Horrorville

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

An underground base, a school, a prison, a station, a house and a testing facility.

All with a dark secret…..

Will you survive?

Let’s see…

Basic Details
  • Title: HorrorVille
  • File Name: hl2-ep2-sp-ppmc-horrorville.7z
  • Size : 37.40MB
  • Author: Rob Martens, Julian Francis, Jason Gimba, Sloprano, Mark Allan AKA Officer_B and Rollingdownhills AKA Sertion
  • Date Released: 09 November 2014
About the HorrorVille Theme

Most people seem to enjoy being scared, so for this 17-day Mapping Challenge I want modders to create a map that does exactly that.

There must be at least one enemy and weapon OR one puzzle.

Ideally, it will be a standard playable map with a simple objective.

Being a challenge, I will accept less-than perfect entries, but unlike the past, where I would add every map submitted, if an entry does not reach a basic standard, it will not be added to the final released mod.

General Rules

Maximum two maps per mapper per competition.
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 the right to release the map as part of the HorrorVille Mod.
Maps must not appear 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.
Phillipโ€™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_ppmc_hv.bsp
All entries must be sent to: planetphillip@gmail.com no later than the deadline.

Entries

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

Drip Leg by Rob Martens
Escape The School by Julian Francis
Miter by Jason Gimba
The Station by Sloprano
The Host by Mark Allan AKA Officer_B
White Walls by Rollingdownhills AKA Sertion

Menu Music

HorrorVille by Christiaan Bakker AKA Anicator

Other Credits

The PlanetPhillip.Com intro video was made by Spartan301
The BetaTestersCollective.com for testing various maps.

Custom Gridview Icons

Six grid view icons are included in this file. To use the included grid view icon, select “Gridview” in Steam (top right corner). Right click on “Horrorville” and select “Set Custom Image”. Then browse to the SourceMods folder and then to HorrorVille/steam-gridview-icons folder and select the image you prefer. Then click “Set Image” and that’s it.

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

MapTap Users

Download directly into MapTap [37.4MB]

You MUST have MapTap installed before using this link.

Download Options

Download to your HDD [37.4MB]

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

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

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

Time to Vote


Videos

The playthrough/walkthrough below is provided by PlanetPhillip. See more of my playthroughs on this site: VP: PlanetPhillip.

Screenshots

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

1024 x 576

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

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

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

15 recommendations, average score: 4.33 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0.49 (what's that?)
Total Downloads
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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 16 comment(s) with meta review data.

Installed:
Using Gauge: 3 Users
Manually: 13 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 1 Hours, 23 Mins
Shortest: 0 Hours, 40 Mins by The_Blazer
Longest: 2 Hours by PlanetPhillip
Total Time Played: 22 Hours
Jump to a review
Phillip says Play It!Play It LaterMaybe?Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It LaterPlay It Now!Play It LaterPlay It Now!Play It LaterPlay It Now!Play It Now!Play It LaterMaybe?Play It Later

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66 Comments

  1. Phillip says Play It!
    Summary

    Overall, the maps were fun to play and were varied enough to not feel as though there was repetition. That said, none were particularly scary or horrifying and of course that was the theme of the competition. I’ll definitely replay them as I feel that I should because LiveStreaming seems to affect the way I feel about a release.

    Anyway, onto the individual maps.

    Drip Leg

    Strange name, but great map. The voice acting was really well done and the level itself was fun to play. The beginning certainly had a scary feel about it, but ultimately, the level was action than horror.

    Escape the School

    This was probably the scariest entry for me, even though it seems to be broken. The school setting was well done and the atmosphere was just right. However, once a map is broken then that’s really how you have to judge it.

    Miter

    Anything from Mr. Gimba is always a great level and this is no exception. I love how he embraces each theme he enters as a chance to use a new aspect of the HL universe and improve his understanding of it.

    As has been said, this level isn’t scary, but it is a lot of fun. Different areas offer different challenges and that’s another well planned feature. All in all my favourite from this mod.

    The Station

    If you have seen my livestream you will know how frustrating this was. It was that it was a bad level, just that it was poorly planned and tested. I ended up going backwards through parts of the level.

    The Host

    Probably the most interesting of all the entries, but I just wasn’t patient enough to keep going. After a week of OCD tasks I just gave up. There is a balance between setting up the situation adn boring the player. I felt this had gone too far towards boring me.

    White Walls

    This had a pretty good start because it completely makes you think one thing but then shows you another.

    The problem was that the “real” level wasn’t much fun and not tested enough.

    1. Zekiran

      It’s really too bad you decided not to finish through The Host, it really did capture what “horror” truly can be. Repetition is part of it, and probably could have been a little quicker about it, but the end result really was quite good. I loaded it up in Gmod and did manage to ‘find’ the good ending, though I imagine playing through that version would have been quite hard!

      1. Yeah, but I found it too boring.

        1. JG

          Well, to be fair, you did spend an awful lot of time trying to figure out Escape the School and The Station. But, maybe it was for the better. At least I went into The Host with anticipation and wanting to know how it ended. ๐Ÿ™‚

          I would agree that The Host is the most horrifying entry, although I did find it terribly repetitive. The whole thing is a fantastic concept – in fact, I could easily see a Let’s Player covering it – but it needs to be tightened up. I think there’s a lot of potential here if the author chooses to continue working on it.

          Some tasks that involve doing things multiple times should be condensed to just one time. I think two tasks stand out as being very successful: tapping on the windows and hiding in the closet. Achieving that same level of success with the others should guide the author’s thinking. If the author feels up to it, I would encourage teaming up with a modeler and voice actor and forging ahead, using this as the rough draft. You know, things like The Stanley Parable and Dear Esther had similar beginnings. You could see a great idea in there.

          1. I think that part of what makes the host special is that it’s minimalist. It doesn’t use a lot (OK, maybe a few thousand I/O functions) but it creeps the hell out of you.

            Watching Rob Martens playthrough I think the most entertaining way to play this is to fail accidentally and reasonably early, maybe if the guests were a bit harder to dodge.
            With my playthrough I got far enough to get bored and by the time I was failing on purpose I was far enough through for it not to matter. I got all the locks off the door but I had won (kind of ) before I could get it to open and the good ending is quite anticlimactic after the build up with the locks.

            So yes this map may have been better being abridged but I don’t think making it fancier and bigger would help matters and I’m not sure it would be something I would play again even abridged as it plays with the unknown. First stage you’re wondering if a floorboard will break when you jump on a carpet, or a window will break and you fall through, there may be a nasty the next time you open the door, you don’t know. Then you don’t know what will happen if you touch a guest, you don’t know what will happen when that front door opens, you don’t know where the hell that shotgun went. Knowing all of this lessens the experience so while it’s a great map I think this particular one is a one shot deal.

            That said if I see another horror by Officer B I am definitely going to play it… if I feel brave enough.

            1. I’m glad that a decent number of people found something to like in The Host. I think that the basic concept has some legs. It taps into a rich vein of unease which I nicked from the Icepick Lodge game ‘Knock-Knock’ (worth playing if you’re interested in this sort of horror.) There’s quite a bit of potential there, but expanding on it wouldn’t be easy. The ‘minimalist’ description is spot on. When I played the mod, I had a run through The Host for kicks and it bored me stiff! The horror is very much produced in the players head.

              If I did expand the map, I would have to change things up quite a lot. Definitely not a straight remake with a bit of polish. Repetition is a big part of the map’s identity, but the tedium could be reduced while still allowing time for the player’s imagination to run away from them. Some good solid scares sprinkled amidst the tension would be necessary to give the experience some meat. It would also be difficult to keep hinting at the final realisation without it becoming obvious or comical. See: A Machine For Pigs’ ghost children, and its baffling obsession with pork (I will admit that I haven’t played the game, so these criticisms are second-hand.)

  2. Play It Later

    I said on the announcement page that a win for me would be a good build-up followed by a scare that would stick with me. Let’s see if any of them achieved that.

    1) Drip Leg
    This map starts with some very impressive visuals and voice acting. There are some highly polished sequences that hint at something *just* around the corner. A lot of tension is built up.
    Unfortunately, this tension is very quickly lost when the player is given the option to fight. There was no “horror” to the horroville map for me.
    Combining this with a very frustrating finale means I didn’t enjoy this one too much.
    2/5

    2) Escape the School
    This one starts with some fairly basic brushwork but an excellent atmosphere.
    It does a good job of building up, and the first scare did catch me by surprise. For a good 10 minutes it was set to be the winner.
    But, unfortunately like Drip Leg, this map introduced a game mechanic near the end (after picking up the SMG) that turned out to be more frustrating than enjoyable and scary.
    2/5

    3) The Station
    This one was clearly ambitious, but fell flat on the gameplay front. Combining a maze of zombies in near pitch black made for some very unsatisfying play.
    1/5

    4) Miter
    Good on you Jason Gimba for continuing to mod HL2, this map was excellent.
    Combining excellent visuals and atmosphere, even pulling off stealth in the HL2 engine, this one was a pleasure to play.
    However, it was a lot of fun, but it wasn’t scary at any point. The map turned very quickly into a power fantasy of being able to literally mow down scores of enemies.
    This is one of the two maps that saves the competition, but it wasn’t my winner just because it wasn’t really…horror.
    Still, on it’s own ground this is a fantastic entry.
    4/5

    5) White Walls
    There’s an interesting puzzle mechanic here that unfortunately isn’t really explored. This combined with an almost comical scary enemy meant that this one just didn’t do anything for me.
    2/5

    6) The Host
    My personal winner.
    Whilst it dragged on for far too long, and had a lot of repetitive gameplay, the narrative and atmosphere were spot on.
    The first time I did the Closet Game was one of the most tense moments Id had in a HL2 map.
    There is a lot of buildup in this map, and it’s very slow, but it’s there. It escalates up to a fervent degree in the second week, making you really feel the tensions and horror elements.
    It then introduces an interesting game mechanic I’ve not seen before. Whilst I felt this reduced a lot of the horror of the unknown (the unknown being the visitors at this point), it was an interesting mechanic.
    The ending sequence was the real deal-maker. Extremely creepy and memorable scenery and sequences combined with the chilling narration made this one stick in my mind.
    It could have done being shorter, but what’s there is pretty stellar.
    5/5

  3. s.anchev

    Doesn’t work “fail to launch the launcher dll”

    1. This is related to your installation. Try verifying the files for Half-Life 2.

      1. JG

        This is what solved it for me:

        1. Download and install the “SteamVR” package from the Tools section of the Library.
        2. Run Verify Integrity of Game Cache on each piece of Half-Life 2 content (HL2, Ep1 and Ep2).

        1. Duke

          well, that didn’t work, got the same problem myself…vr wants a head display or something…no idea what it’s on about, but anyway, I can’t play this..

          1. Can you run other new Ep2 mods?

            It’s really to do with your installation. I would suggest installing everything Steam asks for and once the mods runs, delete the things it isntalled.

            1. Duke

              well, just played a bit of Strider Mountain (badly) and that ran…but discovered also that ‘The Returning’ just plays as the original HL, nothing different about it at all…oh, why is nothing ever simple… ๐Ÿ™ …also re-installed Steam…not a bit of difference..

              1. Okay, try another Ep2 mod.

                1. Duke

                  nothing HL2 seems to work, only Black Mesa and HL 1, same error messages…very odd…

                  1. Sounds very strange. What happens when you try to run the games themselves?

                    1. Duke

                      Just that DLL message..

                    2. Doesn’t it offer any instructions?

                    3. Duke

                      OK, update, downloaded and re ran Minerva through Steam (updated version) and that installed and worked fine for me, no probs at all…just need to iron out all the others now..maybe delete them and retry again…

      2. grabbie

        Verifying the files for Half-Life 2 and the Source SDK Base 2013 singleplayer (if installed) does solves the problem. One file is messed up in each. Recent update must have broke things.

    2. Zekiran

      Reinstalling your Steam client is the only thing that worked for me with that issue. It won’t mess with your game installs, just the steam client itself is probably broken.

  4. Maybe?

    Damn, that was boring, I’m disappointed ๐Ÿ™ I expected something more in the vein of HalloweenVille (which I found just fantastic), more jumpscares, a more opressive ambiance…

    WINNER : Miter (Jason Gimba) :

    It was short and fun, you have first to escape Stalkers with their deadly lasers, nice use of an often forgotten enemy. And then, it turns like Braindead where you get a prop which is a motored three-headed circular saw to fight several zombies while waiting for an elevator. Inventive, Breathtaking, even if not that scary.

    Second place : The Host (Mark Allan)

    Well, nice setting, nice story, but I was expecting something more scary (what was behind the doors…), and the daily games were just boring as hell ๐Ÿ™ Too bad because it had it all.

    Third place : White Walls (Rollingdownhills) :

    Nice mechanisms but not scary at all, a shame when you have such cool places to use here.

    I won’t even class the three others. The Station and Escape the School were boring and uninventive (poor ambiance, no real jump scares, a few zombies… meh).

    The worst of all : Drip Leg. I must say that first of all, I was pleased by the ambiance but then it turned to complete disappointment when the enemies were mere antlions!!!

    Overall : Well, for a HORRORville, the title wasn’t properly honored. Before playing, I was like “oh please, no Ravenhom-like setting, no more”, good point that everyone chose not to Ravenholmized their mod, bad point there wasn’t better idea than that… ๐Ÿ™

  5. JG
    Play It Now!

    So, here’s what’s great about HorrorVille. No one resorted to jumpscares. No one took the easy way out. There are no dev textures. Everyone went about this contest in a different way. And really, that’s how it should be. For as many people who insist โ€œthis is horrorโ€ and โ€œthis is not horror,โ€ trying to define it is like trying to define comedy. It’s a deeply personal experience and what you find mundane, others may find terrifying.

    The horror genre, in the cinematic sense, encompasses many sub-genres. Gorefests, suspense, thrillers, slashers, sci-fi, b-movies, even comedy itself. I didn’t want everyone to go in demanding to be โ€œscared out of their mind.โ€ That’s one way to look at it, I guess, but if that’s your only criteria, you’re going to be sorely disappointed in this map pack. To me, something that slathers on the eerie atmosphere nice and thick should be a valid approach just the same, and I think all of these entries have elements of that working in their favor.

    Tl;dr: Cut us some slack. We’re trying to make something eerie using 10-year-old game assets you’re all familiar with in just 17 days. ๐Ÿ™‚

    – DRIP LEG
    Nothing wrong with this one. You find yourself in a rusted hull of a building. It starts off fairly creepy with a shadowy creature that seems to be one step ahead of you, locking doors and obstructing your progress. It’s not long before you come across a friendly voice who tells you that the building is infested with bugs and you need to go down and block their burrows after a side trip to the armory.

    Unfortunately, that’s kind of where the tension nose dives, because we know we’re dealing with Antlions now. I think much like with my entry, it goes to show that trying to pull off a frightening map within the Half-Life 2 universe isn’t an easy thing to do. We’ve seen these things a hundred times before and there’s nothing creepy about them. The best we can do is make the atmosphere eerie and unsettling and I think Rob accomplished that. The voice work is very well done. The twist of using a poison Antlion Guard, which is something we don’t see very often, adds a lot of tension to the final battle which forces you to be light on your feet.

    – ESCAPE THE SCHOOL
    This map was broken when Phillip played it on his stream and somehow, it’s even more broken now! It starts off in an eerie, darkened school, although the detail is very lacking. You eventually reach an SMG and from out of nowhere, a growl occurs and a deadly โ€œpresenceโ€ whisks down the halls, flickering the lights, rattling the lockers, and causing instant death if you’re near it.

    The problem is, I’ve tried this part several times and I still have no idea what to do. In Phillip’s playthrough of an earlier version of the map, the presence runs multiple laps around the hallways and the area in front of the SMG is safe. One would assume that you are expected to duck into a side room when the presence comes near and pop out when it passes. However, in this version, the presence stops moving whenever you enter a side room, effectively trapping you inside with nowhere to go.

    And frankly, even if you did figure it out, I’ve cheated around this map and it doesn’t get any better. It degrades into a mess of Combine Soldiers and Zombies until the last one opens the door to the Teacher’s Lounge. You have to grab a key you can’t even see and then run back to the opposite end of the map to open the door to the exit.

    The presence is a neat bit of scripting in theory, but the author needed to spend less time on special effects and far more time making a fun level out of them. I like the idea of having an orbiting threat that you need to hide from whenever it passes. You could have made an interesting level with that idea alone โ€“ there was no need for dozens of Combine.

    – MITER
    My map, so I’m not going to review it. I like to use these comps as R&D to play with entities I haven’t used before. One thing I decided going in was to focus the map on a disturbing entity that isn’t often used, the Stalker. And then I used them and found out why no one does. XD

    – THE STATION
    The Station begins on a train which comes to a stop near an abandoned town. The goal of this level, although it’s never clear until you do it, is to get the train running again by reaching a switch on the opposite end of the level. Now, having seen Phillip’s playthrough first, I had the benefit of knowing where to go. If you don’t, this is a pretty frustrating level and the route you are expected to follow is way too hidden. It also makes the mistake of equating horror with pitch darkness (although, remarkably, it’s the only map in the pack that did!) and indeed, you’ll spend half of this relentlessly dark level without a flashlight. Have fun.

    Knowing where to go though, the level is bearable. The most frustrating bit for me was the fidgety wheel for opening the door. Not only does the door take a long time to open, but you have to be dead center staring at it because, otherwise, the door is going all the way back down. You can’t even catch it on the way down.

    Problems like that stand out in a map which has a lot of strange minutiae in it. The hands of the clock are animated. Individual bricks are physics props. There’s a weird attention to details that don’t matter when the overall brushwork, texturing and scripting is so sloppy.

    – THE HOST
    The Host, or as I like to refer to it, OCD Simulator 2014. This is a difficult one to review. You are an old man who has a peculiar routine for each day of the week. Sometimes it’s turning on all the lights, sometimes it’s tapping all the windows and so on. After doing this, you go back to bed and await the next day. The next week. All the while, concerned about those โ€œvisitorsโ€ you hate. That’s why the front door is bolted up tight and why the old man never leaves the home.

    The basic gist of the level is that after so many days have passed, the story begins to interject itself a little more each day. But the daily routine is a constant. A constant that really tests your patience.

    There’s no doubt that horror can be born from repetition โ€“ lulling the player into a false sense of security. In some sense, yes, this level is profoundly creepy and in delightfully simple ways. There is something remarkably unnerving about hiding in a closet for a minute with your eyes closed, or refusing to answer the doorbell which becomes more aggressive with each day. You start to dread approaching that one window that seems to look out on darkness.

    But, after all the menial work, I just don’t think there was a worthwhile payoff. The level takes way too long to get to the end and I was sort of numb to it at that point. I did reach an ending, but I have no desire to see if there was another one.

    – WHITE WALLS
    Portal gets creepy in this map. Well, this map is very short. Too short, actually, because it never lets you settle into an environment before whisking you off to another one. Test chambers, graveyard, a sewer, all in the span of less than five minutes. The ghosts that haunt you look like the ones from Pac-Man and aren’t scary in the slightest. In fact, the โ€œbossโ€ is pretty good for a laugh. But then, coming off The Host, this is a good palate cleanser. As Phillip observed in his playthrough, though, it wouldn’t be unusual for the player to run out of ammo and be unable to finish the map.

  6. Play It Now!

    Quite a diverse collection of maps with very different approaches to “horror”:

    Drip Leg – this was an interesting entry. I liked the wall graphics (nod to Tetris), the doors auto-locking as you approached, and the big boss battle at the end. I found the voice acting to be very good and it almost sounded like Steve Buscemi to me. The actual combat when you got to it was short but difficult.

    Escape The School – this was a major disappointment. Besides a plain uninteresting layout with almost identical classrooms, I would always die in this map once I approached the locked doors and then went back to the hallway. First I would here some noise and see some lights approaching which would kill me. Even if I hid in a classroom until the danger supposedly passed, I would be killed the minute I went back to the hallway. So I had to turn on God mode to finish this map and found a bunch of combine to fight at that point. I don’t think combine soldiers belong in a horror map at all.

    Miter – this map made great use of the Stalkers, I loved the object you had to assemble, and there was a lot of fun combat at the end. It was hard to keep a hold of my weapon, and I don’t know why the author chose to put Combine soldiers near the end, but this was really fun to play

    The Station – this map was way too dark and you had to stumble your way around until you FINALLY found the HEV suit. I would have enjoyed this more there had been a crowbar to fight and then explore the underground section where the zombies were. The Indiana Jones death trap moment was good but I didn’t really enjoy the rest of the map. I found the exterior sections to be very rectangular with invisible walls and too much space to wander around for no apparent reason.

    The Host – Boy, what to say about this map except that it was torturous to play (maybe that is the horror?). It’s a glimpse into the life of an obsessive compulsive with a dark secret. Even though I hated it I played along to the end in the hopes of it leading to something great. While the map did a good job of slowly ratcheting up the tension it ultimately didn’t deliver the excitement that I hoped it would.

    White Walls – this was an inventive map with some ideas that I have never seen before. I actually liked it a lot but the brevity was disappointing.

    Overall I would have to say that the best map for me was Miter. I loved the weapon once you got it going, and fighting the Stalkers as a main enemy fit the competition theme really well. Drip Leg was #2 for me, and White Walls was #3.

    Side Note: my favorite horror mod of all time is Nightmare House 2, which no longer works due to the Steam Pipe issue – thanks Valve ๐Ÿ™

  7. So… are there any jumpscares?

    1. Not really. Why don’t you play it and find out?

    2. JG

      Honestly, there aren’t.

  8. Maybe, and that’s being generous. #1 map, 3/10, #2 map, 1/10, #3 map 1/10, #4 map, 3/10, #5 map 6/10 (would have been higher but it dragged on too long), #6 map, 6/10. Very disappointing.

    1. Your scoring seems very harsh. 1/10 for Miter! Sure it’s not the scariest map made but neither is it a one out of ten.

      1. If scoring objectively off the criteria of “is it scary”, which is what the competition brief was for many people, then I can understand the rating for Miter. Call horror subjective all you want but I can imagine a lot of people, like myself, went into this map-pack looking to be scared or at least tense and uncomfortable (two things which Miter didn’t deliver on past getting the saw machine).

        However, I think nearly everyone would disagree on a 1/10 for a JG map, unless the stealth sections really rubbed you the wrong way.
        I almost wonder if doug’s rating would be the same if Miter was a standalone release (which would probably be a PIN for me, if not a PF).

      2. I never got past the stalkers, tried at least 20 times to get the 3rd saw blade, using stealth and/or speed etc. Trap doors closed etc. I simply hated it. Hence the score. Maybe I could have added 1 or 2 to the score for the very good idea and the nice visuals, but I’m more interested in gameplay fun than anything.

        Not everybody can get excited by this style of game design, I see others like it.

        1. Did you watch Phillip’s play through? Because if you “tried everything” and still didn’t succeed, it’s very likely you just lack patience. It’s a stealth and hazard room – plain and simple. That you couldn’t get through it, kind of says you were expecting ONLY jump scares or gore?

          An arbitrary number doesn’t help determine what would or would not help the mappers do better in your opinion. Knowing you expected jump scares, and didn’t get any, well sure that’ll reduce YOUR enjoyment of them, but it certainly was the opposite for some of us. Jump scares are cheap and easy. They’re not horror, they’re surprise, for most folks who have enjoyed a lot more cerebral horror experiences. (The plot of FEAR is far, far more scary than the actual events or images in it, for instance.)

        2. JG

          Thanks for elaborating on your review. Giving someone a 1/10 and then not explaining why doesn’t really help improve future levels.

          Concerning the infirmary, I don’t really know what to say. As the graffiti says, you need to stay low because of the toxic fumes that will damage you if you aren’t crouched. It takes a second or two before the damage starts, however, so you can sprint for short distances to get away from the Stalkers. Listen to the clicking of their “feet” and do whatever you can to stay out of their line of sight. The Stalkers themselves will target you based on being within a certain distance to them as well as facing you. If you hear one scream, it means they are about to fire, so you need to get into cover quick.

          1. Zekiran

            If you hear one screaming, if you’re *me*, you start screaming too and then die as you’re laughing so hard at being shocked by them ๐Ÿ˜€

            It really was an awesome entry. The sense of accomplishment from getting both of those blades out of there was well worth the number of tries I did, myself.

  9. Play It Later

    Drip Leg

    This starts off creepy as hell, awesome creepy ambient sounds and it is very clear that an unknown entity is diverting your path doors close as you
    get to them there are also holes in the ceiling which simply suggest that something could drop down and the anticipation derived from thatvis genius
    (if intended) As far as the horror theme goes this map goes downhill fast because the mapper throws all of this away in favor of pretty standard (though
    very well executed) action. It’s fun to play and the production values are great but it’s a bit too quick to abandon it’s horror elements. I think had the author further explored the idea of exploring a facility controlled by an unknown entity a bit more this could have been a great horror map. As it is
    it’s just a great map. 4/5

    Escape the School

    Unfortunately this map is broken, you can’t complete it without cheats because the “monster” triggering doesn’t work properly.
    I’m not 100% sure how it was supposed to work but I commend the effort to try and make what is essentially a custom enemy. I imagine that the monster
    is supposed to run circles around the school which you would be able to see by lights acting up. However if you close a door after the monster has been
    activated the monster will knock a few times on the door and then come and get you. If you just leave the door open you’re safe in the room, which is a
    bit odd. I would love to see a working version of this though with the added threat of the monster I think the vast number of combine are likely to be a bit too harsh.

    Miter

    It’s good to see JG’s abandoned Ravenholmville concept being revived in horrorville in a sense. It’s creepy and it’s fun. There are stealth sections which do feel a bit wrong as they usually do in Half Life 2 maps but it works well enough and surprisingly well for a limited time frame. Once you get the sawblade working it’s a very powerful weapon and kind of gives a BrainDead feel (or Dead Alive if you’re in America) and though the weapon is powerful it can fairly easily be knocked out of your hands or stuck in railings and those times are tense especially on hard difficulty 4/5

    The Station

    This seems like the authors first map or maybe he just didn’t have much time, he’s using basic geometry where he could be using displacements and overlays to achieve a better effect. Though the map uses theblocky brushwork to it’s advantage in a jumping section. I think I only really knew which way to go thanks to Phillips playthrough, I kind of get the feeling the author was going for but it’s fairly easy to skip most of the map by jumping across rooftops so a clearer path was necessary.

    I’m not sure why the author didn’t give the player the suit from the get go as it’s presented unceremoniously and the flashlight would have helped with navigation.
    It wasn’t really scary but it was entertaining enough.
    2/5

    The Host

    I’m not really sure how I feel about this one, it was a legitimately creepy atmosphere but it was just too slow paced for me, I ended up deliberately walking into the guests because I got bored. The sound design and the script were great and the gameplay once it got going worked but I think it carried on a bit too long after that. That said this is probably the map I found most scary of the pack. 3/5

    White Walls

    This map has a kind of house of horrors vibe to it. You go through, see a bunch of “scary” stuff and then it’s over. The gameplay and the approach reminds me a bit of AntiChamber which isn’t a bad thing but it’s more “curious” than “scary”. I had fun with it 3/5

  10. Play It Now!

    This Ville did NOT disappoint!!

    While there was a very wide variety of quality between the entries, I think overall this was a great bunch of maps.

    1 – Drip Leg
    … Weird title. ๐Ÿ˜€ The map was very well done overall, though it was a bit confusing – why did the first portion lead me to believe (via sounds mostly) that it was on a ship of some kind, but we’re clearly in a mine/underground locale? Aside from that, the map itself was really good. I would love to see this as part of a bigger mod. The voice acting was excellent, and the combat was hard but not impossible.

    The down side is, that this wasn’t really horror after you get out of the first section. I thought that the use of the ‘suddenly turning off’ door lights was a good start, but then nothing more really went that direction, it was pretty stock antlion fights. A solid map though, either way.

    2 – Escape from the school
    Obviously unfinished and/or broken. That’s really a shame, because this map was highly reminiscent of the school section in Fear 2, as well as the one from one of the Fallout (NV?) dlcs. (I think it was NV’s Big Mountain side quest, though it’s been a while since I’ve played it so …) The mood and effects were good. The map (as someone stated above) was quite dull, in terms of layout and nonsensical room placement, but visually it was still pretty resoundingly spooky. If this map is ever finished, I’d certainly be happy to play it. But as it is, it’s definitely a fail.

    3 – Miter
    This is one of those maps I just let my jaw hang open and play while I let the awesome wash over me. The puzzle creation was *fantastic*. The enemy placement was really good. The soundscape was amazing. I am usually pretty creeped out by Stalkers already, the noises they make and their horrific appearance – plus the fact that they LASER YOU TO DEATH… I went through that Infirmary room a lot. I though I was being clever when I decided to skip around to the other door – NOPE DENIED gotta go through one that doesn’t close… O.O The ‘death fog’ was really well implemented.

    And then you have a little engine that could. ๐Ÿ˜€ The sinking sensation of opening the exit door and seeing *more prison* was impressive! It didn’t take much looking around to figure out where to go and what to do, that was nice. Also: the exterior of the place as seen through the window! What a nice touch – you COULD be out here in the pleasant pine woods, but HAH you’re NOT.

    Elevators are traps – elevators in HL2 doubly so! I think I swore at the screen more while playing this entry than most full on games. ๐Ÿ˜€ That’s a compliment by the way. This entry is my “close second” winner. It has the physical aspects and raw heart-pounding action (including a pounding heart when you enter the infirmary, that was AWESOME).

    4 – Station
    The goal wasn’t that hard to figure out, but like others have said, the implementation of this map was pretty meh. The blocky and angular appearance of most of the grounds and the absolutely haphazard building structures made very little sense. I’m not a fan of having to traverse things which by any stretch would have been covered thoroughly, filled in, or just not built around (the bottomless death pit area). People would not build things like that.

    Aside from that though, it was challenging without being too deadly. I figured out what to do and where to go with ease, because of the *very* good use of lighting hints. I’d actually jumped out the window of the station rather than heading out the door, so I think I wound up with a couple things chasing me too early. But even then, the filtering light posts with bugs around the lanterns guided me. I was impressed by that, really.

    A bit of text hinting “hey, the power needs to be turned back on, somehow” at the start might have been helpful.

    5 – The Host
    ….This is just about the creepiest thing I have ever played. Ever.

    I love the map, it’s small and self-contained, a nice little house which I’m … very likely to import to gmod for my own use. >_>

    The thing about this entry is that yes, it’s repetitive, yes it’s “kind of dull” as you play it through. But that’s the entire point, and that is the kind of horror I was talking about when I commented on the Horrorville announcement post. It became obvious to me as things went on, that this “lonely old man” was hardly what you’d think by the text.

    And as another has said: that was the longest, scariest 60 seconds of *nothing actually happening*, ever.

    As a person descends into insanity, or guilt, or appears to be in their death throes, their brain wants to cling desperately to anything familiar. Turning lights on and off, knocking windows for soundness, keeping people away to avoid their guilt or fears. This was done in such a simple, but beautiful way, in this entry.

    As psychological horror goes, this entry is a stunning example. This is how it should be. My hat goes off to you, this entry is my winner.

    6 – White Walls
    This is an amusing, short and fairly cute romp. Not much horror, but quirky. It made me chuckle at the very least ๐Ÿ˜€

    So yes, overall – The Host is absolutely my favorite among these, this was a BRILLIANT entry. Coming in a close second, and kind of a more action-oriented flip side, is Miter. They both succeed beautifully at portraying two kinds of horror that rest well within the confines of the mod’s expectations.

  11. Play It Later

    Ok, let’s do this!

    So yeah, the HORRORville competition. Let me say that again. HORRORville. I think that only a map or two relly got the concept of “Horror” right, but frankly, I can understand those that in 17 days could not create a good horror level using only stock content from an action-puzzle game. Be aware though, that in my voting, the fact that creating a horror map in HL2 is hard is not going to excuse maps that are plain bad. One thing I’m really happy with though, is that nobody used jumpscares. That is really, really good – even if you don’t do horror properly, anything is better than a jumpscare, really.

    Drip Leg by Rob Martens

    I liked this one initially. I really, really did. I was using my earphones and I started thinking about taking them off and using my monitor’s crappy onboard speakers because the soundscape was so haunting. The way that the complex seems to be trying to shoo you away by locking doors, and the “something” you can just barely glimpse just ahead of you were a major factor in this, thanks to the “unknown factor” – you know there’s something wrong because doors are closing in front of you, you know there’s something stalking you, but you can’t quite make out what, so your immagination runs wild and the scare comes from there; great use of the fear of unknown which is a huge plus for me.

    Also, the Valve. You get to a room where there is a Valve that occasionally releases Steam, and you are told that every time there’s a Steam release, something breaks. As a mapper who had to endure the Steampipe crap, this really got a wide smile on my face, awesome reference there!

    The fear factor however goes downhill once you discover that the “somethings” are really just antlions. Yes, their rendercolor is black, but they’re still antlions. At this point the fear of unknown disappears because we all know what antlions are all to well, and the map becomes a standard action map. Mind you, a nice action map with good pacing and enemies, but it’s still not a horror map anymore.

    However, even just because of the first super-scary part, I still give this map a solid 8/10; even if it loses its horror element after the first half, it remains a good map.

    Escape The School by Julian Francis

    The biggest problems with this map is the nonsensical layout and that the “presence”/scary thing is broken. For starters, the school corridors are all ridiculously long – the width still seems believeble (although still pretty wide), but Jesus Christ, I can’t fathom why you’d want to have classes that are miles from each other along incredibly long corridors of pointlessness. The atmosphere in terms of lighting and environmental haze though is nice, not super-scary (especially because of the pretty generic soundscapes) but still about creepy. However, I ragequitted after the “presence” came and broke the whole map. Firstly, why the hell was the “presence” mixed with combine soldiers? It’s really stupid, not only it kills the sense of fear, but it also messes up gameplay (even if it’s messed up already). Secondly, the “presence” is, quite frankly, just outright broken. The map doesn’t explain well enough how to tell it’s there in my opinion, and most importantly, if you get into a room and leave the door open, it will just hang in front of the door and instagib you when you try to come out. As I said, I ragequitted at this point because the map was just broken.

    Decent atmosphere, interesting idea, but nonsensical layout, nonsensical presence of atmosphere-breaking combine soldiers, and broken “boss” thingy. Keyword here is broken, there’s an abyssal difference between “bad/poor/crappy/low-effort” and outright broken. Therefore 4/10.

    Miter by Jason Gimba

    A JG map! Well, you know it can’t possibly be bad, but I had one problem with this map: it wasn’t really a “horror” or “scary” map, but more like a creepy and extremely tense puzzle map. This is not good for the purpose of the competition, but as a map per se this one was really good.

    The visuals are very well-made, there’s plenty of detail and everything makes sense and fits together. Stalkers are used very well in this map, and I applaud JG for simply being able to get them working ;). However, as I said in a post of mine on the announcement page, a big part of horror is the fear of unknown – and again, the Stalker is an enemy we all know well enough for it not to be scary anymore. It doesn’t help that you get to stare at one of them to get a good look at it right at the beginning of the map; it will allow itself to be stared at if you stay out of range, which as I said greatly lowers the fear of unknown element. Still, this map pulls off a very tense and creepy atmosphere, one thing I really liked were the speakers blurting out those indistinct, distorted voices. Gameplay-wise this is a good map, I enjoyed the challange of snatching the sawblades from the infirmary and the “foot”step mechanic. The combat that follows is fine but not scary, although it is certainly very tense. I like how puzzle-like combat (getting close to the Stalkers without getting killed) then translates into a frantic action combat sequence (slaughtering hordes of zombies while waiting for an elevator).

    All in all a very good map with great atmosphere, but slightly off-theme for me, therefore it’s an 8/10.

    The Station by Sloprano

    This map is very confusing. The visuals are very blocky and basic, although the lighting was pretty good, especially the way you had to follow the lightposts to get into the village. A huge problem this map has is player guidance and direction – from what I read on this thread you are supposed to follow some path involving an underground section, but I just got into the “village”, came out on the other side of the truck (which I then discovered you could just jump over), headed straight into the forest avoiding the white pit of frustration (I tried to go there but after finding it pointless and frustrating I just quickloaded back to the road), and activated the switch.

    The atmosphere at the beginnig is pretty nice, but it all starts to crumble once you see the blocky architecture of the village and the horrible looking pit. Gameplay was confusing in terms of where to go or what to do, and visuals or scare factor (which was hugely hindered by the overly simple architecture) didn’t really make up for it, therefore this is a 5/10 for me.

    The Host by Mark Allan AKA Officer_B

    Wasn’t officer_B that guy who made two ridiculously huge maps for the beginningville and middleville competitions? Well, I’m happy to see that he has gone the opposite way this time. Visually, this is a small, simple map, just detailed enough to be believable. It does not contain the typical tropes of horror environments with the exception perhaps of cramped spaces with lots of edges. In fact, I would define this a “psychological” horror map more than a “visual/atmospheric” horror map. I can imagine that the house only took a few days to create, and that the remaining time was entirely devoted to sripting and I/O logic. Major props to Mark for being able to keep his mental sanity with such a complex scripting system and managing to get out of it alive and submit it.

    I believe that in terms of horror, this map is really, really, really good. It touches all the major points of psychological horror – first, it establishes a boring, pointless routine performed by a slightly unsletting character, making the player wonder what the hell it’s all about, but also lulls him into a sense of certainity by making the “games” easy and predictable. Then, it breaks the fourth wall by playing around with the player and telling him to close his eyes, making him wonder whether he should actually follow his in-game alter ego in the action, or if perhaps it’s better to keep your eyes open just in case something horrible happens in-game while you’re not looking. After that, it repeats the routine but strange things start to happen, “visitors” start to arrive and the routine is disrupted and broken in a very well-crafted escalation. After a lot of visitor-dodging, I gave up and accepted that there was no escape and just walked into them, and right now I wonder if the map can end in any way other than you eventually touching too many visitors.

    What’s so good about this map is that it plays games with your mind. The horror is not just on-screen, it’s not just polygons being rendered by a graphics processing unit, but it actually happens right in your head. This is a hard thing to do, and yet this map does it very well. You usually don’t find horror like this in games at all. There are also plenty of interesting quirks such as more and more beer bottles appearing day after day, making the game further unsettling for the player who slowly understands that he is not playing the good guy. (I suspect he worked as a guard in some sort of concentration camp?).

    Because of all I said, this map gets 9/10. No 10/10 because while the pacing was good, it could have been better and a bit less boring during the initial stage, and because the visuals could have been a bit better.

    White Walls by Rollingdownhills AKA Sertion

    This is a really, really, small map. I think it only took me a minute or two to play. The premise behind this one was great – you start in an enclosed, clean, safe and secure environment, and then everything breaks down around you for maximum horr effect. The puzzle mechanic was also very interesting, but that was not the point of the competition so you can’t really get many bonus points from that. The atmosphere in this map was not very good, the night was too bright for me and the general environments past the test chambers just weren’t scary or unsettling. It didn’t help that those ghosts at the end were literally amusement ride-style cardboard pieces.

    I’m not sure if there is some inside joke that I missed in this map, but overall it was just way too short and not really scary, with the interesting puzzle mechanic being the main point in its favor. But again, that was not the point of this competition. 5/10.

  12. JG

    The source VMF file for Miter was distributed with the mod. If anyone has questions about it or wants to see a tutorial about something in it, let me know.

  13. Play It Now!

    I had some trouble with the theme initially, not being able to come up with a suitably scary idea for a map, but at some point saw Phillip suggest to someone else who was also stumped that he try creating something “atmospheric”. It sounded like a plan, so I spent most of the first week writing up a design and cranking out a few proof of concept tests. I made some satisfyingly creepy hallways, but then was at a loss as to where to go with the whole thing, since as has been mentioned it’s hard to spice up the standard repertoire of assets.

    Nothing was really coming to me, beyond a straightforward action type map, and the clock was ticking, so I just stuck with that. At a certain point I need to commit to the idea I have and run with it, or risk hemming and hawing straight on through the deadline with nothing accomplished. I figured an imperfect but finished, shipped map is better than not entering at all, so there you have it. I rationalized it, telling myself that even in the scariest titles, there comes a point where you have a degree of comfort with the game’s environments, enemies, and conventions. You start to take ownership of the place, and you begin focusing less on your fear and more on getting the job done. I figured I’d just accelerate that process to squeeze it all in to one map, though as I found with RavenholmVille maybe that compression isn’t so effective. I really wanted to do more here, I feel like there’s way too little separation between story beats, but there’s only so many functions you can dream up for so many rooms before you’re just adding filler.

    I do have other horror ideas involving custom models/textures/code, should I ever make the time to do a full on mod, so I’m holding out hope I can get my rear in gear one of these decades.

    Anyway, as for everybody else’s work:

    Escape the School

    It’s a shame to see the scripting is broken, but I really like the idea. Silent Hill (my absolute favorite thing ever) introduced me to the notion of the Creepy School, and I’m still not sick of it. Custom enemies done solely through the I/O system also fascinate me, and it feels like this one would be really fun to tangle with if the technical issues were sorted out. Darting back and forth across the hallways, inching your way forward one room at a time, the premise has potential. The color scheme is nice, too, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a map with that blue cast indoors before. And great work on the custom model!

    Miter

    A gizmo? Hell to the yes. Levels of polish typical of a Jason Gimba venture, beautifully put together, great texture choices, slick lighting, the works. Had a bit of performance trouble once the klaxon light started up, but with The Apparatus in hand I didn’t have to worry too much. It was awfully easy to drop the saw, but like any power tool, “let it do the work” and don’t press too hard, you’ll be fine. I’d be curious to know more about the choreography, if there’s a trick to it. I’d considered lip syncing an actual NPC for my AmbushVille entry last year, but stayed away from it because of both inexperience with Faceposer and my belief that per-map vcds can’t be done. I’m under the impression that if multiple people in a collaborative mod like this wanted custom NPC dialogue, they’d all have to send their vcds to one person who’d then need to compile them into the final scenes.image to be packaged with the mod. I really don’t know what I’m doing in that arena, though, so if you have any more info I’d love to be enlightened.

    The Station

    The rough geometry really isn’t the end of the world (I’ve only recently started to get the hang of displacements, myself), but this one was a little too dark for my taste. I think things would have been significantly improved if the path to the suit was lit up and the bottomless pit was darker, as it stands the light walls of the pit drew my attention first. In fact, I never even found the entrance proper, I didn’t know how to find the suit until I watched Phillip’s playthrough. With the exit being brighter than the entrance I suspect a lot of us ended up going through backwards. I also believe those hedge models hiding the suit passage are typically solid, so I didn’t even think to get near them. Maybe a set of smaller, thinner shrubs would look more inviting, and a light behind them set to a complementary color that doesn’t blend in with the red of the bricks as easily? The readme backstory was intriguing, though, I’d love to see a version of this concept after some more testing and polish.

    The Host

    My favorite, and the only one that really got me on edge. This one made me curse more than the other four, which you know is a sign of quality. It’s easy to say how a small map with more polish tends to be preferable to a larger one with less, but it’s another thing entirely to pull off, and I’m still baffled as to how something as involved as this could be done in seventeen days. I saw the preview screenshot with all those game_text entities and my jaw dropped. The final product is even more impressive, and I swear this should win some kind of award just for the scripting involved. I don’t care much for the cheap screamers you see in every Garry’s Mod horror map, but jumpscares that fit with the setting and are treated more as a sprinkle of flavor do appeal to me; the appearance of the visitors toward the end got me a couple of times, and it didn’t feel unfair.

    White Walls

    A cute, fun little dessert to wrap up the mod, nice to have something light after The Host. Maybe could have spent a bit more time in each area. I think the same thing happened to my entry, we both ended up trying to squish a longer, multi-map story arc into one BSP, and things feel just a smidge rushed. Time limits being what they are it’s hard to get too upset by it, especially when my reward is getting to meet such adorable Pac-Man ghosts.

    Miter and The Host alone make this a Play It Now for me. Most of the maps weren’t as scary as we’d all hoped, no, but for one thing The Host got under my skin, and for another regardless of creep factor they’re well made, fun maps that I have no qualms recommending people play.

    Oh, and while you’re down here, have some first impression gameplay videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoGPuWBXfT0dn4jFiTuKG2PbHOVYWayZ4

    1. JG

      As far as I know, per-map VCDs can’t be done. ๐Ÿ™ Everything has to be compiled into scenes.image. In order to make sure the other HorrorVille maps didn’t break, I compiled my scene along with all the HL2/Ep1/Ep2 scenes, which were made available on Valve’s Github (because they aren’t shipped with the games anymore).

      I could only think of one previous Ville where someone else created a VCD. I told Phillip that even if someone did, it wouldn’t be difficult to recompile scenes.image, but it would be a step that Phillip would probably need help to do.

    2. Zekiran

      I still quite liked your entry, and like I said above I believe it would fit very well inside a longer or more involved mod.

  14. Play It Later

    Drip Leg:
    Demo:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/0ap1vtseytmrfvv/ihon_drip_leg1.dem?dl=0

    I liked the beginning ambiance in this one. I kept expecting something to pop out behind me, and the creaking noises had me on edge. Even when I got the crowbar I didn’t feel better because I knew I would have to fight something then. The voice work was well done too. The simple writing was informative and entertaining. The part where the ceiling collapses, and you can cross a goo pit, I thought was strange. Seemed a little bit pointless, I’m curious to know what caused that decision. The ending fight was nice. Using the generators to plug up the wholes was a nice change. I thought the Poison Guard was an interesting choice. It did make the fight more tense, but their AI behaves a little bit different then normal Guards, so the fight felt…I dunno…a little off. I did like the fact you could hide in the buildings, but the antlions could still get you.

    Escape the School:

    I’m sorry man, it was too glitchy. I had to turn god mode on several times cause the hurt trigger in the hallway would stay on. It would stay on every other time the “ghost” attacks. I like the concept–it took me a while to realize I had to hide–and having the zombies and combine get killed by the ghost was cool, but the glitches ruined it. I’m sorry.

    Milter:
    demo:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/twpstdjscpm4a37/ihon_milter.dem?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/hjscvwahtzh8wza/ihon_milter2.dem?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/bf5o2mv3sp7w6oa/ihon_milter3.dem?dl=0

    A nice map. I never noticed the graffiti that told me to crouch, but I figured it out the second time. I wish there was a cubby or something I could stay in so I could let go of the crouch button and feel safe. It did ramp up the tension, but I spent a long time in that room. And the door randomly closing was a little bit ify. I was fine with it the first time, but the two stalkers ended up guarding the other door. I’m betting its just random from the ai, but it got me stuck for a long time. That ending was great, though. I felt like I deserved a rampage after all that sneaking. Bonus points for the creepy other cells.

    The Station:

    I cheated to beat this one, I’m sorry. I never found the suit at all, I just thought it wasn’t there. I like the idea. Nice that you included autosaves too. Some technical mentions: did you use soundscapes? Cause the background noise stopped after I died once. The scream after picking up the crowbar felt odd. A delay can help create a disconnect for the player. And that brush geometry. I hope you func_detailed.

    The Host:
    demo:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/oyw07deduh1zbjk/ihon_the_host.dem?dl=0

    The winner for me. Subtly creepy, and the rapid increase in “visitors” got me really tense. Great communication on the game mechanics too. The “I didn’t open the door” ending felt a little strange, though. I thought I would get more explanation as to what exactly happened. I’ll have to check what happens when you open the door. And what was up with the tent that appeared outside?

    White Walls:
    Demo:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/vyx5lc8z7lo89sp/ihon_white.dem?dl=0

    Uh…what just happened? I don’t know if I can add to what already’s been said. I’m not sure what to think about this one.

  15. Hec
    Play It Now!

    Well overall I’ll give this a PN. because I think is always nice to play some horror mods or map, in the Halloween season, so PP. offered us in this case a nice competition with scary intentions so that just felt nice to play, and like a different thing to play too, I mean, beyond the classical HL2 combat mayhem we’re used to.

    So now lets review each entry.

    Drip Leg

    OK. here we HAVE NOT a scary or even closer to horror map. Said that I think to me this was more like a suspense mini map that really never have a kind of “paranormal” scary moment, here you just fight ant-lions into a big underground mine, and honestly that was just a whole turndown to me. The whole map has quality and good voice acting, but I just cant help it, and I felt this whole entry way out from the scary-horror topic of this competition.

    Escape the School
    This was my winner. Because here I actually got scared. And also felt that lovely paranormal encounter at my back, that invisible Ant lion Guard being the ghost and just harassing me at every classroom was a great touch!!! THOUGH I have to admit I just cheat in one section as the ghost that wanted to kill me never go away in one classroom. Also I loved of this entry that cool CMB combat inside that haunted school, that just made me feel that I was Gordon Freeman inside a haunted school with a strange value for the Combine. The Ant-lion momma ghost also killed some CMB which also was a brilliant touch!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Miter

    Though I didn’t vote for this entry I absolutely have to recognize is the best at mapping and original and cool gameplay dynamic of the whole competition. I loved the whole usage of the Stalker enemy, as this is a hardly used enemy into HL2 mods. I also felt the Stalker were the main bad guys here, rather than the old fashioned and classic Combine enemies.

    The ensemble of the custom engine weapon, was lovely to play and was an absolute joy to kill ALL the enemies with it, but I also feel this custom weapon we carry only by pressing the “e” key is the weakest point to this map, because at the end when all the Zombie mayhem break loose it felt pretty easy to kill all the zombies and even some CMB soldiers with the mechanized weapon we built. That was a kind of a disappointment to me as it was no challenge at the end, also the poisoned infirmary with Stalkers in it felt way too much more challenging than the escape end.

    The Station
    Probably the worst entry in this competition. The whole map felt badly lit very, very dark, and with no sense of a basic game course logic. as you get attacked first by the fast zombies and after that you are able to get the gun!!!! really crazy.

    Some parts looked just very unpolished and unfinished, and I even was OUT OF THE MAP in the building section of it. Finally I was not scared at all!!! it was really boring, and it looked that this mod at least in aesthetics took some inspiration form the AoMDC and CoF mods, which not always are a good benchmark to do horror or scary maps.

    The Host
    Sure this was interesting and maybe Psychological horror oriented. BUT HELL WAS IT BORING!!! and honestly and trying not to offend anyone, command the player to do a million silly tasks inside the map, It is not the best way to get the player hooked to the “dramatic” story of the mod, even more if this story is linear as this seems to be the case.

    I was more in suspension than in horror, and the whole feeling with this was like a cinematic mod rather than an action playable one, indeed the use of the shotgun felt quite stupid and I felt the author lost MANY!! MANY!! opportunities to really scare the player, as it happens indeed into the “House” part in the fantastic “Underhell” action-horror-survival mod.

    Though I guess if the author of this work learn from feedback maybe he may enhance this mod and actually do it a horror-scary one.

    White Walls
    Does this one was a kind of scary portal like entry??? I ask that kind of sarcastically because this was almost as crazy as “The Station” entry was.

    The beginning were like chambers, and then you fell into a real haunted world apparently ruled by some stupid-like demons which are very easy to kill, and also here are not scary parts at all, so be warned, if you want to got scary, here you won’t be pleased then.

    In conclusion…
    This was a nice different competition, but I also feel the first “Halloween Ville” comp. was million times better, though here we certainly have more than 2 really good entries to try.

    But overall I have to warn you. If you really want to got scared by a mod then this maybe is not for you as none of the entries really reach to terrorize you at any time!!

    So if you want to got sacred real bad I recommend you to play some Afraid of Monsters, Cry Of Fear or Mistake minus One sort of mods.

  16. Hec

    TO ALL THE PEOPLE who really liked “THE HOST” entry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I strongly recommend you to play the House part inside the “UNDERHELL” mod!!!!!! If you love psychological horror and creepy houses to really explore then that mod is for you.

    I also think the author of the host, could learn some scary tricks from the house part of the underhell mod.

    Having a telephone that rings in a lonely house is maybe one of the freaking scariest and psycho horror things ever to experience!!!!! and in the Host we don’t even have a phone!!!! in Underhell we do have one!!!

    1. Zekiran

      Actually have attempted to play Underhell and was bored out of my mind. It has zero direction going for it, and while it might be ‘amazing’… it didn’t catch any of my attention from the start. Not knowing what to do if there was anything to do removes it from my “must play” list.

      At least with the Host being part of this selection, you know it’s going to be reasonably to the point, and *has* a goal.

      1. s.anchev

        Lol, at least stop playing “casual” and try to figure things out a little bit before erasing the game from your PC. Many games such as LucasArts games where like that before.

        I don’t really know what’s happening here, but I was astonished too when reading Forgotten Journey reviews with People not being able to figure out the barrels puzzle. Goddamit, a flammable barrel, a spark nearby, a hole in the wall, What the hell?!
        (Not to mention all the “noclip/god mode” bits… Gamers have really turned bad nowadays. That would be called the CallofDutyzation of minds).

        1. JG

          That was rude…

          Also a LOT of people were stumped by the puzzle in Lost Journey, including veteran players like Daz and Maxtasy. It has nothing to do with nonsense excuses like “CallofDutyzation,” and everything to do with ill-conceived and poorly explained puzzle design.

          In fact, I think Ade is on the record as identifying that puzzle as a point of confusion (presumably for BTC), but the author did nothing to address it.

        2. Zekiran

          I don’t think you comprehend just how rude your post is, but I’ll just let you know:

          “casual” doesn’t mean what you think it does. I am a first person player who enjoys certain aspects of games like these, and not others. The game play on that mod you mention was *miserably bad*, and I am certainly not alone in thinking so. It was crap. It was untested, and ill-informed, purposefully ignoring the recommendations of the people who did play it.

          At any rate, Underhell is *really* overrated. I know people who like it, but then I also know people who think Dear Esther is the 2nd coming of god – and it’s just boring as hell too. Pretty? Sure. Playable? Nope. Not even a little.

          The theme of this challenge was “horror” and Host nailed it. Nailed it to the freaking *wall*.

          *mutters something about LucasArts not having had any good games in almost the entire lifetime of some players, and certainly never any I liked*…

          1. s.anchev

            No, this mod was complete crap, they just completly f*cked up the theme, every part besides Miter (which was… “slapstick horror”) and not giving it an “avoid it!” was just me being polite.

            Underhell is the same way as Hazardous Course 2, or what we see now with Demon’s/Dark Souls for example, it is a game which “reward” you the more you give yourself into it.

            I mean, seriously, “many” people here played all Leon/SPY map’s (Coastline to Atmosphere, Strider Mountain…) which are, seriously, one hell of infinite fights with for some parts HUNDREDS of headcrabs and manhacks to fight, with no real direction or path to begin with, the most horrible Jalopy sequences you can imagine, and yet so many PIN and PF… and yet people don’t want to try a little with one room of Lost Journey, or to persevere playing Underhell??

            Damn it, boys. I won’t continue this rant because it will come to nothing in the end, but I just wanted to put it down for once.

            1. I hate to throw your worldview out of whack, but even as author of “the worst of all” I adore Underhell, and I’m not a fan of Strider Mountain either.

              The first chapter of Underhell initially struck me as a Gun Obsessed Fourteen Year Old Boy simulator, with the array of real world weapons, the fingerless tactical gloves, and so on. I also thought it was scatterbrained, and had no idea what it really wanted to be: action, horror, drama. Then I played the second chapter, and it changed my opinion completely. It’s not in my top five favorite mods, but only because there are so many other great ones out there. I still absolutely love it.

              As for Strider Mountain, if I’m being honest I do find I disagree with a good number of Play It Now and Personal Favourites on PP. I nonetheless try to avoid commenting on the things I dislike that everyone else loves, if only so as not to play the contrarian. Even when I’m baffled by other people’s taste in maps I feel it’s only common decency to assume the best of the creators, that maybe their efforts simply aren’t my style, or at the very least that they made honest mistakes and aren’t actually bumbling simpletons who don’t know basic game design.

              Satisfying as it may be to sink into acidic nastiness when somebody makes something I don’t like, I try to remember it’s not personal, and they didn’t do it to spite me. Dropping a steaming coil on their work seems a little harsh, I guess.

              1. EDIT: Nevermind, I’ll pretend I said nothing ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. Hec

        @Zerikan:
        Well actually there’re plenty of things to do in Underhell…

        If you consider is like 3 mods into one! You know, The house part where you need to discover your murdered wife story; the nightmares’ part where sinister story details are unveiled; and the action-adventure part which is just hardcore FPS action.

        So well if we consider that, I guess in my opinion Underhell is far to just to be boring.

        1. Zekiran

          Yeah I … think I got about a third of the way into the house. Knowing that the Host was going to be “short” I think makes the entire difference here, though – because I had no idea how much time was going to be needed for Underhell to get “interesting”, or even reveal any kind of plot or direction. It *looked* nice, but.. eh. Some of em just aren’t for me.

  17. Play It Now!

    I’m afraid that I spoiled myself by watching Phillip’s stream, but after playing the mod myself I can make a few comments.

    Drip Leg
    I missed the start of the stream, so this is the only map I hadn’t seen going in! I liked the heavy metal theme. For whatever reason, you don’t see that in HL2 maps much- it felt like a throwback to Quake. The corridors repeated themselves quite a bit, and some areas lacked detail. The dining area especially was just a box with props in it. Interesting lighting or more architectural detail would have spiced it up. However, I can forgive some lack of polish given the size of the map. The early areas set a good pace. When running away from antlions in the second half, I missed some areas, but I think that this worked to the map’s benefit. It made a large map feel even larger. The blown valve and falling roof were a cute reversal of how HL2 maps usually progress.

    The final cavern had a good sense of scale. The only issue I had was with the fighting the antlion guard. Some lingering training from ep2 made me assume that the guard was invincible, and that I would have to block the holes while running away from it. Given that the guard can run faster than the player, this attempt did not go very well. I died a few times before I decided to start shooting the thing. Rob likes his voice acting, and I think it worked pretty well here. I will say that, for better or worse, it feels like it’s the same character who is speaking in all of his maps!

    Escape the School
    People have already outlined the ways in which this map is broken. It seems like the author couldn’t get the scripting to work correctly. This is unfortunate, as the ‘presence’ has some nice effects, you’re just too dead to notice them. The school itself is a well realised horror setting. It’s a bit lacking in detail, but the mood lighting makes up for it. I hope that Julian isn’t too disheartened with the outcome of this map. There’s some very solid work here, it just doesn’t come together in the final product.

    Miter
    I like the setting for this map. It’s a combine prison ala Nova Prospekt, but with a horror twist. The infirmary is probably the only bit of stealth I’ve seen in a HL2 map that works well. Part of what makes it work is that you can always stand up and run, it just costs you health. The reward afterwards is very nice as well. All in all, a very solid map with a few unique twists.

    The Station
    There was a lot of ambition here, which is good. The flow of the map has potential- a walk through the forest, exploring an abandoned town, escaping up through a cavern, and then returning to the train through the town and forest. Unfortunately the map is just not very well executed. There are a lot of the hallmarks of an inexperienced mapper. As Phillip found, it is very easy to break the scripting in the map.

    The town looks decent (although the exit is very difficult to find), but the two wooded areas aren’t great. The biggest problem is blockiness- the floor is built out of cubes, making it look a bit like minecraft! I do have sympathy, as Source is not the easiest tool for creating natural environments. Just a tip if you’re building an outdoor area- the best way is to create a 256×256 (or 512×512) square, and turn the top of the cube into a displacement. Then create a bunch of these displacements to form a large grid, and use the displacement tool with a large radius setting to sculpt the terrain.

    The Host
    I’ll put a little bit of trivia here. Bizzare as it seems now, this map was originally set in the HL2 universe. You would play a combine soldier who has to kill all of the citizens in a holding camp before a contingent of rebels arrives to free them. The design of the circular metal huts you can see in the final map was created at this time. The idea was that you were ‘understaffed’, and would have to set up turrets and snipers strategically to get the killing done fast enough. Nasty, but then it was “Horrorville.” I got as far as a single hut with citizens running out of it when you go in. It would have taken a lot of work to make it interesting, and it traded on shock value a bit more than I would like. Eventually I had the idea of the player acting out creepy games in a house, with the camp existing as a “flashback.” Of course, this made the HL2 universe elements superfluous. I would say that the change was for the better!

    White Walls
    An odd little ride. The ghosts were not exactly terrifying spectres, but they were fun to have around. The environments lacked some detail, but they did the job and were diverse enough to stay interesting. I will say that a few tree models above the cliffs in the outdoor area would have worked better than wrapping a single tree texture the whole way around! The puzzle mechanic introduced in the beginning was promising. It would be nice to have it elaborated on. Perhaps it could have been used to fight the ghosts? As Rob said, it’s appropriate that this map was last on the list, as it makes a fun little closer to the mod!

    1. Thanks for the feedback! I was definitely unhappy with the repetitive corridors, but I wasn’t really sure how to strike a balance between on the one hand, fresh architecture that distinguished one area from another, and on the other hand, the feeling of the place being one complex that had one cohesive style. I didn’t want it to seem haphazardly stitched together, though I guess that would have been a more accurate representation of how I built things.

      The simplistic geometry bugs me, too. I told myself I was going to spruce up the kitchen/cafeteria with some more structural changes, static props of some garbage, a few overlays sprinkled around, or at least a change in lighting to some overhead fluorescents, but decided I had to kill my darlings and start showing some discipline, since whenever I get involved in that kind of thing I end up wasting time. When I built those rooms I still had the vast majority of the gameplay and floorplan to rough in, and I knew I’d never get the most important stuff finished if I let myself focus on detailing, since I do tend to get easily distracted. That said, I felt like I couldn’t just cut the simpler rooms: although making a big map wasn’t my explicit goal, I did want to establish a certain pacing, and what I have here is I think the bare minimum to get what I was after.

      Sorry about that guard fight, I’d completely forgotten the precedent in Ep2 of the underground guard being invincible. I used the original skin instead of the glowing green one, but with the rendercolor effect and the indoor setting I should have known I’d be confusing players’ expectations.

      As for my voice acting, well, to be fair I’ve only made three maps, and only used voice in two of them. I’m sure not trying to present myself as an actor. I tried that briefly back in 2011, realized I couldn’t hack it, and promptly gave up (I did some quick work for Rabbit Hole a few months ago, but only because I’d committed to the project way back when and didn’t want to leave the developer high and dry). I certainly don’t want to wear people out by making them listen to me every time they play my maps. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I just think with these contests, voiceover work, particularly radio transmissions, is a quick way to set up some sort of backstory without spending most of your time digging through the existing npc dialogue to find something interesting and twist it to fit your map idea. You then have localization issues, if someone can’t understand the language or the accent, or both, but it’s still a flexible tool I didn’t want to overlook.

      Regarding the character, some real training would no doubt teach me how to do real characterization, but I just don’t care enough to bother. No disrespect to the craft, mind you, I just don’t really care enough about anything to do it that well. I’m lazy. A bit of trivia of my own, I’d originally planned to do a much more exaggerated Brooklyn/Long Island/New Jersey type accent, specifically channeling the second incarnation of Sandra the rhinoceros from The Late Late Show, but it seemed a little cartoonish considering the material was already supposed to be funny, so I toned it down. Now the guy essentially just has the accent I do when I’m irritated.

  18. Karl

    I guess I’m in the minority here, but I definitely thought that The Host was the clear winner, by a very wide margin.

    Be forewarned, I’m going to give spoilers from here on out. (I don’t think the comments here have a “spoiler tag,” or I would use it.) Stop now if you haven’t played the map yet.

    The repetitiveness of the tasks is indeed boring at first, but it starts to become significant when The Visitors start arriving. At that point, it becomes a memory game; and even though I didn’t have to, I ended up rushing through the “games” in order to get back to the safety of my bed. During this period, I’m glad to say that I’ve rarely felt more anxious during a video game.

    The fact that this was done in a couple of weeks is doubly impressive. I’d really love to see the author develop this into a full mod, if not a full-fledged video game.

    Still, I do think a couple of things could have been done that would make it better. My suggestions:
    – As the game progresses, have some of the “games” fail. For example, imagine how freaked out you would be if, during one of your “tapping the window” games, one of the windows breaks.
    – Have the environment of the house itself change subtly as the game progresses. Perhaps you could see something outside of the house, through a window; or the walls of the house turn, gradually, into the walls of the camp.
    – The scenes where you “lose” the game could be better fleshed-out (perhaps literally), a little more gory and horrible.
    – If you manage to make it through three weeks, you win the game. Should you? Does the protagonist even deserve the option of a happy ending? Would it be better if you simply started over from scratch, and the only way to end the game would be to lose? (I’m sure you can guess my answers.)

    Yes, I know, I’m asking for quite a lot here. And I’m not about to complain if I don’t get it. All things considered, it was still a hell of a map. It says something that when I finished it, I had to struggle to remember the others.

    1. JG

      “Have the environment of the house itself change subtly as the game progresses. Perhaps you could see something outside of the house, through a window; or the walls of the house turn, gradually, into the walls of the camp.”

      Some aspects of this actually happen, although it is very subtle. It’s just enough so that it throws you a bit off balance, but not enough to draw attention to itself.

  19. Flynn

    Yo, got any examples JG? Peace.

    1. JG

      Examples of what? The environment changing in The Host?

      There’s an arched hut which appears outside and foreshadows the ending. The shotgun on the wall also disappears after a few days.

  20. Unq
    Play It Later

    A nice mix of maps here. Horror is fiendishly difficult to pull off, especially in a challenge like this where you really only have a matter of days to not only solidify your concept but build and test everything. So I think we ended up with some that weren’t really strong in the horror aspect, and unfortunately a couple that were just plain broken.

    Drip Leg was solid. Yes, the horror part of the map wasn’t strong, but it’s a nicely laid out and enjoyable map with a decently challenging end battle and some reasonably good custom voice acting as well. Worth playing.

    Escape the School was broken, as mentioned above. The design was another problem entirely, but when you get trapped with certain death in your face and you place an autosave right there, things are clearly broken.

    Miter
    Takes a standard setting (a prison) and adds a couple clever twists – great application of a rarely-used enemy (stalkers, with frickin laser beams attached to their heads) and a new mechanical weapon to use. The whole pressure of building the miter saw piece by piece really added to the tension of the map, particularly when trying to sneak your way around the stalkers. By the way, closing the first escape route you try from that room is pure evil, JG. I love it. And then you finally build the miter saw and you get the great payoff of ripping everybody to shreds with it. Great way to release the tension a bit.

    The Station
    Also pretty broken. I managed to finish the map without finding the HEV suit, I assume I jumped to places I wasn’t supposed to reach. Good idea, poor execution.

    The Host
    This is the kind of map that I love to see. One that takes chances, and just maybe has something to say or a story to tell that isn’t everyday. I recently watched Rob Martens’ playthrough on YouTube and I have to say my reaction was very similar to his. Just through the repetition of simple tasks, tension was built without resorting to cheap tricks like jump scares or heavy music.

    I personally tried the tasks for a long time until my curiosity got the best of me. I think the payoff was totally worth the repetition. Perhaps not the most fun to play, but perhaps some games don’t need to just rely on fun. A real gem.

    White Walls
    Not too much of substance here, a few small puzzles and then a short shooting gallery area. Pretty thin but a lighthearted way to wrap up the pack.

    Overall, worth the play for The Host alone. Throw in Miter and Drip Leg and it’s a strong pack of maps.

  21. Drip Leg

    The start of this map was scary, it really got me in the mood. The voice acting was spot on too. I think the whole antlion thing ruined it, as soon as I knew that antlions were the bad guys I was like “meh”. Also the ending was really anticlimatic. I’d say maybe?

    Escape the school

    Utterly broken. I literally keep dying from simply just walking around. Wasn’t able to finish it sadly. Avoid it!

    Miter

    Wow this was fun, the atmoshpere was awesome and I liked the originality of the puzzles and the way you kill the enemies ๐Ÿ™‚ Play it now!

    The Station

    Weird design. I had no idea what to do and I wasn’t able to finish it >_<. I liked how it looked but I was 100% confused and lost. Maybe?

    The Host

    This map dragged waaayyyy too long. The first week was fun and all, but after that it just started to get boring. And the ending was really anticlimatic for me. I’ll give it a play it later.

    White Walls

    My initial reaction was “What the f*ck”. After I finished it my reaction still was “What the f*ck”. I’m quite sure this is a troll map. Incredibly short, not scary, not fun. Avoid it :S

  22. Maybe?

    I won’t go into too many details. If somebody wants to know more, the best way would be to try it themselves.

    Drip Leg
    The first one I tried. And boy, was it a good start. That was until I found a crowbar and a suit. Then some guy contacted me and I went further. If the author avoided the frustrating and uninspired ending, it would be an okay map. Like this it’s pretty average which is a shame.

    Escape the School
    This one wasn’t very strong when it came to mapping but the feeling of solitude kinda made up for it. After a while this solitude slowly turns into boredom and as soon as you find an MP7, all hell breaks loose. At least that’s what I think cause I couldn’t proceed any further. Supernatural force roaming the halls always killed me no matter where I went or what I did. Overall a weak map.

    Miter
    One of the better ones. Basically, you’re trying to escape the prison which is guarded by stalkers. Better not get too close to them unless you like being fried alive by laser. Anyway, you assemble a triple chainsaw and that’s where the fun starts. You run around cutting everything until you escape. Good map, just a shame there wasn’t any horror.

    The Station
    The beginning was very atmospheric and mapping-wise really good. But that gameplay! You’re just slowly walking through the dark trying to figure out what to do next. I’ll be honest – I didn’t manage to finish this. It was too boring to walk around having no idea how to get back to the beginning. Good mapping, horrible gameplay.

    The Host
    The best map for me. Very original idea. An old man likes his privacy and in order to keep it he’s doing all kinds of strange things day by day, week by week. You just can’t get rid of a bad feeling while playing this. I actually only finished one week because I thought it’s an endless cycle. I’ll probably give it another go.

    White Walls
    Another fun map with some interesting puzzles. Quite short with a rather silly ending. Still quite atmospheric and nice to play.

    Overall this mappack was a disappointment. I was expecting more scares, like in HalloweenVille mappack. If you want to try it, don’t expect too much.

  23. Play It Later

    Its probably a bit pointless to review a Ville made almost two years ago, but I’ll do it anyway … !
    I’ll review the maps from (in my opinion) best to worst:

    Miter
    It is great!

    Although Miter lacks subtile horror, it is still a delight to play it; we’ve got an unsettling and visually impressive environment, enemies we don’t see often (Stalkers) and interesting gameplay due to smart enemy placement and the chainsaw-esque weapon. Props for making this rather expansive and polished level in just 17 days. For me, Miter is the number 1 in this HorrorVille.

    The Host
    It is great!

    The number two for me in this Ville is The Host; the gameplay itself is boring and very repetitive and I gotta admit I began to get bored in the first days of ‘week 2’, but then I noticed some very subtile changes in the building. This encouraged me to keep going and the changes became more prominent while ‘ghosts’ infested the house in growing numbers. I eventually got the ending with ***SPOILER AHEAD*** the protagonist waking up on a peaceful morning. The Host excels in subtile horror and for me takes position just behind Miter in this Ville.

    White Walls
    It is good

    Extremely short (took me less than 5 minutes on first playthrough) and yet with a broad variety of environments. Gameplay in the white rooms was Portal-like, too bad this wasn’t expanded further in this mod. A pleasant mod, albeit very easy.

    Drip Leg
    It is okay

    The start of Drip Leg managed to capture a true horror-feeling; an unseen and unknown entity locked doors right in front of my eyes, strange sounds could be heard, and I caught a glimpse of something odd moving quickly out of sight. The unknown creatures turned out to be Antlions, for me the most annoying enemies in the HL(2) universe. In the large cave, I got killed dozens of times and I began to feel like the famous Angry German Kid (if you don’t know him, take a look on Youtube … !). It was a relief when I finally managed to overpower those pesky Antlions and got in the elevator.

    Escape the School
    It is bad

    The environment was spooky though I think the proportions were a bit off. I don’t mind that much, but I found the fact that probably some triggers weren’t set up correctly and early death couldn’t be avoided a bit more problematic. Finishing Escape the School without cheating was impossible, so this map is essentially broken … !

    The Station
    It is bad

    I can really relate to novice mappers as I’m one myself … ! Yet, this map was almost unplayable with darkness and no means to light up your surroundings. I managed to find a Pistol and Shotgun but no suit and after half an hour of stumbling through the dark town I decided to call it a day.

    1. It’s not pointless. I always like to hear what went right and what went wrong. Miter isn’t scary, I freely admit. The intent of the map was to evoke slasher movies.

      There was a point when Phillip had asked me what to call this Ville. I suggested “Horror” on the grounds that, in my mind, Horror was the broadest categorization of numerous sub-genres, like Suspense, Slasher, Monster, Psychological, Body Horror, Sci-Fi, etc. Unfortunately, I think most associate it purely with scares.

      1. You made Miter? It indeed reminded me of movies like From Dusk Till Down and Planet Terror. Those were amusing movies so I really liked the slasher atmosphere in this mod. You even got the damn Cubemaps working … !

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