Archive for May 2012

The Replay Experience Experiment

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I have started replaying Half-Life and Half-Life 2 a couple of times since I first completed them.

I got a few chapters in and suddenly something shiny would come along and the next thing I knew it was a few weeks since I last played and then I just couldn’t be bothered to continue from where I finished.

After the relative success of 100 Days of Summer Nostalgia last year, I decided that I wanted to run some sort of event this year.

I didn’t want the commitment of having to post something every day all through the summer and this seemed like the perfect time to replay the games at my own speed, but with the added motivation of being part of an event.

How it Will Work

Starting 1st June, I will post details of each distinct chapter of the games in order. Each post will be similar to a map or mod post: a thumbnail, a factual description and some screenshots. In addition, I may include some trivia and other interesting information.

Then I will post my thoughts and feelings as a comment. There is no posting schedule but I estimate I will add a new post every 3 or 4 days.

I am hoping that the event will generate some serious and interesting discussion about how games have changed, how well the games stand up to our memories and how our experiences since finishing those games affect our replay impressions.


Once I have made the post and added my comment, all readers will be able to do the same.

To include screenshots to illustrate your points, please use a hosting service like and link to the image in your comment.

I will then download the image, create a thumbnail and approve your comment.

If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, please use the commenting system below or email me directly: [email protected].

Visit The Replay Experience Experiment homepage

Just watch the video instead!

29th May 2012 24 Comments

Critical Cargo

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Looks like you feel asleep using the bathroom! You wake up and start to go back to work.

Of course, something doesn’t feel right and then the shit really hits the fan.

Make sure you stay aware of you surroundings at all times – it could save your life.


Total Downloads: 2,42027th May 2012
31 Comments and 16 recommendations with no significant bias

Poll Question 276 – Would you rather have lots of maps with low quality visuals or less maps with high quality?

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

This is a question from James Partridge AKA Aazell.

He wrote to me and asked “In my experience the majority of the time it takes to put together a good map pack is spent making the maps look pretty and getting the detailing to an acceptable standard.

Given there are only so many mappers out there and most work alone, their time is finite. As a result this level of detailing leads to less maps being released as mappers feel the pressure to create high quality visuals.

So it comes down to a simple choice, the community can have lots of playable, fun, low detailed maps with basic visuals or few and far between highly detailed projects… which would you prefer?”

25th May 2012 14 Comments

7 Ways I Beta Test Maps – The 7 Series

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Lots of people think they can beta test, most can’t.

Simply playing a level without forethought is only really useful for making sure it works on your system.

That in itself is important if enough people do it, but there’s so much more to beta testing than that.

Ideally, a beta testers not only highlights issues but, if possible, offer solutions. Of course, this depends on the issues involved and the testers.

Below are the ways I test some levels sent to me. I don’t have time to do all of them for all levels I am asked to test, but I try.

I am posting this article simply to stimulate discussion about testing techniques NOT to offer my services as a tester.

So, here are 7 ways I beta test a map.

Don’t forget to add your own in the comments.

25th May 2012 10 Comments


for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

DoorVille is the first in a series of 6 mapping competitions lasting ten days each. The objective was to select ANY locked door from HL2, Ep1 or Ep2 and give the player a chance to find out what’s behind it.

Locked doors are a very important part of all Half-Life games. They control the player’s flow through a level.

Sometimes they tease you with a glimpse behind some glass, other times you hear sounds, but in all cases they are telling you “You are not wanted here!”

Well, now that is changed. Dare you find out what’s behind the door?


Total Downloads: 4,55115th May 2012
70 Comments and 20 recommendations, 10 say "Play It Now!"

Croman’s Office Mappack

for Half-Life

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Starting in a small office you must keep moving in the hope of finding an escape route.

Moving forward is actually the hardest part in this mappack, as you way is contantly blocked and you must solve the “puzzles” to move on.


Total Downloads: 1,82012th May 2012
18 Comments and 8 recommendations, 3 say "Play It Later"

Audio Interview with Yves Richard

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Today I managed to spend some time with Yves Richard AKA Richman, the author of Hazardous Course 2 amongst others and we chatted about the mod and its difficulty etc.

We also talked about the kind of Half-Life players left around and the problems of mapping for Source.

Yves said he would drop by, so if you have any questions, please feel free to post them as comments and hopefully he can answer them.

5th May 2012 8 Comments