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Cube level for HL2

cube4.zip (2,814,559 bytes)
Also available: A short gameplay video: cube4.mpg (11,913,220 bytes)

Following on from my Cube Quake DM level, this is my Cube HL2 single-player level.

In case you haven't seen the film, I'll explain a little of what it's about. 7 strangers awake inside a gargantuan maze of identical cube-shaped rooms, with no recollection of how or why they are there. During their travels through the maze they discover:

  • Some rooms contain deadly traps
  • Each room has a serial number. This number indicates the location of the room inside a 26x26x26 grid, as well as whether the room is trapped or not.
  • Some of the rooms move, in a predictable pattern.
  • There is an exit room at the edge of the structure.

The above four points are the cornerstones of this HL2 map. Using a complex system of entities I've been able to recreate the cube structure of the film - 17576 rooms with coded serial numbers, deadly traps, and movement. And this time, you're in there all on your own...


My recreation of the cube.

Just imagine this room, but repeated 17576 times, in different colours, and you'll get the idea.
The cube as it appears in the film
Development shot of the cube.

And that isn't even from the finished version.


  • The map works with vanilla HL2. So drop it into <foo>:\Program Files\Valve\Steam\SteamApps\<username>\half-life 2\hl2\maps\ and it should work.
  • It doesn't support HDR, since the textures I used for the cube walls don't seem to have HDR variants. I haven't checked, but if you try running the map with HDR enabled then it *should* revert to non-HDR.
  • Don't try and save the game - there are too many entities (1000+) for the game to write a proper savefile.
  • I'll tell you that the exit room is in the "top right" of the level, and to get to it you'll have to pass through the moving room.
  • The moving room (of which there is only 1) only moves through 5 different locations, so you shouldn't have to wait more than a few minutes for it to arrive if it isn't where you need it to be.
  • The map is still a bit buggy. 99% of the time moving between rooms seems to be OK, but sometimes it does mess up. Also the moving room needs a bit more work, as if you move into/out of the room just as the moving room moves then it is likely to break horribly (I have a solution for this, but can't be bothered recompiling the map to add it). Also, climbing out the top of the map is not advised, as the door will close behind you and you won't be able to get back in. And (if you hadn't worked it out yet) you'll be able to see the secret of how the map works.
  • The map isn't designed to be "fun", more an experiment to see if such a map would be fun, and whether such a map is even possible. So don't blame me if you don't enjoy the experience.
  • To reach the doors in the ceiling (or the ones at the side, for that matter), you'll have to climb the wall. You can climb up all the ladder-like bits; when you reach the ceiling, you should be able to turn 180 degrees and walk back towards the center of the room (as if you were hanging onto the ladder bits which run across the ceiling). Really all that's happening is that you're walking across a #-shaped piece of invisible floor. The center of the # (i.e. directly under the ceiling door) has been filled in, so you can walk there as well. To actually climb up through the door, you'll have to climb up the edge opposite to which the door opens. But the ladder there seems a bit dodgy, so make sure you're looking straight up otherwise you may fall down after reaching the top.

How it works/making of

Coming soon, possibly. Until then you'll just have to guess, reverse-engineer, or wait until I upload the map source and cubegen utility.

Page last modified 10/01/2008