The Beautiful Indoor Experiment

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

10th March 2018

For this Experimental Mapping Challenge, entrants had to make a map that most would consider beautiful.

Of course, beautiful is generally considered visual but in this case, the atmosphere was also important.

It was hoped that some would even try environmental story-telling.

The mod contains 7 official entries and 3 bonus entries.

This mod requires the Source SDK Base 2013 Singleplayer “Upcoming” beta branch activated.

Basic Details
  • Title: The Beautiful Indoor Experiment
  • Filename: sdk-2013-sp-tbie.7z
  • Size : 95.4MB
  • Author: GreenSt, 1upD, November, Sockman, John Evans AKA Jonny512, The_Blazer, Michael McGee AKA HQDefault, Tobias Janderå, Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon​, Builderpro​
  • Date Released: 10 March 2018

Download Options

Download to your HDD [95.4MB]

CURRENTLY THIS RELEASE 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-tbie” folder into your “SourceMods” folder.
  • Restart or start Steam.
  • RTSL.THE.BEAUTIFUL.INDOOR.EXPERIMENT 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:

The Beautiful Indoor Experiment Review Template

Thank you.

Theme Details

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 inaccessible. 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!”

Full details can be found on the The Beautiful Indoor Experiment announcement page.

Deadline

The deadline for submitting maps was:
11am GMT Monday 26th February 2018
CET is Central European Time. Phillip’s Time.

Entries

Just a House by GreenSt
HotelMesa by 1upD
Chromatic by November
Modern House by Sockman
Data Processing by John Evans AKA Jonny512
Launch by The_Blazer
Aqua Rust by Michael McGee AKA HQDefault
Bonus: Empty Locales by Tobias Janderå
Bonus: Perspective by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon​
Bonus: Outpost by Builderpro​

Phillip’s Favourite

I’ll be presenting two random Steam games to the following entrants.

Firstly, to The_Blazer for his Launch entry. I felt that while this was possibly the smallest entry, it really captured what I was looking for when I though of the theme. It was detailed and well-lit.

Secondly to November for his Chromatic entry. Mainly for the cathedral type room, that can be seen in the panoramics. Using simple colours is an interesting option but it’s the combination of those colours and the shapes they are used with that really matters.

I’d like to thank all the entrants for taking the time to create something and hope you, the reader, enjoy them.

Community Poll

Time for you to share your thoughts! Vote for your top 3 maps. Poll closes 10th April 2018.
The bonus maps have not been included in this poll.

Which are your top 3 maps from The Beautiful Indoor Experiment?

  • Aqua Rust by Michael McGee AKA HQDefault (17%, 20 Votes)
  • Launch by The_Blazer (23%, 28 Votes)
  • Data Processing by John Evans AKA Jonny512 (15%, 18 Votes)
  • Modern House by Sockman (7%, 8 Votes)
  • Chromatic by November (23%, 28 Votes)
  • HotelMesa by 1upD (4%, 5 Votes)
  • Just a House by GreenSt (11%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 52

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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

0.9 – Entrants version to check everything worked.
1.0 – THIS RELEASE: First public version. One missing texture (very small) in Perspectives.

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 10 custom gridview images included in this release.
To use them, switch your Steam Library view to Gridview. Right click on RTSL.THE.BEAUTIFUL.INDOOR.EXPERIMENT and chose “Set Custom Image”. Click “browse” when a small windows appears and navigate to your SourceMods folder and the “sdk-2013-sp-tbie/steam-gridview-images/” folder and select the image of your choice.
You can of course, create your own image and use that.
The number of the images DOES NOT correspond to the chapter.

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.

Phillip’s Playthrough Video

Coming Soon.

Panoramics

WARNING: The panoramics contain spoilers.





Screenshots

WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.

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

7 recommendations, average score: 3.57 (out of 5), standard deviation: 1.1 (what's that?)
Total Downloads
  • 1,301
    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: 1 Hours, 33 Mins
Shortest: 0 Hours, 15 Mins by TheMineGuy68
Longest: 2 Hours, 18 Mins by rikersbeard
Total Time Played: 12 Hours, 23 Mins
If you believe this release is missing important tags, please suggest them in a comment?
Jump to a review
Phillip says Play It!Maybe?Think TwiceMaybe?Play It LaterPlay It Now!Maybe?

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13 Comments

  1. Phillip says Play It!

    For this review, I have decided to not use the Per-Map Opinion images. I feel that for such a specific challenge it would be wrong. I was really quite excited to play these because often mappers have to focus on gameplay in the challenges, they rarely get time to polish the visuals. Of course, this challenge was only 72 hours, but even so, that’s 72 hours just to worry about visuals.

    The reviews below will contain minor spoilers.

    Just a House by GreenSt

    The start is quite bland and I was worried that it really wasn’t going to be much fun but actually this is a pretty cool map. I think I may have made the basement a little darker but perhaps the brightness contrasts well with the concrete and you get this feeling of sterileness. The area above has a few very simple puzzles that force the player to move around, which is a good idea and the final elevator ride offers a glimpse into something more.

    All in all, a fun map to play.

    HotelMesa by 1upD

    I’m not a fan of textures that try to be realistic, especially when they are shiny. The setting is pretty cool and it does have the feel of a hotel. The addition of combat was a mistake in my opinion, but I suspect the author thought that on its own the lobby area was not enough and he may be right.

    Overall, this is a map that I would love to see textured and lit by different mappers.

    Chromatic by November

    Totally misjudged this map in the first second or so of opening it. Just thought it was a room with bright textures, but it’s not. The red room is wonderful and besides the manhack pieces, the combat was just enough to keep you aware. To be honest, I would have prefer a simple GG puzzle related to the colours and patterns but it was still fun.

    This is one that people will see the screenshots and be really curious to play.

    To sum up, take a moment to savour the feel and design of each room.

    Modern House by Sockman

    I’m glad I don’t like in this house. I actually like simplistic rooms but this one felt too big. As I have already mentioned, I’m not a fan of textures that try to be too realistic and the reflections here just felt fake.

    I think I see what the mapper was trying to create but I feel that the subject was not the best for exploring lighting and shadows within the Source engine. Besides the light switch, shower door and moving the ornaments around there was no real interaction, which admittedly wasn’t part of the challenge, but the map felt like it’s theme – too simplistic.

    Data Processing by John Evans AKA Jonny512

    The first moment this map starts, there is a second where you only face forward, but the moment you look up you are rewarded. The room is dominated by its ceiling and I love cool ceilings.

    A simple but fund puzzle awaits you, should you desire to leave the room and its well executed. There after are two more simple puzzles that require almost no thought. That’s not a criticism as this challenge was not about that. It was about making something that looked great.

    However, for me the best part was the initial room and I would have prefer the main area to have had something interesting to look at than the tram ride, which didn’t actually add to the feeling.

    All in all, I was slightly disappointed after being in the first room.

    Launch by The_Blazer

    This is EXACTLY what I was hoping for when I suggested the theme. A map that has some interaction with the player but one that looks amazing. Often in a room similar to this we would simply be looking for the button to get out and maybe fighting enemies.

    Now, I have the time to appreciate the visuals. I especially like the shadows of the fan and the contrast between the light and dark areas.

    Overall, a great looking room that was detailed and felt realistic.

    Aqua Rust by Michael McGee AKA HQDefault

    I have to admit, I noclipped around in this one after about 5 minutes of walking around to see if I could start or open something. As much as the area looked great, I don’t feel it told a story and that’s one thing I would have liked to have seen.

    I feel the walkway should have had doors on at least one end otherwise its function was not clear.

    I’m sorry to say that this gets my BBB award: Beautiful But Boring.

    Bonus: Empty Locales by Tobias Janderå

    The first thing I though of when I started this map was “Miigga”! Maybe you have heard of him. He used to map make but hasn’t released something for a long time. Anyway, it has the feel of his maps: the shape of the areas, the lighting (in parts). A little bit like the previous map, this one looked really good but lacked atmosphere. Yes, I know there were sound effects and smoke, but I mean I didn’t feel any “story” here.

    What had happened? What was it used for? Yes, it’s true that the Launch didn’t have this but somehow it didn’t matter. here I feel I am missing something. perhaps it’s people or at least dead people.

    In a mod with more gameplay I would have been very happy with this map but here I wanted something more.

    Bonus: Perspective by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon​

    The concept was quite interesting and if I remember correctly Matt71490 has used it before. What I didn’t like was its execution. If each area had been significantly different from the last, I might have been impressed, but as it was the first two felt too similar, the third was pretty good and the last was just silly.

    Of course, I could just be looking at it from the wrong perspective!

    Outpost by Builderpro​

    The scope of this map is clearly bigger than the others and offers a wide variety of lighting styles. Most were too “primary” for my taste. The map tries to tell the story of a resistance base and for the most part it felt like it could be. What I felt could have been done was a smaller area but more attention to detail.

    I never felt that any room was as good as it could have been. Yes, the helicopter area was nicely done but there is not enough going on to keep the player interested.

    Summary

    I was disappointed that the player was allowed to walk around freely in all of the entries and I don’t believe I saw any scripted events. Yes, the theme was beautiful but it was also about environmental storytelling. Having a beautifully lit room that the player runs through is a waste of time. There needs to be a reason for them to look around.

    As most often, there is never a clear winner, especially in these experimental challenges, but I did enjoy Launch and Chromatic. I’ll be sending them a random Steam game as a prize.

    Thanks to all who entered and I am pretty sure that readers and players will find something they like in the collections of maps.

  2. Introduction

    This ville is probably one of the most if not the most unique ville on this site, being a first that does not require any type of gameplay, only revolving around visuals and how well they’re executed, keep in mind that just like Phillip i won’t be using per map opnions, because like, he said, this ville is to different from the others, and because i’m a horrible reviewer . So, let’s see if this one i worth your time and appreciation (keep in mind, there will be spoilers in the review).

    Just a House by GreenSt

    The map’s visuals were not that impressive, having a basic look to it, the concept that you’re a lab rat inside a fake enviroment was interesting but not enough to make it unique, the only real issue i have with this map is that the music and the distorted voices end shortly after the map starts, cutting off the atmosphere entirely.

    HotelMesa by 1upD

    This one had some great texture work but almost no details with props, i expected the rooms to be explorable but they aren’t leaving the map with some boring square corridors with great walls and floor.

    Chromatic by November

    Wow, was this one pretty, i don’t know what it is about maps with visuals like this one, but they always seen so calming and immersive, with flat nice colours and soothing music.

    Modern House by Sockman

    Jesus Christ, another beautiful one, i was kinda dissapointed that the cube maps didn’t load and had to see those horrible pink reflections, but, the one room were it did load, it was beautiful, the reflections were incredible and realistic, like i just set foot in the cleanest mall in the world, the water was great and the TV and the piano along with the echo (and the HTDF easter egg) where a nice touch, the only i have to complain about this one is that most of the rooms in this map are empty with a single set of furniture for each room, leaving a lot of free space, other than that, marvelous.

    Data Processing by John Evans AKA Jonny512

    Although this one wasn’t the prettiest one, it was the with the most gameplay until now, and those little puzzles were fun and nice, that’s all i have to say.

    Launch by The_Blazer

    Here’s all the prop detail i wanted, this map was really short but was very well detailed with great prop placement and particle effects like dust and sparks, a good map.

    Aqua Rust by Michael McGee AKA HQDefault

    Another impressive map with great attention to detail with great use of smoke, lighting and prop placement.

    Bonus: Empty Locales by Tobias Janderå

    Great details, clever use of smoke and a little bit of gameplay.

    Bonus: Perspective by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon​

    This was really enjoyable and went a little beyond my expectations, the concept was interesting, having you play the same map but in different settings, them being:
    Horror: the most interesting one by far, having a nice atmosphere, being reinforced by the music and lighting, i expected a jumpscare at the end and was happy to be wrong.
    Ruins: this one was just a lighting show, but with an unique projector prop.
    Half Life: the most meh one, nothing really unique, just bland.
    First time mapper: Oh Christ…

    Bonus: Outpost by Builderpro​

    This was one of the most interesting ones in here, i never knew exploring an underground resistance base would be this interesting, being able to know how they live, where they train their aim, treat wounded rebels, enjoy their free time and discover their secret heli, truly incredible.

    Conclusion

    if you enjoy walking simulators and/or just appreciate a BEAUTIFUL INDOOR place, then this ville is for you, here you will find well crafted settings with some great atmospheres and attention to detail, but if you need to fight something in every game you play, i suggest you look somewhere else because you aren’t going to find it here, i think this is the first ville where i couldn’t pick a favorite because each one was unique in its own way, and that is really hard to come by these days, trully a great ville!

  3. asterixer

    After putting the Linux client.so and server.so into the bin folder it runs without problems under linux.

    1. Anon_1627401

      Thanks for updating us on how to fix the Linux compatibility of the mod. I’m certain other Linux user, like myself, appreciate it. It would be nice if all the great mods here ran without effort on Windows, SteamOS and Linux. Until then, I have had very few problems running any of the mods with Wine and PlayOnLinux. Peace.

  4. Maybe?

    I was pretty excited for this, but quite honestly, few maps here look above average. Maybe that’s just the time limit, but overall, this ville didn’t really impress me. I will try to judge each map exclusively based on visuals, as that was the point of the challenge. I will be using the per-map images for this review, just to more clearly communicate my thoughts on each map.

    Just a House by GreenSt
    It is okay

    It didn’t look terrible, but it didn’t look amazing either. The broken floor was the visual highlight, and I can’t even imagine how long it took to make.

    HotelMesa by 1upD
    It is okay

    Yet another one that is just “fine”. The reflections were a bit too strong, and I never really got the feeling that the hotel was a real place. Some of the gameplay editions were cool (although hard to find) but that isn’t the focus of this challenge.

    Chromatic by November
    It is okay

    As a MinimalismVille entry, this map would have been great. In the context of this challenge though, I feel like this map is out of place.

    Modern House by Sockman
    It is okay

    Similar to Just A House, this one doesn’t do much to stand out. Its just fine. The HDTF easter egg was nice, though.

    Data Processing by John Evans AKA Jonny512
    It is bad

    The puzzles were fine, but as I said before, that wasn’t the point of the theme. The first room looked alright, but after that the visuals took a sheer drop. I’d still play this one, mainly because there are some inventive puzzle ideas to be seen but as a “Beautiful Indoor Experiment” map, this one fails.

    Launch by The_Blazer
    It is good

    In my opinion the lighting was too constant and bright, but thats pretty much where my critiques end. The moving shadows looked great, and dustmotes are always a plus. Definitely one of the best.

    Aqua Rust by Michael McGee AKA HQDefault
    It is good

    A bit too dark but it had a good atmosphere. Not really much else to say about this one, it was quite small.

    Bonus: Empty Locales by Tobias Jandera
    It is good

    One of my favorites. It looked just good enough to differentiate itself, but still felt grounded and real, which is something that many of the maps here lacked.

    Bonus: Perspective by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon

    This map was too dark. All of my maps are dark, but this one was TOO dark. I wanted to make this map more of an atmospheric adventure than a visual marvel, and I had so many ideas that I just combined them all into one map and added a joke section because I was bored. Originally, I was going to allow the player to choose which door to open, instead of making the map entirely linear, but decided against it because I wanted the player to experience all the tones that I had set up. In hindsight, I should have named this map “The Four H’s” and changed each atmosphere to start with an H: “Horror, Hulking Ruins, Half-Life, and.. um.. I cant think of anything for the last one off the top of my head”.

    Outpost by Builderpro
    It is good

    Some areas looked really great, others looked really bland. The coolest room was the one in the panoramic image, which had a really cool orange glow to it.

  5. Think Twice
    I was hoping for something that I failed to find?

    These maps for some reason left me cold and at times bored stiff. Agonisingly short and mostly bereft of the beauty I was hoping to find. I love maps to explore without fear of dying too quickly, but these felt too rushed to be able to make them worth a second go.
    I was so disappointed I was angry…
    So now I’m annoyed to give such negative feedback…

    1. Anon_1620016

      To be honest, I’m not sure what you were expecting. I can understand if you were disappointed by the visuals for some (as that was kind of the point of the contest and some just didn’t deliver) but I can’t say I understand why you thought you were going to get a decent gameplay experience when even the contest description said gameplay doesn’t even have to be a consideration.

      I was expecting most people to just buckle down for 72 hours and make well-detailed environments without worrying about how it plays. That’s what I did.

      I think it would have been better if this contest was just labeled as purely visual treats rather than actual maps to play, because for the most part these maps were just here for you to look at them.

      1. This was me btw, I forget that RTSL logs you out if you don’t comment for a few days

  6. Maybe?

    Went through all the maps without first reading what the original idea was supposed to be behind them. Was disappointed but now see that many were well executed, but just needed a story and action.
    I can’t be too negatve since I have yet to join in as a designer.

  7. Play It Later

    SPOILER WARNING, obviously. If you want my general thoughts and have decided to read the reviews before you spend precious hard drive space on the mod and don’t want the experience spoiled, skip to the summary.

    I’m a big fan of things that look good (very strange, I know) so the thought of exploring environments the purpose of which was to look good got me pretty pumped to download the ville. I’ll be judging the maps based on their aesthetics and on their gameplay, if I have anything substantial to mention.

    Just a House by GreenSt
    It is good

    Aesthetically, the map is fairly bland. It consists mostly of boxes and flat lights with little contrast (and over-exposed, as seen at the latter end), so it’s nothing special in that regard.

    The map continues its trend of being perfectly average in its gameplay. The cliche box-staircase puzzle took me a little too long to figure out because i’m a bit of an idiot (who has a bunch of empty crates sitting in their basement anyway? I guess the same sort of dude with a gaping hole in his floor and a secret basement elevator.) along with the “wood covering a doorway” thing with an inaccessible gravity gun (which is almost immediately followed up by a stack of the things, points for cheekiness) and ends with an escape elevator with a view of a laboratory of some sort, possibly hinting that the whole thing was a facade or something.

    Overall, it’s the most average map in the pack. Completely average. Nothing particularly special or horrible about any part of it.

    HotelMesa by 1upD
    It is great!

    I like how this one looks, for the most part. It strangely reminded me of the restaurant scene in Kill Bill, probably because of all the wooden poles and whatnot. The shiny wall texture was a bit weird, but I’ll just boil that down to time constraints and let it slide. The blue combine tech doesn’t fit very well with the otherwise warm colors of the rest of the map, though.

    The goal of the map wasn’t very obvious, and ends with a somewhat abrupt fade out. Gameplay is not the point of the challenge to my understanding, so I wouldn’t yell about it as much as I did for the previous map.

    Chromatic by November
    It is great!

    Reminded me a bit of the Beginner’s Guide with its textures and design. A very pretty map, though solid white might not have been the best choice for the hub area. I’m taking points off because I hate manhacks, though.

    Modern House by Sockman
    It is good

    The owner of this house is a strange guy. Instead of spending money on furniture, he splurges on floor wax and the water bill for seemingly endless amounts of the stuff pouring from the pool and shower. My main gripe is how big and empty the map is. My guess is that using any of Half Life’s furniture would have clashed with the overall look of the map, though the creator could have just made his own out of brushes (better than nothing) or turned it into something like an art museum. They also should have splurged a bit more on the lightmaps on the walls, seeing as how small the map is.

    Data Processing by John Evans AKA Jonny512
    It is great!

    A very dark and gloomy map with a couple simple puzzles. Most of the detail is lost on the player unless they look up, which they might not usually do. There is a lack of contrast, with the color scheme being blue and black with not much else. Nothing extraordinary, however I do like the cute, though pointless, robot at the start of the map.

    Launch by The_Blazer
    It is WOW!

    Instead of being slick and clean like some of the other maps in this pack try to do, Launch instead opts for a dirtier approach. It worked wonderfully. It really does look like an abandoned laboratory roaring to life thanks to the player after many years of neglect. I personally would have removed some of the clutter around the teleporter, though. Great map overall.

    Aqua Rust by Michael McGee AKA HQDefault
    It is good

    I suppose the map developer took a page out of Jonny512’s book when he made this one. It’s another very dark map with a cool color scheme. The windows and the effects around them are very pretty, though the map is very big and empty overall. I spent longer than I would like to admit messing about with it before figuring out there was no actual gameplay. I suppose it would be unfair to say it leaves much to be desired, though.

    Bonus: Empty Locales by Tobias Jandera
    It is great!

    Another dirty map featuring the occasional creepy sound and combine alarm. Despite it being dirty, it does feel a bit too ..clean in some areas (mainly due to a lack of decals). It also runs off course from its green-blue color scheme in a couple places, but it’s not too big of a deal. Some shallow gameplay is included, mainly to get that zombie banging on the window to shut up. It is very impressive considering the time constraint.

    Bonus: Perspective by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon

    One thing I love about RTSL is the cleverness of its community. Nowhere else have I found maps that’ll make me say “That’s pretty neat. Why didn’t I think of that?”. This is one of those levels. It has you walk through 4 different iterations of the same area, each with its own unique aesthetic starting from horror and ending with your average troll mod. I will admit I do enjoy these troll mods every once in a while when i’m in the mood for things of that caliber. I suppose it’s all about perspective. (The template provided doesn’t seem to want to embed an image, so just pretend I fixed it and there’s a little box saying “IT’S WOW” on the side, thanks).

    Outpost by Builderpro
    It is great!

    A rebel outpost that appears to be preparing for some attack, presumably from the combine forces. It features a shooting range, long hallways filled with nothing, a garage, a cafeteria, and a handy-dandy helicopter storage (which is the prettiest place in the map, in my opinion). The lighting is greys for the most part, with some blues and reds sprinkled in. Also, I’m pretty sure the same wall texture is used for most of the maps. Not really a big deal, but it kind of annoyed me.

    Summary

    The mod is alright overall. A few are nothing too spectacular, but there is definitely some good stuff in here. I suppose I came into it with much higher expectations than I probably should have had, so I apologize to any of the developers who feel as though they were judged unfairly.

    Thank you to everyone who made something to submit. You’ve certainly done more than I have bothered to do.

    1. roaring to life thanks to the player after many years of neglect

      I’m so happy someone felt like this. It was exactly what I was going for with this map! Thanks for the kind words.

  8. Play It Now!

    The maps were very well made, and one of them was my personal favourite. I will list three of them.

    third was: Launch. Though it was very short it was very atmospheric. Not too dark, not too bright. The little and simple puzzle was fun, though short and obvious.

    second was: Aqua rust. Though tiny the name fitted. The water was in the middle wall making it not too clear, but still clear. The particles in the water though I dont know if they were custom or not they were still well made/placed. The dark atmosphere was cleared by the warmer and colder lights.

    and the first was: Empty locales! The map was well designed with the more shaped environments not always sticking to the boxy rooms. There was a couple of things to do. When entered the radio makes the creepy TV music from HL2. The map was atmospheric and well detailed. Even though the cubemaps were dead (In the version I played) it wasnt heart killing as there were 2-3 props with the problem. The vent got me off-guard, when I was entering a room. Also the secret (NOT GOING TO SPOIL IT) was kinda funny as for some reason it terrifies me to see it… not that it will scare someone else. Though it was funny how it had it’s own room hidden.

    Remember these were my personal favourites and can be different with other people. Thank you for your time, and have an amazing time!

  9. Hec
    Maybe?

    I guess TBIE is a competition that you may like it, or you may not.

    Firstly and in my personal opinion, I consider the lack of gameplay in some entries it is a total turndown. Especially when some indoor areas could have been perfectly suitable to add some combat challenging situation. Because only passing thru some beautiful or nice parts of a map is just as boring as walking through a “nice” but boring landmark.

    Now I know aesthetics were the most important point of the competition, but what you win in aesthetic terms, we lose as gamers, in gameplay and combat, which is also another important, if not the most, important point in the whole Half-Life games!

    So with that in mind for me, this is a big maybe? recommendation.

    If I have to be more specific I guess both winners, because they are in a draw situation. “Launch” and “Chromatic”

    It is great!

    Are both great entries, I like Chromatic more because at least in that entry you have a purpose in gaming terms to fulfill. Though in Launch entry, aesthetics, especially the lighting of the map were just impressing -because considering source is already an old graphics engine, the whole graphics look almost like if that map was generated in the last generation engine!!-. So they are beautiful and fit great in that little map.

    I really don’t want to comment about the rest entries, because they are OK but not that outstanding, I don’t want to demerit the authors of those entries, but they are just in an average indoor HL2 standard.

    Finally, I have to say that for me, the best balance between beautiful indoor maps, and pure HL2 combat, are totally present in the “CSS Hardwire” mod, one of my best and favorite HL2 mods of all the time! where the recreate the beautiful CSS MP maps, in a great SP HL2 Combat dynamic! There you’ll find some of the most beautiful MP maps ever created in the source engine, with HL2 combat added, so is just a delightful mod I really and strongly recommend you to play!

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