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# Black Mesa Nearing Completion, Trailer Released

#### Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the silencing-naysayers dept.

103

Today, the Black Mesa Team released an impressive trailer for their remake of Half-Life . The remake is a total-conversion mod for Half-Life 2, bringing the updated graphics and AI of the Source engine to the original game. The team has been dropping hints lately that the project, which began in 2004, is almost done, and the trailer confirms that it will be out in 2009. They also recently announced that they've "dropped Counter-Strike: Source as a requirement for Black Mesa, and from now on, the only thing you'll need to play the mod is a Steam account with any Source engine game installed! Black Mesa is now running completely off of our own content and base Source shared content, and we felt the vastly increased user base more then [sic] justified creating all the extra assets needed to make this switch."

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Yey!

### Re:One word! (1)

#### dtml-try MyNick (453562) | more than 4 years ago | (#25956937)

Ok, they got me...

I never made a steam account but I will for this mod. I've been waiting for this mod for ages now. This is definatly worth a few bucks.

Half-Life 1 is in my books simply the best game ever made. From what I gathered this mod team has really put in a lot of effort in the remake. I say bring it on...

I wish the modteam all the best in their future carreers, by the looks of it they just secured it.

### Re:One word! (2, Insightful)

#### billster0808 (739783) | more than 4 years ago | (#25956963)

You'll still have to buy something that uses the Source engine.

### Re:One word! (5, Insightful)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25956971)

Suggestion: The Orange Box is worth every cent.

### Re:One word! (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25958565)

Query: Do you believe yourself HK-47?

### Re:One word! (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25959149)

Observation: That was a poor attempt at humor by the anonymous meatbag.

### Re:One word! (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25963775)

Query: Why am I talking to myself?

### Re:One word! (1)

#### duckInferno (1275100) | more than 4 years ago | (#25968417)

Wrong developer. Wrong publisher. Wrong genre. Wrong game.

### Re:How about Deus Ex and System Shock 1/2? (1)

#### grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#25960355)

I'd give my left nut for a full Thief re-do. (The right one is committed to Duke Nukem Forever)

### Re:How about Deus Ex and System Shock 1/2? (1)

#### Fallingcow (213461) | more than 4 years ago | (#25960661)

Ha, agreed. I love the whole trilogy (yes, even the much-hated 3)

### Re:How about Deus Ex and System Shock 1/2? (1)

#### grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#25960693)

Thief 3 had a super story. My main gripes are the stupid loading zones (those could have been eliminated on the PC version) and the lack of rope arrows.

### Re:How about Deus Ex and System Shock 1/2? (1)

#### Haeleth (414428) | more than 4 years ago | (#25963847)

My main gripes are the stupid loading zones (those could have been eliminated on the PC version) and the lack of rope arrows.

Actually the loading zones couldn't have been eliminated on the PC version. Don't think people didn't try, once the level editor was released. But the architecture doesn't actually line up, and it would be a heck of a lot of work to fix everything and make the levels work. Not to mention that the engine simply couldn't have handled it on the hardware of the day. Things were jerky enough as it was.

Oh, and you forgot to mention the lack of swimmable water, the lack of special objectives on higher difficulty levels, and the immersion-destroyingly-bad ragdoll effects.

The City levels were pretty cool, though, and the soundtrack was simply awesome.

### Re:How about Deus Ex and System Shock 1/2? (1)

#### grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#25967151)

Good point about parts of the maps lining up, I hadn't thought of that.
Still, it sucks that a grand mission like Life of the Party in Thief 2 is so much larger than anything in Thief 3 even though T3 was supposed to be new and improved. Ah well. Off to play some T2 fan missions now I think :)

### Re:How about Deus Ex and System Shock 1/2? (1)

#### sbryant (93075) | more than 4 years ago | (#25966229)

Thief 3 hated? Hadn't heard that...

OK, so it had its peculiarities, but to this very day I am still scared of the Shalebridge Cradle.

I saw a website where they were working on a Thief-like mod for Doom3: The Dark Mod [thedarkmod.com] . Looked quite good. Even had the rope arrow ladder thingy. I wonder if they'll ever finish.

-- Steve

### Re:How about Deus Ex and System Shock 1/2? (1)

#### Doctor Morbius (1183601) | more than 4 years ago | (#25966815)

The story was lame. It was like they had a plot then didn't know where to go with it and decided to change it in the middle. The best mission was the insane asylum. All the others were exactly the same. Bonk people over the head, steal the item and escape. Not only that the game had a strange bug with USB keyboards that made it think that certain keys were constantly being held down when the game loaded or after loading an area. The only way to fix it was to unplug the keyboard and plug it into a different USB port. Try doing that every time you enter a new area. BTW that's the only game in which I've ever seen that bug.

### Awesome! (4, Funny)

#### mrchaotica (681592) | more than 4 years ago | (#25956811)

So, now they're going to get started on Opposing Force, right? ; )

### Blue Shift (1)

#### berend botje (1401731) | more than 4 years ago | (#25957289)

I'd rather they get cracking on Blue Shift. But I wouldn't say no to OpFor either!

### Re:Blue Shift (1)

#### scubamage (727538) | more than 4 years ago | (#25958973)

Fnyuh to both! Deathmatch Classic is where its at!

### Fingers crossed (1)

#### jaxtherat (1165473) | more than 4 years ago | (#25956829)

As much as I hope this mod pulls off the feel of the original Half Life, I think an even bigger hope will be for the mod to be actually finished.

Either way, I hope these guys get the recognition and financial success they deserve.

### Re:Fingers crossed (1)

#### Beezlebub33 (1220368) | more than 4 years ago | (#25959747)

I agree. While I give them my emotional support ("Go, go, go!"), I can't be too excited until the mod is finished and released. Showing a trailer is nice and all, but if I can't play it, then the trailer is just a tease.

### Re:Fingers crossed (1)

#### Bob-taro (996889) | more than 4 years ago | (#25961855)

Either way, I hope these guys get the recognition and financial success they deserve.

I agree. This has to be some kind of record in terms of the breadth of effort put into a mod. They apparently re-designed all the levels of a full game, re-created the models in higher resolution, added additional models, made new cut scenes (and I would think the HL style of cut scene where the player retains control are harder to do well), and did original voice acting. I've been reading their dev blog and it sounds like they've done some relatively low-level tweaking of the base game mechanics as well. It's no wonder it's taken them so long.

The video looked impressive -- it looked better than my original expectations for HL:source. You might argue that it'll be impossible for this mod to live up to the hype, but that's what I thought about L4D, and it did not disappoint.

### Impressive (1)

#### pwolf (1016201) | more than 4 years ago | (#25956873)

Wow that's very impressive. I wouldn't be surprised, if this does well, that the modders might see a future in the game industry.

### Re:Impressive (1)

#### bblount (976092) | more than 4 years ago | (#25956985)

No kidding. Judging by the quality of the media released so far, these guys really have what it takes. I am also very impressed with the opening score on their website. If only all games had music this good!

### Pay for it? (1)

#### berend botje (1401731) | more than 4 years ago | (#25957297)

If the game is as good as the trailer led me to believe, I sure wouldn't mind paying for it. The Minerva mod for HL2 was also very high quality, for those that haven't seen it yet.

### Legalities (5, Interesting)

#### Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#25956961)

Are they legally allowed to do this if Half-Life is still for sale and as Half-Life: Source exists?

When we built a port of the original Teamfortress Valve came to us and made it quite clear we can't use the same set of weapons, names for classes and so forth because that would infringe on their IP even though all our assets and code were built by us from scratch. This was admittedly for a different, competing engine to Valve so I suppose it's slightly different and looking back I can imagine thus Valve probably weren't completely honest about what we could legally do.

I'm suprised Valve are willing to allow this if it will risk the admittedly small sales of Half-Life they may still get or do they feel this will instead increase sales of newer source engine games?

Of course the other question is how is this any different from Half-Life source?

Still I don't want to detract too much from the achievement this is. Releasing a mod of this scale can truly be a time consuming task that requires a lot of effort and discipline and I have to congratulate them on reaching this point. I truly hope Valve don't waste their time with a last minute cease and desist!

### Re:Legalities (3, Informative)

#### pwolf (1016201) | more than 4 years ago | (#25957027)

you pretty much answered your own question... first off you were making a port for a competing engine, not using Source. Second, they were developing TF2 so why would they want someone else making a newer version of it on a different engine while they can make money off of theirs? I bet they haven't made a big deal about it because they had no plans to make a Half Life remake and the modders are using Source.

### Re:Legalities (2, Informative)

#### pwolf (1016201) | more than 4 years ago | (#25957039)

sorry, let me rephrase slightly... Yes there is already "Half Life: Source" but it looks like the old version with updated textures and physics. I don't think they had plans to do a complete remake like TF.

### Re:Legalities (1)

#### complete loony (663508) | more than 4 years ago | (#25957609)

Half-Life Source is the original half life maps, textures, models etc running on the new graphics engine. It looks and feels pretty much exactly the same as the old game. Black Mesa... is something else. Every level of the original Half-Life has been rebuilt from the ground up based on the graphical style and engine of Half-Life 2.

### Re:Legalities (1)

#### Guspaz (556486) | more than 4 years ago | (#25957805)

Valve has mentioned Black Mesa more than once in Steam news updates, usually shortly after Black Mesa releases a media update. They've said they're really looking forward to it. As such, Black Mesa has been officially sanctioned by Valve, and there should be no legal concerns. It'd be very strange for Valve to sue them after promoting them.

### Re:Legalities (1)

#### IceCreamGuy (904648) | more than 4 years ago | (#25957993)

When we built a port of the original Teamfortress Valve came to us...

Seriously? You were part of that first Source port of TF? I mean, no offense, but I would have imagined a dev on a project like that would know the huge difference between HL:Source and Black Mesa.

### Re:Legalities (1)

#### Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#25958325)

No, I've not done any mod work with Valve engines, as mentioned in my previous post it was for a competing engine.

I've not really had much to do with Valve engines at all other than playing through their games without really playing with available mods or their mod tools bar a little bit of mapping for the original Half-Life many years ago.

### Re:Legalities (1)

#### IceCreamGuy (904648) | more than 4 years ago | (#25959099)

Ah, that's cool as hell; I would imagine working on mods would be very satisfying. If you're looking for some nice ones on the source engine, though, there are some fantastic ones, like Gary's Mod and, one of my favorites, Goldeneye: Source ( which is exactly what you would imagine it is). Black Mesa looks like it's going to be really, really nice. They recently announced that they had switched to the Orange Box revision of the Source engine and that CS is now no longer a requirement. They have a couple of new areas and have fleshed out the characters in HL to reflect those in HL2, and have even done all new voice acting.

### Re:Legalities (3, Interesting)

#### Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#25959507)

I was fortunate enough to work on quite a few good mods through the years but it was the politics that put me off in the end.

There's a lot of time wasters out there and you find yourself spending a lot of time dealing with them. As your mod picks up pace you can start to get some good people on board and not deal with this but getting their is tough. When you do get there you still have the issue of people having differing visions and sometimes showing their true colours when they don't get their own way and stuff like that.

This is why I have to have a lot of respect for people behind projects like this here because I know all too well what the hazards are in getting this far. Building a mature team that's willing to accept a single person in charge of the actual vision of the mod/game whilst having someone capable of carrying that vision through in a solid manner and not pandering to personal nags or people on the team simply not adhering to that vision is easily as hard as actually producing the game assets and code- particular in a distributed environment like many mod teams across the internet.

The alternative is to go it alone and build code based mods- presumably this is how Garry's mod started, I don't know if that's still that way if it ever was but his mod is about the only HL2 mod I tried and even then only shortly after it's early releases but it was pretty fun to play around with.

### Re:Legalities (1)

#### Darundal (891860) | more than 4 years ago | (#25958167)

Valve could swoop in and force them to abandon the mod, but I doubt they will. This hasn't exactly been a low-profile project, and whatever sales of HL they get are more for the mods than anything else.

### Re:Legalities (1)

#### boyko.at.netqos (1024767) | more than 4 years ago | (#25958747)

I think all considerations of legality are rendered moot when Gabe Newell knows about the project and says: "Dude, you can call it 'Black Mesa' but you can't call it 'Black Mesa: Source' because 'Source' makes it look like an official Valve product."

In other words, would it be illegal to do so without the original author's permission? Probably. But it's quite clear that Valve has said: "Go on, you crazy kids, have fun, go nuts!"

How is this different from Half-Life: Source?

HL:S was redesigned with the HL2 engine but used graphics from the original half-life for DOS. (They did not even use the high-definition pack that Valve released along with Blue Shift.)

99% of BM's improvements are going to be graphical, and if you compare screenshots of BM with HL:S, you'll quickly see the difference.

Of course, updating HL:S to graphical quality is something that is probably far too much of a time sink for Valve itself - they'd rather work on HL2:E3, or HL3, than updating the graphics on a game most people have already bought.

### Re:Legalities (1)

#### MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | more than 4 years ago | (#25959105)

One nit to pick - the original Half-Life wasn't a DOS game. It ran under Windows.

### Re:Legalities (1)

#### atomic-penguin (100835) | more than 4 years ago | (#25964203)

Yeah, you pretty much summed up what I was going to say. Everything you said was accurate except for the DOS thing.

"Half-Life: Source" was done as a proof-of-concept. In other words, Valve made Half-Life: Source, to find out how long it would take a mod-team to port from the GoldSrc/HL engine to the Source/HL2 engine.

If I am not mistaken, the end result of Half-Life: Source is the exact same as the original Half-Life. The only value added is shiny water and rag-doll physics. Which to be quite honest, Half-Life: Source really sucked as a 2004 stand-alone product. For many Half-Life fans, the Source version just did not do justice to the original game. To be fair, if you have never played the original Half-Life, then you are going to get much of the same experience playing the Source version. In summary, Half-Life: Source was like Greedo shooting first.

The Black Mesa team of course, was a group of fans, inspired to re-make the original on the Source engine but do so with modern game play and graphics. Now Valve has merely asked them to drop the "Source" part of their game title, and has not shown any resistance in almost 5 years. It seems to me that Valve has given them an endorsement to continue.

### Re:Legalities (1)

#### boyko.at.netqos (1024767) | more than 4 years ago | (#25964755)

I've only played HL:S, myself. With it being so cheap, I'm wondering whether I should bother getting the Goldsource version of the game. (Besides, I didn't really like HL:S, compared to the masterpiece that HL:2 was... it was just... wow.)

### Re:Legalities (1)

#### TheFlyingBuddha (1373717) | more than 4 years ago | (#25958829)

I think part of it is probably an interest in seeing just how well this mod does. I've been pining away for years for a section of the game market that does nothing but update classics like HL. I don't really know how this could be handled, but perhaps if the mod gets enough buzz Valve might look to acquire the rights to it or something and try and turn it into a commercial success. They might just be waiting to see how potentially profitable a remake like this could be, without actually committing the resources to it.

### Re:Legalities (1)

#### Catil (1063380) | more than 4 years ago | (#25960631)

In the media business, remakes and sequels actually increase the sales of the originals prior to their release. HL1 and HL:Source should be directly benefiting from Black Mesa right now, which might even be one of the points for Vavle to still market those games.
They likely didn't discourage you to continue on your mod because of the original TF but because of their own sequel, TF2, already in the works, which would have had to compete against a similar product without a pricetag. "Nah, don't buy the lame TF2. Try that TF mod for Engine X over there instead. It rocks." is something Valve certainly wouldn't want to see on gaming forums.

### Re:Legalities (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25968665)

Half-Life:Source used the same low-res textures and models from the original game, it looked and played like an old, old game.

### Wow!~ (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25956991)

Check out the music! Its just as amazing as I remember from the original! I can't believe this is not a commerical project!

I expected some pretty good graphics, but this is amazing!

Color me can't wait.

(wow, that's my quota of exclamation marks for the week.)

Grow up.

### Re:PS3 (5, Funny)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25957317)

Cower before the might of our mods, puny console gamers!

### Re:PS3 (1)

#### dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 4 years ago | (#25957359)

It'll happen right after Garry's Mod is released for the PS3.

### Re:PS3 (1)

#### ijakings (982830) | more than 4 years ago | (#25958199)

Itll happen right after DNF is released for the PS3.

### Re:PS3 (1)

#### PitViper401 (619163) | more than 4 years ago | (#25961447)

You mean right after DNF comes out on the Phantom. Now that brings me back.

### Re:Well nuts (1)

#### saucercrab (855892) | more than 4 years ago | (#25962005)

It was \$0.99, and Black Mesa won't be released until 2009. I think you might be okay. Plus, assuming it is your first time with the original Half-Life, you get to play through it, then experience the upgrade when Black Mesa drops.

### Is this a joke? (1)

#### wylderide (933251) | more than 4 years ago | (#25961587)

Ha ha, fat chance!

### DNF Mod (1)

#### Taulin (569009) | more than 4 years ago | (#25964709)

I wish someone would make a DNF mod for HL2. That would be priceless.

### Awesome (1)

#### HotDogWater (1084827) | more than 4 years ago | (#25965571)

Never mind the legalities of this, this game is going to be amazing. It brings a new look on a old awesome game and it is free which is gonna make it even better. This is a sort of open source produced game that will show a new way of producing games.

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