The 1 Billion Units EMC

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

11th February 2018

For this Experimental Mapping Challenge, entrants had to make a map no larger than 1,000,000,000 Hammer Units. In the real world, that would be a cube about 20 metres long, wide and high.

The actual proportions of the map were left to the mappers. The limit was the cubic capacity.

This limitation forces mappers to think about how well they use the space.

The mod contains 13 official entries and 3 bonus entries.

Basic Details
  • Title: The 1 Billion Units EMC
  • Filename: sdk-2013-sp-emc18-1-billion-units.7z
  • Size : 94.9MB
  • Author: Seji-evan, HQDefault, Ian Spadin AKA Idolon, Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon, Mista Heita, Nick AKA supernocho, krassell, Pedro Marques AKA Dalannar, 1upD, Niker107, Maarten Frooninckx AKA marnamai, Matt the Czar, Malavek, Nikodem Nowak AKA WALLe PL, Tomasz Nowak AKA HiP0L, Justin Kelly AKA Breezeep, Confused_Travolta
  • Date Released: 11 February 2018

Download Options

Download to your HDD [94.9MB]

THIS UPDATED 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-emc18-1-billion-units” folder into your “SourceMods” folder.
  • Restart or start Steam.
  • RTSL.EMC18.1-BILLION-UNITS 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:

1-Billion-Units-Review-Template.txt

Thank you.

Theme Details

The 1 Billion Units EMC.

Mappers are allowed to enter a map with a maximum cubic unit capacity of 1,000,000,000 Units. That is more or less 1024x1024x1024 or 20 metres x 20 metres x 20 metres in the real world.

The X,Y and Z dimensions can be anything the mappers’ want but the maximum total cubic size must not exceed 1,000,000,000 Hammer units.

The map must only have one area – not split into various parts.

This is the maximum volume of the map, NOT the area the player can reach.

VMF files MUST be submitted with each entry for easy verification. Within that space, the mapper can do anything they want.

The maps will be judges on clever, efficient and inventive use of the space.

No extra credit will be given for submitting smaller maps, but we may be secretly impressed.

Full details can be found on the The 1 Billion Units EMC announcement page.

Deadline

The deadline for submitting maps was:
11am GMT Monday 29th January 2018
CET is Central European Time. Phillip’s Time.

Entries

Liftout by Pedro Marques AKA Dalannar
hard yard by Mista Heita
Lost by 1upD
Micro Adventure by krassell
Arcade by Ian Spadin AKA Idolon
Aluminum by HQDefault
Think Inside The box by Nikodem Nowak AKA WALLe PL and Tomasz Nowak AKA HiP0L
Infested Mines by Nick AKA supernocho
Zardoz by Confused_Travolta
Tenement 17 by Matt the Czar
Claustrophobia by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon
Alternative Route by Seji-evan
The Hole by Malavek

BONUS
Shafted by Justin Kelly AKA Breezeep
Pipes by Niker107
Rush Hour by Maarten Frooninckx AKA marnamai

Phillip’s Favourite

This will be announced on the site in due course

Community Poll

Time for you to share your thoughts! Vote for your top 3 1 Billion Units maps. Poll closes February 25th.
The bonus maps have not been included in this poll.

Which are your 3 favourite 1 Billion Units EMC maps

  • Zardoz by Confused_Travolta (9%, 9 Votes)
  • Think Inside The box by Nikodem Nowak AKA WALLe PL and Tomasz Nowak AKA HiP0L (17%, 17 Votes)
  • The Hole by Malavek (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Tenement 17 by Matt the Czar (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Lost by 1upD (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Liftout by Pedro Marques AKA Dalannar (9%, 9 Votes)
  • Micro Adventure by krassell (9%, 9 Votes)
  • Infested Mines by Nick AKA supernocho (10%, 10 Votes)
  • hard yard by Mista Heita (12%, 12 Votes)
  • Claustrophobia by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon (3%, 3 Votes)
  • Arcade by Ian Spadin AKA Idolon (12%, 12 Votes)
  • Aluminum by HQDefault (4%, 4 Votes)
  • Alternative Route by Seji-evan (13%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 45

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More About the Experimental Mapping Challenges

Experimental Mapping Challenges, also known as EMCs, are short challenges, normally 50 or 72 hours long, with a theme that severely restricts and limits what mappers can do. The themes are chosen to allow a wide range of artistic interpretation. In addition, they allow mappers to take risks and try things that in normal maps they might avoid.

For more details visit the Experimental Mapping Challenges homepage.

Release Versions

Dev1 – Developers’ Version. First versions of maps.
Dev2 – Second developers’ version, included updated maps and a few new files.
1.0 – THIS RELEASE: First public version. No known issues.

Credits

The RunThinkShootLive.Com introduction video was made by Jeff Muñoz (ThatoneJeff)” and he also significantly helped with logo design – thanks Jeff, you ROCK!

The menu music is Brane Scan by Kelly Bailey from Half-Life 2

Steam Grid View Images

There are four custom gridview images for this release.
To use them, switch your Steam Library view to Gridview. Right click on RTSL.EMC18.1-BILLION-UNITS and chose “Set Custom Image”. Click “browse” when a small windows appears and navigate to your SourceMods folder and the “sdk-2013-sp-emc18-1-billion-units/steam-gridview-images/” folder and select the image of your choice.
You can of course, create your own image and use that.

General Entry Rules

Maximum two maps per mapper per competition.
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 & RunThinkShootLive.Com the right to release the map as part of the Ville Mod.
Maps must not appear 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.
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: MapName_ABC.bsp (ABC is replaced with the code for the mapping challenge)
All entries must be sent to: runthinkshootlive@gmail.com no later than the deadline.

Sponsorship

This challenge was not sponsored. If you are an individual or company and interested in sponsoring a challenge, please contact Phillip (runthinkshootlive@gmail.com) to discuss the options.

Panoramic Images

Coming Soon.

Videos

Coming Soon.

Playthrough Screenshots

Screenshots coming once I have played the mod.

Reader Recommendations
Avoid It!
Think Twice
Maybe
Play It Later
Play It Now!

7 recommendations, average score: 4.43 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0.24 (what's that?)
Total Downloads
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    Overall
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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 8 comment(s) with meta review data.

Installed:
Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 8 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 2 Hours
Shortest: 1 Hours by
Longest: 3 Hours, 30 Mins by Wiissoppii7
Total Time Played: 16 Hours
If you believe this release is missing important tags, please suggest them in a comment?
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18 Comments

  1. Play It Later

    Lots of arena shooters for this one, which is kinda disappointing because I generally don’t enjoy playing them. Despite that, there were some pretty good entries.

    Liftout by Pedro Marques AKA Dalannar
    It is good

    A short an enjoyable adventure. I feel like I stumbled into the end state, which I assume is because the mapper ran out of room/time to properly finish the map, but I enjoyed it regardless.

    Hard Yard by Mista Heita
    It is bad

    The combat in this level is almost everything HL2 combat shouldn’t be. Cramped, lots of props to get caught on, not enough ammo, several enemies, and not enough light to see what you’re doing. I realize these are probably symptoms of working within the contest’s small boundaries, but that’s no excuse. This map’s only saving grace is that it looks nice.

    Lost by 1upD
    It is okay

    A simple idea with simple execution that doesn’t develop or end in a very interesting way. I think this idea could be expanded into something better, but the map itself comes and goes without much of an impression.

    Micro Adventure by krassell
    It is great!

    The idea really caught me off guard, and it was executed well. Writing was decent, and the soundscapes that changed as I moved around the world made this headphone user very happy.

    Arcade by Ian Spadin AKA Idolon
    It is good

    My entry. I think this map turned out okay. Figuring out how to take advantage of the full space and create all of the different routes was a very fun exercise for me, but I think actually playing it leaves a bit to be desired. The same map with fewer collectibles or at a larger scale would probably be better, as it would allow players to get a better grasp on the space they’re exploring. This map is simply too cramped and disorienting to make that task easy (which is maybe interesting in itself, but not what I was going for).

    There were also a few oversights – no health to pick up if you take fall damage, not all of the ground level is covered in water, and pipes that I added at the last moment became clipping hazards.

    Aluminum by HQDefault
    It is okay

    An arena shooter that didn’t seem to offer too much new, though I suspect part of that is because I couldn’t figure out the grappling mechanic. The arena was complex enough that I found myself hunting down enemies. I didn’t play very far into this one.

    Think Inside The Box by Nikodem Nowak AKA WALLe PL and Tomasz Nowak AKA HiP0L
    It is great!

    The most enjoyable arena shooter of the mod. The scene on the outside was probably the main reason this level kept me engaged at all, but allowing me to control the pace of the waves was also something I missed in the other maps.

    Infested Mines by Nick AKA supernocho
    It is okay

    It looked nice and the layout seemed interesting, but once I realized it was an arena shooter I just skipped to the next map. Sorry!

    Zardoz by Confused_Travolta
    It is good

    Remarkably polished, though confusing to play. Shooting the eyes as weakpoints was obvious enough, but there wasn’t much feedback on how much progress I was making (did I just need to shoot the eyes out a certain number of times, or was that a way to deactivate the boss and make some weak point vulnerable?) Once the boss started shooting lasers out of its eyes, I couldn’t figure out how to progress and quit.

    Tenement 17 by Matt the Czar
    It is good

    Not the most polished or fun entry, but I do have to praise it for its creativity. I didn’t have a ton of fun playing each of the floors, but once the ending revealed what was really going on, I appreciated the map a lot more.

    Claustrophobia by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon
    It is okay

    I have to commend this map for taking as long to beat as it did, though I’m not sure I had a lot of fun doing it. Detailing left a bit to be desired (cubicle walls and ceiling tile are not that thick, and the high-contrast lighting was hard to look at).

    Alternative Route by Seji-evan
    It is good

    A decent little adventure. Somehow the level felt more like a collection of small ideas rather than a proper level – maybe the pacing was just off? I realize space between different gameplay areas with nothing happening isn’t exactly what this contest encourages, but I think this map could have benefitted from it.

    The Hole by Malavek
    It is okay

    This map didn’t leave much of an impression on me. It’s not bad, but there’s really not much to it either. I got stuck for a moment because I didn’t see the electrical panel – placing two objectives in the same room tripped me up because, for some reason, I only expected one.

    Shafted-BONUS by Justin Kelly AKA Breezeep
    It is good

    I started this level by thinking it was an arena shooter, except I couldn’t find a way to start the fight. I surfed a prop over a fence into the elevator shaft and stumbled into what I thought was out of bounds, which actually turned out to be the rest of the level. Later, it did actually turn into an arena shooter, which I gave a single attempt before moving on.

    Playing through the pre-arena-shooter part of the map was decent, though I’m not sure I found it particularly fun. Looks nice and is well polished.

    Pipes-BONUS by Niker107
    It is great!

    It’s a jump map, but it’s also wonderfully creative and atmospheric. It reminds me a lot of Krassel’s Bridgeville entry, Sunova Bridge.

    Rushhour-BONUS by Maarten Frooninckx AKA marnamai
    It is good

    The prettiest of the arena shooters, and probably the most interesting layout of the mod’s arenas as well. I gave up on wave 4. I found all but one of the Breens.

    1. [Liftout] Thanks for playing my entry, glad you enjoyed it. Could you clarify what you mean by “I stumbled into the end state” because I’m not sure I understand what you mean.

      1. From what I remember, the level ends with Alyx finding you back at the place where you came in. I’ll have to play it again to make sure, but the impression I got was that Alyx just sorta appeared because I had done everything there was to do, not because I had unblocked a passage or reached a new area.

        1. Ah, that is very good to know, there was clearly a problem on my part then. When deactivating the shield at the end of the level it also opens up a combine door for Alyx, which can be seen in the monitor just above the button.

          It seems like that wasn’t clear though. Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m guessing the shield deactivating distracted you from looking at the monitor. If that’s so I should take a look at the design to figure out a better way to communicate that the player opened the way for Alyx.

          1. Ah, that makes sense. I played through it again and still missed the monitor. Maybe design the start of the level differently so Alyx is visible through a combine fence, or the combine room has a window looking into where Alyx is standing?

  2. i don’t have the per map opnions available, is this a bug?

    1. Try now or use the template.

      1. they’re back, thank you very much.

  3. Play It Now!

    Hey its an EMC I like EMC’s, and I started out mapping for EMC’s so I am going to review this now. Will it live up to such classics as MinimalismVille and CromulentVille? or will it fall short, and be forgotten within months? Sorry if I ramble a lot in this, but I’ve got a pretty bad head cold at the moment and can barely remember which kind of cheese is the one with holes in it. Also, I dare you to play this Ville through but take a shot every single time find a wave-based arena map. Alcohol poisoning may ensue.

    Liftout by Pedro Marques AKA Dalannar
    It is good

    hey this one is pretty good! The main puzzle was interesting, the visuals were nice, and the map was fun to play. It didn’t do anything groundbreaking, but it also didn’t really do anything wrong.

    Hard Yard by Mista Heita
    It is good

    This one looked quite good. The gameplay was a bit too difficult in the small space offered, but I suppose that is the drawback of this challenge’s theme. Also, the idea of collecting gnomes made me laugh.

    Lost by 1upD
    It is okay

    I feel like there is some underlying symbolism here that i’m not getting, but maybe i’m wrong. This one is straight down the middle for me, it didn’t really do much to impress or annoy me.

    Micro Adventure by krassell
    It is good

    Didn’t really enjoy it myself, but I can see how others might consider this one to be their favorite. It was pretty apparent that this was created in an alternate program, especially when I typed “ent_fire” into the console and there was about 40,000 different entities all with names that had some variation of “IiiIIIiIiIiIIiiIIiiiIii”. The fact that this entire map is in a 16x16x16 space is pretty cool, and the changing soundscapes was also a nice touch.

    Arcade by Ian Spadin AKA Idolon
    It is okay

    Not really much to do with this one but smash grubs. I don’t really enjoy it, but I refuse to call it “bad” because I can tell alot of work was put into it. If you love stepping on bugs, this map is for you.

    Aluminum by HQDefault
    It is okay

    Another arena-based wave map, and this one doesn’t do much to differentiate itself. Its looks nice, and wasn’t too bad combat-wise, but didn’t do much to impress me.

    Think Inside The Box by Nikodem Nowak AKA WALLe PL and Tomasz Nowak AKA HiP0L
    It is great!

    Yeah its a wave-based arena map but its still really great. Kinda reminded me of CromulentVille-type maps. Not gonna spoil anything about it since it could ruin the experience, but if you only play one entry from this Ville, make it this one.

    Infested Mines by Nick AKA supernocho
    It is okay

    I mean, it looks nice! Unfortunately, its also another Arena map, so it wasn’t super fun to play in my opinion.

    Zardoz by Confused_Travolta
    It is good

    This one was pretty amusing. It was a bit too difficult IMO, but I had a good laugh at the idea of fighting a giant metrocop head. Yet another map that harks back to the days of CromulentVille.

    Tenement 17 by Matt the Czar
    It is good

    I can’t help but admit enjoying this one, mainly because it reminded me of my first map submitted to RTSL in MinimalismVille. The idea was pretty good, even if it could use some polishing and visual work. Oh and yes, I really did think that was the right way to go. Now give me back my name 🙂

    Claustrophobia by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon

    Okay so this one is mine. compared to my other maps I feel like this is one of the better ones but I can’t really be the judge of that. I went the spooky route again because quite honestly its the only atmosphere that I feel I can create pretty well (even though, yet again, I can really an objective judge of that). I wanted the player to feel very enclosed, hopeless, and sp00ked when playing, hence the name “Claustrophobia”. The start of the map was made so that you could see the exit, and (hopefully) understand that it was your goal to get there. Once you reach the upper level, I included a small sliver of skybox to allow the player to see the night sky one last time before they plunge back down into the ruined complex below. I did this so that they would almost regret their action of continuing to play the map, and when the exit door is revealed to be locked, they would feel similarly upset to the protagonist. Yet again, though, I can’t attest to the effectiveness of this, so it will be up to YOU to judge that.

    Alternative Route by Seji-evan
    It is great!

    It didn’t do anything super new, but it was still fun. One of the few maps that actually felt a bit less cramped than the rest. I do remember a lot of physics puzzles as well, which is good because this IS a map for half-life 2 and not many other maps in this mod used physics puzzles from what I remember. Also, Seji, how did you get that one physics puzzle working at the end of your map? I wanted to do the same thing with the elevators in my coastville map, but the whole thing glitched out and I had to script it.

    The Hole by Malavek
    It is good

    Short, but fun for while it lasted. The poison headcrab on top of the fence probably took 5 years off of my life. Surprised I didn’t break my computer when I heard that “hiss” from above. Definitely worth playing once, but not anything super groundbreaking.

    Shafted-BONUS by Justin Kelly AKA Breezeep
    It is good

    This map looks really good. I remember seeing WIP pictures of this map in the rtsl discord channel, and I thought “that looks really good”. Now that I played through the map, I can attest to the fact that it looks really good. Gameplay-wise this map didn’t go super ambitious, but it was still fun to play.

    Pipes-BONUS by Niker107
    It is good

    I’m not a fan of jumping puzzles but I can’t deny the quality of this map. The atmosphere was really cool, and was enough to keep me going despite the not-as-fun gameplay. I also liked how Niker used graffiti on the wall to end his map with his name, instead of using game_text to do it. That really added a lot to the immersion at the end for me.

    Rushhour-BONUS by Maarten Frooninckx AKA marnamai
    It is good

    Alyx felt more like a burden than a help for me in this map, and it felt a bit too difficult overall (Granted, I was playing on Hard). Plus its another arena wave-based map. So why do I say its good? Because LOOKS GREAT. I’m sure everyone was expecting that, after all, it is marnamai’s map, but I can’t deny that this map’s visuals are beyond stellar. Plus, it uses the Episode 1 theme, which is pretty underrated imo.

    Summary

    I feel like this Ville has something for everyone in it. The theme allowed people to branch off pretty extensively into different tones and ideas, creating a pretty large range of maps. As such, I feel like many people will have a wide variety of opinions.

    1. Thanks, glad that you liked =D, I’ve sent the vmf so you can check on the mapsrc folder of the mod, either way I managed to do it With some help from SMC a little creativity and this tutorial:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVlDuRJomAk

  4. Play It Now!

    I was very skeptical about how can one create a map that is 20 meters in height, length, and width. I felt like it would be too small, but my god I was wrong. So let’s talk about maps, one by one.

    Liftout
    It is good

    Alyx and Gordon got separated…. for a 248th time! But not from his crowbar. The map was detailed and alright. A simple puzzle about the elevator and a small shootout with the Soldiers. I feel really bad for killing the grubs in the vents though.

    Hard Yard
    It is good

    The map starts off with a dodge-a-sniper minigame. It was fun and challenging. The combat that follows suit was alright, I’m always a fan of fighting in close quarters. However, to other people, I think because of the area limit the combat area was kind of too narrow for Half-Life 2-style shootout. I also think I got all the gnomes. The door opening after dispatching the Soldier mounting the machine gun was too quick, it kind of caught me off guard with an Elite unloading his AR2 on my back. I sort of like because it requires quick thinking though.

    Lost
    It is okay

    A walk map. I really appreciate the “art style” of it, black and white with yellow lights sort of gave me an ominous feeling of walking through a thick fog, thinking of unseen threats. The concept could be explored more though, I find it intriguing. That ending though.

    Micro Adventure
    It is great!

    Wow, I did NOT expect someone to not actually make a map, but a…. something else instead. While I did not get to finish it, it is very impressive for someone to make something this different. I barely got any reference though. And I killed an Antlion Guard with my bare hands! Now I will boast it to the man who “killed the Hunters” with his bare hands. Kudos.

    Arcade
    It is good

    A maze puzzle map. Oh God…. I hate this kind of puzzle! NOOOOOOOOOOOO! The map itself has a simple objective, stomp all the grubs. But why the grubs! Why do I have to kill these cute bastards? In seriousness, this map is very good in terms of paths. Now, I am seriously guilty because I could not figure out where to go after 7th grub. I also kind of agree with the creator who posted above me, the limited space was also disorienting for me.

    Aluminium
    It is good

    The wall climbing is a nice feature, because of that I usually use the floating platforms as starting point for every round. The arena gameplay was nice, from lowly Policemen with pistols and Antlions to a fully armed platoon of Soldiers. I knew from the start that it would work well since Half-Life is inspired by Quake, the game known for fast-paced combat. (Even though Half-Life’s is slower) The wall climb can be a little infuriating due to the fact that the walls are treated the same way as ladders. That means if you have a grenade land at your feet, you have to jump down because you will do wall climb if you are too close to the edge of the platform. I also like the destructible covers too.

    Think Inside the Box
    It is good

    Another arena map! I really like the fact that we are the “player” of the player. The waves were OK. The way that you can see the enemy’s spawn points is a good gimmick, allowing you to position yourself accordingly. But I have a two-sided opinion about not being able to heal myself without chargers and medkits. On one hand, it can make the combat unforgiving, given this very small space to move. On the other, it can be a challenge. Also, the ending made me chuckle. The Policeman just kicked the door opened and knocked the guy out in the process.

    Infested Mine
    It is okay

    From the beginning, the map gives the player like only 30 seconds to explore an entire map. The waves just started automatically without warning. The area to defend was too small, but that is barely the problem until the Zombines show up. Also, why is there an endless pit that you can fall off on the top floor! I like how the Combines pay us a visit every end of the waves.

    Zardoz
    It is great!

    You know, if you give me the super Gravity Gun. You know complete mayhem is about to happen. The boss fight was entertaining and challenging. However, again, another map to start without warning. The Fast Headcrabs and Manhacks made good, squishy minions. The boss sometimes not worked as intended though, I remember the first time I played it, I won without him using laser eyes. The Manhack bits littered across the ground made it a little frustrating to grab Manhacks that come later. I must say the fight was entertaining.

    Tenement 17
    It is good

    While at first, I felt like it was a barebone, empty map. The combat was decent and quite fun. The “wrong way” was cheeky and made me laugh. Once I reached the end though, I realized what it was all along and added points for creativity.

    Claustrophobia
    It is okay

    The map has identified itself as a horror map from the start, by using high contrast lightning. It really did build up the atmosphere, but at the same time, it was hard to see what’s going on. For example, I did not know the woman committed suicide with the revolver until I found her body. I guess that also was a source of sobbing since I did not saw her until the end. The good thing is, it did not used the overrated Stalker jumpscare sound.

    Alternative Route
    It is good

    Because of how restricted the area of the “finding battery” task was, I thought that was it. But no! The puzzles are not too hard to solve and the level transition was alright. The area underground was too cramped to fight with the Gravity Gun but at least you can beat them to death with the crowbar. The Zombine encounter can be easily exploited by hitting him from inside the vent. A good map overall.

    The Hole
    It is good

    The map looks nice and detailed. The door at the start was a little weird, a sliding door that you have to lift with the Gravity Gun to open. The space is once again, too cramped to fight with the gun. But again, the area is forced to be limited. It might be better to give the crowbar to the player along with the pistol. The zombies could have been sleeping, rather than just walking around. Not great, but also not bad.

    Shafted
    It is good

    The presence of turrets already told me that it is going to be a defense map. I like how there are barnacles to take care of the zombies for you on the lower floor. For some reason, the poison zombie just appears out of nowhere after you visit the room with the generator crank. The defense part was alright, except that you get overwhelmed quickly because of only two turrets to cover a lot of entrances.

    Pipes
    It is okay

    I’m not much of a fan of jumping puzzle because it always causes me to do save scumming. But I decided to give it a go for a review. The platform was alright, but the map looks very…plain. But because it’s 50-hour challenge, I understand that. I like how there are some messages in the background hinting someone’s descent into insanity. The vent opening and closing was too quick, it leaves no room for error as you will get crushed by the door should you fail.

    TEXT HERE
    It is good

    Yet another arena map. The visual is on point, using theme and music to create Episode 1’s atmosphere. You can’t start the waves manually and it happened right away. But this one felt realistic since it makes sense. The waves have consistent difficulty escalation and good way to end it with the Hunters. Sometimes the Combines would not jump in from the windows, if you are too close to it. And I did not know what I was collecting (?), but I felt like it’s optional.

    Conclusion

    Like every 50-hour Villes, the maps are short but some are really, really good for this little time limit. I chose Micro Adventure, Hard Yard, and Zardoz for voting. This Ville has almost every “genre” of the maps in it, at least that is what I felt. Looking forward to next Ville, the Mesa Cup 1st Ville.

  5. Oh damnit, the last map header is supposed to be “Rush Hour”. Can someone fix it for me? My revising skill is pretty low these days.

  6. Lucia

    hardyard actually uses 1.1 billion units. REMOVE IT!

    jk ofc, it was my favourite map 😛

  7. Play It Later

    Introduction
    As always i’m writing the introduction before i play, my expectations on this EMC are 50/50, the theme is simple and some great maps can be done even with these restrictions, so, without further ado, let’s see if this one is worth your time.

    Liftout by Pedro Marques AKA Dalannar

    It is okay

    It had a nice and claustrophobic setting with two puzzles and only 3 enemies,other than that this map doesn’t have much to offer, can be finished in under a minute and provide a bit of fun for your first playthrough.

    hard yard by Mista Heita

    It is good

    This one was creative with it’s setting, having a trainyard, urban and a little combine area, the focus of this map was the combat and it was done well, having different waves of enemies instead of all of them coming out at once, the only complaints i have are the missing textures, which i will forgive because i think it’s my fault, and the gnome, you’re supposed to get the gnome with the gravity gun, but, the window is big enough for you to pass through, making me think the gnome would unlock something, which had me wondering in the street for some time before nocliping back in the building.

    Lost by 1upD

    It is bad

    What the hell was that? These types of maps where you don’t fight anyone and just walk are usually my favorites, but this is just a boring map where you follow the directions a pole gives you until it gives you no more directions and the map ends, that’s it, the only nice thing about this map is the black and white visuals, other than that, a disappointment to me.

    Micro Adventure by krassell

    It is great!

    This was one of the most unique and interesting entry on this site, the wrinting was great and fun to read, the lenght was great, it wasn’t short enough to make me want more or long enough to make me feel tired of it, one of the best entries on this ville.

    Arcade by Ian Spadin AKA Idolon

    It is okay

    Run around a vertical and horizontal maze looking for 12 antlions grubs so you can stomp them, it was enjoyable for the most part, i feel like this was inspired by the Too Many Crates mod.

    Aluminum by HQDefault

    It is good

    A 4 wave survival map that manages to be simple, challenging and fun at the same time, with a good looking and functional level design, the ”parkour” mechanic was nice and a little bit annoying at the same time, being useful when you’re trying to escape enemies and irritating when you’re running and accidentally grab the ledge, overall a fun map.

    Think Inside The box by Nikodem Nowak AKA WALLe PL and Tomasz Nowak AKA HiP0L

    It is great!

    Never judge a book by its cover, after i saw the thumbnail for this map, i though it would be one of those dev texture maps, but boy i was wrong, this map was incredible! Having nice mechanics, a great concept, VFX and SFX with a fun ending, while playing this i coudn’t stop thinking about that time max payne took some drugs and though he was inside a video game, so looking at all of its features, is it a good entry? Don’t answer that, a rethorical question.

    Infested Mines by Nick AKA supernocho

    It is good

    Another survive the waves map, but this time you have turrets and mines and you’re fighting zombies in a underground mine, it’s still some pretty good fun, but other than that it doesn’t offer more than the others.

    Zardoz by Confused_Travolta

    It is okay

    Another one, but this time with fast headcrabs, manhacks, lasers and a giant mask you need to kill.

    Tenement 17 by Matt the Czar

    It is bad

    Jesus, that was awful, plain rooms with almost nothing but a few couches and some enemies, a terrible boss fight, and the most unintuitive puzzles, no fun allowed here.

    Claustrophobia by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon

    It is okay

    I feel like the issue with this map is that most of the time was used to make the map look good and not to refine the gameplay elements, i say that because the combat and horror along with the level design are very weak compared to the filters.

    Alternative Route by Seji-evan

    It is good

    This map is more focused on puzzles than combat, the map is short but fun with some nice puzzles and zombies for you to kill, the visuals are great, overall a good little map.

    The Hole by Malavek

    It is okay

    It has a nice start with you being trapped in a room and then setting yourself free with the gravitiy gun, other than that, this map doesn’t offer anything more special than the others.

    Shafted by Justin Kelly AKA Breezeep

    It is good

    Another survive the waves map, but this time, you need to get in a elevator and it’s pretty.

    Pipes by Niker107

    It is good

    Just like walking simulator maps, jumping puzzles are my favorites and this one got it right, the setting along with the background music made me feel like i was escaping from this evil company and the walls made me remember of Portal, the jumping was good but i’ve seen better in this site, overall a nice map for those who spent countless hours on minigame servers in cs or kreedz climbing.

    Rush Hour by Maarten Frooninckx AKA marnamai

    It is good

    Another survive the waves map, i don’t nothing else to say except it has great visuals.

    Conclusion
    Some good maps came from this theme, but a good few of them are just arenas where you kill waves of enemies, these wave maps where very well constructed, but after play 4 or 5 of them you get kinda tired of them, i recomend you play this ville when you have some extra time laying around and you like community made stuff. My favorites from this ville are: Think Inside The Box and Micro Adventure, in my opnion these were the most unique one in this ville. I hope my review was helpful if you were still undicided if you should play this one, if you do, have fun!

  8. Eugene

    Can’t shoot by without leaving at least a line of a comment, not this time. Such a fantastic collection of works presented here, I’m literally in awe. Separately, even the best entries from this bunch won’t be able to conquer my personal pantheon of previously released -ville contestants, however, from a general, wider point of view this is one of the bestest competitions this site has had so far in my opinion. Starting with some really imaginative ideas and going further with a couple of maps of valve’s quality and, occasionally, even beyond that. Those short-termed challenges are the way to go when quality and aha moments are sought, really.
    Many thanks to all the participants and to Phillip in particular, amazing job of keeping the game blooming with every release. 🙂

  9. Play It Now!
    Introduction

    Having space limitations should prove to make this Mapping Challenge a neat… well, experiment. Let’s jump right in to the reviews.

    Liftout by Pedro Marques AKA Dalannar
    It is good

    This is a map which doesn’t focus much on either puzzles or combat, and doesn’t have much special going for it. However, the map is still executed well.

    Hard Yard by Mista Heita
    It is okay

    Putting aside the limitation, the snipers were barely in this despite stopping them being the main goal. There was a weird thing with one of the Metrocops making odd gestures, which felt random and out of place, and there was a “door” that A. Had no handle and B. Didn’t even look like a door, which led to me getting confused for a moment when I shut off the forcefield. The Gnome sidequest was just… there, and also felt unecessary. Oh, and being able to see out into the great void below isn’t very appealing, either. All of this said, the design is still decent, and the same can be said for the combat.

    Lost by 1upD
    It is dire!

    … What? I had absolutely no idea what was going on. What was even the point of it? This just seems so barren that it feels like there was supposed to be something else to it.

    Micro Adventure by krassell
    It is great!

    Neat concept, and the sounds were nice, but I can’t say much about it due to what it is. I believe the Antlion thing referenced Colossal Cave, but all I have to go on that is TvTropes. So that’s cool. This earns one of my votes, partly because of its unique concept.

    Arcade by Ian Spadin AKA Idolon
    It is bad

    This was pretty much the opposite of fun. Going around killing Grubs? Eh, sure. Doing so in a maze? Not liking it. It’s very possible to die from fall damage, and it’s hard to figure out where you need to go to get to some grubs.

    Aluminum by HQDefault
    It is okay

    A boring arena map with a poorly-implemented grapple mechanic which almost never seemed to work for me and almost non-existent difficulty. (Even on Easy difficulty, I expect some challenge like in the official games.) What else is there to say?

    Think Inside The Box by Nikodem Nowak AKA WALLe PL and Tomasz Nowak AKA HiP0L
    It is great!

    That was actually pretty cool! It’s an arena like the last one, but the cover is varied and the waves actually get harder each time. The ending was pretty neat, too.

    Infested Mines by Nick AKA supernocho
    It is okay

    Ugh, a third arena? I just put myself in a corner with a turret and it worked for quite a while. That might have shot myself in the foot, though, since I couldn’t deal with the Zombines. Still, though, I had no idea when it was supposed to end. I DID try to look for an exit, but I found nothing.

    Zardoz by Confused_Travolta
    It is bad

    First off, ANOTHER Arena. Second… What? Huh? Why am I fighting a Metrocop head? Why is there a pointless glowing barrel? Why is the head shooting EYE LASERS? Why did the map just randomly end? This made no sense at all.

    Tenement 17 by Matt the Czar
    It is good

    Finally, not an arena. it had decent combat, but the ending confused me; I don’t seem to be getting what the others are from it. Also, I threw a grenade into the battery holder and it activated, which is kinda weird.

    Claustrophobia by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon
    It is great!

    Grigori Betrayed Us All! At least, I think it’s Grigori… Pretty cool map with a creepy atmosphere. There isn’t much to say about the combat, but it wasn’t the main focus of the map anyways. This earns one of my votes thanks to its atmosphere.

    Alternative Route by Seji-evan
    It is great!

    This was actually longer than I’d expect any map in this to be, which is welcomed by myself with open arms. It had nice puzzles, and they were cleverly used to make the map longer than others. It definitely makes the best use of the space limitation out of all of the maps, and it earns my vote for the top spot because of it.

    The Hole by Malavek
    It is good

    A pretty short level that had some okay combat. Nothing much to say about it. It’s actually probably the shortest entry here.

    Shafted-BONUS by Justin Kelly AKA Breezeep

    Unfortunately, partway through this map, something crashes the game. I don’t know what does, though, so I can’t fix the problem and continue playing the level. As such, no Opinion Image for this one.

    Pipes-BONUS by Niker107
    It is good

    A neat map with a story to go along with it, but it doesn’t do much special besides that. It’s still pretty cool, though.

    Rushhour-BONUS by Maarten Frooninckx AKA marnamai
    It is WOW!

    The level of detail here is pretty amazing, and the difficulty curve is perfect; Considering how I’ve disliked most of the other arena maps, this one manages to pull it off very well.

    Summary

    Everything said, there weren’t many bad entries here. Personally, I think this challenge was a success, and I can’t wait to see more Experimental Mapping Challenges in the future. My three votes go to Alternative Route, Claustrophobia and Micro Adventure.

  10. Play It Later

    Overall there was a few good maps, a few bad, a few innovative, and a lot of killboxes. Worth your time if you enjoy reviewing.

    It is great!

    Liftout: Good everything, cramped.

    It is okay

    Hard Yard: Hard to tell where to go, only combat and nothing else.

    It is bad

    Lost: good visuals, way too short, No plot, no puzzles, no combat.

    It is good

    Micro Adventure: Cool idea, good puzzles, no combat, abrupt end.

    It is okay

    ARCADE: Squish 12 larvae in a maze.

    It is okay

    Aluminum: 3 Wave Killbox, small map.

    It is good

    Think Inside the Box: Killbox, you are a videogame character, extremely small but well made map.

    It is okay

    Mine Infestation: Killbox in a mine.

    It is bad

    Zardoz: Visualy impressive, really long shitty minion bossfight.

    It is dire!

    Tenement 17: EXTREMEMLY simplistic, level based, storiless, horribly simplistic and easy to break puzzles.

    It is good

    Claustraphobia: Horror aesthetic, little combat or puzzles, excelent visuals, abrupt ending.

    It is great!

    Alternative Route: Sewer puzzles, cramped, good furnishing.

    It is good

    The Hole: Good level design and enemies, way too short.

  11. Hec
    Play It Later

    Ok so… I played, at last, this competition, and the whole feeling is that this feels like a great Play it Later. Don’t get me wrong. This one had some very interesting entries like “Micro Adventure” which I think is a unique style on its own fitted into this map size constraint.

    Despite the big number of entries, my whole feeling is that this competition could be called perfectly as “Arena-Ville” because many entries had this style. By the way, the last one -a bonus entry- was just a beautiful map that felt like an MP map into an SP map.

    Overall this was interesting due to the fact of seeing how mappers develop creative work with a map size constraint. Some of the mappers seem to feel great in small spaces while some others were just bad at it.

    It was also interesting to see how, again, the bonus entries were better than most of the competitive entries.

    In my humble opinion, I think the best entry, in aesthetic terms and mapping layout, was “Arcade” that one was a beautiful piece of work and despite I just hate puzzles and jumping puzzles, this was one fair enough.

    I also like the horror like entry which has a great horror atmosphere. “Claustrophobia” was very well done and had some great basis for an entire horror HL2 mod. As well as “Pipes” which can evolve into a pretty cool interesting mod.

    In conclusion, this was a mixed competition, overall it was fun to play, but especially after the 6th entry, the whole competition felt very predictable and just like into the “Arena” map style. And sometimes that kind of “kill box” maps just felt very limited into the HL2 gameplay. And that’s because arenas, in order to be pleasant to play, must be 1st.- very beautiful in aesthetics of the map, 2nd.- very well laid out or planned. and the most important 3rd reason: they must be fitted in a context where the player feels his killing spree, is vital to keep going or reach a valuable objective inside a bigger story.

    So this is my thought on this competition. Overall I’m glad many mappers share their work with us to play. For me is a great Play it Later.

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