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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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78 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 2.
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58. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 13:31 Wesp5
 
Sepharo wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 12:08:
Wesp5 wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 12:00:
Nov 2000 - Present -- Commercial product from Valve.

Yeah, and how much different is this from the mod?
 
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57. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 12:39 Beamer
 
Wesp5 wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 11:56:
Sadly, in my opinion they don't concentrate on developing games anymore, rather on becoming the biggest PC-centric publisher everywhere and in the living room, with Steam, SteamWorks, GreenLight, FirstAcess and the SteamBoxes!

Whether or not they concentrate on games isn't a matter of your opinion, it's a factual statement.

And they do. Not quick enough for your liking, but then you also whine about Battlefield games coming out every other week. I'm sorry that not enough studios fit the exact length of time between titles that you specifically demand. All studios should do exactly what this guy on Bluesnews wants, otherwise he'll complain and accuse them of stealing games form the community and not making their own games, even though their staff is significantly larger on the game dev side than on the Steam side.
 
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56. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 12:08 Sepharo
 
Wesp5 wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 12:00:
Sepharo wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 11:56:
More people have played Valve-era CS then any of their other games until F2P TF2 and DoTA2.

And again you are talking about a mod that was not developed by Valve. Interestingly enough the creator of CS left Valve long ago, probably because he didn't just want to release his mod over and over. Until now Valve sells four versions of CS, at least EA and Activision create new levels for their endless BF and CoD series ;)!

Lifetime of CS:

June 1999 - Nov 2000 -- Mod of Valve game from Minh Le and Jess Cliffe with late support from Valve
Nov 2000 - Present -- Commercial product from Valve.
 
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55. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 12:00 Wesp5
 
Sepharo wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 11:56:
Wesp5 wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 11:42:
More people have played Valve-era CS then any of their other games until F2P TF2 and DoTA2.

And again you are talking about a mod that was not developed by Valve. Interestingly enough the creator of CS left Valve long ago, probably because he didn't just want to release his mod over and over. Until now Valve sells four versions of CS, at least EA and Activision create new levels for their endless BF and CoD series ;)!
 
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54. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 11:56 Wesp5
 
Beamer wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 10:52:
Well, ignoring that everything outside the original Portal is well over 5 hours of gameplay...

Yeah, like what? As I already explained I meant singleplayer, because you can't really measure multiplayer. Was Portal 2 much longer? Of course this isn't only Valve's fault because everyone nowadays thinks that singleplayer games beyond 5 hours are too long, maybe besides Bethesda. Just look at the campaigns of Battlefield 4 or Cod Ghosts!

...and ignoring that Nabarcular Drop and Portal have very little in common...

...besides the idea itself which is all the Portal games is about. While...

...The Cake is a Lie, Still Alive, and GladOS...

...are just icing on the cake, without portals there wouldn't have been any of this! I agree with you that Valve is wonderfull in fleshing out existing mods, just look at the TF2 makeover, but what I want is them to quit messing around with one MP mod after the other to finish the HL series! This is what build their fame in the first place and I fear the longer they wait, the higher the chance that HL2:EP3 will be a sad failure when it comes out and people moved on.

Valve is by far the largest PC-centric independent developer...

Sadly, in my opinion they don't concentrate on developing games anymore, rather on becoming the biggest PC-centric publisher everywhere and in the living room, with Steam, SteamWorks, GreenLight, FirstAcess and the SteamBoxes!
 
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53. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 11:56 Sepharo
 
Wesp5 wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 11:42:
Verno wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 10:33:
Nothing over 5 hours playtime?

What I meant was singleplayer. Of course you can't measure playtime in multiplayer games in the first place, so I thought this would be clear. After all Valve became famous due to two great singleplayer games...

And because of the great multiplayer on HL and the countless mods it spawned. More people have played Valve-era CS then any of their other games until F2P TF2 and DoTA2.
 
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52. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 11:42 Wesp5
 
Verno wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 10:33:
Nothing over 5 hours playtime?

What I meant was singleplayer. Of course you can't measure playtime in multiplayer games in the first place, so I thought this would be clear. After all Valve became famous due to two great singleplayer games...
 
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51. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 10:52 Beamer
 
Wesp5 wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 08:36:
Redmask wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 07:27:
It isn't realistic or fair to argue that Valve did not contribute significant value...

I never argued that Valve didn't contribute significant value, of course Portal is a much better and polished game than Nabarcular Drop. But in the end Valve relies on outside projects almost completely right now! They don't do anything on their own that hasn't been tested and found successful by some community already. And all of them are rather small projects too, nothing over 5 hours playtime since HL2. For me this is playing it completely on the safe side while living from Steam alone. Almost as if they fear that HL:EP3 would fail for expectations like DNF did...

Oh, and like the first commenter here, I am so angry at Valve because I want HL:EP3 :)!

Well, ignoring that everything outside the original Portal is well over 5 hours of gameplay, and ignoring that Nabarcular Drop and Portal have very little in common, with one being an ugly game that didn't have many puzzles and the other being a classic that instantly gave us The Cake is a Lie, Still Alive, and GladOS, all of whom are referenced to this day, and ignoring that Valve is by far the largest PC-centric independent developer and that those game developers are most likely doing something despite what many people here keep claiming, it just shows a complete lack of understanding into how games are designed and how really any business works, period.

Here, let me apply your argument to other industries:
  • I don't get why Google gets so much credit for Android. Android Inc. made Android, Google just bought it! Sure, they fixed it and made it a modern OS, but still, Google stole that idea from the community using a lot of money and hiring the brains behind it and putting them in leadership roles!

  • I don't get why people say the Red Sox won the World Series. David Ortiz is what made them win, and he wasn't even drafted by the Red Sox! The Twins drafted him! They did all the work! Sure, they let him go, and it wasn't until he became a Red Sock that he started playing like a superstar, but still, the Sox are just taking credit for what the Twins did!]*

    Silly, no?
  •  
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    50. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 10:33 Verno
     
    Nothing over 5 hours playtime? Ok now you're just being silly. I think I got more value out of the L4D franchise than I have several other games combined. Playing armchair quarterback with development after the fact is a past time we all enjoy but I think we would not see many of these games without Valve and I doubt anyone really gives a shit if it was their original idea or not. They brought it to market and that's what matters. The box has their name on it, it is their game. This goes both ways too, I think Battlefield would be a completely unplayable debacle and Dice would have gone out of business without EA for example.  
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    49. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 08:36 Wesp5
     
    Redmask wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 07:27:
    Wesp5 wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 03:42:
    It isn't realistic or fair to argue that Valve did not contribute significant value...

    I never argued that Valve didn't contribute significant value, of course Portal is a much better and polished game than Nabarcular Drop. But in the end Valve relies on outside projects almost completely right now! They don't do anything on their own that hasn't been tested and found successful by some community already. And all of them are rather small projects too, nothing over 5 hours playtime since HL2. For me this is playing it completely on the safe side while living from Steam alone. Almost as if they fear that HL:EP3 would fail for expectations like DNF did...

    Oh, and like the first commenter here, I am so angry at Valve because I want HL:EP3 :)!

    This comment was edited on Nov 21, 2013, 08:54.
     
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    48. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 07:27 Redmask
     
    Wesp5 wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 03:42:
    Okay. Go ahead and prove me wrong ;)!

    That argument has been taken apart dozens of times in the past here. The best way it ends up for you is that Valve is just a talent incubator but many of those games would not exist today without them. Go look at the ancient previews for games like Portal or Left 4 Dead today, they were very different and very rough compared to what we received in the end. It isn't realistic or fair to argue that Valve did not contribute significant value, particularly when none of us were privy to the development process.
     
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    47. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 04:02 Wesp5
     
    BicycleRepairMan wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 02:36:
    Wesp5 wrote on Nov 20, 2013, 15:50:
    Yeah, again, creating and maintaining the popularity of the largest digital delivery system ever clearly counts as "nothing", also creating the original game BM is inspired by...? Nothing.

    Touche on the second part of your argument, in my eyes HL is even better than the much overrated HL2 in comparison! But thanking Valve for a DRM system with an (almost) always online client in the background, for which the XBox One got a bashing? No way! To me Valve is a publisher now, they earn money by releasing other people's stuff. They only do the occasional mod commercialisation to pretend they are still a game developer, which looks better in the eyes of the games ;).

    BM is completely free as it is. You can download it now. There will be a free version in the future as well, it says so right there in the forum post.

    As someone else here suspected, will the free version get the Xen levels or maybe not? Also the BM guys could always get a PayPal donation account or something, but this way Valve is getting a free share for the work of dedicated fans. BTW, what percentage is Valve getting from each game on Steam? 30% like Apple, or something else?
     
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    46. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 03:42 Wesp5
     
    Beamer wrote on Nov 20, 2013, 16:32:
    Wesp5 wrote on Nov 20, 2013, 15:50:
    Yeah, check all these "Valve games" out. Except for HL and HL2 they are all only well known mods or university projects gone commercial!

    How to tell someone isn't thinking: they make this argument.

    Okay. Go ahead and prove me wrong ;)!
     
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    45. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 02:36 BicycleRepairMan
     
    Wesp5 wrote on Nov 20, 2013, 15:50:
    After all Steam gets a share of everything sold, not only the BM guys, so for Valve it's just money for nothing!

    Yeah, again, creating and maintaining the popularity of the largest digital delivery system ever clearly counts as "nothing", also creating the original game BM is inspired by...? Nothing.

    I seriously dont understand how people in here think, the only people getting something for nothing here, is YOU. BM is completely free as it is. You can download it now. There will be a free version in the future as well, it says so right there in the forum post. Its a FREE GAME people. And it is truly FREE, there are no ads, product placement, micro transactions bloatware or other bullshit about it, its completely fucking FREE. You literally pay nothing and get a free game. Now they are also making a version you can buy. Now , I dont know how to best explain this, but YOU DONT ACTUALLY HAVE TO BUY THIS GAME. Just like any other game, you can just ignore it. Or buy it. Or know it exists, but not buy it, you see stuff like this is optional. You can also play the completely FREE version and if you think that sucks, then again, dont buy it. I just dont see how this is a bad deal??
     
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    44. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 00:42 Henry Dorsett
     
    You know, as someone who works in the game industry largely because of the level design of the original Half-Life (and Duke3D, but that's another story), I just can't play Black Mesa Source. It just feels wrong. Say what you will about the quality of the game overall, but BMS feels like a violation of a game that I, personally, consider one of the most important video games of all time. And, really, most everything in the game is really good, it's just those levels...

    But I am happy to hear that they're planning on open-sourcing their maps and resources to modders. It'll be interesting to see what comes of that.
     
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    43. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 00:30 Caslon
     
    I thought the HL story took itself as far as it could with the Episodes. HL3 will happen, just cause it can. $$$ So therefore, be happy as a clam at high tide (don't wanna get dug up).  
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    42. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 22:57 Agent.X7
     
    Cutter wrote on Nov 20, 2013, 21:09:
    Jesus, are you people thick? I obviously didn't mean Valve was doing this. I said thanks for nothing, regarding Valve. And the other bit was, yeah, we've all played HL backward and forward, and Source is antiquated as it is, so remaking the game we all know backward and forward with an antique engine isn't doing anyone any favours all around when all we really want to see is HL3 with a new engine? Is that clear enough for everyone? Want me to send it out in braille? FFS people!

    Oooooooh Canada! Thanks for ginger ale, but not for Cutter! Oooooh Canada, and also Maple butter!

     
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    41. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 22:01 Caslon
     
    bigspender wrote on Nov 20, 2013, 18:23:
    So the remake was pretty damn cool - but its been given away for free for like a year - what makes them think anyone is going to pay for it now?

    Probably the ease of installation. Damn, it better not be over $4.99 and it's gonna be overpriced at that. I wonder if it will be taken off the download site once it moves to Steam.
     
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    40. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 21:20 Redmask
     
    Cutter wrote on Nov 20, 2013, 21:09:
    Jesus, are you people thick? I obviously didn't mean Valve was doing this. I said thanks for nothing, regarding Valve. And the other bit was, yeah, we've all played HL backward and forward, and Source is antiquated as it is, so remaking the game we all know backward and forward with an antique engine isn't doing anyone any favours all around when all we really want to see is HL3 with a new engine? Is that clear enough for everyone? Want me to send it out in braille? FFS people!

    Source looks fine in Titanfall, it's a very modular engine so it's never really an "antique". The Black Mesa Mod doesn't hurt for visuals either.
     
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    39. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 20, 2013, 21:20 Ravenus
     
    I already have the free mod, but I certainly would like to show my appreciation for the team's hard work by shelling out for the pay version.  
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