HalloweenVille Three Mapping Challenge

Well, this is unexpected, ay?

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

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

Theme Details

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

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


The deadline for submitting maps is:

Monday 31st October 10pm GMT

That’s 20 days, with 3 full weekends.

General Advice

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

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


Please get somebody to test the map before submitting.


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

Judging Criteria

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

General Rules
  • Maximum two maps per mapper per entry.
  • The map must be original and not have been released publicly before.
  • The map must run in system with only Ep2 installed
  • By entering the competition you grant PlanetPhillip.Com and RunThinkShootLive.Com the right to release the map as part of the HalloweenVille Three Mod.
  • Maps must not appear on ANY other website before the release and for one month after the release of the mod.
  • No assets from retail games other than HL2, HL2: Ep1 or HL2: Ep2 are allowed.
  • Other assets are allowed with written permission from their original authors, which MUST be included in the entry.
  • Phillip’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into about it.
  • The map MUST have a proper name.
  • The map MUST have a proper filename: MapName_hvt.bsp
  • All entries must be sent to: planetphillip@gmail.com no later than the deadline.
Final Thoughts

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

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

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

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


  1. “A wild mapping challenge appears!”
    Nice, maybe I will join, have some ideas for something small.

  2. I want modders to create a map that sacres players.

    Found a mistake: “sacres” instead of “scares”.
    Also, I hope that somebody will make very unusual entry for halloweenville3 ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Too bad I can’t participate. Here I am, learning the ropes of Hammer, let alone synchronize sound with scripted events in a nicely manner.

    Not that I am unhappy with it or anything but didn’t earlier Villes have a larger contesting time? Like, I feel this one is going to be pretty poor.

  4. I think I will finally poop my pants again!
    Nothing but only HL2 horror maps scares me a lot!

  5. if it was a different Ville for Black Mesa I’d enter even though I don’t have much time, but this theme isn’t that interesting in my opinion, especially because there were two of these already, plus every horror map ever made.

    I still hope that some people will participate, so we get some new HL2 maps ๐Ÿ™‚
    GL & HF to anyone who is participating.

    1. The original plan was for Black MEsa but this is something because of the date, rather than a planned event.

  6. Great idea Phillip!

    Why not have a go mappers?
    its all good practice ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Glad to see the mapping challenges (or just this one) are still happening even during the sabbatical.

  8. JamaicanDave

    Making a game that’s genuinely scary is pretty tough. Obviously some people (like me) scare more easily than others, and there are many types of scare which people respond to differently.

    So, I ask, whats the scariest game people played?

    For me the winner is Alien Isolation by a country mile. It’s the only game I’ve had to play in short bursts. Aside from the fact the Alien is scary as hell, I think it was the excellent use of sound and music that made it so terrifying and tense. It also did a good job keeping the player in suspense by keeping the Alien out of sight, the player would never quite know where it was or when it would appear. The anticipation of its appearance was usually far worse than when it was stomping around in view.

    1. I can’t think of anything more scary and perfectly crafted than PT. But it’s not something easy to recreate.

  9. Interesting … ! See if I can create something decent before the deadline.
    For inspiration, I’ve downloaded HalloweenVille 1 and 2 last evening and played through it. Especially Missing Person from #1 is simply brilliant, one of the best HL2 mods available in my opinion. But the other previous entries also provide insight in how to fabricate a worthy HalloweenVille entry … !

  10. Bastion

    Will be skipping this one, all of my mapping time has been put into a separate contest.

    1. You bear the name of the map I’m working on, lol.

  11. While I appreciate that it’s Halloween, scary maps really aren’t for me. Still, I’m very happy to see a new mapping challenge on the site and I will definitely check this out when it comes out. ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. btw, the reason so many HL2 maps arent THAT scary IN MY OPINION is because of HL2’s movement speed. HL2 isn’t a horror game, just a some horror settings for atmosphere and stuff, but if you want to do a real horror experience, experiment with movement speed.

    1. There’s also just the familiarity of assets in general. None of the NPCs are scary anymore, if they ever were, and no props can really evoke that feeling either. The most you can do is get creative and surreal with the environment.

      That’s why I think RavenholmVille worked better than any of these Halloween/HorrorVille contests. It didn’t set up the expectation of “Scaring the socks off the player,” it was more like “HL gameplay in a spooky environment.”

    2. Player_speedmod is your friend. Now if only it didn’t slow down your jump speed to Moon levels too…

      Alternatively, you can use env_global to disable certain suit features such as sprint. Or not give the player a suit at all.

  13. Wow, this is really unexpected! I can’t miss this one.

  14. Nice to finally see your face again ๐Ÿ˜€

    Iยดm excited for this Ville, but I canยดt participate since weยดre moving to a new appartment, which leaves no time for mapping :/

  15. SPY

    For a brief moment i thought, why not make 1 or 2 maps for this compettion.
    Really, wouldn’t that be fun. It would.
    But then i read the Theme Details;

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

    And i came to the conclusion that this simply can’t be made. HL2 is a puzzel and or shooting game, but it is not a horror or scary game. So, to make a scary map for it is almost impossible. Those sad HL2 zombies are not scary, they never were, but they are certainly not today anymore. So, what else is left to make a scary map, few jumpscares maybe. But those will not do according to Phillip. And, this is the 3th Halloween competetion. So everything a mapper could think of is already done twice.

    With this all in mind i decided to not enter anything to this contest. Because it simply can’t be done, i talk about a REALLY scary map. Because the last time i was scared when i played HL2 maps, that is years and years ago. And even then it wasn’t scary.
    So, all in all i really do think that this is just a very bad and easely choose subject for a compettion. One that will not bring more trafic to RTSL, simply because that can’t be done anymore, (with HL2 dying and all.)
    Just my 2 cents,


    1. I’ve never run mapping competitions or challenges to bring more traffic to the site but to A: allow mappers a chance to make something that forces them to think creatively within both a time and theme limt and B to give more SP maps to the site’s community.

  16. DocRock

    Just finished a map for Halloween for Half-Life 1. Not sure if any of you guys still play HL1 DM but here’s the link if you’re interested. ๐Ÿ™‚


  17. bkadar

    love the hl dm, ltk runs a good sever, nice folks

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