Things I never noticed in Half-Life

A little while ago, I started a new project on the site called Reference Galleries. I plan to put images I see from GoldSource maps and mods that will inspire me and can be used for reference.

Obviously, Half-Life will contain a lot of things that both inspire and can be used for reference. Unlike many readers, I’ve only played half-life a couple of times and the last time was part of what I called The Replay Experience Experiment AKA TREE and that was a few years ago, so I have decided to replay it, as well as the other games, over the next few months.

I started 10 minutes ago and when I got to the doorway where a Barney says that he can’t let me through and I looked up. I believe it was the first time I had done that and this post suddenly appeared in my head.

There are sure to be things I haven’t noticed and I thought I would document them here. Don’t expect any “Never-before-seen” things, they are just things that I have never noticed or forgotten I have.

The images and thoughts will be posted on the RTSL Twitter account and then embedded as comments on this post. The hashtag is #thinnihl.

By the way, if you are looking for a chapter-by-chapter review of each of the games, then visit the Games section of the site.

Anyway, I’ll hope you’ll follow along with me and add you own observations.

16th June 2018 2 Comments

Half-Life Posters – A RTSL Fan Art Event

A while ago, Maki, over on the SMC Discord server, suggested running an art challenge. He said it because, as you may know, I try to post a Half-Life art image every day on the RTSL Twitter account.

So, here is the first of hopefully many Fan Art Events.

Now, let me clarify. Just like the Fan Fiction Events, they are not exactly challenges. Certainly not in the same way that the mapping challenges are challenges. There are no winners. There are just favourites. I give random Steam games to my favourite and to the readers’ favourite. The games tend to be quite old and not very expensive. I want people to enter the events for the fun and experience, not because they think they will win a AAA modern game.

Right, so with all that said, let’s talk about the event itself.


As the name suggests, I would like you to create a poster. The poster can be about one of the Half-Life games, one of the characters, weapons, locations, events or even a mod.
The style is up to you. It could look like a movie poster, an art-form (water-colour, oil, abstract etc), photoshop screenshot – the choice is yours.
The style can be serious or joking.
Text should be kept to a minimum unless the style demands it. If text is used, it should be in English (sorry).

A quick look on Deviant Art shows some possibilities.

Entry Deadline

Please send your entry, via email, either as a jpg or png attachment, to, no later than 11:59pm UTC Sunday 8th July 2018.

World Clock

14th June 2018 7 Comments

Quiet Rehabilitation 2

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

“Localized on the other side of the Coast, the Combine used to run one among other abandoned sections of the block cells as an area to detain citizens who were determined to be a threat to the Combine action. Later on, these cell blocks were left behind, including countless prisoners and citizens who tried to escape by their own through vents, old offices, maintenance facilities and sewers.

After a successful escape from the cell blocks in sector A5, you’ll find yourself still wandering in the sewers on another side at Nova Prospekt looking for an exit. Continuing your journey as a leftover prisoner attempting to stay alive at all cost. Keep low and dark. The Combine is still in alert of your escape.”

Be sure to check out Quiet Rehabilitation too.


Total Downloads: 42910th June 2018
14 Comments and 6 recommendations with no significant bias

June 2018 – General Chat

Right, sit down, I’ve got something amazing to tell you…..I actually played some Wolfenstein: The New Order this week. SHOCK!! HORROR!!

I have been saying I would play for months and finally did. I WILL finish it this month. Maybe even this weekend. I struggled for the first 15 minutes while I tried to get used to the new (standard for you) keybindings and also trying to remember how to do the crouching slide, but eventually had a bit of fun.

So, the new Collections feature is online and working. Looks like we need to address multiple lines in the description but the rest seems to work. I hope you take a moment to have a look.

This weekend, I will be posting the PDF of the fan fiction event called Untold Stories and at the time of writing this, it looks like we have 9 or 10 submissions.

I plan to keep working on my mapping and probably stream a bit too.

What about you? What do you have planned?

BTW, can you guess the name of the mod that the featured image is taken from?

1st June 2018 8 Comments

RTSL game coming to Steam!

Right, so I suspect you are A: pretty excited and B: a little confused by the title. Hopefully, after you have finished reading this post you will still be excited but not confused.

I will explain as much as I can, but please bear in mind, that some things will remain secret for various reasons.

Essentially, near the end of this year or the beginning of next year, we will be releasing a compilation of the best maps entered for the mapping challenges over the last few years.

Let me address the use of the word “Game”, it seems that currently the release will be a game in the sense that it will not require the purchase or installation of ANY other Half-Life game.

26th May 2018 14 Comments

A Place in the West – An Interview with Ross and Michael.

The range of creations based on the Half-Life series never ceases to amaze me. Of course, that’s probably true of many IP franchises but Half-Life is the only one I am interested in.

I can’t say I have always been a fan of comics and am a little embarrassed to say that the movie “Unbreakable” was the first time I had really thought about their societal impact and influence.

Even as a child, I never really bought comics, so it was with some trepidation that I started to read A Place in the West. I won’t lie – it took a while for me to become interested and I did find it tough going at times, but I will say that I enjoyed what I read, even if I didn’t agree with all the creative choices.

I actually printed all the chapters and read them like a tradition comic and I actually liked that more than reading them on-screen (call me old-fashioned if you want).

That said, I have absolutely no hesitation at all in recommending reading the comic. The first chapter is free but the following ones are much better and at a very fair price of 1.99 Euros.

Below is a brief interview I conducted with the creators of the comic and I would like to thank them for taking the time to reply to my questions.

All the images below are taken from the first chapter.

So, either before or after reading the interview, go visit the A Place in the West Steam page and get reading.

26th May 2018 No Comments

Multi-hour Fund Raising Stream This Saturday

This Saturday, the 19th May, I will be doing a multi-hour livestream to raise money for the 2-018 Prize Fund.

Hunt Down the Freeman will be started and maybe even finished, Mapping will also feature as well as a couple of Half-Life 1 mods.

Start time is 12pm Central European Time and it will be on the RTSL YouTube channel:

I’ll be regularly asking for your hard-earned money, but know that it doesn’t go to me but to the entrants of the mapping challenges.

There will be game giveaways at least every hour, including some HDtF Steam keys.

Let me know if you have any questions and I hope to see you there.

17th May 2018 2 Comments

Site Feature: Collections

I am pleased to announce a new feature on the site.

It is called Collections and are user-created lists of releases.

I have created a video explaining how they work, which you can see below.

Collections can be viewed via the EXPLORE menu item and full details can be found on the ABOUT Page.

In summary, only registered and logged in users can create Collections but every visitor can see them.

As always, if you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

My thanks go to Jan for coding the feature and Koneko for testing it.

13th May 2018 5 Comments

May 2018 – General Chat

As I was lying in bed this morning, thinking about getting up or thinking about staying, a new feature for the site popped into my head.

I’m going to call it “Reference Gallery” and it will contain reference images from HL1 mods. I’ll split it into a few sub-galleries: Ceilings, Corridors, Large Arenas, Set Pieces and Science Baby!

I’ll start building the framework pages this week and slowly add images to each section. Let me know if you feel I should have other sub-galleries. I did consider creating an account on an external social media site just for this but want to keep everything hosted on RTSL.


Here we are. Getting closer to summer. I still haven’t finished Wolfenstein The New Order – shame on me. Who knows, MAYBE I will this month.

Found a mod I have been meaning to play for ages, so that takes presidents (Thank Mr. Trump for that spelling), plus a bunch of other stuff related to the site.

What about you? Got any big plans for the month of possibilities?

BTW, the image is taken from Dark Interval – Canals

1st May 2018 15 Comments