The Hammer Cup 2017 – Challenge 1 – DefendVilleTwo

18th January 2017

Hello and welcome to the first challenge for The Hammer Cup 2017.

Below are the details.


As always, if you have any questions, you can either post a comment or if you require a private reply, send Phillip an email: [email protected]

Theme Details

We would like you to create a map in which the player has to defend a location from attack.

The player should be given a maximum of 5 minutes preparation time but MUST also have the option of triggering the attack manually (for example, with a button or some other clearly marked method).

We want you to create a map that allows for replayability by including a variety of defenses. Ideally, the map would allow for players to use a variety of defensive tactics on replays.

We DO NOT want you to simply create a rebel base and have a lot of Combine soldiers rush it. Maybe the Combine are attempting to destroy (or steal) something vital to the rebels and you have to specifically defend that.

Consider attack waves, with a slight rest between them for the player to regroup.

This challenge is not restricted to a Combine-only attack, so perhaps mix in other HL2 enemies if you like.

The player could be a Combine soldier instead (we will assume that the Combine have stolen an HEV). The location could be moving – maybe defend an APC that is carrying a rebel prisoner.

You should try to create something that will surprise the judges (and players!), is fun to play at least twice, and hopefully looks great and is polished.

We encourage you to look at the more successful maps in the original DefendVille for ideas or inspiration – but create your own ideas on the theme (and keep in mind DefendVille was slightly more restrictive than this challenge).

Differences from the original DefendVille

The original DefendVille had a 10 minute preparation time – this challenge has a maximum of 5 minutes plus the requirement to have a manual start.

The name “Outpost XYZ” was required for the first DefendVille, but NOT this one. You can name your map anything you like.

The Combine were supposed to attack a rebel outpost, hence the previous point. For this challenge, ANY enemy can attack ANY location.

Lastly, a radio message was supplied for the first DefendVille to introduce the theme in each map, it is NOT required this time. You can introduce the situation in any way you like.

The Hammer Cup 2017

The Hammer Cup 2017 consists of five mapping challenges, each with a different theme.

Entrants will receive points for each challenge they enter.

At the end of the event, the best 3 points totals from the challenges they entered will be added together for each entrant.

These totals will decide who wins the Grand Prizes.

This means that entrants do NOT have to enter each and every contest to win the grand prize but they will need to have entered at least 3 challenges to have a chance of winning the grand prizes.

Full details can currently be found here: The Hammer Cup Overview.


The deadline for submitting maps is:

Monday 6th February at 11am GMT

That’s 19 days, with 3 full weekends.

General Advice

DO NOT GET TOO AMBITIOUS. If you can’t build it in 2 weekends then think smaller.

Something is bound to delay your progress. Leave time for testing, bug fixing and polishing!


We highly recommend getting your map beta tested by somebody you trust. Do this early in its development if you can.


A random Steam or ORIGIN game will be awarded to the winner.

Judging Criteria

Each entry will be judged on Design, Sound, Visuals and Gameplay.

The judges are looking for interesting, surprising and clever interpretations of the theme as well as the replayability of the map.

General Rules
  • Maximum two maps per mapper per entry.
  • 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 and RunThinkShootLive.Com the right to release the map as part of the RTSL-THC2017: DefendVilleTwo Mod.
  • Maps must not appear on ANY other website 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 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_thc17_c1.bsp
  • All entries must be sent to: [email protected] no later than the deadline.
  • If you do not receive a confirmation email without 24 hours of sending an entry, contact Phillip IMMEDIATELY.
Final Thoughts

The judges are hoping that this theme provides something for modders to focus on, but still leaves them plenty of scope for creativity.

If you have ANY questions, please don’t hesitate to ask, either here in the comments or by email if you prefer a private answer.


  1. I actually got an idea in my head instantly… Perhaps I can try and overcome my packed schedule and total ineptitude with the Source engine.

    Otherwise, I will look forward to the release. 😛

  2. Dis gonna be good, I have some cool ideas I think would play out nicely.

    1. Do your ideas involve horror? It would be really interesting to player a map with defense themed gameplay that incorporated horror elements.

      1. Sadly no horror (Or very little) for this theme in particular, kinda hard to implement as horror better suits more linear gameplay. This theme is a bit more “open” so its hard to tell where or what players might do. But I plan atleast 1 horror map of some sorts for next theme for sure (As long as it works)

  3. This is going to be fun. Got to wait one more day before I start so my new work monitor can arrive, but then I’m going to get started!

    1. Bastion

      Ack, still failed to arrive.
      Damn you amazon

  4. Wow, didn’t expect this theme at all :O , but if you are gonna make some more “villetwo’s” can’t wait for ElevatorVille 😉

    1. If there are going to eventually be ville sequels, I’d love to see a RunThinkShootLiveVilleTwo. It’s probably my favorite ville here.

      1. Unq

        Good suggestions for the future, though this will likely be the only “Two” Ville in The Hammer Cup this year.

  5. Allright, I’m in … ! Got some busy weeks ahead but I’m sure I’ll be able to produce a serious entry.

  6. OK, This is a great theme, I already Start but I’ve got one question.

    Can we make two “wave”? Like You start, you’ve got 5 minute to prepare and then the first wave. You’ve made it throught, you’ve unlocked a new area of the map. You’ve got a small amount of time to recharge everything then you start something that trigger a new wave where you defend something too.
    I dont know if you understand my idea, but if you do can you reply to my comment please. ?

    And BTW Good luck everyone

    1. a quote from the challenge description:

      “Consider attack waves, with a slight rest between them for the player to regroup.”

      so I think yes you can do that.

        1. Thanks for the reply! 🙂
          Next time, I will read more carefully…

          1. I’ve got an other question. What is the minimum time before the player can activate the defend session?
            Because there is just:

            The original DefendVille had a 10 minute preparation time – this challenge has a maximum of 5 minutes plus the requirement to have a manual start.

            But we don’t know the minimum time.

            1. Unq

              There isn’t a minimum time, as long as you logically give the player some chance to explore and prepare for the invasion. What you don’t want is to have the player accidentally start the invasion – which is why if you use a button it should be clearly labeled.

              1. Ok, thank you for your reply!

  7. So I did a little testing last night, in terms of the entity setup and such… Urgh, I think I’m gonna try to enter this… God dammit

  8. I have a neat idea that’s working so far… I’m excited about this one; it’s only my second ville but I feel a lot more confident.

  9. I spend an entire day on mapping and didn’t even noticed, that how much I am into this. xD

  10. Sorry to hijack as I have nothing to add to the subject except … Mr. Marlowe you have exquisite taste in choosing screenshots for your articles and I especially like the one you’ve chosen for this contest.
    Where does it come from and would it be too much to ask if you could identify the captures you use in your articles ?

    btw . .I’m very happy that you have decided to continue with this site. I couldn’t imagine it not being here anymore. It’s been a part of me for so many years and the best of it’s sort. The utmost authority on all things Half-Life.

    1. vizzys

      the pic is from a map in the first defendville

  11. Today I learned that ai_goal_assualt works with any NPC. For some reason I was under the impression that assault points only worked with Combine Soldiers.

    Do any veteran mappers have any advice on how to make NPCs more aggressive? I’ve finally got my attack waves sort of working but it seems like it was more difficult than it should have been.

    1. actually Combine Soldiers are the only NPC where you DON’T need ai_goal_assault. You can just give them the Assault input with the rallypoint’s name as the parameter.

      As to how to make enemies aggressive. A simple way is to just give them the input UpdateEnemyMemory with !player as the parameter, which in a lot of situations can be good enough. Depends obviously on the level.

      Also check out the ai_goal_standoff page on the valve developer wiki.

      1. Is there a difference between the effect of using UpdateEnemyMemory and creating an AI relationship with “Notify subject of target location”?

        I want my npcs to attack something other than the player. I suppose I could UpdateEnemyMemory of the bullseyes I want them to attack. Right now I’m using an AI relationship to notify the enemies of the bullseye location but it doesn’t seem to always motivate them to approach it. AI assaults have been much more successful.

        1. Notify Subject of Target’s Location literally calls UpdateEnemyMemory behind the scenes, so the two are no different.

          Target prioritization is kind of a sticky thing. Even if you set the ai_relationship’s disposition priority to be higher than the player, they will tend to fixate on whatever enemy they saw first. Simply telling them where another enemy is won’t be enough if the player is a more immediate threat. You may have luck using ai_changetarget to put them to the bullseye.

          1. Does UpdateEnemyMemory get called by the AI_relationship periodically, or just when the relationship is first applied?

            Thankfully the attack on the bullseyes is going pretty well now generally. Sometimes the enemies don’t seem to follow their assault goal though.

            1. Only when it’s first applied, I think.

  12. Well, Hammer crashed and corrupted my map file…

    1. Do you know what you did last? You probably can fix it. You can open .vmf files with a text editor like Notepad++ and edit it manually. If you know what broke the map, you can just remove that in the text file and your map should work again.

      Did you maybe use a point_clientcommand with quotation marks?

      1. Thanks for the help, I managed to decompile my last built map and continue with that, but seriously, thanks for taking your time to help me.

  13. I was really excited about using the rebel turrets from Black Mesa East right before Ravenholm.

    To my dismay, those turrets don’t actually fire.. they’re just prop_dynamics.

    Does anybody know how to make a custom auto-firing turret in hammer? I’m sure there’s a way to do it with a func_tank, but I can’t seem to get anything to work. I just want to make some unique turrets that don’t look like the Combine made them.

    1. I know its alittle late, but its probably the same way they get the Autocannon in EP2 to work!

      1. I tried to use something like the autocannon. Looking back, I could have probably used this entity:

        I ended up choosing to do something a little simpler for the custom turrets, albeit a little bit unconventional. I’m interested to see how people like them.

        1. Late as well, but I think you can aim any func_tank with an ennemyfinder with its relationship set to hate a target. The func_tank has firing output that you can use to launch stuff. This can be a beam set to damage whatever it touches, or fire an explosive prop like a cannon. If you were to simulate a machine gun, best would be an env_gunfire with a damaging env_beam. I can’t wait to see what you did, custom turrets are always fun!

  14. I dropped out of this again. I’m gonna HAVE to finish up my other projects first, get GoldSource out of the way, take some time and then approach Source from the beginning with a clear head.

    Going from one to the other is way to jarring a change.

    1. bummer. I was interested to see what you will come up with 🙂

  15. Last night I seriously considered dropping out of this specific contest too; my map contained many serious gameplay-related and visual bugs and it would most likely result in confusion and frustration for players. I could either refrain from entering the DefendVille 2 competition and fixing this map for later release, OR cut out the ‘rotten’ parts entirely and somewhat polish that what is left. I chose the latter option although I’m not very satisfied with the end-result, but its better than a broken mess.

    1. I’m kind of in the same boat, but I’m going for the first option. Try to polish and fix what I have, even though there are still many unfinished areas

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