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 Post news 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 7 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 10 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 131)
kalixx1 Dec 25 2012, 5:16pm says:

This is much more action heavy then any other part of black mesa. A little too much maybe. A little more healt/energy pack here and there should be added.
The entire BMS is smooth to play but here there are performance problems in some areas like the parking garage and the steam room.

Though this is a great addition!

+1 vote     reply to comment
TextFAMGUY1 Creator
TextFAMGUY1 Dec 26 2012, 3:29pm replied:

BMS's performance as a whole is extremely inconsistent and it's not well optimized in quite a few places. Unfortunately that's the nature of the beast. The 3 worst performing areas are the parking lot, the Abrams Battle, and the Furnace Room. The only one which isn't to be expected, and is fixable, is the furnace room, which I am hoping to address for the final release. Previous versions had no framerate issues in the furnace room.

The health and energy balance has been VERY carefully considered and tested with the community, I feel it's spot on right now. It was previously more generous but it being overgenerous would make it too inconsistent with the rest of BM.

It being action heavy was the design intention. Surface Tension is supposed to illustrate that the conflict with the aliens has turned into full blown war, in a way it's pretty much the entire climax of the game. It seems fitting for a climax to be action heavy. It's the tone that Half-Life's Surface Tension set too, only to a lesser degree, due to the limitations they had with the technology at the time.

+2 votes   reply to comment
Church101 Dec 25 2012, 6:43pm replied:

I think the action was good, but the amount of NPCs added significant lag. I run a high-end system and I had trouble in the boiler room with lag, along with the m1 abrams coming around the corner area. If those performance issues are fixed, then this will be even better

+2 votes     reply to comment
electrocatalyst Dec 25 2012, 11:06am says:

Is anyone going to also add a few maps to the "On a Rail" location as it was way too stripped in BMS?

And thx for the work on Surface Tension!

+5 votes     reply to comment
electrocatalyst Dec 25 2012, 11:04am says:

I've set up a *temporary* mirror for those who cannot download:

+1 vote     reply to comment
Church101 Dec 24 2012, 5:47pm says:

After playing this mappack, I definitely think this was well done. However, you may want to separate your enemies into waves. Having them crash you all at once as you take mantle of that cannon is a bit overwhelming, and I found it difficult even on easy to hold my ground. Also, the pipe where you get the grenade in is difficult to get into, so maybe easier access is necessary.

Overall though, I like the addition. Definitely a keeper. Hopefully you read this and add this in

+2 votes     reply to comment
FireFarseer Dec 25 2012, 11:20am replied:

I agree. Having the alien grunts come out one or two at a time would be more in-line with Black Mesa's combat. I played on hard and it's still manageable with explosives, but seeing five or six of them flood out was a little ridiculous.

That said, this addon is awesome and added sections I missed with near the same level of polish as the original team. Good work.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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
CodeBlackNL Dec 25 2012, 7:47am replied:

You did not, stop kissing ***.

+2 votes     reply to comment
nikolas5243 Dec 24 2012, 1:11pm says:

wait, so this is differnet than Black Mesa??

+1 vote     reply to comment
TextFAMGUY1 Creator
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
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Released Dec 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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