Competition: The Whole Goop Life

Competition Status: Closed View Results
Open Date
1 year ago2022-12-10 00:00:00 UTC
Close Date
1 year ago2023-01-28 23:59:59 UTC
Full Map
Allowed Engines
Goldsource, Source
Judging Type
Judged (all engines combined)

User posted image

The Whole Goop Life

TWHL Competition 20th Anniversary Extravaganza

That’s right! Today, December 10th, 2022 marks the 20th anniversary of TWHL’s first ever mapping competition! (You’re excited, I can tell)

Now, the 20th wedding anniversary is referred to as the Emerald Anniversary, the precious green gemstone symbolising the occasion and often the traditional gift. Well, the Valve titles aren’t exactly riddled with precious gemstones, but there is one thing they do have. Radioactive toxic waste. Not exactly the ideal gift for your beloved, but the thick, green goop can mix up both gameplay and aesthetics if applied to a map in just the right way.

So that’s your goal. Create a map or a series of maps in which the luminescent sludge plays a prominent role. An obstacle to be overcome or a deadly environmental weapon to be used? Singleplayer, multiplayer, no players...? OK, scratch that last one. The point is, make whatever you like. So long as it can be run in an unmodified copy of any Valve title (Black Mesa also allowed) on Steam or can be launched via Steam if you opt for a minimod format. (No code changes please)
  • Engine: Goldsource/Source
  • Game: Any unmodded Valve Software title/Black Mesa
  • Restrictions: No code changes. Your entry will be judged purely by its goop factor
  • Can I use custom textures? Absolutely
  • Can I submit a minimod? Of course
  • Deadline: January 28th 2023
  • Prize: £20 Steam voucher
  • Judges: Monster_Urby. My personal top three will be reviewed and 1st place gets the prize

Results Judged By: monster_urby monster_urby

1st Place - PsyWarVeteran
Slimy Situation
Slimy Situation by PsyWarVeteran is a sweet little mini-mod entry that really tickles my love for some of the old classics. Life's End certainly comes to mind in some of the more wacky moments, and for the most part the goop theme is strong throughout.

There is some nice gameplay variety throughout this little campaign and there's no shortage of humour either, which I always appreciate. Some of the gags even factor in the use of goop so bonus points where they are due. That being said, there are large sections where the "mean green" does not really factor into the gameplay and the final boss fight makes use of it in a way that is a little underwhelming.

In spite of this, the amount of gameplay available here for a simple competition entry is quite astounding and of all the entries this is likely the one I would play again. A solid first place from me.

My blind playthrough can be seen here:
2nd Place - Ogdred
Gooped by Ogdred sports some very impressive goop usage (Goosage? in the early stages, from the visually impressive tidal wave of slime to the overarching threat of the buckling door. I also enjoyed the little touches throughout, such as the dissolving wooden crates.

In fact, if I were to review these entries on visuals and atmosphere alone, this entry would have absolutely smashed it. It's gorgeous!

Unfortunately, the use of goop as a threat, obstacle or even a visual element starts to fall away and the final parts of the map pack mostly revolve around turrets.

I want to emphasise that this was DAMN close to getting the top spot regardless, but the second half of the pack just wasn't goopy enough.

My blind playthrough can be seen here:
3rd Place - Seacat08
S L U D G E by Seacat08 is a mini-mod entry made containing two maps, along with a selection of edited weapon and enemy skins and some new sounds. There are some straight forward fights throughout, some of which feature late game enemies which is made somewhat troublesome by the lack of ammo pickups in the levels. There are some major issues with conveyance throughout, with it not always being clear how to progress and in one case a door seemingly unlocked for me with no explanation.

In terms of the competition brief, it's hard to not notice a whole lot of wasted opportunities. One major obstacle to be navigated around and eventually overcome is electrified water. This could have easily been toxic waste which you eventually drain, thus sticking to the brief a little better. Otherwise, there is the occasional puddle of green goo laying around but the main event comes with the enormous vats seen close the start and eventually entered in the finale.

Not a bad couple of maps by any means, but definitely the most static use of goop of all the entries.

My blind playthrough can be seen here:
3rd Place - Foxo
Pitfall by Foxo is a classic Half-Life romp through a Lambda Complex themed area. Admittedly the amount of goop in the opening levels is a little lacking, with the main event coming in the action packed finale. Almost the reverse of what we have seen in other entries where the amount of goop falls off towards the end. That being said, the maps are undeniably pretty and would fit neatly into the later section of a longer custom Half-Life campaign.

When the goop does come into play, it amounts to little more than a few pools to be avoided here and there. The eventual, climactic splurge has no significant gameplay impact, simply requiring you to run away from it. Absolutely fine as a set piece in a larger map pack and still plenty of fun, but just a little short of the competition brief.

My second semi-blind playthrough can be seen here: