March 2018 – General Chat

Spring will soon be here. I kinda like the rain and cold though because when I am at home most of the weekend on my PC, I feel less guilty than if it’s warm and sunny. I feel as though I have an excuse.

What about you?

Anyway, yes, let’s address the pink with green spots elephant in the room: I have only just posted the March chat (Wednesday 21st March 2018).

Shame on me for A: not doing ti and B: for not noticing until somebody emailed me.

What plans do you have for the final 9 days of March? Me? Well, I have some unpaid leave from the 29th until the second week of April, and I hope to do a thousand things but will be lucky to do 5.

21st March 2018 1 Comment

Gauge 2.7.2 Now Available

So sorry to all those who have had trouble recently trying to install directly into Gauge. This release fixes issues with the change from HTTP to HTTPS.

Gauge won’t ask you to update automatically, I still need to fix that, so, either download the update and do it manually or the full installer.

Visit the gauge homepage for full details and download links.

14th March 2018 4 Comments

The Beautiful Indoor Experiment

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

For this Experimental Mapping Challenge, entrants had to make a map that most would consider beautiful.

Of course, beautiful is generally considered visual but in this case, the atmosphere was also important.

It was hoped that some would even try environmental story-telling.

The mod contains 7 official entries and 3 bonus entries.

This mod requires the Source SDK Base 2013 Singleplayer “Upcoming” beta branch activated.


Total Downloads: 67210th March 2018
9 Comments and 5 recommendations, 2 say "Maybe?"

The Loop Complex

for Black Mesa

Here is the first mapping challenge in the Mesa Cup.

The release contains 5 entries.

For this challenge, entrants needed to create a map whose main layout is a loop: the player must return to where they started. As usual, it was the journey that counted.

For full details of the announcement, please see the original theme announcement.


Total Downloads: 5593rd March 2018
19 Comments and 7 recommendations, most really enjoyed it!

Have you submitted your status report to the administrator today? – Fan Fiction Event

This has to be one of the most quoted lines from the original Half-Life. Just a quick line that somehow makes the place feel real. The same as the complaint about the ties.

For this fan fiction event, I would like you to write a status report for a real (seen in Half-Life) or fictional department.

Your report must be no more than 600 words.

It can be serious – adding lore to the Half-Life universe.
It can be funny – making fun of existing or new characters.
It can be scientific – using real world knowledge.
It can be hypothetical – create your own physics!
It can be a combination of the above, it’s up to you.

3rd March 2018 2 Comments

The Lambda Cup 2018 – Challenge 2 – GravityGunVilleTwo

Hello and welcome to the Lambda Cup, a series of five HL2:Ep2 single player mapping challenges.

If you are new to my mapping challenges, please see the event’s homepage: THE LAMBDA CUP 2018 as well as the CALENDAR of the mapping challenges for the entire 2018.

Theme Details

Half-Life 2’s revolutionary weapon was undoubtedly the Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator. You can call it that if you really want to.

But to us it’s the Gravity Gun. A simple concept, executed perfectly in the game – and the perfect tool to show off the physics engine. We learned the basics in Black Mesa East, experimented with its lethality in Ravenholm, and used it from then on for exciting activities such as stacking crates, tossing barrels, shoving around poor headcrabs, and eventually making Combine soldiers into personal ragdolls.

We want you to create a map that features the Gravity Gun. In addition, besides the Gravity Gun, optionally the player may obtain and carry the crowbar and only one other weapon. Note that this restriction is on Gordon’s standard weapons – so objects like hopper mines and Magnusson Devices do not count as the other weapon and may be used freely.

This time there’s a twist: our latest research has developed a new function for the Gravity Gun. By finding and attaching a rare Stasis Crystal, the now-enhanced Gravity Gun has the added ability to freeze an object in space. Don’t worry, it’s not permanent – but the object will remain in stasis indefinitely until you use the Gravity Gun to move it again.

Use of the Stasis Crystal is optional in this challenge. Mappers can give players the classic Gravity Gun or the Super Gravity Gun – and both versions may be enhanced with the Stasis Crystal. We’d love to see what you can do with the Stasis Crystal, but the regular old Gravity Gun is fun too. Wow us!

So, to sum up:

  • feature the gravity gun
  • adding the new stasis crystal is optional
  • the player may also get the crowbar and one other weapon beyond the gravity gun
  • we’re really looking forward to playing with the grav gun in whatever kind of maps you can dream up and build!


The deadline for submission is 11pm GMT Wednesday 28th March 2018

1st March 2018 5 Comments

The Beautiful Indoor Experiment Mapping Challenge

Gameplay is obviously one of, if not the, most important aspects of video games, but how a game/map/mod looks is very important too.

Various styles fit various settings, but great lighting and attention to detail are always important.

For this challenge, we would like you to create a beautiful indoor map. It can be a map where the player roams freely or is taken on a ride (literally or figuratively).

No outdoor areas can be accessed or even seen. Windows can be included but preferably blurred or at least inaccesible. What we mean is that players must not be able to look out of windows, but windows can be used for lighting and effects.

No gameplay is required, although of course it is allowed.

The player can be allowed to walk through the map and discover things for themselves or the view can be controlled via physical barriers or point_viewcontrol.

What’s important are lighting, setting, and emotion. We want atmosphere. Think style over size.

The judges hope for interesting architecture and cool details. In fact, you could even create one room, but of course that one room must blow us away!

Scripted sequences can be used to make the map feel alive and flesh out the scene.

When players finish your map, they should sit back and say “wow!” Also perhaps: “I didn’t know indoor areas could look so awesome!”


11am GMT Monday 26th February 2018

23rd February 2018 9 Comments

The 1 Billion Units EMC

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

For this Experimental Mapping Challenge, entrants had to make a map no larger than 1,000,000,000 Hammer Units. In the real world, that would be a cube about 20 metres long, wide and high.

The actual proportions of the map were left to the mappers. The limit was the cubic capacity.

This limitation forces mappers to think about how well they use the space.

The mod contains 13 official entries and 3 bonus entries.


Total Downloads: 1,07611th February 2018
17 Comments and 6 recommendations, 3 say "Play It Now!"