July 2014 General Chat

1st July 2014

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

Welcome to July!

Got any money left from the Steam sale? I didn’t buy anything, although I might get Metro: Last Light via the HumbleBundle store today.

Anyway, let’s hope we have a fine modding July and look out for quite a few posts from me this month.

This Month’s Half-Life Video

Starting this month, I have decided to add at least one Half-Life related video. This month, it’s two. Be sure to add links to some you like.
Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Half Life

I Didn’t Know These Could Happen (Half-Life 2)

This Month’s Sci-Fi Movie

From June, I started to use a poster from a classic Sci-Fi move as the background for the post image. This month it is from The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) and I can tell you I spent ages remembering the phrase Klaatu barada nikto – just in case. Oh, and there was some actor called Hugh Marlowe, so I figured I was kinda connected to the film. BTW, don’t bother with the remake – stick to the original.

Here is the poster:
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3


  1. I picked up Arkham Origins and am downloading it… its HUGE!!! was hoping to have a play on this tonight but doesn’t look like that’s going to be possible…

    On the plus side I just killed a member of the city watch using their own wall of light in Dishonoured… so quite proud of that achievement…

  2. has anyone played “estranged act 1” ,i downloaded the mod on steam and its one of the finest mods ive played in some time … not a massive mod compared to some but still good fun !

    1. I played it a while back, I think it’s absolutely gorgeous but the gameplay can be a bit eh. Throughout most of the mod, there’s only one enemy. Also, I find the indoors laboratory hallways n’ corridors bits rather boring. It does have a great atmosphere, though, and some good puzzles.

    2. Weirdo

      I preferred Underhell, but Estranged certainly has better looking environments.

    3. Sure, its a great mod and its really well made, but I didn’t have fun at all while playing it. Its more of a enviromental, atmospheric story-driven mod with not much focus on combat. There are a few puzzles, but nothing really stood out.

    4. JG

      It’s alright, but when all is said and done, it didn’t really accomplish a whole lot. It tries a lot of things, but it doesn’t do any one thing especially well. Reminded me of Alan Wake, in a way, owing to the sense of quirkiness that runs throughout.

  3. Mega Sean 45

    I have some catching up to do with mod walkthroughs I’m doing on my channel, plus my regular machinima on my main channel is in development, and of course my fanfic… and school. So much to do, you know?

  4. My computer is screwed over ATM so I can’t play anything HL or Portal related, once I get a better one I’ll do more reviews here. Also, here’s a great HL video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpADBNlyYhQ

    1. That video is AWESOME! I love how people find these things.

    2. Ade

      Crazy awesome, indeed! They gotta fix that bug ASAP or sales will drop haha but seriously, that player has much love for the game.

  5. Here are some logical puzzles, if you are that way inclined: Lateral Thinking Puzzles.

    I got some of them right.

    1. Wow. I suck at lateral thinking…

      1. Look on the bright side – at least you can mod.

        1. Very true. Life is good then I guess. 😀

    1. I’ve had that one happen to me before.

  6. AI

    Thanks for the news letter, quite interesting! I have both of the “The Day the Earth Stood Still” DvD’s in my collection. The first came out in 1951! (I was only 5 then) The second came out in 2008, still very good movies! BTW, Phillip, if you get either “Metro 2033 or Metro Last Light” I hope you have a GOOD computer, to play them the way intended!!! 😉 also you could try “Wolfenstein The New Order” it’s fantastic! (even for an old man!) haha

  7. JG

    I’ve been playing Shovel Knight lately. If you don’t know what it is, it’s a loving homage to Nintendo classics like Mega Man and Ducktales where you play as the titular knight, who bravely fights with a shovel instead of a sword. Like many indie games, it uses an 8-bit aesthetic. It’s a lot of fun to play and, unlike a lot of retro-inspired games, it understands the concept of tough-but-fair gameplay.

    Of particular note is the soundtrack, which was composed by Jake Kaufman, whose work I absolutely love, and Manami Matsumae who did the music for the original Mega Man game way back in 1987. Check out the soundtrack here:

    As with AI, I also got Wolfenstein: The New Order. I look forward to playing that too! 🙂

  8. Not related to gaming, but I found this very cool site that allows you to create “HTML Documentation“.

    Could even be used for readmes.

  9. I again started playing Super Meat Boy. It’s a fantastic platformer!

  10. JellyBeeanDude27

    There’s a great channel called TheMegatonBomb that plays Half-Life mods. Recently, somebody has been stealing his videos. YouTube won’t let anybody who’s not his guardian report them because Google are a bunch of frigging idiots. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAkhZMJRX_g

    1. That’s such a shame. I hope he gets it sorted out.

    2. Ade

      That’s some bs, I once reported a video for being re-upped by someone else, and notified the original author as well and vid was down in a day or 2.

      1. JellyBeanDude27

        I wish it was still that easy GOOGLE!

  11. Quick little Flash puzzle for you to play. You need to move gears to complete the picture.

  12. I’ve just read this piece on the “HL3 Confirmed” sponsorship on a car competing in the 24 Hours Nürburgring endurance race in Germany.

    I might have paid $10 to have PlanetPhillip.Com on there too.

  13. Interesting little application here called SteamHttpCacheView. It’s a tool for viewing Steam httpcache files. It allows you to save all the images used for Steam grid View. Useful if you are into that sort of thing.

  14. Ade

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jt_Sz_srw80 ‘Building the Large Pixel Collider’ from PC Gamer

  15. Blue Lightning

    Hey guys, notice how many nice mod offerings we have had lately? I like what I am seeing!

  16. What do you think about Aperture Tag having released as a paid-for mod on Steam?

    I haven’t played it, but from what I’ve seen it is roughly equivalent to a lot of the larger mods that get posted here on PlanetPhillip. Having one be released commercially opens a huge can of worms. Should people expect a mod to be “Valve quality” if they are charged for it? Is it worth the money when so much of the content is not original? Is it fair on other modders who put in as much, or more, work for free? I don’t know personally. I’d love to hear the opinion of people here.

    1. JG

      I am of two minds about that, and I’m not sure if I ultimately have a right-or-wrong opinion.

      On the one hand, the TF2 community is filled with fan-made downloadables which people charge for, such as hats. Obviously, if we can do that with hats, why shouldn’t maps be a part of that? If people don’t like it, they can choose not to buy it. And if you look at the Steam community, there are tons of people who are lining up to pay for this and defend the practice. If they want to throw money at the authors, why shouldn’t they be able to?

      On the other hand, I don’t like the precedent it sets. At all. Not when there are so many professional-quality mods – probably better than this one – that don’t charge anything. I remember a few months ago, there was a guy who tried to Kickstart a Portal 2 mod, Portal 2: Abyss, and I thought that was in such poor taste. I also don’t like the way the authors of Aperture Tag have responded to this criticism either, in a mocking and sneering tone, writing off critics as “haters.”

      I also think this gap is somewhat generational. I started modding back in 1997. I never have, and nor have many I know, ever considered it a means of making money. If you want to make money, you go get a job at a game studio or you start your own and create your own products. However, I think there is a new generation of modders who, despite building off the back of content someone else made, feel entitled to payment. They see what indie developers are raking in and think they deserve a piece of that.

      I guess, in the end, I feel modding should be the domain of hobbyists. This is a realm that should remain untouched by ostensibly commercial interests. If it’s bound to be, though, then I would judge paid content with an extremely critical eye. Because it’s not friends-helping-friends at that point – it’s you delivering a commercial-grade product or service and me expecting the product to work, entertain and perform at a much higher level because you believe it should command a price. That it should be “Valve quality” is a foregone conclusion.

      1. Ade

        I still think they have to pay for like an SDK license or something if they ever want to sell their release, and if the mod is not that great, it might not even cover that. Plus getting a job in the gaming industry is hard and having a sold game in your portfolio weighs more than simple modding, or even opening their own company might be easier once they’ve gone through some of the ropes of developing and selling something.
        Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with this, I think all mods should be free, like they’ve always been, and we should only pay for new games, not to play same game, that I already paid for, in a new way. But I wouldn’t throw them paid modders at a wall and shoot em if they would start selling, I would understand some of their reasoning.

        Plus the can of worms was already opened?…

  17. An absolutely amazing map here, but unfortuantely no gameplay. I’ll ask him to add a weapon and a headcrab or two and then others can “play” it.

    There are more the TWHL Atom’s ‘map from base’ Minicompo thread.

    I’ll test the other entries and add them here if they are playable.

    EDIT: The author has agreed to make it playable. I’ll post it here soon.

    1. Guitarman

      Hey Phillip

      When is the next map competition? I use to map Q3 style maps and have recently tried hl2 mapping and want to try and make something to see how good i am at it.

      1. Well, I am off on holiday on Wednesday for three weeks and I am hesitant to run a competition while I am away. That said, August is a time when many people have extra time available and it would be silly not to try. So, I’ll probably decide tomorrow and if I decide to do one, I will make an announcement tomorrow and set an automatic post for Friday.

  18. Man! I love these cars from the 1950s.

    It’s a BBC slideshow of 10 images. One of them “home-made”. Now that is cool.

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