Modders: Choose the next Mapping Challenge!

1st September 2015

As a break from how I normally do things, I thought I would try something new:
I want modders/mappers to choose the next mapping challenge.

I give you three choices and you must select via the comments.

ONLY modders/mappers comments will count not players. Sorry, but it needs to be the modders/mappers who choose, since they do the hard work!

Below are the three choices. Please read the details, not just the titles.


A map built around the idea of using containers. They could be used as puzzles or placed in a simple warehouse where the player must navigate a maze to find the exit. They could be used for jumping puzzles or even as weapons.


Friends or foes – you decide, perhaps both. This map should include plenty of antlions, in fact maybe even a swarm. There could be a defence-type situation where the player must use turrets to survive or an attack-the-Combine-base-style map, where you are the overlord of a thousand eager antlions. You could also include antworkers too.

After playing this mod, you would probably never want to see another antlion again.


Another chance to imagine how height can be used to great effect in maps. The first VerticalVille mapping challenge produced some great maps and hopefully this second one will too.

Final Notes

Even if a challenge theme is NOT chosen, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be used in future, so don’t think it’s now or never.

Feel free to talk about how you feel about each theme.

Even if you hate all three, please try to avoid suggesting other themes – at least on this post. Just send me an email – I WANT to hear your ideas for new themes, but if I don’t limit the choices we will never choose.

I will make the final selection based on the comments this time next week and hopefully start the next challenge next Wednesday.


  1. Define “modder” from “mapper”.

    1. In this case no difference.

  2. Antlionville…so tempting…but I’d have to say Verticalville2. I really like to see mappers experimenting more with the z axis, and I’ve had a couple ideas floating around that might work for this. Whether or not I’ll have time is another thing entirely…

  3. Hm, ContainerVille doesn’t sound very interesting to me. No good ideas for that spring to my mind when I think about it.
    And I really hate Antlions (Also their AI can be really tricky to work with, not to mention if they are your ally the problem with navigating tight spaces).
    So my vote is definitely for VerticalVille, got some good ideas for that one already.

    Any news already when this mapping challenge might start?

    1. Any news already when this mapping challenge might start?

      As it says in the main post, hopefully next Wednesday.

      1. Oh, sorry. I missed that. Thanks 🙂

    2. I never had much of a problem with Antlion navigation. Their collision is smaller than it looks (their legs don’t count) so they can pass through normal-sized doorways. Unlike the infuriating rebel squads, they can fly out of the way if they block the player, or the player can kill or punt them if worse comes to worse.

      As enemies, the biggest issue with Antlions is that they close distance on the player very quickly. They have to, since they only have melee attacks. But this means that they need a larger battle space than other enemies. In Valve’s levels, they are rarely fought as enemies indoors.

      1. They also like to jump and look really cool when they do. So, double check that “ai_show_connect_jump”. And have any combine barricades? Maybe force jump link connections too, so they have to leap over the whole barricade.

  4. Salamancer

    My vote would be for either VerticalVille or Antlionville.
    Containerville sounds like a kind of dud theme.

    1. Salamancer

      Although having thought about it more, Verticalville is likely the best theme, objectively.


    Hi Phillip. I’ve never done a mapping competition on here before but I’ve been waiting for the next one because I’ve been considering doing one. So will my vote still count? If it does, I would have to go with Antlionville. I love antlions, but at the same time, hate them (sometimes they get so annoying).


      Actually, I would like to change my vote for VerticalVille 2. I just looked at some of the playthroughs and it seems like a really cool concept. Plus I heard antlions aren’t easy to work with.

      1. Yes, you can change your vote, no problem.

  6. I’d just like to say that something Jason Gimba said a long time ago has stuck in my mind. I’m paraphrasing here, but it was something like being forced to look deeper into how something works was good. It was a way to get better at something but also with a specific goal.

    What I am trying to say is that I recognize that antlions can be difficult to work with, but the only way you will get better at using them and thereby have a better understanding of Source is to use them. That’s part of the reason for some themes – to encourage you to develop your skills.

    Anyway, don’t panic, I’m not going to go against the general consensus of opinion, I just wanted to explain the skills development thing.

    1. Yeah, that’s mainly why I thought antlionVille was so tempting; I’ve never used them before.

  7. I personally feel more inspired for an AntlionVille challange, but there’s no doubt that VerticalVille 2.0 would be easier and offer more variety, so my vote is on that. Just stay away from “containerville”.

    1. It might just be me, but I personally enjoyed the ending in Episode 1 (running around the containers for a brief time). A map built around something like this would be quite fun I think.

  8. Mr.Walrus

    Personally I find AntlionVille to be the most intriguing, but like many others above, I think that VerticalVille 2 would offer more possibilities and be more accessible. VerticalVille 1 certainly inspired some great maps, so 2 shall hopefully do the same!

  9. I feel like I should start thinking about vertical things now.

  10. Corvatile

    Antlionville sounds great. I’d enter it for that.

  11. Considering I rarely manage/be able to commit time to making a map, I probably won’t enter. If I was to enter (which I still may do) then I would choose antlion ville.
    Although I like the idea of vertical ville, and some people say antlions are difficult to work with, I believe it would actually be easier to make an antlion map, and it could be possible to make fun gameplay quite quickly out of them.


  12. Dr. Hammer

    Why not all three? That might be interesting.

    But seriously, I vote VerticalVille 2: The re-vertical-ling. I loves me some vertical maps. And it gets the ol’ brain pumping. To the point that if I were to enter, regardless of what theme is chosen, the map would most likely be vertical anyways.

    So yeah, I guess it doesn’t matter.

  13. I wouldn’t feel right voting for a theme if I don’t intend to enter the comp.

    So, I’d just say that I’m not terribly fond of VerticalVille. It’s one of those ideas that always sounds good on paper, and something that people always insist they want, but rarely works out very well in the end and that’s why it’s seldom done. Nonetheless, I would have some ideas for it if it came to that. Whether or not they’d be strong enough to spark action is anyone’s guess.

  14. Corvatile

    Verticalville has been done before. Not enough maps use Antlions and an Antlion-themed map challenge would be great.

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