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 v2.0 - 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!

Surface Tension Uncut - V2.0 in Development!

Surface Tension Uncut - V2.0 in Development!

News 2 comments

It's been over 5 months since v1.11 of Surface Tension Uncut was released. Since then I've been working on On a Rail Uncut and taking in a lot of the...

Surface Tension Uncut - V1.11 Final Released!

Surface Tension Uncut - V1.11 Final Released!

News 13 comments

I bring good news! This is the absolutely final, full release of Surface Tension Uncut, my little mod which adds the cut sections back to Black Mesa's...

Surface Tension Uncut - Full Version Released!

Surface Tension Uncut - Full Version Released!

News 18 comments

Apologies for the delay, everyone. I've had a very hectic weekend. But, now I've got around to it, I've just posted the Final (Full) Release Candidate...

ModDB page created!

ModDB page created!

News 1 comment

Having been in the beta period for quite a significant amount of time, and currently being in the Release Candidate stage, I feel the time has come to...

Surface Tension Uncut v2.0 - ZIP Version

Surface Tension Uncut v2.0 - ZIP Version

Full Version 9 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

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

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

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  (50 - 60 of 138)
RyanMichaelJames
RyanMichaelJames

Is this gonna be available on Desura to make installation easier? I mean, I installed it manually and replayed Black Mesa and played your part of the chapter (WHICH WAS AWESOME!!), but I was just wondering, cuz I want your addon to the mod to be on my Desura account. :P

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JrComissarValvatorez
JrComissarValvatorez

That isn't possible at all, due to it being a mod of a mod.

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Guest
Guest

I thought this was an "addon" type of "mod". Desura can't install "addons" for mods?

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JrComissarValvatorez
JrComissarValvatorez

Not even Steam can do that for map packs without the workshop, since Desura doesn't have that function you have to download it manually.

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RyanMichaelJames
RyanMichaelJames

Wow, those Manta Rays (Alien Aircrafts) are awesome!! They're not so flat, but their skin flaps like real Manta Rays in Real-Life do!! That's great!! :D

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JohnSmirnov
JohnSmirnov

I really hope that On a rail uncut will work good, with Surface Tension uncut, cause I (and most of other people, I think) will be really happy to complete Black Mesa with 2 uncut levels :)

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JohnSmirnov
JohnSmirnov

So, lets wait for compatibility patch and OaR uncut.

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Ace66
Ace66

thank you so much for this, i'll spread the word.

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Booszi
Booszi

Nice job!

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Dejected-Angel
Dejected-Angel

I don't get it, how do I backup maps and stuff?
By taking it out like what the read me said? Are you sure this is actually backing up the game files and not just removing it so it'll be unplayable?
I don't get it.

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TextFAMGUY1 Creator
TextFAMGUY1

Would you care to explain to me your reasoning as to how copying and pasting files into a backup folder would "remove it so it'll be unplayable?" The only thing more foolish than not backing up the files before you install this mod is to break the game whilst backing them up. All you need to do is create a backup folder somewhere, then copy and paste the important files I listed, into that folder. How would that make the game "unplayable"?

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JohnSmirnov
JohnSmirnov

But what if I have BM: Uplink installed ?

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wmf776759
wmf776759

That doesn't matter.

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TextFAMGUY1 Creator
TextFAMGUY1

It does, a little. You'll need a scenes.image file which is compatible with the two mods. You can find this either in Hezu's thread on the Black Mesa's "Leak-Free" forum (I think!) or you can make one yourself. The process isn't too complicated - you set up the Source SDK for Black Mesa, then you open Faceposer, and click build scenes.image, and that's it! Done. Working. Otherwise, the choreography (people's gestures and facial movements when they talk) will be broken on either my mod or Hezu's mod. Alternatively, you'd have to uninstall one, to run the other properly.

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JohnSmirnov
JohnSmirnov

4. If I will install uncut versions of maps, will it affect achievements and etc ?

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JohnSmirnov
JohnSmirnov

1. Where I need to put that file ?

2. Uplink contains some content like displaying the map in the menu, subtitles, localisation, screen messages and credits. So, how to install UNCUT version of Surface Tension, without affecting that, what I listed above ?

3. Same I can ask about future Uncut maps, will I need to wait for some other special files or what I need to do in case, if I will want to install them too ?

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TextFAMGUY1 Creator
TextFAMGUY1

I figure I'll just add to what I said below and point out that there isn't a great deal of point having Uplink and ST Uncut installed at the same time, as Uplink isn't tied to the main campaign in any way at all, while ST Uncut is. If you wanted to make things much simpler and easy for yourself (I don't see why you wouldn't!) you could simply install Uplink when you want to play it, overwriting ST Uncut's files where it wants you to, and when you're done with that, install ST Uncut, overwriting Uplink's files. You don't strictly need to have the two both installed at once, and it'll probably cause more problems than it'll solve.

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JohnSmirnov
JohnSmirnov

Well, I have them both installed at the same time, but they both work good.

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TextFAMGUY1 Creator
TextFAMGUY1

1) Scenes.image goes in the scenes folder (surprisingly). If you make it yourself, faceposer automatically builds it in the right place.

2) ST Uncut shouldn't affect any of that at all, though subtitles will be broken for one or the other.

3) I'll figure that out once I've finished OaR Uncut. I'll probably leave ST Uncut and OaR Uncut as separate mods, but have a "compatibility patch" you can install if you want to use them both.

4) No. Everything still works just fine.

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JohnSmirnov
JohnSmirnov

It would be very nice to use them both :) . And Uplink too, no offense, I just like to have some maps (mods?) installed together.

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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 by dinosauriac

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