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The Extreme Team Experiment Mapping Challenge

This experimental mapping challenge has two aspects.

A Team of Two

For this challenge, we would like you to find a partner and work with them on the entry. As part of your entry, you MUST include a readme that states what each person did.
Your partner does NOT have to be another mapper, but can be. They could be an environmental artist, a modeller, a sound/music artist, a texture artist – it’s YOUR choice.
It’s impossible for us to define or check how much each partner does, but we would like to feel it’s a minimum of 70/30. Meaning that the junior partner does at least 30% of the work.

Phillip’s Note: “Remember, the Experimental Mapping Challenges (EMCs) are a chance for mappers to try something new. Not just in WHAT they produce but HOW they produce it. I would like to think that in a few years time, mappers who entered the challenges can say that they learnt, improved and benefited from doing so. Working in a team is something that people often have to do, sometimes against their will, but it can be a useful experience.”

The Theme: Extreme

For this challenge, we would like you to take one aspect of Half-Life, Half-Life 2, Ep1 or Ep2 and take it to the extreme.
Firstly, that doesn’t mean simply adding hundreds of enemies or set the whole map a standard vent.
We accept that thoughtless and over-use of any aspect of any game can produce boring maps, so the judges hope for clever intepretations of the theme.

You may set your maps in whatever location you choose and they can be as short or as long as you want. Think carefully about the three games above and try to find some aspects that will produce some unusual and interesting maps.

Here is an example, although we hope you consider other things.
Exploding Barrels. Imagine a map whose only form of attack was with exploding barrels. Perhaps the enemies are behind defenses that your weapons can not penetrate or maybe barrels must be placed against walls to progress. Or even a puzzle where the barrels must be placed in certain places to allow a chain-reaction. That might lead to some fun maps.
Simply adding lots of exploding barrels to a level is not what we are looking.

You just have to find an aspect that interests you and take it to the extreme. Remember, this is an experimental mapping challenge and therefore it is about pushing the limits. GOOD LUCK!

Deadline

11am UTC Monday 16th April 2018


6th April 2018 No Comments

The Lambda Cup 2018 – Challenge 2 – GravityGunVilleTwo

Hello and welcome to the Lambda Cup, a series of five HL2:Ep2 single player mapping challenges.

If you are new to my mapping challenges, please see the event’s homepage: THE LAMBDA CUP 2018 as well as the CALENDAR of the mapping challenges for the entire 2018.

Theme Details

Half-Life 2’s revolutionary weapon was undoubtedly the Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator. You can call it that if you really want to.

But to us it’s the Gravity Gun. A simple concept, executed perfectly in the game – and the perfect tool to show off the physics engine. We learned the basics in Black Mesa East, experimented with its lethality in Ravenholm, and used it from then on for exciting activities such as stacking crates, tossing barrels, shoving around poor headcrabs, and eventually making Combine soldiers into personal ragdolls.

We want you to create a map that features the Gravity Gun. In addition, besides the Gravity Gun, optionally the player may obtain and carry the crowbar and only one other weapon. Note that this restriction is on Gordon’s standard weapons – so objects like hopper mines and Magnusson Devices do not count as the other weapon and may be used freely.

This time there’s a twist: our latest research has developed a new function for the Gravity Gun. By finding and attaching a rare Stasis Crystal, the now-enhanced Gravity Gun has the added ability to freeze an object in space. Don’t worry, it’s not permanent – but the object will remain in stasis indefinitely until you use the Gravity Gun to move it again.

Use of the Stasis Crystal is optional in this challenge. Mappers can give players the classic Gravity Gun or the Super Gravity Gun – and both versions may be enhanced with the Stasis Crystal. We’d love to see what you can do with the Stasis Crystal, but the regular old Gravity Gun is fun too. Wow us!

So, to sum up:

  • feature the gravity gun
  • adding the new stasis crystal is optional
  • the player may also get the crowbar and one other weapon beyond the gravity gun
  • we’re really looking forward to playing with the grav gun in whatever kind of maps you can dream up and build!

Deadline

The deadline for submission is 11pm GMT Wednesday 28th March 2018


1st March 2018 16 Comments

The Beautiful Indoor Experiment Mapping Challenge

Gameplay is obviously one of, if not the, most important aspects of video games, but how a game/map/mod looks is very important too.

Various styles fit various settings, but great lighting and attention to detail are always important.

For this challenge, we would like you to create a beautiful indoor map. It can be a map where the player roams freely or is taken on a ride (literally or figuratively).

No outdoor areas can be accessed or even seen. Windows can be included but preferably blurred or at least inaccesible. What we mean is that players must not be able to look out of windows, but windows can be used for lighting and effects.

No gameplay is required, although of course it is allowed.

The player can be allowed to walk through the map and discover things for themselves or the view can be controlled via physical barriers or point_viewcontrol.

What’s important are lighting, setting, and emotion. We want atmosphere. Think style over size.

The judges hope for interesting architecture and cool details. In fact, you could even create one room, but of course that one room must blow us away!

Scripted sequences can be used to make the map feel alive and flesh out the scene.

When players finish your map, they should sit back and say “wow!” Also perhaps: “I didn’t know indoor areas could look so awesome!”

Deadline

11am GMT Monday 26th February 2018


23rd February 2018 9 Comments

The Hammer Cup 2017 Winners

The Hammer Cup 2017 consisted of five mapping challenges, each with a different theme.

Entrants received points for each challenge they enter.

At the end of the event, the best 3 points totals from the challenges they entered were added together for each entrant. These totals decided who won the Grand Prizes.

Read to find out who took the top 5 prizes – and we announce a couple of special prizes!


31st January 2018 2 Comments

The One Billion Units – Experimental Mapping Challenge

The 1 Billion Units EMC.

Mappers are allowed to enter a map with a maximum cubic unit capacity of 1,000,000,000 Units. That is more or less 1024x1024x1024 or 20 metres x 20 metres x 20 metres in the real world.

The X,Y and Z dimensions can be anything the mappers’ want but the maximum total cubic size must not exceed 1,000,000,000 Hammer units.

The map must only have one area – not split into various parts.

This is the maximum volume of the map, NOT the area the player can reach.

VMF files MUST be submitted with each entry for easy verification. Within that space, the mapper can do anything they want.

The maps will be judges on clever, efficient and inventive use of the space.

No extra credit will be given for submitting smaller maps, but we may be secretly impressed.

Deadline

11am GMT Monday 29th January 2018


26th January 2018 6 Comments

The Lambda Cup 2018 – Challenge 1 – CoastVille

Hello and welcome to the Lambda Cup, a series of five HL2:Ep2 single player mapping challenges.

If you are new to my mapping challenges, please see the event’s homepage: THE LAMBDA CUP 2018 as well as the CALENDAR of the mapping challenges for the entire 2018.

Theme Details

The word “coast” is very evocative. Long walks on the beach, pretty little seaside towns, high cliffs with waves crashing against them.

We would like you to build a map that has “coast” as its main setting. We leave the exact type of location to you but here are a few ideas.

A port used for storing and loading containers, a beach with little coves to explore, a re-imagining of Lost Coast, a cliff wall with caves and walkways, and finally a map where the player has to work their way along the coast through outposts.

Driving maps will be accepted but please think carefully before choosing this type of gameplay – it often involves a lot of work for very little player interaction.

We have purposefully chosen this theme as we feel it is open enough for all standards of modders yet also offers the possibility for many types of interpretation.


1st January 2018 46 Comments

The Lambda Cup, The Mesa Cup, Experimental Mapping Challenges, a Special Challenge and the Calendar.

Much, much later than expected or hoped but I am pleased to announce exactly what is happening next year regarding the mapping challenges.

I will give a brief summary of each event and a link to that event for everybody interested to read the details.

It’s been a lot of work and there are still plenty of things to finalise but I am sure it will be worth it.

Calendar

Right, let’s start with the overview. I have created a calendar (which took WAY longer than expected), which contains all the events. Each event has a link to the main page as well as the individual challenges of each event, except for the EMCs.
Homepage: CALENDAR

Lambda Cup

The Lambda Cup is the new name for the Hammer Cup. I changed it because I wanted more flexibility. It’s more or less the same as this year, but the points, prizes and judges have been improved. The Suffix for these events will continue to be “Ville”.
Homepage: LAMBDA CUP 2018

Mesa Cup

The Mesa cup is a series of 3 mapping challenges built for the retail version of Black Mesa. The Crowbar Collective will official support the Cup, but more details on that soon. The suffix for these events will probably be “Zone”.
Homepage: MESA CUP

Experimental Mapping Challenges

Hereby now known as EMCs, the challenges will last either 50 or 72 hours and be focused on very specific ideas and concepts. The suffix for these events will probably be “Ism”. The homepage for these events does not contain much detail yet. The calendar also has “potential EMC dates”, in cases modders want a weekend mapping objective.
Homepage: EXPERIMENTAL MAPPING CHALLENGES

Special Challenge

I can’t say much about this yet, but you will see from the calendar that it is the longest mapping challenge of the year. Stay tuned for details.
Homepage: SPECIAL CHALLENGE


17th December 2017 7 Comments

The Hammer Cup 2017 – Challenge 5 – FusionVille

We’re here at last: the final challenge in The Hammer Cup 2017!

For this challenge we want you to pick 3 themes from the 2016 and 2017 Hammer Cup challenges, and creatively combine those themes into your perfect fusion map.

The deadline for submitting maps is: Monday 11th December 2017 – that’s two extra weeks!


8th November 2017 27 Comments

The Hammer Cup 2017 – Challenge 4 – TeleportVille

Hello and welcome to the fourth challenge for The Hammer Cup 2017.

Below are the details.

PLEASE READ THEM CAREFULLY.

FAILURE TO FOLLOW THE RULES WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION!

As always, if you have any questions, you can either post a comment or if you require a private reply, send Phillip an email: runthinkshootlive@gmail.com


20th September 2017 10 Comments

Mapping Challenges 2018

“OMG, why is Phillip talking about the mapping challenges of 2018 already?”
Because the better planned they are the better prepared I am.

Anyway, the mapping challenges have proved quite successful for RTSL and it would be downright negligent if I didn’t start planning for next year.

I have been working on a calendar for the 2018 mapping challenges and wanted to share the first DRAFT with you to get feedback.

Please take a moment to read my thought process under the dates.

This post is mainly aimed at modders and mappers. I feel that the players have to fit in with the mappers in this case.


17th September 2017 9 Comments