Donation Appeal 2013

8th July 2013

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

I dislike asking for donations for the site and haven’t done it in a while. There was a time when the advertising brought in 30/40 US Dollars a month and that covered all the costs, but that has dropped to 7 US Dollars and the fund is running low.

The main reason I am asking is so I can upgrade the server. I was thinking of moving hosts because, let’s be honest the site has been pretty flaky over the last few months. But whoever I move to there will always be issues. Unless I spent hundreds of Dollars a month on dedicated servers, I’m stuck with basic services and we have a phrase in English “Better the devil you know!”

My host recently created a specialist hosting service for WordPress, the software I use to run the site, but that’s currently out of my price range (it’s 20 US Dollars a month) but when speaking to a support rep, he mentioned the VPS starts at 15 US Dollars a month and is more flexible. It has less memory than the WP service but more than my current plan.

So, with a little help, I could upgrade to that and hopefully have more control over the resources of the site.

As much as I would love to go for the specialist WP service it would mean a commitment of 240 US Dollars a year and unless I had a donation drive twice a year, I wouldn’t be able to pay for it from advertising alone. I’m interested to hear your thoughts on that.

Okay, so, if you enjoy using the site and can donate some spare cash that would be great. If not, don’t worry, I fully understand.

If you have something other than cash you can help with; skills or games to donate, then please contact me.

Either way, thanks for using the site and reading this post.

Donation can be made via PayPal directly to [email protected] or use the widgets below:


  1. I hear you Phillip. My budget has run thin already, but shall definetely chipin naxt month, if it isn’t too late!?

  2. Thank you to all those who have contributed. It is very, very much appreciated.

    Everybody should have received a thank you email, but if you haven’t please accept my apologies, and send me a note and I will reply. I was brought up to write thank you notes, and just because it’s email should be no different.

    I was hoping for a few little donations, but am delighted to say I have received about 10 or 11, some giving very generously.

    I will start the ball rolling on Friday with regard to VPS hosting and fingers crossed we see a difference immediately.

    1. lj4linux

      A friend is one who helps.

    2. MisterAddy

      Are you still accepting donations?

  3. HJL

    What’s the difference between those two widgets? Do you get everything or does someone take 1% of the money I give you? Considering to give a little more.

  4. Unq

    Site loads a lot faster now for me. Glad to see the upgrade.

  5. Alex

    Hey Phillip,

    You’re welcome for my small donation. I hope we can see PlanetPhillip continue for a long time.

    When you announced last year you were closing it was very sad, especially since P17 and Steamcast also closed around then too. I hope the donations see the site going on forever!

    Ps. I know PP is single player , but would you ever consider buying a HL server for PP, just for fun in-between single player 😛 Sven Co-Op has some amazing co-op maps which really explore single player storytelling like SP does too.

    1. Definitely seconded! Now that there is so little content left not played to tatters, plus vlavle’s relentless erosion of the historic mods, MP & co-op are starting to look really interesting. If PP readers could wing a dedicated server, we could play alongside like-minded people which would be really cool, and not have to get thrashed by spotty 12 year-olds with 5000+ online hours!

      A separate gaming-server fund seems like a possible idea – I would be more than happy to subscribe monthly for the chance to play alongside fellow PP peers and to be able to do so whilst excluding all the idiots that can make MP gaming such a nightmare, so long as vlavle doesn’t spot it & break it within a week…

      What say you, Phillip?

      1. Ade

        I can handle that 1 for Phillip, if he agrees to this. But wouldn’t co-op be less competitive? Why mention 12 year olds n idiots n such? Also, I have 5000+ in HL2: DM and I see nothing wrong in loving a game.. (I’m almost 28, btw)

        1. Ok, it wasn’t really meant to be a specific dig, just a rough generalization. As an adult (and a MP novice) I would prefer to game with people who can behave reasonably, i.e. in such a way as not to ruin it for everyone. So yes, whilst there must be many skilled and well-behaved MP school-goers out there you only have to spend 10 mins on YouTube to see many, many examples of the exact opposite! Yes, there are also plenty of adult MP idiots who ruin MP games with relentless trolling – that’s the risk with open servers, I wasn’t implying all young players are a pain, or are idiots by any means. All I’m saying is that with a closed PP community server you know you’ll be playing with people you want to and as a result it should be a rewarding & fun experience for everyone. Plus it’s surely more enjoyable to game with your fellow peers – hence my recent request for a MP ‘leg up” as I understand that you’re a seasoned player.

          It would be great if you could lend your expertise in running a server – I think demand would be high, and Sven Coop could be an excellent way to breath life back into the games, and serve as a social meeting point for PP’ers as well!

          You never know, it might even be possible to convince Phillip – whilst I wouldn’t dare pick up a squash racket anywhere near him, I’d be more than happy to cross crowbars! However it might be slightly unfair if everyone piled in on him at once, so there might have to be a rule, or a queue at least – “Take a number..” 🙂

      2. Alex

        I would sure love to replay The Escape Series on Sven-Co-op with some PP guys, that mod has an epic story.

        I hope it still works, the Steampipe thing has done some damage. It is ironic Valve are pushing Steam as the way to go, yet I can load up HL1 or 2 on CD/DVD and play everything fine.

        I wish they would provide an option to use the old system for older mods. My biggest fear is how this has impacted the modding community, I can see how some people maybe wary of making big mods as much if they are at risk of being totally useless in the future when theres another update.

        I can see why Steampipe is good, but it really should only be applied to newer Valve games, its no harm leaving the older games in their stable state.

        1. Valve either want mods dead, or don’t care that they’re destroying them – I don’t know which of the two is worse! Either way, you can’t (as far as I know) run EP1 &2 without steam and through steam valve destroy mods. Run offline? Sure, they’ve got that covered – whilst it should work, it invariably only gives a short duration of play before “breaking” and requiring an online connection, bringing with it rafts of poisonous “updates’. So the GABEN gives with one hand, and now takes away much, much more with the other.

          It must be particularly galling for Leon (Spy Maps) who has grafted for the last 3 years on The Closure mod (click on “Last Project”) only to have valve destroy it within months of its release via their mod-toxic turdpipe, resulting in a huge loss for everyone who was eagerly looking forward to his final HL masterpiece. Now this latest event must surely be the last straw for many of the best old-school mappers, and since EP3/HL3 was all just a big lie, the future’s not looking good. Who could blame them? Years of work casually wiped out without so much as a “heads up”, let alone “sorry, we’ll fix it”, it’s enough to put off even the most determined authors, never mind the casual mappers!

          Don’t look to valve for a solution to this; fundamentally they’re the problem and history teaches us that they don’t care.

          1. Ade

            incorrect, I’m afraid; he realised the content was just moved (he should’ve known that after minimum faq reading) but at the end of a 50 line post of complaining, he added 3 lines in red explaining this; people wouldn’t be mislead if he’d only edit the title and the beginning as well

            1. So I Googled and found the ModDB page (I think) that you refer to; to be honest I forgot it was there! So no, on this occasion I wasn’t one of the ones “that can’t bother reading long articles and think the mod is actually lost…” and I understood that mod files were being moved to the Common folder, but after I let steam update Source SDK 2007, EP1 & 2 today I’m currently testing my installed mods and of the 4 tested so far, 2 that worked previously now don’t, and the third is now very flaky on transitions. I think the 4th runs on an old branch, and has escaped so I believe that there is more to this update than simply file migration. I briefly replayed a savegame “This Vortal Coil” with the antlion tunnel standoff – maybe it was me, but it was like I was running in custard and the jumps were like zero grav! Plus the graphics and Alyx model seemed quite different to those I remembered, but I could be wrong. I can’t find it now, but I’m sure I read Leon saying that he was going to have re-write big chunks of The Closure due to a recent update, I’m pretty sure it was around the Steampimpe Beta time – that’s what I was referring to.

              But to be fair to Leon, he’s been hit so hard by destructive updates over the years (look at Final Project Diary and Coastline to Atmosphere) that you can hardly blame him for getting mad. It’s a sh*tty deal to have your hard, unpaid work randomly cancelled out by the whim of Valve, whose line has always been roughly “It’s up to content authors to rewrite their mods to suit our current product, every time we change it”.

              It’s fantastic that The Closure still lives! Leon’s best/last HL2 map…

  6. I am open to the idea of having some servers for PP players to player with/against each other, although I wouldn’t join myself.

    However, at this stage, I need to focus on getting the sites running well and stable. After that, let’s revisit the topic.

    1. Fantastic! There’s something to look forward to, for a change. Unlike HL3, this one’s within PP Reader’s control and is therefore actually achievable. Bring it on!

    2. I don’t really play much multiplayer but I would love to do some co-op. I have never tried Sven and I was unable to complete Decay so I would love to join some PPers on a server!

      1. Same here, I gave up after 5mins of Decay which is a shame, but it just wasn’t do-able for me as a SP. Hopefully it can be revisited soon!

  7. Ade

    So any1 wants a server based on a steam game? or are we all for sven co-op v4.8 😛 whenever Phillip’s ready to post, I will just need slot number and server location preferences (and if someone already has a good working server config, pls share)

    1. Yes please Ade, however if it requires Phillip’s resources then I think it will be at least Autumn/Winter before he even considers it as he’s often doing other things over Summer and already has a full plate both with the new PP hosting and his new squash site, not to mention all the previously scheduled background work (“Operation What’s Missing”, MapTap, download links & file updating etc).

      So if Sven Co-op can be played without a dedicated server, might that be the way forward? I’m sure if we asked, Phillip probably wouldn’t mind having a notice-board page somewhere where we could arrange times to meet online etc. Is Sven still ok post-update?

      1. Ade

        im guessing it’s ok after updates, here’s a test server my host made: “ Germany” is the name, if you have the game installed u can check it out, but I don’t think it will be that good without a proper server cfg

        only thing is it will be on steam soon and idk what that implies yet

        but like I said, and I apologize for hijacking this thread, im just waiting for Phillip to post about it so more people see it and I can know how many slots to get, as atm it’s just Alex, Sparks and me 😀 oh and MisterAddy, apparently, is willing to give it a shot

        1. Ade

          well default cfg seems to work fine, server felt ok for me tho there weren’t any enemies around.
          I read somewhere u dont need hl1 to play this but the installer required hl1 to be installed and run at least once.. maybe it was referring to a future time when it will be on steam.

          1. Excellent, I’ll d/l the latest release tonight & read up, rather than wait for the Steam version, I think.

  8. SPY

    Sorry Phillip, to bash in and talk about something completely different. But I would like to answer to Sparks and Ades conversation above about my sp-mod being killed or not because of the latest source update. And about the way I talked about it on Moddb.

    I never thought of it that way, but it is true, I should have placed that edited text about the mod not being lost after all also at the top of the article, (i have done so now). 50 text lines of complaining is indeed a bit much. But please do believe me when I say that I nearly died when I noticed that my full mod was simply gone, without any explanation up front or even after the update. So I really thought for at least 3 full hours that years of work was down the drain. And, as said by you both, this is indeed not the first time. So I just needed to ventilate my huge frustration and for that I used that page. I know, its not meant for that, but in such a situation it’s simply hard to think straight anymore. I explained myself already there, but I assume that Sparks did read the article right after it was first placed, so he could not have known of my mistake, and that it wasn’t lost after all.
    Sorry to everyone who I did shock with this news, but as said, I really was under the impression that everything was lost for at least a few hours.
    Sorry Phillip, but someone adressed this issue here to me, and I did feel the need to set things straight, also here, with a cencair excuse.


    1. Hi Leon, it’s awesome news that your mod survives, and finally approaches release! Actually, no I didn’t see your ModDB rage-page, as I mentioned I was thinking of a thread some weeks (months?) ago, pretty sure it was during Steampipe Beta, where I thought you said the update required you do re-develop The Closure so just coincidence here. Well, I updated HL2, EP1 & 2 fully and now the player motion is screwed up in all of them (for me) so yeah, it appears business as usual for vlavle.

      I simply don’t understand a) why they don’t test their updates properly, b) why they force them on us without warning, c) why they force them on us without giving us a choice and c) why they care so little about alienating the people who (let’s face the truth, here) are the only reason their ancient games are still in service today. Because it’s certainly not due to their new content, which has been conspicuous by its absence! It would be so easy for them to have avoided all the problems that they have caused if they just had a different attitude to their customers, but there we are.

      Thankfully, people like Leon, Miigga, Phillip, Alex & the BMS team and countless others dedicated to the HL cause still exist – despite, seemingly, the efforts of valve to deter them. Not just engine updates, but regularly breaking the SDK – its like giving a clever kid a cool construction kit, waiting ’til they’ve really got the hang of it, then casually breaking the spanner & screwdriver then walking away, laughing. WHY? So destructive & unnecessary.

      Enough. Phillip, apologies for the sidetrack.

  9. Ade

    Well anyone who lost years of work can understand you, and your venting in those hours of torture. Was just saying that the torture could have been avoided. And the message you actually got across in the end was that it was simply lost and it wasn’t at all beneficiary, you would’ve gotten people to stop tracking you and most new readers who would have found your mod would have also moved on.
    I for one am not a tl;dr person (most of the times lol) and 50 lines aren’t that many and did read through but mainly because I knew that such a thing couldn’t have happened. Firstly because Valve wouldn’t do that (yes it would break mods or at least render them unplayable without a complete recompile and other tweaks, but not literally delete contents, nothing in this world nor on your pc does that unless it’s a virus). Second because I knew what steampipe was and did and I knew many people didn’t read the faq like I did and was just finishing up then was ready to post and calm you down lol but in the end I found your edit hehe

    And then I read here and realized it wasn’t enough, so acted upon it. So yea, this is my 2nd hijack of this thread.

    I’m so sorry, Phillip..

  10. Blue Lightning

    I’ll be donating some money tomorrow or Thursday. Finally I made a little something and can donate. I would of given something before now but was too broke.

    I’m donating because I have got a lot of enjoyment out of this site and the mods that I get to play that I get from this site. It is well worth it.


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