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A gaming and technology blog by TWHL admins Penguinboy and Ant. A music blog by TWHL users Ant and Hugh.

Then and Now

Map Vault > Completed Maps

map screenshot

star star star star star
(11 votes)

[More Screenshots]


By UrbaNebula (See more)
16th March, 2015

428.06KB - BSP

Last edited: 19th March, 2015


Then & Now
by Urby

Single Player map pack for Half-Life


Installation: Easy as pissing. Extract both map files to your Valve/Maps directory. Open the game and run the first map 'thenandnow' from the console.

Build Time: First map, probably about 3 days. I was an idiot back in 1999. Second map... uhm, 3 days. I know what I'm doing now. Took just as long. How odd... Then add on another few minutes for tweaks based on feedback from TWHL community. :D

Story: There isn't one really. Back in 1999 I just stuck the player in a prison cell and he had to escape. I've basically included the original map and then remade it. Dunno. Thought you guys might like to see how I've progressed over the years. :D

Sorry it's not quite The Core... That's coming soon. Promise... :|




avatar The Mad Carrot says: star star star star star 16th March 2015, 22:57 PM
That was fun. I should do something similar with an old map of mine that I made when I first started mapping.

Good stuff.
avatar 2muchvideogames says: 17th March 2015, 01:51 AM
you cannot start at the second map via the console because no suit is given, and the player will likely be stuck in the first vent area without a flashlight.
Good point... edited the description. - Urby

That aside, the improvement is definitely there. Especially compared to this map

Also there are like 50 other maps/mods where you start in a jail or prison and have to escape. No idea why mappers like this theme so much
avatar JeffMOD says: star star star star star 17th March 2015, 01:57 AM
5 stars for improvement!
The first version was the standard, blandly lit, nonsensical and empty rooms that we all started making.

The second version was much more coherent, organic feeling, and detailed, but with keeping the same setting and encounter constraints as the original.

+ Excellent use of textures
+ Good use of ambient and scripted sounds
+ Very detailed furnishings and props

+/- Itty bitty filing cabinets. Seem a bit off since we're used to the massive HL ones, but they're also so cute! :3

- Very dark. When there was lighting it was used exceptionally well, but I had to rely on my flashlight a lot just to get my basic bearings
- No autosaves. I can see how you wouldn't think it was necessary, considering the short, simple, and mainly showcasey purpose, and I would not have normally noticed this, but I tried to kill the ichthyosaurs the first time, ran out of ammo, and then ended up in the Hazard Course.

I like it. I might consider doing a similar thing myself at some point, if not for my schedule and the fact that I don't think a single rmf from my early days still exists. (A mix of shame, lack of external backups, and harddrive failure/format-enabled reuse.)
As 2much noted, 'escaping from jail' is used a lot - I know I used it at least once, and I can think of a few other people who did as well. I guess it gives an easy excuse to start with no equipment and give a feeling of persecution/pressure?
avatar UrbaNebula says: 17th March 2015, 08:10 AM
Yeah, starting in a cell is overdone, but it wasn't back in '99. Well, it may have been. I didn't have the Internet back then...

Regarding the file cabinets Jeff, they currently stand at 48 units / inches which is a little shorter than the average of 52. Larger cabinets would have looked odd alongside the desks which were also built to scale (to the nearest inch), but yeah, I see where you're coming from. They are kinda diddy looking.
avatar TheEdvinazard says: star star star star star 18th March 2015, 20:10 PM
Nice progress, Urby! Keep it up!
avatar Striker says: 18th March 2015, 22:40 PM
This is inspiring.
avatar Archie says: star star star star star 21st March 2015, 11:11 AM
Good blast of classic Half-Lifing!
If you can map this well how come all your maps in The Core are so shit?
avatar UrbaNebula says: 21st March 2015, 16:41 PM
I know, right? It's crazy.
avatar Strider says: star star star star 24th March 2015, 09:52 AM
Fun little map.

Does this strike anyone else as a good idea for a mini-compo? As in, someone builds a little series of super basic rooms, each with a distinct idea, and people have to re-imagine the map while maintaining those ideas, maybe tying them all together with a unique theme? So long as you enter the room and go "oh this is the flooded room" or "this is the office area", I imagine it could be pretty open to interpretation and varied world themes.

Just a thought.
avatar Archie says: 24th March 2015, 16:00 PM
That is an AMAZING idea
avatar ciba43 says: star star star star star 25th March 2015, 08:07 AM
Amazing idea. I think I might have a ton of unfinished stuff.
avatar TJB says: star star star star star 25th March 2015, 14:38 PM
I like that idea. Also, I like the idea of this map, but not the execution. I find myself extremely surprised by the degradation of Urby's skills since 1999. The older portion of the map was fantastic, especially considering it's age, with varied lighting and intricate detailing that made the map feel alive. The remade portion however, I was shocked by.
Urby, who supposedly is an experienced mapper, making such obvious mistakes as sticking a pointlight in a room with no source, or having a thick metal blast door get broken by a single hit with a crowbar? I am vicariously ashamed, and frankly I interpret this upload as a cry for help. Urby probably did this because slitting his wrists in a bathroom or overdosing on over the counter painkillers would likely go unnoticed by us as we only know him through the internet.

But seriously, it was good. Probably the only real flaw in the newer version was the fact that as a location in a building the ichthyosaur pool didn't make much sense. Apart from the underwater bits, there was only one entrance to this large area.
The older portion, I won't offer any serious critique of.
avatar DiscoStu says: 26th March 2015, 03:59 AM
Too dark. Can't see anything even with gamma pumped up to 3 and brightness up to 4.
avatar UrbaNebula says: 27th March 2015, 16:14 PM
You have a flashlight...
avatar DiscoStu says: 29th March 2015, 09:08 AM
Not on the second map. No flashlight and not enough ammo.

You're fired.
avatar UrbaNebula says: 29th March 2015, 16:35 PM
Then play the first map first silly. Flashlight problem solved. :P
avatar DiscoStu says: 29th March 2015, 21:09 PM
What about the ammo?
avatar hardcore_gamer says: star star star 29th March 2015, 21:17 PM
A interesting pair of maps showcasing how a concept can be improved upon. I found the later map to be pretty fun, albeit pretty short.
avatar Striker says: 1st April 2015, 18:39 PM
Finished it with 6hp.
avatar UrbaNebula says: 2nd April 2015, 00:16 AM
@DiscoStu. Shoot better. Don't kill the ichys.
avatar DiscoStu says: 12th April 2015, 06:42 AM
I'd like you to post a video showing how to finish the map without killing those.
avatar Tropiko says: star star star star star 27th April 2015, 01:44 AM
Quite the progress :)
Can you post the .rmf please? I'd learn a lot from the second map's lighting, I'd be very grateful!
avatar 23-down says: star star star star 28th May 2015, 23:12 PM
Nice work Urby this was some fascinating experience a true time travel.. :)

Didn't realize you've been mapping for hl for that long outstanding!
avatar komagame says: 1st August 2015, 07:50 AM
Is it really a map pack with such a small tiny size 430kb ?
avatar Suparsonik says: 11th January 2016, 23:34 PM
avatar SourceSkyBoxer says: star star star star star 25th June 2016, 18:20 PM
Great job but where is trigger_end if your map is finish to play after thanks for playing.... Urby..

Than your map doesn't trigger to end back to Mainmenu.
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