MiddleVille is the second competition in the 3×24 series.
It continues from BeginningVille and comprises the main part of the (hopefully) final mod.
There are two entries in this mod, both continue from their previous entries.
The map must start with the player underground but about to climb a ladder to reach ground level via a drain cover. If an entrant is continuing from a previous entry, they just need to start from the same area the previous one finished. Invisible walls will NOT be penalized.
New entrants can start from a fresh area and, again, invisible walls will NOT be penalized.
BeginningVille was all about getting the player to where something needed doing. Well, now the player is there, it’s time to actually DO IT!.
This is the main section and and where the player performs the main objective of the mod. This map can be located anywhere; City 17, a port, a village, a coastal facility. It can be day or night mostly indoors or outdoors, the choice is the mappers’.
The player must perform some critical function: destroy or start a machine, open or close some complicated valve system, destroy some facility, free some prisoners etc.
As mentioned above, in order to stop people creating their map “out of competition” time, the map must also include the following features:
1. The number 3 must be a concept of the design. Perhaps it’s 3 valves or 3 buildings the play must visit. The idea is that there must be 3 interactive elements of the map.
2. At least one end dead in the layout or path must be included. Of course, the player must be able to retrace their steps and still continue.
3. At some point, the player must have their path back to the beginning of the map blocked, forcing them forward.
4. There must be a least one secret area, either visibly obvious but difficult to reach or hidden in some way.
5. There must be at least two waves of enemy, with the second coming after a short break. Their arrival must be announced in some way.
The map should end with the player “escaping” or being forced into a place that seems like a natural break. If you plan on submitting an entry for the final competition, just make it easy to switch maps.
The final section of this map will not be considered part of the competition. So, most maps need a great ending, well, this part is just like the ending of BeginningVille; it’s just a transition.
- Title: MiddleVille
- File Name: hl2-ep2-sp-3x24mc-middleville.7z
- Size : 37.9MB
- Author: Mark Allan and Tony DeBlasio
- Date Released: 12 May 2013
- Copy the middleville folder into your SourceMods folder.
- Restart or start Steam.
- Middleville should now be listed in your Library tab.
If you require more help, please visit the Technical Help page.
The fie above comes with 2 grid view icons. To use one, select “Grid View” in Steam (top right corner). Make sure you have saved the image to a location on your computer – you can”t use it from the compressed archive directly. Right click on “Middleville” and select “Set Custom Image”. Then browse to where you saved the image and choose it. Then click “Set Image” and that”s it.
Of course, you can create your own custom image if you prefer.
The playthrough below is provided by Custom Gamer as part of The Ville Retrospective event. See more of his playthroughs on this site: VP: Custom Gamer
This map is set within the streets of a city and continues from where part 1 finished.
Click on the thumbnails below to open a 1024 pixel wide image.
WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.
This map continues from Mark”s previous entry and as with the first is huge, both in scope and design.
WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.
I have to admit to not enjoying either of these entries (more details in my review below) but I had to select a winner and in many ways it was more by default.
I choose The Mastermind’s Museum because whilst it was frustrating and I didn’t like the overall style of the map, coupled with optimization issues, I managed to finish it.
2Last 7 days
11Last 30 days
Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 11 Users
Average: 1 Hours, 28 Mins
Shortest: 0 Hours, 15 Mins by Daken50
Longest: 2 Hours, 35 Mins by shaboo
Total Time Played: 16 Hours, 10 Mins
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As mentioned in the WINNER section of the main post, I didn’t enjoy either of these entries. In fact, I think I would struggle to go through the theme points and match them to the maps. There never seems to be a perfect theme and this one must have been uninteresting for most. There could have been timing issues too.
Mark entered another huge map and it made my laptop grind to a halt in a couple of places. I saw what I think were the 3 elements but I didn’t “see” the two waves of Combine. I didn’t enjoy the maze-like design but recognize how much work must have gone into it.
I was a little disappointed with the city setting as it’s not really the idea I had for the main part of the mod. Okay, that’s cool though, but the biggest issue is that I couldn’t work out what to do after the headcrab cannister came. I agve up after 20 minutes going up and down.
I am sure you can sense my disappointment in my short reviews. I take responsbility for the lack of entries and for that I apologize. It’s clear I needed to have done more preparation. After the final part, I’ll probably go back to single competitions, if I even run any more.
1 Hour, 15 Minutes
Sad to see the shortage of entries, this competition had the potential for some amazing continuations. I am still working on the map that I started as much as I can and I will release it as soon as possible.
I could not finish my map in time for this competition in time, but it’s 80% completed at the moment.
I may release it on PP as a “beta” version later on, before (hopefully) releasing it with a beginning and an end as a full mod.
there is a bug in “missed flight”. You can’t access the vent shaft on top the vending machine, it’s too close to the ceiling. I had to noclip in there
no, it’s not a bug; you have to close the two valves (upper and lower pipe on the wall) and the vending machine will explode and let you access the vent…
It might not be a technical bug, but there’s no real logic is that design. The idea of a vending machine exploding because some nearby valves are closed doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, especially when they aren’t even physically connected.
I’d thank both the mappers for participating because at least they submitted something. That said, both maps are disappointing, but in very different ways.
Missed Flight: Part 2
This author’s city maps tend to be cut from the same mold, and it’s unfortunate because I feel he makes the same mistakes in each release. I feel part of the aim of Phillip’s contests is to help mappers become better at what they do through feedback and it’s too bad when I see the same mistakes still being made.
– Please stop using locked doors like they are going out of style. Why have them in the first place? Nothing slaps the player in the face harder than having the first door they encounter be something they can’t interact with. And the next. And the next. Half the time, it’s unclear if they can ever be opened. Which means that whenever you do accomplish something, you end up recursively going back through all the locked doors to see if one of them magically opens now.
– Once again, the route you want the player to follow is completely unclear. I already explained how the large number of locked doors leads to a lot of unnecessary backtracking and confusion, but it’s also not seeing the connections between why an event happens and what causes it. For example, pushing a button to open a Combine gate that allows us to return to an area we already visited now sends an APC lumbering towards us and a wave of Combine. Why? Were they just sitting around waiting for me to take a jog around the block before ambushing me?
– The author constantly defies Half-Life gameplay conventions. Padlocks are meant to be shot off doors to unlock them. Crates are meant to be broken. Doors with handles can be opened or will be unlocked at some point. This isn’t set dressing, it’s important stuff to consider because these are the assumptions the player makes.
I wasn’t able to figure out what to do after the Vortigaunt appeared and never stopped talking. In Phillip’s screen shot, that garage door is supposed to open, but in both attempts to play, it never did. I tried stacking crates to get over the fence and that didn’t work either, so I have no idea what was supposed to happen.
That said, the traffic lights work… go figure.
The Mastermind’s Museum
Do you like pushing buttons? If so, you’ll love this level. Your first task is to push buttons that are spread out all over the map to lower bridges. It’s sort of clever once you figure it out, but once you accomplish that, you know what’s next? You have to find and press eight more buttons! With the Combine shooting at you! Inside a mansion that has all the logic of a circus funhouse! Yes-siree, doors slam in front of you to keep you from exiting, bridges turn into ramps to dunk you into the abyss, and even the poor Combine are completely baffled trying to navigate this.
Needless to say, I didn’t have much fun with this “fetch quest.” I didn’t play beyond the first 2 or 3 switches of that second set. There is also a severe lack of optimization in the large outdoor area that I suspect could make it unplayable on less capable computers. There is some kind of plot going on involving a heist or something, but it’s impossible to tell who is talking and all the text on the screen just cheapens the end result.
(Note, playtime was closer to about an hour).
shame they didn’t use our beta testing
I think the 24-day length of the competition makes beta-testing unfeasible
That being said, I am probably going to play Middleville and review it today or tomorrow. I tried to take part in it but couldn’t find the motivation to keep mapping.
I don’t think some degree of beta testing is unfeasible in that time period. That said, the problems I felt existed in both maps were foundational, not superficial, so I’m not sure the testing would have done much good. Course, you can play the entries for yourself and draw your own conclusions. 🙂
Can actually someone, make a good walkthrough to missing flight 2 ?
After the vort appeared I was clueless what I had to do.
I’ve got to be honest, I had the same question – was it some kind of triggering problem or something I missed?
So, I opened the map and decompiled it.
The Vortigaunt’s arrival is triggered by the death of the Strider. However, the Vortigaunt itself doesn’t appear to do anything but stand there and talk. He is not part of the solution.
Believe it or not, that keypad next to the garage door is actually a fully functional keypad and you can press the individual numbers on it. From what I can decipher, there is a massive cluster of logic entities that appear to set a random four-digit pass code at the start of the level that the player is expected to guess. Despite its randomness, I see no indication of how this code was meant to be communicated to the player.
That’s not to say it’s the only way to get through there, it’s just the thing that caught my eye. I would be interested in knowing how other players got through that section.
I do see a double helping of APCs down the street that stop near the garage door, but I suspect these could be meant to prevent the player from exiting once they go down there.
You can see the code for the door on the combine monitor in one of the buildings.
You’re right, I didn’t see that. Armed with that information, I was able to get through the rest of the level, although not without getting stuck a handful more times.
I think there are two general rules of thumb about Missed Flight:
– Always look for grates on the walls. This happens about a dozen times and you will almost always need a crate to get up there.
– Barring that, if you can’t make forward progression, start backtracking. About half the level is spent backtracking and seeing that the Combine have changed things as you return.
I stand behind my original rating though – this level has a lot going on in terms of puzzles and obstacles, but it still doesn’t explain itself very well.
Too bad the time frame didn’t work for a number of modders, but its great to read there will be more maps coming as stand alones. Really looking forward to them!
OK, so I’m thinking, how do I pick a Recommendation when there are two maps? I picked more or less the average.
I rated Mastermind Museum a Play It Now, a 9 out of 10. Missed Flight was a Think Twice to me, for all the reasons mentioned before. To add insult to injury, the code (which I would never have known about before reading the comments here) didn’t even work on the security pad. In addition I found what I thought were all the extra rockets but the strider wouldn’t die. I thought in addition to the rockets that about half an hour of machine gunning would finally do the trick – nope! Enough said.
Back to Mastermind Museum, why a PIN? I think it should have come with a warning along the lines of “Big, Large, Free Range map, settle in for some HL madness and Explore, repeat if necessary”. Yes it is like a circus funhouse and over time (and frequent quick saves) I really started to enjoy it. Lots of battles and twists but lots of ammo and health too, which is needed. I have no idea how long I played it but it was a lot, and worth it to finally take the elevator ride. I can imagine what a job it was to make all this and think up the tricks, positioning etc., and I wanted to pass along how much I appreciated it!
Looking forward to the next theme maps when they are ready.
The buttons on the keypad are positioned correctly in Missed Flight, but I think because you have to tilt your “head” down to use it, the angle leads to you pushing some buttons you don’t intend to. At least I had to try it a couple times and exaggerate where I was pushing. 🙂
I am sorry I could not enter this competition.
I was going to enter, but Life called and said it needed help.
I think the 6×10 competitions have been the best so far, even though I only had time to enter 2 of them, it was really fun.
In my attempt to enclose spoiler giveaways, will base my paragraph on unified matter with no related certain and precise moments nor objects. And while reading this, might encounter anomalies and overall logic blanks.
Thank you for understanding!
After Installing this mod, I started playing the “The Mastermind’s Museum”. Please note I did not play the previous part on beginningville, so I didn’t paid attention to the plot and story. The Map was designed really great, a wide and enormous space to move and explore. There was no contained movement and it didn’t pressure the player on timerun basis. The beginning of the map was neat and suited well with the conditions of this competition. Especially the numerical feature (number 3).
The Retracing condition didn’t leave such a good impact but it didn’t disappoint me either.
As for the rest of the conditions seemed quite fulfilled, with the exception of the hidden area which I had no luck finding it.
Seemingly I played on Hard difficulty, which rather ended really painful and awfully time consuming, the npcs were quite challenging. Only probable mistakes were the flanking maneuvers and long range shots. At some point I couldn’t tell where a shot was coming from, or if the material was breakable or not. Had to find out that through npc if they shot it or not, if the author wanted to promote that. The flanking maneuvers appeared mostly funny as some npc’s couldn’t either move or just took the wrong path node. I think it could have been better scripted. Comparing I died some 12 times by long range fire and my sided mistakes, can be said that there was no line between which was bulletproof material and which wasn’t.
For the rest of the details, I had no exceptional impact to commentate
Continuing with the other map “Missed Flight: Part 2” which turned in my opinion in an really disorientating playground with no specific pointers of where you need it to go. If we take a look at the conditions, I couldn’t spot much. The numerical feature was gradually absent;The backtrack(retrace) was way overused which turned the map terribly boring and even to a point in clueless player decisions. After the vort appeared, I had to use noclip and see where is the path and what I missed. From this point, I’m fully sure I broke the whole map and just didn’t had the nerves of retrying what I missed.
This is my first review for a hl2 mod, and I’m really sorry for any echolalic usage of words.
Thank you in advance for your effort and time reading this.
1 Hour, 10 Minutes
I have read the comments above and it seems every one can play this new map contest. With me this new mod crashes. As soon as it has started I see for one second the menu screen but before it has ended with loading it I get a full white screen with music, and that is it. My computer has crashed and at the same time my screen resolution (of my pc) has been lowered a lot. All I could do was get out of there with Ctrl+Alt+Del. I tried it twice but with the same effect.
Don’t know what I am doing wrong here, I play it with HL2 ep2, and use windows 7. I never had this problem before with any other mod so it really is a mistery why this mod makes my ep2 behave like this. Maybe my own mod files are in some conflict with this mod, that is the only thing I can think of, (i am working on a sp-mod as some of maybe know and those are files are all placed ofcourse in my ep2 folder. When I play another mod that is using ep2 assets then those are replaced with my own mod files. Normaly this never is a problem but maybe it is with this one. That is the only thing I can think of, or did someone else had the same experience. I would love to hear what I could do to fix this because I played all mapcontests, even did join one or two, am not sure anymore.) So I would love to play this one to.
I got it to work now, don’t know what caused the problem.
It seems I just had to wait for a while, then the white screen turned back in to the menu screen. AM playing the first map now, will write again as soon as I am done with both maps, (understand that there are only 2 entries now, and also that you had to make the map(s) in 24 hours. Personaly I am no fan on speed mapping/modeling etc, but that is just personal. it seems its in fact quit popular among some people.)
Maybe the intro video that Phillip uses had a playback issue for you?
Also, the mappers had closer to a month to work on their entries, not 24 hours.
I have the same problem, though it does not go away. I start up the game and get a white screen with music. I waited a long time but it did not refresh to the game menu. If I click the mouse enough times or pres esc I get bounced back to the steam menu and an error appears. The error mentions not being able to find the opening menu scene.
I have tried running HL2:EP2 and manually loading the maps, but that does not work either.
“Can’t find background image materials/console/startup_loading.vtf”
Is there a fix for this?
Well its time for my recommendation on this competition.
I have to say I’m kind of surprised for the general low recommendations including Phillip’s one. For me, I don’t found this competition as terrible or frustrating as many of the gamers who write the recommendations state just because there were some complicated maps.
Indeed I guess the Mastermind Museum was a great map, a total superb arena of combat mayhem and strategy which I enjoyed very much. maybe it was kind of tricky to figure out what to do but you can finish if you look at the details of what do you need to do. I conclude this entry is a worthy winner.
Then Missed Flight Part 2, it really needs some beta testing again if they want to release it as a proper complete mod! This entry was full of confusion almost all the time, due to silly backtracking and some strange and maybe faulty triggers which are common in HL1 maps but not in HL2 maps, only in those which are just bad designed.
Now I guess the good point in this entry is the intention to do a proper mod which can get better if the author release it getting the proper technical feedback. I liked the fact you are in a city, but overall the maps and spaces are pretty narrow and that backtrack gameplay is a pain in the but please solve it and remove the backtrack if possible!!
Overall I guess that if you like combat in HL2 you will get some entertainment on this competition so play it now, if you are a gamer prone to get frustrated and quit at the first sight of difficulty in the map, just think it twice.
I guess is not problem of the authors of the maps, they enter the competition because they kindly want to share their work and that’s all anyway. So again, if there’s a weak point is due to this time competition system, not every mapper is going to be in due to some deadlines, a shame because in the first comp. there were one or two entries worthy to be part of middle and end villes which are not into those comps.
Finally I should recommend the competitions if they are going to continue would be set in a fixed topic and whit more time (lets say 3-6 months) for the mappers to enter without the no sense pressures of a deadline time.
– made the mod work by using the searchpaths from gameinfo_steampipe from Exit mod, hope this all goes well.
– game chapter selection doesn’t have proper titles
– I see the number 3 already 😛
– wep names are also fudged
– rather weird to see them talking and them not seeing me, would’ve been better if I were in a vent or something, not behind a glass door!
– the water looks nice but I have no idea where I’m supposed to go
– after disabling 4 thingies already it feels like I’m going around in circles, I guess the rest is upstairs but the layout can be a bit tricky, as areas are not that much differentiated with textures, especially lighting, I noticed I missed an important staircase because it was in a bland and somewhat dark corner
– the horse statue breaking into a live hunter was a really nice surprise
I have to say, if I hadn’t been used to this type of gameplay from recently testing a mod, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it that much; it’s a complicated layout that changes as you go through it therefore hard to learn, and in the middle of fire fights it’s hard to figure out which is the next area of importance; the lines of text are hard to follow, you never know when they change and/or end and who they belong to; but some bits are nice, new puzzles and mechanics spice up the gameplay; the battles are Hard on Normal, especially outside with the numerous turrets and the ending is confusing, he’s letting me go then saying he will kill me eventually?..
Not my style but I guess it deserves a Play It Later
Playtime: 53 minutes
– 2nd entry, some weird lights in corners and other minor lighting issues like the ones in the screenshots
– I think it’s consistent with beginningville, by having our car blocked by an APC…
– we’ve got 2 available rooms that look copy pasted: vent, door, elevator; failed to find the magic number 3, though
– unbreakable crates, unbreakable locks.. can you guess the author? I agree with one of the commenters completely, one of the reasons these competitions exist is to also make modders better, and this guy just keeps to his bad habits and calls it a style 😐 uncool, man.
– thank god I used most of my rockets on an apc that doesn’t even attack! and found in the map just enough rockets to kill the strider with the last 1 in sight
– wow, gate overrides underwater, this author must love his players.. good thing I know a glitch (swimming against the ceiling makes u go faster underwater)
– but the end makes no sense, if it really is the end, I have no way of getting out and Alyx just flies away
– from the screenies I see a line of text but no matter how many times I played after that autosave, I never saw that text.. has anyone managed to really finish this, I mean see some fade to black or something?
Playtime: 29 minutes and I think that’s 29 minutes wasted, I haven’t given the lowest rating in a long time, I even forgot what it stands for.. is it.. Avoid It?
1 Hour, 22 Minutes
Hey did you know that there’s a village called Middleville in Michigan, and one in Herkimer County, New York? That’s what I found when I was searching this up! ^_^
“Can’t find background image materials/console/startup_loading.vtf”
try http://www.planetphillip.com/posts/get-mods-working/ what worked for me is in the last post
Shame there were only 2 entries to this competition. And for me it ended up being a tale of 2 maps, I didn’t like Missed Flight much at all, but had a pretty good time in Mastermind’s Museum.
For me, Missed Flight had many of the irritating quirks of Tony’s map in BeginningVille – the locked doors all over the place, padlocks that can’t be broken, odd crates and vents, etc. Add that in with a consistent lack of direction in terms of the player advancing and a lot of backtracking, and you’re in for a frustrating experience. I ended up stuck right after the headcrab canister, because I didn’t take any rockets shots at the strider earlier, and he was still alive and bearing down on me as I tried to climb up the canister. But with his angle, I was permanently pinned there with no way to advance (mainly because the jumping required to get up the canister is so damned tricky) – so my options were to restart or quit. I quit out of sheer frustration.
Despite BeginningVille’s Collector’s Compound being frustrating at times, I also had quite a bit of fun playing it. The same goes for the follow-on entry here, Mastermind’s Museum. Yes, it is kind of a map with button-hunting, but the open design in the same style of Collector’s Compound was a nice environment for the mixture of combat (thankfully there’s a lot more cover here than in CC) and puzzles, where you had to not only find the buttons, but figure your way to reach them for the couple that are not straightforward.
Together, a middle-of-the-road pair of maps. There’s fun to be had but frustration as well.
1 Hour, 33 Minutes
The Mastermind’s Museum
This map, in my opinion, is pretty good, its a large complex building. Besides the buttons, which kinda gets a bit tedious, the building has many traps that you can repurpose for your disposal, and firefights flows well, this is the type of combat maps I like. Its wide, enormous, and plenty of cover, and supplies. Visually, its pretty clean, which is a plus.
I really enjoyed the airboat section.
I never had any trouble with it.
If Middleville was 100% maps like this, I would be rating it as one of my personal faves.
Missed Flight: Part 2
Now this is where the quality drops, the locked doors all over the place (why even have them in the first place if they’re going to be locked?), , unbreakable locks (why?), inconsistent backtracking. There is no direction in this map and its overall confusing and frustrating. This style of Half Life maps is the type I hate, there isn’t any pacing.
That keypad puzzle was clever in theory but poorly executed.
Also, climbing the headcrab shell is just on a Poke646 level of bizarre logic.
MiddleVille continues two maps from BeginningVille.
The Mastermind’s Museum
Phillip and JG found quite harsh words for this, but like many others I enjoyed it quite a bit. Much work and thought went into this and it’s again a quite large map. Combat is intense, but fun, and it’s not quite as frantic and annoying as in The Collector’s Compound, so it seems Mark listened to the feedback after BeginningVille. Of course, button-hunting is a bit old school, but I don’t mind some old school from time to time, and the map’s open design provided a really nice environment for mixing combat and puzzles.
Missed Flight – Part 2
Welcome to ConfusionVille! Or is it DeadEndVille? Or NoDirectionVille? RedHerringVille?
Honestly, I can live with Tony’s unbreakable padlocks and his occasional odd trigger, but the second part of Missed Flight is quite a mess, somewhere between “It’s bad” and “It’s okay”. I made it to the end (yes, there is and end, with fade-out and “To be continued …”), but the total lack of direction and the constant need to backtrack from some dead end was tedious and really got on my nerves, where hiding the code for some inconspicuous keypad on some inconspicuous monitor was only the beginning. So much time and creativity wasted, just to confuse and annoy most players.
Only two entries in this competition, so not much to say. IMO this is worth downloading for The Mastermind’s Museum (especially as this should give you somewhere between 30 and 60 minutes playing time), while you can skip Missed Flight Pt. 2. That said, there is a Pt. 3 in EndVille, so you need Pt.2, if you want the whole picture.
2 Hours, 35 Minutes
Been a while since I’ve logged in but I wanted to review this Ville so I decided to come back for it.
Collector’s Compound was a highlight of BeginningVille and this was definitely the highlight of this Ville too, though that was more so once I got inside the building and started pressing the buttons to get the cargo lift going. Things got so tense it was nuts, honestly. And I enjoyed how the traps kept things from being too straightforward. I really just like the kind of wide-open approach this map and its predecessor took.
no. This was a pileup of all of the author’s signature mapping quirks driven to extremes (unbreakable boxes and padlocks, locked doors with handles that never get opened, breakable grates that don’t look breakable, I can go on) AND THEN with a heavy dose of “backtracking with nothing to tell you you’re supposed to backtrack besides the fact that there’s no way to go forward” added to all of it. There was apparently a Strider in this map according to the other reviews but I didn’t ever encounter one so there must be something broken, too. And then there’s these times where doors are locked from one side and unlocked from the other side and all you have to do to get to the side where they’re unlocked is climb a vent and I don’t get why you even had to put the vent there why not just have the door unlocked in the first place. There’s a passcode on a monitor that’s so easily missable that it’s a surprise I didn’t miss it. There was a Vortigaunt prophet somewhere but I don’t know where the heck he was because I only saw him speaking in the closed captions and he never showed up in person on my end even though he did show up for other people. There’s a boiler that damages you heavily and you HAVE to climb onto it and the only way I could figure out how was to place a brick there and take damage before you could get on the brick and be safe, eknjrfuweorinfwdsrbkgeuiei
I don’t like this map at all and it’s the main reason why I wrote this review
1 Hour, 30 Minutes
I see what was asked but… why.