Happy Birthday Black Mesa: Source! On January 1st, 2006, Black Mesa: Source turned one year old. This modification started as a community project in late 2004 and has thus grown to possibly the largest total conversion for Half-Life 2. Reflecting on 2005, we've learnt so much from our fans, Half-Life players and communities from around the globe. We would like to thank everyone for their support during the last year and hope that it continues to grow in 2006.
Alas, December and January were certainly rocky for us, but we're still here and still moving on with development. Following web host troubles, we have finally settled into our new home complete with ample bandwidth and space for us to grow. It's great to say that we won't have bandwidth issues again, as HLGamer has handed us plentiful bandwidth limits: a stellar 100-billion gigabytes. We'd also like to thank everyone who supported us in ModDBs' 'Mods of 2005' competition. It was great to see everyone come out and voice their support for Black Mesa: Source as well as cast their votes. It makes us very proud to work on a project followed by so many. Win or lose, we thank our fans and mod-watchers.
In administrative news, Black Mesa: Source will here-forth officialy be known as simply 'Black Mesa'. Following our obligations for looking after Valve Software’s intellectual property & trademarks, they kindly asked if we could remove their tagline 'Source' from our in-development name. This is only a minor technicality and will not be affecting the course of development nor should anyone believe otherwise. Our website will still be at Blackmesasource.com as it reflects the project and the engine in which it is built upon.
Before we move on to the media, we'd also like to welcome some of the new developers on board. Joining us this time around are Talia, Atrocity and JeanPaul, all in the areas of level design. These individuals will be filling the remaining chapters requiring development on Black Mesa, and they are all very skilled and will certainly bring a new feel to their respective environments. Unfortunately we have had to wave goodbye to some long time members, Andreas and brute_force, they will be missed. On to what everyone has patiently been waiting for - the media!
First we have updates for the ‘Forget About Freeman’ and ‘We've Got Hostiles’ chapters, both with level design by Kester and 2D art by Synthesizer. ‘Forget About Freeman’ features some nice additions and has been adapted based on some constructive criticism received last time around. The same goes for ‘We've Got Hostiles’, sporting a fresh look with custom textures and is now the next Black Mesa topside shot to be released. With the outdoor environments, we really want to take advantage of the power of skyboxes and displacements to make the topside seem gigantic.
Following the updates we have fresh new material for everyone! This update we have decided to release a single shot of the 'Anomalous Materials' lobby, showing off more of the pre-disaster locations around the Black Mesa Research Facility. Level design and 2D art by the experienced Campaignjunkie, ‘Anomalous Materials’ has been shaping up nicely as you will see. The lobby has been designed with the Half-Life environment in mind, with some minor 'source-ifications', as the screenshot will show.
Finally, in level design, and much to everyone's delight, we have more shots of death match levels. Crossfire is the second multiplayer level to hit the development stage with level design by Atrocity and 2D texture art by Aelroth. Crossfire, along with Stalkyard, has been the focus of multiplayer level design for the past two weeks. Both are looking promising and you can read up on ‘Crossfire's’ development in the
Developer plans forum on our website.
To give everyone some insight into further model and skinning development we have included a render of the .50 calibre Machine Gun. This is the first level of detail model and will be as the player sees it while they utilize it in-game. With sound effects already underway for this weapon of choice, this weapon will have your foes running for cover.
With that said, we are presently seeking additional prop modellers to help continue the steady stream of detail models needed for the Black Mesa environments. Texture artists and skinners are also in demand for our development cycle. If you have the time and the talent, drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, past experience and some examples of your most recent work.