Old School Level Design Contest #1

Started by wallworm, January 04, 2016, 12:25:22 PM

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So with the utter failure of the first level design contest, I have rethought the level design contest rules. The problem with the first contest was that I set the bar too high to ease people in. In the first contest, I wanted people to submit polished pieces of art but didn't give people a realistic path to get there. So the next contest is phase 1 of a long-term goal of getting the WW crowd up-to-speed with making levels inside 3ds Max. Note: be sure to drop by the next thread and let us know you have officially joined the fray.

So welcome the Old School Level Design Contest series!

In Old School Levels, the whole point is World Geometry, Func_Detail and BSP optimization. That's it. Your goal is to make a level entirely in BSP for maps in the Old School Level Design Contest with Wall Worm and 3ds Max. No models allowed in Contest #1.


This contest series overrides the standard contest rules.

  • World Geometry made entirely in Max
  • Compiled Level from Wall Worm*
  • No models (standard or custom)
  • All other entities allowed (just no props)
  • No Displacements
  • Multiplayer Level with as many spawns as game allows
  • Source Games allowed: Black Mesa, Counter-Strike: Source, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Half-Life Deathmatch: Source and Half-Life 2: Deathmatch
  • GoldSource Games allowed: Counter-Strike and Half-Life Deathmatch*
  • 2d and 3d Sky are Optional
  • Decals, Overlays and Custom Textures allowed
  • Soundscapes highly preferred, but not required
* For GoldSource, WW exports .MAP files which must be converted to .RMF inside the old Hammer. For GoldSource, you must compile a level from Hammer (but may not edit the level in Hammer). For Source, you must compile from Max with Wall Worm.


These are the categories that will be used in judging this contest:

  • Game Play
  • Optimization
  • Visual Quality
  • Creativity

These are the blokes conned into judging:


The deadline for your level is Midnight on Friday, March 18, 2016 (18 March 2016, 23:59:59 EST). NOTE: due to mostly late entrants, we moved back the deadline from the original date. See how much time is left.

You must submit the level in both 3ds Max file and packaged zip of the BSP level and compiled assets (for Source this means, VMTs, VTFs, scripts, etc... for Goldsrc this means the WAD, RES file, etc). Email a link to download this zip to my email address: lightcube@gmail.com .

Standard Rules for eligibility.


First Place: All Commercial Wall Worm Plugins and commercial license of GrowFX AND Zookeeper AND Rich Scene
Second Place: All Commercial Wall Worm Plugins and  RichDirt Extreme Edition
Third Place: Wall Worm Pro License + CorVex and  RichDirt

This contest is now sponsored by:


OMG, I am dropping whatever project i am working on, and I'm going to join this contest.


As a little inspiration, here is a sample level made entirely inside 3ds Max in one 24-hour period. I made this as a jest for Chris Horn, level designer for Black Mesa, as a jest to get him to adventure outside of Hammer. This silly level has no models. It's all world geometry, func_details and custom textures. It was compiled in Black Mesa.

The candle textures were the only premade asset. I re-purposed the textures I'd made in a ProPal video.

The only other little aspects made outside Max/WW: the soundscape (after WW generated a shell file from the env_soundscape entities), the readme, sounds (my kids and I recorded in GoldWave) and the graphics of No Hammer at the base of each ramp (in CorelDraw).

The scene in Max is composed of 224 objects (predominantly just spawns, weapons, cubemaps and soundscapes), including a few CorVex objects with a dozen helper splines, 2 PropLine objects and otherwise mostly point entities. In turn it compiles to 1152 brushes and 167 entities. Note that only 16 objects in Max control the 1152 brushes. Much easier to manage than in Hammer where there would be many individual brushes (or func_details with brushes) when trying to manipulate en masse.

The custom sky was also made inside the same scene (both 3d and 2d).

This obviously isn't next-gen quality work (how can it be without models?) or ingenious level design (I made this in jest with no game planning). But that's not the point in this level. This is all about old-school BSP level design to show you what you can make very quickly inside Max with an old engine like Source and not even use assets like models and displacements.

EDIT: Looks like I loaded a version without cubemaps... so I reloaded it on 1-7-2016.


Clarification on rules... are displacements allowed or not?


Good question (which I should have thought of answering already). I'm going to modify the rules above and say NO DISPLACEMENTS for this first contest. We'll build up to that.


Does HL Deathmatch mean Half-Life Deathmatch: Source or Half-Life 2: Deathmatch? I'm assuming it's the former, but I just want to make sure since the full name isn't listed.


Can we use tools such as corvex or any other wallworm tool?

Joris Ceoen

Interesting. Let me think of something to go with, and I'll make an entry for the contest :) this is the perfect trigger!


Quote from: CarbonCopyCat on January 05, 2016, 12:36:37 AM
Does HL Deathmatch mean Half-Life Deathmatch: Source or Half-Life 2: Deathmatch? I'm assuming it's the former, but I just want to make sure since the full name isn't listed.

I've updated the stuff above. HL DM for Goldsource and Source.

Quote from: warmeup on January 05, 2016, 05:55:24 AM
Can we use tools such as corvex or any other wallworm tool?

You can use any and all plugins from Wall Worm and any plugin listed in the Allowed Plugins list. That list includes most of the plugins I own and can test. If there is another plugin you'd like to use, let me know. If it's a free plugin, I can add it to the list.

Joris Ceoen

no models, no displacements. How about decals/overlays and sprites?


Quote from: Joris Ceoen on January 05, 2016, 10:51:12 AM
no models, no displacements. How about decals/overlays and sprites?

Allowed and added to the list.


This series of contests is now sponsored by Exlevel! The first place prizes have been added to the opening document.

Joris Ceoen

Wow, fantastic first price! This will definitly make me want to bring something good on the table  ;D

Edit: BTW is it possible to make a list of entrants? Like, registering people who are confirming to join in with an entry so we can have a good idea of who is joining and how many entries could appear  :)


That's a good idea. I'll compose a list in the next several days, probably after I send out a newsletter.


I'll attempt an entry when my schedule frees up

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