The Lambda Cup 2018 – Challenge 4 – PhaseVille

31st August 2018

Hello and welcome to Challenge 4 in the Lambda Cup, a series of five Source 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

The tagline of Half-Life is “Run. Think. Shoot. Live.” You should know that but not everybody does. That’s where the name of this website comes from.

One of my favourite Villes was RunThinkShootLiveVille. It allowed mappers a chance to create small sections, each with a clear objective; both for the mapper and the player. Each phase was clear, precise and compelling.

For this challenge, we would like you to choose one verb from each phase and blend them into a seamless whole map:
Phase 1: Find / Escape / Ride
Phase 2: Solve / Fight / Evade
Phase 3: Drive / Descend / Chase
Phase 4: Live / Die / Fate Unknown

We are looking for natural flow between each phase. You CAN NOT change the order of the phases.

You are allowed to replace ONE of the verbs in the first 3 phases with one of your own choosing. That’s one replacement total allowed, and it’s optional – so if you like the list you can stick to those choices.

Each phase CAN (optional!) be a different size than the others. Imagine your main phase is Descend. You can have two, smaller, but still clearly defined, earlier sections that are really just preludes to the main one. Or you can have each phase the same importance as each other.

Let me explain the final phase. This can be as short as you like. If the player lives, then make that explicitly clear. Have them walk off into the sunset or something similar.

If you choose to let the player die, try to make it fit the context. Make it mean something.

If their fate is unknown, choose that because you have a good reason, not because you couldn’t decide what to do.

If you haven’t already, then we recommend playing RunThinkShootLiveVille to see how previous entrants approached it, but don’t be limited by their work or copy it!

Name your map something OTHER than the 4 phases. For example, FindSolveDriveLive is NOT acceptable. It’s actually a good name but there is the possibility that another entrant will have the same name. Create a simple name that sounds interesting and relates to the content of your map.

There is one new rule this time [about affecting other maps], so please, please please, read all the rules carefully.


The deadline for submission is 11pm GMT Monday 24th September 2018

Random Bonus Prize

I’ll be giving away 5 various Steam games to a randomly selected entrant that is NOT in the top 3 places.

The RTSL-Mod-Template

This year, each challenge will use the RTSL mod template that entrants MUST 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 3 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
  • If your map affects the other maps in ANY way, your entry will be significantly marked down. Think very carefully before applying settings that could affect other maps.
  • 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-C4-PhaseVille 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_c4.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. It wastes my time when I have to rename entrant’s “readme.txt” files. Please don’t do that.
  • 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-C4-Entry name
      BODY: TLC2018-C4-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

Natural flow between each section is really important. Avoid Portal-style chambers – it’s easy but uninteresting.

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. Anon_1703974

    The only way is to wait

    1. Anon_1709719

      It’s been so long…

  2. Anon_1710012

    when released the phaseville ?

    1. Maybe next weekend. Maybe the weekend after.

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