The problem is that, disappointingly, there were only 2 entries. Samuli “Hemuuuli” Jääskeläine’s “Outland Route”, and Sean “SNDXR” Dexter’s “Cold Fusion”. The low number of entrants may be due to a number of factors – several major game releases in the past months, among which is Portal 2; studies and exams, which can crack down on a level designer’s mapping time; or perhaps the nature of the competition itself. Striders are far from a cake-walk in terms of setting them up, making them work and ensuring you have an interesting and fresh gameplay scenario. In comparison to Phillip’s more successful competitions, StriderVille is larger in scale, and more difficult.
Still, these two entries are quite good. Outland Route features an interesting non-linear playing area, but can get a bit frustrating at times, as you come up against two Striders with only three rockets at first. Cold Fusion was very well done, using a more linear layout. The map eventually culminates in a great final battle that makes excellent use of the Magnusson Device.
Phillip stated that this may be the final mapping competition he does, but we certainly hope he changes his mind, and continues, perhaps with simpler themes and ideas, like what we saw for RooftopVille, SniperVille and HunterVille. In any case, be sure to check out StriderVille, and if you haven’t already, play all of the Ville mappacks!
In other PlanetPhillip related news, he’s also kicked off his “7 Days of Giveaways” event, in which Phillip will be giving away one game from the Half-Life series every day, Portal not included. Tomorrow, we’ll be seeing Day 3, which may or may not be the original Half-Life. Day 1 was Blue Shift, and Day 2 was Opposing Force. You may still be able to participate in the Day 2 giveaway. To get a chance of winning any of these giveaways, you’ll need to answer Phillip’s brain-teasing HL trivia riddles. You may already have all the games, but you’ve probably got a pal in your Friends list who doesn’t own them, so participating is still worth it.
There’s also his “Spot a difference” mapping challenge, which talks about two very interesting concepts for alternative mods – both based on the concept of recognizing differences or patterns in a playing area. These ideas are very, very complex, but so original we’re surprised there’s no indie devs that have already come up with this. Even if you’re not a mapper, Phillip encourages you to post a comment discussing any of your ideas for any similar gameplay paradigms, or just alternative game designs in general.
And in case you forgot, the 100 Summer Days of Nostalgia event is still going on at PlanetPhillip. Every day until the 8th of September, Phillip will be posting a new Half-Life 1 map or mod on the site, though some of them have already been covered on the site, and will consequently be updated, then returned to their original posting time at a later date. It’s more than just an opportunity to relive the glory days of the Half-Life community, as there’s another giveaway involved. At the end of the event, the top 5 PlanetPhillip members who have posted user reviews on the most maps and mods, will be entered in a draw. The grand prize is the next Half-Life game, or a substitute game, if the winner prefers. Mod Informer has also done two reviews for the maps and mods featured in the event, one taking a look at the first 10, the other taking a look at the next 10, all the way up to number 20: “In the Kitchen”.
Phillip is also doing a series of podcasts for this event, and he’s already released the first episode, which features Don, AKA Unquenque, the creator of Radix. Phillip and Don discuss the first twenty releases from 100SDoN. There will be five more episodes until the event is over, so be sure to keep an eye on the PlanetPhillip homepage.