Half-Life 2 has been around for longer than 13 years, but many will agree that the game has still not lost its charm.
However, as Episode 1 and 2 came out, people switched their focus to the new environments and gameplay that were introduced.
NostalgiaVille seeks to balance out the scale by re-introducing the classic environments of Half-Life 2 in the modern day.
Play through 8 official entries and 1 bonus map in this special 2018 mapping challenge.
- Title: NostalgiaVille
- Filename: sdk-2013-sp-rtsl-sc18-nv-v1.1.7z
- Size : 104MB
- Author: Dolmo, Joey Simas, T.B. Maloney AKA Papa Rabbi, Derek Jones AKA Taz, TheVikingBoi, Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon, Sockman, Nikodem Nowak AKA WALLe PL, Clément Baticle AKA Klems
- Date Released: 15 July 2018
THIS VERSION CURRENTLY CAN NOT BE USED WITH GAUGE. SORRY
- Make sure you have the “Upcoming” branch of the Source SDK Base 2013 Singleplayer installed in Steam and run at least once. (Properties – Betas – select “upcoming” from the dropdown list).
- Copy the “sdk-2013-sp-rtsl-sc18-nv” folder into your “SourceMods” folder.
- Restart or start Steam.
- RTSL.SC2018.NostalgiaVille should now be listed in your “Library” tab.
If you decide to use the Per-Map Opinion Images, please watch the video below and use this text file: sc18-nv-review-template.txt
In this challenge, you are given 2 months to create a level set in the early chapters of Half-Life 2 (think City 17 up to and including the Coast, however we find that the City and Canal sections in their pre-Uprising state are the least prominent within usual challenge entries). Don’t feel pressured to work for the whole 2 months, as that would mean a high risk of burning out, but consider the possibilities for the scope and scale of your entry.
A big focus of NostalgiaVille is, well, Nostalgia. The player should be reminded of the time when they first played Half-Life 2, and levels should, to some degree, feel familiar. So feel free to include HL2 Easter eggs, references, and maybe even altered segments of the original chapters in your entries. However, with time, technology and level design practices have improved.
We would like the early Half-Life 2 environments to be used and a level of familiarity in the level design to be kept, but gameplay can be either similar to the way it was in the original game or changed to add new concepts into the old environments, thus combining the new and old in your entry. Keep in mind that even if your map follows the same ideas from the environments in Half-Life 2, it should be polished and up-to-date with modern standards in other design aspects.
A good example of this is Jason Gimba’s Precinct 17, which is set in pre-Uprising City 17, Half-Life 2 but is detailed more similarly to an Episode 2 map, with more brushwork, props, higher lightmap density, particle effects and HDR. Undoubtedly, it is also structured better than old Half-Life 2 levels and mods, with clear distinction between action and calm moments, and there are plenty of techniques which manage how the player is led through the level and how they discover their surroundings.
Custom models, textures, music and other assets are very welcome, as long as they are integrated well into the environment.
Here is the challenge announcement page.
This challenge is a joint challenge between RTSL and Niker107. He suggested the theme, wrote the description, the length of time and other aspects. Essentially, it’s his challenge but run through RTSL.
The deadline for submission was 11pm UTC Sunday 24th June 2018
Listed as they are displayed in the mod itself:
- Metro by Sockman
- Cosmonaut By Dolmo
- Lone by TheVikingBoi
- Here Again by Derek Jones AKA Taz
- Canal Escape by Joey Simas
- Grigori by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon
- Power Up by Nikodem Nowak AKA WALLe PL
- Badwater 128 by T.B. Maloney AKA Papa Rabbi
- Freeman and Bob by Clément Baticle AKA Klems (Bonus)
The order of the maps was generated via random.org
Remember, the judges scoring is based on the final map submitted BEFORE the deadline. The actual released versions of maps and therefore the ones you played, may differ significantly from those initially submitted.
See below for the winners.
- Niker107 – NostalgiaVille host, HL2 mapper, RTSL ville participant, Joint 2nd Place winner of The Hammer Cup 2016.
- TanookiSuit – Experienced CS:GO mapper, member and staff on MapCore.org, 3rd Place winner of the MapCore 2017 level design competition.
- 3kliksphilip – CS:GO / Source mapper, creator of many early Hammer tutorials, prominent CS:GO YouTuber.
- Klems – HL2 and CS:GO mapper, 1st Place winner of The Hammer Cup 2017.
- TheWhaleMan – Experienced 3D modeler, environment and texture artist, member of MapCore.org
The top 3 entrants will win cash prizes as follows, all paid via PayPal:
- First place: $300
- Second place: $200
- Third place: $100
In addition, I am also very pleased to announce that a Metrocop face mask will be very kindly supplied by Michelle Sleeper and you can actually watch them being made on the Making It Up Twitch channel. Go check it out. Shows are on Tuesday and Saturday.
The Face mask will be offered as an alternative to the cash prize for the winner. If the cash is chosen, then the face mask will be offered to the second place and so on. If the third place chooses the cash, Niker and Phillip will decide how to allocate the face mask.
The winners are:
1st Place: Cosmonaut by Dolmo with 171 points!
2nd Place: Badwater 128 by T.B. Maloney AKA Papa Rabbi with 165 points!
3rd Place: Canal Escape by Joey Simas with 121.5 points!
4th Place: Metro by Sockman | HL2C with 74 points!
The full results can be seen in this Google Document
Niker: “Congratulations to all the winners and, of course, to everyone who has managed to participate. The winners will be contacted soon by myself and/or Phillip. Thank you to all the judges who have spent their time playing and analyzing the maps to hopefully pick worthy winners.”
Was very fun to play, even on my second play through. Scaling felt nice, and detailing was strong. Was nice to be rewarded for exploration, especially using some cheeky box boosts. The difficulty increased nicely. Always felt like I had just enough utility to handle every situation. Architecture was great, the whole brick hanger was very visually appealing. Really enjoyed this one overall. My only criticism would be the end fight feels like it could of been expanded upon. Fighting from a dinky wooden scaffolding works, but it feels like there could of been something more there.
Had fun playing it. You did some clever things, I really enjoyed the windows in the beginning, not only illuminating the path but forshadowing the fight I’d have to take. Rewarding the player for exploration was great, the little shotgun room with the window jump was very good, loved it. On my first play through right before the helicopter fight I only had 8 health, this made the last fight frustrating. Consider giving the user some HP before the last fight that doesn’t require a skill jump into a hidden window. Sometimes the visual were a bit bland, but nothing that hurt it the overall experience, the lighting was fine maybe sometimes a bit dark in some places.
Just felt like I was running around doing nothing the whole time. On my second play through it dragged on, especially the last fight. I’d kill all the enemies within the wave, and be sat there twiddling my thumbs waiting for the next wave. Visually the map was strong, the whole crashed landing into the ocean was neet. Rewarding the player for exploration also great. However beyond the visuals there was a lot to be desired.
Felt repetitive and anti climatic. Fighting the same enemy over and over again in generic rooms kinda got boring.
Wasn’t much to the map over all, very short.
The level felt claustrophobic and cluttered, traversing even simple hallways became a chore. I also found myself with a excessive amount of utility to handle every situation, this made the level less fun to play.
Fullbright brought the level down quite a bit, but your detail felt weird at times. Right before the strider there is a red room, your objective is to reach the control panel by climbing on boxes.
However there is no door way to the catwalk, or railing, nothing. How would people get there regularly? These are things you must think about when detailing. Of course this is one example, but similar criticisms can be applied to the rest of the level.
More focus needs to be taken in the player experience and detailing
I had to run this map like 4 times because it’s confusing. On my first play through I picked up the batteries instead of running over them, causing me to be unable to finish the level. One time the undercover cop got stuck in a roof??? The voice lines will play over each other if you do things to fast, and sometimes were just unclear on what to do. “See that big black building” but the building was the same size as all the other ones, and was more gray then anything else. Visually it needs work, you city feels boxy and and empty. I really didn’t enjoy myself. You were ambitious to try to do custom voice lines, which was nice to see the effort. I also enjoyed how you attempted a non linear progression, slowly unlocking different areas was neet, and you did some clever things you assist the player. The locks on the gates for instants where the player had to unlock one before the other was good. More time needs to be spent on the polish of the level.
You did a great job at utilizing a friendly NPC to make what would of been a pretty average level into something special and memorable. I had a lot of fun playing this map on the first play through and the second. The visuals can get a bit bland and could be pushed further but never took anything away from the experience. To be honest that last criticism was a nitpick.. Good work overall.
Badwater was a really beautiful entry, and one that evoked just as much nostalgia as Cosmonaut, but on my second playthrough of it I realized that it has some serious problems with gameplay. There are no autosaves, the cover in the final boss fight is nearly non-existent, and some of the buttons / objects the player interacts with don’t seem to explain what we’re doing. Still my 2nd place pick.
Canal Escape severly lacks visual fidelity in some sections of the entry while being normally detailed in others, which results in a lack of consistency. However, gameplay-wise it achieves most of what is required from a standard HL2 map.
Cosmonaut is overall an amazing entry that balances good visuals with nostalgic sensations and varied gameplay (I especially liked the puzzles and how the pipe puzzle is set up first before being used again). I practically have no complaints to make other than having to peashoot at metrocops too often and very poor timing in the boss fight; not sure how that turned out the way it did.
Grigori didn’t do much for me. The entry could’ve been more fun if the author spent some time adding in extra mechanics into the map, like puzzles. The player mostly just had to shoot zombies while going through empty environments.
Here Again suffered from being confusing and disjointed. It uses HL2-looking environments, but there isn’t really a story to the map, and I felt very lost at most times. The ending especially is extremely confusing and feels unfinished.
Lone was mostly a fun (if a bit cluttered) Ravenholm experience, however its scores were significantly lowered by very poor placement of cover for the player and overall lack of protection against the Combine; examples of this are the mounted turret segment and the final boss battle.
Metro was genuinely one of the more nostalgic entries of the competition and I really like the idea behind compressing the range of allowed HL2 chapters into a much shorter experience, but the entry was heavily underdetailed. The final boss battle also could’ve had more variety.
Power Up was an ambitious but overly rushed entry. The first time I played, I did some things in the wrong order and ended up having overlapping voice lines (so I didn’t know what was actually going on) and then spent doing pretty much the whole of the map in the wrong order. And as many others have, I struggled with finding the ‘black building’ that the metrocop only mentions once, so a lot of this entry was spent in mild confusion. Having to be killed to finish the entry is also not a very wise level design choice in my opinion, especially when it’s so easy to just avoid the metrocops.
Brilliant looking level. Gameplay was very enjoyable. Only issue I really had was the lack of checkpoints. Died quite a few times and had to restart the whole map. Bit annoying but otherwise map looks great and the choice of music really helps.
A really, really nice looking level with great lighting. The fighting sections were not too difficult which I liked. The RPG section was also quite fun.
This was one of my favorites that I played. I really don’t think I have any complaints. I think the area with the water was a bit confusing at first but I understood eventually. Lighting and detail was great, and the ending sequence was one of my favorite parts of any HL2 mod I’ve played before. A very well made mod.
Was hoping this level would be amazing as the concept of playing as Grigori sounded great. Sadly the execution was just not quite done as well as hoped. The level felt more like a button masher with endless zombie cycles.
This level was enjoyable to play. The ending however was a bit confusing and quite sudden. The sewer area also felt a little bit maze-like. I enjoyed the physics gun aspect a lot however.
This level looks really nice and the nighttime theme is done very well. The map is a little bit too dark in some places however, and I was a little bit frustrated during the sections with grenade throwing combine, as it seemed a little bit too difficult all at once.
This level was quite fun to play and the lighting was done really well. My only complaint would be that I was sometimes confused on where to go, such as the part where you must jump off the building into the water.
Level was quite enjoyable to play, and the voice actor did a great job. The voice acting also presented an interesting way of telling the player what to do. Sometimes I felt as though I didn’t know what I was doing however, and the ending confused me for a while, not knowing how to end the level.
You can read Klems full review here
Time for you to share your thoughts! Vote for your top 3 NostalgiaVille maps. Poll closes at the end of July 2018.
Freeman and Bob has not been included in this poll as it was a bonus entry.
What are your 3 Favourite maps from NostalgiaVille
- Badwater 128 by T.B. Maloney AKA Papa Rabbi (26%, 32 Votes)
- Power Up by Nikodem Nowak AKA WALLe PL (3%, 4 Votes)
- Grigori by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon (1%, 1 Votes)
- Canal Escape by Joey Simas (4%, 5 Votes)
- Here Again by Derek Jones AKA Taz (2%, 2 Votes)
- Lone by TheVikingBoi (1%, 1 Votes)
- Cosmonaut By Dolmo (47%, 58 Votes)
- Metro by Sockman (16%, 20 Votes)
Total Voters: 123
Voting closes 31st July 2018
0.9 – Judges’ and Entrants’ Version. First versions of maps. Version used to judge the entries.
1.0 – First public release. Badwater 128, Power Up, Here Again and Lone have been updated.
1.1 – THIS RELEASE. Updated the server and client dlls to the latest versions.
The RunThinkShootLive.Com introduction video was made by Jeff Muñoz (ThatoneJeff)” and he also significantly helped with logo design – thanks Jeff, you ROCK!
Caleb West (CW3D) created the extended remix of Brane Scan originally by Kelly Bailey from Half-Life 2
There are two custom gridview image included in this release.
They were the ones that had chapter images supplied by the entrant. That will be the new way of doing things from this point forward.
To use either of them, switch your Steam Library view to Gridview.
Right click on RTSL.SC2018.NostalgiaVille and chose “Set Custom Image”.
Click “browse” when a small windows appears and navigate to your SourceMods folder and the “sdk-2013-sp-rtsl-sc18-nv/steam-gridview-images/” folder and select the image of your choice.
You can of course, create your own image and use that.
PLEASE READ THEM SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY.
- Download the Submission Template and use that to submit your entry. The only exception is if you intend to submit only a map with no custom content – in which case you can just send the map (bsp), the graph file (ain), your mapname_readme.txt, and optionally the map source (vmf).
- End your map with a point_clientcommand firing this exact command: disconnect; startupmenu
- Maximum three maps per mapper per entry.
- The map must be original and not have been released publicly before.
- The map must run in system with only Ep2 installed
- By entering the competition you grant PlanetPhillip.Com and RunThinkShootLive.Com the right to release the map as part of the RTSL-SC2018-NostalgiaVille Mod.
- Maps must not appear on ANY other website before the release and for one month after the release of the mod.
- No assets from retail games other than HL2, HL2: Ep1, HL2: Ep2 and Lost Coast are allowed.
- Other assets are allowed with written permission from their original authors, which MUST be included in the entry, preferably a link to a public page that shows permission has been granted, in addition, custom assets AND MUST BE ABLE TO BE USED IN MONETISED VIDEOS.
- All files submitted MUST be in lowercase and any custom assets must have unique names, both folder AND files.
- Entrants are requested to send their VMF files in with their entry. A section in the ReadMe.txt file will make it clear that they are for educational purposes ONLY and MUST NOT be used as the base for other levels without prior permission of the respective author.
- Phillip’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into about it.
- The map MUST have a proper name.
- The map MUST have a proper filename: entryname_tlc18_c2.bsp
- Submit a mapname_readme.txt with your entry. Even if it is just your name and your entry, although you should try to create a proper one.
- If you do not receive a confirmation email without 24 hours of sending an entry, contact Phillip IMMEDIATELY.
In addition, any custom content must be able to be used in monetised playthrough videos posted on the internet.
This challenge was not sponsored. If you are an individual or company and interested in sponsoring a challenge, please contact Phillip (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss the options.
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