Mapping Challenges 2018

17th September 2017

“OMG, why is Phillip talking about the mapping challenges of 2018 already?”
Because the better planned they are the better prepared I am.

Anyway, the mapping challenges have proved quite successful for RTSL and it would be downright negligent if I didn’t start planning for next year.

I have been working on a calendar for the 2018 mapping challenges and wanted to share the first DRAFT with you to get feedback.

Please take a moment to read my thought process under the dates.

This post is mainly aimed at modders and mappers. I feel that the players have to fit in with the mappers in this case.

Mapping Challenge Proposed Dates

1st Jan to 21st Jan – Hammer Cup Challenge 1

                  9th/10th/11th Feb – 50/72-Hour Experimental Challenge

1st Mar to 21st Mar – Hammer Cup Challenge 2

                  30th Mar – 15th Apr – Black Mesa Challenge

1st May to 21st May – Hammer Cup Challenge 3

                  15th/16th/17th Jun – 50/72-Hour Experimental Challenge

1st Jul to 21st Jul – Hammer Cup Challenge 4

                  3rd Aug – 19th Aug – Black Mesa Challenge

1st Sep t 21st Sep – Hammer Cup Challenge 5

                  19th/20th/21st – 50/72-Hour Experimental Challenge

1st Nov to 21st Nov – Hammer Cup Challenge 6

                  Date TBC – Either a Black Mesa or Experimental Challenge

  • The simpler the structure the easiest it is for everybody to plan. Therefore I have want to change the 19-day limit to 21, making it a full three weeks. Every full challenge will have 3 full weekends, although one is split.
  • The change will mean that the challenges won’t all start of the same day. This IS a drawback but I feel the advantages outweigh that issue.
  • All challenges start on the first day of a month.
  • There will be 6 Hammer Cup challenges throughout the year.
  • The top 4 scores will count towards the winning points.
  • In between each full challenge will be either a 50 or 72-hour experimental challenge OR a Black Mesa challenge.
  • The Black Mesa challenge will also last 3 full weekends, but won’t start on the same date each time.
  • The final challenge could be a BM or experimental one based on feedback during the year.
  • This gives 12 challenges through the year, plenty of choice regarding style and type, so no mapper is really committed to anything except the Hammer Cup and even then they can still miss 2 of the challenges and still win.
  • I will aim for a total prize fund of $1000 US Dollars for 2018 for the Hammer Cup and aim to increase the prizes for the other challenges too.
  • I recognise that people don’t enter for the prizes but it is always nice to be rewarded.
  • I have also started to think about how best to leverage the content produced to ensure maximum exposure for RTSL but also the mappers.
  • You may have noticed that the experimental challenges are listed as 50 or 72 hours. I will test a 72 hour challenge this year and may run both types next year.

As always, I would like to hear your thoughts and comments.

Please don’t post theme ideas here, I have also been thinking about that too and plan a submission process, which I will explain in a separate post later this year.


  1. Honestly this sounds great. You say some don’t enter for prizes, but they definitly are a nice motivation booster 🙂 It’s nice when more places than just top three get rewarded, so mappers who are good, but maybe not the best yet, still have goals they can aim for. But obviously top three places still must feel special too.

  2. Heinz

    Yeah, nice to see that there are plans for 2018.
    I can’t create maps, but I always like to play them.
    Also I wish more people/websites would do mapping challenges for HL², Black Mesa and especially Counter-Strike Source…I don’t like CS:GO, it feels like CS 1.6 with better graphics, but without using the physics of the props and environment.
    Phil, in this case you are my hero, pls never stop running this site and its challenges.

  3. Phillip, will you make a halloweenville this year?

  4. JamaicanDave

    When listed all together it looks like a lot of challenges, but one THC every two months seems pretty reasonable. I like the lengthening of challenges to three full weeks.

    1. I agree. At first it can seem daunting, but most people don’t enter all the challenges and having more to chose from might even increase participation. Although, besides the date, the biggest factor is the actual theme.

  5. Since BM is planning to release Xen in a few months, I think we should have more BM challenges next year unlike last 2 years.

    1. Which is why we have at least 2, probably 3 next year.

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