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.

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Total Downloads: 72411th February 2018
16 Comments and 5 recommendations, most say "Play It Now!"

February 2018 – General Chat

Please accept my apologies for being a few days late publishing this post.

Anyway, now that January has gone we find ourselves in February – don’t be surprised, you knew it was coming!

I did not accomplish most of what I had hoped to in January and will naturally transfer it to February, along with some new stuff. Probably by December, I’ll have 11 months worth of tasks to accomplish!

I will definitely finish Wolfenstein: The New Order this month. NO! Really, I will.

What about you, what have you planned?


5th February 2018 8 Comments

The Mesa Cup 2018 – Challenge 1 – The Loop Complex

Hello and welcome to the Mesa Cup, a series of three Black Mesa single player mapping challenges.

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

Theme Details

For this challenge, we would like you to create a map whose main layout is a loop: the player must return to where they started. As usual, it’s the journey that counts.

Laying out a linear level that loops back is easy; using space efficiently and creating an interesting path for the player that feels non-linear is what we’re looking for. Foreshadowing of upcoming areas, taking advantage of the vertical axis, and opening and closing off (gating) areas as the player progresses (without making it feel like a maze) are key skills for FPS level designers.

Constructing a complicated level that has you simply finish where you started is a loop – but it’s not a very creative one. Including a reason for the loop goes a long way toward adding believability to your map and helps tie everything together. Think of Questionable Ethics, where you need to get through the main lobby door but have to make a big loop to eventually grab a scientist to open the door for you.

For more information about Loop design (and more examples), see here Valve Developer Community Loop page.

Originally, we planned this mapping challenge to be on the beta branch of the engine, which has some very cool lighting effects. However, it seems that the beta branch is causing a few issues for people, especially those with AMD processors.

After careful consideration, we have decided to run the challenge using the PUBLIC (non-beta) version of the engine. However, once the new engine goes public, there is a very good chance that older maps will have to be recompiled to work. That is why we have stated in the rules that the VMF MUST be included in the entry. That way, we can update the mod to ensure it works with the latest version of the game.

The Mesa Cup runs throughout the year and any delay or use of the beta branch could cause too many potential issues.

We apologise for the inconvenience and slight delay of this challenge announcement. We hope you understand.


1st February 2018 4 Comments

The Hammer Cup 2017 Winners

The Hammer Cup 2017 consisted of five mapping challenges, each with a different theme.

Entrants received points for each challenge they enter.

At the end of the event, the best 3 points totals from the challenges they entered were added together for each entrant. These totals decided who won the Grand Prizes.

Read to find out who took the top 5 prizes – and we announce a couple of special prizes!


31st January 2018 2 Comments

The One Billion Units – Experimental Mapping Challenge

The 1 Billion Units EMC.

Mappers are allowed to enter a map with a maximum cubic unit capacity of 1,000,000,000 Units. That is more or less 1024x1024x1024 or 20 metres x 20 metres x 20 metres in the real world.

The X,Y and Z dimensions can be anything the mappers’ want but the maximum total cubic size must not exceed 1,000,000,000 Hammer units.

The map must only have one area – not split into various parts.

This is the maximum volume of the map, NOT the area the player can reach.

VMF files MUST be submitted with each entry for easy verification. Within that space, the mapper can do anything they want.

The maps will be judges on clever, efficient and inventive use of the space.

No extra credit will be given for submitting smaller maps, but we may be secretly impressed.

Deadline

11am GMT Monday 29th January 2018


26th January 2018 6 Comments

Re-Poll Question 002 – Which do you collect first; Health or Ammo?

Please don’t answer the poll without reading the short introduction below.

You have 50% health and 50% ammo. In front of you the enemy is rushing towards you. There is health to your left and ammo to your right but you only have enough time to collect one before you will be engaged by the said enemy. Which do you collect; Health or Ammo?

I feel this answer says a lot about your playing mentality, your confidence and skill.

As somebody said, you can often kill the enemy and go back for health, assuming you are still alive, but if you run out of ammo you have to go back. I haven’t expressed that very well but I hope you know what I mean.

I would always go for health because I am such a bad player but what about you?

of course, this question can be answered differently depending on the game you are playing and what enemy is rushing towards you, but think of it more as a generalisation than a specific situation.


21st January 2018 19 Comments

The Lambda Cup 2018 – Challenge 1 – CoastVille

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

The word “coast” is very evocative. Long walks on the beach, pretty little seaside towns, high cliffs with waves crashing against them.

We would like you to build a map that has “coast” as its main setting. We leave the exact type of location to you but here are a few ideas.

A port used for storing and loading containers, a beach with little coves to explore, a re-imagining of Lost Coast, a cliff wall with caves and walkways, and finally a map where the player has to work their way along the coast through outposts.

Driving maps will be accepted but please think carefully before choosing this type of gameplay – it often involves a lot of work for very little player interaction.

We have purposefully chosen this theme as we feel it is open enough for all standards of modders yet also offers the possibility for many types of interpretation.


1st January 2018 46 Comments

January 2018 – General Chat

Good Morning and welcome to 2018.

You have chosen or been chosen to start this year with a love of Half-Life.

No game has ever affected you in such a way.

Other games have pleased and excited you, but not in the same way Half-Life.

Half-Life can’t be replaced by shiny graphics or VR.

Half-Life is and will always be your favourite.


1st January 2018 34 Comments

Nosocomephobia

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Nosocomephobia is a fear of hospitals.

You have been dared by your friends to explore an abandoned hospital alone.

Rumor has it the hospital was built on top of an asylum built and you are going to find out for sure.

Something’s definitely not right with this place…

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Total Downloads: 37028th December 2017
8 Comments and 6 recommendations, 2 say "Play It Later"