TeleportVille

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

29th October 2017

This mod features 15 individually created entries to play, each using the idea of teleporting.

They are set in a variety of locations and feature new gameplay ideas.

Get ready to be transported to places you never imagined!

Introduction

Thank you for downloading this mod.
TeleportVille is the fourth mapping challenge in the Hammer Cup 2017 series.
This mod contains 12 official entries and three bonus maps.
Episode Two is required to play this mod.

Basic Details
  • Title: TeleportVille
  • Filename: hl2-ep2-sp-thc17-c4-teleportville-v1.7z
  • Size : 139MB
  • Author: Sockman, Rags Jams, Piotr Miska AKA PiotrekPolska, ethosaur, Kirill Okenev/Russian men, Matt71490/Event Horizon, Viridian, Clément Baticle AKA Klems, Tim Age AKA HashtagMC, Andrew Brown AKA Rookzilla, Mark AKA Strontvlieg, HighFire​, November, WALLe PL, 1upD
  • Date Released: 29 October 2017

Download Options

Download to your HDD [139MB]
You can still use it with Gauge once you have downloaded it.

Manual Installation Instructions
  • Copy the “hl2-ep2-sp-thc17-c4-teleportville” folder into your “SourceMods” folder.
  • Restart or start Steam.
  • RTSL.THC17.C4.TeleportVille should now be listed in your “Library” tab.

Reviewing

If you decide to use the Per-Map Opinion Images, please either watch the video below or use the file below:

TeleportReviewTemplate.txt

Thank you.

Special Releases Review Giveaway

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
On 29th November, one lucky reviewer will receive a copy of The Flame in the Flood, courtesy of RTSL reader Jan-Philipp.
The review MUST use a recommendation image and be of sufficient length. It will be a random draw.

Theme Details

Where would the Half-Life story be without teleporters to spice up the action? Well Gordon’s adventures would have been a lot less dramatic for starters but that’s another story.

We want you to get familiar with the various methods of teleporting in the Source engine and then let your imaginations go wild and see what you can create.

Here’s a really useful page that explains how to get one-way or two-way teleporters working:
Valve Developer Community: Teleporters

For more complex teleporter set ups take a look at these links:

It’s worth remembering that it’s not just the player who can use teleporters.

NPCs can use them and even physics objects can be transported through them for some extra fun (change the trigger_teleport flags on the trigger brush to activate these).

Perhaps you want to create a manic firefight… or take some inspiration from Aperture Science and create some fiendish puzzles.

Anything goes in terms of setting or theme but some form of teleporting must play a major role in the gameplay of the level you submit.

Deadline

The deadline for submitting maps was:
Monday 9th October 2017 at 23:59 CEST
CEST is Central European Summer Time. Phillip’s Time.
Make sure you check your local time conversion.
IF YOUR ENTRY IS LATE IT WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE MOD BUT WILL NOT RECEIVE ANY POINTS.
That’s 19 days, with 3 full weekends.

Entries

Listed as they are displayed in the mod itself:

Portal Storm by Sockman
Shadows by Rags Jams
Telev by Piotr Miska AKA PiotrekPolska
Arctic Rumble by ethosaur
Portal Technology by Kirill Okenev/Russian men
Through Space and Time by Matt71490/Event Horizon
Hydroport by Viridian
The Crab by Clément Baticle AKA Klems
Hotel Alfa Teleport by Tim Age AKA HashtagMC & Andrew Brown AKA Rookzilla
Undefined Destination by Mark A.K.A. Strontvlieg
Body Swap by HighFire​
Station 0 by easimer

BONUS: Signal Lost by November
BONUS: Aperture Prospekt by WALLe PL
BONUS: Stolen Research by 1upD

The order of the maps was generated via random.org

Winner, Prize and points

Details of the winner and any prize will be available on the site soon.

Full points for each entry can be seen on The Hammer Cup 2017 Spreadsheet.

Judges

Phillip, Don and Jim are the judges for this challenge.

Community Voting

Community Voting closed on Monday, November 6th. Thanks to all who voted!

More About The Hammer Cup 2017

The Hammer Cup 2017 consists of five mapping challenges, each with a different theme.
Entrants will receive points for each challenge they enter.
At the end of the event, the best 3 points totals from the challenges they entered will be added together for each entrant.
These totals will decide who wins the Grand Prizes.
This means that entrants do NOT have to enter each and every contest to win the grand prize but they will need to have entered at least 3 challenges to have a chance of winning the grand prizes.
For more details visit the Hammer Cup homepage.

Release Versions

0.9 – Developers’ Version. First versions of maps. Internal Alpha version
1.0 – THIS RELEASE: First public release.

Specific map Notes

Some authors have included a readme.txt file, which can be found in the readmes folder.
Here are notes for maps with no readme file.

  • Hydroport by Viridian: I hope you enjoy! This is my first proper HL2 map.
  • Body Swap by HighFire​: V2 Changelog
    • 1. fixed displacements not lining up with ground
    • 2. fixed cardboard box messing with a shelf
  • Station 0 by easimer: It’s recommended to play this map on easy or normal difficulty as the final fight can get messy.​
  • Artic Rumble by ethosaur: Credits to CW3D for the custom voiceacting in the beginning of the map. Everything else was made by me.
  • Signal Lost by November: Thanks to Crowbar and Klems for helping me test and providing feedback.
An Un-included Map

Michael McGee AKA HQDefault originally submitted an entry called Tele-Communications. Unfortunately, it had a bug that when triggered seem to require the complete reinstallation of Episode Two! He is currently working on a fresh version and hopes to release it at some point in the future.

Credits

The RunThinkShootLive.Com introduction video was made by Jeff Muñoz (ThatoneJeff)” and he also significantly helped with logo design – thanks Jeff, you ROCK!
Brane Scan by Kelly Bailey from Half-Life 2

Steam Grid View Images

There are 5 custom grid view images included in this release.
To use them, switch your Steam Library view to Grid View. Right click on RTSL.THC17.C4.TeleportVille and chose “Set Custom Image”. Click “browse” when a small windows appears and navigate to your SourceMods fodler and the “hl2-ep2-sp-thc17-c4-teleportville/steam-grid-view-images/” folder and select the image of your choice.
You can of course, create your own image and use that.

General Entry 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 & RunThinkShootLive.Com the right to release the map as part of the Ville 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.
Phillip’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into about it.
The map MUST have a proper name.
The map MUST have a proper filename: MapName_ABC.bsp (ABC is replaced with the code for the mapping challenge)
All entries must be sent to: [email protected] no later than the deadline.

Sponsorship

This challenge was not sponsored. If you are an individual or company and interested in sponsoring a challenge, please contact Phillip ([email protected]) to discuss the options.

Screenshots

WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.

Panoramic Images

Coming Soon.

Videos

Coming Soon.

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

7 recommendations, average score: 4.57 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0.53 (what's that?)
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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 7 comment(s) with meta review data.

Installed:
Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 7 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 1 Hours, 34 Mins
Shortest: 1 Hours by
Longest: 3 Hours by DarkShift
Total Time Played: 11 Hours
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33 Comments

  1. Play It Now!

    I’m supposed to write an introduction here but kriff if I know what to write…

    Portal Storm by Sockman
    It is good

    This was pretty nice work – nicely crafted displacements, using Portals through the whole map, challenging combat – but I felt that the gameplay was very repetitive. It’s basically run-shoot-jumpintoportal, and it would’ve worked almost the same if players had to run around instead of teleporting. Still, it’s solid work and I’ll rate it accordingly. Nice job.

    Shadows by Rags Jams
    It is great!

    The interesting part here is that the player rarely teleports, but instead his enemies do. The beginning gave me Portal vibes, since I seemed to be a Combine test subject (or perhaps a prisoner due to be relocated?). The gameplay was extremely well-planned and I enjoyed most of it but for the big fight. Some rooms near the end looked big, empty and pointless though, and the outside of the map was not properly covered in nodraw brushes. Nevertheless, this map was extremely cool.

    Telev by Piotr Miska AKA PiotrekPolska
    It is good

    This map made good use of some well-known sections of Half-Life². Although looking a bit bland at times and with little challenging gameplay, it was nice to teleport through the level.

    Artic Rumble by ethosaur
    It is WOW!

    I started this map and was immediately positively surprised by the custom voice acting. As soon as I arrived in the actual setting, I thought “is ethosaur participating in this contest” and yep, it’s his map. Props to you, sir, you sure know how to serve some eye-candy (I also thought “we’re done for, no way this guy’s not gonna win”, an opinion I revised later).

    There’s not much to say about the mapdesign – just as his last map, it’s top-notch map design, well-balanced combat and stunning visuals. Hats off, Mister. There’s some teleporting going on on both sides – I’m sure some of these Combine are very fine people – and the map looks stunning, a clear personal favourite.

    Portal Technology by Kirill Okenev/Russian men
    It is bad

    I’ll hazard a guess and say this is a beginner’s work (didn’t it say something about first map in the credits?). This is rather evident as the map is rather square-ish (and for some weird reason textured & detailed on the outside, too?). There is what I suppose is a Xen section that is completely made of missing textures and lots of the map consists of the placeholder checkerboard texture.

    Through Space and Time by Matt71490/Event Horizon
    It is okay

    I reluctantly give this a 2. Reluctantly. I quit rather soon because the map scared the kriff outta me (what was that about families, Phillip?). There were missing textures, too. The beginning had a Portal-ish feel to it, implying the player travelled in time, too – the only reason this isn’t rated worse.

    Hydroport by Viridian
    It is okay

    Welllllll… it’s very blocky. The only teleporting that happens is enemies randomly spawning out of thin air. Why? No explanation is given. The player fights lots of enemies that spawn all around. Nice gunship, though, so here’s a “maybe”.

    The Crab by Clément Baticle AKA Klems
    It is great!

    That’s some nice landscape you got going on there! Top-notch visuals, no doubt. If this map were a guy, I’d hit on him, that’s for sure!

    The gameplay is a pretty neat mix of combat and puzzles. There’s lots of bad boys to kill, dismember or otherwise harm, there’s colourful teleport-things to teleport through. I got stuck near the end as I had NO IDEA what to do and ended up running through the map three times before discovering where I was supposed to go – otherwise, this would have gotten a 5. Also, what’s the dude doing in that tower that has no equipment in it whatsoever?!?

    Hotel Alfa Teleport by Tim Age AKA HashtagMC & Andrew Brown AKA Rookzilla

    I co-authored this map, so there’s no recommendation image because I’m probably biased six ways to Sunday.

    (It is Sunday, actually…)

    I think Andrew and I did pretty ok. He worked his magic and made everything look pretty, I hit the keyboard to get all the logic going, and I’m pretty content with the result. The biggest flaw is that the map is way too short in my opinion, but then again, that might be because I know it like the back of my hand by now and can complete it in under 4 minutes. I hope the teleportation theme is obvious enough (and there’s a couple flaws here and there where I built stuff that doesn’t look as pretty as Rook’s does), but that’s about it. One thing I wish I had had the time to do was giving this map the skybox it deserves instead of the ugly, generic city-ish thing I put in there as a placeholder. They say praising oneself stinks, so I’ll just mention that the camera at the beginning took a hell of an effort and leave it at that ;=)

    Undefined Destination by Mark AKA Strontvlieg
    It is good

    Uhm… nice gameplay. Yeah. It’s some nice gameplay (although I got stuck one time without a plan what to do). The big issue with this is that the teleport seems pointless and like an excuse. Like, this map would work just as well without teleporting around 2 times (the puzzle involving the 2nd teleport is nice, though). The fighting is okay-ish and the puzzles are okay, too, so take a 3 rating.

    Body Swap by HighFire
    It is WOW!

    Give this dude a Nobel prize. Offer him a job. Pay him a gazillion bucks. This game mechanic is genius and it’s a shame it’s not used a lot more in the map. Seriously, I LOVE this map. It’s the only 2-map entry but in my opinion, the second map is just pointlessly prolonging the gameplay, as it features less use of the new gameplay mechanic but instead a bugged bossfight and just lots of killing. Still a favourite.

    Station 0 by by easimerg
    It is dire!

    I quit this after 5 minutes because I had no idea where to go. I wasn’t given any weapons at all, all doors but a few were locked and I was running in circles. Also, the map was way too dark. Give players some guidance, buddy. Running against a wall is no fun.

    BONUS: Signal Lost by November
    It is WOW!

    Did I say Nobel prize? Screw prizes, let this one make games! Seriously, I played this map and after 2 minutes thought “we’re screwed, this guy is gonna win all the prizes there are and then some”. This map basically invents a whole new game. It’s like Portal, but different and in Half-Life². It’s got it all – a fascinating new gameplay, balanced combat – I want to marry this map. Favourite for sure, and if this hadn’t been a bonus map, I’d given all my votes to it.

    I didn’t play the other bonus maps yet so I won’t review them, I might add them at a later date, though. In general, this competition was pretty fun to participate in. Some of the entries were clearly beginner’s work but not too bad for beginners. Of course ethosaur stole everyone’s show and had his map featured as a header picture for the second time in a row 😛 There were some really stunning maps and lots of pretty good ones. I can’t complain 😉

  2. Play It Now!

    Wow, so after a VERY long break from the site, I decided to finally review something! Yay! 😀

    Anyway, on to the maps.

    Portal Storm

    It is good

    This map is a great introduction to the theme of this competition. The map itself is pretty basic. The mapping is nice, but nothing ground breaking, which isn’t a bad thing. I did notice a bug however, when I would suddenly jump to the skies and fall to my doom, and no, it wasn’t from the antlions. I liked the way the map implented the teleporting theme. You travel between small, but also big distances, which I thought was a nice touch and was a good way of changing the settings of the maps. Not bad.

    Shadows

    It is bad

    Ugh. I first thought this map was okay, but the more I played through, the worse it got. The mapping is incredibly basic and bizarre. It looks like a first map, which if it is, it’s not that bad. The worst thing about this map was that its design is just frustrating and annoying. The way that “teleport effect” pops up on the absolute worst of times is the least of the map’s problems. The combat wasn’t much better either, especially the last area (UGHHHHH). Overall, this map needs a lot of work, and much, MUCH better design.

    Telev

    It is good

    This map, on the other hand, was great! I liked pretty much everything from this map. The mapping looked really nice, the combat was good too and the teleporting is not so bad, and actually requires some thinking. The BIGGEST problem with this map, and the reason it’s not a great from me, it’s because it’s way too short. The map is like 5-10 minutes short, and compared to the previous map, which was at least 15-20, I was disappointed. Still though, despite the “good” rating, I still think this map is great.

    Arctic Rumble

    It is WOW!

    WOW. This map was really damn good, in pretty much every way. The level design was great and the arctic setting was perfectly portrayed here. The combat is balanced, challenging and fun, and it’s one of the many factors that make this map so good. Sometimes I felt I was playing a mod, instead of a single map, which I don’t get that often nowadays. The ending was just shocking to me, which may sound silly, but play it, and you’ll find out. Overall, I really loved this map and it’s definitely high up there with the best maps of this competition.

    <div class="sbe3"Portal Technology

    It is bad

    I would give this a “Dire” rating if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s a first map. But still, that’s not saying a lot. This map is bad. I understand it’s a first, but I’ve seen better first maps on this site, trust me. The setting is non-existant, the combat is chaotic and the level design is terrible. The last room was just a huge purple-black checkerboard, since the author of the map must have used HL:Source textures in a HL2 comp (judging from the architecture of the room, at least). But hey, it has teleporters, I guess?

    Through Space Time

    It is good

    This map was strange, and had almost nothing to do with teleporters, but I actually enjoyed it. It’s like the author confused this competition for HalloweenVille, but the horror this map has is very strange. It reminds me of the parallel dimensions and leveled Worlds from Silent Hill, which is incredibly cool to see in the map, and it’s the reason it gets a “Good” rating from me. The rest isn’t so bad either, the level design is okay and the combat is enjoyable. It’s a mediocre map, that has a very strong SH feeling to it. Try it out and see.

    Hydroport

    It is great!

    I had a lot of fun playing this map. Technically speaking, it’s still great (mapping, combat, design etc.), but the part where it shines is its atmosphere. The way this map looks is almost Valve-like sometimes, especially the part outside the compound. I also liked the combat in the beginning, where you’re forced to use the gravity gun and the surrounding props to survive. I haven’t seen this in many maps, and it’s really nice to have it here. The only problem I have is that the TeleportTheme could have been handled a bit better, but that’s not something serious enough to hate on. Overall, this is a very nice (not to mention pretty) map that’s definitely worth playing.

    The Crab

    It is WOW!

    Another WOW map in this competition. Again, everything is pretty much aced; the level design is excellent, the combat has variety and is challenging, and the visuals are shockingly similar to something Valve would do (trust me, they’re THAT good). I also love the character of this map and the fact that it has an actual story. I also thought the dialogue was a really nice touch and really helped with the story. Overall, this map is excellent imo and it could be the best map in this comp.

    Hotel Alfa Teleport

    It is good

    This was a very pleasant, but also challenging map to play through. I really liked its setting and its premise, but I wish it was exploited more. The ending, I didn’t understand though, so if someone or the author would like to explain, then I’m free to replies. The combat was where the map shined (and probably based on), and it’s very challenging, but ultimately rewarding. Overall, this is another enjoyable map in this competition.

    Undefined Destination

    It is good

    Another combat-heavy, but also pleasant map. The mapping and the level design is focused primarly on combat, or so I think, since there aren’t any other elements like puzzles or story to fill in the gaps, which isn’t bad, but it’s not a great sign either. There also isn’t a lot of teleporting. However, if you enjoy these kind of maps, then go ahead and try it out.

    Bodyswap

    It is good

    Normally, I would give this map an “OK” rating, but due to its admittedly original concept, it gets a “Good” from me. The concept is really promising, and used quiet nicely. There are still a few bugs, but I’m pretty sure those can be improved. Despite from that, the only real problem I have with the map, is that the layout of the maps are too similar to those from the vanilla HL2. Maybe it was a kind of recreation with the new feature, but who knows. Overall, this map is mediocre in itself, but it has a very cool feature, which is worth checking out.

    Station 0
    I’m afraid I can’t rate this map yet, since I wasn’t able to finish it. I’m stuck in the previously flooded part, where you have to un-flood it. All I see is the “Low Pressure” sign (it could be something similar though). So, I can’t really talk about it in detail yet. It looks nice though.

    Signal Lost

    It is good

    This one had a very strange start, but from there and on, it becomes a very fun and challenging map. Its visuals are definitely what makes it apart, with the red-ish, medieval look that was probably borrowed from Quake or something similar. The platform mechanic is really cool, and I love the way it can be used in a huge amount of combinations, especially when it comes to the combat. However, the map can become very annoying at times. There is also an unreasonably huge amount of ammo around, which isn’t bad, but when there are enemies everywhere, it’s not really worth it to have secret rooms to get even more ammo. Apart from that, this map is a very good and enjoyable one.

    Aperture Prospekt

    It is good

    There’s not a lot to say about this one. It’s one of those “portal-test subject-experimentation” maps we all know and love, but this one was pleasant. The mapping is very nice, and it kind of reminded me of Portal 2, with its often blocky platforms and backtracking, which in this case, is a very good thing. I also liked the last part of the map, which is a combination of speed and thinking, and I really appreciate that. Overall, pretty nice, but simple map.

    And last, but not least…

    Stolen Research

    It is great!

    Well, wow, for a bonus map, this sure has a lot of effort. There weren’t a lot of things I didn’t like about it; it had a nice story, nice mapping and nice combat, however the level design was a bit confusing at the beginning. I didn’t know what to do, and it took me a while to get used to it. Overall, this is a really nice map that could be one of this comp’s greatest maps, if it wasn’t a bonus one of course.

    Verdict
    It has its problems, but as a whole, I think that TeleportVille is worth playing. The maps have premise, and even though some of its maps aren’t…what you would say “the best”, even they have something to do with teleporting, which says a lot about how the mappers experimented with this theme. Great competition as always and good luck to all the people that contributed to this! 😀

    1. As I’ve stated before, this is actually my review. For some reason, it got posted with a random username, and the formatting is also screwed up. What happened here?

  3. karasik03

    Hi, I’m Kirill Okunev, the creator of the portal technology, on my map, why did not the textures work, in the last location there should have been xen. it’s a pity that it did not happen the first time.

    1. If you use textures that don’t ship with Half-Life², you have to pack them into the map file to ship them with the map. TopHATTwaffle has a great tutorial on how to do this (and lots of other cool tutorials, too): http://www.tophattwaffle.com/packing-custom-content-using-vide-in-steampipe/

  4. Play It Now!

    What a huge mass of entries, it has inspired many people… Well, to sum up, many in a good way, a few in a meh way.

    Portal Storm by Sockman
    It is good

    This one understood well what to do, with many teleports to use and go back and forth to advance against some odds. Linear and “‘vanilla”.

    Shadows by Rags Jams
    It is bad

    This one was boring, it was just fights and fights, with an annoying “blur” effect to fill up with the overall theme.

    Arctic Rumble by ethosaur
    It is great!

    Ethosaur was in Epistle3Ville 2.0 mode, but managed to put some nice teleport effects with the enemies, and a good ending.

    Portal Technology by Kirill Okenev/Russian men
    It is dire!

    “this is my first map”
    Okay… Yeah, purple boxes, awful map’s, I understand… good luck for the next one.

    Through Space and Time by Matt71490/Event Horizon
    It is great!

    Very interesting here, we go back and forth in the same rooms but at different moments to advance and free the protagonist from the Cmb… it was interesting and sometimes creepy.

    Hydroport by Viridian
    It is good

    It was fun but the Cmb Gunship somehow got stuck in the sky, and I didn’t see how that fitted with the theme.

    The Crab by Clément Baticle AKA Klems
    It is WOW!

    This one is clearly the WINNER, amazing map’s in the style of Mission Improbable, clever and multiple uses of teleports to fight and do puzzles, a clear objective, I stopped several times just to take screenshots.

    Hotel Alfa Teleport by Tim Age AKA HashtagMC & Andrew Brown AKA Rookzilla
    It is good

    Some nice ideas here and there, overall average map.

    Undefined Destination by Mark AKA Strontvlieg
    It is good

    Standard map with linear and simple use of teleports.

    Body Swap by HighFire
    It is great!

    Nice mechanic where you teleport to the place you kill an Elite, it’s used wisely to reach places and make some fights easier.

    Station 0 by by easimer
    It is bad

    Boring and the teleport is the end, not the “means”. Pretty submarine, tough…

    BONUS: Signal Lost by November
    It is great!

    Incredible castle map with amazing puzzles using “portal” traps to advance.

    BONUS: Apeture Prospekt by WALLe PL
    It is WOW!

    Very interesting “Portal-ed” HL2 map with a final fight against an Antlion King without guns…!!!

    BONUS: Stolen Research by 1upD
    It is okay

    Got stuck.

  5. Play It Now!
    Introduction

    I have some high hopes for this ville, the theme was a interesting one, if you’re creative enough you can make almost anything with it, my expectations went even higher after waiting a month for its release, keep in mind i am writing this introduction before i play.

    Portal Storm by Sockman
    It is good

    The level design and the details were good, the enemy placement and combat were great and fun, the teleport system was wonderful, being very easy to use to move around and having some nice visual effects, overall a good map.

    Shadows by Rags Jams
    It is good

    This was a nice little map, the beginning made me think this would be a puzzle map, there wasn’t to much detail but enough to be pleasing,the teleport system was confusing in the beginning but it got better with time.

    Telev by Piotr Miska AKA PiotrekPolska
    It is good

    This map was great, having a nice puzzle and some fun battles, but the best thing about this map was how the Miska handled the teleport system, if this map was longer i would be great, and btw, a gnome.

    Artic Rumble by ethosaur
    It is WOW!

    What can i say? It’s an ethosaur map!, the level desing and setting were incredible, the story was nice, the voice acting was a good touch and was well done, the combat was engaging and fun, the only thing i din’t like was that there wasn’t a gnome easter egg, but i can forgive that, overall a great map with a nice length and great fun factor!

    Portal Technology by Kirill Okenev/Russian men
    It is dire!

    Holy Jesus! What is that?! What the f*ck was that?! Where can i start, the map no sense whatsoever, sound and visual effects were very poor or non existant, the combat was boring and cheap, and the thing that mad this map terrible instead of bad was that horrible room made out of missing textures, i don’t know if it was like that just for me or it’s the map default, my eyes need cleansing.

    Through Space and Time by Matt71490/Event Horizon
    It is great!

    Boy, i am a sucker for these types of maps, the places you go through and the way Matt handled the teleport mechanics where splendid and fun, the way he just puts you in different settings Through Space and Time was amazing, the horror parts were very well done, when i saw that Gman cutout i thought it would be a cheap map with cheap jumpscares but it wasn’t, it even gave me a goosebump and it’s pretty hard for me to get one from games, the only thing i din’t enjoy was the time you had to wait in the opening sequence to just get the HEV suit and start really playing, one of my favorites from this ville, i expect to see you again in Halloweenvillefour Matt.

    Hydroport by Viridian
    It is okay

    The level design and fights were okay, not that much to it, the fight with the hunter in the kitchen was kind of annoying because you had no weapons and no explosives lying around, overall just an average map.

    The Crab by Clément Baticle AKA Klems
    It is good

    This one had the most interesting objective in my opnion, the way teleporters are used in this map give me a little bit of nostalgia from Half Life 1, i felt like the zombies were there just to occupy the empty space, but the main theme of the ville is done very well.

    Hotel Alfa Teleport by Tim Age AKA HashtagMC & Andrew Brown AKA Rookzilla
    It is good

    The teleports are a little bit abscent in this map but this doesn’t stop it from being a great map, the combat was fun, the level design was good and the details were good enough and the ending was nice with a little cliffhanger.

    Undefined Destination by Mark A.K.A. Strontvlieg
    It is good

    Two hunters and an APC weren’t enough? well, here’s a gunship.
    Jokes aside, the map was fun and had a interesting teleporter with a nice puzzle in beetween.

    Body Swap by HighFire​
    It is good

    The most unique entry in this ville so far, the combat was good, but i feel like i could just avoid it withot much effort, for example, when you get in the car, you can just turn off the combine field and speed off to the ending.

    Station 0 by easimer
    It is okay

    This map doesn’t have much to offer, the fights were unbalanced with you having little to no ammo, the puzzles where a little bit annoying with you having to backtrack a lot, not a good map, just meh.

    BONUS: Signal Lost by November
    It is great!

    Body swap might have been the most unique, this one is the most fun idea, the way you use the pads was creative and the puzzles weren’t hard but they where nice, the setting was unique and minimalistic, great map.

    BONUS: Apeture Prospekt by WALLe PL
    It is good

    A simple map were you don’t shoot a single bullet, but instead solve easy but fun puzzles and face an antlion guard at end with a teleporter.

    BONUS: Stolen Research by 1upD
    It is great!

    An obvious continuation from another map in this site, Stolen Research continues the story of that map with great visuals along with great puzzles and good fights.

    Conclusion

    I had my expectations for this ville and they were accomplished, most of the maps in this ville are good or great with the exception of two of them, a big majority of the maps din’t bring something new to the table and others only had teleporting enemies and a teleport for the end. My reviews are repetitive and i know that, but the maps din’t differ a lot from each other, i expect halloweenvillefour doesn’t suffer from the same problem.
    So, i think you should play it now because, although this ville have some repetitive maps, the unique ones stand out from the others and they are great, my 3 favorites were: Telev , Lost by November and Through Time and Space.
    I hope you enjoy this ville as much as i did, and i hope one of my favorites win this, and ethosaur, make a halloween map this year will ya?

    1. Was this supposed to have a recommendation image?

      1. For some reason, my PIN reco on my post disappeared, too

          1. yes it was, a play it now

  6. Maybe?

    A disappointing Ville, but there are maps worth playing. The maps are sorted from my favorite to least favorite.

    Worth playing:

    BONUS: Signal Lost by November
    It is great!

    Probably my favorite map from the pack, but another map that I playtested which might make me biased. The author really took all the feedback and improved the map compared to the playtest version. The teleport mechanic is great and plays the central role in this map, but there is more potential. Still, I was fun to use this mechanic. It was fun to appear behind enemies and get the first shot, although this is achieved in a cheap way with relationships, making enemies react way too late. (Enemies should have an OnDamaged output to immediately change the relationship to hostile)

    Sometimes there are reinforcements, but these come with no warning which could be frustrating. The final puzzle was a little too complicated for the amount of depth it had. I mean it was a really simple puzzle, but you have to do a lot of things and walk a lot, which the puzzle doesn’t deserve if you know what I mean. Still, fun, cool and consistent but very simple artstyle and nice length.

    The Crab by Clément Baticle AKA Klems
    It is good

    The best map from the pack, but the weakest map by this author. The enviroment is great, it has a proper story that gets introduced with a funny and well made cutscene, and it has good level design that offers a lot exploration and has good combat spaces. The combat wasn’t that enjoyable though. You mostly fight zombies, the distance between fights is too long and it lacks climaxes. Later when you fight the combine, I had no ammo left for my pistol, so it was very awkward fighting them. I also think there could be more combine enemies at the end, which would include the whole map. I liked the general idea for the final gunship battle, but it was annoying to have to run to the rocket crate every time you are out of ammo. I like though that you can’t just fight the gunship from the rocket crate, but there are better ways to do this. The teleporter particle effect is cool, but the teleport mechanic barely plays a role in this map. I also had lots of health problems towards the end.

    Portal Storm by Sockman
    It is good

    A map with no goal and an ugly enviroment, but it was very enjoyable honestly. The lighting is really bad and the HDR settings are too crazy. Use an env_tonemap. For better lighting look at official Valve maps. The first time I played it I missed the first SMG and the crossbow, which made the map a little annoying, because you have no other long range weapons. The teleport mechanic was simple, but not bad. There were one or two neat ideas with it, but it’s more of a gimmick instead of the core mechanic of the map. The map was surprisingly long, but never boring. Also nice to see an author not exxagerating with hunters, most of the time you only have to fight one at a time and have enough space to move around.

    BONUS: Aperture Prospekt by WALLe PL
    It is good

    As the only puzzle map this was very refreshing. The puzzles were fun, but never challenging. I didn’t like the final section with the antlion guardian. The paths were very long sometimes, but you can’t sprint, making this section very annoying. The puzzles also seemed to get simpler the further you go, not more complex. There are also no autosaves in the antguard section. I died close to the end and had to redo the whole section. Also, I don’t think toxic goo damages antlions in Half-Life 2 lore, but that’s just a minor nitpick. The green button in the antlion cage is misleading.

    Body Swap by HighFire​
    It is good

    I playtested this map, which means my opinion could be biased. I honestly have the feeling that I enjoyed the playtest version more, but I don’t know. I’m still giving this map a good rating because it’s one of the few maps that tried to do something interesting with the theme. The execution isn’t flawless though. There is one elite soldier on a tower, which makes you think “cool, that will give me a nice position”. Problem is that you have zero cover there, zero space to move around, and the mounted gun gets stuck in the railing so you can’t shoot the soldiers below you. If you try to leave the mounted gun, you fall to your death. There is a gunship battle which gets triggered very artificially when picking up the rocket launcher. Visually it’s not great, especially lighting. The enviroment is sometimes way too open with barely any cover. There is no soundscape. It is extremely easy to cheese the APC fight later from the most obvious spot, which is exactly where the rocket launcher crate is located. At the end I could just drive into the tunnel without having to fight the last set of enemies. The map has lots of problems, but it is still enjoyable and it as a good idea for a teleport mechanic, which doesn’t play a big enough role though and is rarely used in creative ways.

    Arctic Rumble by ethosaur
    It is okay

    I’m only giving this an IT’S OKAY rating because the gameplay is disappointing, and while the enviroment is great, it is the exact same enviroment as the previous map from this author. I don’t know how much is reused, but there wasn’t enough new for me. There was some nice new combine architecture, but also that was very blocky and didn’t look too good when looking too close. I didn’t like the beginning of the map. The rooms were extremely empty and the light blubs were way too bright. Just putting a little bit of trash here and there would already help. Besides I hate when maps start with briefings because they are so damn pointless. Who is that random rebel to think he can give me orders? Why are all of them chillin there instead of helping me? Why would I care about anything he tells me? I’ll forget most of it after a minute anyway. It’s a waste of time. I didn’t like the combat because enemies come at you one after the other in a row and there isn’t enough cover for the player or the enemies. Instead of rushing the player, some enemies should shoot from a distance behind cover. The map is also very short.

    Undefined Destination by Mark A.K.A. Strontvlieg
    It is okay

    It honestly felt like I played this map before. The main area of this map is very similar to one of the previous maps by this author. It was fun though. The cars aren’t puntable, which is a missed opportunity, especially because there is barely any other objects to use with the gravity gun. Visually the map is okay, but boring. The outdoor lighting is bad. Teleportation barely plays a role. The final fight was very slow paced, tedious and anti climactic. There is one teleporter that teleported me to my death. There is a window that is supposed to warn you, but when you run around with a flashlight that window is almost completely opaque. Besides, the other room should be much brighter. Still, not a bad map, it is worth playing.

    BONUS: Stolen Research by 1upD
    It is okay

    The beginning and the end were weird as hell, but the map itself was enjoyable. It was very confusing at first, but it has some cool ideas, but really, it is a ver y short map and not much is happening. The final fight could be cool, but the area was way too cramped with awkward cover only for that.

    Hotel Alfa Teleport by Tim Age AKA HashtagMC & Andrew Brown AKA Rookzilla
    It is okay

    Most of the combat was bad, because the enviroment was too claustrophobic. There was also too much backtracking for my taste. I like the final combat area, but it is also flawed. There is one very obvious spot that is the best place to stay in, you know, the area with 100 supply crates. Not only that, staying there makes it impossible for the enemies above you to attack you, making them completely pointless. I have no idea what the ending is supposed to mean. Teleportation plays no role in this map.

    Other maps:

    Shadows by Rags Jams
    It is bad

    An infuriating map. Visually it honestly was awful. The lighting wasn’t just bad, it was weird. The map is extremely claustrophobic and dark which made it very annoying to move around. When teleport things happen, the map puts that screen overlay effect on you, which is really annoying when you have to fight enemies at the same time. Every time teleports happened, the sounds were extremely loud, probably because the map plays the teleportation sound for every single enemy that teleports. This is simply unacceptable. In addition to that there are very loud background noises. Sometimes multiple enemies get teleported inside each other. In the end I have a screen overlay effect while I get shot by two hunters and a strider. So what do I do? I trigger the events, go out of the room and wait for the effect to go away, and that is ridiculous.

    Telev by Piotr Miska AKA PiotrekPolska
    It is bad

    This map isn’t really bad, but it is so short and offers me barely anything that I have to give it this rating. There are no interesting ideas with the teleporter mechanic and the map uses enviroments from official maps, which are probably just copied and pasted. For some reason the enviroments look worse than in the main game. Also one minor thing: You can’t throw grenades through the combine shield. If you want to break the rules of the game, at least give the shield a new color or something. The fact that you are in that exact situation in the main game, but have to throw the grenade through the shield just makes this more ridiculous. Besides, I threw the grenade at the shield and it bounced off perfectly into the teleporter solving the puzzle by accident.

    Through Space and Time by Matt71490/Event Horizon
    It is bad

    I couldn’t pick up the suit at first, because of an invisible wall or something, it was really weird. The lighting is bad. The map feels extremely random, I have no idea what the point of anything is. It’s mostly just walking around, no gameplay, no depth. Besides, isn’t that mansion a blatant rip off of the mod “Nightmare House”? I didn’t play that mod, but I watched a gameplay video when it came out, and even though that’s so long ago, I immediately recognized everything. That makes me doubt that the author even has the rights to use the music he used for this map.

    Portal Technology by Kirill Okenev/Russian men
    It is dire!

    No autosaves. Disqualified. No context to anything. Get teleported into combat with barely any space to move and instantly get three grenades in my face. Stopped playing.

    Station 0 by easimer

    The map looks very ugly and you start in a really big, empty and dark enviroment. Sorry, but I have no motivation to play this.

    Hydroport by Viridian

    Stopped playing immediately.

  7. I’m surprised how many people didn’t get the “teleport” theme in Hotel Alfa Teleport (which I co-authored). FWIW, the idea was that the whole building is a secret Combine teleportation lab (hence the huge teleport in the last room) and it’s utilising Xen, but it’s “leaking”, hence the zombies spawning in the basement and in the lab with the laser beam. I tried to recreate Xen portals for the spawns, less to employ teleportation as a gameplay mechanic but as an overall “story” / purpose for the facility.

  8. A better than average Ville with a number of excellent ones, and lots of maps to play. I look at these a different way because I don’t make notes about each one (and am not much of a talker anyway) but rather want to give them a personal rating and play through the whole Ville quickly. Therefore I don’t qualify to use a Recommendation Image.

    Ratings, best first;
    The Crab 10/10
    Station O 9/10
    Portal Storm 9/10
    Shadows 8/10
    Signal Lost 8/10
    Stolen Research 8/10
    Telev, Arctic Rumble, Hydroport, Hotel Alfa, Undefined Destrict, Body Swap; all 6/10
    Through Space Time, Aperture Prospekt 4/10
    Portal Technology 2/10

  9. I’m playing Shadows, I get to the end with the two hunters and the strider, and after dispatching the hunters (by making them follow me down the hall to the door they can’t pass thru), I do the final battle with the strider; and as soon as it kicks the bucket, the map abruptly shuts down the game, leaving me at the main menu. I tried getting thru it in godmode, to see if there was something I was triggering, but it still just abruptly ends. Anyone have any ideas on this?

    1. Same here. I’m pretty sure the ending wasn’t properly created, and what we experienced was it.

      1. Unq

        Yeah, that’s the end. Not pretty.

  10. Play It Later

    This review was reposted because I forgot to include review header.

    Boy, right after I finished Black Mesa. (After saving money for it) It’s finally here! But…..I might have to agree with Crowbar here. This is the weakest THC Ville of the year yet. All 3 bonus maps have very high chance of winning! But anyway let’s explore each map, one by one.

    Portal Storm
    It is good

    A solid map. Not great, but not bad either. The teleportation here is basic but also serves as progression. The “falling from high place to land into a portal” moment from Half-Life 1 is redone here, which caught me off guard. I barely used the portals to flank the Hunter during the fight, maybe because the area and the distance between portals are too small for good use. Also the rebel who greets you kinda have AI problem, he’s walking around from side to side, looking at the wall.

    Shadows
    It is okay

    I’m a fan of claustrophobic, close quarter setting. I’d like this map more if it wasn’t for 2 things. 1) The teleportation effect, while it is a nice gameplay mechanic because it messes up prop physics, is very annoying. You can barely see. 2) Hunters in close quarter setting? Why? Just….WHY?

    Telev
    It is good

    I’d give “It’s Great” if it was longer. I like how the G-Man tells us we’re not supposed to be here, kinda like awkward encounter. The forcefield is somehow solid at the beginning, you could’ve replaced it with a metal barrier door. By the way, this map is one of the non-bonus few polished map here.

    Arctic Rumble
    It is good

    It seems that Ethosaur decided to reuse his ideas from Smog City and Trek to Borealis. I don’t know but I don’t find this map exciting. Also the plot kinda don’t make sense, I was sent to destroy a generator, ended up entering the portal which has the generator right in front of it. Not much teleportation here. Sorry man. But I’ll give credit for being one of the most polished maps here.

    Portal Technology
    It is bad

    Not great for a first map, but I also don’t want to be harsh. This map doesn’t have any story in any shape or form, at all. Do NOT use doors without handles for the doors that CAN be opened. The APC garage fight is cheap, you’ll either die from volley of bullets or 3 grenades. The Xen section is….unbearable. I guess the creator messed up texture files.

    Through Space And Time
    It is okay

    I thought about Doctor Who, when I saw the title. (Never watch it though) This map tried to be scary and creepy, which has done kinda right. The mansion was very atmospheric. But the rooms in the map are almost empty. Some more props would be nice. And also the jumpscare at the end got me good. I laughed so hard at the “208 years door”.

    Hydroport
    It is good

    This map is average, but need some work. The Hunter fight at the beginning only gives you 2 propane tanks and a lot of weak benches and tables. Some heavy props would do. How come the water is electrified when you can see that the wire is on the ground? The Gunship in the sky kinda spoiled me about what will you fight to end the map. Little to no teleportation though.

    The Crab
    It is great!

    Kleiner. What did you just do? The best non-bonus map here. I’d say that the custom portal effect was top notch and beautiful. However, I get lost when the Gunship shows up. I didn’t see the destroyed shack with portal in it until I watched Dolmo’s playthrough. It was great, but Klems, I’m sorry for my words, this might be the weakest map of yours.

    Hotel Alfa Teleport
    It is okay

    Another OK map. I like how you teleport to the Arctic base in the end. The fight in the teleporter room can be easily exploited by camping at the supple cache and the AR2 ammo crate, it’s not fun to just sit in the corner. Also, Hashtag, having the map set in a teleporter lab to fit into the theme is not a good excuse. Also “leaking”? I don’t get it.

    Undefined Destination
    It is good

    Oh my God! An APC that moves around! This map already received a bonus point from me. I like how the first arena gives you 2 out of 4 enemies that can only be killed with explosives right off the bat. The second arena fight is not good for an ending fight. I’d say the first one suits more. You can also cheat the first arena by just using the RPG, turning the battle not challenging. Not much teleportation here.

    Body Swap
    It is good

    You can’t deny that the concept, while not executed great, is very unique and simple. Bonus point for creativity. The second map is very unneeded, as it is driving and stop by for house to house fighting. One reason of why I don’t like Highway 17 chapter much. The concept is also barely used here.

    Station 0
    It is bad

    The map is very, very confusing. You can get stuck if you do it the wrong way too. I guess the creator was going for an open world map. The console to open the door is hard to notice. I also don’t know what does the console inside a room with the Shotgunner do. If you go down to the flooded floor before going to the submarine deck. You will absolutely get stuck down there. I saw zombies inside the submarine, but you can’t enter it without noclip. It kills you for doing it anyway. The fight was unbalanced with very little supply. I had to camp at the elevator to get out of this place alive. Little teleportation here.

    Signal Lost
    It is WOW!

    Why is this a bonus map? This map could have destroyed the competition like Maki’s maps! The idea of teleportation is creative and enjoyable to play with. The map seems to be inspired by Quake or something. My only complaint is that the texture looks boring to me (the exact criticism Quake got), but still a great map.

    Aperture Prospekt
    It is great!

    A puzzle map is very refreshing. But I might say Portal is too easy to duplicate in almost any game because of how basic the gameplay is. The fight with the Antlion Queen was intense! When I first know what will happen, I was like: “Oh f**k you. F**k you in a hundred ways possible. No. Just no.” I like how you have to figure everything out yourself. I thought that you have to “stealth” your way out by turning the wheel while evading the Queen. (Which I got lucky because she was ramming herself into the wall repeatedly.)

    Stolen Research
    It is good

    The next chapter of 1upD’s Ville story. This one has less action than its prequels but focus on puzzle. It kinda bothers me that you decided to place headcrab rockets in the middle of narrow hallways. The fight was intense. With Soldiers teleporting into the room, you have to keep listening to their chatter to know where they are. I can’t wait for the next, perhaps the last, chapter of this story.

    Conclusion

    This Ville has OK maps more than great, good and WOW! maps. My top 3 votes go to The Crab, Arctic Rumble, and Portal Storm. With all 3 bonus maps as honourable mentions. See you guys next Ville.

    1. There’s also zombies teleporting in, though in retrospect, that mechanic could’ve been used more. And by “leaking” I mean that similar to the resonance cascade, portals to the Xen borderworld (used for the teleport) “randomly” open, spawning the zombies in the basement and the one in the lab when players activate the machinery there.

  11. Okay, I attempted posting my review, like, 3 times. I even scanned the thing to make sure there were no swears in it, and I could’ve sworn it got posted here for a second, but it still hasn’t showed up :C

    1. Unq

      I just checked the Pending, Spam, and Trash folders for your comments but they aren’t there. Sorry, I don’t know what happened but they aren’t being flagged for swears or links or anything like that.

  12. So, yeah, as you can see by the un-included map section, I ran into a bit of a pickle when trying to enter this competition. In the grand scheme of things, however, it was probably for the best, because I don’t think what would’ve been my entry was a very good representation of my work either way.

    That aside, overall, I mostly enjoyed the entries in this one, only a couple really grinded my gears. Good competition.

    As usual, I might sound very harsh in these reviews (Although on Philip’s request, I tried not to swear this time), that’s just how I review stuff. Don’t take it personally.

    Portal Storm
    It is good

    I’m dubbing the protagonist of this map: Flippin Flopsom

    I was worried at first by the relatively simplistic visuals, but after playing through the whole thing, it’s clear where all their priorities were. Portal Storm is a seriously fun map. It has some pretty well paced action sequences, a couple good setpieces (despite the simplistic visuals), a surprisingly good length, and I feel it made pretty good use of the teleporter theme. You flip-flop back and fourth between environments constantly, sometimes even intermingling themselves within the combat encounters.

    There are a couple of gripes I have, however. I did say that the combat encounters were well-paced, but a quick puzzle somewhere in the middle would’ve been good. There are also a few moments where the teleporter mechanic does become a bit annoying to try and deal with, the main one being where you have to set yourself up so you’re walking the right way when you come out because there’s no room to walk around it.

    But yeah, overall, really solid entry, this one. I enjoyed it, and it makes me excited to see the rest!

    Shadows
    It is dire!

    I’m dubbing the protagonist of this map: Alarm McDarkSoul

    This map wanted me dead.

    At first, this map was shooting for an “It’s Great” rating from me, with a cool-looking intro, that made me think I was gonna get caught up in the process of being turned into a stalker. That would’ve been awesome, but then I got dumped into some sort of underground Ravenholm-esque area. A bit odd, but I was down for it.

    The more I played the more the problems crept in. First I noticed the annoying teleporter effect that moves enemies. This never does anything but confuse you.

    It’s also worth mentioning that the teleportation effect is REALLY LOUD… in fact, a lot of things in this map are are very loud. There was a point towards the middle of the map where there was just noise going on constantly.

    Then we get to the combat half of the map… whoo boy. If the map maker tested these encounters, then goodness me he must be good at this game. The first couple aren’t terrible, but the point where everything just went bad for me was when I got teleported into a small,
    cramped hallway,
    only 37 hp, and there was an entire room full of combine soldiers AND A HUNTER facing directly at me… wow. That’s some pretty stellar balancing you got there! Yeah, after respawning like 4 times and dying within seconds every time, i just turned on godmode. I figured that I could turn it off after that one encounter, but the map just wasn’t having it. Literally immediately after that fight, you’re thrust into another cramped hallway, where combine elites shoot disintegration orbs at you. 5 seconds later, you’re in the exact same situation again, but this time you’re being chased by, quite literally, more manhacks than I could count.

    Oh, and for the finale, you get a rocket launcher out of thin air, and you have to kill a strider that teleports across a giant room with that loud, confusing, teleporter effect.

    And then the map just ends. Not even a fade to black. Just sudden jerk from absurd intense action and difficulty right to the menu screen.

    Yeah, I’m done.

    Telev
    It is okay

    I’m dubbing the protagonist of this map: Quick Thinker

    For as short as this map was, I got some enjoyment out of it. There were a few good portal puzzles, a tiny bit of combat, and a really cool G-Man ending… but that’s it.

    Okay, next map.

    Arctic Rumble
    It is okay

    I’m dubbing the protagonist of this map: Transdimensional Jack Frostier

    I figured this map was made by ethosaur, because as I was playing through it, I remember thinking to myself, “Hey, isn’t this just more Trek to Borealis”?
    I mean, that’s hardly a complaint. Trek to Borealis was a stellar looking map, and having a more polished version of that visual style is very welcome. So, yeah, map looks really good.

    All of the gameplay consists of combat. The combat is kinda boring.

    That’s about it.

    Portal Technology
    It is bad

    I’m dubbing the protagonist of this map… actually, I’m not. He’s dead. And we can’t rebuild him, we don’t have the technology.

    So the map opens with “This is my first map.”
    Welp… it’s better than my first map way back in the day, I can tell you that much.

    So, yeah, gameplay is chock standard is boring, there’s purple squares everywhere, the only reason that this didn’t get an “It’s Dire” was because it didn’t do anything to get me to despise it.

    Also, what kind of an ending is just randomly telling the player to break a big crystal?

    Through Space Time
    It is great!

    I’m dubbing the protagonist of this ma- oh, they already did that. Shoot. I wanted to make a reference to the old video where Luigi says “Quantum Physics is fun”

    Overall, this map felt like a joy to play. Or a fright, depending on how you wanna look at it. You got to look at the creepy remains of a destroyed world after humans have long since died off. Man, this subject matter is one of the easiest ways to make me feel really sad.

    The gameplay is almost entirely going from A to B without too much interference, but you take in a lot of atmosphere as you’re moving along, and it never really gets boring. At first I was worried that this would be the typical “The map where nothing happens” entry, but thankfully, that turned out not to be the case.

    PS- Do you guys know what video I was talking about with the dubbing the protagonist joke? I’d like to try and hunt it down on youtube, but I can’t remember what it’s called.

    Hydroport
    It is good

    I’m dubbing the protagonist of this map: Sailor Schuyler

    Like Portal Storm, this was a map with simple but effective visuals, and was just overall really fun to play from start to finish. The way the introduced enemies teleporting into the environment was really well done, and properly conveyed how your defacto goal was to stop this from continuing.

    Only a couple issues. The combat areas seem to be a tad overscaled, and the map kind of has a lame ending. Just kill the gunship and the map ends. Still, overall it was a pretty fun map.

    The Crab
    It is WOW!

    I’m dubbing the protagonist of this map: The Kuantum Krab

    It’s not often that I leave one of these ville competition maps and leave feeling as satisfied as I did here. What we’ve got is an absolutely gorgeous visual setup, beautifully designed progression, a very good length for this type of map, and a coherent story to boot. Ordinarily, I’m a bit weary of the more obvious choices for the winners to these competitions, because they have tendency to just play it safe, and wind up being less memorable. But man, there’s some REALLY good moments in this map. There’s definitely a couple in here that’ll stick for a while.

    I know that it sounds like I’m literally just gushing, but it’s harder for me to quickly explain why I like something rather than why I don’t. So, i’m just gonna leave it to you to experience this map for yourself.

    I will say, however, that it isn’t quite a masterpiece. The latter half certainly didn’t have the greatest combine encounter, and the gunship fight got pretty tedious having to walk up the lighthouse every single time you wanted to get rockets.

    But yeah… overall… just go play the map. It’s awesome.

    Hotel Alfa Teleport
    It is great!

    I’m dubbing the protagonist of this map: Gibus Spy

    This map was short and sweet. It certainly looked pretty nice, though coming right after The Crab, you have some fierce competition 😛

    My first main issue is the incredible under-utilization of the theme. Teleportation is really only used to make zombies show up one time, have a setpiece, and then have a kicker at the end. Nothing really interesting.

    Combat was alright. It starts off weak, because soldiers are just running at you through a corridor, then you have a bit more of a dynamic fight where they can get on a balcony to flank you. But at the end there’s actually a really good combat arena, and I thought it was a very fun way to finish the map. Well done, good sir.

    Undefined Destination
    It is great!

    I’m dubbing the protagonist of this map: Undefined Dude.

    This was another fun, but albeit somewhat basic, map. The beginning felt very strong. Great atmosphere, and a nice, relaxing start.

    The pacing of the map was… odd. You fight a boss rush in this map towards the beginning, but you fight a fairly easy wave of enemies towards the end. I’m not sure what that was all about. Aside from that, arenas were fun for me to navigate, especially the first one, and were excellent for facilitating fast movement.

    My only real issue is the name: “Undefined Destination”, I feel like a title like that would elude to leading you into strange, new environments, rather than, literally the next room over.

    All things considered though, everything in the map was technically well done, and I don’t want to bash it too hard for what I feel could’ve been.

    Bodyswap
    It is okay

    I’m dubbing the protagonist of this map: Elite Swapping Champion

    Everything about this map feels “acceptable”. Combat is alright, the visuals are simplistic but get the job done, and the main gimmick is you swap bodies with a Combine Elite every time you kill one. The problem I see is just how incredibly underplayed this gimmick is. I don’t think there’s a single moment in this map where you NEED that bodyswap mechanic to be there, and in the latter half of the map, it’s more annoying than anything else.

    That aside, the only major issue that I have with this map is the boss fights. You kill a gunship, an APC, and a helicopter in this map. The helicopter one was okay, but it was pretty boring. The problem that I have is with the gunship and the APC, because for both of them, you basically NEED to take damage if you want to get to the crate of rockets, because they’re so out in the open. It isn’t terrible for the APC, but it’s incredibly frustrating for the Gunship, because the nearest place where you could maybe get some acceptable cover is 5 seconds away, which is more than enough time for a gunship to rip you in half.

    Overall, the whole thing just feels kind of unremarkable.

    Station 0
    It is WOW!

    I’m dubbing the protagonist of this map: Spoop Explorer

    This was a pretty schweet map. Had some very nice puzzle elements, and I REALLY like how it handled scarcity of ammo. It’s just enough to keep you on edge, but not so much that it completely frustrates you.

    Atmosphere felt very good. It did a great job of portraying dank, zombie-infested corridors, and, big freaking bonus: It’s nonlinear! You solve problems by exploring the environments and find where the solution is, without being hopelessly cryptic. I absolutely adore that type of gameplay, so, yeah, instant bonus points from me.
    This might not’ve been technically the best map, but as of the time of writing this, it’s my favorite.

    Although looking at the other people’s reviews, it seems I’m in the minority. Oh well. Each to their own, I guess.

    Signal Lost
    It is WOW!

    I’m dubbing the protagonist of this map: Aperture Ranger

    This is a good example of a cool idea executed very, very well. Long story short, you use the gravity gun to pick up and throw around your teleporter destination. The escalation of this mechanic is done perfectly. They start you off in a safe environment with some simple puzzles, and it later becomes about how to utilize this newfound mechanic in various combat situations, all of which feel very fun. Good work.

    Aesthetic is really cool, too. It feels a lot like a cross between Portal and Quake.

    Overall, very solid map from beginning to end, I loved it.

    Aperture Prospekt
    It is okay

    I’m dubbing the protagonist of this map: Nova Chell

    Well, I liked the atmosphere. It’s a very pretty map.

    The puzzles were incredibly easy, so they’re pretty boring.

    The ending is flat-out badly designed, as having to run away from an antlion guard while you need to get a box through a super tight space AND you can’t sprint just isn’t fun.

    That’s about it. Next.

    Stolen Research
    It is good

    I’m dubbing the protagonist of this map: cheese teleporter

    Not a whole lot for me to say on this one. It was kinda fun, overall. I got stuck a little on one puzzle, but that’s about it. The final fight was fun, however I found out that you could infinitely respawn health packs, which kind of makes the fight a joke.

    It has A story… though it appears to be part of a larger series, and I’m not really up to speed on that. It didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the map at all, nor did it help.

    In conclusion

    This was easily one of the better ville’s I’ve played so far since I joined the site. While the lows got pretty low, most of the others were pretty enjoyable to some extent. I think this was a good theme. It really pushes creativity.

    1. I’ve read your review and I guess you don’t know 1upD’s Ville story. Or I don’t know. His story spans through this year’s Hammer Cup Villes. This is his story in order:

      1.Countermeasure (DefenceVilleTwo)
      2.Flood Gate (ToxicVille
      3.Double Cross (BridgeVille)
      4.Stolen Research

      I’m also surprised you actually like Station 0, but eh opinion’s opinion

      1. Looking back on it, I see why people didn’t like it, but I think the way that the puzzles in Station 0 were designed just clicked with me in a way that didn’t for most others.

  13. I just want to change my ratings for two maps:

    The Crab
    It is great!

    I think I was a little too harsh against this entry, which is probably because I knew who made it and had higher expectations and I also playtested it which is also making me biased. This map easily deserves an “IT’S GREAT” rating. The way the story is implemented alone should give it lots of extra points. Lots of entries try to have stories, but most of the time they are just weird, confusing or just bad. The only purpose of the story of this map is to give everything context, and it does that in a simple, but funny and effective way. Besides, while the teleport theme isn’t that big of a deal for gameplay, it is a well implemented theme for the story. And that isn’t supposed to mean that the teleport theme plays no role in the gameplay, especially compared to most other entries.

    Bodyswap
    It is okay

    I totally forgot to talk about this, the author copied lots of places and buildings from official Valve maps, which is very cheap and unfair towards the other entrants in my opinion. It’s not always easy to tell how much really is just copied and how much just is built with the official maps’ design. This is also not the first time the author has done this. Sure you can, and sometimes even should, copy some things from official maps, but not whole buildings or even areas…

  14. Portal Storm
    It is good

    The start kinda sucked – and what’s with that end of the tunnel if there’s nothing there? But it soon gets better after that portal storm that began my adventure. I loved it and I liked how things linked together in the game. Also, looking up at the soldiers (near the end) on those platforms was amazing but this could have been done much better too. What a great idea yet not taken advantage of and I had a crossbow too yet couldn’t hit them all…

    Overall, a short map with good mini battles and I thought the teleporting was done well.

    Shadows
    It is okay

    The start was neat, I think I’m the combine! The following rooms after the first transport are overly cluttered but I liked how the zombies would teleport into the scene as it often didn’t feel right during these times. Too dark, too cluttered with large objects and I just wasn’t feeling it.

    But that constant background noise ruined it for me – for something that’s supposed to be in the *background* it was awfully loud and distracting. Must admit, I’m conflicted by this map because I think it’s this sound that’s putting me off as I enjoyed this right until the Strider scene. The teleporting effect made it so I couldn’t see jack during much of the battle!

    Telev
    It is okay

    I liked this map.
    I thought it was well made with the puzzle/action integration but the problem is the length of gameplay. It’s too short, sadly.

    Arctic Rumble
    It is good

    My old computer suffered massive framerate drops for this map so I feel I cannot give it my proper score. It’s a great arena style onslaught and I liked the ideas but I died due to the extreme lag… One to come back to when I’ve the cash for a new computer! 🙁

    Portal Technology
    It is bad

    I’m going to be generous here! This is (umm) okay for a first map and has some ideas I liked, even if most doesn’t make much sense… Yeah I’d love to see more for this developer but (atm) it’s a bit messy and things don’t seem well produced, even some textures are missing. The end part was weird! Of course, the worst of the Ville (so far)

    Through Space and Time
    It is good

    I quite liked this, got a Resident Evil/Silent Hill vibe and that worked pretty well. I thought the skeleton of the guy waiting 205 years for the door to open was funny. Sometimes felt awkwardly designed but I must admit to enjoying this one.

    Hydroport
    It is good

    Felt quite basic and unfinished at times but I did enjoy playing it. The maps could have been great with more experience, because the potential is there with good designs in the outdoor areas. However, there are a few niggles like how the gunship was stationary in the sky!! So I shot it and completed the game.

    Umm! I went back to my saved game and destroyed the teleporter to fight the gunship properly. I’d have liked a better outdoor design for this part as again I felt the potential. Good map.

    The Crab
    It is great!

    Generally, these are my kinda maps and this one is a cracker. I love the overall design and it looked beautiful but I did think there could have been more details for the outdoor parts which are through the first gate. I don’t know why, but here is a little barren, I thought. Inside, I love how everything was integrated and the battles worked well with the transporters…

    The gunship scene was the weakest part because that thing shot down most of my rockets with annoying accuracy! So it was a bit of a bore when repeatably running off to get more rockets… over and over… And I was getting too low on health. Perhaps a strider scene would have been better here?

    Hotel Alfa Teleport
    It is good

    What a great map but sadly far too short. I loved the story and starting off from a dumpster lol. The puzzles were a little meh but the level design was good, as was the action and I liked the end battle which works well. Really good map this one!

    Undefined Destination
    It is great!

    This need much more attention to detail for me, visually. And the map design seemed somewhat strange in places but I also still really enjoyed it. After the battle with the armoured trucked/gunship/etc I feel the rest was botched on and perhaps the game should have ended there? It’s like those final scenes should have come before the outdoor battle. But I’m up’ing this to a score of 4 because it was thought out well in terms of battles and puzzles and it was interesting too.

    Body Swap
    It is WOW!

    From that silly start were I found a crossbow in my cell, I knew this was either gonna be amateur rubbish or something I’d love. The integration of the teleport with a particular soldier kill was a good idea, even though it threw me at first. The first outdoor scenes were like something from a Doom game! Too large and lacking details but I still enjoyed myself here. From now onwards, getting the rocket/gunship and being teleported over the locked fencing … all superb!!!

    I loved the car scenes later and I thought it all worked quite well. These places had potential but also felt unfinished too but that didn’t stop me from exploring!! Sadly the boss fight didn’t seem to work too great as that thing blindly dropped its payload anywhere but me! But the amount of rockets taken to bring it down (sigh) I can’t say I was bothered.

    I wanted more outdoor scenes. There’s not enough! 🙂 Perhaps the finishing touches could be better, esp for distant horizon. Anyhow, I don’t care about the niggles because this (so far) is my favourite of the bunch!!!

    Station 0
    It is bad

    I think I gave this far longer than I should have. I agree with everyone else here… There are no lights hardly and being dark ruins what might have been…

    BONUS: Signal Lost
    It is great!

    You know what, I loved this map. There’s nothing Half Lifey about it imho because it feels like something from Doom or Quake but it’s great fun. I really liked the idea of the teleporter to reach different places! I bypassed the second to last battle completely and tried attacking from behind!

    Great old skool fun!

    BONUS: Aperture Prospekt
    It is okay

    This is pretty good portal like map with some neat puzzles. I liked the way the teleporters were used but I’m not a huge fan of maps like this. Good ideas and nicely executed.

    BONUS: Stolen Research
    It is good

    This was pretty darn good if a little too short. I love the way teleporters are used to produce what you need and that puzzle to open the last door stumped me for a while lol. The end battle was great!

    Summary

    Not one of the best Ville downloads but there are some great maps here which I enjoyed and also some which I’d love to see developed more. PotentialVille! 😉

    1. Would you like me to add a recommendation image?

  15. Play It Now!

    Ended up playing this over a couple of days

    Portal Storm by Sockman
    It is good

    Combat was decent with a few regular and elite combine, hunters and antlions.
    Portals were used to bypass security / obstacles, movement 20 meters in the same area and both ways inside / outside.
    After the first teleport I was not able to engage enemy on the left with the Crossbow until one on the right platform was triggered.
    On second play through teleported on top of 3 antlions.
    There was an abundance of health and ammo throughout for the 3 or 4 hunter engagements.
    Missed having a pistol. Eventually you teleport back to the starting point.
    Solid entry.

    Shadows by Rags Jams
    It is bad

    Had real potential but did not enjoy.
    Found it confining with too many props blocking movement.
    Portals would appear and not go away quick enough causing unnecessary damage.
    Found the sounds to be very repetitive. Was happy when it ended.

    Telev by Piotr Miska AKA PiotrekPolska
    It is good

    Has a Nova Prospekt feel to it.
    Well-constructed portals that made sense.
    Too short < 5 mins – a fun play through.
    Didn't take any damage.

    Arctic Rumble by ethosaur
    It is great!

    Really enjoyed this map.
    Appreciated the story line and great environment.
    Found the engagements challenging and intense at times.

    Portal Technology by Kirill Okenev/Russian men
    It is bad

    I would of liked to have seen the last room with the Xen theme.
    Look forward to seeing the next map.

    Through Space and Time by Matt71490/Event Horizon
    It is okay

    This map grew on me – had a Halloween / horror vibe to it.
    Enjoyed it.

    Hydroport by Viridian
    It is okay

    The first engagement was with a hunter so you jump right in.
    I didn’t trigger the gunship in the correct sequence so it died without a fight on the first pass.
    Overall map was ok.

    The Crab by Clément Baticle AKA Klems
    It is great!

    This was one of my favorite maps.
    Well put together. Combat was challenging and constructed well.
    Nice looking portals.
    Great final fight.

    Hotel Alfa Teleport by Tim Age AKA HashtagMC & Andrew Brown AKA Rookzilla
    It is good

    Didn’t get the teleport theme.
    Enjoyed the map.

    Undefined Destination by Mark AKA Strontvlieg
    It is good

    This was an interesting map with good fight scenes.

    Body Swap by HighFire
    It is great!

    An excellent map. Only got better as the fight scenes progressed.
    The teleport concept of swapping with enemy was interesting.
    Would have been fun to be able to pick which one with the cross bow or tag with a special weapon.
    Both the village and final gunship fight were properly done.

    Station 0 by by easimer
    It is bad

    Did not enjoy this map. Found the game play counterintuitive. Sequencing lacked clarity. Unclear direction resulted in time waste when trying to turn the teleport on.

    BONUS: Signal Lost by November
    It is WOW!

    This was my favorite map.
    Felt the teleport theme was the most creative in this submission.
    The environment was Wow.
    Took me back to the nostalgic ambience of the old Castle Wolfenstein game but with a modern atmosphere.
    Being able to place the portals was intelligent and provided an advantage to the scrimmages.
    Can’t wait to see this type of portal used in future mods – great potential!

    BONUS: Apeture Prospekt by WALLe PL
    It is okay

    Didn’t play this one all the way through.

    BONUS: Stolen Research by 1upD
    It is okay

    Short map with cramped fighting. Was a fun play through.

  16. Here are my comments on each map. I’m going going to give a review rating here as I’ve already submitted my scores to the judges.

    Overall I was disappointed with the lack of imagination applied to the teleport theme. I was hoping for some interesting puzzles or combat but alas it didn’t make it into most of the maps submitted.

    Portal Storm by Sockman

    The basic visuals and rather confusing layout made it a challenge to enjoy this. I really liked it when the music kicked in and I was jumping down into portals and sort of bouncing through the world. The mapper makes the terrible sin of putting the player directly in the path of danger without any warning. Teleporting the player and instantly injuring them is cheating them out of the opportunity to avoid the damage. Even if you give it instantly back to them.
    I would recommend the mapper focus on keeping the player informed. Where does this portal go? Why do I need to go through it? What will happen when I jump through this?
    The player can’t use their skills in the game if they are not informed about what is required of them.

    Shadows by Rags Jams

    Underlit maps are no fun. Cluttered maps with no room to operate are no fun. Doors that don’t look like doors are no fun. Portal effects over the players vision when there are enemies nearby is no fun.
    Nice amount of detailing on this map but design wise it fails entirely to create any form of fun for the player. Playing through this was a chore.
    Maps need to be much bigger than this especially when using enemies like zombies who are designed to cut down the players space. HL2 has a problem with floor clutter and so filling maps with physics props can often cause frustration for the player. Try and keep the playing space clear with a few phys props placed out of the way. If you’re not going to use the door models that come with the game (which is fine) make sure your doors are clearly communicated to the player. The player cannot operate and use their playing skills to do well if they cannot see. Lighting is important as is keeping the players vision clear for them to plan how they want to deal with situations and then execute their plan… which is the basis of fun in Half Life 2.

    Telev by Piotr Miska AKA PiotrekPolska

    Disappointingly short but well put together. Objectives and portal connections were well communicated to the player. Damaged the player without warning at the beginning so loses points for that. Map detailing was nicely done.

    Arctic Rumble by ethosaur

    Looks great, sounds great, plays terribly…
    Slippery floors are annoying at the best of times but during combat they’re infuriating. The mapper confuses challenge with difficulty here. Even on easy it was almost impossible to defeat the onslaught of so many AR2 enemies. I had to rely on luck rather than skill in most situations to eventually get past them.
    Yes, players are very skilled at operating in HL2 these days but facing them up against impossible odds doesn’t automatically generate fun. The experience has to make the player want to reload and try again.
    This problem coupled with some truly terrible autosave placing led to a huge amount of frustration. Never Autosave when there could be enemies in the vicinity. Never autosave after the player has hit the button to start the attack.

    Portal Technology by Kirill Okenev/Russian men

    A first map indeed. Not really much to actually play here. The things I did were the only option available to me at the time so not much input required from my side as a player.
    The visuals weren’t too bad for a first map and the mapper demonstrates a clear understanding of some of the entities. I would recommended setting your map in a particular area of HL2. That way you can focus on the gameplay rather than trying to create a unique look and feel. I.e. set it in ravenholm or in City 17. While there appear to be portal triggers used in the map they don’t really seem to achieve anything other than taking the player to the next area.

    Through Space and Time by Matt71490/Event Horizon

    Quite blocky mapping and minimal use of the teleport theme unfortunately.
    I’m never really a fan of Resident Evil inspired maps but I tried to play the map in the spirit with which it was made. Putting the player in the dark is always very annoying and so that really detracted from the fun I could have had unfortunately.

    Hydroport by Viridian

    Not really sure how the teleport theme is associated to this map. Blocky mapping again here and I was instantly frustrated having to fight a hunter within two seconds of the map starting. They’re sort of a miniboss and should be used sparingly with lots of uncluttered space for gameplay.
    The combat spaces were fairly uninspiring and didn’t really ask a lot of me as a player. The outside space was a little more interesting.

    The Crab by Clément Baticle AKA Klems

    The clear winner of all the entries. Great use of color indicators to show origin and destination of each teleport pair. Mapping was a bit blocky in places but still good enough to sell the location. Nice use of landscape with lots of hidden bonuses around in clever locations. I really enjoyed playing this.

    Hotel Alfa Teleport by Tim Age AKA HashtagMC & Andrew Brown AKA Rookzilla

    A bit of an odd one this. Didn’t really use teleporting in the gameplay but some nice use of beams and effects along the way. Blocky mapping and slightly confusing design was frustrating.

    Undefined Destination by Mark AKA Strontvlieg

    Nice Portal Puzzle with the fan!
    Unfortunately portals don’t really feature heavily in this map and so it loses points for that. Still the gameplay was solid and I enjoyed playing this.

    Body Swap by HighFire

    I was happy with the main teleport mechanic that this map presented. It was well demonstrated at the beginning. Other than getting the player into inaccessible areas though the mechanic didn’t really come into use at all as I was playing. It’s a shame the mapper couldn’t come up with some clever uses of the main idea.
    Bodyswap also gets points for scale. I appreciate a map that isn’t afraid to go big although it’s a shame the areas were borrowed from standard HL2 maps. Also I think the direction to the player could have been better at times. I got lost at several points and wasn’t sure how to proceed.

    Station 0 by by easimer

    We all have to start somewhere… but I honestly can’t find a single positive thing to say about Station 0.
    It’s an ugly, dark confusing mess. Quite often I didn’t have any weapons to take care of bad guys with and that was very frustrating. I didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing unfortunately.
    Added to this the map didn’t seem to have any portal elements associated to the gameplay as per the instructions of the competition.

    1. no review for “Signal Lost” by November?

      1. it wasn’t in the competition as far as I know.
        It was a bonus map wasn’t it?

        1. Yeah it was a bonus map.

  17. The results of this challenge will be announced within a few days.

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