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Black Mesa Goes Commercial

The Black Mesa Forums celebrate the 15th anniversary of the release of Half-Life with the news that Black Mesa, their Source-engine remake of the shooter, is coming to Steam as a commercial release (thanks Eurogamer). Here's the announcement:

The Big News:
Last year, Black Mesa was one of the first Steam games to be Greenlit by you, our amazing fans. We've had quite a year since then, with a lot happening internally that we haven't been able to talk about... until now. Black Mesa has been given the opportunity to be sold as a retail product on Steam! This is an incredible honor - one we never expected - but also one we found hard to accept.

We never developed Black Mesa with money in mind. Our team is made up of average, hardworking people, and no one joined the team to make money. For us, Black Mesa is purely a labor of love. We believe this philosophy has significantly contributed to the overall quality and feel of the game.

Our decision to sell Black Mesa rests on two key points. One is we believe we can make the game even better by having full access to the Source engine. This lets us tackle and fix limitations instead of working around them. The second is because frankly, our team could really use the financial help.

The Plan:
Soon you'll see Black Mesa available on Steam for a relatively low price. But we aren't dropping all support for the free version. In fact shortly after the Steam release there will be a completely new free version of the game. We also plan to open source our maps and some game assets to the modding community!

Purchasing the Steam version of Black Mesa is more about supporting the team and our efforts than anything else. However, the Steam version will include features that the free version simply can not have. We will be paying careful attention to feedback, and you'll have a very real say in how the final game turns out.

Long-Term Plans and Xen:
We've been overwhelmed by fan anticipation for Xen, and we're excited so many people are eager to conclude the game. To be totally honest however, Xen is still a ways off. Over the past year, we have spent a HUGE amount of time porting the game to a new engine and fixing hundreds of bugs. The work to port to the new engine was not because of the decision to go retail, this was work that had to be done to get Black Mesa onto Steam and support our future plans.

So, please be patient with us as we work to make Xen a stunning and worthy conclusion to Black Mesa. Until Xen is completed, we have multiple interesting additions planned for the Steam version of Black Mesa, which we will announce later on down the road.

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18. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 13:23 Kajetan
 
InBlack wrote on Nov 20, 2013, 10:26:
Not really interested. I played the HL1 campaign to death, I think I could do it blindfolded.
While being called a remake, its NOT like the original HL1 campaign. Its more like a hommage to the original game.
 
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17. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 13:03 Prez
 
I never tried the Black Mesa mod because I wanted to wait for the remade Xen portion but it looks like the free version of that is never coming now. Oh well, the whole package will be able to be had for a pittance on a Steam sale sometime in the future - I'll wait til then I guess.  
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16. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 12:45 theyarecomingforyou
 
wtf_man wrote on Nov 20, 2013, 12:29:
Half-Life: Source with the Enhanced Mod (Then delete the modded music files) will get you a fairly modern graphics upgrade (compared to the original), and the complete EXACT game... not someone's "artistic interpretation".
I couldn't care less that it's an "artistic interpretation" when the result is as good as Black Mesa. It's incredibly faithful to the original and most of the changes are for the better.

The unfinished version is still better than any game in the COD or Crysis series, which is impressive given that we're talking about a group of amateurs.
 
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15. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 12:30 deqer
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 20, 2013, 10:21:
Thanks for nothing - literally - Valve.
So, you didn't read the post. Okay.
 
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14. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 12:29 wtf_man
 
Great... now you can pay for the unfinished version.

Half-Life: Source with the Enhanced Mod (Then delete the modded music files) will get you a fairly modern graphics upgrade (compared to the original), and the complete EXACT game... not someone's "artistic interpretation".

/shrug

This comment was edited on Nov 20, 2013, 13:31.
 
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13. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 12:23 Creston
 
I wasn't really impressed with Black Mesa. The part outside where you fight a horde of aliens and soldiers was utterly compressed into basically two small rooms, they shortened the railroad section by a LOT, and there were a few other sections where they shortened stuff, which just felt annoying.

Overall when I played it, I just kept thinking "You know, this would have been really cool if I could've played it in 2006."

I think it's amazing that they made it, and persevered with it for so long, and I hope it helps them get a job in the gaming industry if they want, but I wouldn't pay for a commercial release.
 
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12. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 11:46 Parias
 
InBlack wrote on Nov 20, 2013, 10:26:
Not really interested. I played the HL1 campaign to death, I think I could do it blindfolded.

This isn't really the same thing - the maps were completely redone from scratch and a lot of the levels are actually quite different (fundamentally similar concept and architecture, but implemented differently enough to be interesting). The voice acting and character models are essentially original too.

It's actually quite well done; there's a reason why it's considered so popular.

Cutter wrote on Nov 20, 2013, 10:53:
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Nov 20, 2013, 10:39:
Cutter wrote on Nov 20, 2013, 10:21:
Thanks for nothing - literally - Valve.
Nothing? They're letting a mod team profit from their IP and giving them improved access to the Source engine. That's something that very few developers / publishers would ever do.

Personally I think this is great news. They deserve something for all of their hard work and hopefully this funding will allow them to continue with Xen and then move onto the Half-Life expansions. Black Mesa was excellent and I'm surprised that Valve hasn't brought them onboard to work on HL3. I'll be purchasing it to show my support.

Whilst super for them, it means sweet FA to me and many others who really wanted to see HL3 instead of a remake of a 15 year old game we can all play blindfolded made with an outdated engine - and they're charging for it. Knock yourself out however.

I don't follow your logic - how would this fan effort affect HL3 in any way whatsoever?
 
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11. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 11:14 Verno
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 20, 2013, 10:53:
Whilst super for them, it means sweet FA to me and many others who really wanted to see HL3 instead of a remake of a 15 year old game we can all play blindfolded made with an outdated engine - and they're charging for it. Knock yourself out however.

These guys were never making Half-Life 3, these things exist separately. I can't see myself buying this either but the two aren't really connected in any meaningful way.
 
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10. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 11:13 Sepharo
 
I guess Cutter thinks the Black Mesa team is Valve.  
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9. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 10:59 Axis
 
Like 'you and many others' is a minority... everyone wants to see HL3.

But real gamers like quality games regardless of technology used, unlike perhaps 'you and many others'.
 
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Yours truly,

Axis
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8. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 10:53 Cutter
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Nov 20, 2013, 10:39:
Cutter wrote on Nov 20, 2013, 10:21:
Thanks for nothing - literally - Valve.
Nothing? They're letting a mod team profit from their IP and giving them improved access to the Source engine. That's something that very few developers / publishers would ever do.

Personally I think this is great news. They deserve something for all of their hard work and hopefully this funding will allow them to continue with Xen and then move onto the Half-Life expansions. Black Mesa was excellent and I'm surprised that Valve hasn't brought them onboard to work on HL3. I'll be purchasing it to show my support.

Whilst super for them, it means sweet FA to me and many others who really wanted to see HL3 instead of a remake of a 15 year old game we can all play blindfolded made with an outdated engine - and they're charging for it. Knock yourself out however.
 
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7. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 10:43 Mad Max RW
 
I'd like to see them complete the mod first before I consider giving money. They've been working on it for almost a decade. Come on now. What they released so far is nice but it's very unfinished and still pretty damn buggy.  
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6. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 10:41 Axis
 
Black Mesa is one of the best conversions out there bar none, hope they do well I'll support them.  
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Yours truly,

Axis
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5. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 10:39 theyarecomingforyou
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 20, 2013, 10:21:
Thanks for nothing - literally - Valve.
Nothing? They're letting a mod team profit from their IP and giving them improved access to the Source engine. That's something that very few developers / publishers would ever do.

Personally I think this is great news. They deserve something for all of their hard work and hopefully this funding will allow them to continue with Xen and then move onto the Half-Life expansions. Black Mesa was excellent and I'm surprised that Valve hasn't brought them onboard to work on HL3. I'll be purchasing it to show my support.
 
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4. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 10:27 StaticRandomNumber
 
Yes, the team behind Black Mesa may still be a bit behind their desired schedule but at this rate they will actually finish the fan version of half-life 3 before Valve gets anything out the door.  
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3. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 10:27 Task
 
I played the free version. Will gladly pay them money for their hard work. I don't mind original HL1 graphics, classic, but at least if you play Black Mesa Source and then HL2, at least it stays consistent graphically-wise. Also a great way to get friends interesting in HL games if they despise old graphics.

Can't wait for the Xen addition, I hope they retain/reburbish the creepy audio for the huge alien boss at the end. The alien boss alludes to the G-Man being some sort of alien that is deceiving gordon freeman, adrian shepard, and others. Also click here for creepy theories about the HL universe story.

I am hoping these guys team up with Operation Black Mesa for the Opposing Forces total conversion.

This comment was edited on Nov 20, 2013, 10:42.
 
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2. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 10:26 InBlack
 
Not really interested. I played the HL1 campaign to death, I think I could do it blindfolded.  
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1. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 10:21 Cutter
 
Thanks for nothing - literally - Valve.
 
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"Nobody wants to be nobody in America. Ed is the apotheosis of a prevailing American syndrome. It used to be that someone became famous because they were special. Now people are considered special just for being famous. Fame, itself, is its own virtue.
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