Remaining Mapping Challenges’ Dates

15th July 2017

I’ll be honest and say I wanted to fix the dates for the whole year in January and release them but as it turned out, it was better not to due to the addition of the new 50-Hour format.

Below are the dates of the remaining mapping challenges in 2017.

I do not envisage changing them but I will be open to the possibility.

Black Mesa Challenge 1: 26 July to 21 August

YAY! Finally, got this agreed. Initially, I was going to be working with the Crowbar Collective but cancelled at the last minute and now I’ll be running this alone. Like all other mapping challenges, this one WILL have a theme but unlike all other mapping challenges, it will be for Black Mesa (obviously!).

I have also added another week to this challenge to help with modders new to the BM set up. I actually wish I had finalised these dates sooner and could have give modders even more time to get comfortable with the engine etc – sorry.

50-Hour Mapping Challenge 3: 9/10 September

With the last two 50-hour challenges having over 20 entry maps each, it would be crazy not to do at least one more. As for the previous two challenges, the theme will be open enough to fit 50 hours of creation time. Think of these challenges as more experimental gameplay styles than traditional HL2 releases.

The Hammer Cup Challenge 4: 20 September to 9 October

Challenge 4 of The Hammer CUp will be 19 days and have a theme that requires entrants to balance design, polish and gameplay.

The Hammer Cup Challenge 5: 8 November to 4 December

Challenge 5 of the Hammer Cup will be a special theme and has an extra week.

50-Hour Mapping Challenge 4: 16/17 December

Another 50-hour challenge to finish the year. And no, it won’t be XmasVille or SantaVille, or RudolphVille – in fact it WILL NOT be related to Christmas at all.

Final Thoughts

As I said, I wish I had set and announced these dates earlier, especially the Black Mesa one, but I didn’t, so sorry. Here’s hoping for a spectacular release of SP maps between now and the end of the year!


  1. YAY A Black Mesa Ville!
    I think we’ve waited on that one for quite a while.

    Since Black Mesa doesn’t have good sourcemod support, you should make everyone upload their maps to the Steam Workshop (ofcourse private, not public) and when the time is up you can create a collection containing all entries. That’s how competitions are done for Counter-Strike, since that game doesnt have sourcemod support either.

    Of course, It would still be a good thing if there was a RTSL direct download for all the maps.

    1. I’ll need to check on that but you could be right.

  2. JamaicanDave

    Ah, the BM challenge is a little badly timed for me. Been trying to work on a BM map on and off since May and have finally got some traction. Was hoping to spend the next month or so finishing it off. On the other hand a break from it might be good. I can look at it with fresh eyes (and be horrified at what I’d created).

    As for releasing the challenge, I’d suggest getting everyone to e-mail the .bsp and .ain files like usual. You can zip them all together for a manual download on RTSL. You can also create a separate workshop submission containing them all (you’ll get more coverage on the workshop and updates are easy). There’s a document on the official BM forms how to do it, and if you get stuck there’s a few people you can ask (including myself).

    I’ll point out that black mesa hammer is automatically installed along with the game. Navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Black Mesa\bin, double click Hammer and away you go.

  3. I might suggest that the first Black Mesa comp should be fairly open-ended in terms of theme. There are few Black Mesa maps as it is. And not all entities are fully fleshed out yet or responsive to scripting, like the Tentacles, which can limit what mappers can do compared to what you’re used to with HL2.

    You’ll need to limit the use of custom content. That stuff would need to be bundled in the BSPs themselves and not everything can be done that way.

  4. I’m not really into Black Mesa Mapping so I’m gonna skip that competition. On the bright side, I’ll have a while to improve my mapping skills so my next entries offer somewhat more variation in gameplay and environments compared to the first two in THC17.

  5. Looking forward to it all 🤘

  6. I think BM does not get the attention it needs in HL community especially since BM devs have been working hard on Xen lately.

    When the schedule of 2017 THC mapping challenge was announced early of this year, I got really disappointed in terms of BM’s existence in it. Therefore, I kind of lost interest in challenges on the website since it has been 7 months and we did not hear any additional challenge (out of THC) about BM either. I played all the Ville challenges here except last two btw.

    From my point of view, in terms of HL and HL2/EP1/EP2 mapping/modding, they are kind of getting old day by day and there are hundreds of contents of them (I played maybe more than 250 maps/mods in total) already out there. There are unique, outstanding, interesting and all kind of good quality mods have been made, different styles have been tried, and we all enjoyed them very much.

    On the other hand, BM is giving us all the nostalgia with fresh graphics and dynamics. It has better physics, lighting, atmosphere and a modern way of PC gaming (more things can be added). I’d rather spend my time with BM from now on rather than HL/HL2/EP1/EP2.

    I’m not judging anyone. I’m just unburdening myself to the valuable members of this website. These are my personal opinions. Please do not get offended.

    I hope we get more BM maps/mods/challenges here in 2018.

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