Alphabetville is the sixth and final competition in the 6×10 Mapping Competition series.
Each entry must use letters as the layout or basis for the map
There are 4 entries to play.
- Title: Alphabetville
- File Name: hl2-ep2-sp-6x10mc-alphabetville.7z
- Size : 22.6MB
- Author: Tony DeBlasio, Justin Carlton, David Newel & Mark Allan
- Date Released: 20 October 2012
The winner will be the map that uses letters in the most interesting way. The actual combat has less importance in this comp than in others.
In addition to Hard Reset Extended Edition that I am giving, the winner will also receive Blocks That Matter, kindly donated by EpicTimez.Com.
There will also be the usual points awarded.
The intro video was made by Spartan301
Three custom gridview icons are included in the file. To use the included grid view icon, select “Grid View” in Steam (top right corner). Right click on “Alphabetville” and select “Set Custom Image”. Then browse to the SourceMods folder and then then to AlphabetVille and select the image you prefer. Then click “Set Image” and that’s it.
Of course, you can create your own custom image if you prefer.
- Copy the alphabetville folder into your SourceMods folder.
- Restart or start Steam.
- Alphabetville should now be listed in your Library tab.
If you require more help, please visit the Technical Help page.
The playthrough below is provided by Podcast 17 Let’s Play. See more of the playthroughs on this site: VP: Podcast 17
Large and challenging; this map really uses letters and forces the player to explore all options regarding route and tactics.
It uses few textures but doesn’t feel too repetitive. There’s more than one route, or at least that’s how it seemed to me.
All in all, a fun and interesting entry.
The letters really stand out in this map and form the basis of the title.
There are three distinct sections, each which include the letters and offering differing challenges.
I enjoyed this one but felt the letters could have been removed or replaced and it wouldn’t have made much difference to the overall feel of the map.
At first, I was really worried that the letters in this entry were just the text you see at the beginning, but Boy!, was I wrong.
You move and “live” in a world dominated by regret and guilt.
What ever you do, you MUST reach the end of the map.
This entry uses letters as structural supports rather than as the overall layout or integral part of the map.
There’s a pretty cool “enemy” but the gameplay doesn’t involve more than just “surviving”.
There’s not really enough content or planning in this map to make it stand out.
Burden is the winner.
I really don’t want to spoil it, but it uses the theme really well and almost brought a tear to my eye.
This map tells a “story” but alos offers some cool gameplay and used the them really well.
As always, I would like to say “thank you” to all the entrants.
All entrants get 5 points for entering. Justin gets 5 points for winning and 4 points for the emotion and concept. David Newel gets 2 points his “enemy”. Mark gets 2 points for the conceptual grandness. Tony gets 2 points for the use of letters.
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Average: 0 Hours, 59 Mins
Shortest: 0 Hours, 20 Mins by DaZ
Longest: 2 Hours by Avantgarde95
Total Time Played: 10 Hours, 44 Mins
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Gotta admit that I really enjoyed the first three entries (sorry David).
Each one offers something new and took the theme in a different direction.
As I said in the main post, I don’t want to spoil the third entry, but it really took my breath away.
All in all, this turned out pretty well and I am had a lot of fun playing the entries.
1 Hour, 10 Minutes
I wasn’t really that excited about the theme for this one but boy did I regret it. For the first time I liked all of the entries in this competition xD
This one didn’t seem especially good at the start but halfway through climbing the AN I thought: “This is actually really cool”. I didn’t replay it but it seemed there were a lot of possible ways to climb it, each with their nice set pieces. I especially liked having to sacrifice a bit of HP to get pass the sniper part, where it is pretty much impossible not to get shot by him and the large amount of combines with batons near the end. This last one actually managed to send me flying down the shaft a couple times.
There are a couple of not so positive things about it. Firstly, the combine gunship did nothing at all. Maybe it bugged but it felt to me it didn’t have enough nodes in the air to follow me around because as soon as I climbed a bit it just stood still and did absolutely nothing.
Second, and this I’ve come to feel it is just me… it makes no sense at all. There is no explanation for it. The second entry also didn’t make any sense but at least it “was all a dream”, which in my opinion is a cheap excuse but it is still one.
Still, the “AN was ATTACKed” still managed to get a smile off of me. Good job with this one.
This started as the first one. Seemed pretty below average but it managed to catch my attention at certain parts. Firstly I would like to point out how fun it was to drive the jalopy (or however it is spelled), drifting around the letters and running over the hunters. It is definitely a very enjoyable combat scenario that I will surely use the next time I have ever need one. I did fell it lacked a few more hunters to make it a bit more lasting and challenging though.
The battle with the striders was equally nice with the supplies scattered all over the place.
The third area felt a bit strange. No combat or puzzle at all except for taking the metal part to the generator. I don’t think it was a very good choice as it was easily miss-able and will frustrate the player seeing as there are no directions or indications of what to do. But I did like the letters almost falling on top of the player, added up to a pretty nice set piece.
Wow! This one. The fact that it even went so far as to create a story for a 10-day competition puts it above the rest. Not only that, it was very well presented to the player. All along the map the player keeps getting bombarded with the story and it really made you want to continue, to find out what had happened. I have to say, if there was something bad with the way the story was transmitted would be at the end. The “flashback” was hard to notice it was even there, especially when I though the map had ended and was running around the room trying to find out what was supposed to be happening. But it did make it up by being very well done. Especially when it ended and the guy was next to you. When I saw him I actually jumped a bit. That’s how you know you made it pretty damn good.
Other than the story there were other very awesome touches. The text falling was really well done and timed, especially at the start, going to the left. That one almost killed me because I was looking to the side, seing the rest of the city.
I also really liked the masks on the npc’s. That was really awesome.
Overall this entry won it for me by a very long way. Not that the other ones were bad. But because this one was really good. So good in fact that I would consider it better than a lot of stand alone mods/maps out there. And when it comes from a 10-day competition it really says a lot about the talent of the creator. I would definitely like it being turned it a stand alone mod, with the story fleshed out a bit more, and with a better look.
I didn’t really understand this one. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. At first I tried killing the vending machine but it didn’t seem to be doing any damage. Then I tried looking for some kind of exit. Then I just gave up and considered it a combat arena. That’s what it felt like to me. And because combat arenas in HL2 aren’t really that enjoyable for me I didn’t spend much time with it.
But just because I don’t like a particular style of gameplay doesn’t mean the map is bad. The vending machine “boss” was really creative and well done.
It just wasn’t very player friendly. It gave no indication as to whether or not it was taking damage and the area itself was very cluttered for a combat area, where you need to move around a lot most of the time.
But then again, the vending machine makes it worthwhile, even if just for the laughs.
I’m really glad Phillip decided to go with this theme. And I’m really glad the entries went with such creative approaches to the theme. Overall I enjoyed them and I felt this was by far the best competition in the 6×10.
Now that it is over however, are there any plans for other competitions in the near future, or is it calming down? I personally think there should be more, with about the same frequency as the 6×10 even if there are no prizes.
Oh man, this looks fun! Can’t play it now because I have a ton to do tonight, but will play the first chance I get.
This map is quite disappointing, because at the beginning it shows a cutscene of a rebel in some atmospheric and beautiful town, but we’re not going to walk around it. Instead, we walk around a location inside the rebel’s head.
The head is filled with guilt, which is well presented by environment which destroys around you and shows the red words. The enemies are rebels which wear metrocop gas masks and there are so many of them that a couple of times I entered the console moments before dying to get healthkits and batteries. So the gameplay balance seems bad, at least at first glance.
It uses nice special effects, enemies” deaths are a nice touch and the train which disappears upon arriving at the destination. And the ending is a stunning reveal that the location where we were is actually a huge phrase made from houses!
Playtime: 9 minutes
I didn’t like this one. The design looks pointless and made just for the sake of using letters. And it was not clear what I was supposed to do. Maybe destroy the soda machine? But I shoot and shoot, shoot and shoot, shoot and shoot, and it’s not going down. Even when I took the RPG with the console, and tried it, it still didn’t go down. Maybe run away? but all ways are blocked. The soda machine boss was hilarious for first few seconds, but it has too much health which kills the fun.
The gameplay feels very unbalanced, I resorted to taking medkits and batteries through the console a lot of times. Then, after a long time, the soda machine is destroyed, and the exit is opened.
Playtime: 9 minutes
Another map which looks like it’s designed just for the sake of using letters. It has well balanced combat, though. We’re climbing a huge tower. In the end, the crowd of metrocops is a nice combat puzzle.
It ends with playing music and explosions, but it goes on forever without returning us to main menu.
Playtime: 7 minutes playing, 1 minute waiting for it to return to main menu.
We appear in strange place with random floor textures and various letters, red and blue. It feels like I’m playing an older game than Half-Life 2. There is a huge mirror on the ceiling, which is a nice touch, allows us to spot a ministrider before it appear around the corner.
But then, all ministriders are dead, and a quest to find a way to advance begins. Finally, we find a way to get behind the fence, go through a transition, grab a rocket launcher and appear in another location. Here, the gameplay is quite original: we run from letter to letter, picking up health, energy and rockets to take down two striders.
After a frustrating underwater search I found myself in small rooms. Valve and buttons didn’t work, so I had to resort to noclip.
Then, forest with falling buttons and ministriders. I couldn’t find a way to get past the fence, so, another noclip moment.
Overall, it felt boring, protracted and frustrating with unsolveable puzzles. But the battle with two striders and the battle with ministriders at the beginning were fun and original.
Playtime: 23 minutes.
Overall Playtime: 49 minutes.
Obviously, the best map is Burden, because it has the best design and is the most creative.
This map uses letters quite a bit, but I must say I am not particularly impressed. The entire map is pretty much gunfights from the beginning to the end and most of the areas are too open for those battles to be any fun.
I think Tony’s maps are becoming less and less confusing. I like this map more than his previous entries. That being said, the diving part is really silly and you have to die a couple of times before you find where to go. Also the strider part wasn’t much fun, but otherwise this is a pretty solid map.
This map is goooooooooooooooooooodddddddd
My only complaint is the optimisation. My framerate was quite low the whole time, which made the fights annoying. Other than that, this map is very good and the [spoiler]reveal at the end blew my mind[/spoiler]
Well deserving of the #1 spot
No idea how to beat the vending machine. Could not complete the map.
Burden was indeed fantastic, by far the best map in the pack. Loved the use of the skybox at the end to show a scene. Reminded me a lot of “The Truman Show” with the booth up in the sky.
I ragequit “a red & blue letter day” in the water section after drowning 3 times and having no idea what to do or where to go.
“An Attack” was entertaining. Dull as all hell to look at but the combat was, for the most part, fun.
“Franklin Gothic” made me laugh when the “boss” presented itself, that was fun 🙂 But aside from that the map frustrated me as there was no clear goal or progression. When I died I didn’t bother replaying to finish it.
was I the only 1 to luckily swim through level 2 alive and with 100/90? hahahaha
Did you really only take 20 minutes to play all the entries?
If he rq`d on 2 of em, maybe.. I guess we’ll see in his video playthrough
To start off with, the map has a very good atmosphere. The limited texture set and skybox give a nice feeling to the level, and the “alphabet” theme was really well used. There was also a good sense of progression up the letters. However I thought the combat was very bland with the Combine just standing around and without much cover or room for tactical thinking (I admit I have been guilty of this in my maps too). Some parts just seemed too random for me like the ragdollable Breen at the top of the letter. Also was there any way to take down the gunship?
Bonus points for the title, somebody had to do it! I’m not sure how I feel about this one, other than that it felt more like three unrelated things thrown together. In the first part, the combat with hunters and the car was nice, but I didn’t find the ladder until too late. I love the use of the mirrored ceiling, a clever effect that can actually give you an advantage in combat.
If I recall correctly, the next area was an open space with two Striders, not sure if you were supposed to kill them or just run for it. Anyway, the shortage of health from this experience meant that I drowned trying to find the way to swim in the following segment. We then have to ride some kind of elevator up to the surface; I couldn’t for the life of me work out how to make it go up with me inside it though.
At the top of the elevator we come out in a realistic forest area, at least it appears so at first glance. The first thing I knew, I was dead, apparently because a giant stripy letter had jumped me from behind! After fleeing from the collapsing letters of doom, there is an exit door blocked by a fence and some kind of generator. It appeared that you were supposed to turn it on and make two of the letters smash through the fence, but I couldn’t see a missing piece and the way back was blocked by the deadly alphabet.
Overall, some nice ideas, but a bit to incoherent and buggy for me.
There has clearly been a huge amount of thought and planning put into this map. The level design, whilst abstract, is very detailed and believable. The combat is engaging. There are other need touches, like the enemies being rebels in masks. But what is most impressive is that the map tells a story and tries to explore the feelings of guilt. Looking at the theme, it was a fantasitc idea to use the letters and words of the map to actually convey a meaningful story to the players. The final reveal and the flashback in the clouds was a wonderful idea, and technically very well done. I have no idea how he did it! My single criticism is that I got a lot of lag in places, but the layout and open nature of the level mean there probably wasn’t much to be done about it.
It seems I wasn’t alone in being baffled by this map. There aren’t really any letters present, except in the doors and as ceiling supports. The map introduces a new “enemy”, an explosive-can-throwing drinks machine, but it seems to b undefeatable, and there is no where to progress or escape to.
We’ve come to the end of the final 6×10 mapping competition. For me this one was a bit of a mixed bag. Perhaps it was that the theme was too restrictive or abstract for modders (note that most of the entries were dream or hallucination type things), but I did enjoy the entries.
Across all the competitions I think we’ve been given some great maps and they were really worth running. Thank you to Phillip and all the mappers, I hope they had fun as I did in the competitions which I entered. I hope this isn’t the last competition ever and we will be treated to more in future.
Much the same reviews as the others. I picked Burden as the winner, rating 8/10. Close behind, A Red and Blue Letter Day, 8/10, An Attack 7/10, and finally Franklin Gothic 2/10. 1 1/2 of that being for the vending machine idea.
1 Hour, 15 Minutes
I enjoyed playing the maps from this contest, as I usually do. Here are my comments:
An Attack: this was my favorite with large open spaces and interesting design. I liked the fact that the letters were an integral part of playing the map. There was good weapon selection and lots of ammo, and I really like the vastness of the whole thing. Yes, the chopper was lame but that was only a small point.
A Red and Blue Letter Day: pretty interesting, especially with the combat with the hunters in small areas. My preferred weapon of choice was to pick up the logs with the gravity gun. The letters didn’t really serve that much purpose in this map except to crush you near the end if you weren’t careful
Burden: This map had a great look to it with a nice intro, but I found the enemies appearing out of nowhere all the time very annoying. Also I would have liked a more definitive ending. All I saw was was the rebel who was hunched over after failing to save someone from the combine. Was that the end or did I miss something?
Franklin Gothic: this wasn’t very good unfortunately. I liked the central enemy but found I didn’t have enough weapons to beat it without cheating. It wouldn’t even target the zombies if they were moving around; it always focused on me. So there was some potential there but it looks like all the time was spent on the one enemy and not on building a better map.
Overall enjoyable as always. I realize it’s not the popular choice, but my winner was “An Attack” and I will be playing it again
How to Kill the Soda Machine:
[spoiler]Shoot it in the back[/spoiler]
Nice find! It was too one-sided for me to take on fairly the first time around, especially since I wasn’t convinced that it could be killed – but that makes sense considering that it continuously traverses to face you. Might try it again without GOD now its vulnerability has been discovered!
King Of The Hill approach, surprised I didn’t see this in Verticalville. At some point there’s rpg ammo but no rpg? And it doesn’t end, plus infinite epxlosion bug for some chopper. It’s the ascension that sticks in mind about this level, more than the actual letters that, by the end message, were supposed to spell something? And it all felt like 1 big texture, the only particularity/variety besides the lettering were the ways of going up, sometimes stairs, then angled platforms, then ladders mixed with lifts, I guess that just made it.. not boring.
A Red and Blue Letter Day
Noticed some texture issue, parts of the ceiling go black from some angle. But nice mirror effect! Ah yes, the fast laundry elevator of that certain mapper, that must in fact be operated with a pistol, for a change. Died by falling letter, now that’s something I never thought I’d say. Funny ending with the gnome but the true ending confused me since idk Sesame street, was it some sort of nightmarish movie?…
Amazing entry, again, by J.C. and with a story, too! Now I can’t decide between him and Miigga 😐 And I suggest him too to join the HLSS team.
The beginning somehow reminded me of an old dm puzzle map where you had to climb glass letters that were visible only from certain pov but had something spooky about them so I was in the intended mood earlier than expected. At one point I started scaling the edges of a building but to no end, what’s up with that? Oh, some dramatic NO’s popping up. For me it took a while for the end scene to load but when it did, it was fantastic! Was it done with that point in map where you see everything bigger? That was just amazing, from a map and effects pov but also for a story to unveil.
The mapper has really good sense of scale and a more ‘logical” (if you can call any of the entries and use of letters logical hehe) way of using the letters, when others used them so randomly. I guess the line “he should be working for Valve” is kind of washed out but it definitely applies here.
[spoiler]Omg killer vending machine![/spoiler] I died too many times but out of curiosity to find out when that bloody door will open, I simply turned cheats on, notarget on, impulse 101 for all weps to see that rounds of rpg did nothing to the mean machine so I just finished it off with an orb!
Sorry I forgot to time myself again..
I Just noticed the readmeS in the vertical and alpha ville, they’re quite interesting! Maybe place a note in your main readme or even in the main post..
I thought I had mentioned them in my readme, same for the other *Ville mods I released. I definitely mentioned them in some of the other *Ville main posts. I’ll make sure I do it every time from now on.
Wow what an entry to close this PP competition event!, I could say this competition is a funky map monument as a whole!! realy cool entries that bring back some memories.
Was a really cool entry in a personal feeling this was my favourite, love the great “verticalness” of the main structure in the middle of the map, and the whole combat I really enjoyed it, it reminds me “Pyramid” mod and a little bit of the Great Forever Tomorrow classic funky mod. I loved to jump from that high and land in the watter at the last escape momment.
This was a huge map with great creativity value, loved to fight the hunters driving the jaloppy indoors!!, I felt that like the Top Gear show.. really cool!, then the striders and the underwatter section just was great for me this is a well done 2nd place.
Was the best of all I have to agree on that, and a well deserved winner, this was a great surreal-funky map, and I loved it, it feels like if it was made by Salvador DalÃ or so… really cool, well combat and deep emotionaly. I really liked too.
This was the weakest of all in my opinion…, also was really annoying and tough as hell!!!, so be warned. Definetely that vender machin was a surprise, but also it was a pain in the heck!”!! so that ended up killing the whole fun or entretaining value for me, also besides those letter Pilars the topic had nothing to be related with the letter goal., between this and the “an attack” entry I just love and preffer the second one I mentioned, that’s for sure!
All in all a great competition, I can’t wait to see the other PP comps. if they are comming up in some more months!!
1 Hour, 35 Minutes
Well, that was that. I work at my own pace and I scrap about 90% of my Ideas so it would be hard for me to enter all competitions.
Anyways. I learnt that you need to cross the borders sometimes, but the player can’t find out. I also learnt that I have very few puzzles in my maps. Even if I only released 1 map (not counting Elevatorville, that was a disaster). I can continue with my old project now.
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Can’t find background image materials/console/startup_loading.vtf
mb this needs re-packaging after steampipe?
and I think steampipe also messed with that skybox that’s now huge pink checkers 🙁
You’re lucky you could get that far! Even if I spoof the startup.vtf, I get the fatal engine error – could not load library client.
well no like I said mod was broken for me too, so I just played the map I wanted thru ep2..
Ok, that makes sense. Sad that this is what we’re reduced to.
How do we load the map to play it, if the “startup_loading.vtf” file is gone?
Wow! This is a pretty nice PP competition! I really liked the concept and most entries were really fun to play through!
This is a really solid entry. The layout is really weird, but most entries in this competition are like that. The mapping is fun, but sometimes it’s pretty confusing and it could have been a bit better IMO. The gameplay was really fun and the combat was great too. I also got stuck in some parts, but not a lot. The alphabet theme was really well implemented. I say play it, but this isn’t my personal winner.
This entry is really fun too. The layout is great and the way the alphabet theme was implemented was really interesting. The combat is great, but it consists mostly of Hunters and Striders. The mapping was good too, but sometimes it was really confusing. I drowned a lot of times in that underwater section. The part with the Striders was awesome and I really liked the way they destroyed the letters. Again, pretty solid entry, but sadly, not enough to be the winner.
This is the most professional entry in this whole competition. Apart from doing combat, mapping and concept amazingly, it also tells a very interesting story which you actually want to care for. That’s extremely rare in maps and mods. The gameplay was pretty fun too. There aren’t a lot of issues with this entry IMO. Sometimes it can be a bit bland and the combat can get a bit unfair sometimes. Apart from those issues though, this entry was simply great and for me
This is a very weird entry, which for me it isn’t a bad thing, but unfortunately, I didn’t have as much fun as the other ones. The whole map is just one small room with nothing interesting, as far as mapping goes. Also, the alphabet theme wasn’t even there. The “boss” this map includes is pretty funny, but you can’t kill it and there is Combine coming from everywhere, which makes this map endless. I don’t usually like endless maps because they become boring quickly, and this map is no different. Overall, this map can be fun for a few minutes, but apart from that, it’s not as fun as the other maps.
This is a weird theme, but I really like it.
Yep. I absolutely loved this one. The environment is fantastic, grand and surreal. The combat is really fun, having quite a bit of far distance and vertical combat as well as the normal. There’s a gunship fight and a sniper as well. The feeling of ascent is amazing and atmospheric. The ending is also pretty fun. I highly recommend this one.
This is pretty cool. It’s got a surreal atmosphere due to the letters and the way you get around, which I enjoy. The combat is pretty good, focusing on hunters and striders. There’s one part where the way you progress is hard to find (the water part), but apart from that it’s a good map.
WOW. This is absolutely amazing! I’m very impressed he got this done in time for the contest, and it’s just an amazing level on its own. The theme is used very well, it’s creative, surreal and tells a story in an interesting way. The gameplay is pretty good too, the fights are well done and the layout is good. This is an amazing entry and an amazing level, and I can’t recommend it enough.
…what? It’s an arena map so I probably wouldn’t enjoy it much anyway, but there are random explosions all over the place and it’s absolutely ridiculous to expect me to dodge those. Just… what?
There are two maps I absolutely loved, and one I enjoyed quite a bit. I highly recommend checking this one out. Next up, BeginningVille!
I probably should’ve given this personal favourite overall due to how much I loved An Attack and Burden.
Not the most exciting Ville of all time. The maps were honestly not that much fun to play for me, but they weren`t bad. For people looking to play some of the older Villes, this isn’t a must play in my opinion, but it’s also not a waste of time since it only has 4 maps which aren’t overly long or filled with uh … filler.
Burden was definitly my favorite out of the 4, followed by A Red and Blue Letter day.
Here’s my review:
The concept used in this entry was pretty nice. While combat and design is fine, there were some areas where it was confusing to me. The ending wasn’t all that good to be honest, but it was at least funny with the way the buildings fell down.
This entry had a lot of design flaws (e.g. some areas were way too big, terrain felt unreal with its flat and blocky surfaces, the letters provided too little cover against the striders since you have to sprint across to get the rocket ammo, isn’t there any space to retain your breath in the water section?). However, the combat was normal, but not as boring as I expected.
Absolutely loved the concept the mapper was heading for! The use of letters for the scripted sequences were amazing, especially in the part when you find out what the buildings say at the top of the map. I also thought it was clever for the mapper to add in a few symbolism to the entry (e.g. masked citizens shooting the letters might represent grief).
Not only this ville has to be about alphabets, I was expecting at least some creativity the mappers had in mind. This entry had random letters placed around the map with no signs of meaning. The biggest problem the entry suffers the most is the combat; the fight with the machine was just too annoying. I almost had no place to get cover from it and its attacks were unavoidable.
The visual of the map is awesome, and climbing to the top of the tower is fun.
I like that I face different kinds of fights and methods to get to the exit at each section. I also like the visual of the red & blue letters.
I like the red words and the fights. And the true message of the town at the ending is just amazing…
The map looks nice. And the little fight is not bad. But I wish there were more content…
Once they implemented a letter in the design, I guess they felt they were done.