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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. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 25, 2013, 12:09 Verno
 
Wesp5 wrote on Nov 23, 2013, 03:57:
Verno wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 09:00:
I don't think Valve really cares one way or the other, they have enough money not to worry about the viability of the franchise so long as their core market is served. They use their properties as vehicles to forward their platform.

Yeah, that's the problem, Valve doesn't really care, because right now their core market it being a publisher and not a developer.

No, Valve cares about being a developer as they still develop games, just not ones that you want them to. They also care on their timetable instead of yours. Deal with it or move on, there isn't much else to say.
 
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77. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 23, 2013, 03:57 Wesp5
 
Verno wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 09:00:
I don't think Valve really cares one way or the other, they have enough money not to worry about the viability of the franchise so long as their core market is served. They use their properties as vehicles to forward their platform.

Yeah, that's the problem, Valve doesn't really care, because right now their core market it being a publisher and not a developer. Their platform is Steam and not making games. And I as a HL fan doesn't like to observe that! If they don't think they can do HL3, maybe they should give it to someone else. As I already said, as a singleplayer only gamer I'm not impressed at all with what they released after HL2! Granted, Portal and Portal 2 were okay, but they were short enough so I wasn't bored when they ended ;).
 
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76. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 22, 2013, 09:00 Verno
 
Wesp5 wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 16:28:
Here we disagree. I fear that by that time many gamers don't even care about HL anymore! Look what happened to DNF, that's what I fear...

You quote sniped the hell out of that. I don't think Valve really cares one way or the other, they have enough money not to worry about the viability of the franchise so long as their core market is served. They use their properties as vehicles to forward their platform. Given that you aren't a developer or have any vested financial interest in the company I'm not sure why you do either. Who gives a shit what console FPS gamers care about Half-Life? Time marches on for everything, people weren't going to appreciate Half-Life forever and going back to play it quite a few mechanics are indeed dated but the nostalgia is usually enough to override that. All I care about is eventually playing the game and I'd prefer it be on Valve's timetable instead of yours given your strange opinions on their other games.
 
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75. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 22, 2013, 03:31 Wesp5
 
Flatline wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 01:47:
I have a gut feeling that Valve has no f*cking clue where to go with the Half-Life plot any more. It's veered off in weird directions, and they keep adding elements to the metaplot, like bringing Portal into the mix.

I agree with you that as described in the link I posted below for HL2, Valve probably doesn't know how it can make HL3 the hit they want it to be and therefore they are stalling by making other stuff. But in my opinion bringing portals into the mix is the one thing that could save HL3! Physics are common nowadays, but imagine moving through a real fighting world with a portal gun, not only some boring samey looking test chambers...
 
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74. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 22, 2013, 03:27 Wesp5
 
Redmask wrote on Nov 22, 2013, 00:04:
Wesp5, I would rather take everything else Valve has accomplished in the past 6 years than just Episode 3 by itself, sorry you're just out on a limb with this crap.

Well, you are probably a multiplayer guy then, am I right :)? Nothing much for us singleplayer guys from Valve besides two short episodes and two short riddle games...
 
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73. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 22, 2013, 03:25 Wesp5
 
Beamer wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 18:43:
Can you name a single first person game similar to Half Life that's done well recently?

Exactly! I think we begin to understand each other now. I think the time for a successful HL3 is passing ever so slowly and it may become a failure or in the worst case not released at all. And I'm already waiting for Rage 2, which may or may not happen, and The Precursors 2 which will pretty certainly never happen and left the game hanging right in the middle. I don't want that to happen to the HL series...
 
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72. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 22, 2013, 01:47 Flatline
 
I have a gut feeling that Valve has no f*cking clue where to go with the Half-Life plot any more. It's veered off in weird directions, and they keep adding elements to the metaplot, like bringing Portal into the mix.  
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71. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 22, 2013, 00:04 Redmask
 
Wesp5, I would rather take everything else Valve has accomplished in the past 6 years than just Episode 3 by itself, sorry you're just out on a limb with this crap.  
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70. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 18:43 Beamer
 
Wesp5 wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 16:50:
Beamer wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 16:07:
That only games created by original Valve employees are Valve games?

I don't think you want to understand me. In my eyes all these commercialized mods are just diversions from the HL series, which is what I really care about! I don't think Valve has time forever to finish HL3 and the time they spend on other things like DOTA2 is lost for the HL series. And of course all of this is much easier than actually creating a completely new game that blows everyone away!

Find me the link where Newell says that HL2 was delayed solely due to Steam.

Not solely, but a big part surely was that Newell concentrated on Steam. Google produced http://www.gamespot.com/articles/the-final-hours-of-half-life-2/1100-6112889/ in which it says: "But in early 2002 Newell let the rest of the team take the lead on the development of the game...Instead, he began working on other projects, like Steam..." I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing happened to HL3: Newell is busy planning to take the living room with the Steamboxes, while the rest of Valve spends their time commercialising mods and working on HL3 on the side. By the time HL3 will be released gamers may either have forgotten it or have so high expectations, that they can't ever be satisfied. I want HL3 to be great, but I fear for the worst!

Gabe spending less time isn't a huge deal. He let the rest of the team take the lead. It isn't like he was still the decision maker and drawing out decisions.

As for your argument that few people care about HL3 anymore, you're mostly right, but that isn't because it's taken too long. People didn't stop caring about Duke Nukem Forever because it took too long. People stopped caring about Duke because he was a remnant from another time that hadn't aged well. The character hadn't aged well, the design hadn't aged well, and the game itself sucked.

Half Life hasn't particularly aged well, either. It's still fun, nostalgically, but it's a fairly shallow game. Popular first person games these days tend to have either RPG elements, team elements, or both. HL didn't have either.

Can you name a single first person game similar to Half Life that's done well recently?
 
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69. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 17:37 BicycleRepairMan
 
As I said, I just dont get the complaining here, just try to think for a moment: What do you want from valve? If your answer is "HL3!!!" Then, sure, I concur, I really want to see that myself, but I think its pretty obvious from the rumor mill etc, that it is being worked on. Look, we could have been at half-life 6 now probably, if all that valve did was focus on the next HL game all the time. That would be rather boring. Instead we have all these different projects like TF, CS, L4D, Portal and so on, And they run Steam. Steam really is really cool. And we are fortunate that a company like valve took on the task of creating THE digital delivery system for games. Sure, its not perfect, but go look at the steam homepage for one second: obscure indie titles with 0 marketing budgets are bannered side by side with stuff like COD Ghosts. How cool isnt that? Whats the realistic alternative to Steam? EAs Origin? Some bullshit stuff thats exclusive to one publisher? Indies no chance at all?

Anyway, valve does cool stuff, they experiment with both game creation and delivery, they are game changers in the market, they bring interesting projects in and create stuff based on it. And now their letting the BM team make money on a remake of their own classic, and even helping the game out. Sure, they'll make a few bucks on it themselves, but probably not even a noticable bump in their income stream.

How is any of this wrong? Is everything wrong, just because HL3 isnt out yet? and what happens when HL3 does come out, what will all you crybabies say then? By the time you're finished trashing that game, and how HL2 was so much better, I suppose its onward to the HL4 demands.
 
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68. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 16:50 Wesp5
 
Beamer wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 16:07:
That only games created by original Valve employees are Valve games?

I don't think you want to understand me. In my eyes all these commercialized mods are just diversions from the HL series, which is what I really care about! I don't think Valve has time forever to finish HL3 and the time they spend on other things like DOTA2 is lost for the HL series. And of course all of this is much easier than actually creating a completely new game that blows everyone away!

Find me the link where Newell says that HL2 was delayed solely due to Steam.

Not solely, but a big part surely was that Newell concentrated on Steam. Google produced http://www.gamespot.com/articles/the-final-hours-of-half-life-2/1100-6112889/ in which it says: "But in early 2002 Newell let the rest of the team take the lead on the development of the game...Instead, he began working on other projects, like Steam..." I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing happened to HL3: Newell is busy planning to take the living room with the Steamboxes, while the rest of Valve spends their time commercialising mods and working on HL3 on the side. By the time HL3 will be released gamers may either have forgotten it or have so high expectations, that they can't ever be satisfied. I want HL3 to be great, but I fear for the worst!

This comment was edited on Nov 21, 2013, 17:00.
 
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67. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 16:28 Wesp5
 
Verno wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 15:12:
Wesp5 wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 14:45:
Look we all want Half-Life 3 but Valve can afford to take 10 years to make it and they just might do that.

Here we disagree. I fear that by that time many gamers don't even care about HL anymore! Look what happened to DNF, that's what I fear...
 
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66. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 16:07 Beamer
 
Wesp5 wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 14:46:
Beamer wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 13:53:
Hey, remind me again what the wait in time between HL and HL2 was?
6 years you say?

Wow! And it's been 6 years since HL:E2?
Clearly Valve has changed and is no longer developing games!

So how many other games did Valve itself create between HL and HL2? And didn't Newell himself admit that HL2 was delayed completely out of proportion because he only cared about Steam? I fear things are repeating itself, but maybe Valve will indeed use HL3 to push the Steamboxes, so let's stop here, but take a look at this ;): http://i.imgur.com/35Uc3.jpg

This whole "create itself" argument is so far beyond asinine. Are you saying Team Fortress 2 isn't created by Valve? That Robin Walker isn't a member of Valve? That only games created by original Valve employees are Valve games? That TF2 is an obvious evolution of TF1?

Find me the link where Newell says that HL2 was delayed solely due to Steam. There's plenty out there accusing him of lying about the delay, but hey, maybe all those articles about how much he sucked because HL2 took too long from announce to release are why no one ever mentions HL3 anymore.

Game fans tend to be the most entitled group of "fans" outside of 18 year old music fans, often with the same arguments (e.g., "they were better before they sold out" or "the first release was so much better" or "you don't actually like XYZ, you just say that to be cool"), with the exception that game fans tend to be middle aged men making the arguments 16 year old boys make about music.

Regardless, you're demonstrating such weird entitlement here. "Valve owes me real games they totally made themselves. None of this licensing the Q2 engine, using their code and making a game very similar to one id made, I want something wholly original otherwise it doesn't count!"
 
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65. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 15:12 Verno
 
Wesp5 wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 14:45:
Sepharo wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 13:53:
Also if you don't think Portal and Portal 2 were AAA single player games (assuming you were referring to them when you said "small riddle games") then you're just wrong and few will agree with you.

Don't get me wrong, Portal and Portal 2 were great games, but just compare playtime, levels, variety, enemies, scripting with HL and HL2 and you have to admit that they are not in the same league whatsoever!

That's because you're comparing unlike things just because the same company made them. "Man how come Final Fantasy has more playtime than Tomb Raider?! WTF SQUARE"

The whole "Valve doesn't make anything anymore and even when they do its not really theirs if its not Half-Life 3" is transparent and pointless. Look we all want Half-Life 3 but Valve can afford to take 10 years to make it and they just might do that. Harping on their other games origin is just silly. I don't care if Gabe bought his game idea at the supermarket and sold the original designers into slavery (ok that would be bad), what matters is the end result.
 
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64. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 14:46 Wesp5
 
Beamer wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 13:53:
Hey, remind me again what the wait in time between HL and HL2 was?
6 years you say?

Wow! And it's been 6 years since HL:E2?
Clearly Valve has changed and is no longer developing games!

So how many other games did Valve itself create between HL and HL2? And didn't Newell himself admit that HL2 was delayed completely out of proportion because he only cared about Steam? I fear things are repeating itself, but maybe Valve will indeed use HL3 to push the Steamboxes, so let's stop here, but take a look at this ;): http://i.imgur.com/35Uc3.jpg

This comment was edited on Nov 21, 2013, 14:59.
 
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63. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 14:45 Wesp5
 
Sepharo wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 13:53:
Also if you don't think Portal and Portal 2 were AAA single player games (assuming you were referring to them when you said "small riddle games") then you're just wrong and few will agree with you.

Don't get me wrong, Portal and Portal 2 were great games, but just compare playtime, levels, variety, enemies, scripting with HL and HL2 and you have to admit that they are not in the same league whatsoever!
 
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62. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 13:53 Beamer
 
Wesp5 wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 13:41:
Beamer wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 12:39:
And they do. Not quick enough for your liking, but then you also whine about Battlefield games coming out every other week.

1. I didn't complain about BF or CoD games coming out each year. Only about their short singleplayer campaign lengths :)!

2. Valve wanted to release episodes to get out content faster. The last HL2 episode was released 6 years ago. You find this a reasonable time? I don't! Most other companies have released several AAA titles in the meantime. Valve keeps releasing small riddle games and MP mods!

3. Maybe all of you are MP people who can play the same game over and over for years and are happy if you get a new renderer or a new hat once in a while ;). But I loved Valve for their singleplayer games which were among the best games ever! Now they just don't do them anymore. Don't tell me they couldn't have finished HL2:EP3 in the time they did P, P2, L4D, L4D2, TF2 and DOTA2. Why are they stalling? I guess because it's easier for them to make money that way...

Hey, remind me again what the wait in time between HL and HL2 was?
6 years you say?

Wow! And it's been 6 years since HL:E2?
Clearly Valve has changed and is no longer developing games!
 
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http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
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61. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 13:53 Sepharo
 
Wesp5 wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 13:41:
Beamer wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 12:39:
And they do. Not quick enough for your liking, but then you also whine about Battlefield games coming out every other week.

1. I didn't complain about BF or CoD games coming out each year. Only about their short singleplayer campaign lengths :)!

2. Valve wanted to release episodes to get out content faster. The last HL2 episode was released 6 years ago. You find this a reasonable time? I don't! Most other companies have released several AAA titles in the meantime. Valve keeps releasing small riddle games and MP mods!

3. Maybe all of you are MP people who can play the same game over and over for years and are happy if you get a new renderer or a new hat once in a while ;). But I loved Valve for their singleplayer games which were among the best games ever! Now they just don't do them anymore. Don't tell me they couldn't have finished HL2:EP3 in the time they did P, P2, L4D, L4D2, TF2 and DOTA2. Why are they stalling? I guess because it's easier for them to make money that way...

You're so uninformed that I don't know why I'm bothering to respond.

Valve was working on HL2:Ep3 but stopped because they admitted the episodic approach was a failure. They're working on HL3 and it's taking so long because they can afford to make it exactly right. I'd rather a superb HL3 then a ho-hum Ep3.

Also if you don't think Portal and Portal 2 were AAA single player games (assuming you were referring to them when you said "small riddle games") then you're just wrong and few will agree with you.
 
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60. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 13:48 Sepharo
 
Wesp5 wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 13:31:
Sepharo wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 12:08:
Nov 2000 - Present -- Commercial product from Valve.

Yeah, and how much different is this from the mod?

Very.

-When you quote someone, just hit the quote button and start typing beneath the last automatic [ / quote ] tag.
 
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59. Re: Black Mesa Goes Commercial Nov 21, 2013, 13:41 Wesp5
 
Beamer wrote on Nov 21, 2013, 12:39:
And they do. Not quick enough for your liking, but then you also whine about Battlefield games coming out every other week.

1. I didn't complain about BF or CoD games coming out each year. Only about their short singleplayer campaign lengths :)!

2. Valve wanted to release episodes to get out content faster. The last HL2 episode was released 6 years ago. You find this a reasonable time? I don't! Most other companies have released several AAA titles in the meantime. Valve keeps releasing small riddle games and MP mods!

3. Maybe all of you are MP people who can play the same game over and over for years and are happy if you get a new renderer or a new hat once in a while ;). But I loved Valve for their singleplayer games which were among the best games ever! Now they just don't do them anymore. Don't tell me they couldn't have finished HL2:EP3 in the time they did P, P2, L4D, L4D2, TF2 and DOTA2. Why are they stalling? I guess because it's easier for them to make money that way...
 
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