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?

Image RSS Feed Latest Screens
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!

Downloads RSS Feed Latest Downloads
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  (50 - 60 of 128)
JohnSmirnov Jan 12 2013, 7:16pm says:

But what if I have BM: Uplink installed ?

+1 vote     reply to comment
wmf776759 Jan 12 2013, 10:31pm replied:

That doesn't matter.

+1 vote     reply to comment
TextFAMGUY1 Creator
TextFAMGUY1 Jan 13 2013, 10:52am replied:

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.

+3 votes   reply to comment
JohnSmirnov Jan 14 2013, 10:00am replied:

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
JohnSmirnov Jan 14 2013, 9:50am replied:

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 ?

+1 vote     reply to comment
TextFAMGUY1 Creator
TextFAMGUY1 Jan 14 2013, 3:00pm replied:

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.

+2 votes   reply to comment
JohnSmirnov Jan 20 2013, 10:31am replied:

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
TextFAMGUY1 Creator
TextFAMGUY1 Jan 14 2013, 2:42pm replied:

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.

+2 votes   reply to comment
JohnSmirnov Jan 15 2013, 1:32pm replied:

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
ANTI-NOOB Jan 12 2013, 2:36pm says:

good job guys now i see the future addons for bm by all of u :D

+3 votes     reply to comment
TextFAMGUY1 Creator
TextFAMGUY1 Jan 13 2013, 10:55am replied:

I'd just like to point out for the sake of accuracy that there isn't, strictly speaking, an "all of you". It's just me. I'm the only developer.

But that's not to say I'm not the only one who's done work on this project - the community has contributed a lot even though it hasn't been directly to development. Just look at the credits, you'll see. I've gotten tonnes of helpful and comprehensive feedback from the community at large as well as a few members helping me out with some specific problems, but for all intents and purposes, and I'm very grateful for it - but in literal terms, I am the only "developer".

+3 votes   reply to comment
Post a Comment
click to sign in

You are not logged in, your comment will be anonymous unless you join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) which we encourage all contributors to do.

2000 characters limit; HTML formatting and smileys are not supported - text only

Half-Life 2 Icon
Developed By
Send Message
Release Date
Released Dec 20, 2012
Mod Watch
Track this mod
Community Rating



125 votes submitted.

You Say


Ratings closed.

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

First Person Shooter
Single Player
Embed Buttons

Promote Black Mesa: Surface Tension Uncut on your homepage or blog by selecting a button and using the embed code provided (more).

Black Mesa: Surface Tension Uncut Black Mesa: Surface Tension Uncut
Black Mesa: Surface Tension Uncut
Last Update
1 month ago
537 members