RunThinkShootLiveVille 2 – Map Labs #3

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

The Map Labs team keeps cranking out quality mapping challenges. This time they approached me to ask about a crossover challenge and I suggested a sequel to the namesake contest RunThinkShootLiveVille. That was a fun challenge to run and play, and some memorable maps were entered.

So for this first crossover with Map Labs, the theme was to make a map featuring the sections Run, Think, Shoot, Live – in any order.

The challenge recieved 12 entries and 2 bonus maps, here they are!

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Total Downloads: 2,06114th April 2019
40 Comments and 8 recommendations, most really enjoyed it!

RunThinkShootLiveVille 2 – Map Labs #3 Mapping Challenge Announcement

Hey, you didn’t really think we’d never have another Ville challenge, right? Geez Louise!

Chris & Toki (the Map Labs folks) have really stepped up, filling the void that RTSL left once we started to wind things down late last year. This is the third “full” Map Labs Challenge – though they’ve run a couple of Test Tube (smaller) challenges in the vein of the Experimental Mapping Challenges here. Most of them are available right here on RTSL, and all are on the Map Labs ModDB page.

I’m happy to partner up with Map Labs for this challenge. May they keep the cool Half-Life challenges going! Perhaps there will be more crossovers like this in the distant future…

The Map Labs Discord just opened up for business. Head there to keep up with Map Labs, find out about new challenges, and maybe volunteer as a beta tester!

Theme Details

Just like in the original RunThinkShootLiveVille, mappers must create a map linking 4 distinct sections:

Section 1: RUN
Section 2: THINK
Section 3: SHOOT
Section 4: LIVE

They’re pretty self-explanatory, but we’ll let the official announcement fill in the details (click for full version):

RunThinkShootLiveVille2 Announcement

Note the optional Bonus Challenges, just to add some spice to the maps.

Deadline

The deadline for submission was Monday 8th April 2019

Prize

Map Labs typically doesn’t have prizes for the challenges, other than special roles on the Discord server for placing in the top 3. But I happened to have a spare copy of Raising the Bar in decent shape kicking around, so I’m offering it up to the winner.

Raising the Bar


8th March 2019 13 Comments

ReplayVille

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Hello and welcome to Challenge 5 in the Lambda Cup, a series of five Source single player mapping challenges. If you are new to the Lambda Cup or mapping challenges, please see the event’s homepage: THE LAMBDA CUP 2018. The theme for this challenge is “replay”. Get ready to play through 9 new maps! Basic… Read More

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Total Downloads: 2,17829th December 2018
33 Comments and 6 recommendations, most really enjoyed it!

The Lambda Cup 2018 – Challenge 5 – ReplayVille

Hello and welcome to Challenge 5, the final event in the Lambda Cup, a series of five Source single player mapping challenges.

Theme Details

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 planetphillip@gmail.com. Good luck!

There is one new rule this time [about affecting other maps], so please, please please, read all the rules carefully.

Deadline

The deadline for submission was 11pm GMT Monday 17th December 2018


16th November 2018 20 Comments

PhaseVille

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Video games always feature various styles of gameplay. In this challenge we asked mappers to create a map that flowed through 3 phases. See the Theme Details section below for full details.

The resulting maps range from average to fantastic and the different interpretations of each phase is fascinating.

Get ready to play through 15 new maps!

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Total Downloads: 3,14713th October 2018
30 Comments and 8 recommendations, most say "Play It Now!"

The Lambda Cup 2018 – Challenge 4 – PhaseVille

Hello and welcome to Challenge 4 in the Lambda Cup, a series of five Source 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 tagline of Half-Life is “Run. Think. Shoot. Live.”. You should know that but not everybody does. That’s where the name of this website comes from.

One of my favourite Villes was RunThinkShootLiveVille. It allowed mappers a chance to create small sections, each with a clear objective; both for the mapper and the player. Each phase was clear, precise and compelling.

For this challenge, we would like you to choose one verb from each phase and blend them into a seamless whole map:
Phase 1: Find / Escape / Ride
Phase 2: Solve / Fight / Evade
Phase 3: Drive / Descend / Chase
Phase 4: Live / Die / Fate Unknown

We are looking for natural flow between each phase. You CAN NOT change the order of the phases.

You are allowed to replace ONE of the verbs in the first 3 phases with one of your own choosing. That’s one replacement total allowed, and it’s optional – so if you like the list you can stick to those choices.

There is one new rule this time [about affecting other maps], so please, please please, read all the rules carefully.

Deadline

The deadline for submission is 11pm GMT Monday 24th September 2018


31st August 2018 4 Comments

BossVille

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

When the going gets tough, the tough get going!

You are about to fight against the meanest, smartest and cruelest bosses in Ville history.

Only the strongest will survive. Will you be one of them?

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Total Downloads: 2,32311th August 2018
18 Comments and 9 recommendations, most say "Play It Now!"

NostalgiaVille

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Half-Life 2 has been around for longer than 13 years, but many will agree that the game has still not lost its charm. However, as Episode 1 and 2 came out, people switched their focus to the new environments and gameplay that were introduced.

NostalgiaVille seeks to balance out the scale by re-introducing the classic environments of Half-Life 2 in the modern day.

Play through 8 official entries and 1 bonus map in this special 2018 mapping challenge.

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Total Downloads: 6,61015th July 2018
35 Comments and 14 recommendations, most say "Play It Now!"

The Lambda Cup 2018 – Challenge 3 – BossVille

We’ve all been there – reaching the end of a game or chapter and having to face the BOSS. Usually, it’s a single all-powerful enemy. Well, almost all-powerful – inevitably after enough dancing around each other, you find its weak spot and exploit it. Hooray! Not really – it’s totally expected, uninteresting, and cliched.

For this challenge, we would like you to take the idea of a final battle and breathe new life into the scenario. Of course, that’s easier said than done.

We don’t want you to necessarily focus on a single enemy, although you can have that kind of boss if you want. But you’re also allowed to have multiple boss enemies, or one big bad boss with other minions helping. Imagine a pair of bosses working against you and maybe even each other.

Even though this challenge is called BossVille, you don’t have to make a boss fight. We really like the hectic finale in Episode 2, where you had to fend off striders and hunters while driving all over the place. We want to encourage clever twists on the classic boss fight – and we’re definitely keeping an open mind as to what’s acceptable in BossVille. All we’re looking for is a great finale, boss fight or not!

Make the encounter interesting! Perhaps the boss fight has several phases – where the boss changes its attack patterns, or its behavior, or the environment. Maybe you encounter the same enemy multiple times throughout the map, setting him up as the Big Bad and leading up to a great finale fight. Maybe we have to outwit the enemy instead of fighting them?

The core concept of a climactic finale is the key here. Use a single boss in ways we’ve never seen, or come up with your own intriguing final faceoff!

Deadline

The deadline for submission was 11pm GMT Monday 23rd July 2018


1st July 2018 15 Comments