The Lambda Cup 2018 – Challenge 5 – ReplayVille

16th November 2018

Hello and welcome to Challenge 5, the final event in the Lambda Cup, a series of five Source single player mapping challenges.

If you are new to the 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

For this challenge, we would like to you create a map that is fun to replay – or that specifically rewards you for playing through again. Variety is the spice of life, so offering the player different experiences during playthroughs is key.

One way to do this is by offering the player choices. Choice of path, or weapons, or companions, and so on.

Randomness can also make significant changes to the experience. Random enemy locations, random timing of attacks, or even random map layout changes that can lead to interesting playthroughs are all fair game.

Ideally the player’s choices or any random elements will impact the playthrough and offer variety on a replay.

Your entry could be a hub-type map where the player must achieve an overarching goal by completing a number of smaller goals. The hub area would lead to various points where the player performs an action that has consequences in the other parts of the map. For example, the player chooses to clear a building of zombies first and then attempts to pass a city street which has a sniper. Because there are no zombies left, the player finds it harder to reach the sniper since they are the only target left. If the player had attacked the sniper first, they would have found a shotgun which would have made it much easier to kill the zombies. But, because the sniper was killed first, they would find a lot more zombies in the building than in the first scenario.

In this case, “hub” doesn’t necessarily mean a map with corridors and portals – the hub area could just as easily be a crossroads in the forest, for example. “Hub” here just means a central area connecting to a variety of areas, where the player can make choices about how to proceed. If there is an overarching goal, it should be clear to the player – and ideally the smaller goals tie in sensibly to the larger goal. (Think of Blast Pit, where the player had to turn on the oxygen, fuel, and the power in order to fire the test engine to proceed past the tentacles. It’s not a good example for replayability, just for how an overarching goal can be linked to smaller goals).

Your entry could also be one where the player has to find the “correct” route in order to complete the map – along the lines of ChaseVille or some of the maps in the recent 72-Second Experiment. But keep in mind that it should be fun to replay – not frustrating and almost certainly not time-limited.

Or perhaps the player learns something during playing your map that allows for a totally different approach on a replay.

For this challenge the usual limit of 2 maps is removed. However, please don’t take that to mean you should build 10 maps.
We have removed this limitation to allow interesting “jumps” to each section, IF the mapper chooses to create a hub-style map.

As always, if you have any questions or doubts, please ask. If you want a private answer, please send an email to [email protected] – NOT [email protected]. Good luck!

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


The deadline for submission was 11pm GMT Monday 17th December 2018

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.
  • 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-C5-ReplayVille 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_c5.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-C5-Entry name
      BODY: TLC2018-C5-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)
Final Thoughts

Making a map that can be replayed is not hard, making a map that is FUN to replay is much harder. Think carefully about the replay elements in your map.

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


  1. Pretty cool concept. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun!

  2. interesting concept. Half life maps with multiple endings that would be fun

  3. I’m not a modder but I have always wondered if you could use some kind of random number generator to make the playing experience for a map different each time. Maybe randomize the number and types of enemies or something like that.

    1. I think you could use a logic_timer entity that fires a command at random.
      Example: Let’s say you have a spawner for a Combine Soldier, Metrocop and Combine Elite.
      You could set the timer to fire between 0-3 seconds. After 1 second the spawner for the Soldier turns off, and the spawner for the Metrocop turns on. After 2 seconds the spawner for the Metrocop turns off and the Elite spawner turns on, etc. When the logic_timer fires after 3 seconds, an Elite will spawn. If the timer fires at 2 seconds a Metrocop will spawn, you probably understand by now.
      This probably is not the optimal way to do it, but with my current knowledge of Hammer this is my approach.

      1. You can do the same much more effectively with a logic_case. When called it can fire up to 16 random outputs depending on how you set it up. A combination of both logic_case and logic_timer depending on the use case would be the best approach.

        1. Didn’t now about that entity until now. Thanks for the information!

    2. You can use a logic_case and just fire a “PickRandomShuffle” and it will pick one of the cases you’ve setup for it by random and then disabling it from calling that case again until all other cases have been called.

      I use quite a lot in the uprising entry, so depending on your “luck” the attack waves comes in different orders, certain props may spawn or not and sometimes extra enemies will spawn.
      Tho it’s probably nothing the player will notice right out of hand, but it’s in there.

  4. Anon_1725141

    Is this destined to be our Chistmas ‘treat’ or is there something else in the pipeline ?

  5. Half-LifeJunkie

    Hi guys I’m new around here but not to the game which I have played like an addict for years and those fantastic mods around here and out there.
    As a non-mapper I would like to add an appreciation for all the work done in the past keeping the likes of us ‘fed’
    Looks like a Christmas Cracker so well done in advance…
    Steve S

      1. Half-LifeJunkie

        Thanks for the welcome.
        I see there are Black Mesa mods on here too which I haven’t been able to play.
        A simple heads up for a non-tekky would be much appreciated

        1. Anon_1727393

          Well what kind of advice do you need? If it’s something I can explain i’d be happy to help.

          1. Half-LifeJunkie

            I bought Black Mesa game which is a brilliant remake but I can’t seem to locate the folder in order to add the particular mod info. Sso 2 questions where ought it to be and how do I put it there?

            1. Most BM mods and maps on this site have installation instructions. have you checked on each map’s page and followed those instructions.

              Also, questions like this should be posted on the map’s actual page so that other users benefit.

        2. Have you checked the Workshop page for Black Mesa? Most of the mods can be found there as well.

  6. Ooooo, this is cool, I’m kinda reminded of Random Quest.

    Its nice to finally have time for some HalfLifing.

  7. Anon_1728353

    Well, a few more hours and it’ll all be over, I wonder when it’ll be released, I’m home alone until January, I have flu and the water is off due to a burst pipe, however, I’d like to take the opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

  8. feyun

    When are you going to release this?

Leave a Reply

Comment Formatting Guide

Well formatted comments are much easier to read. Please copy and paste the HTML Tags to use in your comment

  • HEADER: <div class="fix"></div><div class="sbe3">TEXT HERE</div>
  • BOLD: <strong>TEXT HERE</strong>
  • ITALIC: <em>TEXT HERE</em>
  • SPOILER: <span class="spoiler">TEXT HERE</span>