September 2014 General Chat

1st September 2014

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Welcome to September!

My Squash training should be over (I never did any due to injury) and the season should be about to start. I’m still injured and will probably miss the whole of September, which means I won’t be fully fit until January – being old SUCKS!

Anyway, the good news is that it leaves me more time for the site, so expect regular updates.

I’ll even try to restart the weekly Poll Questions, if I can think of enough interesting things to write about.

Hopefully, I’ll also finish The Trap and start a new long term Twitch series.

So, how was your Summer?

This Month’s Sci-Fi Movie

In June, I started to use a poster from a classic Sci-Fi move as the background for the post image. This month it is from The Incredible Petrified World (1957). The diving bell cable breaks and that’s when the real adventure starts. I haven’t seen it, but with an IMDB rating of 3.0 I don’t think I ever will!


  1. i didnt know you play ( and coach ) squash until i visited your personal website …. i was a pti(physical training instructor ) in my regiment and i passed my pti course in 1987 …. however when i left the forces in 1992 i started smoking and my fitness has pretty much gone … however i can still run a few miles
    i would like to thank you for all the maps and mods you released .. there was one a day at the start of the month and no sooner had you returned from holiday there was a map posted so thanks for that
    have you heard anything regarding “leon brinkmans” up and coming mod namely “the closure” … leon emailed me and said he would let me know when its released but that was over 6 months ago … have you heard anything ?
    many of us have our favourite mappers and modders,however leon has been my favourite since i played “final project diary” and “coastline to atmosphere ” ….. and i liked the story behind the final project diary were leon,s graphic card died and you arranged a new card for him… that was really nice and shows how respected planetphillip is
    anyway glad to have you back mate !

    1. i would like to thank you for all the maps and mods you released

      You are most welcome. Thank you for your kind words about Leon’s new graphic card. I haven’t heard anything about the mod.

    2. Ade

      He’s still working on it. Don’t rush him though, you’d want something quality.

      1. I don’t think he was rushing him, just asking about his progress.

      2. Ade

        I wasn’t implying he was rushing, I meant if he decides to ask in a future e-mail about the status, cus he sounded antsy.

  2. JG

    So, as I mentioned in the August 2014 thread, I finally finished Half-Life 1. Since then, I’ve also made my way through Blue Shift and will probably come back to Opposing Force at some point.

    I actually really liked Blue Shift. It felt like it did the same thing Half-Life 2’s episodes did, which is to condense a lot of the highlights of the game into a few chapters without a lot of fluff. Half-Life 1 was a fairly ambitious game and there are definitely some things that worked and some things that didn’t. Blue Shift stuck to what worked. It has been interesting to read last year’s T.R.E.E. feedback as I go. It actually helped me get past one part, in the Duty Calls chapter, where I failed to notice that a ladder went way higher than I realized it did. Blue Shift definitely has one of the most anticlimactic endings, though.

    1. Blue Shift stuck to what worked.

      Agreed. It was definitely shorter but at the same time there was less fluff, as you call it. I often compare BS to Ep1. I feel they both get unfairly downgraded due to a direct comparison with previous games and that isn’t always right or fair.

  3. Well, here goes this summer. It’s time to get back to work 🙁

  4. Has anyone been folliowing the #Gamergate uproar on twitter?
    Feel free to go find more info for yourself but I wanted to have that conversation here.

    A few months ago I was unfortunate enough to play through Metro: Last Light and the new Thief game.

    Both games feature small sections where topless women are included for no other reason than for (what I consider to be) a childish attempt to appeal to adolescents.

    I want to be clear on the fact I’m not a prude. I have no issues with porn or nudity and I wasn’t offended by the nudity itself. Just the childish manner in which it was presented. They could have quite easily left it out of those games and it would have made no difference at all. Dishonoured had a brothel level and managed to not need to show boobs…

    The overall point is that the gaming industry needs to grow up. Games are now played by a much wider audience yet a certain section of the games industry still seem to operate in a chauvinist manner. The days of the lonely basement gamer are dead and gaming is now for everyone…

    On a side note, YAY! Valve for always providing well rounded female characters and never stooping to this kind of level…

    1. In general, I agree with you but there will always be a place for a variety of “styles” and content. I haven’t played the games you mention and there’s no doubt including content like this for simple titillation (sorry, couldn’t resist that). Yes, make an “Adult” game, aimed at adults, but don’t throw something as crass as this sounds just for the sake of it.

      Do you really feel it was added just to attract the adolescent gamer? They have access to much stronger imagery I wonder why the developers bothered.

      1. Metro Last Light has an optional lapdance when you’re in a town.
        If you search youtube you’ll see it. I can’t link it here without making things complicated.

        Thief has a level set in a brothel.

        I also find the nudity in The Witcher games to be unnecessary.

        These days in mainstream movies, nudity is pretty limited.
        I guess Game of Thrones bucks the trend of modern entertainment but in most cases the sex has a point and it adds to the story…

    2. JG

      I feel this is a manufactured controversy. Without going into the sordid details, what GamersGate is really about is whether or not sites like Kotaku and a few others demonstrated an egregious lack of ethics in the promotion of a certain indie game. The whole feminist angle is a diversion spearheaded by Kotaku so they could wash their hands of the issue. As a result, they have more-or-less succeeded in shifting the discussion away from them, and that’s a shame.

      If people want to have the feminism discussion, that’s fine. We could do with a lot less pigheaded writing in video games. But I’ve insisted that we not lose sight of what this was originally about, and that we should hold the sites involved accountable by no longer visiting them.

  5. Has anybody else seen the Half-Life Backwarding article over on LG? If not, go check it out, it’s pretty cool.

    1. I already loved quadrazid’s speedruns, but that was just stunning.

  6. Hey Phillip, what happened to yesterday’s map?

    1. I became focused on the new theme.

  7. JG

    Need a new mapping competition. That is all.

    1. The earliest I can run one now, is next Friday. I’ll start planning it Monday morning – I’m away for the weekend.

  8. Ade

    The latest fix post steampipe, in case gameinfo.txt’s FileSystem section isn’t enough, is to rename the background map.

  9. Here is an interesting mod I found called Estranged:

    I searched this site and did not find any reference to it, so I thought I would share.

    After playing The Gate 2, I became leery of total conversion mods, but this one is quite good. It even installs directly from within Steam.

    1. Yes, it’s on my list of “To Add”. There’s also the Pending page on maps and mods I need to add.

  10. I recently played a lot of old PP competitions, and the one that I liked the most was ChaseVille. Every entry in it was just sweet. I really, REALLY want a ChaseVille2, after AutoVIlle.

  11. I’ve had Hard Reset in my inventory for a long time. I bought a couple of copies in a sale.

    I want to play some other games but rarely have time. I decided to download the demo yesterday and see if it’s a game I would play or whether I should give away the copy I have.

    I’m not going to write a review of the demo because I only played for 15 minutes, but two things struck me.

    1. Who the hell thought that stupid interface would be cool? 15 years ago it might have been but not nowadays. It’s so slow too. I don’t want to wait looking at silly animation just to change my key bindings.

    2. Not being able to pick stuff up in game is a HUGE let down. It adds so a tactical element to the game. Allowing the player to position explodables etc gives the game a new dimension. This game is almost ten years newer than HL2 but still lacks this feature.

  12. I’m really ticked off that the hundreds of HL/HL2 mods I’ve collected on my HD over the years are now unplayable due to Steam screwing with the API. I suppose I could blame each individual developer for not keeping their stuff updated, or I could blame Steam for basically orphaning the modding community. But whichever, it really is a total shame.

    What’s needed is a handy app which crawls through a folder full of mods and fixes them up. Has anyone attempted this?

    1. Ade

      No, because it’s impossible to do that for total conversions and mods that have multiple paths from which they grab their content, or something along those lines, and only a full re-compile from the author would fix them.
      The main/general solutions are the FileSystem section in gameinfo.txt, was posted in a different section, and renaming the background map like I stated above, feel free to try these 2, or automate them.

    2. What’s needed is a handy app which crawls through a folder full of mods and fixes them up. Has anyone attempted this?

      Well, in many cases MapTap does exactly that. It replaces the old gameinfo.txt with the latest version and most times that makes a mod work. You will need to try the beta version (due for release very soon) to have that feature.

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