The Hammer Cup 16: Challenge 1: ChasmVille

And so it begins…

Welcome to the very first mapping challenge as part of The Hammer cup 2016.

Theme Details

The main element of the map must be a chasm. Canyon, gorge, abyss, rift – whatever you want to call it, but it must be the key feature of the map.

This chasm can be inside or outside. Think the perilous pits in Black Mesa, the insane heights inside the Citadel, and the dark antlion caverns.

These are just Half-Life examples to get your brain started! Put a new spin on one of these, or come up with your own thrilling chasm!

The player is not required to cross it but it must form the main gameplay element of the map.

Bridges CAN be used but are NOT compulsory and they can be anything from huge solid metal bridges to loose, wonky wooden ones.

There CAN be puzzle elements involved in crossing the chasm or just combat.

The player could work their way to the bottom and up the other side or fly across!


The deadline for submitting maps is:

Monday 25th January 2016 11pm GMT

That’s 19 days, with 3 full weekends.

General Advice

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

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


I highly recommend The Beta Testers Collective.

Of course, you can get anybody you want to test your maps, but the BTC are very good at it and provide excellent feedback.

General Rules
  • Maximum two maps per entry.
  • The map must be original and not have been released publicly before.
  • The map must run in system with only Ep2 installed
  • By entering the competition you grant PlanetPhillip.Com and RunThinkShootLive.Com the right to release the map as part of the ChasmVilleTwo.
  • Maps must not appear on ANY other website before the release and for one month after the release of the mod.
  • No assets from retail games other than HL2, HL2: Ep1 or HL2: Ep2 are allowed.
  • Other assets are allowed with written permission from their original authors, which MUST be included in the entry.
  • Phillip’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into about it.
  • The map MUST have a proper name.
  • The map MUST have a proper filename: MapName_thc16c1.bsp
  • All entries must be sent to: no later than the deadline.

Steam games will be awarded to the Winner and Runner Up.

Points for The Hammer Cup

Points will be awarded for The Hammer Cup. The details below are subject to change if all three judges agree.

Places: 36 points for first, 24 for second, 12 for third and 8 points for the rest.
Bonus: 0,3,6 or 9 in the following categories:
Design (layout, foreshadowing, secret areas, concept etc)
Visuals (lighting, textures, etc)
Sound (ambient sounds, voice acting, special effects etc)
Gameplay (flow, exploration, 3 dimensions etc)
Misc (g-man sightings, humour, seriousness, scares etc)

Check The Hammer cup 2016 for full details of the event, including the prizes etc.

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


  1. Good theme to base the ville around, I think I could work out something nice. Maybe more physics puzzle based using the vertical drop as the main way of moving around safely, with some nice fights mixed in.

    And the Hammer cup 2016, a glorious event to be apart of, I uninsulated nearly everything but hl2 and the episodes in anticipation of this. time to begin 😀

    Make sure to look up.

    1. Keep us up-to-date with your WIP.

  2. marnamai

    Damn you Phillip! Good theme, now I’ll have to attempt to wip something together.

    1. Glad to hear you might participate but I can’t take credit for the theme. It was Don who crystallized the BrdigeVille idea into ChasmVille.

  3. Ooh, exciting theme. Can’t wait to see what the entries will look like..

    Great start for the cup!

  4. B-but, we just had VerticalVille 2! XD

    1. There doesn’t have to be any vertical gameplay involved.

  5. Oooh, I’m excited.
    Can you feel it? I can feel it.

    Just to make things clear, how strict are these rules?
    For instance, could you start at the bottom of a chasm and climb up?

    1. I can feel it. Am I allowed to feel it? Yes, you can start at the bottom.

  6. “The map must run in system with only Ep2 installed”, any easy comfortable way for the developer to verify this?

    1. There’s always someone with a smartarse questions nobody has asked before. Actually, I don’t know. Obviosuly, uninstalling all the other games isn’t easy. Can any modders answer this?

      1. Docta

        I think, maybe there are some ep2 models and textures in hammer to distinguish from ep1 or hl2 like the extra exploding barrels or some props.
        though i am not sure if i got the question correctly.

      2. Wazanator

        Late response but with the introduction of Source SDK base 2013 Singleplayer no one even needs to own a HL2 game to use it’s content as HL2, Episodic, and EP2 content all comes in the download.

        Included VPK’s are:
        hl2_sound_vo_english (and probably other languages depending on what you have set on Steam)

        1. Yes, I know but the site is built around the idea of mods for games.

        2. What does this mean for a gamer and developer? In order to play any HL2 mod I only need to download Source SDK base 2013 Singleplayer?

          Does this apply for any mod.. old and new?

          I myself, don’t have Source SDK base 2013 Singleplayer downloaded, but I still create maps/mods.. so I am bit confused about this matter. What it actually means. Help me out. 🙂

          1. Zekiran

            Phillip just said: it’s to promote the idea of mods based ON the games. Not mods built just from an extracted portion…

            The idea is to HAVE the game, run it, love it, enjoy playing and replaying it. Just because someone can pick up the sdk doesn’t mean that have any idea of what the game felt like when you play it. Emulating the ideas and feel of a Half Life product is the point.

    2. I’m not sure what just having Ep2 installed gets you. It may contain all the content of the other games, or it may be a subset of it. Either way, I don’t think that is your intention. It should read “HL2, Ep1 and Ep2 installed.”

  7. Oh, I was very excited to see the theme of the first mapping challenge. This isn’t what I expected at all, I’ll have to think about it a bit before I start work on it. A few ideas already come to mind, most of which include some sort of puzzle or vertical gameplay. Either way, this theme is bound to create some interesting concepts. Good choice, Phillip!

    Only one question, though, can there be more than one separate chasm?

    1. Yes, there can be one than one chasm.

  8. By the way, could I ask where you took the image for the mapping challenge from?

    1. I can’t remember exactly but I believe it was concept art for hL2

  9. MJ

    sketched some caves in 3ds, and tracing over them with displacements right now

  10. Got some decent ideas for this map already! (But I’m not telling, or you crooks’d steal them :P) I won’t stack up to the other contestants and I certainly won’t get that Gravity Gun, but it’s still gonna be a blast to enter anyway.

    Just gotta google “Displacements Hammer” real quick… Portal 1 mapping was a lot flatter than this.

    1. Just to be clear, the winner of this challenge, doesn’t win the gravity gun. That’s the grand prize of 5 challenges.

  11. Looking forward to the entries. I wish I wasn’t so damn busy, otherwise I would jump on this for a chance to prove myself… or something. I dunno. I suck at mapping for Source. 🙁

  12. I finally got an Idea worth doing anything with so I made some basic geometry. Not wanna show anything just yet, but its inspired by a Classic Horror game.

    1. Just a quick question: Would large holes in the ground count as Chasm or Abyss?

      1. Yes, but only if they are REALLY l;arge.

    2. I heard you guys like wip screenshots.

      1. Looking good. Can’t wait to play this.

  13. I’m thinking my WIP is getting a little too ambitious, though I think I should be fine if I stop focusing on the details.
    It’s a big map.

    1. My design is probably the smallest map I have ever done in how it spreads out, yet I have never been more pleased with a design like this since I made Remains for CS:GO.
      With these sorts of timeframes to work with, It may just be best to make a more smaller and tight map with the loop design theory, make the most of a small space.

  14. Spent 3 days making random concepts, tried a Quarry style pit with a mining operation. Tried the pit around the Citadel, then a ravine created in c17 in the same timeframe as Episode 1.
    Settled on something smaller, yet I personally felt more pleased with this layout than I could have hoped. Guess thats the push, when working on your final concept after so many tries actually makes you feel happy. I think that feeling alone will get me to completion on this and make it my first every finished Ville entry.

  15. Dan M

    May I ask how I will publish the map after it’s ready ? I have to give a download link to it ? or is there another way ?

    1. The map MUST have a proper name.
      The map MUST have a proper filename: MapName_thc16c1.bsp
      All entries must be sent to: no later than the deadline.

      You can send it as an attachment to Phillip, if it’s small enough. Or you could toss it in a Dropbox or otherwise provide a download link.

      1. Dan M

        Thanks a lot 😀

  16. Can the map theme be the sewers/canals connected/built around extremely high water collectors and a few maintaince areas filled with combine tech and troops?

    1. Unq

      Does your map have a chasm/canyon/gorge as a main element? It doesn’t sound like it from your description.

      1. I was thinking about playing with insane heights of water collectors so that might be used to create atmosphere of vertical pressure like when you walking down through the gorge. But now I think that I have to move my idea outside to the cliffs.

  17. crowbar

    I recently discovered this site and was really shocked that I didnt heard of it before, because this is the perfect place for me. I always wanted to make a proper singleplayer Half-Life map, so I thought this challenge is the perfect opportunity. I hope I will make it in time!

    1. Hi and welcome to the site. Hopefully you can find enough time to enter.

  18. Wazanator

    Hey Philip as a heads up it looks like the Beta Testers Collective group has gone into hibernation

    1. Zekiran

      Yeah I was gonna say something about that, after the questions about where to get testers.

      Maybe something of use might be for our individual profiles, if and when they get any kind of updates (I think you were intending to do something new with them?) an indicator of “will happily play beta and give input” would be terrific. I’d love to help out where I can, I was a bit sad to see that btc wasn’t really ‘up and running’ fully any more.

    2. Yes, I know, but they still take some tests, although not officially.

  19. Oh boy, I’m not making the deadline, but I’ve got a really good map going.
    I’ll keep working on it and hopefully I can use some elements for another challenge.

  20. ok I made some progress and I’m really happy with my map. I just hope it really counts as a “chasm” 🙂

    Inspired by “The Raid” and “Dredd” (Remake).

  21. Surprised how I’ve managed to almost finish up the map entirely with a faulty power supply in my PC. I’ve had 11 PC failures alone this morning and a total of 100+ power failures since the contest began, at least 10 of those cases corrupted the map file (thank god for backups). Good thing after this I have a commission to cover so I can afford a new psu.

    1. considering how often the Hammer Editor crashes for and how ******* annoying THAT already is, I don’t want to know how annoying a PC with broken Power Supply has to be …

      respect for pulling this through! xD

  22. I’m happy to say that after a long time away from mapping I’ve come back and have an entry to submit for chasmville. I was originally planning to submit it tonight (24th) but I’m pretty tired and still have a couple things I want to polish, so I’ll be submitting it tomorrow, just a few hours before the deadline.

    Unlike my other two competition entries I am rather pleased with this one (probably because of lower expectations). I actually took the opportunity to get acquainted with a new technique of building the map, which I needed to be able to accomplish my design and I feel it turned out pretty cool. The entire map was a learning experience for me and because of that were I to restart it I’m sure it would turn out 10 times better. Still, I think it’s a pretty unique environment that might get me some extra points 😉 I’m looking forward to seeing what others have to say about it.

    Good luck to all the other entries, can’t wait to play them.

    1. Great. I look forward to playing it.

  23. Bastion

    Glad I managed to get this entry finished for once, failed the last two times around because I had other things to handle which took my time away.
    You have received my map file right?

    (I hope so.)

    1. Yes, just about to write the “received” emails.

  24. My map is almost complete. Lost motivation a bit towards the end and it shows in the map 🙂

    My map doesn’t really have a chasm unless you really stretch the interpretation of that word. What I originally planned was way too much work, I mean I knew it will be a lot of work and I was ready for it because I have a lot of free time this and last week, but didn’t expect it to be SO much work.
    Anyway, I hope my entry will count :S

    My map would be a better entry for CrossoverVille actually 🙂

    1. All entries count. I have only ever refused one entry and that was because it didn’t even have a player start.

  25. Hi, I just sent you my entry, but I forgot to tell you who I am xD
    I am the one who sent you “Mega Structure”

  26. Flamdar

    Well that was fun.

    I’ve never made a map before, and I started half way into the challenge. Somehow I think I made something that turned out okay. It feels great, after 10 years of procrastinating I finally made a map.

  27. What a great start to the year Phillip,,
    if all this mapping enthusiasm can be maintained it will be a cracker of a year for HL2 fans,,

    and RTSL, 😉

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