Custom maps for Valve's Source engine

Me as a mapper

I've created several custom maps for various FPS-games and -mods using the Hammer World Editor from Valve's Source Development Kit (Source SDK) and with that I've acquired quite a bit of experience in level design. I've done level design in 2D-games as well. For example, when working with my brother on our own collaborative video game projects I've done either all of the levels for the game or at least most of them. Moreover, before I began mapping for 3D-games I've spent a long time creating levels / maps for 2D-games with their own level editors. I've always loved creating custom levels since the times I played my very first PC-games. If the game happened to have a level editor I probably spent more time creating my own levels than playing the actual game.

My most recent custom maps, finished or unfinished, are listed on this page and they are made for the following games or mods:
Half-Life 2: Episode 1 / Episode 2, Synergy (mod), Zombie Master (mod)

Finished maps

Street Hazard

Half-Life 2: Episode 1 / Episode 2 single-player map pack

Surviving through a destroyed city infested with zombies in search of a way out. Read the backstory

The three maps in this map pack are easily my best ones this far, and could also be considered as my biggest "forever project", meaning that, creating this took a very long time. Because the development of these maps was divided for such a long time span I acquired a lot of experience in mapping while doing them. This also made me want to constantly go back to the earlier parts of the maps to make everything even better while delaying the completion of the project at the same time. At least the end product is pretty polished even though I feel like I could tune the maps endlessly. This map is also the most advanced one of mine because it has the most complex "Hammer coding" and features I've done this far. For example, there's some custom voice acting in a scene involving other non-player characters talking and acting. I needed to use the Source SDK Face Poser for that scene and getting it done was a huge job, and the help of my brother was invaluable while working on it. He, as well as two of my friends voiced the lines using very basic production methods, and since none of them is a professional voice actor, don't be too harsh on the quality.

In conclusion, I learned a lot while doing this massive project and with what I know now I could do even better maps and level design but the question is: where should I go next? The Source SDK that we have now is rather old technology and to follow with the times it would be better to use a modern map editor. But which games should I make maps for? Should I make my own game? Which engine to use and what kind of graphics would it have? Since Valve hasn't released a new version of the Source SDK yet I've been thinking that maybe I could learn to use the Unreal Development Kit (UDK) by Epic games. However, nowadays I've been very busy and my time's been very limited so we'll see what I have the time for and where should I concentrate my attention to.

You need Half-Life 2: Episode 1 (recommended) or Episode 2 to play this map


Source engine mod: Synergy map pack

A cooperative journey through highly varied areas with as varied enemies. This map pack has everything except for coherence.

A much older map pack of mine which consists of two maps. It was made for a fun cooperative source mod called Synergy where you completed maps with your teammates while killing loads of monsters. Unfortunately the mod is dead now which is probably because of the last updates removing all the awesome custom weapons and -enemies at the same time reducing the mod into just Half-Life 2 in co-op. At least that's what killed it for me. The downgrading of the mod can be seen in these maps as well, as the name of the first version of the map with all the custom stuff was called syn_lvcoop, which is pretty much broken now and can't be played properly any more. While the fixed second version is called synob_lvcoop which was made in order to make it compatible with the new version of the mod. The newest working version is on this page. All in all though, the second version is a better map pack as I also made a lot of fixes and improvements to the maps while updating them.

You need Half-Life 2, both of its episodes (1 and 2) and Synergy (mod) to play this map

Unfinished maps

Forest Road

Source engine mod: Zombie Master map

After the engine of their van broke down on a forest road in the middle of the night a group of survivors has to continue by foot and hope they aren't eaten by zombies.

This map is made for a mod called Zombie Master where there's a human survivor team which tries to get to the end of the level while surviving against hordes of zombies and other hazards which are controlled by one player, the Zombie Master. The map actually has an earlier released version of it but later on I began improving and expanding it further with the intention to make an updated version of it for ZM 2 which I haven't played. I used to play ZM 1 but that mod is dead now yet ZM 2 apparently still has players. I wanted to get the new version of the map done in time for ZM 2 but I think I was too busy at the time and ZM 2 managed to come out before I got it finished. As the development of this map was slowing down so many other projects took its place and I ended up losing interest in ZM, even though they aren't bad mods at all. I don't really know what I should do with this map now, I'd really like to release it though. I was wondering if I should finish it for ZM 2 or, for example, make it a HL 2 ep 2 map. Although a better question is if I should even touch the Hammer editor any more since the current version of it is really old technology.

You need Half-Life 2 and Zombie Master (mod) to play this map

You can DOWNLOAD the old Zombie Master 1 version of this map from Game Banana

Zombie Coast

Source engine mod: Zombie Master map

Shipwrecked on a coast during a storm the survivors on the boat have to venture through a ravaged fisher village now inhabited by zombies.

This map is the most incomplete one on this page but not too far from a finished product either. Since the map has never reached version 1 you'll only get some screenshots taken in the Hammer editor. That's also the reason why the map appears without lighting and shadows and why there's some strangely coloured textures and whatnot. I started the development of this map after I had released the first version of Forest Road. Back then I was so enthusiastic about Zombie Master that I wanted to create yet another map for that mod. It was just so rewarding to make maps for multiplayer games because you got to see in real time how people played your map as well as pretty much got constant unspoken feedback. Furthermore, it was simply awesome to play your own map with others. Unfortunately, in the end this map suffered the same fate as the updated Forest Road and now the same questions apply to this map too, in a nutshell, what to do with it?