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.
Map Labs is a continuous and ever-growing series. Map Labs currently includes:
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:
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!
Co-Founder of Map Labs
The scores are in for Half-Life: Abridged, our fifth mainline competition.
We ran a small challenge for making small maps. Here's our small article about it.
The results are in for our fourth Map Labs competition, asking mappers to send us puzzle maps!
The results are in for our third Test Tube challenge, which we ran over the last week or so.
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For Operation "Fleshing Out Restricted Corridors Competition", entrants were challenged with fleshing out restricted or otherwise inaccessible rooms...
For this competition, Eye Candy returns with a longer competition period, PBR support, and 90% more Houndeyes! Logo by @TheComradeVideo (Twitter)
For this competition, Companion Piece returns with a spooky twist!
For this competition, we asked entrants to create a level about escaping.
For this competition, we asked entrants to create a map which crosses over with something else.
For this competition, we asked entrants to create maps which "deceive" the player or subvert their expectations in some way.
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Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.
Can you tell me? In which assembly is the KATE map? I just saw the video of Bolloxed and I want to go through this map myself
Eye Candy 2, you can grab it here: Moddb.com
This was REALLY FUN! I loved the RESIN-ATOR! I always liked the train stations in HLA and ESPECIALLY the train fights.
Update the competitions list in your mod's description, it's outdated uwu
is there anywhere i can install all of these at once? rather not have to go through multiple downloads with my internet speed
Could you put the ML Discord link in the profile details as the homepage? It would be super convenient.
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Liked the Max Payne Part: Half Life 2 | Jax Payne - Part I
Why is it that contests 11, 13 and 14 are missing?
EDIT: And Test Tube 13.
They’re on the Steam Workshops for the respective games they were for.