For this challenge, Map Labs expanded their Test Tube Companion Piece (couple days) into a full-blown lab challenge (3+ weeks). The theme was of course to make a map where the player works alongside an ally or companion.
So here are the 10 maps entered, along with 2 bonus maps!
As always, if you’re interested in learning more about Map Labs and maybe even participate in their upcoming challenges, visit the Map Labs Discord!
Fun fact: AllyVille was going to be one of the Lambda Cup 2018 challenges for a long time. Unfortunately we wanted to get some extra features into the game to expand the usefulness of NPCs, and that was never completed. So AllyVille was cancelled as a theme – glad it can live on somewhat under Map Labs!
- Title: Companion Piece 2: Companion Harder
- Filename: sdk-2013-sp-mlc-companionpiece2.7z
- Size : 632 MB
- Author: FRAG, BernieBean, Kimberly “iiboharz” B.R., Jaycie Erysdren, BeefBacon, Duck, AnonymoScoot, CertifiablyInsane, Ada G//Adakam, Jakob // Tea, KazerLight, Ian ‘Idolon’ Spadin, Yrrzy, Liam ‘Diva Dan’ Moffit, Another Bad Pun, Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon, Metroham, Cvoxalury
- Date Released: 9 April 2020
- Make sure you have the Upcoming branch of the Source SDK Base 2013 Singleplayer installed in Steam and run at least once. (Properties – Betas – select upcoming from the dropdown list).
- Copy the “companionpiece2” folder into your SourceMods folder.
- Restart or start Steam.
- Companion Piece 2: Companion Harder should now be listed in your Library tab.
If you decide to use the Per-Map Opinion Images, feel free to use the file below as a template:
Listed as they are displayed in the mod itself:
Plumbing Problem by FRAG & BernieBean
RESIN-ATOR by Kimberly “iiboharz” B.R. & Jaycie Erysdren
Traitors by BeefBacon
Synapse by Duck
Vortessence by AnonymoScoot
Chambers by CertifiablyInsane
You and 02 by Ada G//Adakam
Don’t talk about it by Jakob // Tea & KazerLight
The Inside Job by Ian ‘Idolon’ Spadin & Yrrzy & Liam ‘Diva Dan’ Moffit & Another Bad Pun
Information Theory by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon & Metroham
Feasibility Study by Cvoxalury (bonus map)
Thanatos by Jakob // Tea & Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon (bonus map)
WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.
Each map has 5 screenshots.
0Last 7 days
12Last 30 days
Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 2 Users
Average: 3 Hours, 30 Mins
Shortest: 3 Hours by
Longest: 4 Hours by Winterman
Total Time Played: 7 Hours
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The first 3 entries were really good, however it decomposed somewhat after that….
A few good items in this mod – I especially liked The Inside Job . It was very original.
Feasibility Study was good right up until the part with the alien machine. I could only ever power up 1 of the 3 options. Whichever one I chose first worked fine and the other 2 never worked. I think this may be broken unless I missed something obvious
Oh my god, the toilet must be a real problem in City 17! Who the hell stashes guns in the toilet anyway!?
The first thing this map does wrong is making me facing the wrong way, I didn’t notice the plumber until like 20 seconds later. He makes for a good companion, by making him giving you new weapons kind of redeems him from being a bog (literally) standard NPC you have to protect. His voice could have been louder too. The pipe puzzle can be “completed” even though one pipe is facing the wrong way. I also thought I broke the map because the Soldiers that appears when exiting the sewer never saw me.
I like how you defeat a Strider with a ball of……shit!?
While I appreciate that you both tackled Half-Life: Alyx before release, but not enough to win this I’m afraid.
Russell is more-or-less a chatter companion, rather than a companion that actively helps you. I feel like the number of weapons you get was quite overkill for the policemen when things heat up.
Also, Russell, the most powerful handgun in the world is a .44 S&W M29, you dimwit!
Wonderful entry that reminds me of two things. The aesthetic reminds me of MW2’s Second Sun and Whiskey Hotel missions. The narrative reminds me of Third Party mod long ago.
The companion adds a lot to what was going on and they actively help you. Again, great job at portraying a three-way skirmish between the CPs, Resistance, and Combine. My main gripe is that the CPs voice are hard to understand. It takes some guess to think what they want you to do.
Is this companion trolling me or something? One fucking bullet per give? Also, he barely does anything and has a terrible navigation.
Everything in this map feels random. The location doesn’t make any sense, enemies spawning from the places I’ve been, buttons making things happen just because etc. The barrel area is what hurts me most. You can’t try place them while crouched because you’re underwater and will try to climb up if you do that. It also takes place where you have to grenade a group of Rollermines, which messes the alignment up even further. The toxic goo is somehow safe to walk in. The ending is so bad even.
An extremely bland, drawn-out, boring recreation of This Vortal Coil.
The enemy encounters are so boring because it commits the same sin as Hunt Down the Freeman. This map has absolutely no restraint on how many enemies you should fight at once, to the point it’s overkill if the Vortigaunt wasn’t there. I also never solve the elevator weight puzzle and I noclipped down. The only thing that saved this from going into DIRE territory is because the Vortigaunt has access to the sniper rifle.
It certainly has an interesting “meta” storyline of the player being an NPC going through the test to become a companion. Other than that, though, it generally plays like a Portal-knock-off map. Real shame that the companion is merely a chatter NPC and would be nice if there’s a chamber where you interact with other test subjects which would add more to the “NPC testing” concept.
Jesus Christ, girl. You only have to say “We should move.” There’s no need to blast the door open to prove your point.
This feels like a puzzle equivalent of Hazardous Route from previous Companion Piece. The concept and companionship are executed well, although the last room is very finnicky to guide her and the puzzle might need to be clearer.
A very unique and different entry. The depressing theme is kept consistent throughout and it definitely feels like a dying dream to me. The dialogue choice is also done well. However, it was a real pain to see every choice because the screen would be covered in “Do you want subtitles” screen every time I reload a save. Companionship is played differently and it came of weak.
About the card that is played here. I have to say that while the map is willing to tackle this, I feel like it has done too little to keep me invested. I couldn’t bring myself to care about 2 suicidal characters that I only get to know for an equal number of minutes. Also, I am not sure if it is played correctly because even if I was depressed somewhere in the past, it never got to this point.
Oh, it’s LITERALLY an inside job.
The whole adventure is both nauseating, humorous, and awesome at the same time. Very amusing chatter NPC and the companionship is done well via the Bugbait. The combat could use more supply, because while the blood cells and Antybodies are good and all, they tend to get gunned down very quickly. The first room is also a bit flawed because if you get caught in a Barnacle or fall into the acid, you’re fucked. The flooded tunnel also could use some places to resurface.
Jesus Christ, I’m not signing up for this shit again! Throughout my journey in Sourcemod’s world, this is one of the worst trips I’ve ever taken!
I presume this universe is somehow the same universe Schwarzchild Radius was in, due to the tech. Well, it’s a cool concept of a universe and- I HAVE A DEATH THREAT!?
Anyway, the gameplay is nice and there were some interesting setpieces such as the Elite shooting you out of the vent. The train crashing is very weird though, because it just shakes violently as if someone with a Physgun was messing with it and no sound effects. The truck was also a bit janky. It was also weird that the Soldiers working at their desks cannot be killed and alerted. There was, however, no companion at all. The contractor is not even close, sounds more like my potential killer.
This plot feels like a B-rated movie, to be honest. I could hardly be engaged with the plot because it relies on the texts, which takes a while to appear and fade away. This makes it more boring than having a voice actor.
There were some interesting interactions with the companion and he was good. But the gameplay is barely any challenge, you can punt enemies into the wall and instantly kill them. The final enemy is also a lackluster. The Mortar Synth works fine though.
This one would be better off if it wasn’t for the theme of the competition. Nice darkly, yet humorous attempt at the afterlife. Seeing through this person’s life is quite interesting in terms of how it is done in forms of setpieces. “God”, or “Death?”, was hard to understand because of the voice modification.
been a while since i last tried to play a sourcemod, gotten a new PC, much more powerful PC
yet for whatever reason, every sourcemod i try just crashes to the library right after the Valve logo,
i’ve got Source SDK 2013 installed, thoughts?
nevermind, i think i know the issue, i accidentally installed SDK 2013 on my storage drive instead of the C drive
ok, well that didnt work
even after changing the install location of SDK 2013 to the same disk as the my sourcemods folder, still instant crash after the loading video plays.
and here i was hoping that getting a better PC would make this sort of thing easier
Have you set it to “Upcoming” and run it separately at least once?
Tell me how to pass the map synapse. In the last room, I pressed all four buttons, and then what?
When I first heard about the theme, this is kinda how I pictured it. I do like the progression that’s involved by getting better weapons, harder battles, etc but it’s not something I was particularly fond of if I’m honest. It’s worth playing the once but I came away rather meh about it. Sorry :/
What a great start with a fantastic feeling of purpose throughout. Even if I ignored the voice, and played ‘solo’, this is a cool map. I was a little put off with that voice once or twice, rather than just playing my way – but I guess that defeats the whole point of the theme lol. It was sometimes deceiving – I felt forced into running away near the train so the soldiers constantly keep on spawning. I should have just followed my gut and worked through. Ignoring the little quibbles, I really enjoyed this map from start to end!!
I liked the idea behind this but it did get a little messy in parts. The map itself is designed brilliantly and looks the business. However, I’m usually a little sceptical about role-changing designs like this and I fear this didn’t quite work for me. I’d oddly like to see this map changed back into a typical Freeman map! Sound odd? Potential is there.
I’m not sure this works on my Mac. When I meet up with the other guy, he keeps handing me ammo in ahem small quantities and I then use the air vent to get around the windy place. Switch that off and he follows me but nothing more is done. The two forcefields are still up!
I noclipped through and then he follows! Which was weird, but I’ll roll with it. But I died and restarted. Did the same thing again yet this time he couldn’t follow – and died. So game over. Bit confused over this one but probably because I’m not using Windows :/
Crashes during load with Engine Error:
“898/npc_15 – npc_fastzombie_torso: UTIL_SetModel: not precached: models/zombie/fast_torso.mdl”
I guess this is also because I’m using a Mac?
I’m probably the last person to play something like this! I just don’t like maps like this nor get any enjoyment from them. I can see that a lot of effort has gone into the ingenuity of this but alas it’s not for me.
I get what’s trying to go on here with my little girl helper but this companion simply doesn’t work that great if I’m honest. It’s like guiding a child and sometimes the puzzle elements are so frustrating trying to get her doing what I wanted. It’s good and a nice attempt but I doubt the HL2 engine is handling this good enough?
No idea what to make of this.
I can see the companion aspect here but it’s not what I need to ever see as a game. Thankful of the warnings before hand as I guess they’re needed.
Unsure how to rate tbh.
Not sure this worked ok on my Mac. No weapons and manhacks that look like Barney’s red cells. Lol.
Errors in terminal about meccrabs and more… Sad that I had to leave this because it sure looked “different”
After a neat intro, this began rather suspect to me. I’ve never enjoyed weird futuristic settings and getting the taxi was all umm not too great. Oh, and that PDA thing is annoying and too big. However, everything afterwards is excellent and something I really enjoyed playing. Just wish it was stretched out more because the setting was spot-on and with a good atmosphere. But then goes a little lame after the train crash.
So the parts in the middle – more of those please!
Nice idea but ultimately feels like the blind leading the blind.
I thought the abduction itself and breaking the tree with funny but I lost interest soon after.
Yep. Not something I’ll load up again. Weird map!
I should go to hell by laughing at clicking “No” while I didn’t know the guy was suicidal. Seriously, I have no idea why I had fun with it. I’m probably evil and sadistic
Didn’t really care for any of them. The ones that had promise, you could not hear what the companion or instructions were.
I was about to give this competition overall a pretty low recommendation grade because I experienced many faulty trigger issues in a couple of entries. Then, some other entries were just excellent and definitely raised my recommendation grade.
So let’s see them properly.
Playtime: 20 minutes
This entry was fun to play. Pretty entertaining and overall applied a very smart concept I’ve never seen in HL2. My only issue is that I had a couple of strange crashes to desktop bugs twice, that then were corrected once I restarted the whole entry.
Playtime: 25 minutes
Amazing! I just loved the fact of how the very Alyx trailer just was the whole base for this entry, felt great to play, and well I hope This author has the ambition and time to recreate the Alyx game someday, on the source engine, that would be just mind-blowing.
Playtime: 30 minutes
Another amazing one. A great experience to play from the beginning until the end. I just loved the great concept of being a CPU cell just trying to save their own skin, so you can see a very realistic Bellic scenario inside the HL2 Story arch, the war of factions that probably occurred when the citadel was about to fall. I love the realistic combat and plot on this one as you can see. My only issue was sad though because when I wanted to replay this entry and the nodes for the other companion CPUs were totally freaked up so was un-replayable.
Playtime: 25 minutes
Well in this entry my whole impression was that it was badly designed. In my case, I experienced faulty triggers twice, right after you solved the fan puzzle the CMB holographic wall just didn’t open or the companion NPC didn’t open it. Then the rest areas felt boxy and narrow to fight, and the final section was just confusing to play, so I had to noclip in the rollermine section, and that just ruined the gameplay.
Playtime: 35 minutes
Well to me this was a gigantic map with a vortigaunt useful companion. Though I never understood the whole layout of the map, the ending was sudden and very foolish. I had the impression the developer wanted to achieve a bigger goal that was never fully accomplished or maybe the deadline for the project just ruined his goals. I also didn’t understand why Alyx was being cremated.
Playtime: 20 minutes
This was a nice portal-inspired entry, with Black Mesa portals technology so yeah it was fun to play, though textures were plain and simple, maybe with some more work this entry can give birth to a more interesting and bigger mod.
Playtime: 20 minutes
I think this entry did good work on the companion NPC. Though the overall gameplay was hectic and rough as I had some troubles directing the NPC to the right place sometimes.
Playtime: 10 minutes
I know some people hated this entry, and well, I just moved the philosophical and psychological messages involved in this entry. For me is simple. Whenever a suicidal person has decided to do it he will do it no matter what. It doesn’t matter if you want to help, he doesn’t want help so he will do it, no matter how much you talk, listening can be maybe the only “help” and in many cases, they don’t even want to have listened so, yeah, this was a quite nihilistic entry I guess although I consider most of the nihilistic arguments just edgy-teenager bullshit, as are many other philosophical currents quite more interesting and less sadsack than nihilism. The other lesson in this entry was, well: if the other suicidal person does not want to get help, then YOU can DECIDE to NEED HELP. so anyone is in charge of their own destiny.
Playtime: 30 minutes
Brilliant. Brilliant entry, the whole concept was fun and cromulent at the same time so it was a delight to play it. Very fun and clever, and for me, this was the absolute winner of the competition.
Playtime: 25 minutes
Nice Matrix-inspired touches in this entry. futuristic and dystopic too, fun to play overall, but I didn’t feel a solid coherent concept, although is a great base for a bigger and cooler total conversion mod.
Playtime: 25 minutes
This one was pretty cool too. I liked how it managed the characters involved, although the screen lines were a difficult dynamic to read the captions of each character, however, the whole concept was nicely done.
Playtime: 5 minutes
Does this one is connected to the Don’t Talk Just Listen, entry?? I guess so… Again to me, this nihilistic parole seems quite nonsense to me, I mean, I understand if you are like 14-15 years old and You believe that’s the secret of the universe, but again, to me, the whole thing seems like an edgy AF bullshit philosophical discourse. there are more interesting philosophers than Nietzche, so come on, move on!
Overall this was a nice competition I recommend to play as had some interesting entries, that are definitely worth playing.