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A variety of post themes, including articles, ideas, stories and rants.

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Archives now include Authors!

From today, users of the PLAY archive pages can now view the author of almost each and every map.

Thanks goes to Jan for writing the code to make it happen, which was harder than it might have sounded because we had to extract the details from the post and put them into a custom field.

There are a few maps and mods that don’t have the details, but those are the ones that got truncated when I moved database servers, but at least it makes it easier for me to find them and then slowly update them.

I have tried to make as few changes as possible to the authors spelling but a couple of times I have made changes. For example I have change the Euro sign for an “e” in the hope that it makes it easy to find.

The Author column is sortable and filterable just like all the other columns, so finding maps by your favourite author should be easier than searching the site.


5th July 2015 3 Comments

Donation Drive 2015

Hi Everybody, every year around early Summer I run a donation drive. I don’t like asking for donations, but it’s necessary.

In the past, I have used some buttons and widgets to collect the money, but this year I couldn’t find any I liked (Chip-in has closed).

I will therefore be giving you my PayPal email address and asking you to make donations that way. I know for people without PayPal accounts, that’s not convenient but I can’t see another way to do – if you know a good way, please let me know.


3rd July 2015 10 Comments

The Community Hub, The Workshop and The Dilemma

The community hub for each game on Steam is an absolutely brilliant concept. It gives users a single place to find and share stuff.

I have to admit that until Black Mesa was released, I never really used a hub before. Yes, I’d seen it for Ep2 etc, but I had no interest in using it. My interests don’t really include 99.99% of the content shared on the hub, that was until Black Mesa came along.

With the release of single player maps via the workshop, I have had to start to use it.

Which brings us onto the Workshop.


6th June 2015 9 Comments

One Per Day – Have Your Say

Today in this month’s General Chat post, Jim, he of Critical Jim fame, said “Does anyone else feel that the one map per day initiative is cluttering this site with awful maps?” and it’s certainly a valid question.

I understand that some regular users, Jason Gimba included, don’t like it and I will stop if that’s the general consensus.

I would like to explain why I’m doing and then I’ll open it up to debate. I won’t make a poll though because the numbers involved are less important that your opinions.


3rd June 2015 23 Comments

Black Mesa Workshop

Today saw the posting of the first single player map for Black Mesa retail game.

I’m posting this short article to pre-answer some expected questions.


31st May 2015 15 Comments

Mini-Recommendation Images for Mapping Challenges

I am very pleased to announce that the site has a new feature. From today, it is possible to add mini-recommendation images to each entry in the Mapping Challenge releases.

The images can ONLY be used for the mapping challenges, and the section that allows you to simply click an image and add it is ONLY available if the release is a Mapping Challenge.


24th May 2015 4 Comments

Mod Appreciation Week

Today, those clever chaps over on ModDB have launched what they call Mod Appreciation Week and I feel the gaming community should support it.

Currently can’t easily give donations to modders but we can show them how much we appreciate their work.

All the mods on their site will have a Lovebar. A place where you can tweet, Facebook or Reddit your appreciation.

It’s a bit more complicated than that, but it’s still easy to do, so instead of repeating all the details, just visit the page above you’ll understand.

Oh, I forgot to mention that by participating in the event, you’ll get a chance to win one of hundreds of Steam keys for some amazing games.

You don’t need to be a Headcrab to jump at that!


18th May 2015 1 Comment

Possible next mapping challenge: TransmissionsVille?

I am looking to start the next mapping challenge this Wednesday or Thursday but would like modder feedback before I make a final decision.

As you can see from the title, I am seriously considering running a TransmissionsVille mapping challenge.

Now, I am sure that many players would like to play this but I really need to hear only from modders.

The theme would be to create a map that uses the new Concussion Gun and textures in interesting ways.

There would be no obligation to use the textures, although clever inclusion with standard EP2 textures might be fun.

However, there are some technical issues that need to be addressed before the challenge is agreed.


11th May 2015 8 Comments

Reminder about length of text review and recommendation image use

I want to remind registered members that in order to sue a recommendation image your review must be of proper length.

If the map lasted 15 minutes and you write a short paragraph and use a recommendation image, that’s fine.

However, if the mod last over two hours and you write a short paragraph and add a recommendation image, that image is removed.

I don’t expect everybody to write detailed, in-depth and insightful reviews but if the best you can say after playing something for a few hours is “great mod, loved it”, that’s not enough to warrant a recommendation image.

The image is supposed to be a visual representation of a proper review, not a replacement for it.

If all this seems a little harsh, it’s because I want to avoid situations like ModDB where people can come along and rate something a 10 or 1 with no justification. That makes my faith in their system zero.

I want people to really trust the system here. Yes, you might disagree with my “soft (I say passionate) reviews, but at least I try to justify that recommendation.

I have emailed a few people over the years, but haven’t received a reply.

If you have posted short reviews recently with recommendation images, you should check to see if I have removed it, because I probably have.

If anybody has a problem with that, it’s pistols at dawn!


4th May 2015 8 Comments