ReplayVille

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

29th December 2018

Hello and welcome to Challenge 5 in the Lambda Cup, a series of five Source single player mapping challenges.

If you are new to the Lambda Cup or mapping challenges, please see the event’s homepage: THE LAMBDA CUP 2018.

The theme for this challenge is “replay”.

Get ready to play through 9 new maps!

Basic Details
  • Title: ReplayVille
  • Filename: sdk-2013-sp-tlc18-c5-replayville.7z
  • Size: 292MB
  • Authors: Dalannar, AnonymoScoot, Steven Cabbage, LordDz, Skorly, 1upD, Jean Knapp AKA XBLAH, Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon, Rocky B, Jmp
  • Date Released: 29 December 2018

Download Options

Download to your HDD [292MB]

THIS VERSION CURRENTLY CAN NOT BE USED WITH GAUGE. SORRY

Manual Installation Instructions
  • 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-tlc18-c5-replayville” folder into your “SourceMods” folder.
  • Restart or start Steam.
  • RTSL.TLC18.C5.ReplayVille should now be listed in your “Library” tab.

Reviewing

If you decide to use the Per-Map Opinion Images, please either watch the video below or use the file below:

ReplayVille-Review-Template.txt

Thank you.

Theme Details

For this challenge, we would like to you create a map that is fun to replay – or that specifically rewards you for playing through again. Variety is the spice of life, so offering the player different experiences during playthroughs is key.

One way to do this is by offering the player choices. Choice of path, or weapons, or companions, and so on.

Randomness can also make significant changes to the experience. Random enemy locations, random timing of attacks, or even random map layout changes that can lead to interesting playthroughs are all fair game.

Ideally the player’s choices or any random elements will impact the playthrough and offer variety on a replay.

Full details of the theme can be found on its announcement page.

Stasis Crystal

This time there’s a twist: our latest research has developed a new function for the Gravity Gun. By finding and attaching a rare Stasis Crystal, the now-enhanced Gravity Gun has the added ability to freeze an object in space. Don’t worry, it’s not permanent – but the object will remain in stasis indefinitely until you use the Gravity Gun to move it again.

Use of the Stasis Crystal is optional in this challenge.

Mappers can give players the classic Gravity Gun or the Super Gravity Gun – and both versions may be enhanced with the Stasis Crystal.

We envision the Stasis Crystal having many uses, from blocking, reaching areas, puzzle-solving, attacking, defending and probably many others.

Entries

Listed as they are displayed in the mod itself:

Multiverse Learning Center by Dalannar (Tutorial map, not part of the challenge)
Master Chef by AnonymoScoot
Mind Collapse by Steven Cabbage
Uprising by LordDz
Aqua Drainage by Skorly
Divergence by 1upD
Die Another Day by Jean Knapp AKA XBLAH
Postmortem by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon
Way Through the Woods by Rocky B
Dungeon by Jmp

The order of the maps was generated via random.org

Winner and Points

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.

Here are the top three places, the tightest challenge perhaps we’ve ever had!

  1. Winner: Die Another Day by Jean Knapp AKA XBLAH: 87 Points
  2. Second: Aqua Drainage by Skorly: 86 Points
  3. Third: Way Through the Woods by Rocky B: 85 Points

Note: Abraham was unable to judge and score this challenge due to personal circumstances. Dolmo has kindly stepped in as a replacement judge.

Full details of all the points can be found on The Lambda Cup 2018 Public Points Spreadsheet.

Judges

Phillip, Don, Dan, Crowbar and Dolmo are the judges for this challenge.

Community Poll

Time for you to share your thoughts! Vote for your top 3 ReplayVille maps. Poll closes 30th January 2019.

Which are your 3 favourite maps from ReplayVille?

  • Dungeon by Jmp (5%, 10 Votes)
  • Way Through the Woods by Rocky B (3%, 6 Votes)
  • Postmortem by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon (8%, 15 Votes)
  • Die Another Day Jean Knapp AKA XBLAH (19%, 35 Votes)
  • Divergence by 1upD (7%, 13 Votes)
  • Aqua Drainage by Skorly (16%, 29 Votes)
  • Uprising by LordDz (19%, 36 Votes)
  • Mind Collapse by Steven Cabbage (21%, 39 Votes)
  • Master Chef by AnonymoScoot (2%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 89

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More About The Lambda Cup 2018

The Lambda Cup 2018 consists of five mapping challenges, each with a different theme.
Entrants will receive points for each challenge they enter.
At the end of the event, the best 3 points totals from the challenges they entered will be added together for each entrant.
These totals will decide who wins the Grand Prizes.
This means that entrants do NOT have to enter each and every contest to win the grand prize but they will need to have entered at least 3 challenges to have a chance of winning the grand prizes.
For more details visit the Lambda Cup homepage.

Release Versions

0.9 – Developers’ and Judges’ Version. First versions of maps. Version used to judge the entries.
1.0 – THIS RELEASE. No known issues.

Credits

Niker107 created the Mertz Module models.
Dalannar created the Multiverse Learning Center map and Salamancer created various custom textures for it.
Thanks to all of you for working on such short notice!
Caleb West AKA CW3D created the extended remix of Brane Scan originally by Kelly Bailey from Half-Life 2

Steam Grid View Images

There is 1 custom gridview image included in this release.
To use it, switch your Steam Library view to Gridview. Right click on RTSL.THC2018.C5.ReplayVille and chose “Set Custom Image”. Click “browse” when a small windows appears and navigate to your SourceMods folder and the “sdk-2013-sp-tlc18-c5-replayville/steam-gridview-images/” folder and select the image of your choice.
You can of course, create your own image and use that.

Screenshots

WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Reader Recommendations
Avoid It!
Think Twice
Maybe
Play It Later
Play It Now!

6 recommendations, average score: 5 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0 (what's that?)
Total Downloads
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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 8 comment(s) with meta review data.

Installed:
Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 6 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 3 Hours, 15 Mins
Shortest: 1 Hours, 30 Mins by fingunray
Longest: 6 Hours by Winterman
Total Time Played: 25 Hours, 59 Mins
If you believe this release is missing important tags, please suggest them in a comment?
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33 Comments

  1. Excellent, I’ll get stuck into this later on…

  2. Play It Now!

    At first I didn’t like the maps from this challenge, but once I played again, I could pick a few that were good. I think most of us didn’t fit well the theme. I don’t consider random spawning enemies as a replayable factor. It should be used between deaths so the player doesn’t know by heart where every enemy is. But still it’s not a reason enough to play again.

    Dungeon by Jmp
    It is great!

    This map looked bad, but I guess looks weren’t the objective here. It introduced a “new” gameplay, kinda like that Too Many Crates mod. What I really missed were autosaves. I had to cheat in my last playthrough so I wouldn’t have to play it all again as I was almost at the end. I didn’t see any replay value, except if it was to consider that it was “open world”, so I didn’t had to follow a linear path.

    Way Through the Woods by Rocky B
    It is okay

    It was hard to hear the dialog at the start, and I missed what I was supposed to do. I guess it had to do with the different routes the player could use. The squad was more annoying than helping, but it was a nice add. I didn’t like that the helicopter had it’s health lowered to speed up the fight. The final battle was cut short because of that.

    Postmortem by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon
    It is good

    This map was interesting, it had a nice environment. Some areas nailed the dark atmosphere, but others made it hard to see. The story is sad, but it reaches it’s climax in the middle of the game, and the following scenes almost make me forget about it. There were a few different options given to the player that could give different routes, so the player should really play again to test them all.

    Die Another Day Jean Knapp AKA XBLAH

    I’m not evaluating my own submission, but I published a Developer Commentary, in case anyone is interested.

    Divergence by 1upD
    It is good

    This map clearly had two routes you could follow. Each one spawned different enemies and different weapons. What I didn’t like was that the combat was too repetitive, and enemies spawned from places that had already been cleared up. It was the only one who used the mertz module, which is a plus, but it was only used to clear some pathways, much like an alternative crowbar. Another nice point was that it had a story behind, but it was a bit hard to understand it.

    Aqua Drainage by Skorly
    It is WOW!

    This one was my favourite, because of it’s looks. It has a HL2 Beta feel that the author nailed it, in my opinion. The map was really long, which is not a bad thing, since it was not tiring. I also died a lot and I think a few autosaves should be tweaked, and I hated the helicopter fight: because it dropped infinite bombs and because it flew really high or really low, and because of the dark environment, it was hard to spot it. But anyways, this one was my favourite.

    Uprising by LordDz
    It is WOW!

    The way the author used the theme here really nailed it. He cleverly used the autosave feature to allow the player to die and spawn as another character while the timeline stood intact. The combat sequence was long and there were a few things that could be better, but considering the theme, the looks and the gameplay, this entry was the one that most fitted the challenge.

    Mind Collapse by Steven Cabbage
    It is great!

    It was mostly combat, but it was nice. The environment and sound were good enough, and the combat was frequent so it had a nice flow. I didn’t see the replay value except for maybe using different weapons to do the run again.

    Master Chef by AnonymoScoot
    It is dire!

    This was the first map available in the challenge and, in my opinion, it was really bad. Maybe I missed something or what I was supposed to do, but for me it looked like it was just a bunch of npcs randomly spawned inside narrow corridors and tight rooms. I saw no replay value there. Please, let me know if I’m wrong.

    My favourite, as I already said, was Aqua Drainage. The author ended up using the same theme as me, but designed it with a totaly different atmosphere and gameplay. Also, the length of the entry was more than enough, which is a nice thing. Second place is Uprising, that introduced a nice gameplay feature that really fitted the theme.

  3. Steven Cabbage

    My map mind collapse has three ways to complete, u just should go straight ahead the street in the beginning

    1. Steven Cabbage

      Its my fault, I didn’t sigh that my map has three different ways to complete it

      1. shark

        You are not to blame Steven. The problem is that these days players don’t take the time to explore anymore, it’s all instant gratification, binge, fast run and get to the end quickly. I am from an older generation, my first computer was a C64 and we needed to load games with a cassetteplayer and the games were meh at best…But I learned to enjoy the moment and play the games to their fullest, that’s why I did not miss your inventive three different paths. Didn’t even have to look hard. Great map by the way. Rgds.

        1. Trivvy

          “Am I at fault? … No, it’s the players who are wrong!”

          If you take the first route presented to you, you’re locked in to it, so unless you’re aware of the different paths then you could leave the map thinking that was the only one.

          Babbling on about how old you are, and therefore superior at games sounds pretentious, and as someone who also likes to take his time and explore every route, your attitude makes me cringe.

          What could have been done to improve the map is somehow signal to the player the possibility of different routes, even if it’s something as simple as a light cue. The checkpoint could be distinctly blue, whilst off at the end of the road you see a very distinctly orange light illuminating the doorway to the other path, and then the manhole could be red, etc.

          Not everything can be blamed on “Players these days!” And it’s a bad mindset to fall in to.

          1. shark

            Touched a nerve did I?

            1. Trivvy

              Unless you have a rebuttal, I think you just admitted you were wrong. Very well.

              1. shark

                Rebuttal: alternate path clearly visible behind Barney at junction. You missed it, payer at fault. You are wrong. QED.

        2. I agree with Trivvy. Players are not supposed to go around exploring stuff. If this wasn’t called ReplayVille, people wouldn’t even wonder if there was an alternate path. Steven Cabbage’s map was great, top of the competition, in my opinion. But for me, he placed the bifurcation in a spot the players couldn’t reach anymore if they took the main route [watch my walkthrough and you will see that even when I’m showing the alternate path, I accidentaly get stuck between the gates and can’t go back].

          That’s just my feedback. And shark, if you expect players to only play the map the way you thought they would, you are gonna have a bad time. If this review was for you, I wished you took it as a positive feedback, which you didn’t. The same thing happened to my submission and at the last minute I almost didn’t submit it, but considering the context of these competitions, a map is better than no map.

          1. Fingunray

            I also agree with Trivvy. I think Steven handled it in a good way, and took constructive criticism well. But shark, there was no need to mention how your older and superior and that you owned a commedor 64. The player shouldn’t have to search for the paths. I think the map was very well constructed, and I especially enjoyed the section where your in the front of the Nexus building. But I think the routes should of been a bit clearer.

          2. shark

            Entitled to my opinion like you. Why are you picking on me for pointing out certain behaviours of players ?

            1. Because we gave constructive feedback, not like you. It’s never the player’s fault. I have just watched someone on youtube accidentaly break my map because he kept spamming the class selection menu. My fault, not his.

          3. shark

            Well, I disagree. When you get to the bifurcation and look straight ahead you can clearly see the open door behind Barney, if you missed it it’s because you moved too quickly.
            My age has nothing to do with it and my comments remain valid and calling me pretentious just shows some people’s touchiness about their own abilities as players.
            You missed it guys, suck it up. Maybe you need a flashing arrow saying “THIS WAY”?
            Some players don’t bother to explore and have an urgency to get to the end thus missing half the fun. Others seem to require handholding at every corner, that also takes the fun away.

            1. Tell me, what did you observed on this very Earth that every modern players are like this? At first, I respected you, now you’re falling on being narcissistic.

              1. Shark

                For starters the review I reacted on: that’s how this whole debate started. It is obvious that the reviewer did not take his time explore the area but was very quick in criticizing the mapper for not making the different paths more obvious. I got a s@#%load of criticism for defending the mapper and in the end provided clear evidence that the mapper did put hints in the right place and that the player is at fault for not finding them. Now all of a sudden I’m a narcissist? Dudes, get a grip…

                Furthermore there are plenty of “walkthroughs” on YouTube where it’s all about speed and get to the end as fast as possible; there are even “speed runs” for crying out loud! There are whole areas which are not explored at all. May I draw my conclusion that playing has generally become more “get-to-the-end” oriented rather than explore and see what’s there without being called nasty names?

                If people disagree they should do it with verifiable evidence or solid arguments, name calling does not qualify.

                1. One thing I would agree to you is the fact that the secret path is as good as it is. Just my opinion.

                  But was it necessary to brag about you being a gamer from like, what 1960s? It can give you a bad look, man.

                  On your topic of speedruns, that is the WHOLE POINT that it exists! The players who has done these are those who have known the glitches and exploits by either playing or researching. Take Half-Life 2 speedrun for example. You won’t see the players picking up a lot of ammo or fighting a lot of enemies. This is because speedrun is about completing the game in the shortest amount of time as one can conceive. That means you will always be moving to the next section while only killing enemies that are absolutely necessary to progress. Here’s a thing, enemies in games are secretly avoidable, except trying to avoid them would make playing the game much harder, because they are presented in a way that you feel like you must kill them to progress. That means Lambda Caches are, while can help them, hunting for them becomes trivial. Plus, you won’t be needing a lot of health or ammo if your whole point is to progress without doing a lot of fighting. So yeah, they won’t walk to that off-beaten path if they would only find a dead end, that’d add more seconds to the clock.

                  For walkthroughs, they are essentially “guides” on how to progress. They would tell the viewers how to get past these sections. These people have also played the games multiple times too, so they can memorised the encounters and the levels like the speedrunners. I’m pretty sure they won’t take the path that would only lead them to dead ends or at best some collectibles/easter eggs. (Unless they are doing 100% walkthrough, but then again collectibles may or may not included, and easter eggs very less so.) That is because they are here to tell the players what to do to progress. They played the game for like 20 times beforehand, so they know that this path only leads to one item or pointless collectibles so yeah, why would they take time on that? They may appreciate the scenery, but they’re not doing a Let’s Play.

                  1. shark

                    wasn’t bragging about being an old gamer, you missed the point about things going slower and therefore giving you more complete gaming experience. Sorry you didn’t get it.

                2. I might also add that there are still some games that helpfully rewards exploration, such as Borderlands, Dead Space, Wolfenstein, DOOM, or even some cases Call of Duty!

  4. Play It Now!
    Master Chef
    It is dire!

    I have no idea what the hell I am supposed to do in this map. There are different floors with each containing different enemies, but I don’t know why I should kill them or leave them alive. I couldn’t find an exit or anything. Maybe I am doing something wrong?
    For the visuals, they are very standard.

    Mind Collapse
    It is good

    Liked this one. You need to get into a building where Dr. Breen is. You can choose to get into the building from the front (which is the most action-packed) from underneath (sewers with zombies) or from behind (with snipers and some Combine). I liked all three of them, and how they are all different from each other.
    One thing that I didn’t like was combat with the Combine. In a lot of areas you get barely any cover, meaning you will often have to run in areas where you are completely exposed.

    Uprising
    It is great!

    This entry has a pretty neat idea. Everytime you die, you get to take control of another rebel. And believe me, you will die A LOT. The creator made it so that you are extra weak, so if you are being shot for 3 seconds, you’re done for. The thing is, you get a loading screen everytime you die, and the loading screens in this mod are quite long. This means you will spend most time in this entry waiting for the loading screen to finish than actually playing.
    Also, I loaded another map while still in this entry once, and the more-damage-effect was still present. This is kind of breaking a rule about applying settings that affect other maps. Please don’t bring down the rating for this entry for that, as this is a pretty good entry and most players won’t join another entry while playing one anyways.

    Aqua Drainage
    It is good

    Jesus this map has A LOT of different paths. Although most of them lead to the same thing, it was still enjoyable to replay this entry and try the other paths.
    Apart from being a good entry for the replay-factor, it’s also really good at all the other aspects (combat, level design, etc.). The end is quite epic with it’s final battle.

    Divergence
    It is great!

    I had a lot of fun playing this entry. Replay-factor was there, combat was great and the map looked quite good. I almost have no complaints about this one.

    Die Another Day
    It is WOW!

    This entry made the best use of the theme Replay. You can choose from four different classes, each with their own weapons and abilities. It was really fun to play with each of the classes, because each class plays differently.
    The visuals are great, apart from some weird purple reflections. This is for me the winner of this competition.

    Postmortem
    It is good

    This entry had the best atmosphere. Good use of lighting and other effects give the world a disturbing feeling. Shame that when the combat kicks in, the atmosphere is basically erased. The transition is also very sudden. One moment you are crawling underneath a infested city, and the next moment you are in a hospital with six Combine Soldiers around the corner.
    One of the biggest issues this entry has, is the optimization. I noticed a lot of framedrops. There were also visual issues. Some decals suddenly turn fully white, buildings will disappear when looked at a certain way, it really distracts you from the perfect atmosphere this map has.

    Way Through The Woods
    It is great!

    Replay-factor in this entry was trying to help as many rebels as you can escape. This is done in a very good looking map, the good use of effects like rain make it worth looking around in.
    One of my (only) complaints were that the rebels tend to stop following you and just stand still. I had to regularly check behind my back to see if my squad was still there.
    The final battle was a bit short and not really spectacular in any way. Other than that I don’t really have any complaints.

    Dungeon
    It is good

    Although simplistic in it’s level design, this entry plays quite well. You are chased by a monster in a building and you need to find batteries to open a door. The replay value for this entry was collecting as many gold bars, these are found everywhere around the map.
    The music was a really good choice. It perfectly captures the situation you are in, and it makes you feel a bit uncomfortable.
    My biggest issue with this entry is that it is very easy to get lost in the map due to the simplistic level design. When I found a key I had to jump around the map for minutes before I eventually found the place I was supposed to be.

  5. Play It Now!

    This was the first map challenge to be posted during my use of the site. I really liked the idea and was waiting in anticipation for it to release. I have to say I wasn’t disappointed either!

    Master Chef by AnonymoScoot
    It is bad

    When I entered the map, the objective was pretty clear. You have to put various items into a big pot to make a soup of some sort. The problem was, it just went on and on. There were various items on the bottom floor and zombies upstairs, there was even a hole to shoot zombies so they’d fall in a pot, but I never pulled this off. I feel like the idea was good, but it was badly executed. If there were less items required to finish it would have been better.

    Mind Collapse by Steven Cabbage
    It is good

    Mind collapse was okay, the map was well done and was fun to play but I couldn’t find any other paths than the one I took. I assume there is more than one, but I only found one where you walk down the main street and turn right. The creator was on the right track, but could’ve mde the paths more obvious. You could put combine shooting at you from one. Or maybe have a rebel usher you down another.

    Uprising by LordDz
    It is WOW!

    I really, really enjoyed this map. The basic idea, is that you go through a bunch of scenarios, where you quite easily die. Even on easy, death is prominent. When you die, it uses some form of quicksave black magic to let you continue playing as a different character in the same building, but best of all, everything you did on a previous life, is saved into your next life. If you’ve played a newer battlefield game, it’s similar to the opening sequences, but in a single space. Its a fantastic map.

    Aqua Drainage by Skorly

    It is WOW!

    This map is fantastic in game-play and choices. In itself, the map could do well in a number of competitions. It’s a good blend of game play and environments, and was fun every moment I played. In terms of choices, from the beginning you had the chance to go stealthy or just shoot everything, which I enjoyed. There were also some good choices. I’d definitely recommend you play this map.

    Divergence by 1upD
    It is bad

    I going to have to be honest, I did not get this map. I got that you have to put the plug into the teleporter, but after that, I was lost. I went to a different version of the room and for some reason, Judith was behind a bunch of planks. This and master chef were the only maps I did not complete.

    Die Another Day Jean Knapp AKA XBLAH
    It is WOW!

    I adored this map, and actually replayed it 2 or 3 times before moving on. It’s class based which is unique and works really well. As soon as I saw a screenshot on the RTSL twitter page, I was impressed. The actually class select screen works very smoothly, and the classes themselves provided different experiences of the map. The sniper let you climb a tower and use a custom made rifle to aid from above! Definitely a great map.

    Postmortem by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon
    It is great!

    This map had some great story telling, you can read some notes and have a clear objective. The first time I played, I encountered a glitch where I did not set off a trigger in the bar so I had to restart. I also replayed this one, I wont spoil why, but I wanted to have another shot at the objective. The multiple paths were clear and well thought out and it was a decent map overall.

    Way Through the Woods by Rocky B
    It is good

    This map was quit fun, the choices were clear, but the map itself was a bit confusing. There was a section with toxic waste, but it didn’t harm me or my team, so I was avoiding it for nothing. I thought the finale was a bit anticlimactic as well, but the choices were fun.

    Dungeon by Jmp
    It is good

    I have mixed feelings about this map. I liked some aspects but not others. The gold collecting was cool, and I liked that you could go out of your way to get more, but I didn’t like having to collect the batteries. The guardian that chased you was pretty cool though. It was actually quite scary having a black mass hurtling after you!

  6. I completed the whole ReplayVille today, and the best map for me was Mind Collapse by Steven Cabbage I think this entry was sticking to the point, making you play the map over and over again for different approach every time. First when i started playing the map i didn’t went straight to the first option, i simply went exploring, i went past Barney’s position and saw open door and noted it as a second approach for later, i completed the map map with it’s first approach.After that i played my second approach, i went in that computer room got out of it and i noticed an open sewer i noted that as a third option, i completed it for the second time, and the sewers were my last approach and again i completed it.
    *Now let’s talk about the approaches:
    -The first one “The Nexus Approach” (as i call it) was the most difficult approach in this map you face a lot of combine soldiers ,the elite soldiers and few Hunters and a few Striders…
    The second one “The Snipers Approach” (as i call it) was not that hard except for the Antlion Guard area which was also very difficult.
    -The third one “The Sewer Approach” (as i call it) was the easiest and quickest there were lot’s of zombies, headcrabs and a few soldiers with. (This was the best approach for me, and more stealthier).
    Thanks to the Author who created this map and sorry, if there were some mistakes in this text because English is not my first language.

    1. I’m with you, Mind Collapse was, for me, by far the best entry, it stuck to the point and was fun to play.

    2. Steven Cabbage

      Thank you so much for you feedback.

      1. No problem mate, you just done what is needed to be done, some of the entries were stupid, confusing, but this was my favorite!

      2. absolutely…please make some more…

        1. Too sad Philip left this site. There is not going to be any Villes…. Damn it!

  7. Half-LifeJunkie

    Excellent – still not fast enough to crank the wheel and get through the door on game 3 – an age thing maybe 🙂

    Well done every one of you for fine efforts….

  8. Play It Now!

    As much as I’d love to say this was a “personal favorite” considering how great the theme was and the fact that this will likely be the last Ville ever (if not, the last Ville ever overlooked by Phillip), I don’t think it quite reaches the height of FusionVille. That said, there are some great maps in here, so lets get into it!

    Master Chef by AnonymoScoot
    It is bad

    I was torn between “Dire” and “Bad” for this one, but I think I will give it a pass because its clear that this is a mapper who is still learning, and with that context in mind, it isn’t the worst map I’ve seen. The concept was nice, it was just executed poorly.

    Mind Collapse by Steven Cabbage
    It is good

    I know that everyone really loved this map, but personally, I just thought it was “good”. No disrespect to Steven Cabbage or his map, as the map is still quite fun, but I found it to be a bit uninteresting in concept and execution. This might just be a personal taste thing, as I generally prefer maps that stray from the typical Half-Life 2 style, but for me, this map didn’t do much that was particularly memorable or stand-out.

    Uprising by LordDz
    It is great!

    The only thing holding this map back from being “Wow” is the confusion I had on my first playthrough (granted, on an early playtest version, but from what I can tell it wasn’t any different in this regard), alongside the mild annoyance of waiting for the map to load after every death. Very interesting idea, and as far as “Use of theme” goes, this map takes the cake.

    Aqua Drainage by Skorly
    It is good

    As with “Mind Collapse”, this one didn’t feel too different to an average HL2 map, but it was certainly entertaining from start to finish. One of the nicest looking maps in this challenge. Not much else to say about this one, Good job Skorly.

    Divergence by 1upD
    It is good

    Its clear that 1upD ran out of time with this one, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. Aside from some small nitpicks and confusing moments, there really isn’t much wrong with this map. At its core, the idea wasn’t too interesting as a “replayable” map, but as a one-off Half-Life map, I would say that this is certainly worth your time.

    Die Another Day by Jean Knapp AKA XBLAH
    It is WOW!

    My personal favorite. I was between giving this a “Great” and a “Wow” because of the lack of soundscapes, but the presentation of the map makes up for this slack. If I had to provide a second complaint, it would be that the classes don’t play all that different to each-other (with the exception of one), but aside from that, this map is essentially perfect. Great job.

    Postmortem by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon

    I plan to upload a development commentary soon, which I will link to here when I do, but for the mean time, I created this video going through the creation of the map: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlhRJepk-HM

    Way Through the Woods by Rocky B
    It is good

    This is another map that suffers from being somewhat bland/uninteresting to me, but yet again, I can’t point to any particular element of this map and say it is “bad”. Regardless, I still had a fun time playing, and my only real complaint aside from the aforementioned one is that the “Different Paths” approach didn’t really resonate with me here. Granted, I did the same thing, so I guess I cannot really complain.

    Dungeon by Jmp
    It is good

    I was between giving this an “Okay” and a “Good”, but I went with “Good” because the Antlion Guardian managed to make me jump five feet out of my chair when I realized it was still on my tail. I was pretty confused about this map on my initial playthrough, but I must commemorate Jmp’s very different approach to this challenge. While it might not be the best in terms of execution, at it’s core, it was a reasonably fun adventure.

    Summary

    Well, that’s it. The final installment of The Lambda Cup, and quite possibly the final “Ville” ever. Its sad to think that this may be my last challenge review I write on this site, but at the very least, I am glad to see that it ended on a high note.

  9. Play It Now!

    The last challenge of the Hammer Cup 2018 is here!

    Master Chef
    It is dire!

    What. The. F***. So judging from the title I initially thought it’d be some sort of fun cooking map that you can replay over and over. My God, how wrong was I.

    To start off, you are given no clue or introduction on what to do. I explored the map after realizing gas barrels and propane tanks doesn’t make a good soup at all. I discovered that the weapons are somehow hidden inside the crates and nothing tell me they were there. Also, other than “Quality +1” there is no indication that you are doing it right.

    From what I assumed, you are supposed to exit the kitchen and explore the apartment for the so-called ingredients. The map is a cluster hell of enemies crammed into a single room, you will be running back to the ammo crates every 20 seconds.

    Hell, among the NPCs to fight are Barney and Alyx. I’m not sure if the creator catch this, but unless you have some sort of ridiculous GMod SWEPs you will never be able to take these two on.

    Mind Collapse
    It is good

    While not much spectacular, it really pulls off the replay value. Now, this map in a nutshell is the “Follow Freeman!” chapter with each section of the chapter divided into paths and each path has its own sort of theme.

    The first path is very combat oriented- I like it. Although, it could have used more cover. I didn’t expect my first fight to be three AR2 Soldiers and a Hunter in an open street. It was too open, in my opinion. The area in front of the Nexus is very barren and kind of feel artificial. The entrance is more spammable than a TF2 map chokepoint. The Elites were really trivial to fight, since you can spam the RPG.

    The second path is puzzle-oriented. You got dodge-the-sniper, rooftop Soldiers, and dodge-the-Antlion-Guards. I’m not sure but did the Combine really teach the Soldiers to rappel even though there’s an enemy that can kill him when doing that? It was tense and really good. Although, I kind of disagree with some people, the door leading to this path is as subtle as it should be. Maybe change the light color, because it sort of camouflaged the door a bit too well.

    The third path takes you into a Zombie infested sewer, before ending with Policemen. I somehow find it a little bit easy, easier than the rest. Probably because the supply crates keep feeding me shotgun shells.

    The ending is a little awkward, how does Barney know that I have arrived and bust in? I also have to wait for a moment to shoot Breen, for some reason.

    Uprising
    It is WOW!

    Absolutely fantastic. I did not expect this concept at all! As soon as you die, you get to control another rebel. This reminds me of the opening sequence of Battlefield 1. The creator also kind went off to the path of Entropy: Zero, you take more damage, a lot more damage. This is probably done because if you don’t die, you won’t get to see its gimmick. Fortunately, and also to compensate the fact that the Combine have faster reaction time, they also take more damage. The spawns of the items and rebels are randomized too, I think. Sometimes, I lament for getting a bad spawn because my rebel forgot to bring backup ammo. Also occasionally the map is glitch, from my playthrough I died from an energy ball, I switched to the next character, I kept dying over and over again because he kept getting hit by the ball and they won’t let me switch.

    Partition for a mod that tells the story of the rebels around the World? Anyone?

    Aqua Drainage
    It is great!

    This map not only uses choices for new gameplay, but also variation of enemies. I remember that on my first playthrough, I encountered a headcrab immediately, which didn’t on the second. While the paths lack its own theme like Mind Collapse, it’s a neat way for presenting choices, even though all paths are connected after some minutes.

    My only complaint is that the final fight in the courtyard is a bit too dark, it was also a bit brutal. The chopper really gave a run for the money.

    Divergence
    It is great!

    OK, 1UpD is pretty much onboard the Epistle 3 wagon now. I really like to see Mossman finally fighting, and also I really like the choices that were present. The combat was really solid and each choice has its own theme. One is Combine, another is zombie.

    What I didn’t like was, like someone said, the enemies spawn from areas that you have already been. This makes their appearance really awkward and unnatural. There’s also not much variety in combat.

    The ending caught me off guard, but although I really never see Judith as an actual backstabber though. You can also change the ending by being kind to someone in need, which rewards you with supplies.

    Die Another Day
    It is WOW!

    DIRE! It’s ripping off a James Bond movie name, and does not in anyway feels like one! Just kidding..

    The class system already earned a WOW for me. Overall, this map encourages you to try a different approach and it pulled it off successfully. I feels like there’s a reason why the Demo is a black dude. Hm….. *cue drunken Scottish noises*

    However, there are some things I want to talk about. The Electronic class would shine more if only him gets the Gravity Gun, because Assault and Demo have it too so that means his arsenal didn’t stand out to me much. Also, he is advertised to have a shotgun but I didn’t get one and it’d make more sense if Assault has it instead. I also wish the gimmick of Demo and Electronic are used more, because the breaching charges and hacking tool just feel like “skip puzzle” button. I also was disappointed that the “Divert Dropship” ability is basically run back to the car before it lands, something that I already managed to do as Assault.

    For the Sniper, she is OK, but it’s not much of a challenge playing as her. I’m not sure what “Rappel” is.
    My squadmates’ pathing is a bit annoying, but I blame it on the engine. Also, I actually didn’t catch the RPG being “unlocked” next to me so I ran like Hell to the car after the Gunship showed up. It was also because I expected the Demo to do his job.

    Postmortem
    It is good

    Matt, you have pulled it off. Not great, but I consider it an improvement even though it is plagued my constant framerate issue and red messages flooding my console menu. The map starts off quite nicely. I also like the atmosphere and attempt to tell a story, it was good. Occasionally, however, the map is too dark due to the lightning choice. I also like the fact that should I drink too much, I basically starts off with no weapons at all.

    The Sniper is really unfair, he can see me through cover and can shoot right underneath his window, not to mention he is a surprise encounter so he will get a drop on you first.

    The path splits quite nicely. Although, I’m not sure if there is any way to save Victoria.

    As soon as I meet Victoria, all the drama and feelings evaporated when action sequence begins. It ruined what it tried to build in the first place. I really like how you managed to tie the ending with ActiveTransport, although still not forgiving the random teleportation it has.

    One final minor flaw is I had no idea where to sit in the bar until I mashed buttons.

    Way Through the Woods
    It is good

    Really randomized and really good. Every zones and paths can be a lot different each playthrough. It first was frustrating for me but I subsequently managed to enjoy it.

    However, I want to say that the Mountain Pass choice is absurdly a breeze compared to the Mines. The Mines would be better too if there was a car to block off the Antlion hole. Afterwards, it was alright. The toxic waste not damaging anyone was very weird. I also really dislike still having to defend my escorts at the train station and the final bosses’ health are drastically lowered.

    Dungeon
    It is great!

    This reminds of one of those “Slender clones” that flooded YouTube back in 2012-13. The puzzle was alright and really challenging. The Antlion Guard AI was good too, although, I have to know how to successfully hide from him. I found 48 Gold bars, I’m not sure where’s the last one since I got the 49th by noclipping. Overall, good. However, I really don’t see the replayability here.

    Conclusion

    It was a good Ville to end the Hammer Cup, after all, it was probably among the best ones yet for me. My first place goes to Uprising, second goes to Mind Collapse, and the last one goes to Divergence. I really like Uprising’s surprising take on replayability, which profited much for me. Honorable mentions to Die Another Day and Way Through the Woods.

    Well, after hearing Phllips’ words on leaving RTSL, I was sad but I understand him. He’s already old anyway. I’m not sure if I’m gonna stick around after that, consider this what-can-be my last review on this site. I might stick around for comments. It was a good run, even if it was short. Thank you again, Phillips, for bringing me back to Half-Life 2. Until next time, farewell.

  10. Play It Now!

    The year is 2019 and the original founder of PlanetPhillip/RTSL has retired. Chances are ReplayVille was the final Ville ever! Was it a good ville? Well, in my opinion it was. On to the individual maps:

    Master Chef by AnonymoScoot
    It is bad

    At first I actually had fun in this map; I personally like wading through hordes of enemies with a large arsenal and lots of explosive physic-props available. However, that fun gradually faded away when I had to keep backtracking to the large room for new ammo to combat large numbers of sometimes almost invincible NPC’s (Barney, Alyx) that were crammed in tiny spaces. And I never knew that the main objective of the map was to cook props in the pot … Yes, the title of the map gives a hint but it really should be made more clear.

    Mind Collapse by Steven Cabbage
    It is good

    Clearly inspired by the overwatch Nexus chapter in HL2, this map wasn’t bad at all. Visuals were good, gameplay too although the battle with the Striders was a bit too static. I only played this map once but want to replay it sometimes these days as was the point with ReplayVille!

    Uprising by LordDz
    It is good

    Hmmm, I didn’t liked dying every 20 seconds but that is a personal taste. It actually makes sense as the player actually is one of the vulnerable citizens against the trained and armored Combine. One thing to note is that if the player quits halfway through the map, THEN boots up the mod again and pick up where they have left, they’ll have normal HP again and the map becomes much easier. Still, not a bad entry!

    Aqua Drainage by Skorly
    It is good

    A little rough here and there visually but the map is huge and contains a lot of gameplay. I assume there were a lot of paths to follow because I thought I was lost a number of times but managed to progress anyway. I didn’t really liked the part on the bridge with the APC and soldiers but everything else was fine and the distribution of ammo and health/batteries was well-balanced. Aqua Drainage takes a place in my personal top-3 in this Ville!

    Divergence by 1upD
    It is good

    Fun fact: the thing that was the most dangerous for me in Divergence was the cable at the start. It even killed me due to weird physics! Not gonna blame the mapper though as this is probably a case of Hammer weirdness. The map has good visuals and was fun to play. I think Divergence was the only map in Replayville that featured (relative) new content as the stasis crystal and a stealthy ominous version of a Combine Elite.

    Die Another Day by Jean Knapp AKA XBLAH
    It is good

    First thing I noticed was the brilliant selection screen! Second thing to note was the splendid outdoor environment. I have to say that I got stuck a couple of times due to an invisible wall (In think?) in front of a door and a quite hidden button that wasn’t easy to find. Apart from that, the gameplay was decent throughout the map and the concept of the combine draining water from Earth to their homeworld was nicely implemented here. In my opinion, this map belongs to the top-3!

    Postmortem by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon
    It is good

    The first half of this map was really good with a magnificient atmosphere and a mysterious and somewhat sad story that gradually unfolds. The visuals in some places were extremely good, like in the snowy courtyard and the bar with the little colored lights on the railing. The second half of the map however takes a bit of a nosedive with rough combat, blander visuals and the excellent atmosphere of the first half virtually thrown out of the window. Regardless, this map is one of my personal top-3!

    Way Through the Woods by Rocky B
    It is good

    Hmmm, the onscreen text was a bit confusing to follow although I noticed some voice acting. The map seems quite large and looks pretty good as well, and the different routes are clearly defined. The gameplay throughout the map was once again good although a bit on the easy side.

    Dungeon by Jmp
    It is good

    Collecting batteries and golden bars in a dark maze sounds somewhat boring but personally I though it was an entertaining map. The danger in this map – an Antlion Guard – creates extra tension as one hit means a certain death. The lack of autosaves isn’t really great but luckily I was sort of warned beforehand!

    Summary

    So in my opinion the best three maps were: Aqua Drainage, Postmortem and Die Another Day. All other maps were good as well and followed closely behind except … well … Master Chef. Although I think Master Chef can certainly be salvaged by communicating to the player about the main objective and turn the number of enemies in small rooms down a notch.

  11. I liked the Die Another Day map, it is not ordinary for its design and gameplay. Thanks to the author for this creation.

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