2024 General Chat

27th January 2024

Well, we’re back! Thanks for sticking with us through the site downtime – a server problem that also just had bad timing right over the holiday season.

And so here’s a new General Chat for the New(ish) Year! What are you looking forward to playing in 2024?

There are of course some good “new” releases that haven’t been added to this site yet – including Entropy Zero: 2 (OK, it’s from 2022, I know), Swelter, and Delta Particles (the revamped Half-Life: Delta).

But, I have managed to post all the Map Labs competitions on the site which I’ve been meaning to do for a long while now. Some are mainly mappers’ exercises, yes – but there are some really unique maps in those challenges too which are worth seeking out and playing!

And of course I’ll repeat last year’s wishlist again (all still coming hopefully soonish!): The Core, Dark Matter, Signal Lost, and THWL Tower Source.

What’s going on with you? Games you’re hoping to play this year? Mods?


  1. I’m glad the site is back up and running again. πŸ™‚

    I’ve been going through some of the old HL2 maps, and there’s honestly some gems in there in those super early years, like Ravenholm Clocktower and Vexko International.

    As for what I’m looking forward to, I’m excited to play more of RTBR with Division 3, hoping to see the release of HL Decay: Solo Mission, and hopefully hearing more about Episode 2 of Entropy Zero – Uprising.

  2. Cloacky

    Man im so glad that the site’s back on!
    This year, I promise myself to finally play RTBR Redux, Swelter and Portal Revolution.

    Let’s hope that we’ll get even more neat half-life stuff in 2024!

    1. Anon_2002971

      Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar REDUX

    2. Raising the Bar Redux. It’s currently the most active mod that’s recreating the HL2 Beta storyline. It’s currently up to Ravenholm and even has a fun submod out called Salvation that lets you play as Grigori.

  3. It’s really good to see RTSL is still alive and kicking after so long. Lately, it feels like the whole Source modding/mapping scene is dwindling, it’s great this here place still exists. I’ve been wanting to get back into level design this year and RTSL has been around since I got into it (and long before).

    1. Wouldn’t say it’s dwindling, to be honest. In the recent years, we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing some of the best mods that HL modding has ever seen.

      1. Actually I would, gone are the gravy days since our illustrious leader jumped ship, there really isn’t a lot happening now, not like it used to be. Hey ho, everything comes to an end, sadly. Yes it’s ticking over…just…

      2. While modding for the series is doing really good, I would agree that RTSL itself is definitely past its glory days. Just compare the number of comments and general engagement on older posts compared to now, and it’s clear that fewer people are still coming around here as much.

  4. It’s great to have the site back! I have been playing mainly Portal items this year so far. Portal Revolution is amazing and I highly recommend it. I’m currently working on Portal Reloaded but the progress is a bit slow as the puzzles are quite challenging.

  5. Good to see the sites back up!

  6. I’m so happy to see the site back up and running again. Its delightful, a daily enjoyable visit for a change compared to most everything else out there these days.

    For some reason (probably my age, but it might possibly be site design too), I have always have a mental block finding things on ModDB. 90% of the time, I find out about new things from people here!

    Speaking of which, thanks Driver3 for the info about RTBR Redux, a great mod. My version wasn’t as up to date, so I uninstalled that and got the latest one today. A word of caution if extracting files with 7-Zip, be very patient! Its at 90% and been going on for 6 hours and 45 minutes on a fast computer and SSD drive πŸ™ I remember now having to get a paid program on trial to do it last time, but that resulted in a deluge of spam and difficulties completely uninstalling it.

    1. Re: above…..oops for the faulty warning! My AV was checking every file – slowly.

    2. I also find navigating ModDB a bit tricky. But I have recently taken to looking at the YouTube walkthroughs by the legendary ‘Bolloxed’. What is great is that there are many mods there that I have not come across before and he always puts direct links up to the location on ModDB. He also has a whole list of other mods and maps worth taking a look at. It’s a real treasure trove for fans of all versions of Half Life.

      1. yeah i do that as well, just in case I missed something…and hey, sometimes I have.

      2. Thank you! Legendary maybe, but as usual I wasn’t aware, but now I am.

        From there, I found out about the just released Self Execution map for Entropy Zero 2 that I’m playing now, and its pretty good. Also Concealed Information for Black Mesa.

        However, no links to Moddb can be found anywhere in his YouTube to anything at all. Not a problem, the names for searching in Moddb are all that’s required, but a link as you said was there, would have been nice.

  7. I”m looking forward to any game time I can squeeze out. Did not have much in 2023. New job is so stressful. Quite is what I need after work.
    But great stress reliever is a little half life as well.

  8. ZAV

    i’m so excited to see new RSTL new mapping challenges, trough month or year, i am excited to see one with post apocalyptic theme i’d say

  9. Happy new, thanks for keeping site alive

  10. Glad the sites back.

    While other sites like DB aren’t bad, they lack the curation for released mods that this site provides me.

    1. its a hl1 mod thats been in the works for a good while now

  11. Some guy released a remaster of “the Thing”, the very first HL2 mod ever released.

    How do we know that? Because it was released even before HL2 official release, as it was based on the infamous Axel Gembe’s leak…

    Somehow, it made me wonder…

    What was the first HL1/GoldSrc map/mod ever released? Of course you have the one “big” release such as USS Darkstar and such,

    but what was the very first to be released? Nothing seems to be sure on the internet, and it’s probably lost forever…

    So far, I’ve found “the Lounge” by Michael Warren which seems to have been released in the first weeks following the release of HL1, between 11/19/98 and 12/31/98… One of the first, but not “the” first.
    Dev’ clearly aknowledged that he “rushed” the release of his map to have it as one of the first/earliest releases ever…

    But, as I said, it’s probably some map lost forever, as PlanetHalfLife, Geocities, etc… are now defunct since a long time ago.

  12. Hec


    I think it is great Unq or other admins here in RTS dot com have noticed “Swelter” and “Delta Particles”. Both are humongous mods.

    But they apparently, hadn’t noticed “Snowdrop Escape”, a mandatory preliminary Mod related somewhat to Swelter, as it was developed by the same dev team.

    So it would be great to add it to the missing mods list too… Has someone already played Snowdrop Escape? is pretty cool too.

    I also would love RTSL dot com just consider not to focus on map challenges only. I hope other releases will be covered by this site too. As it usually was in the old times You Know.

  13. Any of you guys played Portal: Revolution yet?

    Also the mod I’m looking forward to the most is Diffusion: https://www.moddb.com/mods/diffusion

    1. Portal Revolution is great. I had to downgrade the graphics a bit as my laptop crashed a few times, but it’s really well done. There have been some bug fixes since then so others may not experience that issue

      1. Hec

        I’d love to play it but I have like a trauma with Portal mods you know…

        Most of them are hard as hell and I just get discouraged by those maniac portal-tinking skills you have to master. So, it’s been a while since I don’t play any portal mod.

        Anyway, if that one you mention has a reasonable level of difficulty to beat it I may give it a try!

  14. LarryenlAf

    Hello from Sporthappy.

  15. Hello. I post HL2 custom campaign mods to Steam Workshop so that GMOD players can play them with their GMOD addons.

    By the way, I am currently working on getting Call In ( https://www.runthinkshootlive.com/posts/call-in/ ) to work in GMOD’s Steam Workshop. It isn’t out yet, but I am going to release it when I make sure that it works, After releasing Call In, I am going to work on getting Siren ( https://www.runthinkshootlive.com/posts/siren/ ) to work in GMOD. I want to post Siren on Steam Workshop once I make sure it works in GMOD, but I read its “Read Me” file, which says that I cannot post that HL2 custom campaign without prior permission. So I am currently waiting for permission to do so.

  16. huh, does anyone know why the outage happened?

  17. No idea what i wanna play, but i was just listening some old Half-life Radio interviews… Podcast17 did some, but i so would like to go back 20years to those HLRadio days and have, if not daily, but weekly dev team interviews.


      1. Darn, wheres edit button. But i have have lots of ideas for interviews, i have no need to be your community manager, lol

  18. Hello. I am requesting permission to post Epistle3Ville ( https://www.runthinkshootlive.com/posts/epistle3ville/ ) to GMOD workshop, since I am able to play it via GMOD with my GMOD addons, such as SWEPs The reason why I would do so is because I want to make the map mod more accessible to GMOD players who want to play it with their addons.

  19. Hec

    So!! dear Unq!! please tell us you are going to upload Swelter here on RTSL!! tell us so we can review it!! also, it would be great to have Snowdrop Escape uploaded here in RTSL.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. These are two highest quality maps that should be played by everybody.

    2. I recently replayed that, but was less taken with it, still, worth a go…i found it hard, if I remember, the first time I just gave up, this time I didn’t get a lot further. Meh, there are better mods that never made it…

      1. Snowdrop Escape that was, Swelter was OK.

        1. Yes, I also found Snowdrop Escape was very difficult, and some of the ‘puzzles’/ways to proceed were complex and/or not intuitive. I had to stop and refer to a video walkthrough several times.

          However it was one of those maps with such high quality, it drew me in and I found it was worth the effort πŸ™‚

          1. Hec

            Agree, Snowdrop was what Swelter wasn’t, and I mean “annoying” by saying that, not all annoying, but at least those stupid numeric puzzle-padlocks were…

            I had to consult some walkthroughs twice or thrice at some points to beat it.

            Anyway, It would be nice to have Snowdrop 2, but as far as I know, the developers ain’t working on anything RN.

  20. Just as an aside, and I’m not trying to spam the site, but I’m in the process of opening my place in southern Bulgaria as an Half-Life loosely themed hostelry, catering for campers, back packers or travellers in general, it’s called Ravenholm. Delete this Unq if it’s inappropiate. So, if anyone is out there and travelling in Europe…there are places you can go.

  21. As the one who ports HL2 custom campaign to GMOD, I have only basic knowledge of Hammer, and I would risk breaking the map if I try to edit it with that application, and I have yet to know how to use VSIF2VCD, since the tool does not work for me at all no matter how hard I tried to use it since I cannot find any clear, reliable instructions online, which converts a scenes.image file into .vcd files such that an HL2 custom campaign that relies on that .image file works in GMOD. For that, I am unable to get certain HL2 custom campaigns to work in GMOD. Can anyone teach me how to use the VSIF2VCD tool to convert scenes.image file to .vcd files?

  22. I’m glad to see this site relives. I thing I have tried all the HL2 and BM mods, but….maybe not, so I read you carefully πŸ™‚

  23. I can’t believe I’ve been ‘doing’ this stuff for over 25 years now, it’s time to move on. There are a few reasons for that, lost interest mainly, HL 3 never happened, the mods are getting poorer and I suppose there’s only so much one can do with the same opponents, whether re-hashed in different skins or not, you kinda know what’s coming and how they’ll react. The competitions bore me to be honest…there’s nothing left that inspires me so I suppose I’ve pretty much been there and done that, not being a mapper myself. Looking at Steam, the constant bombardment of games I’ve never heard of and no desire to play leaves me in a void. Ya know, it’s time for me to pack up and go do something else with my time. Maybe something else WILL come along, I don’t know, but for now I’m off. I need the space on my hard drive, chuck it all out. I’m proud to have been a part of this community however, it’s been fun. New horizons maybe.

    1. Meerkat

      Dont leave m8 it is your addiction.
      I have played almost daily since purchasing Half Life and I gobble all of the mods up just as eagerly now.
      Huge thanks to all mod makers who keep us fed….long may it continue πŸ™‚

  24. Phillip

    Hi All,

    It’s Phillip. Hope you are all well.
    I’m just here to say that “Jasper”* popped into my head today and I wanted to remind people that we never know what tomorrow brings, so be nice to each other and enjoy our time together.

    *Jasper was a member from many years back who actively participated in all aspects of the site and then one day we heard from his wife that he had died. He was a retiree, but it was still a shock to us.

    I suspect he would have bought a pair of Valve Index VR goggles and loved Alyx.

    RIP Jasper.

    Anyway, get back to modding and playing.


  25. Spud

    I remember hearing about this site way back in the heyday of Half-Life. Just commenting to let it be known that I vastly prefer HL1 to HL2 with GoldSRC being vastly more charming than Source. Admittedly that may just be nostalgia talking but I stand by the statement nonetheless.
    I wish Valve would return to developing for GoldSRC much like games like Ion Fury returned to the Build engine.
    I long for the days when GoldSRC was adopted by the mainstream and wish that we can someday experience the glory days yet again. πŸ™

  26. RTB Redux Division 3 demo is available and, no surprise, its very good! And already there is a custom game add-on for it called Air Exchange.

    There are some new (I think) custom maps for Entropy Zero 2 – Point Insertion, Prospekt Zero Remake and Revision Chapter 1.

  27. Another one to keep track of is the HL2 (not Ep2) Mod “Coterminus”, which in turn can have add-on mods based on HL2 content.

    One such mod that is a must play IMO is The Town Mod. The graphics, layout and gameplay are truly excellent. You won’t hardly recognize it from the original, so it will mostly feel like a new map.

    And I’m patiently waiting for Black Mesa Blue Shift Chapter 5, supposed to be out sometime this summer.

    1. Thanks to give us info about the best mods to play. “The Town Mod”, do you means this one ? https://hl2-beta.ru/index.php?action=downloads;sa=view;down=334
      They says : “You will need HL2 Beta patched with Mega Patch and LeakNet.” What are this 2 patches ?

      1. Hi. No idea about that link, it doesn’t sound right because the one I got is updated and doesn’t have any such requirements.

        I only use moddb (or here, obviously) for downloads.

        Here’s the link there, which says its ” A ported and updated version of the Town mod previously released for the leaknet engine “;


        1. Thanks. I see that it is a mod to be installed on “Coterminus 1.1”. So I will first install “Coterminus 1.1” and after I will try β€œThe Town Mod”.

          1. With my further comments, you will get 3 for 1 πŸ™‚ Play Coterminus first, then go get the Borealis Mod for Coterminus too. Both also excellent.


        2. Coterminus 1.1 works but I do not see The Town in the bonus maps, only some test maps. Could you help ? Maybe the folder “The Town” should be placed in another folder than “Coterminus” ?

          1. Sure can. I see the author made a not obvious assumption in the readme, which states:
            ” Unpack into Coterminus’s ‘custom’ folder. The Town chapter should appear under BONUS MAPS section of the main menu. ”

            There is no “custom” folder! He/she must have assumed we previously installed add-on mods. So just create this folder in Coterminus, and put it there. When you download and unpack the Borealis mod, you will see it’s readme says to create a ‘custom’ folder.

            1. Thanks,it works πŸ™‚ But I do not really see an added value in comparison of the original HL 2. But it is amazing to go back in Ravenholm

Leave a Reply

Comment Formatting Guide

Well formatted comments are much easier to read. Please copy and paste the HTML Tags to use in your comment

  • HEADER: <div class="fix"></div><div class="sbe3">TEXT HERE</div>
  • BOLD: <strong>TEXT HERE</strong>
  • ITALIC: <em>TEXT HERE</em>
  • SPOILER: <span class="spoiler">TEXT HERE</span>