The Lambda Cup 2018 – Challenge 3 – BossVille

1st July 2018

Hello and welcome to the Lambda Cup, a series of five HL2:Ep2 single player mapping challenges.

If you are new to my mapping challenges, please see the event’s homepage: THE LAMBDA CUP 2018 as well as the CALENDAR of the mapping challenges for the entire 2018.

Theme Details

We’ve all been there – reaching the end of a game or chapter and having to face the BOSS. Usually, it’s a single all-powerful enemy. Well, almost all-powerful – inevitably after enough dancing around each other, you find its weak spot and exploit it. Hooray! Not really – it’s totally expected, uninteresting, and clichéd.

For this challenge, we would like you to take the idea of a final battle and breathe new life into the scenario. Of course, that’s easier said than done.

We don’t want you to necessarily focus on a single enemy, although you can have that kind of boss if you want. But you’re also allowed to have multiple boss enemies, or one big bad boss with other minions helping. Imagine a pair of bosses working against you and maybe even each other.

Even though this challenge is called BossVille, you don’t have to make a boss fight. We really like the hectic finale in Episode 2, where you had to fend off striders and hunters while driving all over the place. We want to encourage clever twists on the classic boss fight – and we’re definitely keeping an open mind as to what’s acceptable in BossVille. All we’re looking for is a great finale, boss fight or not!

Make the encounter interesting! Perhaps the boss fight has several phases – where the boss changes its attack patterns, or its behavior, or the environment. Maybe you encounter the same enemy multiple times throughout the map, setting him up as the Big Bad and leading up to a great finale fight. Maybe we have to outwit the enemy instead of fighting them?

The core concept of a climactic finale is the key here. Use a single boss in ways we’ve never seen, or come up with your own intriguing final faceoff!


The deadline for submission was 11pm GMT Monday 23rd July 2018

Random Bonus Prize

At the end of this challenge, a random entrant will win a Steam key for DOOM (2016). If the winner already owns this game, a suitable alternate game will be offered. This prize was kindly donated by Don from his small but ecclectic stash of game keys.

The RTSL-Mod-Template

This year, each challenge will have a new mod template that entrants should use to build and test their entries (highly recommended). If you just want to build a map that runs under “regular” Episode 2 that is fine as well, but you won’t be able to use any new features (see below).

The template is packaged as a mod and allows entrants to easily test their work and the new features and fixes.

It contains new content, as well as fixes, for example the antlion worker flash bug, but must be used with the “Upcoming” branch of the Source SDK Base 2013 singleplayer engine and users MUST use the SDK Base 2013 Hammer.

Please CAREFULLY follow the instructions in RTSL-Setting-up-the-dev-mod.pdf located in root folder after downloading the mod template.

We DO NOT guarantee that each challenge will have new content, so please don’t expect it.

Mazur has made miscellaneous changes to the codebase, for which I would like to thank him.

Please visit the RTSL Mod Template page for more details and to download the mod template.

Following on from CoastVille and GravityGunVille Two, both the MechaCrab and the Gravity Gun Stasis Crystal are available to use in this challenge if mappers wish. The Mod Template comes with the Zoo map, which demonstrates the features added in the RTSL Mod.

The Lambda Cup 2018

The Lambda Cup 2018 consists of five mapping challenges, each with a different theme.

Entrants will receive points for each challenge they enter, and each challenge has individual prizes as well.

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.

There have been significant changes from last year’s Hammer Cup, especially regarding points and judging criteria. I HIGHLY recommend reading the full details here: THE LAMBDA CUP 2018.

General Advice

DO NOT GET OVERLY AMBITIOUS. If you can’t build it in about 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.

General Rules


  • Download the Submission Template and use that to submit your entry. The only exception is if you intend to submit only a map with no custom content – in which case you can just send the map (bsp), the graph file (ain), your mapname_readme.txt, and optionally the map source (vmf).
  • End your map with a point_clientcommand firing this exact command: disconnect; startupmenu
  • 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-THC2018-C3-BossVille 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, 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, preferably a link to a public page that shows permission has been granted, in addition, custom assets 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.
  • Entrants are requested to send their VMF files in with their entry. A section in the ReadMe.txt file will make it clear that they are for educational purposes ONLY and MUST NOT be used as the base for other levels without prior permission of the respective author.
  • 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: entryname_tlc18_c3.bsp
  • 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.
  • If you do not receive a confirmation email without 24 hours of sending an entry, contact Phillip IMMEDIATELY.

Please remember, any custom content must be able to be used in monetised playthrough videos posted on the internet.

Submission Details


  1. Enter well BEFORE the deadline. I will accept all late entries as bonus maps.

    Last year, I was flexible regarding entry deadlines, but NOT THIS YEAR.
    Even 1 minute is late!
    It is also WHEN when I receive it NOT when you send it.

  2. Read the General Rules above
  3. Please follow the submission guidelines, included in the submission template carefully.
  4. This submission template must be used UNLESS you are sending in just a BSP file.
  5. Upload your compressed file (rar, zip or 7zip), using the Submission Template to a free file sharing service.
      (Try,,, or mediafire)
      Please avoid Google Docs – it’s often difficult for me to download from them.
  6. Send an email to [email protected] with the following details:
      SUBJECT: TLC2018-C3-Entry name
      BODY: TLC2018-c3-Entry name (Not filename)
                   The name you want used for credit. For example “Phillip Marlowe AKA PlanetPhillip”
                   Link to compressed file (or attach it to the email if it is small enough)
Submitting a chapter & background menu image

Entrants are allowed to submit their own chapter image.
We do not guarantee to use it though.
All that is needed is the image – you do not need to create the VTF, unless you want to. It should be 17Kb.
It’s not compulsory but it will be appreciated.
This can be done up to 7 days after the deadline.

1. Image should be 16:9 ratio.
2. JPG or PNG is best.
3. Weapons and HUD MUST be removed.
4. Neither too bright nor too dark.
5. The FOV can be changed. I use between 75 and 90.
6. Visual effects can be added but be sensible.
7. No text must be added.

1. The chapter images are small. Some images look great full screen but look meh when small.
2. Don’t spoil the map for the player. I find something near the beginning is better, but not always.
3. Don’t spend hours trying to get it perfect. Often people use it for reference only.
4. But, if you can find the right angle and lighting, a good chapter image can get players excited. Do not neglect the promotion of your work.
4. Funky, weird or strange generally don’t work. Keep it simple.

Final Thoughts

We really want to see new and interesting finales! Wow us with a cool boss battle, or come up with your own clever situation. As always, we look forward to playing the results!

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. Potatoes, especially evil ones, make great Bosses. Just ask Eli Vance. Oh, wait, you can’t, he’s dead… killed by a potato.

    1. Potatoes make terrible bosses. But they do make great chips!

  2. are going to post nostalgiaville this sunday or next weekend?

    1. Maybe next weekend. Definitely NOT this weekend.

  3. Excited to see what others create. Going to give this one a go since the holidays have started and I’ll have lots more free time!

    1. Great. Since you are new, don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions about the submission process etc.

  4. Oooo, this is going to be an interesting ville!

  5. Wow, this definitely sounds interesting. I really hope most entries exploit this idea in an original way, without making them long and boring.

    Good luck to all the contestants!

  6. Now the boss fights are one my favorite elements of video games! This is gonna be awesome.

  7. oooooooh, wonder if someone’s gonna try something like the battle against the Time Devourer from Chrono Cross…..

    you forgot to mention, that some bosses have no weakness, and you’re forced to just dance around and chip away at their HP (or whatever) until they finally give up, (looking at you Hunter-Chopper, almost all of the Kingdom Heart’s bosses…..)

  8. Don’t know if people are allowed to suggest ville idea’s or not, but has the idea of a SevenHourWarVille ever been toyed with?

  9. Xblah

    “We highly recommend getting your map beta tested by somebody you trust.”

    What if I don’t have a friend? 🙁

    Just kidding, but I haven’t mapped for HL2 for like 10 years and your website motivated me. Still need someone to test my beta version though.

    1. Xblah

      I was expecting a forum link. So much changed in the last years.

      Thanks, I’ll check it out.

  10. Anon_1683707

    when released bossville

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