DefendVille

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

This is the second mod in the 3×10 Mapping Competition Series.

Mapper were tasked with creating an defence scene.

There are 10 entries for this competition.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT VOTING

The vote has been reset to allow readers to vote for their top three favourite entries. If you voted for one winner, please re-vote.

IMPORTANT NOTE

Firstly, please accept my apologies for the delay in posting this mod. A number of circumstances conspired against me. The most important being my laptop dying. I have therefore be unable to play the entries, create screenshots of materials for the mod.

If there is anything wrong with the mod’s packaging please accept my apologies. I plan to update it once I get a new PC (2014!).

Thanks to everybody who helped prepare the mod, including the Beta Testers Collective, especially Ade and all the entrants.

Basic Details
  • Title: DefendVille
  • File Name: hl2-ep2-sp-ppmc-defendville.7z
  • Size : 60.30MB
  • Author: John-Paul Hartzsch AKA Rapowke, Pedro Marques AKA Dalannar, George Campbell, Will Gallagher AKA Halvgoeden, Justin Carlton AKA Sneakyspecman, Abraham Lee, Christiaan Bakker AKA AniCator, Miigga, Jason Gimba, Mark Allan
  • Date Released: 06 December 2013

Download Options

Download to your HDD [60.40MB]

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

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

About the DefendVille Theme

For this competition, you must create a scenario where you have to defend your outpost from a Combine attack.

The player should have approximately 10 minutes to prepare for the defence, including moving turrets, or other obstacles.

Ideally, the design would allow for players to try slightly different strategies on replays.

There are no limits to map(s) size or playtime. You can set the map in any environment that you want.

Entries

The entries within the mod are listed numerically by the map’s name:

Outpost 243 by John-Paul Hartzsch AKA Rapowke
Outpost 316 by Pedro Marques AKA Dalannar
Outpost 356 by George Campbell
Outpost 400 by Will Gallagher AKA Halvgoeden
Outpost 420 by Justin Carlton AKA Sneakyspecman
Outpost 529 by Abraham Lee
Outpost 754 by Christiaan Bakker AKA AniCator
Outpost 842 by Miigga
Outpost 905 by Jason Gimba
Outpost 906 by Mark Allan

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

Sponsors

SteamContests donated a $5 Steam game.
Phillip Marlowe provided a $5 Steam game.

Winner

Due to technical issues I am unable to play the entries as they were meant to be played. I have therefore decided to open this competition to a vote. In fact, from now on, that’s how all future competitions will be judged unless I can find some professional developers willing to be judges.

I will also limit future votes to registered members only.

Please see below for the poll to vote.

Background Images

I have included 1 background image. I hope to include more in a future update.

Menu Music

The background music is an edited version of “The Theatrical Poster for Poltergeist III” by Chris Zabriskie from his/her album Vendaface.

PlanetPhillip Industries Models

This mod contains custom models for certain items. The ammo crate is the most obvious and is really the “Panoramic Image” version. See if you can see the others.

Intro Video

The PlanetPhillip.Com intro video was made by Spartan301

Custom Gridview Images

No custom gridview images are included in this first release.

Special Thanks

Thanks to Christiaan Baker for making the chapter images and converting some materials to VTF

Videos

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

Screenshots

Screenshots and descriptions will be added in the future

Vote for the winner

Please vote for your favourite map. on the 20th December I will check the poll and the one with the most votes will be declared the winner.

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

13 recommendations, average score: 5 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0 (what's that?)
Total Downloads
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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 12 comment(s) with meta review data.

Installed:
Using Gauge: 0 Users
Manually: 12 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 2 Hours, 27 Mins
Shortest: 1 Hours, 45 Mins by PlanetPhillip
Longest: 4 Hours by Hec
Total Time Played: 29 Hours, 23 Mins
Jump to a review
Phillip says Play It!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play 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

79 Comments

  1. Phillip says Play It!

    I have managed to play some of all of the maps and it’s clear that this turned out to be a great competition.

    I will post a proper review when I have played all of them completely.

    1. bobdog

      That’s great to get so many participants again!! I look forward to playing and voting.

    2. JG

      It’s cool that it’s open to a vote… it’s too bad that the names are so easily confused though. X)

      Hopefully you’ll be able to play all the entries soon, Phillip.

  2. Play It Now!

    Although I don’t think I am a competitor for the first place, I really enjoyed mapping for this Contest and I am glad to see some really good maps in it.

    Outpost 243: I wont review this because it my own entry ;), but I want to thank Ade and Shaun from the BTC for their really useful feedback!

    Outpost 316: I did not like the lack of Atmosphere in this one. I also was really lost at the beginning with so many doors and no really clue from where or what to defend from. I also found it quite punishing, because of a lack of cover in the central courtyard.

    Outpost 356: I did like the Intro in this Map. Not starting with the Radio message but with some NPC’s was a great Idea. The Layout of the Map is quite nice to look at, but in the end not that great because of combines spawning more or less behind you in the Station.

    Outpost 400: I really liked the premise of you not really having a weapon and instead using the gravity gun and the sawblades as a weapon. I was really excited about this to be honest, but it did not quite work the way I thought it would. My Sawblades got lost behind the forcefields and the combine rushed me down quite hard.

    Outpost 420: Wow, what a scenery. It really looks stunning and the Dropship Armada in the beginning is quite terrifying. I also like that you get pushed back after some while and that there are Vortigaunts in the end that help you win. Really nice Design and Variety of different Gameplay.

    Outpost 529: I really like the layout and the premise of this Map. Defending the Generator or whatever this thing is, is a really cool idea. Although there isn’t really time to prepare for the Combines, the waves are smooth and they fight really good. The Strider in the end was a nice touch.

    Outpost 754: This map was clearly not finished so I don’t want to review it because that would not be fair at all.

    Outpost 842: This clearly I a Miigga Map, there is no question about it. I like that there is enough stuff to do to bridge the time in the beginning, but the puzzle to get your weapons seemed to bug out on me and I was locked inside the room behind the vent.

    Outpost 905: I really liked the premise and the Layout of this Map. It felt like Towerdefense and I am a real fan of those. I have only one problem with this map and this is the combine that spawn behind you and drop down right beside the rocket. It took me a while to notice them, as I was on the stationary gun outside.

    Outpost 906: I am really lost for words about this map. I never knew what the heck was going on.

    In the end, my personal favorites are Outpost 420, Outpost 529 and Outpost 905. All of them have seem to have some testing behind it because the gameplay was really fun. After some contemplation I choose Outpost 905 as my winner.

    1. Thanks for your review of 400, John-Paul. I’m glad you at least thought it was interesting as a concept.

      Your input on the difficulty is going to help me a lot. I didn’t even think about the sawblades getting lost outside the forcefields. Dang! I guess I could slap on an extra clip brush with a filter for the blades or something.

      I thought your map’s layout was pretty good and I enjoyed the buildup with the scanners and sound effects. I’ll do a full review after I play everything.

      Thanks again!

    2. JG

      Hey rapowke, thanks for the feedback on Outpost 905. I also saw you during Daz’s stream, though I only watched. He did shut the door, but he did not notice the shotgun or the mines… not that he would have been excited to see the latter anyway. X)

      Yes, the Combine arriving like that is kind of cruel. It is quite difficult to fail the level, though, and it is possible to make the run back to the warehouse. After watching Daz’s stream though, it would have been nice if I incorporated an “under attack” sound like Outpost 529 did, or perhaps made the window break sound play everywhere.

      1. Both, in my own and on his playthrough, the doors were open after the apc attacked. Was it supposed to mean that the rockets destroyed the door? Because after that I could not close them again.

        1. JG

          The initial swarm of rockets that the APC fires generally destroy the door control and, no, this isn’t communicated very well. It is possible for the Combine to do it themselves if this didn’t happen, but I felt that in the interest of reliability, the APC sabotages the door as its first priority. Originally, the APC destroyed the fences too – which I believe it is still scripted to do over time.

          There are actually quite a few things that don’t work. Some Combine were randomly scheduled to target the player directly instead of the rocket, but since they always see the rocket as a higher priority, it never happens. Likewise, the airboat gun – as you noticed with Daz’s playthrough – doesn’t gracefully fail. Initially, I simply killed the tank entity, but this caused the firing sound effect to loop non-stop if the player was using it when it died. Then, I tried using Deactivate on it, but that didn’t seem to do anything. So, last ditch, I set its firing rate to 0 and Deactivated, which also doesn’t really work, but achieved the goal of taking the gun out of play. In hindsight, all I probably needed to do was disable the control trigger.

  3. Play It Now!

    It’s great to have so many entries on this one.

    Outpost 243:

    I can’t say I very much liked this one. It looked visually pleasing but the combat didn’t feel very good. The fact that the only defence besides yourself are the rebels didn’t really help either. They seemed to die very easily and I was left alone with not many options to defeat the remaining combine. Another problem with the combat were the hunters. Fighting them seemed very weird because you could just stand on the upper areas and they wouldn’t be able to do much to you.

    Outpost 356:

    This one felt very well made. I especially liked the intro sequence where the various rebels respond to what is about to happen and talk back to. The only problem I had with this map was trying to find the last enemies. This is something that can also happen in my entry and unfortunately I didn’t fix it. Apart from that I really don’t have anything negative to say about this entry. It felt polished, well designed and very fun to play.

    Outpost 400:
    This is the only one I didn’t finish. The lack of weapons got me killed fairly easy and the following times a message appeared on the screen saying “A.I. disabled” and nothing would happen. I eventually gave up as the time it takes to start again is too long and there is nothing for you to do in the meantime. The inside area was nice to look at, and the bsp wood shelves looked very nice, but the outside was lacking. You could also see what I assume is the 3d skybox floating above from a few angles while looking outside.

    Outpost 420:

    This entry was my favourite of the bunch. It looks great, and it feels great. Even before the assault begins it is really nice to play. There isn’t much to explore, however what is in the map is very well implemented. The lift is really nice, loading it up with the turrets and carrying them over to the surface really gave the impression that you were preparing for a full on assault, and the rebels running around made the Outpost fell alive. The combat scripting was really nice, having the dropships fly above you. It also felt really good to be push back and having to retreat at one point. One thing stood out from the combat for me however. The helicopter was awkward to fight. You would have very limited opportunity to shoot it down before it would fly above the base and you wouldn’t be able to target it.

    Outpost 529:

    This one. It wasn’t amazing, but it also wasn’t bad at all. The beginning of the assault was very interesting, having the hunter stomp the poor rebel once you open the door, but the actual assault itself felt a bit empty. There was no sort of defences for you to place, and the area felt very small. However, the way the combine entered the area, and the addition of the mines coming in and cutting off a lot of the playable area was nice, and sort of made up for the faults of the map.

    Outpost 754:

    This one was obviously not finished, but there are still some points that can be made at it. It seemed the major problem was the author trying to go for a larger map, and ending up not having enough time to make what he initially planned. It didn’t seem to have an ending, probably it just wasn’t done, but even then a simply message on the screen would have been nice to let me know I had finished the map, instead of wasting time running around trying to find any remaining enemies.

    Outpost 842:

    Well this is a Miigga map alright. From the very get go, if you’ve played any of his maps you know to recognise it. And because this is a Miigga map, I already expected to say something along these lines. As with any of his maps (or at least those that I know of), it feels very gamey. His puzzles and environments don’t seem to make much sense which takes away from the immersion. And while the visuals look very nice, I’ve gotten somewhat annoyed at them, because it is always the same style. There also wasn’t much to do in the 10 minutes. Doing a full circuit of the map, on my first try, I managed to set up the turrets, mines, get the gear and free the vortigaunt in less than five minutes and was then left to wait until the assault started.

    Outpost 905:

    I liked the idea of defending the rocket, and the environments looked really nice. However I found some problems with the A.I. of the antlions. After placing the mines, the antlions tried to run away from them, even thought the mines did not attack the antlions. As such their movements were really weird. I also had a problem with the combine A.I.. Even though I was right in front of them they completely ignored me and proceeded to shoot against the rocket. This is turn made it pointless to cover yourself, or find health pickups. The fact that combine can simply rappel down next to the rocket didn’t help either because if the player was on the other side of the map, he probably wouldn’t be able to get back before the rocket was destroyed.

    Outpost 906:

    I’m sure I wasn’t the only one having this thought. “What the hell is going on?”. It really isn’t clear what selecting the weapons meant. I thought the ones I selected would be available for me to use, but instead it was the opposite. Also, it seems that the author missed a perfect opportunity to allow the player to choose how to defend the outpost and add extra replayability, by just allowing you to choose a few options to defend yourself with, instead of being able to pick all of them. Aside from that, “What the hell was going on?”.

    Outpost 316 (My entry):

    After more than 6 years of making maps, someone other than myself finally played it. And I must say I’m extremely disappointed in myself. It did not turn out like I wanted it to at all. And mostly it was a lack of planning and time. The original plan was to create a bunch of environmental traps that the player could use to dispatch the combine, and so, when I started I drew a basic layout of the map, said where the traps were going to be and opened up hammer. The complete lack of planning screwed me, because by the middle of the contest time I was really unsatisfied with the map that I lost almost all the will to go on. There was only thing keeping me working on it (even if by the end it was so little time), and it was my frustration of never having finished a project. I know the quality of maps I can make, and what I presented here was not it. Everything I want right now is to come December 13th, so I can redeem myself on the final 3×10 contest.

    Again, for me Outpost 420 won this one, but Outpost 905 wasn’t far behind.

    1. George

      Hi, I made 356. Thanks for the feedback. I am curious though that you couldn’t find the last enemies? I have tested this map (and so have BTC) and this has never been a problem. There is one time where a final wave of combine are not triggered if you are not in one half of the map, but this was seen as rest time until the player get’s to where they spawn, and the combine rappel down in front of the player, and the several last wave hunters spawn.

      Thanks.

      1. I had an anti-climactic ending to 356 because I killed two of the hunters and thought that’s it. There was no more music but the map didn’t end. I walked around a bit and eventually found the last remaining hunter, which I then killed. The map then ended without much fanfare.

        If you set the hunters to be in the same squad, this probably wouldn’t happen. I assume they were not in a squad.

      2. The same thing that Miigga said happened to me. There was a hunter stuck behind one of the train cars and a manhack near the top entry doors.

        1. George

          ah ok that’s fair enough. The final hunters were all in the same squad and the manhacks do not matter to the fading out, only the hunters. If a hunter got stuck due to bad nodes/AI then well that’s too bad. I even set them to know the position of the player globally and to attack the player but nevermind.

    2. JG

      Thanks for the feedback on Outpost 905, Dalannar.

      Concerning the Antlions, yes, their behavior is odd. I kind of hinted at this in my write-up on the DefendVille contest page, but what it basically came down to was this. It was getting late in development and the map was still lacking a unique hook that would make it stand out, so I returned to one of the original ideas I had for it and incorporated friendly Antlions.

      The problem was, Antlions don’t get along with Combine Mines and you can’t even use an ai_relationship entity to change this. Obviously, I couldn’t do without the mines since those eat up a lot of the setup time, but there was something very appealing about starting a map with the pheromone pod.

      So I did a little hack to the mines. There are two things that are meant to keep the Antlions away from them. The first is an ai_sound that gets broadcast using all the mines as origin points. This is a repeating “silent sound” that only the AI hears and it’s the same thing that the Antlion Thumpers use. But there was a problem with this – it didn’t work consistently. Sometimes you could grab a mine and walk towards an Antlion and it would get out of the way gracefully. Other times it would completely ignore it and detonate the mine and no amount of finagling with the timer would change this. I never worked out why this was – I don’t know if the ai_sound simply doesn’t handle groupnames well, or if Antlions are programmed to randomly ignore it sometimes, or if the ai_sound can’t “move” with the mine. For the record, point_antlion_repellent always had the same issue for me – I would put them around doorways to prevent Antlions from crowding or entering small spaces, and they’d completely ignore them. It’s also possible that it’s an issue with the way they follow the player. As described in Valve’s wiki, AI follow behaviors do not “intelligently” follow their targets, which I interpret to mean they don’t actually use path nodes in follow mode.

      So I did a last ditch attempt to fix this and it worked, but it was pretty hacky. Basically, each mine has an invisible func_brush cylinder parented to it which has npc_clip with npc_antlion as the thing to collide with. This actually kept the Antlions from triggering the mines very consistently, but it came at the cost of their mobility. To some extent, adding more info_node_air entities helped them at least shortcut over the cars by flying if they got stuck, but it’s ultimately not a foolproof thing. In the end, it was more important that the Antlions didn’t trigger the mines and undo the player’s hard work.

      1. When I was playing an antlion managed to blow itself up on one of the mines I had just placed, while I was looking the other way. It was a nice bit of emergent comedy, but it’s good that they stay away from the mines most of the time.

        1. JG

          Yes, that can happen if you’re holding a mine and you walk towards the Antlion and plant it. For better or worse, either the npc_clip doesn’t work when it is carried, or you simply can’t push enemies around with it.

          In a perfect world, Combine Mines would just obey ai_relationships like everything else does. 🙂

          1. I was wondering how you kept them away from the mines. I have to do hacky things like that in my maps all the time. The problem with doing anything unique (or that Valve didn’t do) is the simple fact that Valve never bothered programing that in.

            1. JG

              Yeah,

              I’ve kept working on Outpost 905 on-and-off and I made a couple improvements on the Antlion front. First, with the addition of more info_node_airs, particularly over the buildings, I’ve been able to mostly counteract the problematic pathing by giving them alternate routes to travel. The second is that I discovered that the method I was using to broadcast the ai_sound (the proxy object) did not take kindly to wildcard names. So, by incorporating an ai_sound into my mine template (so each mine has its own), the Antlions look more natural around them.

              Incidentally, I think the problem with my point_antlion_repellants was that I needed to manually Enable them.

    3. Great feedback, Pedro. I appreciate it.

      I agree with you that the map was way too punishing, at least for someone at my skill level. As soon as I read your review I remembered that there should have been checkpoints. Derp! Oh well. I’m sorry you felt that you couldn’t finish it. The next experience I make will be much better, I promise.

      Not sure what the problem was with the A.I. disabled message. If anyone has any clue about that, please let me know.

      Thank you for the kind words about the interior visuals. I probably spent way too much time on them, but it’s nice to see that they were enjoyed.

      Your map was huge! I was so impressed when I started walking around it. The courtyard area brushwork was inspiring. Very well done, imo. I’ll do a full review after I play everything.

      Thanks again.

    4. ***WARNING SPOILERS***

      In Outpost 906 you play different characters. That’s what may have confused you.

      In a nutshell, you are some rebel guy (or Freeman himself, why not), who is choosing some equipment to take away from Barney’s living quarters (Barney works as a covert agent infiltrated among the Combine Metro Cops for the resistance, so I guess he may have access to all that stuff).

      After you have finished choosing, you play as a Metro Cop who was sent to inspect Barney’s apartment. When you find the secret room behind the bookshelf, Barney knocks you out and blows his cover.

      You then play as Barney (you can understand this from the dead Cop’s body you see after the fade), who now has to defend his quarters against he Cops who now know of his affiliation with the rebels. According to what equipment you sent to the Outpost and what you kept for you, you can defend yourself more or less effectively.

      In the end, it is shown what the ultimate fate of the outpost is. I guess this depends on what equipment you sent to them at the beginning of the map. This means that if you leave lots of weapons to defend yourself as Barney, the outpost will most likely be overrun, while if you send most of the equipment to the outpost you will have a much harder time defending yourself but the outpost will survive the attack. I also guess that you’ll get blown up by the Strider anyway unless you leave the RPG to Barney (I haven’t tried this yet though).

      It’s a very unconventional way of telling a story but it is very memorable and it even laves a small morale in my opinion. The good of many outweights the good of the few. As the rebel who chooses the equipment, you can take everything with you and ensure the survival of the outpost at the cost of Barney’s life, or you can make his life easier and leave the people in the outpost to be slaughtered Combine.

      At least that’s what I understood.

      1. **Spoilers**

        Thank you, this is pretty much spot on. If you send all of the equipment to the outpost then nobody dies, but finishing the map with no items is extremely difficult. The only bit you missed was the very final ending vignette where you leave through the burning corridor. This was supposed to show that Barney escaped the destroyed apartment, and it happens regardless of what equipment you send. I was planning a more elaborate escape, but had computer troubles at the last minute and ran out of time.

        The aim of the map was to tell a story that interacted with the “defend” gameplay format. Clearly it confused people, but I am glad that it is at least possible to decipher it! Thanks again for the write up.

        I’ll try write my own review of the different maps soon.

        1. Couple of thing I forgot to mention in my review. I understood what was going on, but it may have helped if you started as Barney, instead of just looking at him. You use text order for the cop anyway, so you could probably have gotten away with simply saying that the player is Barney. Also, please use a save dangerous with a min hit point setting (when in the middle of a firefight, 40 or 50 would be good). The quickaves kept loading me up when I had 5 health multiple times, so I had to autosave it manually. With those exceptions, really enjoyed it.

  4. Christiaan Bakker (AniCator)

    Better luck next time in my case hopefully.
    Also Phillip, you spelled my name right initially but when you credit me for helping with the mod’s chapter and logo images you misspelled my last name. XD

  5. It’s good to see so many entries in this competition. Hopefully the third competition is just as popular! I’ll keep my comments on each map brief and miscellaneous.

    243- I remember being bored stiff by the beginning wait in the beta, good to see it cut down to something reasonable. The architecture has some nice detail in spots but feels very bland overall. I think it’s the combination of the concrete sewer setting, all-white lighting and repetition in the canals, walls and roof. The attack works fines but nothing unexpected happens. Having a linear escape sequence after the attack area was an interesting difference in pace. The rebels were too scared to follow me up the big adult steps.

    316- I’m mixed on this map. I really like the look of the hospital and the way it is broken into courtyards connected by two levels of corridor. The combat though is a bit much, I was swamped pretty quickly. I only survived by hiding on a second story corridor because the combine didn’t want to climb the stairs. I had some fun tossing grenades out the window but I was unable to gain any ground and eventually gave up without finishing the map.

    356- The npc scripting in the opening was a nice bit of polish. I’m not sure that I can say much about this map, but that’s not a bad thing! The long train-station arena works well, and the number of enemies is enough to eventually overwhelm the player without being frustratingly difficult.

    400- The arena looks and plays decently, though it could use more cover. It was nice to have a few sawblades tossed in there. The wait at the beginning is far too long, and the pacing after that isn’t great. The attacks come rather slowly. I have to admit that I didn’t finish this map.

    420- The scale on this map is impressively large, in a way that Valve shies away from in the Half-Life games. When throwing large numbers of npcs around to shoot at each other there’s a risk of the gameplay feeling diffuse or pointless. The action here though of holding out, falling back, and regaining ground feels very definite and gives a flow to the map. The realisation that the purpose of the cargo lift was, in fact, to move cargo I also enjoyed. One flaw in this map is the helicopter fight- it is a bit repetitive, and fighting a single helicopter and nothing else for several minutes feels strange given the scale the rest of the attacks have.

    529- I liked the emphasis on vertical space here. The combine waves come rather too slowly. I never felt at risk of being overwhelmed, it was a mop-up the whole way through. Tying waves to a timer rather than waiting for every enemy to be taken down before sending the next lot in might have increased the pressure. I found the strider to be a pushover, but it does its job of capping the map off well enough. I must admit that I didn’t understand the conceit of defending the generator, mainly because I forgot about it once I had parked my butt on the turret.

    754- As has been noted, this map is unfinished in a very serious way. I’m not sure whether to praise or condemn the creator for entering a map in this state. I’m a sucker for large arenas that let you roam around different areas so I had some fun with it. If the architecture was finished, more events were added throughout the different areas, and it was given an ending, this could be quite a good map.

    842- Filling the pre-attack preparations with puzzles creates a feeling of racing against time, something the other maps lacked. The space is large but detailed, with a lot of neat nooks and crannies. The waves of enemies can be overwhelming, but there are plenty of supplies, and it cannot be said that the player wasn’t warned of the attack in advance!

    905- The combat area looks very nice. The lane layout combined with the turrets reminded me of turret defence games, which is very appropriate for this competition. The combine that rappel next to the rocket are easy to miss, but the rocket health text tips you off just fine. The helicopter fight makes a decent finale.

    906- My entry! There is a lot I could write here, but I think I will leave it for now. Suffice to say that while I achieved my goals and am happy with the overall quality, I regret, but am not surprised, that many people found it disjointed and confusing.

    When it comes to picking a winner it’s a choice between 905 and 420. The former is very consistent and has the defence gameplay down pat. I enjoy some good bombast though, so I have to go with 420. The spectacle of a dozen dropships flying overhead is hard to beat.

    1. Thanks for the review of 400, Officer_B. Sorry to hear you couldn’t finish it, but I definitely understand why. Your feedback will help me improve!

  6. I have reset the votes and allowed everybody to select their top three maps

    1. Pretty sure you can still only vote for one map

    2. Yeah, same here.

      EDIT: Works now. 😉

    3. You might want to add that up above, as I’m sure some people wouldn’t see this here in the comments section before they voted.

      P.S. I registered now too.

      1. JG

        Agreed, the language should reflect that you should pick your top three. It still says to pick one.

  7. Play It Now!

    Wow, what a successful competition! 10 entries and many of them were pretty good! I’ll review everything below but first.

    Phillip, if you use any weird keybinds when testing maps, please restore them to default before relasing the mod. When I started playing, all keyes were bound completely wrong, pressing P deleted my HUD and weapon model, quick weapon switch was enabled for some reason, and graphical settings were set to low.

    Thanks a bunch for removing that glow on the item crate model, though.

    Huge review incoming, brace yourselves!

    ***WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW***

    OUTPOST 243

    This map has very simplistic visuals, with blocky shapes and a noticeable absence of models. However, lighting is quite fine and not boring to look at. Gameplay in this mapi is basic and nothing really memorable, but the play area is well-designed and allows the player to make some choices when attacking enemies. There is a notable lack of tactically viable objects such as turrets and mines, which tends to make the map too much arena-like and not enoungh defense-like. I liked the possibility of reaching the outside after the Hunter fight, although the outdoor area is very forgettable. I guess that the map is supposed to end after you leave the white building, but it’s just kind of abrupt and doesn’t really make any sense. I think there should have been a road/canal/street/whatever leading to a vehicle or some escape path.

    The gameplay here is balanced enoungh but not very memorable. It’s good to play as an arena but that’s it, after killing all the bad guys nothing special happens.

    OUTPOST 316

    This is a very good map. While the visuals are not super-detailed or incredibly well designed, the fog helps create a good atmosphere even without amazing graphics. The combat is very well made, and I actually felt in danger, always trying to crossbow the Combine while looking after the turrets at the same time without getting myself killed (the fact that turrets have friendly fire enabled didn’t help, but I actually like it, it spices up things). This map is also the first one that led me to almost sacrifice myself for my turrets. Hunters are formidable turret busters, so to keep them away from them I ran behind the hunters while shotgunning them in the face and trying to get them to chase me. In the end I managed to take them out without completely losing turret support against Combine soldiers but boy was it hard. However, the absence of autosaves made them map frustrating at first until I learned to quicksave every now and then.
    At the end, some of the Combine soldiers were lost around the huge building so I had to go hunting them in order to finish the map. I suggest the mapper to use aiscripted_schedules to force any stray Combine unit that is just sitting ducks to run to the player.

    Certainly a good map that will get you in full adrenaline mode!

    OUTPOST 356

    Oh my. This map is insane. The Combine do not come from where the “defensive positions are”, which is a good thing, but the assault starts very suddenly and has a very high chance of catching you by surprise, and it can be quite hard to reposition everything in time for when the Hunters arrive. Speaking of hunters, they were incredibly hard. The rebels were quickly slaughtered by them. Their high health coupled with their ability to take down turrets at all ranges made them extremely hard to beat and I quickly found myself running around the underpass, scavenging health and using hit-and-run guerrilla warfare tactics to kill them without getting killed myself. Quicksaving was vital here.

    It’s an extremely hard map, but you know that a map is good when you have to resort to guerilla warfare to take out your enemies.

    OUTPOST 400

    This map was broken for me. Initially it worked fine, but loading a saved game on this level permanently disables the AI. The console reports that apparently there is no nodegraph for this map, which is quite strange as until I loaded a saved game after dying the Combine soldiers moved around quite well. I doubt this is the mapper’s fault but I wonder why it only happened on this particular level. Anyway, as I have just said, soldiers navigation is very well done in this map, I really like how shotgun-armed enemies run straight up to you trying to inflict as much damage as possible while the others run and take control of the upper area. The task of placing the defensive panels while waiting for the attack was a good way to avoid boring the player to death, good job on that, although I would have much appreciated the presence of a turret or some mines.

    This is a quite good map, if a bit hard. There little actually usable cover because the metal panels don’t fully cover the player. The presence of many physical objects helps spice up the battle, and enemies move around quite smartly. That is, until you load a saved game.

    OUTPOST 420

    Professional-quality map with a lot of cool quirks and things you can use. Top-notch visuals that really make the Source Engine show its power even in the day of Crytek 3. I really liked the ability to mess around with more than just mounter AR2s. The elevator thing was very useful to transport turrets up and down the tunnel, and during the last minutes of the attack it could also be used to send active turrets in “gunning runs” by loading them in and sending them up where the Combine were. Definitely a fantastic feature that I really enjoyed. While the Combine assault relies quite a bit on pre-scripted events, it was fun to play nonetheless, and all in all it was a very fun map. It was just enough challenging. If I really had to make criticism, the heavy reliance upon scripted events to make the Combine advance and the general small size of the interior area made turret placing spots very obvious and didn’t make the map very strategic. Sometimes I also felt like I counted less than zero in this huge warfare going on on its own, especially in the second part.

    A very fun map to play, with some cool features and stunning visuals.

    OUTPOST 529

    The visuals in this map are just enough good to stop from looking ugly. The lighting is quite drab but that is partially made up for with some colorful buildings that stick out in the generic white/grey color scheme of the level. Combat in this map wasn’t very good however. While the Combine had quite a few entry points, they didn’t seem to utilize them to their full extent. Seeing as there is a mounted machine gun that overlooks nearly the entire map, it is way too easy to mow down the too small amount of soldiers before they reach the base. I certainly appreciated the goal of protecting the generator, but I could literally play the map with only one hand on the mouse to control the mounted gun while drinking coffee with the other. The second part gets you quite by surprise. You’re wondering “that’s it?”, and then a Strider and Hunters come in. However, just as before, it’s still a bit too easy. The Strider stupidly blows up cover for his own head and the Hunters can’t do much against the mounted gun, especially since there’s a Medic healing the player. The battle against the Strider was a bit better since I was in a hurry to destroy it before it blew up the generator, but again, not as hard as it should have been.

    This map is way too easy and doesn’t communicate a sense of haste or danger. The drab color scheme doesn’t help either.

    OUTPOST 754

    Having dev textures in your map is unacceptable. There is no excuse, it takes literally 10 seconds to open the texture application tool, choose any non-dev texture from the list and right click on untextured or devtextured faces. The arena seemed to be designed for a long, multi-stage fight with several spawn points for the Combine. Pity that actually Combine units are only partially scritped and there are way too few of them. Not a fun map to play because of the loads of unused space and unclearly marked Combine entrance areas. I already mentioned the visuals and I don’t think they need any further commenting.

    Next time, if you know that you won’t be able to give decent visuals to your map, why not try making it abstract/virtual reality/Tron style? I think that in a competition from several years ago there was a virtual reality-style map and it was actually pretty good (I think it was in GravityGunVille but I’m not 100% sure). The lessened detailing work should allow you to concentrate more on gameplay so that while your map may not have the greatest visuals, they will still make some sense (Abstraction or VR is always a decent excuse for blocky layouts provided that you do some creative use of textures) and it will be fun to play.

    OUTPOST 842

    Miigga’s unique style welcomes us to yet another well-designed arena level. I really like how you can complete mini-puzzles to earn better gear before the attack starts. The visuals are very good as usual, and there are some memorable pieces of architecture, particularly the generator hanging upside-down from the ceiling with those huge pipes! reminds me of a spider for some reason. Anyway, the gameplay is pretty solid. This is not exactly a hard map but quite challenging nonetheless. Because of the vast amount of cover and Combine entry points in the area, turrets are quite easily knocked off, although there is a vantage point they can be placed in. The Strider battle is thankfully different from the boring “camp by rocket crate, pop out of cover, launch missile, rinse and repeat”. The rockets are scattered all around the arena requiring you to make mad dashes from cover to cover and from rocket to rocket; this mechanic makes really good use of the Strider’s tendency to only hit the player with the last few shots of a burst. The only thing which I can’t understand is why the ending is so abrupt. Why not leave the player 10-20 seconds to admire what remains of the Strider he has just demolished before fading out the screen?

    Definitely a well-designed, visually stunning map with solid gameplay. The battle at the end is really good and hard enough to keep you on your toes. Still, I think Miigga could at least try giving his maps even just a hint of context.

    OUTPOST 905

    This is definitely a high-quality map. The visuals are very good, with lots of detail and pretty particle effects (so many, in fact, that I had to switch off anti-aliasing for this map, but that’s just my low-end computer). The color scheme contains once again a good amount of grey, but at least this time there are many details to spice up the atmosphere. The addition of water is also a good idea to liven up the terrain. Gameplay is all in all good. I like the fact that I was not the main target, and instead I had to defend an object. It prevents camping strategies and gives the player something to constantly worry about. There were enough enemies to make the map challenging but not so many to create a zerg rush-type attack. The final helicopter fight is very good. I really like how you don’t just have to machine gun it for 10 minutes but as the thing gets angrier it blows up the gun and forces you to use its own mines against it. The way it drops mines also makes the job more challenging.

    This is a very good map that provides quality gameplay without being frustrating or excessively hard, while still keeping you on your toes. Additional kudos for good difficulty balance on this one.

    OUTPOST 906

    Oh. My. God. This map deserves the medal of “Most Original 2013”. I really like the double consequence of the equipment choice. The fact that you play as Barney having to defend his own quarters against his ex-colleagues is a real twist, and the ultimate fate of the actual outpost is an even bigger twist. The idea of sacrificing yourself for the outpost is great; I left the RPG to them so in the end the Strider blew Barney up, but at least they survived. I have to say that this is one of the few videogame levels that made me think about greed and the need of others. Kudos to the mapper for that. The visuals are! fine. Kind of blocky, but the action takes place in a tidy apartment so it’s OK. Gameplay-wise, the map is structured more like an old-school arena than an actual stand-off scenario, but running and gunning around is still quite fun and the map is challenging enough. While it is quite short, the story and morale definitely make up for it.

    This is a very memorable map that will get your brains working. There is even a “morale”, in a way, if you think about it. While it may not be the most stunning visually or the most well-articulated in gameplay, this level very much deserves a place in the Hall of Fame for its original story.

    All in all this was a very successful competition and while some of the maps are not that good, there is lots of quality gameplay available nonetheless. I definitely recommend playing this mod as you’ll certainly have some fun!

    1. Phillip, if you use any weird keybinds when testing maps, please restore them to default before relasing the mod.

      I deleted the config file before releasing the mod. What else should I have done? And if you use different keybinds to me then it is you who have weird settings! 😉

      1. JG

        Along the same lines, I think you forgot to clear out the SAVE folder, Phillip. I got a ton of save games with my DefendVille installation. 😉

        Also, minor bit, but the link in the gameinfo.txt points to AmbushVille. Not sure if that’s even still used, but there it is.

        1. WOW, looks like I missed a bunch of things. Sorry guys.

      2. I think I had the same problem. When I first started playing the mod for instance, moving backwards was bound to space and moving forward was bound to R.

    2. Thanks for the feedback on 316. The problem with the stray combine, I found out after having sent the entry was happening because the squad they were in was full. The way it is set up is using an npc_enemyfinder that scans the map for the player’s position, and having it on the same squad as all the enemies. Unfortunatly there were just too many combine to fit in the same squad and some of the latter ones just ended up not knowing where the player was and as such they just stood still.

      I myself can’t decide whether or not I like the dificulty of the map. To me, playing it on easy seemed like normal to hard dificulty (which is great because I tend to play most games on the hardest dificulty), but bumping it to normal turned the dificulty way up. A lot of it was due to all combine having 5 grenades at their disposal, and after seeing Daz’s stream of it, the map can really turn into a grenade fest. I tried compensating this by having a lot of them drop health pickups but perhaps they were not enough.

      1. I liked the difficulty in your map, actually. It really made it feel like a live-or-die, last stand situation, and it also made proper turret placement vital. As I said, it’s the first map which made me risk my life for my “allies” (turrets). It is a map that really makes your hand sweat on the mouse and clench your teeth, which is very good and not present in many maps.

        The only real problem that you MUST remember to avoid for your next map are autosaves… even a logic_timer activating an autosave entity every minute would have been fine, or even one just after the assault starts so that if I die at least I can avoid having to wait 10 minutes again.

        1. JG

          Well, you want to be a little judicious about autosaves. Ever since Steampipe, these are times when autosaves will sporadically grind the game to a halt for several seconds (you actually see this in 905 right before the assault begins). I don’t know if we’ve ever gotten to the bottom of what causes that, but F6 will also cause it sometimes.

    3. Thank you for the kind words about 400, Blazer. I’m glad you thought the soldier movement was cool. That took me a long time. The map breaking was an error on my part, and will not happen again in future maps. Thanks for playing!

  8. At the moment I’m only going to comment on Outpost 420.
    This map is stunning. The design and gameplay are fantastic and it is the only map that I wanted to replay until I had completed it.

    Many of the other maps are just too frustrating to replay.

    420 isn’t hugely challenging but it is the most entertaining. I was occupied for the full 10 min set up time.

    I’d also like people to take note of the well scripted escalation and the way your auto turrets give out one by one, forcing you back to the basement. This is almost Valve quality in its execution and should be hugely applauded.

    Will comment on other maps here later but for now I’ll just say this is the clear winner for me.

  9. Play It Now!

    It took me a while, but here are my thoughts.

    Outpost 243
    A somewhat generic experience. There is no setup or base defense, the combat begins when the startup music ends. it could have really benefited from some music during the ambush itself or at least a soundscape in the first area. Leaving the outpost had some potential for making the map feel more than just a defensive scenario, but it wasn’t fully realized, most likely due to time.

    Outpost 316
    The combine had a bad time with my turret placement, which is nice. Like the last entry, soundscapes would have helped fill the silence before the attack. I’m not sure what I did by turning on the basement generators. I had to play cleanup with the combine who forgot what they were supposed to be doing and instead opted to stare at a wall or two. An ai_scripted_schedule set for npc_combine_s could help put them back on track at the end, keeping the player from having to hunt them down. Some assaults could have forced the hunters into the open where they could have done some more damage. Instead, they were easy to pick off. Entry was somewhat easy, but solid overall.

    Outpost 356
    This one was a real baptism by fire compared to the first two. I had my defenses spread out a bit too much, and it led to me scrambling around. Though the spread out nature of the combat was a little draining, since the player is needed pretty much everywhere at once. It felt like the turrets and mines hardly did anything. I like the use of dialog at the beginning. The hunters were much more effective in this entry. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I enjoyed the setting. It had a very nice Half Life vibe to it.

    Outpost 400
    A couple of failings kept me from enjoying this entry unfortunately. First, the panels confused me, as they didn’t seem to provide any real cover. They also glitch. When I put up a panel, it would disappear from my hand, but not reappear on the studs until I touched it with a second panel. Next problem, I died due to a lucky grenade from the combine. No autosave… After this, I figured out an easy way to pick the door guys off. You just put a pushcart in the doorway and they can’t enter the building. Next problem, if you break all the crates at the start of the map looking for supplies, you wind up with no way to get more health, with the exception a few vials the combine drop. I had to cheat to survive it.

    Outpost 420
    I’m a little less satisfied with this map compared to others I have made. The dropship idea were practically the reason I decided to enter. Typically, I don’t like defensive scenarios because they tend to be a little bland gameplay wise and they are also rarely unique (several entries in this comp managed to break out of that expectation). I wanted two things, two give the player a sense of being overwhelmed, and a large epic battle. Overall, I was satisfied (and somewhat surprised) with how well it came together. However, it lacked a bit of the element of fun and uniqueness I usually strive for. It seems a common critique is that players feel like they don’t count for much in the battle. Since your participating, you don’t see how badly they get hurt without you. The vorts don’t help with that feeling of not being necessary. You can’t really tell them what to do in the middle of a fight, they are just coded aggressive I guess. With more time I might have been able to balance it a bit more, but it was hard enough to tweak it to the point it was even playable. Playtesting also revealed that the chopper hid too often, but at that point, I had no time to go back and completely redesign it.

    Outpost 529
    Didn’t quite follow the comp rules, but a fun area. The hopper mines and the dropships got a little repetitive, but the changing enemy placement kept it fresh. However, I have a pet peeve about enemies on the roofline. Especially when I can’t tell where I’m being shot from due to my allies firing all over the place as well.

    Outpost 754
    Always nice to have some custom music, and quite a large area you have to defend. A dropship glitches and I had to noclip to kill the soldiers stuck inside of it. Afterwards nothing happened. Map was clearly unfinished (the dev textures kind of give it away).

    Outpost 842
    It’s a Miigga map (that should tell you most of what you need to know). Simple puzzles to take up your time help flesh out the beginning and make it feel different from the other entries. I kind of missed the big yellow arrows at first, because I looked to the side and just started walking. I got the battery the hard way, with the crowbar and patience. A nice side effect of his mapping style is that you don’t have a clue where the combine will come from, which is refreshing compared to the other entries. I got a kick out of the melon dispenser. The countdown was also appreciated. When the combine do arrive, the sandbox is appropriately sized to give you a good variety of combat. The vort trying to kill the strider was rather amusing, especially since the vort wasn’t even worth the striders time 😀

    Outpost 905
    It’s been a while since I last saw antlions in play. Challenging enough without being too difficult. There could have been a little more variety in the chopper fight (not like I can throw stones). Overall a good map, if simpler than some of the others. The update on the rocket health was appreciated.

    Outpost 906
    Haha, a roomba. Some real originality with this one. The only thing I didn’t like was the auto spawning repelling enemies, especially because they would immediately spawn again as soon as you turned your back. It was satisfying to see the result of your hard work, no casualties from the outpost. Just Barney, his refrigerator, and a lot of combine.

    Overall, I would give it to 842, 906, and 905. They were the ones I had the most fun with.

    1. JG

      Thanks for the feedback on 905, Sneaky. 🙂

    2. Thanks for the feedback on 400, Justin. That’s hilarious that you just trapped the Combine outside the room. My most massive failure in this map was not having it tested before release by anyone other than a close friend. As Dr. Claw would say, “next time…”

      Your map was amazing, by the way. It reminded me of Halo CE in the best way possible.

  10. Play It Now!

    Great competition everyone, and great maps.

    **WARNING!**
    **MAP SPOILERS BELOW**

    You can read the full reviews here. Unfortunately the chapter links do not work because Google hates .pdf or something.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzQEF3m3xkM-QlpZZjM4XzV1QmM/edit?usp=sharing

    Some quick overall impressions of each map:

    Outpost 243:
    difficult, dim, empty, shapely, exciting

    I didn’t have any major issues with this map other than it’s difficulty, and the amount of effort put into it is very clear. Honestly, the only semi-objective thing I can think of to complain about is the lack of prop detail and interesting lighting in the main arena.

    Station 316:
    maze, hordes, punishing, pretty, atmospheric

    It’s a great looking map where it matters. The difficulty is huge if you lose your defensive setup, and there are so many enemies. The map feels like it’s really just one room once the combat starts, which is unfortunate.

    Outpost 356:
    small, dynamic, balanced, canon, bright

    This was a great looking map and I had a lot of fun playing it. The brushwork felt like is was right out of Half Life 2 and the battle was intense enough to make me panic enough a couple of times without feeling overwhelmed.

    Outpost 400 – Surge Protector:
    broken, monochrome, packed, boring, easy

    This was my map. I think its only redeeming quality is the visuals. Since it’s my map, I’ve included a full extremely critical review of it at the bottom of the full list. It’s more of a reflection or post-mortem, I guess.

    Outpost 420 – Without Hope:
    huge, themed, balanced, emotional, multifaceted

    Definitely my favorite map in the pack. The defensive scenario that actually evolves as you play was so cool, and the whole map looked fantastic.

    Outpost 529:
    small, pretty, tense, tricky, climactic

    Really fun map! Intense moments, need for player decision making, and very nice looking. Also loved that there was an actual object to defend.

    Outpost 754:
    unfinished, hordes, boxy, conceptual, headcrabs :3

    Clearly this map just suffers from a lack of time the author was able to put in, but I’m glad it was submitted. It has some definite good parts despite the lack of visual iteration and combat balance.

    Outpost 842:
    dark, easy, spacious, puzzles, decisions

    I had fun playing this map, even if the Vort does make it a little bit too easy. I can imagine it’s super easy for more advanced players. I definitely felt like I was defending a base, though. Also, it looks awesome.

    Outpost 905:
    easy, frustrating, beautiful, themed, canon

    This map’s visuals appealed to me the most, and it seemed to be a great area to fight in. Unfortunately the combat was way too easy when directly engaging the enemy, and defending close to the base felt futile once the soldiers piled up and the doors opened.

    Outpost 906:
    confusing, cramped, exciting, decisions, movement

    I think the concept for this map was great, but the explanation was a bit lacking. Overall it’s definitely fun and really nails the theme. It looks pretty good as well.

    1. JG

      There is some broken logic in Outpost 905 that was meant to have some of the Combine go after you instead of the rocket. Unfortunately, because of the way I set up the ai_relationships and some incorrectly wired logic_cases, it pretty much never happens in practice. Thanks for the feedback!

    2. WOW, that is a HUGE review! Thanks for all the feedback.

    3. Wow that’s quite a review you have there. It is very much appreciated, and now I’m feeling that I didn’t do people justice with my small little review/remarks. I might try to be a bit more constructive next competition when it comes to feedback. After reading your’s I can really see how gratifying it is to have people review your work in greater detail.

      Thank you so very much for that.

  11. Hec

    I GOT AN “AI DISABLED” PROBLEM IN THE “OUPOST 400” ENTRY, HOW CAN I SOLVE THAT????

    THE PROBLEM STARTS ONCE I MAKE AN F9 RELOAD….

    1. Hec

      Never mind though it was a weird problem, I completed the entry via GOD cheat.

  12. Hec
    Play It Now!

    Well boy, overall another great and fun competition. I believe this one, Ambushville, and most likely Sniperville are the best 3 competition in PP.com comps history. I surely recommend this one as a Play it Now because the entertaining and especially combat value is absolutely high!! but I guess due to the barely static dynamic of the whole topic makes this comp not a WOW Personal favorite.

    So Let’s get started!

    Outpost 243 by John-Paul Hartzsch AKA Rapowke.
    Pretty nice entry to open the competition. and believe me, being the one who inaugurate an event is never an easy thing, but I guess this entry makes a good job on that.
    The whole sewer environment is fair enough well executed and the combat down there is pretty good too, this map start with an incressendo logic first the annoying manhacks then the troops and last the lovely-hectic hunters, then the feeling to escape the outpost being the last survivor and see that blinding light outside is a nice touch.

    Outpost 316 by Pedro Marques AKA Dalannar.
    This was felt more like an arena style map, tough you have to defend the main yard and a second one which is little and where the hunters get into the complex. In the pros side, I consider this map was good at offering the player the chance to plan an strategic defense using turrets and hoop mines, also the combat was intense and pretty nice, also that flooded basement part was great offering the player some time to play his newt move when health is kind of low. In the cons I just guess this map would be better used with some rebels aid on your side, being a big arena to defend.

    Outpost 356 by George Campbell.
    This was a pretty impressive map, and a lovely realistic scenario where rebels have to defend their outpost being this one a train station. The combat is intense, you also have plenty of supply and rebel troops on your side so I didn’t feel lonely, and I love the combination of CMB overwatch elite troops and a mini swarm of hunters at the end. Overall a cool entry that would deserve 4th place.

    Outpost 400 by Will Gallagher AKA Halvgoeden.
    This one was maybe the blandest entry of them all. Also I experienced some technical issues on this one with that weird “Ai disabled” problem when I apply the F9 quick save, maybe because it was not properly tested.
    But letting the technical problems apart, I found this really hard to beat, I actually did it on god mode because of that said issue, mainly because the total lack of a health and HEV charge station, that would have been better than have to pick the portative health packs of the dead CMB soldiers you kill. Then the weapon offer in this map was just terrible! the SMG is fair OK but you forcedly have to rely most of the combat on the Gravgun and saw blades which combat against the CMB is just a weapon that sucks, I mean, against zombies and maybe headcrabs is OK, but against CMB troops that shoot at you is just a bad selection, Also some rebels to help you could have come handy because the last CMB swarm at the end is just too much for the player to resist, and that’s kind of annoying. So I guess with some improvement taken from the feedback this map can be better.

    Outpost 420 by Justin Carlton AKA Sneakyspecman.
    I just love this entry and for me it was the absolute winner, as I voted for this one. What can I say, Sneakyspecman is a great, really great mapper (I’d say he’s like Adam Foster, especially making outdoor forest maps) I think he’s actually kind of under estimated and, just being serious he is a great author, because their layouts are so dynamic and smartly planed. I just love his maps, and I can’t wait for see some complete mod from him! Now talking about this entry, I guess for me this is the way a defense map should be, I mean, a fortress where you have many gun turrets posts and many rebel troops on your side, and you have a direct pushing frontal offensive from the enemy, so that forces you to push back and then just repel the aggression with fire power. Now, the scenic view was just lovely done and I just love this forest scenery. the CMB offensive waves were absolutely realistic and those airborne troops invasion was a super powerful moment in the map, I actually felt so immerse by the action on this entry that I played it twice, just because I loved the rushing action so much! Overall this was a great entry that definitely deserves to win, also it has the most votes and I would be kind of pissed off if doesn’t get the right award or proper recognition.

    Outpost 529 by Abraham Lee.
    This was also a cool entry that I’d place maybe in a 5th place as a competition. the map size is mainly narrow but the strike is also frontal and you have some rebels on your side that just doesn’t die easy and actually help you win, the central mounted gun is the most valuable strategic place you have to take care of, and lastly that strider at the end is the perfect touch to close the map, so is overall an entertaining great little map.

    Outpost 754 by Christiaan Bakker AKA AniCator.
    As a map it’s clear it was totally unfinished. But as a project in progress it would be terrific and worthy to see it properly finished, because the whole thing is like a superb fortress in the middle of the dessert, so I hope his author consider to done it right and don’t abandon the map. I guess the main problem was that he was just too way over ambitious and just didn’t finished on time, the first wave of CMB combat was cool and fun, but then it just stopped and that’s a terrible feeling, just terrible, so that makes this entry also another pretty bland one.

    Outpost 842 by Miigga.
    Who doesn’t like Miigga’s maps? Really, I mean, they always offer good things in maps, smart puzzles and terrific great intense combat! So this was also not the exception and it’s a great entry, I also love to have the rebels by my side to help me in the blood struggle and a friendly Vorti to help me out, so that was a novelty in Migga’s map that I just loved and that last strider to end the map was also pretty nice. The whole map is like a semi-circular arena where combat and different strategies are at hand of the player, also is the only one who actually gives you exactly 10 min to plan your defensive moves. So in this occasion I’d give this Miigga’s entry the well deserved bronze medal of the 3rd place.

    Outpost 905 by Jason Gimba.
    A beautiful map. Pretty nice lay out overall, also the logic is very realistic and you actually have a serious purpose to defend the outpost, being that valuable rocket or warhead so precious for the rsistance. I just love the whole idea. also there are not rebels to help you directly on this one, but you have those very helpful ant-lions, to kill the CMB malefactors. The combat progress is also incressendo from manhacks to helicopter strike at the end, and I guess this entry was the toughest of them all. But overall, a great entry that deserves he silver 2nd place medal, in my voting preferences.

    Outpost 906 by Mark Allan.
    This was a pretty weird final entry. I didn’t catch the whole plot of this one, I guess the player is a member of the metrocops who actually helps the rebels or something like that as I understood. Overall the defense was hectic in this one and the combat was almost body to body, also I didn’t understood why I had to pick the weapons at the beginning, I pick many of them that just didn’t appear then, also is not clear when the strike begins, then you release that the trigger is maybe to turn down the radio. This was at least a finished map but also kind of bland.

    IN CLNCLUSION.
    This was a great memorable competition that really it deserves to be played, also that guy on the radio message must be a British member of the rsistance judging by his accent… LOL 🙂 a great competition you must play, I really feel PP brings map and mod production back to life in this pretty scarce mod production times.

    1. George

      Hi, thanks for your review on 356!

      I am a little puzzled because there are no combine elite soldiers 🙂

      Unless you mean the shotgun variant and the normal combine with AR2/SMG1 mixtures.

      1. Hec

        Yeah, I mean the white Combine soldiers, those with a big “red eye” visor, I think they are Overwatch troops usually they port Pulse rifle AR2 as they regular combat weapon. I like to battle against them in HL2 world because they let their AR2 ammo and pulse grenades once you kill them.

        Thanks for this map was cool to play all the time 🙂

        1. George

          Thanks again, I don’t want to be annoying but really, there are no white overwatch combine elite soldiers in the map :p

    2. Thanks for the review. You definitely got what I was going for. 🙂

      1. Hec

        Yeah I think that makes your map a good one, me as a gamer I felt connected with the concept. 🙂

    3. Hec, thank you for your review of 400. The overall difficulty and poor pacing have been commonly reported issues with this map. Of course the map is also broken if it is reloaded, and you are correct that it is due to a lack of testing on my part.

      Thank you for playing, though. Your feedback will definitely help me improve!

      1. Hec

        Thanks to you for sharing us your work. I believe the concept is cool, I mean to defend a short area, this map definitely can be improved and maybe a part of a bigger map pack or a mod, I hope you can work on something like that sometime, with more freedom especially in time work issue, I’m sure you can do a cool job! 🙂

    4. JG

      Hec, was Outpost 905 the “toughest” in terms of difficulty, or did you mean something else by that? If so, what in particular made Outpost 905 especially difficult? 🙂

      1. Hec

        Hi JG! I meant difficult, because was especially challenging to take care of the rocket especially at the last moments, where the last waves of CMB soldiers storm the warehouse by the roof of it, the helicopter stalking at every second didn’t give enough rest!, and also those hunters at the end were the most difficult, I died trying to save the rocket at the last moments like 3 or 4 times… Then I discover those ant lions were my best pals dealing against the CMB troops and I took over the Hunters, but overall it was a map that always put me on the edge of rush and combat action, a feeling which overall I love! Thanks for this fantastic map! I hope you could give us a full mod sometime! 🙂

        1. JG

          Okay, I just wanted to make sure I understood you correctly. I ended up giving the rocket quite a lot of “health” and tried to err on the side of too much. I can usually save the rocket with about 70%-80% left, but I know the optimal placement for things and where I need to be when stuff happens, so I figured that would be a fair estimate.

          I’ve done some things off-line to improve the balance though, to try to kick players off the mounted gun if they use it too much and get the Combine to divide their attention between the rocket and the player. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it in the long run – it’s much too short to be a standalone release and I’m not enthralled enough with the concept to expand the level, so I might save it for a “contest pack” down the line or something. No promises.

    5. Happy to hear you enjoy my maps so much!

      1. Hec

        Your welcome!! thanks to you to make this fantastic maps!! I hope you have plans for some big deal mod!! I know is a tough work but with you as a mapper it definitely worth! Yeah I can say I am your fan as gamer! 🙂

  13. Ade
    Play It Now!

    243
    I knew the map and I still died once, this, like most of the entries, are super hard even on replays. I didn’t like that I’m given some barrels and explosives but no ggun to maneuvre them. The medic dies pretty quickly and only 1 health charger is just too little for the amount of combine coming at me.
    The game doesn’t really end, I meet an invisible wall after which it fades to black but comes back into the light, bug? A decent entry to warm us up.
    Playtime: 8m

    316
    The light goin down was nice, but other than that, pure combine fest. I took this screenie http://i.imgur.com/yiNvonY.jpg in the beginning and it did not get any easier! I was ‘stuck” in the same place Daz was for most of the map, and I would just spam nades, waiting for the damn enemies to stop spawning already. In the end I was “wow that felt like 1000 combine.. bad bad bad!’
    Playtime: 28m!

    356
    In this entry, the fight was actually shorter than the wait, maybe because I tested it before. Nothing stood out for me in this one.
    Playtime: 9m

    400
    The warehouse is looking pretty good, but no health around when the combine come and after I die, I get AI disabled so can’t really finish this entry. Looked like it had potential.
    Playtime: 16m

    420
    Best looking map so far and I knew it well enough not to die. I did experience a bug, a sound loop of the main machine gun firing even after it was destroyed. Other than that, so far this is the winner from looks and gameplay, but the feeling of defending something wasn’t really there, we were just pushed back most of the map like in an Ambushville 2 and then we survived stricking back when help arrived, and this could go for most entries, I’m afraid. There’s nothing physical to defend except our lives, nothing gets destroyed or taken away in the process.
    Playtime: 20m

    529
    So many rockets but no rocket launcher! Why do authors do that 😀 We have some combine shooting thru some wooden construction.. but finally some variety in enemies: scanners with hopmines, and a strider!
    Overall it wasn’t that detailed but the layout of the little houses was enough to keep me interested. Great lil map and nice combat.
    Playtime: 13m

    754
    Hmmm dev textures and such boxy architecture; nice music tho. Towards the end, I see some batteries on a roof but no way to get there without using a prop.
    The map doesn’t really end, I think a trigger is broken since I never got to use the rpg. This felt like a really early release, it needs a lot of work and detailing to make proper buildings, create an environment and give meaning to all the rooms, floors, levels, the outdoors, I really hope the author keeps at it.
    Playtime: 12m

    842
    Haha health vial in the toilet. The melon dispenser isn’t that obvious. I think we can all agree the barrel ggun puzzle is one of the best yet 🙂
    It’s a fun map overall, but again, lacks some main subject of importance to defend, like a lady’s honour haha
    Playtime: 16m

    905
    Interesting location for a gas station – near a rocket. Other than that, pretty cool looking map. Funny to watch some manhacks attach a rocket!
    And failure 🙁 The rocket loses integrity out of the slightest things and fast. 2nd time round I did even worse! 3rd time some trigger didn’t go off.. Wow I’ve never seen a helicopter shoot 2 rockets at me!
    The voice acting in the end could be better but a really nice map; tough, but nice. Once I realized the combine were NOT taking the middle path much but the side ones, it became a lot easier to place my hopmines and turrets and successfully DEFEND my rocket.
    After the struggle it felt really nice to finally finish it. This should take the prize, as I finally had something real to defend and there was great satisfaction in the end.
    Playtime: 25m

    906
    I don’t follow the story at all. Wow.. the front scanners are tough shooters and the police waves spawn right in front of me.. is there any way out of here alive? After finishing the limited amount of resources and being surrounded, apparently not. I could not save my home and the people that warned me died, what a bummer!
    Playtime: 21m

    I thought I would have to pick from the entries of my 2 favorite authors, Sneakyspeckman and Miigga, and despite being the best entries in the map pack, it turns out there’s a clear winner here and that’s 905 since it’s pretty much the only 1 that fits under the DefendVille title, the rest are mostly CombineVille and sheesh I had enough of those to last me some weeks!
    Total Playtime: 2h48m

    1. JG

      Thanks for your feedback on 905!

      The Hunter-Chopper does fire rockets in the main HL2 campaign. I know for certain it happens during the assault on Black Mesa East, but I seem to recall something like this happening when you were in the canals and using the emplacement guns in the guard towers. I wasn’t able to find that though, so maybe I made it up!

      The way I see the rocket, it’s obviously the rocket nose cone and not the whole thing. I figure Dr. Kleiner was building another rocket and instead of assembling the whole thing at White Forest, the rebels fabricated the parts at outposts around the area.

      I’d be interested to know if there was anything in particular about your turret or mine placement that you felt made things abnormally difficult. You mentioned that the Combine would tend not to charge up the middle path, so was it a matter of not having enough mines in the side paths?

      Also I would like to formally apologize for the “voice acting” at the end. 🙂

      1. Ade

        well the first times I didn’t even expect them to take such lateral paths, they looked too narrow for their fat 4$$es and the middle path was so clearly outlined by the cars, I guess the routes were sneaky and there were some DOH moments for me. Plus there are a lot of enemy waves that you have to learn where they come from exactly, and what to do against each, so once I got the first 1 right, I would take too much damage in the 2nd one etc that’s why I played it like 4 times 😛
        and I’m mostly bad with hopmines, they just don’t do much damage, but I think I’m getting the hang of it..

  14. JG
    Play It Now!

    So, a couple disclaimers. First, I ended up watching most of Daz’s stream of DefendVille, so I went into most levels knowing what was going to happen and what I had to defend against. That said, even on Easy, there were some levels that were plenty challenging despite that knowledge. Second, I strongly recommend playing this mod in two or three sessions – if you try to do it all at once, you’re going to get annoyed by the constant waiting and, like Daz, learn to hate stacks of Hopper Mines.

    As a general criticism, the constant waiting really drags this mod down. Some maps did a better job than others of giving you stuff to do, but the contest’s rules mean that will invariably spend a fair bit of time doing nothing. This competition should have been structured a bit more like a Left 4 Dead finale – return to the radio or whatever when you’re ready to begin, instead of being based on a timer. Phillip relaxed the rules on this, and some maps skipped the wait entirely, but I didn’t think it would be fair to those who put in the effort to create 7-10 minutes of content to do that.

    So, that said, on with the entries!

    – Outpost 243
    This entry takes place in a bulky concrete storm drain. It doesn’t have a ton of detail, but it works on some level. The biggest problem with this map is that nothing about it screams defense – and this is a problem with the majority of entries. You aren’t protecting anything and there’s nothing you can use to bolster your defenses – it’s just a medium-sized battle against a few waves of enemies, although it wisely changes up what those enemies are with each wave. Following that, there’s a meandering route to the exit that doesn’t really fit, but the part where the Combine rappel in over the reflection pond looks really sharp. This level fades to black, but doesn’t end. It could have benefit from better lighting since some key locations are shrouded in darkness.

    – Outpost 316
    This is a surprisingly large level that has a ton of things to place, but as with so many of these entries, it is completely aimless. You have no idea what you are defending from, so how are you supposed to intelligently place these traps? The battle against swarms of Combine Soldiers lasts way too long and slowly
    peters out until you have to find the ones that got stuck. There is also a distinct lack of cover throughout the level. The power cutting out at the start was a nice touch.

    – Outpost 356
    This entry has, once again, the problem of not having anything to clearly defend. But, on the other hand, it places a few of the turrets for you and sports a fairly nice battle that has several distinct waves that will test your mine laying strategy. The only problem with the battle is the group of Combine that I believe spawn from the top “lobby” area (which looks quite nice) – they are essentially behind your defense and they will backstab you with brutal AR2 attacks. This level also has adequately sized corridors for combat, which offer better flow.

    – Outpost 400
    This level actually has the bones of a decent encounter, but it needed some tightening up. I’m not sure if this was the point of the map, but I ended up stacking a bunch of props against the doors to barricade them. This worked and confused the Combine enough for me to pick them off, although the ones that rappel in keep this strategy from being abused. One odd thing about this map is that you are drowning in SMG ammo and nothing else. In fact, by the time I found the Gravity Gun, I had already shot open most of the item crates.

    But as I said, this level would benefit from being tightened up. The Combine take way too long to weld through the doors and the second tier of the warehouse is just beyond the no-damage fall height – which hurts the level flow (and your legs) quite a bit.

    – Outpost 420
    One of the better levels, but quirky. This level feels like it has an appropriately epic scale, with a massive outdoor area (that we do nothing with) and a really fascinating fallback / advance mechanic that would be an interesting study. It also wins points just for the sheer spectacle of having a bazillion Combine Dropships fly overhead. But on the details, it’s a bit hazy. The level comes to a virtual standstill while fighting the Hunter-Chopper, which is a pretty tedious fight because it keeps flying away to do ineffective bombing runs. I’m also really not a fan of the self-destructing turrets – I’m not sure if that ever happens in Half-Life 2 itself and while it does ratchet up the tension, it’s also kind of a cheap move. I also thought it was unusual that I couldn’t find an SMG ammo chest, but I could find an SMG Grenade chest – which made the fallback defense pretty interesting. That part, with the Combine cascading down the stairs, was fantastic.

    – Outpost 529
    This level actually gives you something to defend, which elevates my impression of it. It’s a small space, but it makes good use of it, with Combine attacking from rooftops and rappelling in while providing lots of cover. The Strider and Hunter combination at the end was suitably panicky and having the Combine Scanners mine the battlefield provided a great, natural way to introduce Hopper Mines to the battle. My biggest problem with this map is that the Combine spawn rate could only be described as sputtering – I’ll take it over the endless waves of Outpost 316, but the constant drips of Combine make this level feel kind of dull. Still, as far as achieving the “defense” theme, there’s no doubt this one comes farther than the other entries.

    – Outpost 754
    This level really shouldn’t have been released at all, given its unfinished state. It’s kind of a shame, given how I saw some of this level’s development during a stream and it looked very promising, but in the end, there’s nothing to recommend about this map. This is a large, sprawling layout that had a few different combat themes going on, but none are used in the course of the battle. Sloppy dev textures stare you in the face while a custom music track drones incessantly, so I have to question the priorities here. You are given an absurd number of Hopper Mines to place – I’m not even sure you can place them all before the siege begins – but it’s really pointless because the Headcrabs will end up setting off most of them long before the Combine show up. To top it off, the level doesn’t end either.

    – Outpost 842
    Here’s another one of Miigga’s maps, keeping with that same cluttered warehouse theme. The biggest thing this map has going for it is that Miigga created several little puzzles to pass the time and these are reasonably fun and reward you with stuff that will help in your defense. Unfortunately, it succumbs to the same problems as most of these levels, what am I defending and where are the Combine coming from? The big, circular arena is a nice stage for a battle – which is unusually reserved by Miigga standards – and culminates in a Strider fight. But like Outpost 243, it just feels like an ordinary battle. Make sure you try out the watermelon dispenser.

    – Outpost 905
    This is mine and I’ve already said my piece about it… 🙂

    – Outpost 906
    This last entry is a pretty ambitious one and it comes across as confusing, but scores points for trying something original. The basic idea is that you have a set amount of supplies for your defense and some of these need to be shared with another outpost. Keep all the supplies for yourself, and the other outpost will fall. Send all the supplies to the outpost, and you’ll have little more than a pistol against a Combine swarm.

    Of all the levels, this one comes the closest to pulling off the player-as-target style of defense. While that sounds like an ordinary battle on paper, there is something that feels distinctly different about the gameplay here. I think that’s partly due to the setting, it feels like you are defending your house and, as its sole occupant, you represent the house.

    It’s not without problems though. For one, the selection mechanic is clever, but you aren’t allowed to roam the house until you make your selection and – as such – you will have no idea what you’ll actually need. The other problem is that the number of breakable walls in the house give the Combine a ton of backstabbing opportunities. What seems like a nice, linear path to defend becomes a circular deathmatch layout once the walls are gone.

    – Conclusion
    In this competition, I actually don’t have a favorite level. I think levels that are great in general, like Outposts 420 and 842, don’t really fit the “defend” spirit of the competition whereas ones that do, such as Outpost 529, weren’t inspiring enough to declare winners by default. A defend scenario is a challenging thing to set up, especially in 10 days, and it’s not something that Half-Life 2 offers a ton of support for out-of-the-box. As a result, it’s not surprising that a lot of these entries boil down to “kill lots of Combine,” but it’s a bit disappointing nonetheless.

    (The 2 hour playtime is a crude estimate)

  15. Play It Now!

    [Notes I jutted down whilst playing; name of map and (time to finish); + positives, – negatives]

    Outpost 243 (5:38)
    + Great, limited choice of weapons (+ a few hidden “nades)
    + Lack of helpful items, added tension
    + Level flow, didn’t get stuck anywhere
    + Unforgiving enemy NPCs
    + Hunters were pretty cool; – shame about the pathing
    +/- Lighting could’ve used a bit more work
    – Level design was odd and a bit utilitarian
    – No end nor endless
    – Nothing to set up, pretty much instant fight

    Short but sweet, could be improved by becoming endless and tinkering with the enemy flow and squad sizes

    Outpost 316 (11:33)
    + Good amount of turrets
    + Good amount of items
    + Good music
    +/- TOO much to explore, could be great fun for co-op, a bit much for SP
    +/- Subterranean path great in concept, never got to use it
    +/- Grenades/health vials/shotgun NPCs; an odd balance between spam and flush, always almost out of health because vials keep you ticking; until you die of all the shotgun Combine hunting you down eventually
    – Initial darkness/power-cut SUPER gimmicky and annoying
    – Bland, different areas could do with different design to make them more memorable; pretty much why I ended staying in the middle, felt safer

    Outpost 356 (8:30)
    + Good amount of items, especially mines
    + Small amount of turrets makes you think and guess on first playthrough
    + Logical entrances
    – 6 minutes of set-up, 2 minutes of action because
    – Combine orgy, TOO much NPCs, totally uncontrollable

    Outpost 400 (15:01)
    + Interesting prop mechanic and strong crates
    + Traffic lights to show where the enemies come from
    – Traffic light system doesn’t really work
    – Too open
    – Entrances too easily blocked
    – Spent 3 minutes hunting down the last combine chilling outside whilst on 4 HP

    Outpost 420 (17:43)
    + Creepy and beautiful atmosphere
    + Amazing use of music
    + Silo looks great
    + Great use of the lift
    + Malfunctioning turrets
    (all of the +/- were negative first but later turned out to be positive)
    +/- Huge
    +/- No gravity gun
    +/- Supply placement
    +/- Weapon placement
    – Bleepy emplacement gun too interesting, spent 2 minutes shooting at mountains instead of setting up

    Outpost 529 (18:00)
    + Defend the X (generator in this case)
    + Roof NPCs to break things up
    + Fun end fight
    +/- Shooting gallery
    – No real setting up
    – Stood around 4 minutes listening to the screams before I realised I need to open the gate to start the action: I’m a monster

    Could use some more polish and a bit more interesting NPC-work to be a real gem

    Outpost 754 (8:27)
    + Creepy music
    – VERY utilitarian
    – Unfinished or SEVERELY untested
    – No end nor endless

    Outpost 842 (14:22)
    + On-screen timer
    + Visuals
    + Lighting
    + Puzzles
    – Mean adventure line
    – A bit short
    (- Could be because it was so easy?)

    Short, sweet and aesthetically pleasing; also made me use my thinkbox: classic Miigga (realised that about 2 minutes into it, Miigga just has a style)

    Outpost 905 (DNF 11:00)
    + Visuals
    + Defend the X (rocket in this case)
    + Water looked cool to shoot at
    – Antlions did not mesh with the mines
    – Antlion AI all over the place, pretty useless
    – Emplacement gun useless
    – VERY unforgiving

    529 and 905 should make a map together; it’d be fun and super nice to look at!

    Outpost 906 (DNF 14:21)
    + Visuals
    + Clever start
    + EVIL start
    + Autosaves
    – Pretty much broke the game by making it SUPER unforgiving

    Aesthetically interesting, but due to the unforgiving onslaught could not bring myself to finish it

    I’m sorry if I left anyone out.

    1. JG

      I’m curious how you found the emplacement gun useless in 905. Watching Daz’s stream, I was practically yelling at him to stop using it so much. 🙂 Were you warded off by the APC’s rockets and never wanted to come back to it?

      1. Yeah, I just finished watching Daz’s playthrough on YouTube, I’m not sure what the hell happened, I think the mod automatically puts the game at Easy, I’m used to playing on Hard so I put it on Normal (assumed most maps were tested on Easy) I think that did me in.
        I mean, Daz had to point the gun at the Combine for less than half a second, it took me from where the cars ended near the warehouse and up into the lowest reach of the gun to take down ONE Combine, 2-4 seconds depending on the type.

        1. JG

          That’s kind of odd, because ever since EndVille I’ve been using Normal mode as a basis and I was generally able to mow them down like Daz did.

          I’m not aware of how difficulty impacts things like the emplacement gun, which from my perspective is hardwired with the damage I give it. But from what I gather from the Valve Developer wiki, the illusion that Combine Soldiers are tougher is based on your weapons doing less damage, not because they physically have more health. I don’t believe that damage adjustment applies to func_tanks.

          1. This sounds correct. No idea what happened then.

  16. Play It Now!

    Too late for the voting, but anyway, my 3 favorites were 356, 420 and 842, all with a 9 out of 10 rating. 529 was very close with an 8 out of 10. 754 was a 7 out of 10 and I wish it could be developed into a large long playing map, with about 4 or 5 battles with time in between. It had the potential to win but was very unfinished. 243 was also a 7 out of 10 on atmosphere but the ending….

    The four others, well in 906 nothing happened, there was no attack but the repeated message about the upcoming attack sure grew “old” fast. 905 had excess spawning that got ridiculous and that always rates a 2 out of 10 at best from me. Same goes for 306. 905 was a 2 out of 10 as well.

    Based on the average I was hard pressed to give it a PIN, but the good ones were so good, the choice was obvious! It was a PIN for sure.

    1. In 906 you have to press the blinking radio button to make events move forward. Sorry about that.

  17. Play It Now!

    This was a really great competition!

    Yeah, some of the maps look a bit bland, but I can get over that. The maps themselves were great, having the right amount of enemies, and the different environments each map has doesn’t make this tiring.

    Overall, this is a must play.

  18. Unq
    Play It Now!

    Just played this for The Ville Retrospective today. A great set of maps overall – but as others have said and as I mentioned in my stream, perhaps you should split out playing through this pack into 2 or 3 separate sessions. Most of the maps include the 10-minute setup period with no way to skip to the action – so ultimately there’s a lot of waiting around. Some maps have plenty to do to prepare for the assault, but some don’t.

    Outpost 243

    The sewer setting of this map is interesting, although I think the lighting and atmosphere could have been improved. Unfortunately my main thought on this map is that there just isn’t enough to do, in both the preparation phase and between waves. The combat itself is decent and not terribly challenging.

    Outpost 316

    This one was pretty solid – and sprawling. The outpost you have to defend is made up of a couple of courtyards (one huge) and several indoor areas connecting them. There are tons of turrets and hoppers to help you defend – and the onslaught is pretty intense. Definitely a fun and tough map to complete. The map itself is nicely designed and laid out, although overall a little drab. A central tower or something striking to draw the eye and serve as a landmark would have been a welcome addition.

    Outpost 356

    I liked the setting of this one – a train station. It doesn’t leave much room for vertical combat, which is the only real drawback in this map. Perhaps some overlooks or catwalks could have improved the claustrophobic feel of the map. Otherwise, a solid entry and still a very entertaining defense map.

    Outpost 400

    During my stream I was sent a fixed version of this map – in the original upon loading a saved game, I got the dreaded “AI Disabled” message and the enemies were frozen. Once the problem was fixed, I played it later in the stream – but found it extremely frustrating. There simply isn’t enough cover, health, and armor to survive. I tried using the carts to block off the doors, but even that was futile as the Combine came from all over. I ended up getting frustrated and quitting this map before the end. As I understand it now, if I had saved some of the crates for later, they could have given me health – instead, I broke them all early and just got ammo. So overall this map had some good ideas (I like the door indicators, for example) but had a severe lack of cover and was not balanced, thus ended up being impossible for me.

    Outpost 420

    My favorite map in this pack. A great base to defend, including an impressive outside view from the hilltop and a nifty slanted cargo elevator inside the outpost, leading down to an armory and a fallback bunker. The map itself is a gem – but the sequence of the assault was also solid. You get a great view of nearly a dozen dropships coming in, and then are attacked by a hunter-chopper soon after that. Then, after falling back to the bunker, some reinforcements came. It really felt like the battle was swinging back and forth. Overall a beautifully designed map, with great sequencing of events, make this a must-play.

    Outpost 529

    Note: I included the author’s updated “modder’s cut” in my playthrough – available here. I liked the layout of this map quite a bit, it’s outside and somewhat open, but with plenty of small indoor areas to mix things up. But what I really liked is the generator target in this map, as well as the variation in the waves of enemies (including snipers in the windows). The pacing is superb, with time to set up and some time to breathe between the waves. There’s also a great ramp-up to the finale with finally finding the RPG and the approaching strider.

    Outpost 754

    Unfortunately this map isn’t finished. Perhaps the location (warehouses in a huge desert complex) was too big for this 10-day competition. It’s unfortunate, this map was quite a different locale compared to the other entries, but the assault just kind of ends anticlimactically after just a couple waves.

    Outpost 842

    Another Miigga map, another great entry in DefendVille. A great mix of bright and dark areas, as well. What I really liked about this map were the mini-puzzles to get to the turrets, weapons, health, and a surprise vortigaunt ally as well. It’s a great way to pass some of the 10 minute wait before the assault, as well as rewarding you for exploring. The assault itself is pretty intense, but as I said on the stream it was hectic without being overwhelming – just really fun.

    Outpost 905

    A map that also uses the defend-the-object concept very well – this time, a rocket inside a warehouse. This is a great setup and gives you a solid “home base” to focus your defense. The Combine attack comes from outside, in a large open yard with junked cars and a handful of buildings. This sets up a nice variation of areas, and is complemented nicely by the variation in enemies starting with those hated manhacks (who also try to attack the rocket which made me laugh). Thankfully the rocket’s health is also conveyed to you so you know if you’re in danger of losing. I was a bit confused trying to deal with the APC, until of course I was reminded that the mounted gun upstairs (which is the airboat gun) could damage it once I used up all my grenades. I generally like the bugbait but here it wasn’t really effectively used – my antlions mostly got in my way. But overall this was an enjoyable map, one of the best in the pack.

    Outpost 906

    Another clever map from Officer_B here. The setup was a little confusing but I think together with the viewers on Twitch we reasoned through it. From the armory, you choose which weapons are sent to another outpost – and what’s left over you get to use. Take too much and the defense is pretty easy – but the other outpost will fall. Take too little and you’ll have a hell of a time surviving. It’s a clever approach, but the map layout itself (basically, Barney’s house) is a little claustrophobic and doesn’t really lend itself to creative approaches to combat. It’s fun and the setup is clever, but ultimately I found it a bit frustrating.

    Overall, highly recommended. My favorites were 420, 842, 905, and 529 although several others were very strong.

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