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Articles related to a special event run on the site.

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The Hammer Cup 2022

The Hammer Cup is back! In mini form!

I’m pleased to announce The Hammer Cup 2022 in collaboration with Map Labs! Of course, RTSL and Map Labs have partnered on a couple of Ville challenges in the last few years – but this is the all-new (mini) Hammer Cup!


Three consecutive Map Labs challenges make up The Hammer Cup 2022 – one each in February, March, and April. Note that the first and third are Test Tubes (shorter challenges of 1-2 weeks). The themes and details for each challenge will be announced on the start date as usual – and dates are subject to change.

Start End
DeceptionVille (Test Tube) Friday 11th February Sunday 20th February
CrossoverVille 2 Sunday 6th March Sunday 27th March
EscapeVille (Test Tube) Friday 13th May Monday 23rd May
Winners & Prizes

Entrants will receive points for each challenge they enter – each of the challenges will be judged and scored as usual for all the Map Labs challenges. At the end of the event, the best 2 scores from each entrant will be totaled, and the 3 entrants with the top total scores will win the grand prizes listed below. Note that this means you don’t have to enter all 3 challenges, since only your best 2 will contribute toward the combined event score. Note that bonus map entries are not eligible for The Hammer Cup prizes!

5th February 2022 1 Comment

The Hammer Cup 2017 Overview

Hello and welcome to 2017!

I am very pleased to announce that RTSL will be running another Single Player Source Mapping Challenge Event and this post explains everything you need to know.

Instead of assuming everybody reading this knows all about The Hammer Cup, I will start by explaining it. And move onto the details.

4th January 2017 17 Comments

The Hammer Cup 16: Challenge 4: TrapVille

We are getting closer to the end!

Welcome to the fourth of five mapping challenges as part of The Hammer cup 2016.

Theme Details

TrapVille AKA AdmiralAckbarVille

For this challenge we would like you to create a map that contains at least one trap. It could be one huge or complicated trap or multiple smaller simpler ones.

The player could be the one setting the traps or the one avoiding them. Or the one caught in them.

The winning map will be the one that creates the most interesting situation involving traps, that is fun to play and looks polished.

We are big fans of Rube Goldberg machines, and would love to see clever, overelaborate traps – but we realize the short timeframe, so please don’t get so carried away with the trap design that you don’t have time for testing and polishing the rest of your map.

Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

“After fairly light resistance, the town square feels a little too empty. This was too easy. Not committing too far forward, you investigate further. It’s clearly a trap. You retrace your steps but quickly find the trap was not the town square after all…”

“The Combine attack is just too strong. Time for a retreat into the mines. You are sure there is a way out and the only way to stop them following you is to blow the entrance. Oh dear, maybe that wasn’t such a good idea – it looks like someone may have been waiting for you down here…”

“Between you and the survivors is the abandoned village, but it’s almost as bad as Ravenholm. There’s talk of the ‘residents’ becoming creative to capture more escapees. Could it be true? Only one way to find out…”

As always, if you have any questions either ask in the comments or if you require a private answer send Phillip an email: [email protected]

12th May 2016 55 Comments

Playathon 2016

THE EYES! Don’t look into the eyes.

On Saturday 7th May 2016 at 12pm (that’s midday for those that keep forgetting the differences between pm and am) I will be starting a 12 hour livestream playathon on the RTSL Twitch Channel.

Originally, I was planning to play through all the Half-Life games but then I realized that I wouldn’t be able to do that in 12 hours as it took me over 11 hours to play Half-Life in my TREE event, so what shall I play?

I will only accept suggestions for Half-life games and their mods, so please don’t request other games.

If this event is successful, they I may expand the options for future events.

I’ll try to give plenty of games away, some donated by Aaron’s great website Steam, in fact I may aim for one game per hour!

I would love plenty of people to join me in the live chat, even if it is only for a little while.

Please make suggestions via the comments and we can begin to create a playlist.

2nd May 2016 23 Comments

Announcing the Level Design Academy Livestream

I am pleased to announce the Level Design Academy here on RTSL.

Before you get too excited, allow me to explain what it is and what its objectives are.


The LDA will be a regular live streaming event where one person teaches another how to map for the Goldsource engine – that’s for Half-Life and Opposing Force (including all the other Half-Life mods out there too, single- and multi-player), for those that don’t know.

Just like other RTSL streams, they will be announced on the Wednesday or Thursday before a week in the Weekend Livestream Schedule post.

24th April 2016 14 Comments

The Hammer Cup 16: Challenge 3: BacktrackVille

And so it continues…

Welcome to the third of five mapping challenges as part of The Hammer cup 2016.

Theme Details

One of the staple events in video games is the backtrack sequence. A part of the game where you retrace your steps in the exact location but this time something has changed.

The change can be due to new enemies, a violent explosion, time travel, new vehicles etc.

We would like you to create a map where the player interacts with an area and then has to backtrack through the same area, but the area must have changed.

The reason for the change and the exact change is entirely up to you.

The theme is apropos considering the discussion on the PsychologyVille – Just A Discussion post, where people have started talking about seeing sections of Half-Life games before or after certain events.

We had already chosen this theme, so that is perfect timing.

We will allow remakes of any Half-Life game map but they shouldn’t just be copies – put a little personal touch into them.

Of course, we would be more than happy if you created your own design and have a reason for its change. Any reason is acceptable.

Even though time travel does not feature in any of the Half-Life games (unless you consider Gordon’s stasis – in which case every game features time travel – forwards!) we will allow it for this theme – either forwards or backwards.

You could create a map where you are attacking a Combine Outpost and get knocked unconscious and when you wake up you find that the resistance has been pushed back and you are now behind Combine lines. You must return to join your resistance comrades.

Or you could have been sent on a suicide mission to destroy a facility and find yourself still alive after destroying it. The Combine have sent reinforcements and your objective now is to either die in a blaze of glory or make it back to the rendezvous point.

The main idea is to play the same area twice but the second time must be significantly different from the first.

As always, if you have any questions either ask in the comments or if you require a private answer send Phillip an email: [email protected]

31st March 2016 154 Comments

Mega Miigga Event

Over the last few months, I have been streaming more and more, and I have to say I am enjoying it. It’s forcing me to play more, which I always neglect.

So, I have decided to start my own streaming events. The first official one is called Mega Miigga.

Unlike many of the other Events here on RTSL, MegaMiigga takes place over a few weekends, instead of a monthly stream.

During the first, third and maybe fourth weekends of April 2016, I will play and discuss all of the SP releases by Miigga, including his entries into the *Ville mapping Challenges.

It is difficult to estimate exactly how long this event will take, but I will stream for at least four hours each weekend.

Each map will be livestreamed on the RTSL Twitch channel and then uploaded to the RTSL YouTube channel into its own playlist.

The event will be mentioned in the weekend stream and giveaway schedule posts.

Reminders will be posted on the RTSL Twitter and Facebook pages.

The event page, doesn’t have any embedded videos yet, as I haven’t created any.

The Details Table section contains all his releases and if you are a logged in member, the table will show you which maps you have reviewed.

I will also be using the event to update the screenshots and posts.

After that, I will start a new event.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

28th March 2016 18 Comments

The Hammer Cup 16: Challenge 2: LiberationVille

Welcome to the second mapping challenge as part of The Hammer Cup 2016.

Theme Details defines Liberate as

  1. to set free, as from imprisonment or bondage.
  2. to free (a nation or area) from control by a foreign or oppressive government.
  3. to free (a group or individual) from social or economic constraints or discrimination, especially arising from traditional role expectations or bias.
  4. to disengage; set free from combination, as a gas.
  5. Slang. to steal or take over illegally: The soldiers liberated a consignment of cigarettes

That’s exactly what we want you to do! Build a map that allows the player to liberate something of your choosing. The “something” can be a person or people, an item, or anything else you can think of!

Pick any of the definitions above. We particularly like the fourth regarding the “COMBINation”.

Maybe the City 17 rebels are trapped and need your help. Maybe Alyx has been captured. Again.

Maybe you’re a car thief. Maybe you impulsively hoard garden gnomes. Maybe Barney has borrowed your crowbar one too many times.

The options are wide open, as long as you can liberate it!

As always, ask as many questions as you want, either via the comments here or privately if you prefer.

The map will be judged on how well it fits the theme AND the elements listed below.

18th February 2016 84 Comments

Week 06: Livestream Schedule and Giveaways

Lots of IFs and MAYBEs for this weekend I am afraid.

Firstly, Jim Partridge and I MIGHT, let me stress MIGHT be continuing his event, Critical Jim, where he brutally analyses mods. This weekend it is the almost Source Mod of the Year Uncertainty Principle Part 2. Last weekend, he and I talked about the first half.

I am waiting to hear back from him, but once I do, I will update this post and tweet the day and time.

I will also be streaming quite a lot this weekend, including a new short mod called Local Motive, which may end up being an RTSL exclusive or at least a First Seen on RTSL, which is always cool.

I should also be continuing with Strider Mountain, which will fill most the remaining time.

During the weekend, one copy of Killing Floor 2 will be given away, both courtesy of AKA Aaron’s Giveaways, so a HUGE thanks to Aaron. There might be some other games to giveaway too, I will see.

All streams will be on the RTSL Twitch Channel and announced on the RTSL Twitter Feed.

If you have any questions about the streams, just ask.

11th February 2016 3 Comments

Week 03: Livestream Schedule and Giveaways

Hi all, things are starting to get back to normal and this weekend is the first proper weekend of streaming and giving games away of 2016. YAY!

First off, Dan Jordan AKA The Rabbit, starts his new event called Source of Fame (page coming Friday), where he plays Source mods from the Hall of Fame. In many cases he has never played them and it will be interesting to see his point of view. If you don’t know who Dan is, he won the RaiseTheBarVille Mapping Challenge.

This weekend he will be playing Powerstation 17 on Sunday at noon PST, that’s 8pm GMT but you should double check you local time.

On Saturday at 3pm GMT, Don AKA Unq will be playing Under The Black Moon for Opposing Force as part of his Classic of the Month event. It’s a week late because Don wasn’t very well last weekend.

In addition, Don and Phillip MAY be finishing Decay at some point, but that is NOT confirmed.

On the two confirmed streams we will be giving away one copy per stream of The Killing Floor 2, 6-player co-op Zed-slaughtering mayhem. In Early Access so we can get the gameplay balance perfected, to ensure the maximum amount of fun. And blood and guts., courtesy of AKA Aaron’s Giveaways, so a HUGE thanks to Aaron. There might be some other games to giveaway too, I will see.

All streams will be on the RTSL Twitch Channel and announced on the RTSL Twitter Feed.

If you have any questions about the streams, just ask.

19th January 2016 4 Comments