Hello and welcome to Challenge 5, the final event in the Lambda Cup, a series of five Source single player mapping challenges.
For this challenge, we would like to you create a map that is fun to replay – or that specifically rewards you for playing through again. Variety is the spice of life, so offering the player different experiences during playthroughs is key.
One way to do this is by offering the player choices. Choice of path, or weapons, or companions, and so on.
Randomness can also make significant changes to the experience. Random enemy locations, random timing of attacks, or even random map layout changes that can lead to interesting playthroughs are all fair game.
Ideally the player’s choices or any random elements will impact the playthrough and offer variety on a replay.
Your entry could be a hub-type map where the player must achieve an overarching goal by completing a number of smaller goals. The hub area would lead to various points where the player performs an action that has consequences in the other parts of the map. For example, the player chooses to clear a building of zombies first and then attempts to pass a city street which has a sniper. Because there are no zombies left, the player finds it harder to reach the sniper since they are the only target left. If the player had attacked the sniper first, they would have found a shotgun which would have made it much easier to kill the zombies. But, because the sniper was killed first, they would find a lot more zombies in the building than in the first scenario.
In this case, “hub” doesn’t necessarily mean a map with corridors and portals – the hub area could just as easily be a crossroads in the forest, for example. “Hub” here just means a central area connecting to a variety of areas, where the player can make choices about how to proceed. If there is an overarching goal, it should be clear to the player – and ideally the smaller goals tie in sensibly to the larger goal. (Think of Blast Pit, where the player had to turn on the oxygen, fuel, and the power in order to fire the test engine to proceed past the tentacles. It’s not a good example for replayability, just for how an overarching goal can be linked to smaller goals).
Your entry could also be one where the player has to find the “correct” route in order to complete the map – along the lines of ChaseVille or some of the maps in the recent 72-Second Experiment. But keep in mind that it should be fun to replay – not frustrating and almost certainly not time-limited.
Or perhaps the player learns something during playing your map that allows for a totally different approach on a replay.
For this challenge the usual limit of 2 maps is removed. However, please don’t take that to mean you should build 10 maps.
We have removed this limitation to allow interesting “jumps” to each section, IF the mapper chooses to create a hub-style map.
As always, if you have any questions or doubts, please ask. If you want a private answer, please send an email to RunThinkShootLive@gmail.com – NOT email@example.com. Good luck!
There is one new rule this time [about affecting other maps], so please, please please, read all the rules carefully.
The deadline for submission was 11pm GMT Monday 17th December 2018