2020 General Chat

7th March 2020

Well, it’s been a long time since we’ve posted a General Chat. For a while it was monthly but then it kind of fell away shortly before Phillip left.

So here’s a catchall post to chat about anything Half-Life or Valve related, or questions/issues about the site. Or gaming in general! Or just about anything!

It’s really a great time in the Half-Life world. Black Mesa just officially left Early Access with their 1.0 release. The Map Labs mapping challenges keep on rolling. And of course, Half-Life: Alyx, the first Valve Half-Life game in almost 13 years, is right around the corner!

What are you playing? What are you making? What are you looking forward to?


  1. Stefan Wagner

    I can´t Play my mods! Alternitiv gameinfo wanted ??? Sorry my English

    1. Unq

      Stefan, you can try this: https://www.runthinkshootlive.com/th/#sec4

      Specifically, this Steam community like might help: https://steamcommunity.com/app/420/discussions/0/864971765497379056/

      Most mods here on RTSL should work fine, make sure you follow the installation instructions which are on most pages.

  2. Well, the Black Mesa v1.0 release has caused a few issues with my custom maps so I’ve currently got them all hidden on the stream workshop until I get round to updating them.

    And what am I looking forward to? Half-Life-wise it would have to be TWHL Tower 2. Sounds like there were a fair few maps submitted so should be a decent release. Even had a go at a floor or two myself, first time I’ve been tempted to try Half Life 1 mapping.

  3. Unq

    For my part, I’m really looking forward to Doom Eternal. Doom 2016 surprised me nicely, I had a blast playing it. Of course, HL: Alyx is exciting too. I’m planning to get a VR system just for it, probably all according to Valve’s sinister plan.

  4. It’s nice to see general chat back again after a long time! I am currently making my way through BMS 1.0 and so far, I am really enjoying it. Although playing through things always takes less time than I imagine if I have played it before. (In this case, I last played the BMS campaign in 2016) It took me an extortionate amount of time to first play through Half-Life 1. Partially because I was playing it on my PS2 and also because it was a fresh experience and I did not know the levels. I remember getting to the beginning of Office Complex and thinking “There can’t be that much left to go now!”

    I am looking forward to playing Half-Life: Alyx and experiencing VR. I don’t know if I will get to play it on launch day or for the following days as things are extremely busy right now but I have most of the necessary items (except the game) and am eagerly waiting for release.

    Another thing I am looking forward to is playing TWHL Tower 2 which was a community event run on TWHL.info between November 2019 and the end of February 2020. It is a Half-Life mod that combines a variety of peoples maps into a tower so there should be a wide range of interesting things to find!

    In terms of my modding and level design, I am in quite a slump right now which always seems to happen right after I finish a project. Hopefully I will find some willpower to create something with the new tools for HL:A eventually but for now, I am “on a break” from modding.

  5. Although it is now clear that the Half Life franchise has been resurrected, I gotta admit I’m not in a rush to play the upcoming HL:A. Main reason is that my current old PC would melt when trying to run VR, and I haven’t felt the need yet to update my system. Perhaps the release of Kerbal Space Program 2 – a space sim which my system also would be unable to run – would finally drive me to update.

    Modding/mapping wise I’m very lazy at the moment. Haven’t looked at Hammer in weeks, and this while two standalone projects are basically 99% done and more or less on the verge of release; an update of A2B Trajectory (listed on this site) and an all new A2B Trajectory 2. Gotta soldier on through some software shenanigans and actually release these projects.

  6. I’m looking forward to anything and everything SP that can be played. Pay or not.

    I can’t say I understand exactly what’s coming up, or already here (early access = ?), but hope as always to see the definitive answers here!

  7. zoe

    In the vein of Cromulentville, there was a map that came out about 5 years ago called “Post-Exposure Prophylaxis” that I thought was interesting. It’s not mainstream and a bit bizarre, so it didn’t get any exposure on RTSL.

    For those of you looking for more to play.


    I have no connection to the author/s of the mod. I just thought it was cool and deserves a wider audience.

    1. Thanks! Definitely worth playing. Pretty strange!

      A tip about this map, not really a spoiler. I thought “Loading” was the end, however I needed to look around a lot.

  8. Wesp5

    While it is nice to see with HL:A that HL is back as a game franchise, I don’t really get the hype about it. What I have seen looked like any good mod here, like nothing special except in VR…

  9. Hello everyone.
    It’s been a long time since my last connection. It has also been a long time since I opened up Hammer or Jack….. I don’t know when I will start mapping again but for now, I’ve been practicing level design for a future project. I won’t be talking about it here because no one cares and it’s not the place for it.

    I have finished Black Mesa and I must say it’s one of my favorite half-life mod ever made. Even so, I don’t know if we can call it a mod now when it’s more of a full game. I was a bit disappointed with the last levels of Xen as I encountered lots of bugs and I found the game really really hard. I’ve played the full game in hard and it was challenging but not raging. But I don’t know why I found the last part of Xen unbalanced. But apart from interloper, the rest of the game is gorgeous and fun.

    About Half-Life Alyx O_o. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the trailer. There were only 100k views at the time I saw the thumbnail on youtube and I sat in front of my screen for 5 minutes before clicking on the video. Sadly VR is too expensive for me at the moment. So I try not to get spoil by any news or videos because one day I will play it, whenever I get enough money to buy a good headset. But I must admit, from the trailer and few youtube thumbnail I saw, the game looks really interesting and good.
    Hopefully, I will earn some money with my projects and I will be able to save enough…. finger crossed.

    Ho, and I turn 19 yesterday ^^. Not a big deal but hey….

    1. Black Mesa is a good mod, but have you ever played “Black Mesa: Military”? 🙂


  10. LJ Isbister

    How strange. I had thought that the website had effectively fallen dormant, though I was aware that Unq had taken over the maintenance of it. At the risk of saying something inappropriate I hope that Philip is well and that all is going well both for him and the site. I am still playing Half-Life and its many mods, and hope to do so for many years in the future. It’s given me a great deal of enjoyment and hopefully will do so for many years to come

  11. grabbie

    Glad to see things are still running around here. Been playing most of the new mods that come out. If you haven’t checked out ATROPHY: XCIX, please do it ASAP. It’s an excellent mod and prob my favorite of the year so far. He updated his original mod too if you haven’t played that one over the years. Below is the link to the moddb page.


    Recently finished Black Mesa 1.0 for the Xen levels. The map design was great but it just went on for longer than it should. They can easily cut it down in some sections.

    1. Thanks for the heads up on TITAN_XCIX, downloading now.

    2. Thanks so much for that info. I just completed Atrophy and thought it was brilliant! I’ll play Titan next.

  12. Been looking to get back into map making but all out of ideas currently… except for one idea that’s too big to tackle. I’ve had some bittersweet excitement about HL:A, as someone with no VR gear and neither desire nor option to buy some. Black Mesa tho, hell yeah! I haven’t played any of Xen yet because I wanted to wait until the proper 1.0, so that’s deffo on the to-do list now that it’s out!

  13. I must admit, I’m a little disappointed over HL: A , I mean sure, it’s great to know the franchise hasn’t been completely abandoned, but having to buy even more stuff to play it sucks…and it doesn’t look any different, just more knobs and buttons to twiddle with…one thing’s for sure, they don’t listen to the fans otherwise 3 would be out, it’s all just about money really , we’ll keep shelling out for things we don’t actually want and they’ll keep creaming it off the top. Conned is too mild a word.

    1. Wesp5

      I completely agree! Instead of HL2:EP3 we get a VR only prequel that is targeted to sell Valve’s VR equipment…

  14. Need to upgrade my laptop if I want to play the PR prequel or even the Xen chapter in BM. Now’s not a good time to spend that kind of money so I’ll be digging into my collection instead. Maybe it’s time to play USS Darkstar again.

  15. Re: BMS 1.0, presumably this was the update being done by Steam to my retail game.

    Advice please…. In the release notes it said ” If you have had mods in the past, it may be worth uninstalling the game, deleting all local files in Black Mesa, then reinstalling the game”. I’ve played pretty much all of the add on maps/every bm map, but haven’t added any mods that aren’t maps.

    ?1: Should I uninstall the game as suggested?
    ?2: If maps won’t work with 1.0 until they are redone to suit, can our list be somehow changed to reflect the status? https://www.runthinkshootlive.com/bm/

  16. Been playing Alyx lately, and its been mindblowing.

    Every level, I think a creative peak is reached, then Valve basically goes “y’all mind if I scoot over here a bit and RAISE THE BAR AGAIN?”

  17. yeetman

    Everytime I try to open the Half Life 2: Episode 3 mod game, it shows me the main screen and then exits me, is it a problem with steam or the game?

    1. zoe

      Purely my amateur, shot-in-the-dark, take you chances options when a mod crashes like this, I usually associate it with the SteamPipe update of 2013.

      Gameinfo.txt fix method
      1. Find gameinfo.txt in the mod’s directory.
      2. Delete all contents in the file.
      3. Copy-Paste the code below into the blank txt file.
      3. Save the new .txt as gameinfo.txt
      4. Re-start Steam
      Remember to always backup the original file.
      Be sure to replace MODNAME with the mod’s name.
      If this doesn’t work, you didn’t get this info from me!

      For EP2 mods (SteamAppId 420)…

      name “MODNAME”
      game “MODNAME”
      title “MODNAME”
      title2 “”
      type singleplayer_only
      icon “resource\icon”
      homepage “”
      developer “”

      SteamAppId 420
      ToolsAppId 211
      AdditionalContentId 220

      game+mod |gameinfo_path|.
      platform |gameinfo_path|.
      game_lv hl2/hl2_lv.vpk
      game+mod ep2/ep2_english.vpk
      game+mod ep2/ep2_pak.vpk
      game |all_source_engine_paths|episodic/ep1_english.vpk
      game |all_source_engine_paths|episodic/ep1_pak.vpk
      game |all_source_engine_paths|hl2/hl2_english.vpk
      game |all_source_engine_paths|hl2/hl2_pak.vpk
      game |all_source_engine_paths|hl2/hl2_textures.vpk
      game |all_source_engine_paths|hl2/hl2_sound_vo_english.vpk
      game |all_source_engine_paths|hl2/hl2_sound_misc.vpk
      game |all_source_engine_paths|hl2/hl2_misc.vpk
      platform |all_source_engine_paths|platform/platform_misc.vpk
      mod+mod_write+default_write_path |gameinfo_path|.
      game+game_write |gameinfo_path|.
      gamebin episodic/bin
      game |all_source_engine_paths|episodic
      game |all_source_engine_paths|hl2
      platform |all_source_engine_paths|platform



      1. zoe

        Formatting is probably important (I’m a noob), so here are the actual instructions (with proper formatting)…


  18. I have, for sometime now, been having a problem while playing all HL games, that the top of the screen flickers. I tried to research a fix but to date have not been able to find one that works.
    I recall that this happened once before and I was able to figure it out, but now I can’t remember or find the answer. I tried setting the game to run in different compatibility modes and even upgraded the memory. I looked for updates to the drivers for the monitor, but nothing seems to be working.
    Can anyone help?

    1. Just a thought, in video options, does the chosen screen resolution say # X # “(native)”? I have to change every map I install to that.

      If it does say that, have you tried reducing the resolution, making sure to keep it within the same aspect ratio as native.

      Another thing to try is switch the display mode between ‘full screen’ and ‘window’, in searching I found someone solved a problem like that by doing this.

      1. Thanks dougjp,
        I have tried looking at / for these suggestions but have not had any luck in correcting the problem.

  19. So I’m just working on completing a few mods on my backlog, and I’m currently playing through Lost Under the Snow, and I needed to come here to find the save file needed to get past the Wild West crash.

  20. Stevan

    this is going in my bookmarks, this site is amazing for providing all modding info you will ever need

  21. Hi Y’all

    Very much enjoying the Map Labs stuff that has recently been appearing on here. Currently playing The Grid and having a great time.

    On a different note has anyone else noticed that, with a few exceptions, most of the HL, HL2 etc. mods, when played through the new(ish) Steam interface, do not subsequently show up in the Recent Games list. This is a shame as I used to like being able to return to a mod and have it appear at the top of the Recently Played list rather than having to trawl through the huge number of mods I have accumulated over the years. A few such as Downfall, Transmissions Element, Prospect etc. do show up as recently played but most don’t. I am wondering if anything can be done to change this behaviour. I have contacted Steam but did not get very far.

    1. Some mods are even on a tab called ‘hidden’ in my Steam. Strange. It tooks me 15 minutes to find them!

  22. Hi everybody,

    I hope it is the good place to post it. Here below are all the (good and best) mods I have already tried. Have I forgotten one ? (only mods for HL2, HL2Ep1, HL2Ep2).
    Dangerous world
    Dear Esther
    Deep Down
    Down Fall
    Entropy zero
    Episode 3 The Closure v. 2.0
    Estranged : Acte1
    Eye Of The Storm Episode 1
    Forest train
    Get A Life
    Human Error
    Leon’s Coastline to Atmosphere
    Lost Coast
    Mission Improbable
    Project 25
    Research and Development
    Resistance Element
    Riot Act
    Silent Hill Alchemilla v.1.1
    Strider Mountain
    Surface Tension Uncut v2.0
    The Citizen
    The Citizen Returns
    The Gate 2
    The Sprucescape Mod
    The Stanley Parable v1.4
    Transmission : Element120
    Year Long Alarm

  23. Though it was promised at the time, it never happened, so is there anyone out there that can fix ” Sebastion” ?…( HL2 E1)…I’ve tried everything I can think of as well as what was suggested…look in the comments.

  24. AJ

    Hi, I want to delete my account. How may I go about doing this please? Thank you!

  25. Hi all, is there a way to tell if a map/mod will work with a linux based operating system before installing it? I revived an older pc and steam works and hl, hl2 , portal ,l4d all work at high graphic settings. fusionVille works but back on track does not. any thoughts?

  26. I just downloaded the mod Dark Factory which is an hl2-ep1-sp-dark-factory game. After doing what was needed to get the new game into my sourcemods folder and then restarting Steam, when clicked on the game it starts but then only shows a white screen. The error message received says “Can’t find background image materials/console/startup_loading.vtf”.
    Can anyone offer a solution? This has happened before with other downloads and I’d like to learn what went wrong and how to fix it.
    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.


  27. whens Bill the evil genius headcrab coming back?

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