – originality. To be honest, when I saw the competition rules, I immediately saw them as a “bad” thing to limit me rather than something to build an original map around. So instead of taking my time to try to come up with something original, I just went for a generic type of map and made it fit into the competition’s limits. This was definitely my biggest mistake.

    The Nest

    This map left me a bit “meh” about the outdoor visuals. I understand the will to create a cloudy setting but the way it was done here was really, really unimpressive. Despite this, the building’s archictecture was well-done and I appreciated how the author managed to integrate his gameplay needs with a believable architecture.

    However, for God’s sake, please STOP using func_dustcloud to make clouds of dust. I swear, that entity will come out of the screen and murder you in your sleep, I’m sure of it. I don’t even know why Valve left it in the editor. func_smokevolume does everything that dustcloud does but better.

    Going back to gameplay. The way grenades are used here is really cool. The idea of bombing the infested apartment block with them to clear out headcrabs before going in to activate the generators was really interesting, and provided for some original gameplay and strategy. The layout of the place was difficult enough to learn to provide a challange, but clear enough to avoid being frustrated.

    My only gripe with this map is the second part. The lack of the crowbar there was unnecessary, and although the environment was cool to look at, it was a nightmare to navigate while being chased by fast zombies with only grenades to defend yourself with. And thank God I knew how to “cook” grenades.

    Volatile Energy

    The gravity gun here finally gets to do what it was supposed to do when it was first built – handling hazardous materials: from explode-on-contact grenades to energy stick to what I can only describe as an energy sword.

    However, I’m not sure if this can be considered appropriate to the competition’s goals. There is a difference between using the gravity gun to turn the environment around you into an improper weapon, to designing all sorts of gadgets for it. The problem is that the gadgets did not seem a part of the environment that you just happend to be able to weaponize, they seemed weapons specifically designed to work with the gravity gun, and I’m fairly sure that this was not the aim of the competition.

    The gameplay was fine, although the distances to cover on foot just to recharge your gadgets were overly long, and the part where you get trapped was extremely confusing, especially because you are left with all your gadgets so you are naturally pushed to try to use them to escape, not to randomly punt walls with the gravity gun until you finally find one that -oh look, it breaks!

    Also, the prop_coreball entity needs to be on coordinates 2687 12142 5161 to be textured properly. Although seeing how big the map is, I can understand why the mapper placed it elsewhere anyways. I like the way its enlargement options are used at the end of the map.

    Visuals were good enough, although I could see some better lighting in the form of spotlights and dimmer brush-based lighting.

    Cannon Beach

    I love how this map manages to set up a story. And Phillip is quite the voice actor, hah! The way antlions are used here is really good, I particularily like how you have to send them to their deaths to clear the path for you.

    My main gripe with this map was that house with the generator plug inside. Unlike some people, I did figure out that you need to break the glass, however, it took me a while and I was not “thinking” of doing it. I was stuck and just though “Kay, let’s try to smash a few things with the crowbar to see if any of them is breakable”. The main problem was that the glass texture used had visible metal bars in it, that’s not something you would think is breakable with just a crowbar.

    The rest of the map is good. And that strider. npc_targets on path_tracks, amirite, JG? Hah! They gave its shooting a wonderful effect and made it look really “angry” at you.

    I would also like to point out that there’s a slight IO issue with the binoculars in the autogun room, when you press E to exit the zoom view the screen overlay and FOV change remain for a split second after you have regained control, but it’s nothing major.

    1. JG

      The thing about func_dustcloud is that it’s more efficient than func_smokevolume. Every time I’ve used func_smokevolume, someone has invariably commented that their framerate dives. The visual, however, is significantly better.

      I decided to look around in Valve’s Github and I found that func_dustcloud is hardwired to precache a material called particle/sparkles. It’s an extremely low-res 32×32 ball. You see, the code for this entity is shared by func_dustmote. It’s fine for tiny dustmotes, but it scales terribly for dust_cloud.

      I speculate that if you replace this texture in a mod, possibly with particle_smokegrenade (the same thing smokevolume uses) or by rolling your own, you could make the entity work fine again.

      (Tested this, yes, it does work!)

      Yes, the moving bullseye found a good use for the Strider. And I was aware of that zoom out timing problem. 🙂

      Also, it’s true that this window texture produces mixed messages. I wouldn’t use it again in a breakable context.

  18. Play It Later

    Aggravation as opposed to GamePLAY. There is no doubt in my mind this was the worst “Ville” Mapping Competition.

    I voted for Canal Flight which I thought was quite good and entertaining, about a 7/10 in my opinion. Despite the obvious design work that went into creating The Nest, I can’t vote for something that aggravating to play (and I did complete it eventually, after revisiting it a day later) when there’s no question that with some slightly different design choices, (weapons, and all retained throughout the map), it would have been great. Volatile Energy? Forgetaboutit, 1/10 or maybe 2 to give credit to the obvious large amount of concept work that went into creating it. My ratings are from the recipient’s gameplay point of view, not admiration of a creator’s thought processes, and no doubt many feel the way I do. Anything that requires help to even play it at all doesn’t count.

    For me, overall its a MAYBE, upgraded to a Play it Later more to respect the work that went into them than anything else.

    1. Ade

      “Anything that requires help to even play it at all doesn’t count. ”
      I agree, that’s why I hope Phillip considers my suggestion of not adding video playthroughs til after the voting is finished.

      1. I won’t be implementing that suggestion. Otherwise, you could say no screenshots or reviews. If voters have to watch a video on what to do, then I have to trust their intelligence to take that into account when voting.

  19. Wesp5

    All around interesting levels, but the clear winner for me is Cannon Beach! Not only is the map of a quality it would fit right in with the original HL2, it features antlions as allies too, which are used not often enough in my opinion. Volatile Energy would be second place, because although the design is spectacular the gameplay gets repititive especially due to the endless respawning later on. Also the first panel should have been blown open when the cell door unlocks! Right now there is little chance to figure out the new mechanic without any hints…

    1. You know that Cannon Beach was not part of the competition and was made over a longer period of time, right? It was the bonus map of the mod.

  20. Think Twice

    Ok, I had problems with this mods gameplay. I think I liked Canal Run best (of course, since vehicles are tops to me, especially the airboat). Problem was the airboat run had to be less than a minute long. Too short.

    Cannon Beach I had only bugbait…it got monotonous.

    Volitile I couldn’t even get out of the first room. Frustrated, I quit and moved on

    The Nest was gloomy and I had waves of fast headcrabs and that gets monotonous.

    Sorry, TT is the best I give, although the maps seem clean and well built. And the modders all have talent, that is easy to see.

    1. Well, it’s clear that this particular theme wasn’t to your liking. It’s going to happen with some themes and players. Don’t feel about about not enjoying.

      1. Well, I am in the middle of a excellent game called Dishonored (HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT), but I don’t think that is clouding my judgment. I think your right…just not my cup of tea.

        As I said, these map makers on Comboville have serious talent, the maps look great. It’s the gameplay/gunplay that was the problem for me (except the one that I couldn’t even get out of the room!)

        1. JG

          You’re probably aware of this from its Steam page, but Viktor Antonov was the art director on Dishonored and on Half-Life 2. The two games definitely share some visual similarities.

  21. Hec
    Play It Later

    OK so I have played CombinationVille and I have to say overall was a fair competition, and all of the 3 entries plus the bonus, are quality maps at least the 4 products in here are quite entertaining, but at the end of this recommendation you will see my reasons of why I consider it a play it later instead of a solid play it now.

    So lets start one by one.

    Canal Flight by The_Blazer

    Overall a nice mapping in this entry. But apart from that I really never felt connected with the concept at all, and also I think it’s major shortfall was that poor selection of enemies and weapons, very, very predictable, SMG and Crowbar!!! come on!! those are probably the most common weapons in HL2, I expected some different combinations but in here I didn’t get one, so is for me the 3rd fair place.

    The Nest by Mark Allan

    Absolutely brilliant concept and map setting, that crumbling building was an unique map design I have actually not seen in any mod or map before. BUT I place this entry in a 2nd place…

    Why? well first because of the weapon selection, for me this map should have provided me with the shotgun and the grenade instead of the BORING crowbar and the grenade!!! on that map I claimed for the shotgun, and I know maybe the first weapon choice was selected because it offered challenge, but ended up being a very hectic weapon combination to fight the hordes of fast headcrabs and fast zombies. Maybe a limited ammo for the shotgun would still be challenging, but we just didn’t have that weapon.

    Now the gameplay was kind of hectic too and it was very easy to get confused once the ground collapsed, because once I was in the bottom of the building I thought the normal way to follow was OUT of the building, not backwards until you reach the roof, though I think the rescue was a nice ending for this one.

    Volatile Energy by Justin Carlton AKA Sneakyspeckman

    This was my winner. Because the map design was just well done regarding the CMB architecture and also the concept of destroy the core was nicely applied. I know the gameplay was kind of hectic and also I got confused of what to do at the first minutes of the map, but the 2 best entries, I mean, this one, and The Nest, were kind of hectic to play, but nevertheless that fact doesn’t down grade their merits because both were creative.

    Here what I liked the most is that the developer of this entry took advantage of his possibilities to overcome the hard limitation of offering just 2 kind of weapons and enemies. You know, he offered us environmental potential weapons instead, for my point of view that was a clever solution in this competition and also a fun one!! I just loved the super powerful energy balls that function like grenades, and the powerful energy “knife” that you can use to paunch those hateful and annoying poisoned zombies!!!!

    The selection of enemies was also in my opinion the best of the 3 entries too. tough my only complain in general for the 4 entries was that not even one single mapper decided to get rid of that stupid Crowbar!!!!! come on!!! we can live a little bit without crowbar in HL2 man!!!

    Also the goal to destroy the core was tough but pretty worthy, and you will need to use those powerful volatile energy objects to achieve it so you feel that volatile energy concept actually took life by its own, so I liked that.

    Bonus: Cannon Beach by Jason Gimba

    Pretty stunning map! Actually this would have been for me a PF if would have been released by its own and with a wider range and amount of enemies and without the 2 weapons restriction.

    The whole map oozed quality in all details even the little visual ones, the concept was just brilliant too!, providing a very realistic mission: get rid of that cannon pulse that is sinking our resistance naval ships!!! WOW pretty cool, and nicely done.

    But, I feel this was just practically focused on the pheropods-bugbait “weapon” and I have to tell you again: use the crowbar as a weapon is not cool guys is pretty BORING I hate to tell you this but it is that way, sorry, and again, if HL2 has more nice weapons why always offer in this competition the silly crowbar?? The only time I actually used the crowbar as a weapon was to kill that poor CMB soldier in charge of the cannon and that’s it, and also I didn’t like at all.

    The gameplay was nevertheless pretty nice, to use the ant lions as your primary offensive way, and also use those ant ladies to disconnect a cable was a nice touch. But I just didn’t resist the eager to play this map a second time with ALL the weapons repertory in HL2 via impulse 101, and yeah as I expected kind of ruined the experience but that was only because the enemies restriction, because if this map would be released in some future again with Hunters, CMB elite, Helicopters or Gunships and so on would be absolutely fantastic to fight a super hard battle against a super CMB fortified position!!!! Also the Strider getting killed by that iron beam was a great way to destroy it, and that can be also used in a second re issue of this entry.

    So in conclusion now I have to tell you why this competition is a PL. And that’s it because to constrain the weapons and enemies for the sake of this PP comp. was all right, is perfect in competition terms and concept. BUT if some stand alone mod or map, mappack would be released ONLY with two kind of weapons and enemies, would be almost immediately a Think Twice for me!! I also never felt this competition forced me to think creatively as a gamer, I think if you want to try that, play portal not HL2, HL2 is about combat and some cool environmental puzzles but you not necessarily have to constrain the player choices to force him-her to think creatively.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think this is a fun and an entertaining competition that worth your time because all entries are neat in quality terms and entertaining value, but for me is just perfect to play them latter.

    1. Ade

      The crowbar was mandatory…?

      1. Hec

        YEP it seems like that was a requirement.

    2. JG

      The crowbar was a contest requirement in all the maps so, realistically, each mapper got to choose one weapon, not two. It’s nice to know mappers weren’t the only ones who found that a bit confusing. X)

      I’m not sure in what sense I could revisit Cannon Beach, though. Although there things I would like to fix (Ade’s infamous glass window and the amazing bug in Andryrain280390’s YouTube playthrough which I don’t think he noticed, but I’m shocked no one has mentioned yet!), I don’t feel it has too much merit as a standalone map. There’s not enough going on to justify making a whole mod out of it.

      1. Hec

        “I’m not sure in what sense I could revisit Cannon Beach”

        Mr. JG. I was thinking in like a super-hard core battle version of it. You Know, maybe the gamer and a group of rebels have to get rid of that cannon at all costs, but they have to battle in their way a whole CMB Elite Soldier Division, I don’t know, I imagine that would be great, like fight 3 or 6 Hunters, and maybe a Gunship. You know, I imagine that cannon as one very vital CMB position they want to defend with their lives!!

        I Just imagine the map with full weaponry available to the gamer, and so much more CMB enemies than those present in this version, but maybe is hard to revisit it that way…

        1. JG

          The level really wasn’t built for that purpose. It is structured around small-scale combat scenarios in relatively confined spaces. It wouldn’t be a trivial matter to significantly increase the number of enemies involved and the only reason it has any length at all is because of the Antlions. If you had a gun, you could run through it very quickly.

          That said, I may come back to the coastal theme at some point in the future if I can find the right project for it. I had fun trying to do the “after rain” look and there is something naturally eerie and surreal about Half-Life 2’s coast environments.

  22. This is a close competition.

  23. Well, it’s a draw for first and second place. I’ll contact everybody on my return.

  24. Play It Later

    I think there were at least all ‘good’ entries in this competition, plus the bonus map was very good.

    Canal – I liked it, but it was far too dark in most spots and I had to replay the helicopter chase a lot before I got through it. Overall though, this for me is a solid 2nd place. it was short, but I liked the look of the maps even with the darkness of lots of it. I’d like to have the lighting improved a lot in order to actually SEE the quality of the backgrounds!

    Nest – this one stuck to its guns – though I didn’t care for losing the crowbar and having to ‘find’ it again after a tremendous amount of fiddling around with grenades, it is my number 1 pick. The map was small, compact, but quite challenging in its maze like qualities.

    It frustrated me that once I got to the roof only THEN did I notice: oh I have to go back down? Came back to it later and finished it up. I figured it couldn’t be THAT easy, right? It wasn’t, it became more challenging when the grenades were used. I still don’t really understand what happened or why the building collapsed, but hey it was fun.

    Volatile – I didn’t care for this one and didn’t finish it. It suffered from being much too ambitious but without a care for normal game play conventions within the Half Life 2 setting.

    There was absolutely no indication of what to do – I restarted this map three times, twice after reading comments and seeing what was “supposed” to be done. And what was that? *something that no half life game ever indicated was possible*, banging on walls with a crowbar. Walls which I will say – have NEVER yielded anything like breaking open, in pretty much any map I’ve ever played, so why would I even consider the waste of time of banging a crowbar on a wall that is for all intents and purposes, solid?

    I got out to the hallway, and got the gravity gun, grabbed the little energy balls and proceeded to almost kill myself just wandering too close to a wall. A poor design overall. The farthest I got was looking at the glowy thing surrounded by other beams of light – beyond that, I could not find a way to get past that area and I figure there’s no compelling reason for me to try: this map failed to give the player any kind of information about what to do or where to go, or WHY to do anything at all.

    That lack of feedback is why this one ranks a very, very distant third in a contest of three.

    Canon – I liked this map a lot. Bummer that it was just a bonus map, it would probably take first if it had been finished quicker or made specific to the point of the competition. Very nicely made map and clever use of all items. Plus, Gman sighting is always a bonus for me.

    1. Just to be clear: the bonus maps have the same thematic criteria as the other entrants. The other difference is the time allowed, which is generally 10 days more.

      1. JG

        Cannon Beach basically took a month to build, from ~6/20 to ~7/16.

        1. Zekiran

          Yeah, I realize that the bonus maps aren’t just haphazardly placed. 🙂 What they’ve shown to me, more or less consistently, is that when not rushed, mappers can do amazing things. I like the idea of the short period to hash out a basic challenge map, but I’ve been overall more impressed with the extra stuff we’ve been shown either in bonus map format or separately released. I’d love to see some of the maps in these short contests be expanded into fuller mod format with more plot and further detail.

          1. JG

            Yeah, I tend to use the contests as a way to explore different ideas or settings outside of main releases. It’s research and development. 😉 I find it somewhat difficult to retrofit contest releases as main ones, however, because they typically aren’t long enough to be satisfying in a standalone environment and, as ihonnyboy demonstrated with his “Modder’s Cut” of Outpost 529, they don’t seem to attract too much attention.

  25. Play It Now!

    Nice competition. Good maps, but not all of them are very good, i think. Hard maps. Y’ve tried to pass them a lot of time :). Interesting, but really hard (a lot of enemies, small arms). Very nice pazzles & quests. Good design & hard gameplay, pazzles…. Nice competition. Volatile Energy is the best map, because he has got really unusual gameplay. This energy sticks & exploding balls… All maps are so hard. But very good)). “Play it now!”

  26. Play It Now!

    When I first heard of the idea, I thought it was very interesting to see how players can make so many combinations with only 2 enemies and 2 weapons. The results were…

    Canal Flight
    Probably my favorite map of the whole competition. I liked the visuals, the gameplay, the atmosphere, I liked most of it. Though, I didn’t like the weapon combination in this map, neither the enemy one. There is a fun boat section but the helicopter ruined it for me.

    The Nest
    This entry has probably the best atmosphere in the whole competition. It’s just amazing. But I wish the rest of the map was like the atmosphere; great. It has an interesting idea, and the design of the house is very cool, but the combination is just awful. Combining Fast Zombies and Grenades was just frustrating and stupid.

    Volatile Energy
    I will admit, I didn’t finish this map at all, due its extremely frustrating mechanics that require you to keep on backtracking, making this map my least favorite of the competition.

    BONUS: Cannon Beach
    The bonus level, like always, is great. I liked the atmosphere, the gameplay, but as Phillip mentioned it was really easy. Also that Strider part had a really weird feeling. because I didn’t understand how I killed it. I just ran away.

    CONCLUSION
    Overall, the combinations in this map aren’t exactly how I expected they would be. As maps, they’re really good, but as the combinations go, it’s disappointing.

  27. Unq
    Play It Later

    A really interesting competition theme here. It really got me thinking about the combinations possible and what I might make. Usually I’m very against not giving the player the crowbar in HL and HL2 maps, but for this competition I actually think it was an unnecessary constraint to make the crowbar one of the 2 weapons allowed. Not to say it would have changed things at all, but it certainly opens up more possibility to the mappers.

    I liked parts of each map in this pack. Canal Flight was classic HL2 action, if a little standard. I think the “combination” aspect of this map was a little bit lost; it just wasn’t that interesting to be honest. Some fun to be had here, though – some nice puzzle aspects early on, and adding an airboat was pretty impressive.

    The Nest was probably my favorite entry. Yes, the infinite fast headcrabs were uncalled for, but I think the combination of grenades and fast zombies was actually quite clever. I’ve always thought fast zombies were much more “bark” than “bite” and in the second part of the map, you only have grenades to deal with them. Some more testing could have brought more polish to this map, but as it stands it’s a nice if sometimes frustrating map.

    I liked the setting of Volatile Energy, and the use of some new game mechanics (the rechargeable inanimate carbon rod and the explosive ball), although this really could have used some testing and feedback. Things were a little obscure and I got to a point where I was stuck without a way to proceed.

    The gem of this pack is of course the bonus map. JG did a great job, first by choosing a unique combination of weapons (crowbar + bugbait), and then by designing a tight map with very clever use of space. Bugbait is really fun to use, and it’s employed to great effect here, since you have to solve puzzles with the antlions, and they really come in handy as bait themselves later on.

    Worth playing and hopefully we’ll see a return of this theme perhaps with another twist in the future.

  28. Play It Now!

    Will What to say, this could be my favorite mapping challenge, I really enjoyed the bonus at the end
    more than the entries for some reason.

    Canal Flight
    It is great!

    Will This entry was fun and short, the first puzzle was not so hard, the boring part is when you crawl through the vents, but will… Gordon Freeman is nothing without vents and crowbars, I really enjoyed the part when you shoot the combine and the airboat part with the Hunter chopper, so this map is so will done.

    The Nest
    It is great!

    This entry was interesting, I felt like it was a really interesting story, I really liked the intro it was a good with the music, it looked like the rescue squad in big shock when they saw the big nest.

    Volatile Energy
    It is great!

    Will I really liked the new gameplay elements, I didn’t have any trouble finding rechargers it was funny when I just exploded because I walked on the exploding things its a great map.

    Cannon Beach
    It is WOW!

    I know that its a bonus but I want to say that this was my favorite map for some reason.

                                                     

Reply without including a Recommendation and MetaReview Data

Recommendation System

You must be registered and logged in to use the Recommendation System.
Why not register now? It's free and easy. If you are already registered then please login.