The Hammer Cup 16: Challenge 3: BacktrackVille

And so it continues…

Welcome to the third of five mapping challenges as part of The Hammer cup 2016.

Theme Details

One of the staple events in video games is the backtrack sequence. A part of the game where you retrace your steps in the exact location but this time something has changed.

The change can be due to new enemies, a violent explosion, time travel, new vehicles etc.

We would like you to create a map where the player interacts with an area and then has to backtrack through the same area, but the area must have changed.

The reason for the change and the exact change is entirely up to you.

The theme is apropos considering the discussion on the PsychologyVille – Just A Discussion post, where people have started talking about seeing sections of Half-Life games before or after certain events.

We had already chosen this theme, so that is perfect timing.

We will allow remakes of any Half-Life game map but they shouldn’t just be copies – put a little personal touch into them.

Of course, we would be more than happy if you created your own design and have a reason for its change. Any reason is acceptable.

Even though time travel does not feature in any of the Half-Life games (unless you consider Gordon’s stasis – in which case every game features time travel – forwards!) we will allow it for this theme – either forwards or backwards.

You could create a map where you are attacking a Combine Outpost and get knocked unconscious and when you wake up you find that the resistance has been pushed back and you are now behind Combine lines. You must return to join your resistance comrades.

Or you could have been sent on a suicide mission to destroy a facility and find yourself still alive after destroying it. The Combine have sent reinforcements and your objective now is to either die in a blaze of glory or make it back to the rendezvous point.

The main idea is to play the same area twice but the second time must be significantly different from the first.

As always, if you have any questions either ask in the comments or if you require a private answer send Phillip an email:


The deadline for submitting maps is:

Monday 18th April 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!


UPDATE: It seems that the BetaTestersCollective website is currently down.

Feel free to ask RTSL for help.

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 BacktrackVille mod.
  • Maps must not appear on ANY other website before the release and for one month after the release of the mod.
  • No assets from retail games other than HL2, HL2: Ep1 or HL2: Ep2 are allowed.
  • Other assets are allowed with written permission from their original authors, which MUST be included in the entry.
  • Phillip’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into about it.
  • The map MUST have a proper name.
  • The map MUST have a proper filename: MapName_thc16c3.bsp
  • All entries must be sent to: no later than the deadline.

Steam or Origin games will be awarded to the Winner, Runner Up and third place.

Points for The Hammer Cup

Points will be awarded for each mapping challenge in The Hammer Cup.

All entries will receive 12 points.

First place receives an additional 36 points, second place receives an additional 24 points and third place receives an additional 12 points.

Bonus points can be awarded to all entries.

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.

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

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


  1. Wow , this is going to be a tough one , but very interesting . Good luck to all the mappers !

    1. Anon_1428106

      when is this going to be out the deadline has passed what next?

      1. that is me i just didn’t log in 😐

        1. It’s a good question and new viewers will be unaware of the process.

          Mapping challenges end on Mondays. In the week that follows I create a judges and entrants version which gets sent to them around Thursday or Friday. If they find any issues I create another version and send that to them straight away.

          Once no issues have been found, I play the mod and write my private reviews and notes. Then I create background images and chapters images as well as finishing the proper readme.txt file.

          I try to do this over the weekend after the Monday but sometimes that goes into the following week.

          I plan/hope to release this mod on either Friday afternoon (29th) or Saturday morning (30th) with my livestream playthough on Sunday.

      2. it will come out after 1-3 weeks. The mod has to be built first.

  2. WOW. Great Theme. This really forces mappers to think as level designers.

    Btw I already had an Idea for a map for a long time and it just happens to be that it EXACTLY fits this theme, so I already know now what I want to do πŸ˜€

  3. Well, I didn’t expect that and I think the theme is great.

    In the advice section with:

    Should be a disclaimer: “Unless you are marnamai” ^^

  4. This theme is mildly interesting imo. Can’t wait to try it out! πŸ˜€

  5. This will come in handy for everyone taking part, its called Bounce design.

  6. This Ville will be about same places in actual game before/after certain events, but it will be for HL1 or HL2?

    1. it doesn’t matter. You can do whatever you want. The map just has to have backtracking.

    2. Crowbar is correct. You DO NOT have to use a map form a Half-Life game but you can if you want to.

  7. I LOVE this theme. The most recent example I can think of Fallout 4, to a pretty extreme degree.

    Starting the game in 2077 living in a nice suburban estate with a fancy house, then it slingshots you 210 years into 2287, letting you explore the estate after the bombings and years of looting and scavenging.

    Then later still, can return and rebuild it into a thriving post apocalyptic settlement!

    Very excited to see how this one goes.

  8. Would it be acceptable to use this in a horror style theme? First visit a nice place then wake up to a sick and twisted version of the same place?

    Looking forward to try mapping this next challenge

  9. are we allowed to use textures from The textures from that site are free to use even in commerical products.

    1. Why not? Those are just images (even if tiled). It is you who creates textures from them.

      1. well, I still take someone else’s work, but yeah, the site clearly says that you can use those images, still wanted to be sure.

    2. Yes, you are allowed to use textures from

      1. Sue the textures ? Damn those textures got themselves in another lawsuit , again !

        1. I’ll be seeing them in court!

  10. Nev

    Should the map start and end in the same area, or can the backtracking section just be the main part with different areas at the ends?

    1. As long as at least 80% of the map is the backtrack part, we will allow different start and ends.

      1. Unq

        If the 80% is a requirement it should be clearly stated in the details in the main post above!

        1. well, I was just estimating really.

  11. Zekiran

    I hope that the mappers remember it’s not just “backtracking through the same area”, because “significantly different” is important. One of the thing that I personally dislike is unnecessary and unchanged backtracking – which was done in a LOT of HL1 maps for no real good reason. Mainly that feature was to “find the key you need to open this door” thus you’d go in a big circle and revisit the same area over and over, to find it exactly the same each time.

    There have been a few HL2 mods which took this and made it work really well already (their names escape me, but I’ve got reviews for several I remember talking about it impressing me). So I personally know it can be done, but I reserve the right to judge more harshly than I have on the prior Villes this time, because this is a feature that I have been annoyed by its misuse in the past πŸ™‚

  12. Man these villes have become something really special for me. Every new Ville announcement is like the next big game announcement. Every new Ville release is like a new blockbuster game is getting released.

    1. So glad you get excited to hear about them.

      1. Well apart from The Ville’s Phillip, there’s not much about HL2 to get excited about,, πŸ˜‰

  13. Think I will sit this contest out.
    Got other stuff I want to work on.

  14. S.anchev

    Why not in GoldSrc?

    If people want to do again some key HL1 Γ©vents, I think Source may be too hard to handle and especially not the best way to do that…

    1. That’s good question. Why not HL1 Villes? Well maybe not this time in Hammer Cup, but overall?
      It’s more simple, since the engine is less realistic.
      I personally, never made maps for goldsrc but it’s pretty similar, right? Plus I love brushwork ^^

      1. GoldSRC is a different animal from Source. There’s no props at your disposal (Besides viewmodels), brushwork is generally larger, and you’d be surprised what kind of limits and restrictions GoldSRC has when compared to Source. They tend to pop up in the most inconvenient of places and times. For example, lightmap sizes aren’t a thing. At all. They’re hardcoded. Also, there’s plenty of entities that flat-out don’t exist in GoldSrc that make things simple in Source.

      2. It’s sort of debatable how much faster it is. Because, on one hand, it is just brushes and BSP and the detail level is lower in general. On the other, you don’t have a directory of 3,000+ props you can just place wherever you want. You’ve got to build them yourself.

        That, and HL1 has no I/O system. There’s no “OnDamaged,” do these things. It’s like Quake, where you send a generic message to a target and expect that it knows what to do with that information. So while HL1 modders got really far despite these limitations, your ability to “script” events is fairly limited and very different from the way Source works.

    2. dude I say lets make Black Mesa Villes. Lets go to the next generation Source game. You want to go back to the oldest game…

  15. OJJ

    Oh boy i’ve hit mappers block, I have little idea what to do for the middle part of the time through the area.

    1. Zekiran

      Antlions! Headcrabs!

      Musical number!

      …… only partially kidding!

      1. OJJ

        Now that you mention it, antlions could work, need to get round to figuring out how to make them come out of the ground though.

        1. simple way is this: Just place them and set them to “Start Burrowed”. Then give them an input “Unburrow” when the player reaches a trigger.

          You can also you the anltion_maker, which is a special npc_maker for antlions. In that maker you can specify a hintgroup of unburrow points where the antlions will come out of when spawned.

          1. OJJ

            It’s not working for some reason, the ant-lions just refuse to spawn whenever I enter the template trigger and it was done to tutorials on how to set up spawners.

            1. If you want you can decompile my map “Ancient Dust” and look how I did it.
              If you played the map you will know where you have to look in the editor.

              (Ancient Dust was part of LiberationVille)

              1. OJJ

                Nope, i’ve tried doing it from a valve map too and it’s not working :S, does anyone have a prefab for it?

                1. OJJ

                  Never mind, it works for some reason now? Not sure what was wrong before but the 2nd to last coast level has a pretty simple Antlion spawn setup with the only template input needed is “enable”

                2. Which template maker are you trying to use? The npc_antlion_template_maker, or the generic npc_template_maker?

                  The npc_antlion_template_maker is for when you want to repeatedly spawn Antlions across a wide area, like when you walk on the sand in Sandtraps.

                  The generic npc_template_maker is better suited for “I just want to spawn a couple Antlions here.” Although a point_template would be better unless you need npc_template_maker’s distance and line-of-sight checks.

                  EDIT: Yes, template makers can be simply Enabled. You enable them and the maker spawns whatever number you want, based on whatever criteria you give it. It will keep doing this until it runs out of children or until you Disable it.

                  1. OJJ

                    It was the npc_antlion_template_maker, i’ve found one that worked in a valve map now but I still have no idea why it wasn’t working before or with the other valve one.

  16. With regard to the two games mentioned for future mapping challenges:

    1. GoldSource: I have run a GoldSrc mapping challenge and it was called NewBlackMesaVille and only had one entry. πŸ™ At some point in the future I may try again, specially after a project I am planning.

    2. Black Mesa: Yes, we will almost certainly have a Black Mesa challenge after The Hammer Cup. Details to follow.

    The Hammer Cup 2016 will all be for Ep2.

  17. Considering not entering this challenge because I’ll be missing 5 days out of the challenge and those days will be on the school holidays when I would normally be able to put a lot more time into the map.
    I think I’ll just keep working on my mod for now – maybe next time! (Thanks Philip for the opportunity though – can’t wait to play these)

  18. I have a question: What are the compile settings I should use to make the map look as good as possible? For shadows and stuff? I can’t find anything on this or I am googling the wrong words.
    I didn’t even know that there are more compile settings you need to use when finishing a map…
    For example CS:GO has -static_proplighting or something like that now with the new update. That’s how I realized that there must be more.
    I think saw a comment somewhere here that said we have to use -textureshadows or something like that. I wonder what my LiberationVille map would look like with proper compile settings :/


      Well, the entire effect doesn’t have to be a lot better.
      Most important are -StaticPropLighting and -StaticPropPolys
      Shadows are more precise because in normal case VRAD uses collision mesh to calculate shadows. In this case shadows are calculated by real contour of the models.

      Also, for example, if you have a large model that is half in the dark and half in the sun. Normally you would probably have to choose between set it more in the dark to be entirely dark or entirely bright (or use info_lighting). After those comands yo don’t have to worry about that.

      -textureshadows is required for models that use textures with alpha, like fences, or leaves on trees. But those models have to be listed in “lights.rad” file (most of them aren’t by default). Plus, that requeires smaller numbers of lightmaps on textures where shadows will be casted. And that will expand both compilation time and map file size.

      Nodraw article has good advices, because all those effects don’t always look better on certain models.

  19. I have to admit, this is quite an unusual theme for a mapping contest.

    Most of the time bakctracking is considered a flaw in video games, e.x. two backtracking moments in Cry of Fear which made me die and cringe a lot of times.

    But if you’ll focus on the backtracking and actually make it entertaining, hmmm this might work.

    And it also gave me an idea for the contest so I shall leave to my SourceSDKVille. This will be fun.

    1. Well, it’s flaw when done badly, but it can be a great thing like Sector C in HL, or last level in Braid (that was mind blown for me back then).

      pozdro πŸ™‚

    2. the thing is I think there is actually a lot of backtracking in many games, but you don’t notice it, because it is well made. Backtracking became a very negative word, so you only think of that word when you have a negative experience.
      That’s just my theory anyway.

    3. I think perhaps its different since the backtracking area should be different, so its like a completely new area but still recognizable to some degree.

      Backtracking in the same area with little to no changes is a different thing..

  20. can someone help me. I want to put a sitting zombie in my map which wakes up when the player gets close. According to some thread on interlopers or so, there is a prefab for that, but my Prefabs folder is completely EMPTY. I never ever did anything with Prefabs πŸ™

    1. Im a moron, I can just decompile a map where a zombie like that exists and copy that…

      1. Ravenholm has plenty of these that you should be able to use.
        It’s also possible to make your own with the new animations for fast zombie and zombines
        (Fast zombie laying on floor etc)

        Good luck!

    2. The prefab kind of sucked anyway because scripted_sequences are not the proper way to do Zombies that wake up. Have you ever shot a slumped Zombie and watched it instantly stand up? That’s what happens when you use a scripted_sequence. You should use the Actbusy system. Look at the lone Zombine in MAMH for an example (you can apply the exact setup to other slumped Zombies since they share the same animation names).

      If you do want the Prefabs, they are part of the ordinary “Source SDK” in the Tools section of Steam. You just copy them to wherever your project is. Most aren’t terribly useful due to rot or are missing necessary elements.

      1. With scripted_sequences the zombies shouldn’t just cancel their scripted sequence when damaged and instantly teleport upright. If that’s what happens, that’s the wrong way to do it.
        All I have to do is make it so that their idle looping sequence is them slumped, and on a trigger_once (when the player gets nearby for example), it begins the sequence (which plays the action animation – the ‘getup’ animation) and when that animation is done it is standing and with normal AI.
        And for the ‘OnDamaged’ output, you do the same thing – play the sequence. Gets up like normal.

    3. blackdog

      How did you solve this? I’ve done the same thing but if I noclip past the trigger/enter the area from where the player is not supposed to, I can hear the zombie moan but can’t see it in the place where it is supposed to lay down. Then if I go through the trigger, it appears. Dunno if it’s just a setting to save resources, but in reality there should be no sound until it’s awoken.

      I wouldn’t be surprised the map just broke for no reason: I had a working ladder that stopped working without me touching any relative entity, as well as another scripted zombie is now non-visible (but can hear it doing its thing, and if I hurt it, it pops up)

      1. if you want enemies to not make sounds until the player knows about them, go to the flags tab in the properties and check the “Gag” flag.
        If you can’t see the enemy then I guess it is in a sleep state? Why do you noclip past the trigger anyway?

  21. OJJ

    Guh, losing almost a whole day of productivity to figuring out antlion spawning and still not fully understanding why it wasn’t working before has been demotivating, gotta try and get my motivation back.

    1. Welcome to Source mapping ordinary day ^^

  22. God dammit . I have just realized that we cannot use assets from Episode One .Well , I guess I can make it work , but it’s still a bummer because I really needed the episode 1 skybox texture and blown up citadel . It would have been so much easier to have everyone get Episode 1 and 2 no matter what because now to make a mod that includes ep2 and ep1 assets is a pain in the bottom X(

    1. Um, using Ep1 assets is entirely acceptable. Avenue Odessa used them, and I’m sure it’s not the only one.

      I’ve mentioned this in the past (see ChasmVille’s contest page), but the rules, which are copy-paste from comp to comp, contain the line “The map must run in system with only Ep2 installed,” which doesn’t make any practical sense and has confused other mappers as well. The presumption should be that the player has all three (HL2, Ep1, Ep2) installed, not JUST Ep2.

      1. Thanks for the quick response . I panicked for a moment there . I forgot that Avenue Odessa was part of a competition and that it had that cool Episode 1 theme .

      2. blackdog

        Thought it was a strange requirement, still, is there.
        ATM I have only Ep2 installed just to be safe it would comply with requirements.

    2. And to be honest, if people don’t have HL2 and both episodes then they need to get them by now.
      Don’t know why it still says just EP2 is required to be installed but there you go.

    3. It says that only EP2 is required because even if you own just EP2, you won’t play the game with errors everywhere. EP2 comes with assets from both HL2 and EP1, since Valve re-use assets from past games. So, as long as people have EP2, they can play safely with all models from the HL2 series.

  23. blackdog

    Damn this is a though theme… have a couple ideas but not sure I can make it work. I’m so rusty with mapping and don’t have so much free time.

  24. sometimes I wish Half-Life 2 had enemies like Bullsquid or Vortigaunt -.-
    Ranged neutral enemies (with neutral I mean animal like, no faction or anything)
    EP2 has antlion workers, but you cant use them in most scenarios.
    They could make a zombie that can spit πŸ™

    1. Sadly yeah, but you can get hold of custom made HL2 bullsquid NPCs, the models are high quality too so they do match with the game’s graphical quality.

      Otherwise you could just slap a enemy relationship on the vortiguant slave variants.

      1. There is an easier solution, just make maps for Black Mesa! That is one of the big reasons I want to transition to Black Mesa. It also has a wider and more varied selection of weapons.

        I actually didn’t thought about using HL2 vortigaunts as enemies. Maybe I will experiment with that for the next Ville or so.

    2. That is EXACTLY my issue with HL2. For the most part, the enemies just aren’t that interesting or varied. Personally, I get sooo bored with antlions, manhacks are the actual worst and I miss the more varied Xen wildlife.

      Episodes 1 and 2 helped with the addition of Zombines, Hunters and Antlion Workers, but they still don’t really mix things up from a faction perspective.

      This is why I reckon when I finally make the transition over to Source mapping I’ll be sticking to Black Mesa.

      1. I think that HL2’s enemies are interesting and varied, but 12 years later, they are played out.

    3. Unq

      On the flip side, I really think HL1 is missing an enemy along the lines of a hunter. I kind of often want a challenging enemy that isn’t a boss type (e.g. gargantua) but that puts up more of a challenge than an alien grunt. Op4 and Sven have these (voltigore, baby gargs) but HL does not.

      1. I get what you mean. Hunters are functionally Doom’s Barons of Hell when every other boss monster is a Cyberdemon. They are sort of overused in this role, however, to where we almost expect the penultimate wave to involve Hunters. Again, it speaks to the lack of “not quite a boss” enemy types.

        1. blackdog

          It also speaks to the fact of how long has been HL2 life. Now that I’ve started following the community SP scene (before I focused more on CS) I can totally see the pattern you talk about, but I’m sure that happens with the custom Doom and Quake maps that are still churned out. I see playthroughs and Hunters seem to go down so much more easily than I remember when I first played EP2.

          I am much more annoyed with the HL2 weapon selection tbh. With the SMG and AR2 being the average most used guns, and being very much not satisfactory to use. (I know they are designed the way they are because enemies are much dumber compared to what was HL at the time)

      2. the hunter is my favorite enemy type from the whole Half-Life series. Not just from a mechanics standpoint, but also its visual and especially its sound design. The best thing about Hunters is that they have more attack types instead of just 1. And all of their attacks are dodgable.

    4. The real problem with antlion workers is that in all the Ville mods I played – including one containing my own antlion map >:( – they are broken for some reason… They die in one shot from any weapon and never open fire. I wonder if it’s just my Source installation being botched or if others are experiencing it too. If that is the case we could really use a fix.

      1. I know Crowbar mentioned that in LIberationVille and Marnamai thought it was because skill.cfg is missing. It’s definitely a problem with the way the Ville mod is set up.

        But the bigger problem with Antlion Workers is that their toxic spit creates a white flash on damage which sometimes gets stuck and happens for all damage taken thereafter, even persisting through saved games. That is Valve’s bug, and after all these years, they’ve never fixed it. It means I don’t use Antlion Workers, which kind of sucks, because the Antlion “faction” sorely needed them to make combat interesting.

  25. How hard is it to make your own enemy types? If you take the model of an existing enemy, maybe change some colors or size and then some values and give it’s attacks different effects maybe?
    (For someone who has no problem with programming)

    1. Looking back at all released HL2 mods… it’s hard.
      Only few people in the modding scene can do it (Black Mesa, Human Error proved it).
      Changing models is a lot easier but still hard, because of all broken animations and entire Source pipeline of content creation, which is pain.

    2. Making a truly new enemy is extremely hard and requires editing the game’s actual code, which can’t be done in standalone maps. However, you can make a “new”-ish enemy by applying existing tools available in Hammer on existing NPCs.

      For example, you can’t create a Hunter variant with a different model that behaves differently and fires homing poison needles, but you can create a Hunter in Hammer, make it red using the rendercolor option, parent-attach glowing red lights to its head, put a damage volume around it and parent it, and use timer entities and I/O to toggle the damage volume on every 10 seconds for 1 second, in addition to playing a warning sound. That way you can make a different-looking Hunter that damages the player if he is within a certain range every 10 seconds, and plays a warning sound to inform the player of this.

      Needless to say, it’s a complicated and very bug-prone process, as I learned the hard way in another map of mine, so you’ll probably want to stick to the usual stuff unless you know exactly what you are doing.

  26. Maaan… spring is hitting hard. In 3-4 days temp. raised like 10 degrees, now it’s over 20C. I can’t focus on anything, feel powerless all the time, laziness is winning.

  27. Im having a lot of trouble with this theme so far. I made a great start and all but I come to the point where I dont know how to make it “backtrackable” or different.
    You basically walk to a hospital for a checkup and get knocked out by this weird shadow-being and wake up again still in the hospital except stuff is different and twisted.. But I haven’t introduced much up until then and backtracking to the start would be very short. So how can I introduce new stuff without going against the theme of backtracking?

    I feel I might be overthinking this too much but im not sure.

    EDIT: One solution I think might work is exploring new areas but also backtracking trough those areas too as long as they are a bit different too?

    1. One good way to do backtracking in a “wake up in twisted place” scenario is to create the whole level, and then define the “second” starting area, IE where the player will be when the environment becomes hostile/monsters spawn etc. Then, instead of actually starting the player close to the second start, you make him start on the other side of the map, and have him make his way to the second start through the non-hostile environment, possibly solving puzzles along the way.

      This is exactly what is done at the start of HL1 and in some horror games, and IMO it can work very well.

  28. I’m not saying the theme should be changed, not at all, but it is true that a lot of people seem to be having a lack of inspiration for this one, me being one of them. I’m not going to blame it on Phillip, personally my problem isn’t with the concept as much as it is with organization. I pretty much know exactly what I wanna do with my map, except that I still have nothing done because to make my map, I need to plan out the normal part and the backtrack part simultaneously, which is making it near impossible to even begin doing anything. I must say, this theme is quite hard to tackle, and with the amount of focus you lose to school and the super hot spring, it’s extremely hard to work on anything.

    My support to anyone who’s struggling to make things right now.

    1. maybe Im cheating but I just took inspiration from a game where you do a lot of backtracking and which I love.
      Maybe you could tackle it this way: Think about the backtrack part first, then think about how it could be on the way forward, dunno.

      1. How do you think about the backtrack part first if you haven’t made the part to get to it in the first place yet? Unless I misunderstood.

        Also mind sharing the game you used for inspiration? Might be useful.

        1. hmm I wanted to keep my map as a surprise but ok πŸ™‚

          Resident Evil

          1. Ah hehe, I haven’t played that game so I guess it wont be much help to me anyway but thanks for sharing.

          2. Damn it crowbar! You spoiled everything! How can I enjoy your map now??

            Yeah sorry, gonna be an Avoid It! rating from me already.

            1. HAHA, me too, in that case.

              1. I lied it isn’t Resident Evil.

                ITS RICOCHET!

                1. Ricochet 2 confirmed?

    2. blackdog

      I can relate. At first I was really “what can you do??”.

      Then I got down to notepad and wrote notes. I have 2 viable ideas. The first I think will be something other people will think/adopt, the second should be original enough, but above my current skills and not fully achievable in the deadline (especially when my spare time should be spent on job applications).
      I’ve started it anyway and will try to see if I can get the concept down…

  29. OJJ

    Is there a way to not make Striders kick the car? A Strider keeps kicking my car onto a roof during a set-piece and the car could be anywhere during that time making it impossible to progress later on.

    1. What do you mean by kicking the car ? Do you mean the impaling attack that they do with their legs ? Maybe the ‘Can stomp player’ flag is ticked , but still , I am not sure what you’re talking about .

      1. OJJ

        Strider legs in general, when they step on the unmanned car in my map they send it flying, usually into places where the player can’t possibly reach, i’ve tried parenting an NPC clip and a generic clip to the car so it won’t be possible to kick but the Strider legs just go right through it.

        1. Looking at the penultimate battle in Episode Two, it doesn’t seem like they took any precautions to prevent this. I think the best you could do is to try setting the HandbrakeOn and enabling a phys_constraint to hold the vehicle in place when the player exits it, and undoing this when the player enters it. This would affect Gravity Gunning, however. Trigger_push does have the option to affect vehicles too.

          None of these Striders have Can Stomp Player enabled. But they also have an Enemy Filter, pointing to a filter_enemy, which makes it so the player is ignored if they are closer than 2000 or farther than 3000 units from the Strider, which is quite clever. Probably wouldn’t help here, however.

          1. OJJ

            That seems to have worked for the most part, the car is moved slightly and it looks like it’s floating but it doesn’t go out of bounds and the floating part can’t be seen from where the player will be standing anyway, thanks for the help!

            1. You might try a logic_collision_pair. That could also get the job done.

  30. Can’t wait for this to finish πŸ˜€

  31. OJJ

    Right so now i’ve got a new problem, the 3D preview window is now moving at less than 1 fps whenever I use WASD, it was running at a solid 60 every other day before this and I haven’t changed it since yesterday so why is it happening now?

    1. OJJ

      Nevermind, radius culling was on for some reason

        1. OJJ

          Yeah it is, really hate radius culling, maybe it has a use but right now to me it has no purpose other than to be annoying.

        2. the game/map would not be playable if you where stuck at 1 fps lol

  32. man I got so much shi*t to do out of nowhere for university. I hope I can finish my map -.-

  33. OJJ

    Oops, found a part of my map is impossible to complete on hard mode, re-balancing time I guess

  34. just found out something I was looking for a long time …
    If you want enemies to know where the player is, just give them the “UpdateEnemyMemory” Input with “!player” as the parameter.

  35. Dark Souls 3 came out, I have to do university stuff, I will never be able to finish this map :/

    1. This is the order I recommend:
      University Stuff
      Dark Souls 3

  36. OJJ

    Really burned out right now, got a load of bugs and a boss fight to get working, think I got too carried away for this one :s

    1. Yeah, I’ve had no energy or time for the site lately too. Real Life is tough.

  37. Sadly hasn’t gone well for my map, recently moved out from my parents and hard to focus on the map.

    I will try making a ending to it, but I dont think much can be expected with only 3 days left.
    Good luck to any other participants!

    Hopefully next challenge will be of more luck!

  38. OJJ

    Alright so this is hopefully my last question on this competition;
    is there a way to make scanner explosions do damage to enemies? The idea I had for the final battle was that you use scanners to kill a Strider because I thought I remembered a battle like it near the end of HL2 but I just tested it and apparently they don’t so i’ve been remembering the battle wrong the whole time. I mean I could go with an RPG battle but I feel that’s kinda boring at this point.

    1. OJJ

      Okay I got something working, I parented an explosion and a trigger to the Strider so that when an NPC is launched at it the explosion will go off on the Strider doing damage to it and destroying the NPC at the same time, the trouble is that the explosion only damages the Strider while standing up as the parented explosion only happens at the point where the strider’s head would be if it were standing up so I gotta find a way around that.

      1. OJJ

        Just found out that the parenting nulls the damage of the explosion and the remove health input is nowhere to be found on the inputs unlike how the developer wiki states.

        1. what you are trying to do sounds really complicated, so I hope you don’t “waste” too much time on it. Sometimes I want to make something crazy and keep trying and trying, even though it isn’t really worth it. Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t know what exactly you want to do or how complicated it is, just wanted to say this.

      2. Look at the Git, you might try setting up a trigger_hurt which applies to NPCs and causes BLAST damage in excess of 50 HP and turn it on when a Scanner explodes near the Strider. It seems this will apply 20 HP damage by default, regardless of what you set the trigger_hurt to. You just need to have it 50 HP because the Strider ignores damage less than that. No guarantees on this.

        1. OJJ

          I finally got something that resembles a boss, trigger hurt didn’t seem to work because it seemed to not want to kill the strider after a few hits done to it. What i’ve ended up doing is parenting multiple triggers to the strider to set its health lower each time it gets hit, it will die after a set ammount of scanners have hit it.

  39. how can I set the player’s health (at the start of the map)?
    logic_auto OnMapSpawn !player SetHealth 50 works, but then the player gets damage at the start of the map, so the screen gets red and the suit gives warnings and bla, there has to be a way without this.

    1. give them damage before you give them suit maybe

  40. blackdog

    And the deadline is already here 😐
    Restarted everything from scratch cos I think I was laying out too much, and I went on a tangent wasting time doing some detailing to the area I started from scratch.

    I guess this is another map I’ll add to the list of things to finish.
    Theme is way too interesting to leave it hanging.

    1. Sad to hear you won’t be entering but glad to hear you will tr to finish it.

      These challenges really do force modders to be time and resource managers.

      1. blackdog

        A big problem is I haven’t been mapping in ages, so I’m also learning along. Even very basic stuff, getting re-accustomed to managing spaces etc. Long way to go to script entire scenes…

        Anyway, I already have in the pipeline the Liberation map as well T_T but yes I do intend to continue the effort cos I think they are good ideas and I want to see if people like them too. Hope I can get them in your hands sooner rather than later.

        Will wait for the new contest anyway, the deadline is a good motivator to do work.

  41. ooooh I just realized we have the whole monday until the deadline! I got a bit of panic that I won’t be able to finish the map! I should be able to do it!

    1. then what are ya going on here?? :p

  42. OJJ

    Not sure what’s happening here
    Glitched out:
    How it should look:
    It only vanishes if on the left of the gap, it’s fine when being to the right of it so I don’t know what that’s all about.

    1. OJJ

      Another problem, this is supposed to be water but it’s showing the skybox instead, there’s no errors on inteloper and no leaks or problems when doing alt+p, this only happened once I inserted the 3D skybox.|1024:640&composite-to=*,*|1024:640&background-color=black

      1. OJJ

        Nevermind i’ve fixed both, the second one was because I duplicated a skycamera so I could make the skybox accurate

  43. wow I got an error I never had before!
    “too many lightstyles for brush x x x” or something like that.
    But don’t worry, I know why it happened.

  44. OJJ

    Checked my map is 10 minutes 30 seconds from start to finish, it’s weird that it feels complete-ish but there’s something I feel i’m missing that I should fix but I can’t think what it is.
    My biggest fear right now is that I’ve had no time for playtesting so something that is obvious to me won’t be obvious to other people, if anyone’s willing to do some last-day playtesting with recording software enabled so I can see how well it plays for other people can you send a playtest request to

  45. Ok, barely made it. Had to cut final battle and just replace it with some switches pressing, just to wrap up the map. Not happy with that, but at least you can beat the map now. 3 weeks period is not for me, I’m too slow at mapping πŸ™‚ Probably I won’t participate in future Vills… well maybe with something very small, more like bonus map.
    I wonder how many maps will be this time.

  46. well I dont have the nerves to crunch the sh*t out of the rest of my map, so I will just wrap it up and leave the unpolished areas unpolished. I dissapointed I couldnt make the finale I thought about.

  47. crunch time is a bad thing.

  48. 5 Minutes left and I manage to upload with a quick ending.. Phew.. But its nothing fancy at all…

    Better late than never?

    Good luck participants!

    1. OJJ

      Wait 5 minutes? But 11pm GMT is just under 2 hours away right? Atleast that’s what google is telling me :S

      1. Im confused myself now.. Timezone am I right?

        Well not much I could have done with those two hours anyway.

        1. OJJ

          Well anyway i’ve submitted it, I don’t mind if I didn’t get it in on time since I don’t think it’s a winner but it has been a great learning experience, learned alot about the source engine from this competition and I hope to learn even more if I decide to enter the next one.
          Good luck to everyone else!

          1. 11 PM GMT is in about 35 minutes now, (about two hours from your post) according to Google. It looks like these comments are using a different time zone. I hope I’m not confused; I submitted about two hours ago.

  49. 12 confirmed entries for BacktrackVille.

    I will start building the mod this week.

    No release date yet.

    Stay Tuned.

  50. Tested a few maps, gotta say even though some where unfinished/short (like mine) they where very enjoyable for what they had, and I absolutely adore the horror aspect many people chose to work with! Hope to see more of that in the future as it is my favorite theme to work with!

    1. Its definitely the most interesting theme in THC 2016 so far! I am looking forward to reviewing each and every map as this challenge will be fun to critique! πŸ™‚

  51. Heinz

    Hey Phil,
    when do you release the Bachtrack Ville, just a question, don’t feel pressured to do it!

    Real Life is more important than that.
    Greetings from Germany


    1. Thanks Heinz. I feel I should work a bit harder though, but releasing on Friday or Saturday, shouldn’t stress me too much.

      1. Heinz

        I don’t think you should work harder, you run so many things (websites, projects).
        Me administrating a CS:S server knows the sourceengine a little bit, Sourcemod isn’t easy always.
        I am not really familiar with coding but I think I do it well to make changes to maps, sounds and plugins.
        But now enough from me, have a good time with your family and don’t stress yourself too much for the virtual world.


Leave a Reply