The Hammer Cup 16: Challenge 4: TrapVille

We are getting closer to the end!

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

Theme Details

TrapVille AKA AdmiralAckbarVille

For this challenge we would like you to create a map that contains at least one trap. It could be one huge or complicated trap or multiple smaller simpler ones.

The player could be the one setting the traps or the one avoiding them. Or the one caught in them.

The winning map will be the one that creates the most interesting situation involving traps, that is fun to play and looks polished.

We are big fans of Rube Goldberg machines, and would love to see clever, overelaborate traps – but we realize the short timeframe, so please don’t get so carried away with the trap design that you don’t have time for testing and polishing the rest of your map.

Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

“After fairly light resistance, the town square feels a little too empty. This was too easy. Not committing too far forward, you investigate further. It’s clearly a trap. You retrace your steps but quickly find the trap was not the town square after all…”

“The Combine attack is just too strong. Time for a retreat into the mines. You are sure there is a way out and the only way to stop them following you is to blow the entrance. Oh dear, maybe that wasn’t such a good idea – it looks like someone may have been waiting for you down here…”

“Between you and the survivors is the abandoned village, but it’s almost as bad as Ravenholm. There’s talk of the ‘residents’ becoming creative to capture more escapees. Could it be true? Only one way to find out…”

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 30th May 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!


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 TrapVille 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_thc16c4.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.

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


  1. “hmm”

    That’s my reaction to this Theme

    1. Is that a “hmm, I’ve got some good ideas for this” or “hmm, that’s gonna be tough for me” or “hmm, now I REALLY have the judges” or…

      1. It’s a “hmm, not sure if this is a good theme”

        1. It seems like your work in Ancient Dust would be fitting for this comp.

          1. haha right 🙂
            also the grenade trap room in Mega Structure 🙂

        2. Mr.Walrus

          Well, I find it to be a pretty awesome theme! Best of luck to everyone!

        3. You’re always so positive.

      2. So many hmms! I’m trippin’ hmms!

  2. I certainly was not expecting this… Well.. Off to map!

  3. Bonus points for including trap music? 😛

  4. You are a mouse.
    You are trying to escape an apartament, or maybe just a kitchen, by the hole in the wall or by open window. Something like de_rats in CS.
    There are many deadly traps on your way: mouse traps, a falling knife, doors that can smash you, slippery sink full of water and many more.

  5. In my mind, one could do that one episode of Tom and Jerry and make an over-complicated mechanism for what is simply dropping a safe on a headcrab.

    And then have it drop on top of the player instead of the target.

    Fascinating theme indeed.

  6. You are entering maze-like ‘Kowloon Walled City’, there is no way back, Combine is chasing you.
    But how to find the other exit in this maze? Wait, a sec, there is an arrow on the wall. You are following it, but… is this way out or a trap?

  7. Unq

    There’s always the old Half-Life 2 TrapTown video from 2003 for inspiration & ideas:

    Funny to see Combine in Ravenholm.

    1. Speaking of inspiration, wasn’t there a mod for GoldSource that’s literally named “The Trap”?
      The one that Phillip voiced?

      Suddenly i want to replay that.

  8. I am not sure I understand this challenge . Does it qualify if I include in my map traps similar to those in ravenholm ? Something like environmental deaths , right ?

    1. Seems that would be fine, based on the brief.

    2. It’s hard to present a trap when everyone expects a trap. I think winning entries would need to find some clever way to work around that.

      1. Smart people would use peoples expectation of a trap to their advantage.

    3. Unq

      Sure, any use of traps is encouraged.

      I think Maki has a good suggestion, standard traps are great but what’s even better are unexpected or surprising traps. I personally love maps that subvert the player’s expectations (or the challenge theme!).

  9. Sounds interesting … ! Gotta dig up the Orange Box I bought years ago, install it again (and ofc play it again) and participate in those fascinating challenges.

  10. Me

    Hey guys! Gonna take part in this competition.

    1. Great. We look forward to playing your entry. May I suggest playing the other mods in The Hammer Cup 2016 so you can see what sort of maps have been entered.

  11. Opened up hammer last night and started working on a map. I have no idea what will come of it, as Source is still shrouded in mystery to me.

    Maybe I’ll have a meagre attempt at an entry in a couple weeks.

    1. You know, I’d love to have a “beginner’s” prize but there’s no way to be sure all the mappers who claim to be beginners are, if you know what I mean.

  12. Does it qualify if you work with the theme of “being trapped” like you are trapped in a basement or something. The basement itself is not a trap of course but you are trapped there with little to no way out (As an example) So in a way it can still be a trap?

    I hope that made sense.

    1. Unq

      I’d say the basement itself is not a trap – but if the player has to navigate or evade traps while escaping then that’s fine.

      I’m all for interesting takes on the trap theme – but in this case we generally mean physical traps, not the idea of “being trapped.”

      1. Ok, im sure I could mix it in with traps and being trapped at the same time.

        1. It would be great if you could include both Ideas! I’m sure that would go down well!

  13. Stuff is actually going pretty decent, if I manage to keep my interest in this map I think you will all be excited to see this once its done!

  14. I’m really excited for this challenge! I learned a lot last time and my next map idea is much bigger in scope.

    I’m particularly interested in using custom textures and animations. I was really inspired by the way Mobius used custom decals in Backtrackville. Are there any limits on creating custom content, other than that we can’t overwrite existing Half-Life 2 assets?

    I was also wondering if we were allowed to re-use traps from Ravenholm maps. I’ve already designed some new traps in Hammer that I’m really excited about, but I think I could use the fire trap from Ravenholm in a section near the end of my map in a new and interesting way.

  15. Hey Phillip. Just wanna make this sure — can I make an own soundscape file? Because some themes I need coming with sounds that are not… aproppriate. So, can I?

    1. I can walk Phillip through it if need be. You should write your own soundscapes_(name).txt file based on Valve’s soundscape scripts and add it to the soundscapes_manifest.txt. Then send that file and the manifest with your entry.

      For Phillip, this isn’t much different from when we add custom soundscripts with the game_sounds_manifest.txt, it’s just for soundscapes instead.

      1. Thanks for the intel ^^

      2. Mm… seen more of your work. Haha, never thought that you’re the one created Avenue Odessa. Well, never paid attention to the author. Would you add me on steam?

        I’d be delighted to discuss smth sith you.

  16. marnamai

    I’ll be doing more level design streaming this week

  17. Sent my map! Looking forward to seeing what everyone else made in this challenge.

    1. I’m really excited for this one! I hope someone has included Admiral Ackbar shouting “Its a trap!”

  18. It seems like I’ve actually run into the entity limit for my map. Since I’ve never done that before and the map still needs a lot more detail, I’ll need to look into why that happened exactly! I probably used custom prefabs a little too liberally and generated too many decals, triggers, relays, etc.

    For now, I plan on splitting my map into two parts. Does anyone have any advice?

    1. Is your entdata over 100%? They say on the valve wiki its fine if it goes over.
      Maybe something here can help you:

      1. Thanks for the reply! I should have done more research before I commented. I’m not actually near the ent limit, but my entdata is over 100%.

        I’m glad to hear that it’s fine, but I’ve noticed that one very important trigger near the beginning of the map isn’t firing unless I cordon off that part of the map. Perhaps it isn’t related to entdata, but I’m very confused as to why the trigger works sometimes and doesn’t others.

        1. Maybe you have something that is enabling or disabling that trigger accidentally?
          Try making sure theres a failsafe on it so it works 100%
          Also remember to check it’s flags to make sure its enabled by client/npc/whatever you want it to only be enabled by.

          It could be you also put a filter on it?

          I had a similar problem where it was enabled by a headcrab walking over it sometimes even though the player hadn’t reached the area yet causing some problems.

          1. I was able to resolve the issue and a few others. I guess none of them had to do with endata being over-full, although it still seems strange. The first problem was exactly as you said; when I checked the flags on the offending trigger, “client” was unchecked. That was very bizarre – why had the trigger worked earlier? Had I accidentally unchecked it? It just seems like I would remember doing that.

            Anyway, thanks for the advice.

  19. How many entries was there in this challenge?

    1. we havnet reached the deadline yet!
      So far I think there are 5 entries according to Phillip’s Twitter.

      1. That’s correct, 5 so far but I hope for a couple more. Fingers Crossed!

      2. Ah, might be some more that will upload last second, I did last challenge. Good luck all!

        1. I submitted my entry in the last hour before the deadline. I hate to be the last person to submit, but I needed every minute I could get.

          1. But you weren’t the last person to submit your entry :u
            I submitted mine 2 minutes before the deadline, as I usually do.

            Anyway, congratulations to everyone who submitted their entries in time!

            1. Its a shame that there was only 9 entries but it also means i can look at them all more in depth than the other challenges! I’m looking forward to analyzing them!

            2. Glad to hear I wasn’t the last one in. I saw your mapping stream and almost watched it, but I think I’ve decided I’d rather wait until I can play the map for myself. I don’t want to spoil anything. I can’t wait to see what everyone came up with.

  20. OJJ

    I hope no one submitted a Terry Trap

    1. It has not been released yet. It should be released in the next few weeks! 🙂

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