Puzzle Community

Puzzle Community

Puzzle Community


Via this way I'm trying to get in contact with people who are interested in the puzzle gamemode. People who might have played it back in the days on Half-Life 2: Deathmatch. I will explain how the gamemode worked, and my plans to improve it (hopefully).

What is Puzzle (original)?

The gamemode is pretty simple. Players are part of the same team. They spawn in a lobby which has portals to different levels (puzzles). These puzzles can be anything. A jumping puzzle, using floating doors or boxes to get to the end without falling off, using a crane and shipping container to move players around, using a vehicle to drive on a small road without falling off, ...

The amount of levels in a map can vary, but the idea is to finish all of them before the time is up. When all levels are completed a final level will unlock. When this one is finished the map will end.

When completing a level the player who completed it will get credits (these also vary from map to map, and on the levels difficulty). The final level gives most credits. These credits are typically for ranking status.


The core of the gamemode has to stay the same. Lobby with portals, different levels, and a final level. I saw different servers implement their own things, but I think some of them should be part of the gamemode itself.

Checkpoint System

To be able to set a checkpoint is a good way of making progress on a level. There is nothing more frustrating than being close to the end after a 15 min struggle, falling of something for some reason, and having to do it all over again. I saw many maps not being completed because of this.

Even though I love checkpoints I also think they should be limited. To be able to set a checkpoint after every step you take is kind of braking the puzzle. It doesn’t make it challenging anymore. There is no more stress factor involved. I think having a 3-5 minute delay between checkpoints makes this a much better approach.


The player will earn exp. when completing a level. Based on this we set different ranks (e.g. 0 - 1000 exp. = Beginner). Making the player’s rank visible on the HUD, and showing his/her progress. Ranks will also be displayed on the scoreboard.

Inventory System

The player will always spawn with a gravity gun. However, I think it would be pretty interesting if the player can also collect objects in a level that they can then use throughout the level. For example: At the beginning of the level, there are a couple of dynamic props that can be picked up by the player. Let’s say a ladder. At a certain point in the level the player can select the ladder and spawn it. This will add more diverse gameplay. Levels can be solved in many different ways.

Level Status on HUD

Show the amount of levels in a map somewhere on the HUD. Also showing the status of the levels. When a level is completed it should mark it as done. This way the player can quickly see what progress has been made, even if they are in an other level.

Who Completed What Levels

Showing who completed what levels on the HUD. Showing the top 3 at the end of the map.

About Myself

It all started for me ten plus years ago in Half-Life 2: Deathmatch. Puzzle servers like Mannis Fun House or Mayhem Gaming Online (MGO). I’ve played hours and hours on these servers. And in those years I’ve spent over 2000 hours in HL2:DM. The majority on MGO, where I also became an admin. There were a wide range of different maps, most of them made by DST Studios (D@sole, Soul Killer, and TheThing). But also ChrisG, Brotuctions, Dr.Kleiner, Mr. Potato Head, and many more made some awesome puzzle maps.


This got me into map making. Started to watch a lot of Top Hat Waffle videos, and finally made my own map. I wanted to learn more about the Hammer editor.

I’ve made some more puzzle maps, and also played around a bit with other games. I have over 700 hours in Source SDK, this is not that much, but this is mainly because the player count of Half-Life 2: Deathmatch started to drop rapidly. Miyu's Funbox is the only one I know who is still online. I’m craving to get back into map-making.

Here are the maps I’ve made: https://poisonmichael.com/maps

When it comes to coding I have very basic knowledge of C#. Never made a gamemode before. But I do have some decent coding knowledge of other languages, like HTML, CSS, PHP (Laravel), Python. With some practice, I think I’ll manage to make some things work 🙂

The Goal

I would really love to get a puzzle server up and running, and bringing back the community. Making a gamemode, and a lot of maps. A new engine for a new game, exciting stuff!

I would like to work together to make something awesome. Lay the foundation of a new puzzle era.

Get in Touch

Feel free to contact me personally here on these forums, or hit me up on Discord (PoisonMichael#2805), or Steam.

List of Ideas

When I think of making a gamemode/maps/server stuff I think of these items. Plenty of stuff to try out, and see if they would fit. What do you think?

  • List the amount of levels in a map on the top of the HUD
  • Level info on the HUD (show you what level you are in ATM)
  • Map achievements
  • Easter eggs + completion list
  • Points shop
    • Models
    • Different cloths for default model
    • Skins for weapons
    • Checkpoint animations
    • Welcome sounds
    • Gravity gun beam color
    • Trails
    • Chat name color
  • Scoreboard
    • Show who finished what level
    • Player ranking (badge)
  • Map info on the HUD (on scoreboard?)
  • Inventory on the bottom of the HUD
    • For example: different items in a level that the player can pick up and place down when they want (ladders, boxes, grenades, ...)
  • Player profile
    • Time on server
    • Amount of completed levels
    • Amount of achievements
    • Amount of points?
    • Easter eggs
  • Special event items (linked to the shop)
  • Checkpoint system (3-5 min delay between checkpoints)
  • Show top 3 at the end of the map (+ profile info?)