Collaborative City Map - Open Source, Community Driven

So i’m tired of searching for maps i can use with my gamemode(s). So i decided to start a map myself. But then i realized that creating a city map is no simple task, it takes a long time to complete a map of that scale. Since i don’t have the time to do this, i decided it would be smarter and easier to go with a divide and conquer approach to mapping. One which will end in a result that benefits the community. The VMF will be released publicly when the map is complete and a day version and night version of the map will be made available. This ensures that the map can be used for literally any purpose - a daytime version might be suitable for roleplay while the nighttime version would work better with a zombie gamemode (such as mine). The map has a very simple, basic layout which means it will be more compatible with whatever gamemode people want to play on it. AI nodes will be included so the map is compatible with NPCs.

This is quite a large project - there are 16 total plots to be completed. Since i cannot do all of this myself, i am looking for talented mappers who’d like to contribute. Bear in mind that this project is going to be open source - which means your contributed VMF will be made available to the public. The reason this is open source is simple:

  • Peer review: Experienced mappers can look over eachother’s work and make suggestions or even make tweaks and show eachother their changes.
  • Learning materials: Mapping newbies can open up the VMF and look under the hood themselves.
  • Proper practices: Contributions will be held to high standards. If this map is open source then it needs to be made properly.

The map will be a simple 4x4 grid of plots with streets and sidewalks in between them. There will be 2 parks, one on each side of the map. To make the map the most accessible to every gamemode, i propose that there be the following features on the map, in no particular order:

  • A bank. Simple enough. Preferably with a vault and a counter for tellers. Good for roleplay i suppose.
  • Some form of apartments. Living quarters for roughly 8-12 players would suffice i think. Again, this is more roleplay-oriented.
  • A jail. Doesn’t need to be too elaborate. Maybe a few cells.
  • A warehouse of some sort. Any kind of industrial building will do.
  • A convenience store/gas bar.

Basically, what you’d expect to see in a city.

The lots are all color coded - each one has unique characteristics. The green center lots are surrounded totally by streets, while the red ones are corner lots, etc. The purple border is a bunch of building-esque walls - buildings you cannot enter that just mark the map’s border. The brown areas will be parks, ideally - and probably where player spawns will be placed.

I have completed a prefab of the green lot. It is surrounded by streets. I think it would be smart to tackle this project by starting at the middle of the city and working outwards to the edges.

The prefab contains basic AI nodes as well as a massive hint brush that marks the border of the plot. Don’t place any props or brushes intersecting with the edge of the hint brush. Please don’t remove the hint brush, just add it to its own visgroup and hide it if you don’t want to see it.

There are 4 middle plots (the green ones) currently available. If there aren’t many takers then i’ll complete one of them myself to get this ball rolling.

Some notes for anyone who decides to contribute:

  • I suggest using the CS:S settings for hammer. Only CS:S/HL2 content is permitted.
  • The hint brush marks the maximum size for your buildings, both vertically and horizontally. Your building can go underground and have multiple storeys if you so choose.
  • If you want to take two or more lots and join them into one big lot, i wouldn’t be opposed to that idea. As long as your buildings adhere to the other guidelines and don’t disrupt the rest of the map it’s fine by me. Underground/above-ground connections between buildings is also fine.
  • Keep your contribution neutral. What i mean by this is that you shouldn’t be putting gamemode-specific entities on your contribution. Please check the blacklist for entities that shouldn’t be used. Please don’t put any roleplay-specific entities on the map, such as doors that can be locked from inside rooms.
  • Please add env_cubemaps, as well as lights where needed on your plots.


  • Ragdolls.
  • Trigger brushes that teleport or hurt players.
  • Trigger brushes that only trigger once.
  • Entity removal/kill brushes.
  • Tons of expensive entities such as dynamic lights. Use your discretion.
  • NPC/weapon/player spawns. Player spawns will be added once the map is complete.
  • Entity spawners
  • Excessive amounts of physics props.
  • Textures/models that aren’t used in HL2/CSS. No custom textures please.
  • Lockable doors.

If you have something unconventional that isn’t on this list but you’re not sure if it’s kosher then please ask.

**Here is the prefab VMF for the green middle plot: **:downs: CLICKY :downs:

If there are any questions or ideas please post them. Hope to see some contributions soon.

There’s already a semi-big collab going on, but it follows the HL2 canon, so those who just want to make a city map with a collab are likely to join. Good luck, hopefully this doesn’t crash and burn like 90% of the others.

Well, the last collaboration that i helped maintain was completed. Some of you may know the map:

I contributed the warehouse on this map and made numerous other tweaks to it. As long as the contributed plots are detailed and complete enough then this collaboration should work out. Piecing the lots together is simple - the hard part is finding people to complete the plots.

Wait what whoawhoawhoawhoa you’re the ReDead developer aren’t you.

If so, I’d be happy to help out in any way I can. ReDead was my favourite gamemode.

I’d love to help as well.

ReDead is still alive and kicking, which is partly why i have kickstarted this project. It needs noded, preferably nighttime city maps, which are a scarce thing.

I feel bad simply crowdsourcing a map for ReDead, so by making this project open it won’t be JUST a ReDead map, it’ll be good for any gamemode to be played on.

Also, if anyone here is lazy or is having a hard time coming up with ideas, i am more than happy to share some of my old incomplete work. Feel free to dissect and use what you need.

What engine version should we use? CS:S?

I suggest using the CS:S one. CS:S and HL2 textures are allowed. Try not to use materials and props from EP1/EP2.

I can help, I guess a gas station is something I can start on.

I might throw in something just so I feel like I accomplished something. I’ll try the gas station.

Are custom textures allowed or is that a no-no?

I’m gonna go with no, regarding custom textures. Makes things too complicated.

What kind of atmosphere are you planning on having? Like, sunset, sunny day, cloudy day. What’s gonna be outside in the skybox?
Also, what kind of buildings do you need? I might be able to contribute something.
Just give us a list of things you would want in this map.

There’s a list of possible buildings in the OP. Anything you see in a typical city is kosher.

I’m planning on having 2 versions of the map. One with a day skybox, and one with a night skybox. It would be an easy change, just alter the light environment and skybox name.

I don’t think a 3d skybox will be necessary, the map will be surrounded by un-enterable buildings so you can’t see the horizon really.

Also, Are we allowed to make entrances from the road to the building? because I kind of need to do that for a gas station. and do we optimize our places also?

Are we allowed to edit the road itself? (pot holes >:D )

Optimization is good. I’d like to be able to drag and drop your submission without editing it. You can alter your plot as you need, but try to keep most of the sidewalk intact since it would look strange without sidewalks.

You can edit the road too, i guess go easy on displacements if you plan to use them.

Fuck someone else wants to make a gas station :frowning: is it okay that two exist then?

Uh sure, or simply make one more of a gas station and the other more of a convenience store.

Mine is more of a gas station, so you can make the store. It looks so crappy with the wasteland pumps, but there are no other models… (unless I make one out of brushes…)

Ok even though I said I would start a gas station first… just saying but since you started it already you can have it.

We have an abandoned corner store so I am going to use that as reference material for the convenience store on this map.

Yay, I finished it. IT DOESN’T LOOK CRAPPY! (too much)
I have so many custom materials and models installed, I may have used a non-CSS prop, sorry.

Pick it here (I assume that is how we upload it.)