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I posted this yesterday on the main page:
I'm sorry to say that there will be no final version. I'm no longer working on On a Rail Uncut, on account of having joined the Black Mesa Dev Team. You can find my announcement here:
I may return to this little mod some day, when my commitments to BMS are a bit more relaxed. We'll see. Most likely not, but that option is open.
Regardless, when I released it, the Beta for OaRU was the finest piece of work I've ever created. I'm very proud of it, for all its problems. I hope the community liked it too, even in its beta state.
Correct. They add content to Black Mesa.
No. I made the Surface Tension Uncut executable because STU REPLACES a lot of stock Black Mesa assets with slightly modified versions. On a Rail Uncut only replaces OaR's map files, everything else is additive. There are no scenes.image replacers, or any soundscript overrides, so no conflicts anywhere aside from the maps. It shouldn't be too difficult to properly backup the 3 original On a Rail map files.
It takes a surprising amount of effort to make a GOOD installer version. 64 bit Windows doesn't mean that you can't install a zip mod. Not even slightly, seeing as I have 64 bit Windows, as I'm sure MOST gamers do these days. What's so hard about unzipping the file to your BMS folder?
None of the tracks were made by Joel. "The Year of Death," and "Dark Skies," were made by a community member named Dejan, who originally wrote the two pieces for a Black Mesa community contest. They are both fantastic pieces of music, I hope I've done them justice with my work.
"Lights Out," was written by my really good friend Andrew Bastian. We worked together to write/record that piece (though mostly him) specifically for the turntable ambush. In the end it turned out pretty differently to how I'd originally envisioned it, but for the better I think. I love the piece, I really do. The YoC.mp3 was his working title for it - "The Year of Chon". Good stuff.
Hope this provides satisfactory answers.
Quick bit of a progress update for anyone who's keeping up with the mod - it's not worth a news post so I figured I'd put it here.
Progress on bringing the maps up to Beta standard has been really good. A1 and A2 are pretty much beta ready, and should only need maybe 1 more day's work. They've been improved significantly. A1 has been expanded with a few new areas to explore, A2's office complex has been really refined to improve player direction significantly, and both maps have seen serious aesthetic enhancements in a few areas. Most notably, lots of the previously dull tunnels have been vertically expanded to look significantly more impressive.
Getting the B maps up to the beta standard should be quicker than the A maps because they were much more polished at release and I was much happier with the B map's core gameplay. All this means that I'm fairly confident I can get the beta release out at some point next week - though I make absolutely no promises. This stuff takes a lot of time!
In other news, I'm cancelling the Lite version of the mod. At release, the only version available will now be the full experience. There are a fair few reasons that I've come to this decision. You can see my explanation here: Forums.blackmesasource.com
Just look at the section titled "OaR Uncut Lite".
Thanks for your time, everyone! It's moving forwards, and I'm excited!
Heh, thanks. I will definitely have to rebalance it when the time comes around, assuming the BM Devs do change up a lot of the gameplay of the mod - which I really hope they do, there are a lot of balancing issues present. The most pressing concern is to make the Vorts less **** - most of my maps which feature Vort vs HECU fights involve me throwing crazy numbers of Vorts at the HECU simply because they're so weak in Black Mesa.
I have no plans to continue modding in any way after finishing OaR Uncut. My priority is to find employment once work here is done. Maybe that'll change in the future but I doubt it. We'll just have to wait and see what the future may hold!
Somebody already suggested the convoy only being triggered when up on the crane, and I agreed with it, it's a great idea. As for the flare, that scene will see some fine tuning, most likely in line with what you've been saying here.
Cheers for the feedback!
Try not to think of it as me spitefully withholding a finished product from my faithful community, so much as...me actually developing it.
The Alpha may be done but my work on OaR Uncut is far from complete. I've had copious amounts of feedback from the fantastic community and I'm making sure that I work through absolutely all of it for the next release. In addition there are many aspects which I personally wish to fine tune and work on before the next release.
Work's still progressing. As WMF said, patience! It'll get done, I'll make sure of it.
Tell you what - you give me one single good reason why that is a bad thing, and I'll revert it to a standard, boring interior level again. Just one, well thought out, well explained reason. I dare you. Go for it.
Finding employment! My involvement with Black Mesa will be done at this point, except if the Xen update breaks the Uncut related stuff. If that happens I will fix it.
This is something I've considered actually - but it is a fundamental problem with the way the aliens are balanced in Black Mesa - and is ultimately outside my control as a result.
There aren't that many fights in OaR Uncut, in terms of number of encounters, which weren't in the original. Take B1 for example - the only fight which wasn't present in the HL1 edition was the HECU fight right at the start. Every other fight on the map was present in its HL1 version.
You are right in saying that I added MORE enemies to these fights, however. Typically I only did this where there is an aliens vs HECU encounter. This is for the simple reason that the aliens and the HECU in Black Mesa are really poorly balanced relative to each other. This means in order to make the fights more balanced, I HAVE to add more aliens.
For example, in HL1, the balance between Vorts and HECU Marines was very roughly 1:1. If you put 5 HECU against 5 Vorts, the outcome of the fight would typically be 50:50. This is CERTAINLY not the case in Black Mesa due to their core gameplay changes. The ratio is more around 3:1. This means that every fight between HECU and Aliens needs to have roughly 3X more Aliens than HECU if it is to be even slightly balanced.
Unfortunately, I have to balance fights around Black Mesa's default settings, so this is why we end up with so many aliens in OaRU's maps. I agree with you that it isn't ideal, but sadly I'm not sure there's too much I can do about it.
I agree that there are quite a few superfluous encounters which I will trim off for the next version. I could probably stand to remove a few. So yes, to an extent, I agree with you.
No, I won't, sorry. It doesn't interest me. Someone else on the BM Forums a while back started getting the ball rolling on doing this, though I don't know if it's progressed at all. You could check out that thread if you're interested.
It seems you have a lot to say about the mod. Might I suggest checking out the thread on the Black Mesa forums, and/or signing up and posting there if you want detailed discussion? I'm much more active and open there than on here, and I try my best to reply to every post on there. Some of your concerns have also already been brought up and addressed in there, so it might be worth reading! Cheers!
I would say the same for everyone else too! If you want some discussion about your feedback, the thread on the Black Mesa forums is the best place to do it. I'm very active there, and it's a great community!
The Black Mesa Devs have stated that they will not use my work in their mod, but cannot disclose their reasons due to their NDA with Valve. That's all there is to say on that subject, really. I did what I could.
I'm working on it. I'm currently in holiday in Greece at the moment and progress has been slow due to ST Uncut v2 and lack of creative ideas on my part. But it's getting there, albeit slowly. I expect, though do not promise, to have something ready by next Friday.
The process of bringing A1, A2 and B1 up to scratch should not be too difficult as I was overall VERY happy with how their alphas turned out.
"It integrates seamlessly with the Black Mesa campaign too, just like it should."
"My mod adds back these missing maps, designed by me and the community, and they fit seamlessly into Black Mesa's existing campaign."
It literally says states it outright the mod description, and then once more in the v2 news post. Is it really that difficult to read?
There's a changelog at the bottom of the readme. Good luck reading it - it's huge!
Don't be sorry, it wasn't stupid at all - you didn't know. My fault for not saying anything. No harm done whatsoever. I appreciate you being enthusiastic enough to post about it here! The final version will be released very soon, so everyone can get their hands on it.
The guy whose comment I deleted - the current RC version is what I consider to be for "private" testing on the forums, and not wider public release like on here. I'll post the final version probably tomorrow or the day after on here, so just wait till then! Then everyone can enjoy it, once the bugs have been ironed out. It'll also be accompanied by a video too.
B2 will most likely have its own alpha, as have all the other maps. I only finished my university finals last week, and I've taken this week off to relax, unwind, and recharge my batteries. For the next 3 weeks I will be dedicating my spare time to working on ST and OaR Uncut, so you can expect all that to be finished very soon.
What an unusual, not to mention incorrect assumption. A1 and A2, much like every other map in OaR Uncut, are still in the Alpha stages of production. B2 hasn't even reached the Alpha stages yet because it's unfinished. Once I get it finished I will bring it up to Alpha standard, and release the B2 alpha for testing. After that, all the maps will be brought to Beta standard, and released as a full beta. They will then all collectively be brought up to RC standard, before final release. Only on the final, full release, will the Lite version formally exist. It's not a priority.
You haven't installed it correctly, and the most likely explanation is that you've extracted it to the wrong folder. As it says in the readme, you extract the zip file to the BMS folder. Not to maps, not to mods, but to BMS. Simple as that. If it doesn't work, you've either extracted it to the wrong folder, or not extracted it at all. That's literally all there is to it.
Something like that. University is going to be very busy until the end of May, so I won't have much time to work on it until the end of May. After that I can't see finishing up its development taking me too long. End of June is probably a realistic goal.
Ordinarily I'd agree with you, but what you're saying here revolves around the idea that entity limits are absolute. They're not. The entity limits exist relative to what the engine can do, and Hammer doesn't account for this. This is why Hammer does not enforce its suggested entdata limit.
Black Mesa uses a modified version of the Source 2007 engine which can undoubtedly handle more entities. There is plenty of evidence of this. Though Hammer may think its excessive, the game itself runs just fine, I haven't had any reports of absolutely awful performance from any of my testers.
We can put things into better perspective here.
Hammer reports that B1 contains 5659 entities, which it sees as 208% of its suggested entity limit.
For reference, the C map, which was made by BM Devs (the one with the rocket launch - the final map of OaR) contains around 8400 entities, according to Hammer.
While Hammer's figures may not be 100% accurate, I can't see them being too far out. If this is the case, then c2a2c will be at around 335% entdata, at least according to some very rough maths. And that map runs just fine on Black Mesa's version of the Source 2007 engine. Nobody complains about that. If Black Mesa's engine can, by default, handle 335% entdata, 210% should be no sweat. There are discrepancies in how things are reported by Hammer/the engine, so the figures are far from perfect, but it gives you a rough idea.
Black Mesa is fairly demanding, for a Source game. Probably the most demanding Source game I've seen yet. If you can run the rest of Black Mesa properly, my maps will run just fine. I don't do anything more demanding than other BM maps. I appreciate your concerns, but I don't think they are too problematic in this context.
Yes, and I strongly believe that Surface Tension Uncut is one of the best MP5 skins around. Give it a try!
While I appreciate that you guys may have been disappointed by BM's Rocket Launch, and may not have found it believable, I will not change it, for 3 reasons. Firstly, it didn't really bother me in the slightest. There are less believable things in Black Mesa which people aren't bothered by.
Secondly, making it more like HL1's Rocket Launch isn't possible, because Black Mesa's On a Rail is laid out extremely differently. OaR in HL1 is laid out as a spiral revolving upwards around the rocket. A starts near the bottom of the rocket, where we can see the room. D is about halfway up. G is at the top of the rocket silo. HL1 OaR's layout spirals upwards around the rocket, it just made sense for you to glimpse the Rocket at various points as a reminder of your goal. Black Mesa's OaR is laid out as a straight path to the rocket. Thus, seeing the rocket at various points during your journey would make no sense at all. Changing BM's OaR to have a layout more like HL1's would require an absurd amount of work, as I'd have to overhaul every single completed level. That's a stupid amount of work, and that ain't happening.
Finally, I don't really feel like it's my job to improve on what the BM Devs have done. Their work has its weaknesses, it's not my place to fix them. It's theirs. I'm adding onto what they've done, not fixing it. What I'm doing is like a fan expansion pack. It's additive. The rest is up to them.
Off the top of my head, no, not really. The most significant cuts were definitely to OaR and ST. From my memory, most of the other chapters are the same length (some longer) than the original. Some may differ a little, but nothing massive from what I can remember.