VerticalVilleTwo

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

We have become very accustomed to playing maps and mods on one level.

That’s not to say that some maps don’t include more Z-axis gameplay, but in general it’s something that could be used to more and better effect.

This mapping challenge is all about having the player move up and down in a realistic way.

Of course, that doesn’t mean they can ONLY move up and down, but the idea of vertical gameplay or movement should be the central theme of each entry.

Basic Details
  • Title: VerticalVilleTwo
  • Filename: hl2-ep2-sp-mc-verticalvilletwo.7z
  • Size : 75.70MB
  • Author: Daniel Friend, Spencer Patel, Jacob Heywood and Jason Maki Gimba
  • Date Released: 03 October 2015

Download Options

Download to your HDD [75.70MB]
You can still use it with MapTap once you have downloaded it.

Manual Installation Instructions
  • Copy the VerticalVilleTwo folder into your …\Steam\SteamApps\sourcemods\ folder.
  • Restart or start Steam.
  • VerticalVilleTwo should now be listed in your Library tab.

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

Entries

In alphabetical order.

  • Apartment Block by Daniel Friend
  • Construction By Spencer Patel
  • Synthesis by Jacob Heywood
  • Truss by Jason Gimba AKA Maki
Menu Music

Brane Scan by Kelly Bailey from Half-Life 2

Credits

The RunThinkShootLive.Com intro video was made by ĜL1TCĦ³

Sponsor

This challenge was sponsored by Nodecraft – High Performance Game Servers.
Receive 15% off your first month by clicking the link above.

Prizes

Various Steam and Origin games.

Custom Gridview Images

Four gridview icons are included in this file. To use the included grid view icon, select “Gridview” in Steam (top right corner). Right click on “VerticalVilleTwo” and select “Set Custom Image”. Then browse to the SourceMods folder and then to VerticalVilleTwo/steam-gridview-icons folder and select the image. Then click “Set Image” and that’s it.

Of course, you can create your own custom image if you prefer.

Dates

The challenge started 10th September 2015 at 10am GMT and finished Monday 28th September at 10pm GMT

General Rules
  • Maximum two maps per mapper per challenge.
  • 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 VerticalVilleTwo 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_vvt.bsp
  • All entries must be sent to: [email protected] no later than the deadline.

Videos

The playthrough/walkthrough below is provided by PlanetPhillip. See more of his playthroughs on this site: VP: PlanetPhillip.

The playthrough below is provided by Custom Gamer. See more of his playthroughs on this site: VP: Custom Gamer

Screenshots

WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.

1024 x 576

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

Voting closes after 10 days and the entry with the highest votes is the winner.

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

13 recommendations, average score: 4.69 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0.37 (what's that?)
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Phillip says Play It!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It LaterPlay It Now!Play It Now!Personal FavouritePlay It Now!Play It Now!Play It Now!Play It LaterMaybe?

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40 Comments

  1. Phillip says Play It!

    Overall, I enjoyed this collection of maps, especially since I thought I had only one entry, but then realized that the deadline was PM not AM.

    Apartment Block by Daniel Friend
    It is okay

    I suppose my main issue with this map was the disconnect between the styles of sections. There was a nice use of vertical gameplay right at the beginning but all in all it was fun to play.

    Construction By Spencer Patel
    It is okay

    A little bland this one but if you watch my video playthrough there’s one part that absolutely scared the pants off me – I was really shocked – pretty silly really.

    Anyway, it’s possible to play this without having to fight or kill any enemy and whilst that concept is not bad it’s not much fun either.

    Synthesis by Jacob Heywood
    It is great!

    I had a LOT of fun with this entry and whilst I died sooooo many times, that’s part of the fun and challenge. I loved the part with the Combine elite in little private elevators and they were a challenge too.

    Not only do you need to shoot well, but you need to chose you route carefully too. Definitely worth a replay, this one.

    Truss by Jason Gimba AKA Maki
    It is great!

    Without doubt this entry had the best visuals and the coolest idea (I won’t say what it is) but found it more frustrating than challenging – although I accept that might be my crappiness rather than a fair assessment.

    Plenty of little touches that make this a superb entry.

    Conclusion

    Two great entries and two okay ones – not a bad bunch really.

    I am torn between Synthesis and Truss as my favourite, I’ll ponder a little more before I vote. I’m pretty sure you ill find the 75MB download worth and I recommend everybody play this mod.

  2. Geoff Wales

    Watching you play makes me feel much better about my gaming skills, Philip. 😀

    1. I’m a pretty bad player but it’s much worse when recording the livestreams – nearly every streamers says the same.

      1. bolec

        Yep. You can’t focus in 100% on two separate things at the same time. I recall Total Biscuit mentioning it a few times in his vidoes. I also noticed that I get very distracted while playing and talking to someone. It just doesn’t work like that 😛

        1. Yeah, trying to follow the chat, say something worth hearing AND playing well seem beyond me.

  3. Geoff Wales

    That first one certainly had an abrupt ending. I enjoyed doing battle with the hunters from the balcony, and I jumped into the pond AFTER I killed the three Hunters. Never jump straight into a deep hole, Phillip. 🙂

    1. Hi I’m the creator of the first map and I just wanted to say how I found it very interesting people used the balcony to kill the hunters, to be honest I didn’t even think of people using the balcony in that way :P.

      My main problem was that I only started the map within the last week (Also the fact it was the first map I have ever created and completed) therefore I didn’t really have time to get testers to play seeing as I finished it in the last few hours so that is the reason it ends quite abruptly sorry about that next time I’ll try and make something less anti climatic next time :D.

      1. Hun if this was your first finished map, you are well on your way to stardom 🙂

        1. I really just wanted to make a map and complete it and I thought this competition was really a nice way to get something out there. Thank you very much :D.

          1. You did well and should be proud of yourself. 99% of players never make anything, so that puts you in the 1% already.

            1. Thanks Phillip that is a pretty big statistic :P.
              I have been making maps and things for years now since I was younger (Mostly used to be boxes with a few enemies because I used to just enjoy messing around with the NPC’s) but I finally thought it was time to start trying to make something serious and it seemed that it paid off :D.

    2. Geoff Wales

      I submitted a comment last night, but it hasn’t appeared. I sent for a password reset and no reply in my gmail inbox.

      1. I have sent you an email. Where did you find that link?

  4. Play It Now!

    I have made a video about the 3 last entries(when I streamed the first entry, the quality was too high and I was getting framedrops), I didn’t talk much in designer language as it were First Impressions. I’ll probably write a comment to my video being explicit about my thoughts of the play-through. I do use one bind for healthkit (so it’s kind of cheatsy, but it’s a old thing so I can’t not use it D:)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPab1b3J2pE

  5. not judging just yet as havn’t played them all.
    just want to say… Truss… wow… how the hell does jason crank out maps of this quality in the timeframe… its a classic…

  6. Play It Now!
    Apartment Block
    It is good

    This one was interesting. I really enjoyed the first bit of combat. While the level is pretty abstract and there isn’t much of “story”, I think the level design at the start was good. It all “flowed” well, each enemy sorta led you to the next space, making it all feel more connected, and I appreciated the use of smg soldiers in that big mutli-teared cat walk space. The stacking puzzle was interesting. I liked the space, I felt like I had a good idea what it was, and I liked the fact that there was two solutions. It’s a simple puzzle, but I was OK with that. I liked the way it was incorporated in the turret bit, too. Though, I wish you could see the hole in the ground before it breaks. The buggy part I wasn’t a fan of. I just wish the player had been gated more. It took me awhile to figure out there was a ramp. That, and the buggy wheel got stuck, so I just jumped over the fence without the car. Too many fast zombies after that. I liked the jump from the tower, and unlike the buggy, I was gated and could figure it out. and NO AUTOSAVES!!!! gah! Sitll, it’s a simple level, but i think it has some promise. I’d call it a solid release.

    demo:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/vfmui1x30zt59a5/iohn_ab_1.dem?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/qndo8ijbieax6lb/iohn_ab_2.dem?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/loqg4wc5zd7oa2i/iohn_ab_3.dem?dl=0

    Construction
    It is okay

    Um…No. I’m not gonna say it was bad…but….yeah. I can understand the lack of suit, I can understand some poison zombies, but I can’t understand bad visual language. That’s what killed it for me. Vent breaks in first room, but not others? Powered locked door can be opened while the other opens automatically? It was too much. And I also felt that there were too many poison zombies at the end and before hand. I enjoyed the first and second fight, but the last one was too soon. I say its not all bad because I managed to jump a few times, and that’s always good.

    demo:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/p4frdpz6zto66hy/iohn_con_01.dem?dl=0

    Synthesis
    It is great!

    This one was my favorite. Nice bit of mystery at the start. A nice secret with a rocket launcher. And I like how there’s a big combine presence, but only visually. I also like how they have everything blocked off, further adding to that atmosphere. I think the entrance vent is well done too. It’s hidden in such a way that you see it the second time. The sudden vista was great. And the ambiance made it really feel like I had to get moving, and fast. And I really liked fighting down the two vertical shafts. Sometimes I didn’t know where a good jump down was, but I felt the leading was good for the most part. The first one on the moving platforms, definitely. I felt like this map did the whole “vertical shaft beam combine” thing better than even Minerva, in terms of usage. there were times I slipped and suddenly found myself in a very awkward combat situation, but I liked that. It gave me more agency as a player, and made me improvise quickly, and then feel accomplished for surviving. Each fight flowed well. Like Minerva, their were bits where you knew the combine were onto you, and than other where it felt like you lost them. Each fight had a “feel” to it.The only part I had trouble with was figuring out to jump onto the elevator. and I wasn’t too keen on the elite-fest at the end, but it was the finale, and wasn’t too bad (might be on hard). Other than that, I enjoyed it. I’d point to this mod as an example of good combat design.

    demos:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/vh07ivyq5twlwuj/ion_snyth_01.dem?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/14m79ule9g6ahsx/ion_snyth_02.dem?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/rmh53nozotbec9c/ion_snyth_03.dem?dl=0

    Truss
    It is good

    I liked this one too, but only reason I put it as “good” is because I felt like it was missing something. I lowered the bridge, and when the chopper appeared my first thought was: already? I felt I liked it could have done some more stuff with the bridge. Maybe because I saw Jason working on it, so the spectacle was lost on me–or because I played three maps before. Perhaps I’m just used to more of a lead up from him. Don’t get me wrong, the chopper fight was great, really liked the roller mines, and the lack of cover made you think. The metro cop fights were ok, there was a lot of ways to approach them–I dunno, they felt kinda…binary? too filer-y? Maybe I just prefer to run around my combat spaces. I liked the first manhacks, though. Nice way to draw your attention up. But yeah, overall it was good, but I felt like it could have been more.

    demo:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/4f5y8s3qcgg65ej/iohn_truss_01.dem

    1. Something I forgot to mention about Truss, the helicopter fight seemed too long. I know it wasn’t really, but it started too feel that way because the supply of bombs was so separated. It began to feel a little tedious. There wasn’t a near constant stream of them, unlike most other chopper-bomb fights.

    2. Hi Daniel Friend here sorry about the no auto saves part I hate it when map makers don’t put auto saves in there map and there I am doing it myself :P. For my next map I’ll really need to learn how to make auto saves.

      One thing I find interesting about peoples reviews is that a lot of people enjoy the turret part but that was one of the last parts I made seeing as I was running out of time.

      Another thing is that with the abstract nature I used this picture (http://40.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mariu9s0gX1rc7lofo1_1280.jpg) as a base for my map idea but I feel like I went for too much seeing as I only started within the final week of the competition.

      Anyway thank you for your review :D.

  7. Play It Now!

    This was more like it! Four pretty solid entries, and all of them quite fun in their own ways. Definitely a worthy competition. It was clear lots of people had decent inspiration for their maps. Since whenever I use spoiler tags, my entries seem to vanish into thin air, I’m going to say straight up – there are spoilers in these paragraphs! So play the mod first!!

    Apartment Block
    It is okay

    While the map was named Apartment, it was pretty bland in that regard and could have handled a lot more detailing to make it feel like it was an apartment building or at least proper dorms for whoever’s living in them. No set dressing, which was a bit… weird. Climbing the stalker pods was a lol moment, I expected them to come to live any time now. I was not real sure about what to do once I reached the top until I saw the ramp. That was clever but sadly such a short use of the vehicle. Was I supposed to drop back down and fight the Hunters? I pretty much duked it out from above like others. Overall, a pretty reasonable but fairly bland map. No outright errors that I can recall.

    Construction
    It is good

    I give this one a slightly better mark than the first, because of the atmosphere. The use of lighting and tension was excellent, but the map was very, very short, and seemed to lack much direction. I felt kind of desperate the whole time, which I suppose was the point particularly near the end. Again no outright errors, could have been better and I loved the look of the interiors – very much living up to its name.

    Synthesis
    It is great!

    This was quite good, though it could have looked better at the start. The interiors were all very good, but the exterior and some of the entry areas were a bit blocky and bland. Also I wandered out past a nodraw area and was a bit surprised to be in psychedelic land. 🙂 It definitely did the Vertical-ness aspect of the challenge very well and thoroughly. It was not sprawling in any way other than height, so that nailed the competition. The fights were quite challenging and I wound up winning the level with only 9 hp left. I’m still very unclear as to why I needed to do some things, honestly, and why with the grabbity gun I couldn’t have dug around under that one door without having to go around and about for a single grenade… It was a bit particular about where you choose to move, I usually expect some things to be symmetrical, but many locations down the main shaft didn’t have evenly matched places to fall to. Lots of great puzzle areas too, though, this map was quite clever and diverse that way. Winner for my vote.

    Truss
    It is good

    While the visuals were certainly excellent, and it definitely had a solid boss style fight – the vertical nature was a bit lacking. I can however definitely see this as part of a much larger mod, and I loved the couple in the train car, that’s a nice touch. I’m just glad that I didn’t have to do much else than fight things because I’m terrified of heights, bridges, and trains. >_> Visually this one wins high marks, and the fight puts it into contention, but because it was pretty short and not tremendously vertical (I don’t generally think of trains as ‘vertical’ objects even though there was an amount of climbing to be done) it’s only a close second.

    *crossing my fingers that my comment works and has correct formatting this time.

  8. Play It Later

    I was really glad to see 4 entries in the this contest this time. Definitely a broad range across the quality spectrum.

    Apartment Block
    It is good

    I thought this was a pretty good entry with a few quirks. It looks more like a prison than an apartment block. It seemed strange that the combine were shooting at you the instant that the floor blew up in the first part. I would have expected some kind of time lag. The climbing to get to a higher level was interesting and I liked the room with the tubes. The outside with the dune buggy seemed a little silly though. The area seemed a little small to need a dune buggy!

    Construction
    It is bad

    Sorry but I didn’t care for this entry at all. No HEV suit, limited weaponry, and a repetitive enemy to fight. Plus the levels weren’t that interesting, and one of the staircases was so badly constructed you couldn’t walk down it without crouching.

    Synthesis
    It is great!

    This was my favorite entry in the contest. This map seemed to be most suited to the theme, and the journey down to your destination was difficult and challenging. But I really liked that it wasn’t a simple easy path and that I had to scramble to make it. The force field where you get the grenade didn’t work right, and you really should be given more than one grenade if you need it when you try to get the rocket launcher. I managed to use the grenade without breaking the door barricade and had to reload to try again. But these are small items for a really good map.

    Truss
    It is great!

    This was another great entry. The navigation up to the bridge controls was quite fun, the combat was well paced, and the map itself was visually stunning. But this map was the second best for me as I felt it didn’t use the vertical theme of the contest as much as it could have. I initially thought I was supposed to jump into the water and was disappointed that it meant instant death. Still this was a very good entry.

    Thanks to everybody who contributed maps for this contest. Hopefully we will see more soon!

  9. Play It Now!

    This ville contains an interesting set of levels that vary in quality but all explore different interesting mechanics that make this pack worth a playthrough.

    Apartment Block
    It is okay

    When it came to art direction and lighting this map was the weakest one of the bunch but when it came to gameplay it was a fairly fun to play map.
    The first encounters with the Combine in your apartment cell were the most interesting in my opinion because of the positioning of the soldiers.
    Later on the encounters turn into more of a blur and once you get outside of the apartment, the metal grate scaffolds make it difficult to pinpoint where the soldiers are and kind of took the fun out of the verticality of this map.
    The minimal ‘driving section’ of Apartment Block could also have been expanded but it seems that Daniel didn’t have enough time to expand any of the sections in his project in general so I enjoyed the little jump puzzle for what it was.
    Also featured in this map is a small section in which you have to fight a couple of zombies. I think I would have enjoyed this section more if I hadn’t gotten jumped by a bucket of fast zombies on top of what was already roaming the floors.
    Once you open the floor gate you have to get rid of a pack of Hunters which can be defeated fairly easily by attacking them from the high ground which was something I liked.
    All in all Apartment Block was a decent vertical slice of gameplay but it could have used a good dose of polish and perhaps some more room.

    Construction
    It is bad

    There isn’t that much to say about this one in my opinion. It’s filled with one of my least favourite NPCs to encounter together with their dads and it all went by so quickly that I’m not even sure if I’m recalling it correctly.
    The lighting was both good and bad, it looked pretty but in a lot of areas you were staring at complete darkness.
    When it comes to gameplay it seems to at least try. Poison headcrabs and company aside, the encounters were somewhat interesting mainly when you get jumped by headcrabs while you’re switching buttons.
    Then it kind of ended out of the blue…

    Synthesis
    It is good

    This buddy is in my opinion the best map out of all of them because it was the most eventful of the bunch I guess. I’m not completely sure what it is I like about this map because there also were plenty of things I didn’t like but the parts that I liked seemed to have been designed intentionally for the things I was doing. One example would be the turrets that were about a grenade throw’s distance away from me, luckily I happened to have those grenades and took care of the problem.
    It’s far from a perfect map but it certainly wasn’t bad. The main problem was that enemy positions were difficult to pinpoint before you got shot, you pretty much had to wait for one of their tracers to fly by to be able to spot them.
    I should add that I liked the starting location as well, it reminded me a little of Myst’s beginning but the red herring door in front of you was kind of a party pooper.
    Riding the elevator back up near the end of the map was good. It was clear I had done my job at that point and the fade out took us away from our dear fission generating lighthouse.

    Truss
    It is good

    Truss, oh Truss… You achieved everything you set out to do, at least to some extent. You are perfectly good and awesome in your own way but when you closed my eyes at the end of our journey I felt a bit empty.
    Truss is a great map, almost perfect but I don’t think this is the best entry.
    It hits all the marks but somehow misses an important one for me. I haven’t been able to figure out exactly what I feel it is missing but I do know it’s got something to do with the atmosphere of the map and its narrative. Also how did that helicopter know we pulled the lever and where the hell did it come from?

  10. I found a way out of the map in Synthesis:

    1. Well done, you. A new generation of escapees is born from my dying ashes.

    2. Salamancer

      I didn’t have time to do a player clip pass :c

      1. Don’t worry, for challenges like these, little things like that can be overlooked.

      2. For the record I didn’t feel like it negatively affected my experience, it was kind of funny when I realized that this absolutely was not the way to get into the rocket launcher room. And because it is pretty easy to return to the map it doesn’t really affect pacing either.

        1. (Stanley Parable Narrator): “This was not the way to the rocket launcher room, and Dysprogue knew that perfectly well. Perhaps he wanted to stop by the employee lounge first, just to admire it.” 🙂

    3. You can just air strafe around the fence and concrete block, its how I did it 😀

    4. Getting up there is the very first thing I did after climbing the ladder.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOfQMiLn8LY&t=9m36s

      You can do it without the boat. 🙂

  11. zoe

    Each of these were great play! A good contest overall.

    Now that they have initial feedback, I’d like to see each of these mappers continue building on their maps. Maybe re-release in another 4-5 weeks .??

    Keep going vertical!

    1. Geoff Wales

      Yes, Zoe. It would be fantastic to see many of these short challenge maps extended.

      FWIW, My favourite maps have a sense of place, being story or task driven, including interaction with characters, and some problem solving elements. These are more important to me than just fighting combine and/or alien creatures.

      There was a map/challenge I played a short while ago that had a back story you uncovered piece by piece about the now destroyed apartment that you shared with the woman you loved. I forget its name, but it had a lot of emotional power for me, even if the map itself was very claustrophobic.

      Maybe I did too much listening to Leonard Cohen and Neil Young when I was a young man. 😀

  12. Play It Now!
    Apartment Block
    It is good

    Apartment Block had some nice touches. The buggy was a weird inclusion, but surprises are always good (unless they’re bad). I enjoyed figuring out how to extract the boxes from the enclosed tubes at the beginning.

    Construction
    It is okay

    Construction Site was OK.

    Surviving at the end took at a bit of nimble footwork, and a few f%$kf%$kf%$ks later I was out of there.

    Synthesis
    It is great!

    Synthesis was certainly the most ambitious map, and applied the ‘vertical’ aspect well.

    Having to navigate the hard way was a nice variation.

    Truss
    It is good

    Truss looked great and the boss battle was fun.

    I always enjoy train rides, but every train ride I ever did was horizontal, including this one LOL.

  13. Personal Favourite

    This was amazing .. and by far the best “ville” mapping contest to date ….(well at least this year ) … and i was impressed by all the entries … but here we go

    Apartment Block
    It is WOW!

    a excellent map with a nice mix of scenes … it took me a while to work out how to ascend the map however this was made even harder when you have npc,s a few levels up shooting you … the outside area is by far the best part of the map … great fun and a impressive map from Daniel

    Construction
    It is great!

    this was quite hard to begin with … but thats what a good map should be … i wandered around for a good 10 minutes until i found the way to go …. spencer has done well with this map and has given it plenty of playtime ( allthough annoying at times ) ….. its a good map with loads of challenges ….

    Synthesis
    It is WOW!

    this was another annoying map when i first played it … however it wasnt until i discovered the hidden shaft behind the crate that the game got going … this is actually very large for a mapping contest but in my opinion its the one game that utelises the vertical mapping which was the requirement …. jacob has done really well with “synthesis” and its a clear winner in my opinion … well done

    Truss
    It is great!

    another amazing map from jason gimba and was a close second to synthesis ….. based around a train bridge this had some nice moments … i especially enjoyed the part were we shot down the gunship using the dropped mines ….. this brought back memories of episode 2 and was good fun ….

    overall a outstanding competition and i only hope this is the future of “runthinkshootlive” mapping competitions !

  14. Play It Now!

    This was a really nice map pack with a nice variation in terms of the environments used as well as the level of skill for each chapter. While there were some things here and there that annoyed me, overall I had a lot of fun with this pack.

    Apartment Block
    It is bad

    I get the feeling that this map was named before it was completed, or before any progress was made with it at all. The apartment block theme lasts for all of three rooms before it goes to a combine interior followed closely by an outdoor arena.

    While there is a lot of variety, it all seems disconnected from reality. That is to say that this map certainly felt like a level in a game, rather than an actual location. The lack of detail throughout and the enemy placement just made this feel a little bit of a chore to get through. This also padded the playtime considerably as a single error put me right back at the start. Autosaves people. Autosaves!

    Construction
    It is okay

    While the opening couple of floors are nice to look at, the level soon becomes a slog through a section of cinderblock halls with little to no variation in the colour palette. This, along with only having a crowbar, would have been fine. However, there was one major flaw with this map. The lack of the HEV suit. Not being able to see my health wasn’t an issue, as at no point did I feel as though I was in any danger. The fact is, the player moves so much slower without the HEV suit.

    This was fine in the opening chapters of Half-Life 2 as the first few maps were purely for story building. The player needs the HEV suit before any form of combat or reasonable exploration can take place. I had to bunnyhop through the whole thing to save my sanity.

    Synthesis
    It is good

    This map was far more enjoyable in terms of gameplay and is a lot nicer to look at. When you first load it up, you expect to battle your way to the top of the lighthouse, only to be caught of guard when you descend deeper underground.

    Having said that, the heavy reliance on jumping from platform to platform can start to grate after a while and I found myself falling to my death often. The map is certainly the longest, but I’d say the size is the reason that a number of small faults slipped through the net, like the passable forcefield and a few areas where you can see nulled faces.

    Also, I’m not sure if the RPG is meant to be harder to acquire, but I simply knocked it off the table with the Gravity Gun.

    Truss
    It is WOW!

    I always have a feeling, when launching a ville map pack, that Jason is bound to slip up at some point and release an unfinished map. Not this time however. Seriously, he must have a stockpile of unfinished maps somewhere that he pulls up whenever a new ville is announced!

    Sticking to what appears to be a very smart design decision, Jason has created a massive amount of action and interactive elements within a relatively small space. This is then given a much greater sense of scale by applying background details.

    The boss fight with the hunter attack chopper, heavily reminiscent of Episode 2’s battle, was simply fantastic. There is something immensely satisfying about turning an enemies attacks against them.

    Interesting that this appears to start on a train, not too dissimilar to train on which the CitySteetsVille map ended. It’s almost as though Jason is telling a small story within his entries and it would be interesting to see if we will get a release of all these maps strung together as a mini-mod of sorts… Hmmm.

  15. Hec
    Play It Now!
    Apartment Block by Daniel Friend
    It is good

    I liked this one in combat terms. And I surely can say it’s perfect to play in a “hard” skill level. I actually played it hard and I enjoyed it quite much. But, the overall layout of the CMB-Prison like scenario was just quite weird and overall felt illogical. Also that part where you use the buggy, is probably one of the weirdest surreal ways to use the buggy I’ve ever played in HL2.

    So yeah, here I liked the combat but that’s all, I never felt the “vertically” layout anywhere, overall felt very flat and bulky build up the whole place.

    Construction By Spencer Patel
    It is okay

    This one looked promising at first, as I thought I was in a real like building, but I have to say that due to those huge floors, I never felt the sense of vertical layout were really strong. Also the paths in the building were very weird and confusing, the combat was just bad, is very bad overall to just center combat against zombies, and specially poison zombies, because that make the violent parts very predictable and yeah, most of the time just boring.

    My whole feeling with this one, is that it could have been a lot better, but the scenario was just misused. Also the end came very, very quick and I thought it was going to be longer than I expected.

    Synthesis by Jacob Heywood
    It is great!

    I have to say, i really liked this one. I felt the vertical feeling all of the time inside the lighthouse facade,and most of the time in the overall map. The balance between the map path and goals into it, and the combat was just perfect. The weapons given to the player were perfect for this vertical topic, and overall I enjoyed quite much because reminded me to the cool “Minerva” map.

    In my opinion this one truly deserves to win.

    Truss
    It is great!

    I think it’s great just in mapping terms, and also uses the “vertical” concept pretty well to. But oh gosh!! combat was absolutely terrible, very plain, predictable and boring. Pistol is just a very limited weapon in HL2 I don’t like maps that use pistol as a main weapon, not even if they’re trying to be realistic. For me, is just a bad weapon option to make it able to the player. Also the throwing bombs of the heli, and the gravgun to destroy it, I can say is the most tedious way to destroy the heli. Some may like that, but I count on those who hate to kill the chopper using the freakin’ gravgun. The ending is cool, but I honestly expected more challenge in combat terms, and maybe some hunters at the end could have save the combat part for this entry. Nevertheless is great to enhance the combat and make it quite more challenging and less predictable.

    IN CONCLUSION

    Was a cool competition, and a worthy second version of the first verticalville, I hope we have some more interesting comps.In the future, but please make it with some cool combat in them.

  16. asterixer

    Linux: After Lowercase every file it works without problems

  17. Play It Now!

    Wow! This was a great Ville. Most entries were great and their adaptation of the vertical theme was great.

    Apartment Block
    It is good

    My feelings towards this entry are very mixed. The biggest problem with it is that the name has nothing to do with the entry. The title is Apartment Block, but it has nothing to do with an apartment block. Gameplay wise it’s fine, nothing spectacular. The combat was really fun, however the visuals could have been better. The vertical theme wasn’t implemented so nicely either, so mostly this entry was just OK.

    Construction
    It is good

    This map is what I would like to call “the alternative map”, where the creator obviously created to do something different from the others. Every Ville has an alternative map, and this map is definitely one of them. The mapping is incredibly mediocre, since it’s blocky and messy. The combat was zombies only and since you have the crowbar only it’s just tiring and boring. However, I have to say that I liked the way the building was “in construction” and that the vertical element in this entry was done pretty well.

    Synthesis
    It is great!

    This was a great entry. Mapping wise it was great, however there were a few glitches that I noticed (mainly because I went “off road”) but apart from that, nothing major. The combat was really annoying sometimes because there is a lot of long distance shooting, which in this map, wasn’t so pleasant due to the structure. The vertical theme was implented really nicely here too.

    Truss
    It is WOW!

    WOW. This is one of the best maps I’ve ever played for this game. It’s that good. The mapping was great, the concept was amazing, the combat was really intense and the vertical theme was implented superbly. It’s an incredible map and – obviously – the winner for me.

  18. Unq
    Play It Later

    A worthy follow-up to the original VerticalVille; in general I would say that the maps in this mod are about on the same level as the original competition. There is a nice variety here, although nothing quite as creative as Vertizontal nor quite as vertical as Ventilation. This pack is definitely worth playing.

    Apartment Block

    First, let me say that this is a pretty solid map for a first release. There is quite a bit of frustration in parts, though – the turret hallway, for example, and the enemies 3 levels up in the vertical area with catwalks that you can’t really see at all because you’re looking through several catwalks. It also does lack some polish and balancing (particularly in places like the turret hallway), and of course autosaves. The outside area is nonsensical and a really odd use of the car. Daz hits on most of these points nicely in his video. Overall I think the vertical aspect is underused in this map, but it’s a good start for the author.

    I really think autosaves should be in Phillip’s challenge rules.

    Construction

    I’ll be honest, I didn’t like this map at all. The gameplay is just dire – you have only a crowbar and you’re up against a handful of poison zombies that of course throw poison headcrabs at you. To boot, you don’t get an HEV suit so you can’t even see your health. I also don’t think this map fit the theme very well – yes, you traverse several floors in the map, but at no point is there any vertical combat or vertical areas. The one thing this map had going for it was the setting (the opening floor was nice and moody) but otherwise I felt like I was being trolled.

    Synthesis

    A very interesting although somewhat rough map here. I kind of liked that right at the beginning the map sets up your expectation of an ascent to the lighthouse – in fact, your attention is called to it with the rotating light beam plus the fact that you climb a ladder while basically looking directly up at the top of the lighthouse. But of course, you go not up to the lighthouse but far, far down into the depths of the Combine reactor. I did like the descents along the vertical reactor beams, and the elite Combines riding their personal elevators were a nasty surprise.

    The rough parts I mentioned? Well, there are several areas you can get to that you aren’t supposed to (and I don’t mean stacked crates to jump out of the map). The forcefield with the grenade at the start, for example. But then there’s the area right by the lighthouse you can jump to, and at the catwalks where the AR2 grenades are hanging around, you can easily jump up to the catwalks where the Combine soldiers were just standing – but the catwalks are invisible from above (for optimization). And I thought there were some opportunities to really make the lighting shine, to add more contrast in areas that felt kind of flat otherwise. But overall here we have the best use of the vertical theme in this challenge.

    Truss

    A short and sweet map we have here. We’ve come to expect that from Jason Gimba, and this time is no different – although I do wish there were a little more ‘meat’ in this map. The drop bridge for the railroad is a great setpiece, and it’s used superbly here for the vertical aspect of the gameplay. The setting is pretty too – you’re stuck on a high bridge at a bend in the river that makes for a nice vista if you care to look around. The best part of the map is the nice payoff after the ‘boss’ fight, when the bridge drops nicely into place. It’s a great moment, but I think it could have been better if you had to work even harder for it.

    When I complained about Truss needing more meat, I think it’s a bit lacking in combat. The chopper finale was fine as-is, but I think more Combine resistance would have been fitting for the map and would have raised the stakes by increasing the challenge of reaching the top of the bridge. Not just more soldiers necessarily, but something like a mounted gun or even an APC could have been added to increase the challenge. However, I do recognize the time cost of what would be a decent amount of added work – and I’ll take short and sweet over longer and not-as-sweet if you follow me. 🙂

    1. Yeah, I know what you mean. In hindsight, I got pretty hung up on the problem of what happens if the Combine are still on the bridge when it moves. Source does not handle that gracefully, giving them stuttering movement and, to some extent, the inability to path. In reality, if there was a group of Combine on the bridge deck, as long as they didn’t enter the control room, they could be despawned with the explanation that they escaped out the door when the bridge started moving.

  19. Maybe?

    Truss is easily the best and I’m sorry to say I don’t rate the others very much. Anyhow, Truss can be a little annoying rather than challenging but it sure looks beautiful doing that and I enjoyed the mechanics on offer. Good map but I certainly didn’t click with the others, sorry.

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