Competition: Half-Life 25th Anniversary: Vanilla HLDM

Competition Status: Judging in Progress
Open Date
2 months ago2023-11-29 00:00:00 UTC
Close Date
1 month ago2024-01-17 23:59:59 UTC
Full Map
Allowed Engines
Judging Type
Judged (each engine separate)

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Most of us just expected Half-Life's recent 25th Anniversary to pass by just like all the other anniversaries: the community cheers/grumbles a bit but Valve is absent and silent. But not this time!

Out of nowhere, Valve dropped a major update for Half-Life - including 4 all-new deathmatch maps from Valve level designers! Check them out if you haven't - there are usually hundreds of servers online these days!

So we're celebrating the updates and the renewed love for HLDM with a competition! Make an all-new Half-Life deathmatch map, staying as "vanilla" as possible. That is, stay in the Half-Life theme for the map (standard textures, locations, ambience, etc.). But also don't be afraid to push the engine beyond the 1998 limits. Poke around the new HLDM maps for an example of modern maps that are still in the vanilla theme - contamination, disposal, pool_party, and rocket_frenzy.

For this competition your entry must consist of the BSP file only. That means custom textures (wadincluded) are allowed, but you can't use any other custom content. The goal is to make something as "vanilla" as possible, so if you do use or make custom textures, they should fit in with the other standard Half-Life textures.

Need playtesters? (Highly recommended, by the way!) Hit up the TWHL Discord server and you'll probably find people willing to jump in and try out your map!

Entries close January 17th, 2024.
Note: to submit an entry, make sure you're logged in to TWHL and the submission form will be visible after the prizes below.

Post any questions, comments, or in-progress screenshots to the official forum thread.

Update: Yes, func_vehicle is allowed - but not encouraged given its jankiness. Not adding func_vehicles won't adversely affect judging of the map, particularly because this is a "vanilla" theme.


  • First Prize: The one, the only Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar book from 2004 and now out of print (excellent condition).
  • Second Prize: Valve Presents: The Sacrifice and Other Steam-Powered Stories book (excellent condition).
  • Third Prize: $25 USD Steam Gift Card.
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