December 2011 Mapping Competition

24th November 2011

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

It’s time to think about the next mapping competition.

This time, SteamContests has organized the sponsorship of Tt eSPORTS!

They will be supplying the MEKA G1 keyboard as the first prize and the Black Element gaming mouse as the second prize.

Those are IN ADDITION to any prize I give AND there may be some other smaller prizes too.

So, with all that in mind, it’s time to select the next theme.

Before I discuss the possible choices, I need to make it clear that I will be making the final decision and the vote below is for my information only.

90% of voters will be players and what players want to play is not necessarily what mappers want to make.

The details below are just guidelines and once a theme has been chosen, a proper project website will be created with all the details.


The purpose of this theme is to create a map that somehow surprises the player. of course, there must be combat in it, but it’s all about the surprise.


Create a map where the player is ambushed. Yes, it’s very obvious but it’s never what you do, but how you do it.


I love the crossbow and wish there were more maps that used it. I want long distance combat that requires skill and timing. Of course, a little in-your-face fun is always welcome.


Create a map where the player is on a suicide mission.


Create a map where there is only one enemy. There could be headcrabs, antlions and other non-intelligent enemies, but this is all about finding and killing one humanoid enemy. They may not even be able to fight back.


Create a map which is essentially a Boss map. A little lead in is needed, but the main part is the Boss.

I am sure you have your own ideas, so please use the “OTHER” option and make sure you comment on what it is, so that other readers can see it too.

Time to Vote

More details can be found on their Facebook page.


  1. s.anchev

    BossVille. With a custom super-enemy, a rcurrent enemy, of your own.

  2. Alex

    AmbushVille please =D They are all really exciting ideas, but an ambush is really broad, so I could imagine all kinds of traps, surprises, and tricks being involved!

  3. zonbie

    i dont know about you guys but I am getting giddy about crossbow-ville

    1. Yeah, sorry about using your theme, but I wanted to have one weapon in there.

      1. zonbie

        i feel like I would have an unfair advantage if we went with that theme, lol

        i promise I won’t use any of the crossbow-themed maps I already have in storage.

    2. Kyo

      I also think Crossbowville is a good idea. It’s a weapon that is not used very often, yet has a lot of fun potential.

  4. MisterAddy

    I think BossVille has the most potential, from more traditional scripted battles to environmental or physics oriented things, I think mappers could come up with a lot of good ideas.

    1. zonbie

      i’m definitely feeling BossVille. I need an excuse to toy around with Advisors again.

    2. Kyo

      I think Bossville has a somewhat high barrier for entry, though. Not everyone knows how to set up an elaborate scripted sequence, let alone a Strider or Gunship encounter. The actual gimmick of the contest should be relatively easy to implement – it’s everything you do to exploit it that matters.

  5. Well what about … MoveVille

    A specific map you have to design in the style of the player riding on a train , truck , anything.

    He wont have controll of where he moves but he will move along a designated track and shoot whatever comes in the way.
    Count it like “EndGame” from COD4

    Im not sure if I explained enough but you should get what I mean.

  6. Radu "IceMan" Tănasie

    Bossville sounds awesome.

  7. Mark Graybill

    Just some random thoughts…

    Displacementville: All visible surfaces are displacements.
    Puzzleville: Solve a puzzle or series of puzzles.
    Beautyville: The most visually appealing map wins.
    Machineville: Best working machine or machinery wins.
    Brushville: Best map using 250 or less brushes wins.
    Gravityville: Most fun in a map with 1/10th or less Earth gravity.
    Undergroundville: Best cave or mine map.
    Conveyanceville: Best map utilizing a mode of steerable conveyance; car, boat, etc…

    Any of these could be with or without combat…

  8. Major Banter

    I love the idea of SuicideVille or CrossbowVille.

    BossVille? Really? Audience, please hear me out on this one. As mappers, it’s very hard to come up with a decent boss from Hammer alone – custom assets don’t really extend to a boss fight without months of hard work.

    Rethink, I beg of you – otherwise it’s going to be floods of NPCs, Striders, Hunters and some dodgy machine with weak spots. Bosses are not easy, and that’ll put people off.


  9. Derbler

    What we need for the next competition is an Originalityville type thing. For instance, the set of rules can be: No Valve sounds, no Valve music, no Valve textures, no Valve models, no Valve animations. And the entries can be judged on overall quality. I’m tired of hearing Kelly Bailey stuff and seeing City 17 citizens in player-made mods that have nothing to do with Half-Life.

    1. Well if you can supply free models and sounds and skins and npc’s and textures etc. then there is no problem.

  10. Definetly not boss fight, I would think players would be disapointed with the entries, also, boss fights may sound fun but can get very contrite and not make gameplay better. Also, boss fights would probably need new npcs to be any good, and npcs are very difficult to create. Maybe a boss fight like a static displacement with bright eyes or something but seriously, a boss fight wouldnt work without a lot of scripting, and most entries would be buggy.

    Either way CrossbowVille sounds very nice, it can create good gameplay and is easy for mappers to implement.

    AmbushVille also sounds fun, although the ambush would probably be pretty obvious xD.

    ps, thanks phillip for all of these mapping competition opportunities.

  11. Da Fat Cat

    I kind of want Suicide Mission just so I can recreate the Mass Effect 2 mission with HL characters 😛

  12. Hec

    Well I voted surpirse ville because I think mappers should work more on the environment situations and the feeling of the whole atmosphera on the mods. Altough I like in order of my likings: Ambushville, because the ingenious combat situations that can come with it, Bossville because that could be a classic and bring us a challenging cool end battle, and Suicideville bbecause is all about to infiltrate in some cmb hell and try to get out of there alive, or not? well that could be also really cool, about Crosbow and One ennemy, well I don’t get too much excited for those, but who knows maybe we could have some goods entries in there.

  13. i’ve thought it out some more and I think I dont want boss-ville. I think it would not be accessible to new or intermediate modders. the number of entries – especially successful entries – would be much lower than if something like crossbow-ville or suicide-ville. I would be much happier with something other than boss-ville.

  14. Dannster

    You can have any environment but it has to be flooded

    1. That’s quite a nice idea.

      1. FYI: There are 3 weapons that can be fired underwater:

        -Gravity Gun

        1. Dannster

          You don’t have to be underwater you can make it on rooftops or cars

  15. Hec

    Hey maybe that’s a good idea, buut I really HATE to fight in flooded environments, u just can’t move fast and if u add zombies to the equation that’s a really pain iun the butt.

  16. A note speaking just from my perspective:

    I think it is important to choose a topic that inspires creativity in the mapper. The idea that floods the mind of mappers with the most ideas has the highest chance of being a successful Ville. It was for this reason that I didn’t enter any competition till now. Even though I had a few ideas, none of them were worth the time needed to turn them into reality. I think this is because the Villes before now were based around common things that people are familiar with. Not to say that these can’t be creative, it just doesn’t inspire creativity. I believe that an idea whose goal is creative, simple, narrow, and can be reached in a broad way constitutes the best choice. I get the most creative ideas from AmbushVille and CrossbowVille. The only reason I think CrossbowVille works is because it is an underutilized weapon, so there is a lot of potential with it. SupriseVille was taken care of by HalloweenVille. The rest of the entries may inspire ideas, but not creativity, meaning I wouldn’t expect to see anything “new” or “fresh” from the entries. I agree with the other comments that BossVille would not be a good idea. I fear that the quality of the entries will be sup par.

    I’m not sure if this would be a good idea from my own criteria, but may I suggest:


    The entry that best instills and epic feeling upon the player wins. This could be as expansive as a huge collapsible environment or as simple as a jump from a skyscraper. Due to the nature of it you would need a lot of judges, but it would work well if you have multiple prizes.

  17. Mega Sean 45

    I choose CrossbowVille, because it would really be a good challenge to keep killing enemies with crossbow. In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, there’s a mission called “The Exchange” where you have to snipe Gonzalez’s men before time runs out. I think we could do something like that. Or maybe like Call of Duty 2’s Comrad Sniper mission, where you have to snipe a group of enemies to defend your post. CrossbowVille sounds like a good idea.
    * SuicideVille sounds a bit lame, what’s the point in that?
    * OneEnemyVille – why would we just want to kill one enemy and that’s it?
    * BossVille – Sounds like a good idea. We can make our own boss enemy, and maybe some smaller enemies too while we’re at it.
    * AmbushVille and SurpriseVille sound pretty cool. I can sense lots of Hunters in this contest!
    * If I’d pick other: I’d pick ScannerVille.

  18. Aaron

    Lets get to a mapping 🙂

    1. but a choice has not been made… 😐

  19. I made a new one: GoldSrcVille

  20. Mr. Walrus

    I think that crossbowville has the most potential, it’s definitely a weapon rarely seen and could produce some pretty awesome maps. The winning entry atm, Bossville, soulds like a generally bad idea- what bosses, assuming that we don’t take enormous amounts of time to build new NPCs, would be available? We’ve fought gunships, helicopters, antlions, and striders a million times not only in HL2 but already in other planetphillip mapping competitions. There just doesnt seem to be as much room for innovation as there is in other options :/

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