Hi there, and welcome to my project to "uncut" Black Mesa! Black Mesa was a crowning achievement for modding for sure, but it felt like it was lacking a little in some areas, particularly Surface Tension. For those of you that were not aware, Black Mesa's version of Surface Tension cut out a map from the original which was integral to the story's progression. Its replacement felt rushed and poorly implemented. My mod attempts to add that little something back into the game. I took the liberty of re-adding the cut chapters from Surface Tension as I feel their omission strongly harmed the story and really damaged the tone of Forget About Freeman. I've given them the same treatment Black Mesa gave everything else. This mod currently adds 40 - 50 minutes of gameplay and story to Surface Tension, improving the Black Mesa experience and it's overall narrative. It integrates seamlessly with the Black Mesa campaign too, just like it should. Why not give it a whirl?

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Surface Tension Uncut - v2 Final Release! Surface Tension Uncut - v2 Final Release! Surface Tension Uncut - v2 Final Release!
Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Surface Tension Uncut - V2.0 Released!

16 comments by TextFAMGUY1 on Jun 26th, 2013

Surface Tension Uncut v2.0 - Installer Version

This news post marks the release of the final version of Surface Tension Uncut v2.0, the latest version of ST Uncut. After nearly a month of solid work on the project I have fixed an absolute tonne of bugs with the previous version, as well as dramatically redesigning several major aspects of the way the maps play, improving and enhancing them both visually and in terms of design.

Surface Tension Uncut - v2 Final Release!

 
For those of you who may not know, Surface Tension Uncut was my little project to revamp Black Mesa's Surface Tension chapter. Black Mesa's recreation of this chapter was wholly incomplete, missing a whole 2 maps from Half-Life 1's incarnation - and these 2 maps were, in my mind, possibly the 2 most important of the entire chapter - as they signified the defeat of the HECU and their subsequent pulling out in Forget About Freeman. Without these 2 maps included in Black Mesa, the motive for the HECU pulling out in Forget About Freeman makes little sense, and to anyone who did not know HL1, they would not understand why the HECU decided to pull out.

Surface Tension Uncut - v2 Final Release!

My mod adds back these missing maps, designed by me and the community, and they fit seamlessly into Black Mesa's existing campaign. If I've done my job correctly, and I certainly believe I have, then you won't even know you're playing an addon mod. Surface Tension Uncut's goal was to emphasize the losing battle the HECU are fighting and bring back many of the memorable moments and sequences which were missing from Black Mesa's incarnation, as well as adding its own unique flavour.

Find here a short(ish) video of me giving a brief walkthrough of the new version of ST Uncut, featuring a developer commentary. In the video I talk mostly about the changes from the previous versions of ST Uncut, and some of the development process behind it:


Even if you've played through the previous versions of ST Uncut, this new version is definitely worth checking out! With all the work I've been doing on OaR Uncut, I've really improved my abilities as a mapper, and I've been able to address a significant number of the problems and issues which existed in the v1.11 release of ST Uncut. It overall performs better, looks better, and plays better.

Some of the more specific, larger changes include:

  • An overhaul of the Garage ambush scene on the G map. The destruction is far more believable, as is the nature of the ambush itself.
  • A TOTAL overhaul of the layout and design of the TOW Courtyard and its surrounding area, as well as the battles with the HECU and Alien Grunts. It's overall more balanced, a lot prettier, makes a lot more sense, and plays a tonne better. The haphazard side areas from the previous versions was entirely scrapped and replaced with a believable and detailed outdoor car park which also provides a great view of the newly revamped 3D skybox.
  • A TOTAL overhaul of the Helipad and its surrounding area. Lots of the lifeless side buildings have been replaced with much more detailed buildings more in the style of Surface Tension, many of which are explorable and feature a tonne of hidden goodies. The landscape around the Helipad is far less monotonous now, far more interesting and aesthetically pleasing. The actual Helipad itself has been redesigned to be more consistent with other Helipads in Black Mesa, and the cover provided for the player has been moved to a far superior location.
  • An entirely new and original office block added behind the Helipad to facilitate better connectivity between the two maps, and encourage exploration. Another 5 - 10 minutes of gameplay and interest.
  • Redesign of the Abrams battle near the beginning of H. The player can now access the balcony to get a much higher and cooler view of the battle if they desire, which features reworked AI and cooler scripting.
  • Recoding of the Sniper AI so that he shoots the explosive barrels against you now and generally feels much more menacing and annoying.
  • Reworking of the Satchel Pipe scene and its surrounding area to make it more believable and fluid.
  • Redesign of the Gasworks to improve performance and visual appearance, as well as reworking several areas to be more believable and in line with the theme of the area.
  • Switched out Barney's dialogue so it no longer repeats lines heard in previous Black Mesa maps. Makes it feel much less stilted than before.

This is just scratching the Surface (get it?) of the VAST number of changes I've made, both visible and under the hood. Just take a look at the changelogs if you're interested in finding out more (good luck, that thing's HUGE!)

Surface Tension Uncut - v2 Final Release!

On a Rail Uncut

You can find my ModDB page for On a Rail Uncut here.

All that's really left to say is that I've now resumed working on On a Rail Uncut, and really hope to get some good work done on it soon. Development is still going on the B2 map though it has been slow. A1, A2 and B1 have all undergone alpha testing on the Black Mesa forums, and the feedback has generally been fairly positive. You can find walkthroughs of all 3 maps on my Youtube channel (nitrotomato), and you can track progress on the maps in the Black Mesa forums. Hopefully I'll have more to show you guys real soon!

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Surface Tension Uncut v2.0 - ZIP Version

Surface Tension Uncut v2.0 - ZIP Version

Jun 26, 2013 Full Version 6 comments

This is the ZIP version of the new and improved Surface Tension Uncut 2.0! This version sees significant improvement from the previous release (v1.11...

Surface Tension Uncut v2.0 - Installer Version

Surface Tension Uncut v2.0 - Installer Version

Jun 26, 2013 Full Version 9 comments

This is the installer version of the new and improved Surface Tension Uncut 2.0! This version sees significant improvement from the previous release (v1.11...

Surface Tension Uncut - V1.11 Final

Surface Tension Uncut - V1.11 Final

Jan 7, 2013 Full Version 13 comments

This is the absolute, 100% final release for Surface Tension Uncut - quite a bit later than I thought it would be. It's as polished as it can be now...

Surface Tension Uncut - Release Candidate 2

Surface Tension Uncut - Release Candidate 2

Dec 23, 2012 Full Version 18 comments

The final release candidate for Surface Tension Uncut. The release after this will be the final one, after which I will stop working on this mod. Please...

Post comment Comments  (90 - 100 of 124)
Kyle_K_ski
Kyle_K_ski Dec 24 2012, 1:41pm says:

I installed Black Mesa just because of this map pack's release. The screenshots look THAT good. Looking forward to rating this after I've had the chance to experience it.

Thank you for sharing your hard work with us. The timing with the holidays is perfect.

+1 vote     reply to comment
nikolas5243
nikolas5243 Dec 24 2012, 1:11pm says:

wait, so this is differnet than Black Mesa??

+1 vote     reply to comment
TextFAMGUY1
TextFAMGUY1 Dec 24 2012, 1:20pm replied:

No. It's an addon for Black Mesa which appears during the Surface Tension chapter. No more, no less. It adds 3 maps to Black Mesa's Surface Tension chapter which weren't there before, because they cut them.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Rus[T]
Rus[T] Dec 24 2012, 8:53am says:

So, I didn't know that Surface Tension was "rushed" in Black Mesa.. Will they ever update this level and do it justice (like when Xen-levels will be released)? But anyway, level looks really detailed!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Z00L
Z00L Dec 24 2012, 8:53am says:

i was sure there was something missing in black mesa ... This part and Xen D:

+1 vote     reply to comment
Cossack-HD
Cossack-HD Dec 24 2012, 11:18am replied: Online

And very much in "On a rail" chapter. Very much. "On a rail" is probably the most explorable part of HL and it was soo cut in BM...

+2 votes     reply to comment
Church101
Church101 Dec 24 2012, 1:23pm replied:

for good reasons. On a rail dragged on so much that it became tedious. It really was one of the more forgettable levels in the game. BM made it more interesting with less stops, and better layout. I resented having to go back and forth, dodging ****.

+2 votes     reply to comment
bloodshot12
bloodshot12 Dec 24 2012, 4:34pm replied:

Well there were parts of On a Rail that were good, but it was overshadowed by the really convoluted and confusing parts.

I think BM's On a Rail was really a step up, except it was too short. In the original it felt like the old missile silo was miles away, like you really traveled far, while in BM it didn't feel like that.

I think with the new ideas and redesigned areas of BM's on a rail + some of the old set pieces and segments of HL1's OAR it could find a nice middle ground so that it's longer and gives a feeling of a journey without dragging on like the original did.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Kyle_K_ski
Kyle_K_ski Dec 24 2012, 1:39pm replied:

I totally agree with your assessment of this level. It was superbly aggravating, as was Xen.

I hope that the Black Mesa team is pouring a ton of brainpower into making Xen a FAR better environment to experience than in the original release. It was little more than a level from Mario Bros., and poorly executed at that.

It would be nice if Xen is someplace WORTH exploring, and from their statement that it'll be a "game unto itself" I'm confident that they're going to deliver.

+2 votes     reply to comment
cab3z0n
cab3z0n Dec 26 2012, 3:55pm replied:

Well, I liked HL's On a Rail and Xen. I actually think that Xen was one of the best parts of the game, with all the platforming. Practically there is no platforming in modern shooters. I even wonder why the hell they include a jump key, as there are stupid "insurmountable waist-height fences" everywhere and that is really really annoying. Quake, Unreal and Half-Life had platforming and almost no ****** invisible walls and were superb shooters.

Regarding On a Rail, I think HL's version was better because it seemed that the missile silo was far enough to justify the existence of a materials transport system. In Black Mesa this chapter was extremely linear and short, and they also removed the rail switches.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Released Dec 20, 2012
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Highest Rated (7 agree) 10/10

Takes one of the most exciting parts of Half Life and supercharges it. With the largest NPC battles I've seen in a Source game and a nice emphasis on the marines fighting a losing battle, these are some damn good extra maps for Black Mesa. Be prepared for some tough fights and relive some memorable moments staged with dramatic flair. Textfamguy's had a long dialogue with the community in developing the levels and it's really helped make them believeable, fun spaces that together tell a nice little…

Dec 22 2012, 10:45pm by dinosauriac

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