The Beautiful Indoor Experiment Mapping Challenge

23rd February 2018

Gameplay is obviously one of, if not the, most important aspects of video games, but how a game/map/mod looks is very important too.

Various styles fit various settings, but great lighting and attention to detail are always important.

For this challenge, we would like you to create a beautiful indoor map. It can be a map where the player roams freely or is taken on a ride (literally or figuratively).

No outdoor areas can be accessed or even seen. Windows can be included but preferably blurred or at least inaccesible. What we mean is that players must not be able to look out of windows, but windows can be used for lighting and effects.

No gameplay is required, although of course it is allowed.

The player can be allowed to walk through the map and discover things for themselves or the view can be controlled via physical barriers or point_viewcontrol.

What’s important are lighting, setting, and emotion. We want atmosphere. Think style over size.

The judges hope for interesting architecture and cool details. In fact, you could even create one room, but of course that one room must blow us away!

Scripted sequences can be used to make the map feel alive and flesh out the scene.

When players finish your map, they should sit back and say “wow!” Also perhaps: “I didn’t know indoor areas could look so awesome!”


11am GMT Monday 26th February 2018

General Mapping Challenge Rules


Use the RTSL Mod Template to build your entry.
Maximum two maps per mapper per 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 a system with only SDK Base 2013 singleplayer, set to “upcoming Beta”. installed
By entering the competition you grant PlanetPhillip.Com & RunThinkShootLive.Com the right to release the map as part of The Beautiful Indoor Experiment 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 AND MUST BE ABLE TO BE USED IN MONETISED VIDEOS
All files submitted MUST be in lowercase and any custom assets must have unique names, both folder AND files.
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_tbi-emc.bsp
Please submit a mapname_readme.txt with your entry. Even if it is just your name and your entry, although you should try to create a proper one.
All entries must be sent to: 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 – even though the time frame is much tighter.

No prizes are awarded. It is just a chance to have some fun and practice various mapping themes and skills.

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

Official RTSL Mapping Challenges Discord Channel

If you are a Discord user and want to chat about the event then please feel free to join the official RTSL Mapping Challenges channel over on the Source Modding Community Discord server and get chatting.

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Help me create more and better content - please support me on Patreon


  1. I have just finished playing the “Autonomy lost” mod for HL1. It exactly fits to this theme requirements. And after the final titles I said “I hadn’t known indoor areas could look so awesome!”

    1. Thanks. Autonomy Lost was a nice learning experience for me. 🙂

  2. Please give some more warning on when these experimental challenges are coming, I nearly missed this one.

    But, yeah, I’ll definitely be participating in this one. Detailing is fun.

    1. The dates were published months ago in the CALENDAR (which is referenced in all the mapping challenge pages and announcements), referenced many times on the RTSL Twitter account (which I see you have just followed) and discussed frequently in the official RTSL Discord channels on the SMC Discord server.

      1. …oh.

        Well now I feel stupid.

      2. BTW, I want to use this water pack in my map:

        Given that it’s a texture pack that was created with the express purpose for mappers to use, can I assume that he’d be okay with it, or do I need to go out and email him anyway?

        1. No need to email him. That’s fine.

  3. Where’s the beautiful header of this post from? I’d like to play that map!

    1. I’m pretty certain that’s Smog City – a BridgeVille entry

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