|OT| Black Mesa - Xen and the art of crowbar maintenance

708

MetaMember
Oct 20, 2018
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I've never played HL and have been waiting for Black Mesa for a few years now. Hopefully Xen will release soon so I can finally play the series.
which one will be out first: Half-Life 3 or the final version of Black Mesa?

place your bets

;)
Idk about that but I'm sure both will release before M&B Bannerlord :(
 

MegaApple

Just another Video Game Enthusiast
Sep 20, 2018
546
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I've never played HL
I'll say this. Play it.
I'm not saying out of nostalgia (although I'm used to old shooters), I played the famous demo in 2016 and the full game last year. And this was after I completed the HL2 games.

Black Mesa is essentially a different game compared to the original, shooting is different, level design and set pieces have been altered and so is the presentation of it. (I'm not saying it's bad, just different).
 
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Anteater

Someone please take me to AA
Sep 20, 2018
592
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I've never finished HL1 either, for some reason I keep stopping at some point. Did this with the original, the source port and then the black mesa ver, lol.

The human AIs in Black Mesa was kind of wonky, I hope they've put in the effort to improve that.
 
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708

MetaMember
Oct 20, 2018
110
325
63
I'll say this. Play it.
I'm not saying out of nostalgia (although I'm used to old shooters), I played the famous demo in 2016 and the full game last year. And this was after I completed the HL2 games.

Black Mesa is essentially a different game compared to the original, shooting is different, level design and set pieces have been altered and so is the presentation of it. (I'm not saying it's bad, just different).
Yeah, I've heard this from one of my friends who's a giant HL fan as well. I might do it since I already own all the games. But should I play HL:Source or the original version?
 
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Exzyleph

Dark Eroge Lord
Oct 9, 2018
645
972
93
This looks really impressive.

It would be amazing if they also managed to improve on the actual game-play/story-telling, since the original Xen levels felt like a rather lackluster end to Half-Life.
 
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freshVeggie

ghost
Sep 7, 2018
767
2,097
93
Oh man, this looks awesome.
The OG HL was my introduction to FPS, it has a special place. One of the few games I replayed multiple times.

Was sad that I didn't win Black Mesa keys on Steamgifts when it hit Humble Monthly :cry:
 
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Maxi

MetaMember
Nov 12, 2018
96
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33
That looks very good and also quite different from how I remember it being in the original HL. Apart from that horrible sack creature... That is now even more grotesque.
 
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OP
prudis

prudis

anime occult member
Sep 19, 2018
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The Kingdom of Beer and Porn
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now in public beta
We have pushed a build to public-beta on Steam. This is our candidate for our release out of Early Access! If you are interested in helping us test, we would greatly appreciate it.
[
 
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gabbo

MetaMember
Dec 22, 2018
1,862
2,876
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Toronto
I hope they take on Opposing Forces and Blue Shift, though.
There are/were teams doing just that, but it seems the original game and its expansion remakes became black holes in the source mod community where plenty of work and teams went it but nothing every comes out.

Not even Decay Source has come out and it's a tiny chunk of addon by comparison
 

CommodoreKong

Junior Member
Jun 15, 2019
142
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I recently played this as part of my Half Life playthrough and while it was fun, they really went overboard with Xen. They really needed to cut about half of it and leave in the good parts. When I got to my 10th figure out how to plug in a power cable puzzle in a row in Xen I nearly dropped the game.
 
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prudis

prudis

anime occult member
Sep 19, 2018
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The Kingdom of Beer and Porn
twitter.com
Fear Not The Long Road
In March 2006, two of my college classmates got onto the Black Mesa mod team. I applied as an artist, and they more or less vouched for me. The team “hired” me without even completing an art test. From there I became the art lead, a partner in the new “Crowbar Collective LLC”, project lead, and eventually owner of the company.

As I write this, I am realizing that we plan to FINISH Black Mesa exactly 14 years to the month from when I first joined the team. 14 years working on a single project, with a dedicated team, that had a vision, and saw it through.

There are probably a fair number of people who if you asked them “Do you want to own a video game company?”, would say “Yes! Absolutely. Whatever it takes!”, but it is easy to commit to something when it is guaranteed. If instead in 2006 someone said to me “This will be difficult. You will consider quitting multiple times, and it is going to take you at least 14 years to complete.” I am not sure I would have signed up for that.

Who would have blamed me if I didn’t? For the majority of its development, Black Mesa was a volunteer project. Even after we got the green light to sell the game, we still did not make any money until late June of 2015.

I have heard “you should never work for free”, and I really couldn’t disagree with that more. I did multiple free side projects in college that either eventually paid off, or got me connections I otherwise would not have had. I learned communication and leadership skills in my volunteer fire department. I got my first game industry job because of my free work on Black Mesa, and then after a round of layoffs, my job BECAME Black Mesa. The thing that was supposed to be a portfolio piece to launch my career, became my career, and I would not have been in that position if I didn’t commit to the work as a volunteer.

The key to doing work for free is it has to be important to you AND it has to be important to other people. For Black Mesa, the quality of the source material, and the excitement of the community when we would post even the smallest amount of media is what kept us going.

The fact is, all roads are long roads. If you fear that, you’ll shy away from choosing the one that excites you most, and has the biggest reward. Not everyone is going to have reliable friends to pull them onto projects, not everyone is going to have the opportunity to own a video game company, but if there is something you want to accomplish there’s nothing left to do, but to do it. You can not win the game if you don’t play.

Through luck, hard work, and maybe a bit of ignorance we didn’t shy away from our goal of bringing this game to completion. We are proud of what we built. We think this upcoming 1.0 release is the best, most polished, and most fun version of the game yet. The anticipation and excitement around our project is beyond flattering.

Black Mesa is a video game, it is our video game, and it has its strengths, and its flaws. As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Art is never finished, only abandoned” and while we plan to fully support this game after 1.0 with bug fixes and more, it will never be a perfect game.

This is not to downplay, or make excuses, but as the person who drafts most of these media posts, I think it is important to break away from the marketing and the “hype”. Before Astroneer launched, they made a blog post about managing expectations for their game, and it really resonated with me, and inspired me to someday write a post like this one. We are super excited to have Black Mesa be “complete”, but acknowledge it is not perfect and won’t ever be perfect.

I hope that everyone has something that inspires them as much as Half-Life inspired us. I hope that everyone embraces the setbacks and challenges that come, and I hope no one fears the long road in front of them.

Black Mesa 1.0 will launch Thursday March 5th on Steam.
 
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