The 72-Second Experiment Challenge

24th August 2018

Let me put it simply: You have 72 hours to make a map with EXACTLY 72 seconds of playtime.

We often talk about how it’s better to have shorter, more polished maps than longer weaker ones. By “polished”, we do not just mean visuals (lighting, textures, environmental art), but also gameplay, interaction, storytelling, soundscapes etc.

You can make your map action packed or only have a few interactions. It could be a beautiful scene that the player walks through and relaxes, a non-stop gunfight, or anything in between.

For example, you could create a map that can be finished in 72-seconds but only if done perfectly. That would allow replayability in trying to find the optimum way to complete the map.

You can simply submit a map that can be played in one 72-second sitting.

There is an OPTIONAL template for you to use, that fades in from black, lasts 72 seconds and then fades out. The fades last 1 second each. Mappers may extend the “black screen” time at either or both ends of the map, to display text.

Ideally, we would like the text to be kept to a minimum. Everything should really be contained within the 72-seconds gameplay.

Locations, events, style of map are all open. The only limitation is the 72 seconds.

Be aware that the minimum AND maximum playtime of the map is 72 seconds. Don’t think that you can create a huge map and allow the player to reach certain points and autosaves. That is not the idea we are looking for.

If your map lasts longer than 72-seconds after the fade-in, it will be considered a bonus map.


11am UTC Monday 27th August 2018

That’s 72 hours.

Optional Files

There are two optional files available for this EMC.

  1. The Map Template
  2. Voice Lines (3 Versions of various countdown lines; two male and one female)
General Mapping Challenge Rules
  • Maximum one map per mapper for this special competition.
  • The map must be original, meaning it was built specifically for the challenge and is completely original work, and therefore must 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 72 Seconds EMC 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 or 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_72s-emc.bsp
  • All entries must be sent to: [email protected] no later than the deadline.

The Experimental Mapping Challenges (EMCs) are a chance for mappers to create experimental gameplay and design. Themes reflect this and the whole challenge is much more relaxed than the Lambda Cup and Mesa Cup challenges.

No prizes are awarded. It is just a chance to have some fun.

Unlike the Lambda Cup and Mesa Cup challenge which require a special submission template, submissions can be sent as mappers want – ideally, just a readme.txt and BSP file.

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.


  1. Well for me, the only way of doing an interesting map for this challenge is taking the “Groundhog Day” idea of repetition.
    You have 72 seconds to do something right, you fail, map reloads to beginning. Maybe…. each time something changes… hmm. Interesting idea, but not enough time for me to develop.

    1. That’s a really cool idea. How about instead of something changing each time, the player learns new valuable information from each bad end, allowing them to progress through in different ways once they restart, while keeping the map as one consistent puzzle.

  2. Anon_1698432

    Gah! Working this weekend!

  3. You have 72 Hours to make a 72 Second masterpiece, where you will most likely die 72 Times!

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