Five mod Semi-Public Test

Hello, fellow modders! I am currently testing out a map for my mod, Five.

Five is a mod that takes place on an island in the Atlantic Ocean. The player, a rogue Combine soldier, has broken out of confinement and is now loose in an abandoned quarter of a massive Combine base. You begin the level by riding a pod out of the underground and into the level proper. What will you do? Where will you go? There is no story yet, but there are plenty of systems to mess about with, and plenty of Combine and Zombies to murder. Go nuts, record your attempts at clearing the map with demos, and send me the .dem files so I can adjust the map accordingly.

Please PM me if you would like to help playtest! I will send you a link to the Dropbox with the map files, readme, and changelog. If you agree to playtest, please record your playthroughs using the in-game record tool and send me every .dem file you generate. Seeing first reactions to the level is particularly valuable.

I will be pushing out iterations to adjust to player feedback, so expect new builds fairly frequently.

REQUIREMENTS TO RUN: Half-Life 2, Episode One, Episode Two all downloaded and installed. The maps will draw heavily on these assets.



  • The map is fairly open. There’s plenty of supplies if you scrounge thoroughly, so keep exploring and you’ll keep finding useful things.

  • The map is primarily balanced around the Hard difficulty. The reasons for this will become apparent quickly.

  • Combine soldiers DO NOT DROP WEAPONS ON DYING. They are vaporized instantly. Place your shots carefully and regularly look for supplies to keep you going. Pick your fights carefully.



That really looks good!

I might redo the prison hallway, it’s brushwork is really old and really bad, but the playspace it gives is interesting.

Awesome mod!

Either of you wanna give it a go?

Double post but this is odd. I got a message from [email protected] which I’m assuming is our direct message service. However, I don’t see a Conversation about it on the actual BM page. I thought direct messages were conversations, did this change after the forum rework?

I’ll give it a go soon, got other stuff now.

Also, to those of you testing, there is no NDA or anything else, so feel free to talk about the map, compare notes on what everyone did etc. here.

If you’re willing to sit through me tearing it apart

It looks pretty, albeit very classic HL2-ish which I feel like Source devs in 2017 should be past by now

Sure! It does play a bit differently than vanilla re: resource management and the less scripted AI. I’ll PM you.

There are some odd design choices but great gameplay overall.
In terms of odd design choices, here are a few (haven’t finished the map yet)

  • The Thumper (which was created to prevent Antlion attacks) by the ocean has no real anti-Antlion purpose since in EP2 we see that Antlions can’t swim and the Overwatch personnel guard the beach anyway. Is there any other purpose for this?
  • Despite the Combine base being ‘abandoned’, there’s a few signs that show it not being abandoned, most notably the Combine equipment and personnel. (unless it’s being repurposed and guarded)
  • The little combine barrier thing on the horizontal fences strikes me as rather odd and did so the first time I got to it. Fences would be easy to break, what would work better is probably some more floor. (I’m not a map expert, if that can’t be done let me know)
  • Timeline-wise the game is actually set during the week Gordon spends in the slow teleport between “Entanglement” and “Anticitizen One.” City 17’s Citadel has not fallen yet, the Resistance’s activities in the city are beginning to step up. When I get some of the story implemented, an ingame broadcast of some kind (radio or Combine screen) will establish this.

  • Thumpers are there for a reason. I plan on adding antlions to the map to be spawned under a special circumstance.

  • The Combine are redeploying to this zone in response to the player’s actions in the previous few levels. Any fortifications they do have are old and/or temporary additions. However, despite the abandoned feel to the place, it is still connected with the rest of the island which features many Combine. As a result, there are things like doors being used as ramps and being held in place with Combine brackets.

When I say there’s “no story,” I mean that the story hasn’t been implemented yet. I’m still determining what capacity to approach the story- environmental storytelling, scripted conversations between enemies, voiceover dialog from a support character, or in-game engine cutscene content. Most likely I plan on a combination of all of these.

EDIT: On my way to class this morning I took a moment and thought about this. In the HL community cutscenes can be seen as somewhat of a dirty word. I’ve played other mods with cutscenes and they are often horrible. However, I have tested the feasibility of doing them, and I could probably do them at a much higher standard of quality, but I’ll probably bounce the extent to which I implement cutscenes off my playtesters when the time comes.

DOUBLE NINJA EDIT: I will also be trying out some color correction settings in future builds, please let me know how this impacts your play.

Always up to test new stuff!

Attention testers: Version 19 of the map has been pushed to dropbox! There’s a lot of QOL changes, including an AUTOSAVE. Finally, your blood pressure can be lowered. Maybe.

Color correction has been added, along with a host of other minor tweaks and changes. And more Combine. Always, more Combine. Check out the changelog for the full list.

Attention testers! I have shipped modified versions of Prison 19- a fog variant and a night variant with a special NVG filter and new color correction profile. Please give these variations a whirl and answer these questions:

  • How do you think the new sky settings and fog affect your play experience of the Fog map? Does the fog obscure your vision too much or make long-range firefights awkward?

  • How does the night vision filter impact your play experience on the Night variant of Prison? Does the filter impact your ability to play the map? Would you like to see this filter applied to all night maps going forward? Is the map’s lighting sufficient for play, or are there problem areas where more light is needed?

Sorry I’ve gone so dark on this. Had to finish up my term at college. But hopefully more stuff on the way soon.

Attention playtesters!

My hard drive is crashing and I was close to losing the entire mod, so I’m uploading pretty much every map I’ve made for it to my dropbox. This includes unreleased old material, as well as new in-progress maps. If you want to offer feedback on the newest material, check the Docks folder. This map is currently undergoing revisions on the layout, map balance, and size. It isn’t anyplace close to done, but the map is a nice testbed for random enemy spawns as well as a more long-range style of map compared to Prison’s more claustrophobic confines.

Shots of Docks in the spoiler.

Congratulations to Demmon1 on being the first playtester to actually finish Prison!