Map Labs is an ongoing anthology of Half-Life 2/Source Engine levels, all designed for the various Map Labs mapping challenges. Currently touting hundreds of maps across a multitude of competitions, we're just getting started.

  • Every qualified entry sees a release through this page until the Steam version goes live. Once on Steam, all entries will receive an achievement for completion! This is retroactive, so maps before the Steam release will still have achievements.
  • Enhanced engine base with numerous code fixes, constantly being built upon and improved.
  • New enemies, such as the terrifying Lost Souls and Shadow Walkers - with more to come down the line.
  • Additional weapons not available in stock Half-Life 2, such as the Stunstick, Flaregun, and S.L.A.M.
  • Community-contributed enhanced content, from new music to improved assets.
  • Additional tools for mappers, such as viewmodel overrides and increased projected texture limits.

Map Labs is a continuous and ever-growing series. Map Labs currently includes:

  • Map Labs #1 - Halloween Horror with 7 entries
  • Test Tube #1 - One Room with 14 entries
  • Map Labs #2 - Episode One with 7 entries
  • Test Tube #2 - Companion Piece with 7 entries
  • Map Labs #3 - RunThinkShootLiveVille 2 with 14 entries
  • Test Tube #3 - Abstraction with 15 entries
  • Map Labs #4 - Think Tank with 11 entries
  • Atom #1 - Blade with 14 entries
  • Test Tube #4 - 1,000,000,000 Units with 13 entries
  • Map Labs #5 - Half-Life: Abridged with 24 entries
  • Atom #2 - ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ with 15 entries
  • Test Tube #5 - Blockout with 16 entries
  • Map Labs #6 - Halloween Horror II: The Darkness with 8 entries
  • Test Tube #6 - Smoke on the Water with 6 entries
  • Atom #3 - Gnome with 11 entries
  • Map Labs #7 - The Grid with 16 entries
  • Test Tube #7 - CromulentVille 2 with 16 entries
  • Map Labs #8 - Companion Piece 2: Companion Harder with 12 entries
  • Test Tube #8 - Eye Candy with 28 entries
  • Map Labs #9 - Back on Track with 19 entries
  • Test Tube #9 - Two Rooms with 26 entries
  • Atom #4 - TUNE with 28 entries
  • Workshop #1 - Half-Life: Alyx One Room with 16 entries (available on the Half-Life: Alyx Workshop!)
  • Map Labs #10 - FusionVille 2 with 12 entries


New competitions are hosted regularly, with new opportunities to join in all the time! You can use the links below to follow us and join in future competitions:

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RSS Articles

Alas, season one of Map Labs has come to a close with Test Tube #5. With the past competitions asking mappers to create advanced maps, we thought we'd scale this one back to just dev textures.


Orange and gray squares and blocky geometry may not be the most impressive thing to look at, but it's an essential step in creating the remarkable levels you see throughout Source games. But what if there was an entire theme about just that step? What's what we decided to end Season One of Map Labs with; Blockout! Mappers had three- err, four days to create the most impressive blocky geometry map they could. This competition received 13 entries and 3 bonus entries, totaling 16 brand new Half-Life maps with a whole lot of orange!

Third place was taken by Skorly, with "City of Confusion". This map is visually stunning, starting with one of the most impressive vistas we've seen in Map Labs to date. And it's made of like, three textures. With a surprising amount of detail squeezed out of the brushwork, this map sends players into a strange city infested with combine to save someone dear to them.


"twisted_gravitea_" by Jakob // Tea steals second place with its twisted gravitea. I mean gravity. Using some clever mapping, this level sends players on a stroll across the floors, walls, ceilings, and in-betweens of this abstract, Portal-like course. What it may lack in depth, it makes up for in creativity and ingenuity.


First place goes to "Desolation" by iiboharz and Jackathan. This map has everything. Great visuals, fun combat, some light platforming, easter egg dolls that catch everything on fire, tight level design. It's all-around a great map and absolutely deserves winning.



As always, here's a score sheet so you can see how every map in the competition was scored. If you'd like to read or share reviews of entries, join our Discord community! We have a dedicated channel for it.



We've made it! 10 competitions in a single year, with some off-season competitions for some extra flavor. The team is taking September off, and we've canceled the previously-scheduled Wrap-Up to give everyone some time to cool down before we come back for Season Two on the 4th of October - where the sixth Map Lab competition will be judged by Tyler McVicker from Valve News Network!

Thank you to everyone who joined in on Season One, whether you were an entrant, player, PCGamer journalist, streamer, YouTuber, or just someone in our Discord who seemingly never plays any of the competitions but is just as excited as everyone else. You've all made this a great first year, and we can't wait to deliver another.

There's something else! Moving forward, assuming everything goes over smoothly, we will no longer be releasing competitions on ModDB. There aren't any issues with ModDB, this place is great! But we're hoping to launch the Steam version of Map Labs very soon, with all of Season One with it and with Season Two being added in over time.

As always, if you're interested in joining Map Labs make sure to follow us on Twitter and join us on Discord. People who enter get a special role that turns their name green! Thanks for reading, hopefully our next article will be to announce the Steam version!

Chris Marshall
Co-Founder of Map Labs

Map Lab #5 - Half-Life: Abridged Results

Map Lab #5 - Half-Life: Abridged Results

News 5 comments

The scores are in for Half-Life: Abridged, our fifth mainline competition.

Test Tube #4 - 1,000,000,000 Units Results

Test Tube #4 - 1,000,000,000 Units Results

News

We ran a small challenge for making small maps. Here's our small article about it.

Map Lab #4 - Think Tank Results

Map Lab #4 - Think Tank Results

News 1 comment

The results are in for our fourth Map Labs competition, asking mappers to send us puzzle maps!

Outcome of Test Tube #3 - Abstraction

Outcome of Test Tube #3 - Abstraction

News 2 comments

The results are in for our third Test Tube challenge, which we ran over the last week or so.

RSS Files
Test Tube #16 - Half-Life: Eternal

Test Tube #16 - Half-Life: Eternal

Full Version 6 comments

For this competition, we asked entrants to make maps inspired by the Doom series.

Map Labs #16 - Halloween Horror 4: Nightmare on Reboot Street!

Map Labs #16 - Halloween Horror 4: Nightmare on Reboot Street!

Full Version 6 comments

For this competition, we asked mappers to make spooky maps!

Test Tube #15 - The Wrap-Up Two!

Test Tube #15 - The Wrap-Up Two!

Full Version 4 comments

Also includes Test Tube #14 - A Place in the West! The Wrap-Up Two! is just like the first one! We asked mappers to finish old maps or make maps based...

Map Labs #15 - LVL2

Map Labs #15 - LVL2

Full Version 4 comments

For this competition, we asked mappers to make a sequel to one of their previous entries!

Test Tube #13 - TUNE TWO: Crossfade

Test Tube #13 - TUNE TWO: Crossfade

Full Version 6 comments

Groovy! TUNE returns in this new competition, where we asked mappers to make a map based on not one, but TWO songs!

Atom Week

Atom Week

Full Version 2 comments

For Atom Week, we held 5 competitions in a row, each day having a different theme and lasting 24 or 48 hours. These 5 Atoms add up for a total of 59...

Comments  (0 - 10 of 53)
Paynamia
Paynamia

Why is it that contests 11, 13 and 14 are missing?
EDIT: And Test Tube 13.

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ChrisWeyland Creator
ChrisWeyland

They’re on the Steam Workshops for the respective games they were for.

Reply Good karma+1 vote
BionicCoyote
BionicCoyote

Here's my playthrough of Halloween Horror I & II! The other two will be coming soon!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
[Hazmat]
[Hazmat]

very cool source mod that I am included inside! (Eye Candy, Atom Week Gravity)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
BionicCoyote
BionicCoyote

Streamed the entirety of the "CromulentVille 2" (#7) mappack! Here's the VOD (gameplay starts at 19:00)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
tjclifford
tjclifford

A number of these maps come up to a screen with scores of black lines
across the screen, but no recognizable scene.
All the mapbase directories appear to be in the search path in
gameinfo.txt.
I was able to run abridgedallstars, most maps, but not atomweek or
crossfire or tunetwo.
Trying the others to see if they'll run.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
tjclifford
tjclifford

When you move the mouse around, the black lines move but I still
can't see the scene.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
flippedoutkyrii
flippedoutkyrii

A few mods have been denied a steam release for multiple reasons as of late, I hope Map Labs is not one of them and it still has a plan for it :(

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Guest
Guest

i have played map labs in the past and they have worked but in map labs 11 when i click on expirements its all small and no buttons work except the maps so i cant scroll

Reply Good karma Bad karma0 votes
ChrisWeyland Creator
ChrisWeyland

Try a fresh install!

Reply Good karma+1 vote
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