Mike Anderson Level Test

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

30th May 2010

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

Blackness fades to a cliff scene…. Don’t let the beautiful view fool you, things are about to get pretty ugly!

Work your way through a small group of buildings and into an underground Combine base.

Can you escape after stealing a sample from near the thumpers (That’s a clue if you get stuck)?

Author’s Notes

This is a design test which I had to complete in 10 days for the studio I have recently signed with. I am releasing it to the community purely for the purpose of providing an insight into what a formal design test looks like and what one person accomplished in 10 days. Obviously 10 days is definitely not enough time to fully complete a level like this, so this is more a representation of my improvisational skills, as it was essentially done in a spontaneous manner.

I wasn’t sure what the studio was expecting, so I tried to make an arcing experience with certain moments fleshed out to a degree that you could tell what I was going for. Lighting is purely functional, optimization is nearly non-existent, sound was a last minute addition, scripting is very superficial, and the brushwork was only enough to communicate the basic idea.

In the end, I was more concerned with getting the whole experience roughed out in a presentable state than toil for days nailing down one moment, only to find it doesn’t fit with something else down the line. The main sources of inspiration/reference were “Planet Earth” and a handful of images, the main one being Predjamski Castle. I hope this test is somewhat entertaining for you guys, but mostly I hope it is insightful and shows you what you can accomplish in a short amount of time if you really push yourself – like working for 18 hours a day =-O

Basic Details
  • Title: Mike Anderson Level Test
  • File Name: hl2-ep2-sp-mike-anderson-level-test.7z
  • Size : 10.74MB
  • Author: Mike Anderson
  • Date Released: 30 May 2010

Download Options

Download to your HDD [10.7MB]

Installation Instructions
  • Copy the MikeAnderson_LevTest folder into your SourceMods folder.
  • Restart or start Steam.
  • Mke Anderson Level Test should now be listed in your Library tab.

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

2010 Mod Of The Year Award Nominations

None so far.

Panoramic View

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Please Note: Panoramic images only are available in full screen mode. You can either open one by clicking the image link above or by saving it to your computer and then opening it locally.

How to use: Once the image is open and your cursor is on the image, press and hold your left mouse button and move around the image. Use your mouse wheel to scroll in and out of the panoramic image.

Gameplay Teaser Video

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

Screenshots

Click on the thumbnails below to open a 800 pixel wide image.
WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.

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!

11 recommendations, average score: 4.18 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0.69 (what's that?)
Total Downloads

Please note: These statistics are valid from December 2010

  • 963
    Overall
  • 0
    Today
  • 2
    Last 7 days
  • 8
    Last 30 days
  • 67
    365 days
Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 2 comment(s) with meta review data.

Installed:
Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 2 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 0 Hours, 18 Mins
Shortest: 0 Hours, 10 Mins by JellyBeanDude27
Longest: 0 Hours, 25 Mins by Hec
Total Time Played: 0 Hours, 35 Mins
If you believe this release is missing important tags, please suggest them in a comment?
Jump to a review
Phillip says Play It!Maybe?Play It LaterMaybe?Play It LaterPlay It Now!Play It Now!Maybe?Play It LaterPlay It Now!Play It Now!

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

23 Comments

  1. Phillip says Play It!

    I really enjoyed this level and I am pretty sure you will too. Please make sure you read the author’s note, so you understand the reason it was built and especially how long it took.

    I liked the option of entering the building at the beginning but found the initial underground section quite hard, even on easy.

    All in all a great piece of work.

  2. After the first fire fight in the cave I’m having huge frame rate problems. The map has become unplayable.
    I’ll have another bash after my next boot and turn my graphics settings down. Pity because it looked great up until then.

    1. Framerate problem is down to the mod’s default setting of 1280 x 1024
      I knocked it down to my setting of 1024 x 768. Improved but still stuttery.
      Knocked it down to 800 x 600 (dear me) and it worked just fine.

  3. csyver

    I can’t find the actual level design test. Looking at it would give an interesting perspective to the level before I play it.

    1. Due to privacy issues no exact details of the test requirements have been released.

  4. Maybe?

    Visuals were good. Lovely in fact.
    I was not keen on the combat though. I like Combat mods.
    First firefight in the tunnel, in the dark was tedious and tiresome. No chance to implement any sort of game plan – just shoot.
    Then the firefight in the dome. Collect the sample, dash up a ladder, hide behind some boxes dispose of half-a-dozen manhacks and a couple of Elite.
    Then an escape “Run & Gun” while underfire from a Gunship.
    Many might like this. I didn’t. For me this was not play, it was work.
    No need to engage brain.

    Perhaps this was a route finding test. Which ladders to use in the dome. If so it was easy enough.

    I wish I could be more positive Mike, I really do, but as a gaming mod, I find no replay value here.

    1. m.anderson

      I agree with you bud. The firefights were very tedious overall, and the one in the tunnel is even hard for me. In 10 days, I basically could only afford to focus on one encounter and make it work. That was the first one outside, which still wasn’t fully fleshed out. Most of my time was spent on the visuals. 10 days man!

      1. Well, you achieved your objective then.
        It is a reasonable assumption that the ‘studio” is connected with gaming.
        I felt it important for you to know how this was received by a player regarding gameplay and combat.
        Hard combat fazes me not at all. Boring and tedious combat, is, like I said, work. However, on re-reading your reply, I see that you agree.
        Good luck but, with your undoubted talents, I strongly suspect that you don’t need it.

  5. Play It Later

    For 10 days, very good indeed! It was a bit too dark, and the Combine had clearly been eating more carrots than me, but impressive nonetheless. I had one glitch – the door in the huge chamber with manhacks behind it didn’t open. Maybe I missed something, but could find no switches or anything to operate it and in the end noclipped through. The start, with the beautiful vista across the bay, was a great way to draw the player in.

    1. I had one glitch — the door in the huge chamber with manhacks behind it didn’t open. Maybe I missed something, but could find no switches or anything to operate it and in the end noclipped through

      I added a clue in the mod’s description.

      1. m.anderson

        yeah. I guess that wasn’t made very clear. That’s one of the things 10 days doesn’t allow – playtests.

  6. Maybe?

    My main concern was the same as with everyone else, the fight in the tunnel. I died 5 times and even when I actually survived, I had no idea what was going on what I was shooting at.

    This is a pretty impressive achievement considering it was done in 10 days. The level looks great. I’m a bit surprised that not more time was dedicated to gameplay over visuals, as this was a level design test? I guess it’s safer to go for the visual approach, as more elaborate gameplay content would require more playtesting and tweaking. Still, the gameplay was good despite the tunnel encounter.

  7. jgoodroad

    the start area was Brilliant, the first bit of the cave was brilliant, then It got really bad, (I too had to lower my graphics) and the main cave fight was tedious as his use of fog, although added to the ambiance, had me stumbling around in the dark. often times I would end up being turned around but eventually I stumbled into the main area, which was great as I was not expecting it, so it brought a breath of fresh air as all the fps lag disappeared with the fog. I got a bit lost in this section, but I had fun climbing the sides, then jumping off…after that it was a joy ride.

    1. jgoodroad

      oh dear, I think you forgot to “watermark” your panoramic…

  8. Play It Later

    Overall design was very nice. 10 days limit really impressed me, creating something like this in 10 days is quite something.

    I didn’t find it challenging as others did though, it was pretty simple with all that ammo and stuff. Maybe it’s because I never jump into battles without taking cover.

    Looks good, plays good enough. Had little performance issues in the cave but I suggest this map to all players.

  9. Play It Now!

    Very nice map! For a time-sensitive build, this map certainly doesn’t show it. Extremely pretty visually, both outside and inside. It’s never too dark to see what you’re doing, the scattering of supply boxes actually seemed somewhat refreshing since a Combine installation would have such things around 🙂

    I didn’t have any performance issues, though I did have trouble actually finding the right door at the very top of that room to exit the sample cavern.

    All in all, I certainly hope that your ‘test” is graded highly, because this is an extremely good map.

  10. Play It Now!

    Whoa! That was a fun five minutes.

    After reading the authors notes I wasn’t expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised. As I’m not a mapper or modder I can’t comment on the technicalities, but as a player I enjoyed it. I really would like the author to expand this into something much bigger because if this is only a test piece I definitely want more. The only negative I can think of is the combat could have been harder.

    As for the visuals, they looked pretty good to me especially opening location and in the cavern.

    I’m a bit surprised about some of the performance issues that have been described, as I ran this at 1680×1050 with only a slight stutter in the cavern which barely lasted a second or two. I only get those kind of problems when things are running in the background e.g. virus scans, also I disable any unnecessary start up programs that take up memory and CPU.

  11. Mel
    Maybe?

    Cant’s say I enjoyed this one, whilst the combat was challenging I never appreciated the dark cave surrounds of the first major encounter, and found the gunship inclusion with the last at the bridged too much for me. I never felt a part of this one with too much stumbling around and wondering where and what next.

    Overall a disjointed game without any flow or balance to the gameplay, visually are good in places but with frame rate slow downs. To some extent I can imagine that it was put together in a short time, although 10 days seems amazing.

  12. Gambini
    Play It Later

    Just wanted to say that this was a great gaming experience. Considering you made it in ten days. Congrats.

    I was one of those that did a rant in Outpost 16’s Moddb page. Not sure if it was your intention, but this little map/mod is way better than that one.

  13. Hec
    Play It Now!

    Just wonderful terrific idea for a level map, basicly divided in 2 parts the style, you get in-get out, and escape, this map, offers lovly combat.

    The textures in the cave are very atmospheric and realistic, and the short-real mission style does it even better, I really liked the how the whole concept on this was planed. Tough I feel one of the main shortfalls in this one, is that maybe the combat inside the cave, once u have taken the sample and get out, was a little bit poor, I mean I liked the manhacks attack idea, but i’d preffer to have a hunter battle, that would have make it more challenging, and then the gunship, added extra emotion, but I felt those missing hunters would have closed the circle of this map, perfectly.

    Then the end escaping by the helicopter, is just cool, also the heli killing the gunship is a very clever scene.

    Oh and by the way!!, I forgot to mention I loved the whole natural geographical scenario this map recreated, I loved to begin with that really high closed lake or bay, then discover a very deep cave was just a great environment experience!

    Anyway, is the perfect lenght for a quick lovly gameplay, so Play it now!

  14. Play It Now!

    For ten days, this is pretty impressive. It takes place on an island that’s kind of like Saint Olga from Lost Coast as well as in some caves kind kind of like the Antlion portion of the mines from Episode Two, except with Combine instead of Antlions. It’s rather linear, but in the start I was kind of confused since I had to jump into the water and in environments like this in HL2 water usually means leeches. Other than that, I see no problem with this level. It’s fun but doesn’t have any puzzles, and getting the bugbait was kind of pointless since there’s no Antlions. There was one part I really liked and that’s the end with the Gunship. Usually you get a rocket launcher to kill the Gunships but with this one you just have to run. I recommend this level.

  15. Pingback: Mike Anderson Level Test | Jelly's Half-Life Mod Reviews

  16. In order to play this you have to modify the gameinfo.txt as follows:

    “GameInfo”
    {
    name “Mike Anderson Level Test”
    game “Mike Anderson Level Test”
    title “Mike Anderson Level Test”
    title2 “”
    type singleplayer_only
    icon “resource\icon”
    homepage “”
    developer “”

    FileSystem
    {
    SteamAppId 420
    ToolsAppId 211
    AdditionalContentId 220

    SearchPaths
    {
    game+mod |gameinfo_path|.
    platform |gameinfo_path|.
    game_lv hl2/hl2_lv.vpk
    game+mod ep2/ep2_english.vpk
    game+mod ep2/ep2_pak.vpk
    game |all_source_engine_paths|episodic/ep1_english.vpk
    game |all_source_engine_paths|episodic/ep1_pak.vpk
    game |all_source_engine_paths|hl2/hl2_english.vpk
    game |all_source_engine_paths|hl2/hl2_pak.vpk
    game |all_source_engine_paths|hl2/hl2_textures.vpk
    game |all_source_engine_paths|hl2/hl2_sound_vo_english.vpk
    game |all_source_engine_paths|hl2/hl2_sound_misc.vpk
    game |all_source_engine_paths|hl2/hl2_misc.vpk
    platform |all_source_engine_paths|platform/platform_misc.vpk
    mod+mod_write+default_write_path |gameinfo_path|.
    game+game_write |gameinfo_path|.
    gamebin episodic/bin
    game |all_source_engine_paths|episodic
    game |all_source_engine_paths|hl2
    platform |all_source_engine_paths|platform

    }
    }
    }

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