Monthly Archives: July 2014

CombinationVille Inbound

For roughly the past month, I’ve been working on the Bonus Map for PlanetPhillip’s latest Half-Life 2 mapping contest, CombinationVille.  Since RavenholmVille, Phillip has asked some modders to contribute a featured bonus map which is not part of the competition and not subject to the same time requirements.  CombinationVille will contain my latest work for Half-Life 2.

The goal of CombinationVille is a unique one.  Basically, the modder is limited to two weapons for the entire duration of the map, one of which must be the Crowbar, and two enemies.

For my map, I chose the Crowbar and Bugbait as the two items and the SMG Combine Soldier and <REDACTED> as my enemies.  This put this map in the unique position of being gunless from the player’s perspective, forcing them to rely primarily on friendly Antlions to attack and defend from enemies who are wielding guns.  Friendly Antlions, notably used in Half-Life 2’s Nova Prospekt chapter, were a mechanic I first explored back in my DefendVille entry, but here is where I fully embraced and understood the gameplay behind them.

The level takes place along a fishing village which wouldn’t look out of place in the HIghway 17 chapter of Half-Life 2.  The wharf is home to a Combine Autogun which has been sniping at passing rebel vessels along a critical supply route.  Because of this choice of environment, I spent extra time refining the cubemaps and custom materials to achieve a wet, post-rain look on ground surfaces.  I really like how the sand turned out, in particular.

You’ll be able to check out this level probably in about a week or so, when the competition formally wraps up!