6×10 Mapping Competition Series Podcast

4th November 2012

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

Here is the podcast for my 6×10 Mapping Competition Series.

It features William, from Podcast 17, who did Let’s Play videos of each mod, and three mappers who entered the competitions; Justin, David and Tony.

I explain why I choose the format, the guests discuss their thoughts on the format, we then move onto to our overall feelings about the whole series and the mods it produced.

We then take a look at each competition and discuss the entries from the guests, including our favourites.

Then we add our final thoughts and finish with a brief discussion about possible future formats.

I really enjoyed recording this and hope you enjoy listening – it’s a long one!

Listen to the podcast



  1. WizardExt

    6×10 competitions were awesome. They generated really interesting and fun maps. It was nice having something to look forward to. Personally, I finally got to release something for Half-Life 2, thank you Phillip and everyone commenting on my entries.

    As a format, the 6×10 competitions, had too limited amount of time. That’s my opinion. Full time job, with much overtime and then come home to work some more. Even though mapping is pure fun and most of the time relaxing, it became a stressful experience for the two competitions I entered. Zipline (VerticalVille) especially, I didn’t get much sleep those 10 days and was lucky I didn’t have too much todo’s in the weekends. I would have wanted to join all of them, but I just didn’t have time. That’s for me. Judging by the results I am blown away what people can do within those days and how some of you managed to entered most of them. Good job!

    Thanks guys for podcast guys, really enjoyed listening to it.

  2. Ade

    Worth a listen, I always enjoy hearing what mappers have to say.

    I didn’t play all the other Ville’s but I think this was a success (except the chase theme cus I don’t like trial and error times n) and I’m amazed by the quality and the quantity of mapping done in such short bursts. Great entries with plenty of replayability. Half way through it I was already a fan of 2 mappers, Miigga, who didn’t enter more, to my disappointment, and Justin, who I hope won’t stop here.

    And as I always plea the mappers, don’t let your maps die, even though most of these can be considered finished, there’s always some that need extra work for a proper release, you know? It’s a shame to not develop your full potential.

    1. And as I always plea the mappers, don’t let your maps die, even though most of these can be considered finished, there’s always some that need extra work for a proper release, you know? it’s a shame to not develop your full potential.

      I totally agree with this. I think if I ever release a big Source mod (which I hope to eventually) I would include all my competition entries as “Remastered Editions” where I would try to fix some of the problems that I had due to the time limits or my lack of skills.

      1. Why wait until you release your “big” Source mod? Just polish what you have and send them to me.

  3. Very cool that you made a podcast about this. It was quite interesting to listen to from the beginning to the end.

    I feel an urge to respond to the things said about Baryonic Predicament. BP doesn’t have a storyline, nor does it provide any reason for the player to be there and do stuff. You said that this made it feel more like a map pack than a mod.

    I guess it does feel like a map pack, but this is because I make the kind of maps that I would want to play. I am – unfortunately for you – in the (presumably) minority of players who doesn’t care at all about storylines in mods. To me, the storyline of the Half-Life series is important, but the mods are there just for more gameplay.

    I hope this explains why my maps are the way they are.

    Anyway, cool podcast and I hope you keep doing this sort of stuff because I like listening.

    1. I understand and respect that you make maps that you want to play, that’s the only way to be a modder, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t have a reason, objective and logical flow.

      That’s one of the things that sets mods apart from maps, that feeling of “beginning, middle and end”. I felt and still feel, you miss a section of the modding community by not creating something more structured. That’s why I hassled you so much about it.

      I love your work and want to bring it to a wider audience. But too many PP readers tell me that they played a few of your maps and enjoyed them but they don’t like single maps. I elieve it’s possible to do what you love doing in your way but still possible to create something greater than its parts.

      After the next series of mapping competitions I plan to have another podcast. Who knows, if you enter enough, then perhaps you could join us for it?

      1. After the next series of mapping competitions

        Quite the reveal right there 🙂

        Who knows, if you enter enough, then perhaps you could join us for it?

        That’s quite far into the future but why not

        1. I’ve already said there would be more competitions. I have decided to run the 3×24 (that’s 4 weekends) Mapping Competition Series, some 48 hour challenges and maybe use the William’s/SvenCoop’s idea of community maps.

          There’s plenty to come in 2013 with regarding to mapping comps.

      2. Ade

        I’m one of those players that don’t particularly play maps 😀
        The exception here being the exceptional Guildhall maps and such, they’re the definition of poc, proof of concept, and it’s amazing to see so many new mechanics in such short but polished maps, it’s like a firecracker in a candy!
        And I think first time I ever heard of you was in this comp, Miigga, and that’s how I decided to play the rest of your maps, it was only fair you stepped in the MODding area at some point 😛 Same goes for you, Justin haha

        1. I’m one of those players that don’t particularly play maps


  4. Nice interview. I do agree that 10 days are a bit too short for a competition like the ones in the 6×10. But more importantly I think the themes could have been better. They were good themes, don’t get me wrong but mostly the reason I didn’t actually enter any of them was because I didn’t very much like the themes. That and I also have a problem where I map for about 24 hours in a very short period of time and then take between 2 weeks to 1 month to get back into the project.

    I would like to list a couple of competitions I think would make a for some nice entries.

    The first of which would need to be divided into seperate competitions sort of how the 6×10 worked and could be applied to the idea of the 3×27. Basicly the mapper is giving a piece of story, and it’s his or her job to recreate that story piece and give it a semi-ending. The next theme would force the mapper to pick up where he decided to end the first “chapter” and give them an ending. This would be very interesting to see, I think, expecially if the ending of the first one was miles away from the final ending.

    As an example let’s say the player was tasked with hijacking a train and blowing it up. Two entries are submited, in one the player jumps onto a second moving train before the explosion, and in the other the player is blown out of the train and into a field. In the second part of the competition the player must go to some kind of headquarters and while one of the mappers starts in a moving train that might possibly be going the right direction, the other one must start in an empty field and figure out a way to get the player to where he needs to go.

    Entries would be judged on how well they recreated the first part of the story and how original they finished it and for the second one, how good they manage to link it up. Obviously both competitions would need to be very diferent so as to make the entries more entertaining and give a bigger challenge for the mappers.

    A second competition would be much more simpler and it would involve implementing a specific feature into the map. Maybe implementing a dragon that shoots fireballs or even having part of the layout of the map being given to the mapper. Perhaps having a story which the player has to transmite the best he can.

    It’s these sort of themes I personally like, instead of having a general theme such has forestville, where it just had to be in a forest (which also had the problem that source isn’t really a good engine for making organic terrain).

    I hope I don’t sound very pretentious writting these ideas because it really is up to phillip but I would love to see what other ideas people can come up with.

    1. Your first suggestion is interesting in concept but what happens if a mapper joins in after the first competition has ended? Since most mappers in this series didn’t enter all the contests, it could be a big problem.

      1. Maybe give a generic start for people that didn’t enter the first competition. With that happening though, I don’t think it would be very fair to award the winning to someone who didn’t enter the first part.

  5. Another nice podcast Phillip, always great to hear other people’s opinions.

    I think your 3×21 idea would be great from a mapping point of view. It would give you a little more room to breathe (so to speak) but not being too long to lose focus. For me the 6×10 competitions came a little too close together when you have other commitments and need a break from Hammer! It’s also a problem if people have their own mapping projects that they are working on.

    I would say that the competitons always need a clear theme, because an “open” theme might leave people struggling to decide on what to create. It should also be a theme which isn’t technically restrictive, for example I think you did one based on Striders before and it’s very difficult to make them work in the editor. On the other hand, William’s FinaleVille idea would be awesome!

    I also agree with what you were saying about every map needing a unique “selling point” or at least something memorable. It’s interesting to look back at the earlier competitions and see what I remember of the entries.

    Thank you for the competition since I think everyone involved enjoyed it and I’m glad you’re considering more!

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