3×24: Competition 2: MiddleVille

12th April 2013

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

And so it continues.

This is the second of the 3×24 Mapping Competition Series.

It is prosaically called MiddleVille.

Full details are below.

3×24 Introduction

This is the second part of a mapping competition series of 3 events, each lasting 24 days – that’s 4 complete weekends.

Each competition will have a detailed theme and have the possibility of each entrant continuing on from their previous entry or just submitting a stand alone entry.

There will be approximately 8 weeks’ break between each competition. The exact dates and times are below:
Competition 1: 11:00pm GMT Fri 11th January – 11:00pm GMT Sunday 3rd February
Competition 2: 11:00pm GMT Fri 12th April – 11:00pm GMT Sunday 5th May
Competition 3: 11:00pm GMT Fri 28th June – 11:00pm GMT Sunday 21st July

If a mapper enters all 3 competitions then they will have the opportunity to polish all three entries and release as an updated mod.

The objective is to provide mappers with a global framework for a proper mod, with a beginning, a middle and an end.
Once the second competition has been announced, mappers will be allowed to make small modifications to the end of their last entry, but nothing too significant. Larger changes will be allowed if they enter all 3 competitions.

As with the 6×10 Series, I won’t be announcing the themes until the start day of each competition so mappers won’t be able to continue working on their maps.

To ensure that entrants don’t simple continue working on their mod, there will be some thematic elements that will provide additional design decisions. This will make it difficult for them to simply create something and then try to “fit” it to the announced theme.

MiddleVille Theme Details

The map must start with the player underground but about to climb a ladder to reach ground level via a drain cover. If an entrant is continuing from a previous entry, they just need to start from the same area the previous one finished. Invisible walls will NOT be penalized.

New entrants can start from a fresh area and, again, invisible walls will NOT be penalized.

BeginningVille was all about getting the player to where something needed doing. Well, now the player is there, it’s time to actually DO IT!.

This is the main section and and where the player performs the main objective of the mod. This map can be located anywhere; City 17, a port, a village, a coastal facility. It can be day or night mostly indoors or outdoors, the choice is the mappers’.

The player must perform some critical function: destroy or start a machine, open or close some complicated valve system, destroy some facility, free some prisoners etc.

As mentioned above, in order to stop people creating their map “out of competition” time, the map must also include the following features:
1. The number 3 must be a concept of the design. Perhaps it’s 3 valves or 3 buildings the play must visit. The idea is that there must be 3 interactive elements of the map.
2. At least one end dead in the layout or path must be included. Of course, the player must be able to retrace their steps and still continue.
3. At some point, the player must have their path back to the beginning of the map blocked, forcing them forward.
4. There must be a least one secret area, either visibly obvious but difficult to reach or hidden in some way.
5. There must be at least two waves of enemy, with the second coming after a short break. Their arrival must be announced in some way.

The map should end with the player “escaping” or being forced into a place that seems like a natural break. If you plan on submitting an entry for the final competition, just make it easy to switch maps.

The final section of this map will not be considered part of the competition. So, most maps need a great ending, well, this part is just like the ending of BeginningVille; it’s just a transition.

3×24 Rules
  • Maximum two maps per mapper per competition. (Updated from one)
  • The map must be original and not have been released publicly before.
  • The map must run in system with only Ep2 installed
  • By entering the competition you grant PlanetPhillip.Com the right to release the map as part of the 3×24 Mod.
  • Maps must not appear before the release and for one month after the release of the mod.
  • No assets from retail games other than HL2, HL2: Ep1 or HL2: Ep2 are allowed.
  • Other assets are allowed with written permission from their original authors, which MUST be included in the entry.
  • Phillip’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into about it.
  • The map MUST have a proper name.
  • The map MUST have a proper filename: MapName_pp_3x24.bsp
  • All entries must be sent to: [email protected] no later than the deadline.
Special Notes

Mappers are encouraged to include freely available assets, including textures, models, sounds and music. This will help the map stand out from other entries. However, the actual experience is much more important than simply including lots of new stuff.

WIP Forums

Entrants can post their WIP or ask for help or ideas on the Mapping Competitions forum. Please make sure you rad the How to use the Mapping Competitions sub-forum thread.

Final Words

I will announce prizes later.

As always, if you have any doubts or questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.


  1. Finally 😀 I hope I can get this done in time. So, for the questions:

    There must be 3 elements essential to progressing the map. So it can be one big “free roam” area where there is 3 buttons etc, in different locations the player must activate? Or maybe 3 obvious paths, each with its own element? And with the dead end, 4 paths, one wich is a “fake”.

    And a little confusing with the enemy waves. Say, the player is walking around, solving a puzzle or just minding his own business when suddenly, he gets rushed by a bunch of combine soldiers. Is that how it works? Or after he activates a machine, the combine notices and sends soldiers?

    1. With regard to the three elements, yes it can be a “big free roam” area with three buttons, or even 3 or 4 paths.

      As long as there are two distinct waves of enemies, you can work it how you want. Both of your situations are acceptable.

  2. 3. At some point, the player must have their path back to the beginning of the map blocked, forcing them forward.

    Does a slope that you can jump down but not climb back up count? Or should it be something more big/scenic?

    1. Yes, that’s fine. Anything, as long as the play can’t go back.

  3. MisterAddy

    Hmm, I thought I already posted a comment, but nevermind. I started making an entry although there seem to be a lot of rules to meet. I was expecting more of a distinct theme, like BeginningVille was “travelling”, but I’m sure there will still be plenty of good entries.

    When you say waves of enemies, can that be returning to a previous arena which new enemies enter?

    1. Yes, waves can be placed/timed any how you want.

      I felt I had to include the theme limits because I was scared people would just build something outside of the competition time. I also feel that I have the distinct theme in the idea of “Do something”.

      1. MisterAddy

        Thanks. One other thing, does the ladder at the start have to lead to the surface or could it be an underground area first?

        1. Well, I suppose it could lead to an underground area first.

  4. Miigga

    I am taking part again or at least trying to

    1. Loved your challenges in BeginningVille, I hope we see more burning melons!

    2. looking forward to another miigga map … along with leon brinkman your my favourite mapper/modder…. cant wait !

  5. Phillip, I’m thinking about entering the final competition (Endville?), however haven’t entered the BeginningVille and wont be able to enter MiddleVille.

    Is it worth my entry or should I wait till the start of another competion?
    I ask because you said the first competition was about journey, the second about completing the main task, so I assume the final one will be a end battle or escape. Will I have missed to much for it to be worth while?

    1. MisterAddy


  6. Iohnnyboy

    Is is possible someone could give me the links to the play testers and voice actors guilds?

    1. BTC: http://www.planetphillip.com/btc/
      and I am afraid the Voice Actors has more or less died. I still have the contacts but am not running the project any more. If you want, you can send the details and I will forward to the actors. I am also available if you would like me.

  7. I will not enter this competition either. Lately, mapping have not felt appealing to me. I have started playing old games wich I got bored of years ago. Sorry, for that, but I’m sure there will be plenty of great entries.

  8. “No assets from retail games other than HL2, HL2: Ep1 or HL2: Ep2 are allowed”

    There’s a music I’d like to use that was composed by VALVe for Half Life 2 (like the other songs in the game) but was eventually cut.

    Since it’s not in the game files anymore, I would need to download from the Internet. Can I use it anyways?

    Also, can the player move between the 2 waves? Say, I am in place X, a wave arrives, then I take a minute or two to get to place Y where another wave arrives.

    Lastly, those handy buttons for bold, italics etc. in the comment box seem to have disappeared.

    1. Yes, you can use the music.

      Yes, the player can move between the two waves.

      Yes, those handy buttons have disappeared because the plugin suddenly stopped working. I’m looking for a solution.

  9. Sorry for asking again, but I don’t want to bust my entry (if I’ll even finish it).

    Can the dead end have some ammo at the end of it? It still won’t lead the player anywhere.

  10. MisterAddy

    I’m really sorry but I’m not going to be able to enter this competition. I was always going to be short of time due to other commitments (read exam revision), but my map has a lot of gameplay problems and needs a lot of work. I am not able to commit the time needed to get it to a standard I would be happy to release. As much as I hate to go back on something I said I would do, there’s no point in submitting something unfinished or using time that I really need to spend on other things.

    I know it must be frustrating for you Phillip when people back out of a competition, so I sincerely apologise. I will endeavour to release the map at a later date, probably as part of a full mod like planned.

    Good luck to all the other entrants.

  11. Anon_778339

    Hi, I won’t be able to enter this competition because of other commitments (coursework!). I managed to enter the previous competition even though I did not have enough time, which meant I released it not to the standard I wanted.

    I will finish it though and possibly enter the third competition.

    Either way I might release the three parts together separate from the competition if I do not enter the competitions.


    1. MisterAddy

      Which was your entry in the last competition?

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